This Little Light of Mine {I’m Gonna Let It Shine}

I first saw this video at my church on Christmas Eve a few years ago.

I thought it was so powerful and beautiful and I am honored that the creator of the video has allowed me to share it here.

I hope this is a sweet reminder during December and throughout the whole year…

Now go out and let your light shine!

Thank you Michael for allowing me to share your beautiful video.

This video was created by Michael Sweet at Epitage Media | 720-281-2032

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2014 Holiday House Walk

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{If you like the images on our mantle you can print them out HERE. We are all crazy for them and love how whimsical they are! Alice, I think you are the bees knees.}

I am so glad you have stopped by and I can’t wait to welcome you into our home.

I have loved home, making home and loving on the people I love for as long as I can remember.

The older I get the more I know…truly know…that loving on others and loving on my family is far better than a pretty home.

In this home you will find that art is made often, music is usually playing, a candle is burning, books are being read, the house is rarely really clean and I forget about dinner until around 4:30 each day.

More than anything I hope that our children remember how much they are deeply loved and accepted.

I hope they always carry with them their faith and how it will guide their steps all of their days.

I hope they will also know that a pretty house is nice but the people in that house are the best!

Welcome to our home.

Our whole family wishes you the most Merry Christmas!

I am so honored each time Jennifer Rizzo has asked me to be a part of her Holiday House Walk.

It is so much fun to be included with such a talented group of women that love family and making home comfortable and beautiful!

To begin the walk from the beginning click the icon below or go directly to Jennifer Rizzo.

If you are stopping over from Four Generations Under One Roof I am so glad you are here. Jessica and her family create such a gorgeous home!

Go grab something to drink and I hope you will take a moment to look around.

I decorate pretty simple for the holiday and over the years my Christmas bins have gotten fewer and fewer.

I really love to pull the outdoors in and use what is easily available out my front door.

We decorate our tree as a family and at least this year the ornaments seem to be scattered out evenly.

We have had many years where the tree almost fell over from having it too weighted from the front or they were all really low.

This year we are hoping for the tree to stay up!

Last year we made an Acts of Service Advent Tree and we all loved it.

This year we are also going to use it again because it really helped our days to be more focused on others and not just what we were hoping to receive.

I had to throw this shot in because I play my record player all day long. It is one of my favorite things and brings me oodles of joy.

This on the other hand brings my husband joy:-)

During my fall house tour I created a drink cart out of my IKEA art cart.

I loved it so much I decided to do it again but this time make it a permanent part of the living room at least through the holidays.

Just a peek into our library.  This is where we hold some of our books and the piano.

This is where my littlest loves to play on the floor and we all love it when the fire is going and it is toasty warm.

See that pillow?

That is from Craftberry Bush and her home is next!

We made the star our of twigs, tied them with string and strung copper lights from Anthro. It is truly one of my favorite pieces.

I use it year around all over the house.

The gorgeous Advent cards are from Naptime Diaries.

Go get yourself some twigs and twine and make yourself giddy happy.

Honest.

For those of you that haven’t seen the kitchen since last year’s house walk I bet you can’t believe the difference.

We aren’t done yet but we are getting there. I hope we are getting there. Things take WAY long in this house to get finished. I like to say that we are fashionably late. Are you buying it?

You can read more about it here, here, here and here.

One of my favorite things to change up each month is our hanging paper roll.

This month was inspired by the art work found HERE.

Pretty much one of my favorite Christmas songs!  Beautiful and powerful song. THIS is one of my favorite versions.

This sign is from my dear friend House of Belonging.  It is always a little hard to put this one away each year.

This is my studio and where I create and tape many of my online courses.

I love that this room used to be our dinning room and it is so close to the rest of the house and my family.

That is not always true…but most of the time.

I am so excited to tell you why this tree doesn’t have an ornaments on it yet.

We just started Unwrapping The Greatest Gift and each night in December the kids will decorate the “Jesse Tree” with ornaments we printed out.

We already have placed the first ornament on during our first night of Advent.  It was thought provoking and meaningful.

I am excited to see what the Lord reveals to us over the next month.

I usually include more of our upstairs but I was taking photos the morning we were leaving for our Thanksgiving adventure trip and there was nothing up there you would want to see.

Please check out our previous Holiday House Walks so you will know that the bedrooms are cleaned every once in awhile!

Thank you so much for taking a look at out home all dressed up for Christmas.

Please come back again!

You are going to love, love the next home.

Have so much fun going through Lucy’s home at Craftberry Bush!

I would love to have you check out my creative network where I have over 35 free and paid for online courses.

It is truly a lifestyle network with courses about home, cooking, bee keeping, art and so much more!

Come on over…

Other posts you might enjoy…

If you like the photos above of our home I think you would like these posts too…

Becoming: A free study that begins THIS January!

Fall Home Tour 2014

Fall Home Tour 2013

Christmas Home Tour 2013

Our 13 year old son’s bedroom makeover

Our daughter’s bedroom makeover

Going from baby to big boy room makeover

Hallway collage wall

Our home decorated for Christmas

How to add character to a new home

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Creatively Christmas {a book, some crafting, our home and a giveaway}

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Last January Jennifer Rizzo came and captured our home still decorated for the holidays.

After months of Jen writing, photographing and creating for her book I believe we were one of the last homes that she needed to photograph.

It was a fun time of working and playing during her visit and a sweet honor to be included in her first book!

I was able to see a draft of the book before it went to print and as I looked through it I had tears in my eyes for my dear friend that had created one of the most gorgeous Christmas DIY books I had ever seen.

This book is so packed full of things you can make for your home, as gifts, with your kids and friends.

When we finally had our own copy of the book in our hands Maddy and I went through picking out all of the things we wanted to make and yesterday Ben and Maddy made a few things.

I am pretty strict about following my own rule about no Christmas until after Thanksgiving but I had to break that to share this beautiful book.

The book is full of DIY decorating and gift ideas but it is also overflowing in decor photos of different homes dressed up for Christmas and the traditions of the holidays.

This book has many layers and brings you much more than crafting.

Here is a glimpse into our creating day inspired by Jen’s new book Creatively Christmas: Inspired Yuletide Decor.

Did I mention that the first printing sold out weeks ago? Yep, it’s that good:-)

I purchased two extra copies of the book to give away!

To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me one thing you love about Christmas or the holidays in general.

We will pick the winners next week.

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Want To Get Your Heart Into The Holidays? {This year make it simple and meaningful}

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One of my most popular online course is Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}.

This three week course is all about the heart of home and how to make the holidays all about the people you love.

I wanted to offer this beautiful and rich course at a discount for the next 72 hours.

For the next 72 hours you can get this course for $29! 

This is 50% off!

*There will be 65 videos.  30 project videos and 35 discussion videos.

These will be incredible videos that include everything from cooking, gift giving and decorating

*Tons of beautiful house photos from each of the nine women

*Supply Lists and PDFs for each project

*A digital recipe book of the recipes shared in this course

You will have access to the videos for TWO YEARS!

Course Description:

Join eight of my friends and me as we celebrate loving on your home, friends and family through the holidays.

You will be encouraged as you hear honestly from each woman about the times things did not go as planned during their holidays.

You will hear honest discussions about their own journey of hospitality.

You will walk away inspired as you hear about the traditions and special moments from their childhood and how they create special moments with their families today.

You will be able to watch beautiful videos with gift giving ideas, decorating projects and favorite family recipes.

We all want to create authentic moments with our friends and families.

We all desire for the ones we love to leave our homes knowing that they were welcomed and loved.

My hope is that this course will help you slow down and find the joy and beauty in the holidays.

I promise you that this course will help you look at your home, your traditions, your family and opening your doors in a whole new way!

Won’t you join me in Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}?

The teachers in this course are some of your favorite bloggers (or they are about to become)!

Here is a peek into what you will create in this INSANTLY available online course.

 I am so excited to open my doors to friends and family again this year!

Just seeing these photos makes my heart skip a beat and makes me excited to love on those in my life in sweeter ways all year long.

To read more or register click HERE.

******

For people that are not already in the site here are directions:

To take a class on Jeanne Oliver’s creative network please follow these instructions:

1. Become a member of jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free)

2. Once your membership is approved you can watch free art videos, the popular free interview series Creativity Takes Courage and even pay for more in depth courses.

3. Want to take an online course?  We currently offering 30 courses and free videos and you can find them all along the left hand side of the main page under “Courses”.  If you do not see the course you are looking for please click the “View all” at the bottom of the list.

4. Click on the course you are interested in, click the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be instantly in the course.

5. If you have ANY questions please email jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com

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Holiday Tablescape Ideas

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One of my very favorite things in the whole world is having people in our home and feeding them well.

One of the ways I try to make the meal special is the simple details I put into the tablescape.

I rarely need to buy much and try to use what I have but make it special just the same.

I love to mix and match my dishes and to also pull elements in from the outside.

Here are some tablescapes from the past few holidays…

 

Remember to use what you have and to have fun with your decorating!

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Your Love Is Deep {Your Love is Wide}

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Life has been particularly busier than normal these past months and I do not do busy very well.

Busy makes me feel like I am treading water and just keeping my head above water.

Each morning I try to focus on what really needs my attention whether it be home, business, children, friends, marriage or myself.

These days lately it just feels like everything is needing my attention.  Hence the treading water.

We will figure it out especially with all of the school changes this year but it is taking longer than we expected. Maybe we just don’t handle change well. Who knows.

We have been in such a need for a huge exhale and opportunity to disconnect that we were so excited about the chance to escape to the mountains for five days.

My mom spoiled the whole family with a beautiful getaway to the mountains and it was just what we were needing.

She rented a huge house that held all of us and we had days of hiking, slow mornings, sleeping in, good food, games, art, hot tub and fires.

Today as I was dropping one off to school, taking another to a doctor appointment and then heading back home to record videos this song just connected so deeply with me.

There are busy times in life.

Whether I was a new mommy or chasing after toddlers.

Whether I am homeschooling my children or dropping them all off to different schools.

Whether the business is growing or we are on a new path…I need to rest in the Lord.

I am tired. So tired some days and so many times the rest I need is so much more than physical.

So, if you need rest too I hope you will take a moment, close your eyes and pray for rest…

“Tonight”
(feat. All Sons & Daughters)

Jesus Christ
Will You guide me through this life
Wake me with each morning’s light
And restore my soul’Cause through Your strength
All my fears will fade away
As you lead me in Your ways
I will trust in You

Your love is deep
Your love is wide
And I will rest in Your arms tonight
Your love is deep
Your love is wide
I will rest, I will rest
Tonight

All I see
Is Your beauty chasing me
And the love that sets me free
Oh, I’m found in You

Your love is deep
Your love is wide
And I will rest in Your arms tonight
Your love is deep
Your love is wide
I will rest, I will rest

Your love is deep
Your love is wide
And I will rest in Your arms tonight
Your love is deep
Your love is wide
I will rest, I will rest
Tonight, tonight
Lay Your peace
Like a blanket over me
And as I lay down to sleep
I will rest in You

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When Life Wakes You Up {uncovering spontaneity}

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Last September while walking around Arlington National Cemetery with my family I received a message from my doctor that some recent tests had shown some abnormal cells and I needed to come in.

I immediately called the nurse back that had left the message and asked, “Are you saying they are cancer cells?”.

She told me she couldn’t tell me any more and would have the doctor call me back the next day.

The next day?

I slowly sat down on a stone wall as I hung up the phone and my family was around me asking what she had said.

I am not even kidding when I tell you the first thoughts that went through my head.

Before I tell you those first thoughts I would like to say that I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

I am married to an amazing man, have the children I always dreamed of, I get to use the gifts and the skills the Lord has given me and I get to use them in ways that knocks my socks off.  I have beautiful friendships that are deep, silly, supportive and loyal.  I am surrounded by a family that sees all of me and loves me just the same.  If you would have shown me my future life at 18 years old I would have known that I would be winning the lottery on creative and blessed lives.

I am hoping that it is because of the above and so much more that I first thought this…

“Crap! I am going to die of cancer and I have never dyed my hair red and gotten that nose ring!”

I am not even kidding.

When we got back to Colorado I went in for a second exam and it can back positive that I had cancer cells and I would need to have surgery to remove them.

Last fall I had the surgery and over the past months I have been checked every two months to make sure everything was looking good.

Last month I was told that everything was clear and that the doctor wouldn’t need to see me for a year.

So here it is fall again and for the past five falls I have wanted to dye my hair red.

I can’t watch a movie with Julianne Moore and not instantly dream of red hair!

My hairdresser had always talked me out of it because of all her practical and wise advice like my hair was so blond that the color wouldn’t hold, I’m not good at hair maintenance and red hair is high maintenance and if I wanted to go back to blonde it could take awhile.  Each year I said, “OK, just do a regular highlight.”

This year I didn’t let her talk me out of it.

You get what you want when you say, “I had cancer cells cut out of my cervix and I want the red hair.”

She shut up, smiled and said she would do the red hair.

As long as I have wanted red hair I have wanted to get a nose ring.

I blame it on my dear friend Amanda Purvis and my new friend Danielle Burkleo.

All of my years of wanting a nose ring was pushed over the edge by their awesome hotness.

( I really wanted the hoop but they said I had to wait 8 weeks to put that in)

One of the main reasons I hadn’t gotten my piercing is because my mom hated the idea and parts of me let that hold me back from doing it.

My mom doesn’t really care but just knowing she didn’t like the idea was enough to talk me out of it.

As I had red dye slathered all over my head I called the local tattoo and piercing shop and scheduled my piercing for the next day.

My heart was pounding and I didn’t feel like I fit into the tattoo scene that day:-) but I stayed, sat down and let Ryan poke a hole in my face.

Sure, Maddy almost threw up but I did it!  Kelly thought I looked super hot right away and Ben kept on playing his video game.

I texted a photo to Jack at high school and he thought it was awesome.

It didn’t hurt. At all!

Maybe it hadn’t been my mom but the pain that had kept me from getting it done.

Maybe it was going into a place where I felt out of my element and like I didn’t belong.

I don’t know but I did it.

I am good and I don’t have cancer.

I have a beautiful life in all of the big ways but I don’t want to stop doing those little, fun, silly, brave, crazy things that make life…life!

I don’t want to NOT do things that I really want to do because someone else talks me out of it or because it may not be practical.

I don’t want to not do things because of the opinion of others and what they think is acceptable or lovely.

My heart is in the right place so obviously the things I would want to do wouldn’t be hurtful to others of myself.

I feel like that call that day in the middle of Arlington National Cemetery woke me up to being more me, more spontaneous and more silly.

What have you been really wanting to do and something is holding you back?

If it won’t hurt you, won’t hurt others and is not against your faith…what is holding you back?

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