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Christmas Tour 2015

I went back and forth with this blog post.  I could have showed you my pictures and wrote a little post on how wonderful everything is and how it appeared, however, that would be lying.  I almost didn’t post the pictures at all…I just couldn’t find the words to accompany the pictures that portrayed a joyous holiday.   I’ve contemplated how to approach this for several days.  I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems…I want my blog to be happy and uplifting!  Then after some thought, I thought it was best to just tell you the truth.

*Warning*  I’ve heard that some people do not like bloggers to post anything about their personal lives (this can be a pet peeve for some people).  If this is the case, feel free to skip and scroll down to the pictures.

I’ve had one heck of a November and December, to put it mildly.

I posted on Facebook in early November that I was having our staff Christmas party at my house.  Well, that never happened.  Unfortunately, I have had some medical issues for the past couple years and I’ve been putting off surgery for quite some time.  Deciding that I suffered enough, I made the decision to have surgery right before Thanksgiving.

I was determined to make sure that the surgery would NOT keep me from having my Christmas party!  I started decorating in early November with the plan that I would be finished before I went to the hospital.


As you can probably guess, I couldn’t host a Christmas party.   I ended up having some complications that I never anticipated and recovery wasn’t as easy as I thought.  In addition, I ended up with another medical condition that I’m currently dealing with.  Needless to say, I’ve been back and forth to doctor’s appointments and also have had a home nurse make regular visits to my house.  Ugh.  Not fun.  (In case you are wondering, I will be totally fine to head back to school on January 4th and looking forward to it!)


I decided that I should take advantage of my six weeks off and visit my grandmother as much as I could.  My grandma was moved to a nursing home the day of my surgery.  My family couldn’t be with me while I was in the hospital because everyone had to help her move (talk about bad timing), however,  I was fine with that.  I knew that my grandma needed them more than I did.  I was anxious to get out of the hospital and see my grandma’s new home.  I couldn’t drive for a couple weeks, but when I started to feel better, my plan was to spend my days off with her, keeping her company.  With working so much, I often felt guilty that I didn’t see her enough.  I was excited to have this time off to be able to spend it with her.

To make a long story short, I was finally able to see my grandmother last Sunday.  I spent a couple hours with her, told her I loved her before I left, and said that I would be back the next day to see her.

She ended up dying that night.

My heart is broken.  I actually feel my heart hurting.

My grandmother was a huge part of my life and was like a second mom to me.  The pain almost seems unbearable right now and getting through Christmas feels like a struggle.  We’ve spent the last week planning a funeral and saying goodbye to a woman that I loved more than anything.


As you can imagine, it is very difficult for me to write a blog post.  My inspiration for the room and the decor seems so insignificant right now.  I can’t even begin to find the words.  Every time I try to write something, I start to cry. Christmas was my grandmother’s favorite holiday and everything reminds me of her.

I know that some of you have been waiting for this post, so I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I know that “the show must go on.”  I made the decision to go ahead and post them.  I hope my pictures can bring joy and inspiration to all of you this season.  Please remember to hold your family close this Christmas! xoxo

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes
for a Happy New Year!



Curtains:  Wayfair, Rug:  Zulily, Candleabra:  Dot and Bo, Black Sign:  House of Belonging, Coffee table:  Ballard Designs, Black cabinet:  garage sale  Birch candles on table:  Save-on-Crafts, White furniture:  Pottery Barn, Lamps:  Pottery Barn, Black and White picture above fireplace:  Pottery Barn, Pillows/throws:  Pottery Barn, Curtain Rods:  Meijer, Merry Christmas banner:  Carriage House Designs, Howell, Michigan


Mirror:  Pottery Barn, Lamps:  Pottery Barn, 3-tiered metal stand:  Joss and Main, Bows:  Target


Black tables:  The Iron Grate, Fenton, Michigan,  Vase:  The Weed Lady, Grand Blanc, Michigan



Flower arrangements created from fresh greenery from The Weed Lady (Grand Blanc, Michigan) and Save-on-crafts, Books:  flea market


Candles:  Pottery Barn Outlet, Star:  The Weed Lady (Grand Blanc, Michigan), tree slices:  Michaels, glass jars and candlestick:  Pottery Barn Outlet, Black cabinet:  garage sale, Crystal:  flea markets

Bench:  Joss and Main, Baskets:  Pottery Barn Outlet, Rug:  Ballard Designs, Fern pictures:  collected over years, Pillows:  Pottery Barn




Clarisa chandelier from Pottery Barn



Glitter initials on tree:  Walmart


Plates:  Pottery Barn, wicker charger:  Target, Center stone urn:  The Weed Lady (Grand Blanc, Michigan)


Bark vases:  Joann Fabrics, tree slices:  Michaels,  Shutters:  Ebay, White shelf:  Pottery Barn Outlet



Old Barnwood shelves:  Ebay, Metal brackets:  Hobby Lobby, McCoy Vases:  Etsy, Books:  flea markets



Curtains:  Pottery Barn (discontinued), Merry Christmas Banner:  Pottery Barn Kids, Chandelier:  Pottery Barn


Chalkboard:  Etsy, Initials:  Hobby Lobby, Skis:  someone’s garbage, jars on coffee table:  Maria Manore’s wedding (Kinder-craze blog)


Chairs:  Pottery Barn (discontinued), Table:  Ballard Designs


Lamp:  Magnolia Market, black table:  from my son’s nursery almost 19 years ago (painted and changed knobs)


Black buffet:  Pottery Barn, Pinecones:  The Weed Lady (Grand Blanc, Michigan)


Bells:  Target, Plates:  Pottery Barn, Pillows:  Pottery Barn, Coffee Table:  Ballard Designs



Table – Two Birds (no longer in business), Black sign:  House of Belonging


Christmas 1972


(Melanie’s first Christmas with her grandma and grandpa)

Merry Christmas in Heaven, Grandma.  I love you.

Photos by E’lisa Campbell from E.C. Campbell Photography in Clarkston, Michigan






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  1. Marsha McGuire says

    Oh Melanie, my heart hurts for you. Thank you for sharing your story. Not everyone realizes that Christmas isn’t always a happy time for everyone. Sometimes it’s very painful. Sometimes when someone we love leaves us, we have to make a new norm for what Christmas is for our family. I hope you find some new traditions that include remember all the wonderful parts of your grandmother and sharing those with your daughters so they can tell their daughters and so your grandmother’s memory will live forever. Take care of yourself sweet friend. Hugs to you.

  2. Cyndy says

    Melanie, my heart is hurting for you! I know that life throw us for loops sometimes. I am so glad that you were able to spend time with your grandmother before she left this earth. You and your family are in my heart and prayers right now.
    Take time to heal, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Life is a journey filled with challenges. You will come out on the other side stronger and wiser. Love and wishes for peace and a joyful holiday with your family.
    Rest up!!! Those precious littles will be so excited to see you!

  3. Karen says

    Your home is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. When my great aunt died I also felt like my heart really hurt. Thanks again for sharing

  4. Maria Manore says

    You always make home decor look so effortless! Once again, your home tour is simply stunning.

    And I am so sorry for your family’s loss. The photo of your with your grandparents is precious and I know your times together were filled with love. I wish you good health and laughter with your loved ones this Christmas.

  5. Carolyn says

    Melanie~ you are in many of ours prayers and hearts tonight. My Mom is in the nursing home and I heart hurts every day, I miss her every day. I hurt for my girls. Who in realty have already lost “Grammy”. I know your pain all too well. You will continue in my prayers~ let the peace and love that fills your home comfort you. Bring out the memories in the quiet hours and enjoy them. She has left a legacy in you and you are in turn leaving it in your children, thus she continues.

  6. Karen O'Brien says

    Melanie, I truly wish you the magic of Christmas this year. I hope it fills your gorgeous home and helps you to feel better. I’m sure your Grandma is watching over you and is so proud of the tribute you wrote.

  7. Cindy Rose says

    Oh Mel!! So very sorry for your loss!
    I miss my grandma as if she left yesterday and it’s been years so no apology needed!! Just get through the holidays and know you’ve done a beautiful job!! Awesome photos!
    You need to come to Texas so we can go to the silos (Magnolia Market) in Waco together!!
    ❤️ Cindy

  8. Tabitha says

    I am so incredibly sorry to hear of your loss, my heart is hurting for you. I too was close to my grandmother and lost her several years ago but I still miss her to this day. Take this time to rejoice in the memories you have of her and with her, give yourself time to grieve, and your body time to heal from everything else you have been through. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. Andrea Runnels says

    Your decor is stunning as always. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable and sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope 2016 brings good health to you!

  10. Alicia says

    Your home is beautiful perfection! Your blog/website has always been an inspiration to me! I am sorry for your loss. I lost my grandma 2 years ago and Christmas was her absolute favorite as well. She spent months preparing for it! I was fortunate enough to get some of her Christmas decorations, so there is still always a little part of her in my Christmas. I will keep you and your family in my prayers!

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Debbie Harris says

    Your home is so beautiful!! My heart and prayers go out to you! We lost my mom suddenly and unexpectedly 4 years ago on December 13th, and Christmas was her favorite, too. She was a kindergarten teacher for over 30 years. I could sure use her advise! Thanks for sharing your heart!! May God comfort you during this time!

  12. Michele says

    Your home is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing the pictures. But even more, thank you for sharing your life. Everyone has that ‘picture perfect’ Christmas in mind, but then life gets in the way and messes it up. Give yourself permission to grieve this season, no excuses necessary. Don’t have any regrets about not visiting your grandmother more- I am sure the visit you did have with her that day even if it was short, it was precious to her. Prayers for you and your family in this difficult time.

  13. Annie M says

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing your home, your pain, your memories, and most of all your life. I am so sorry so much happened this time of the year. I lost both of grandmothers during the holidays (10 days apart) a few years ago. It destroyed me and my holiday that year. However, every year gets better.
    Your home is gorgeous. Did you totally remodel, including all new furniture, curtains, etc. for the holidays? I’m in awe.
    I would love to chat sometime. I’m looking forward to more blogs from you.
    Merry Christmas and God Bless.

  14. Shari Copeland says

    I absolutely love your Christmas decorations. I almost didn’t read this blog or look at the pictures because I’m not much in a Christmas mood. I lost my grandparents seven years ago. They died six months apart. They have both been on my mind so much this year. I have had dreams about them every night for the last month. I feel your pain. My heart breaks for you. Wishing you a Christmas full of good memories and love.

  15. Eileen says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your home is beyond words. I noticed in one picture that you have some sort of a rack to hang mugs.mwould you please share where you found it! My mother-in-law had an extensive collection mostly from our travels that kind of helped her fell a part of our travels and adventures!
    Have a blessed Christmas!

  16. Bunni says

    Your home pictures are amazing. I am so sorry to read about your health issues and your grandmother’s passing. Your blog is an amazing slice of who you are and always fills me with so many ideas. I hope this Christmas is full of memories with your family and friends. I know that you will hear how sorry people are and that does not easy the pain of loss. I do hope that you find comfort in the family around you, the joy of the season among the loss, and rest for a quick recovery.

  17. Sally says

    Dear Melanie,
    Thank you so much for sharing all of this. You continue to be such an inspiration.

    The photo of the one lit candle just jumped out at me – – as a tribute to your grandmother. She will always be that light for you, hold a special place in your heart and soul, and will always, always be there for you (you just can’t see her right now). My heart is breaking a little bit for you now, I lost my mom right before Christmas 3 years ago – – it’s hard, no doubt about it, and that first Christmas was rough. But it does get better, it really does. It’s okay (and pretty much required) to be sad now (and do cry), but as you look at your life and realize how great it is, it’s also okay to be happy. Your grandmother would want that for you. I feel the presence of my mom, and my grandmothers daily, and I know they are watching over me wanting me to continue creating a happy and fulfilling life.

    Your home is beautiful, I hope you can enjoy it during the season (extend the season a bit), as you recover from your health issues, and mend your heart. Wish I could give you a hug, but know that it’s going to be okay. Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.


  18. Kristy says

    I can truly say I know how you feel. I lost my grandmother two weeks before Christmas in 2004. I was actually teaching a kindergarten class at the time. I will never forget that day. The phone rang in my classroom and our school receptionist said she had my mom on the phone. I knew right then that something was wrong. I live in Florida and my family is in Ohio and my mom wouldn’t call me at school during the day when she knew I was teaching unless something was horribly wrong. My mom came on the phone and was only able to choke out the words, “You need…” And she broke down. My aunt had to come on the line and she told me I needed to get a flight home as soon as possible. I was devastated. Luckily there was a volunteer/aide in the room next door and a VERY understanding principal who let me leave right then and start my Christmas break a few days early. This Christmas will be extremely hard, but know that they do get better. We will be praying for you and your family.

  19. Wendi says

    Thank you for sharing in the midst of so much sadness in your life. My father-in-law died on Christmas Day 6 years ago and our family will never be the same this time of year. It hurts. I am praying for you and your family to find some peace this holiday season.
    Your home is beautiful and will certainly be a comfort to you at this sad yet joyful time.

  20. Ashley Reed says

    Melanie, I am truly sorry for your loss. 6 years ago I was having surgery. When my mom called my Granny (who had spent the day before keeping me company in the hospital) to tell her I did fine in the surgery, Granny wasn’t talking right. Mom rushed over there and realized she’d had a stroke. It was the most heart-wrenching day of my life. They wheeled me straight from the recovery room to the ER where my Granny was getting ready to be loaded onto a life flight helicopter. My granny only lived two more weeks. She was one of my very best friends. No one can every replace Grandparents. I pray that God will give you strength in the coming days and weeks.

    On a happy note…your home is stunning, truly my dream home! You are beautiful inside and out. Keep your chin up! Lean on God!

  21. Kelsey says

    So sorry to hear of your grandma. I hope it helped getting your thoughts out on the blog and to hear of all the people that are praying for you during the holiday season. I lost my dad a couple years ago, his birthday is tomorrow (Christmas eve) the holidays are never easy without our loved ones. Thank you for giving me a place to share my grief about the season. Merry Christmas to you and I hope you have a wonderful time with family!

  22. Emily of Polka Dots Please says

    Thank you for sharing your post with us! Your home is beyond lovely, but it’s really the way you have honored your grandmother that I will remember. I lost my grandmother 8 years ago in December too. Her name was Melania. After 8 years, I can still remember every single tiny, little detail about her and still cry when I think about missing her. Two years ago, our daughter was born on my grandmother’s birthday (which I know was more divine intervention than coincidence). My daughter carries on the name Melania in her honor. I know my grandmother is always with us although there is a little sadness that has never left me. We are so blessed to love someone so much! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled witht the comfort of family and beatiful memories.

    Polka Dots Please

  23. Rose says

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother and thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us! Also feel better soon !

  24. Karen says

    Praying for you and your family. I understand the pain in your heart, we had my Pop’s Graduation to Heaven Celebration on December 8th. Jesus was good to bless us with great love. Praying your total healing too. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Janet says

    Oh my, I am so sorry. I know EXACTLY where you are coming from and I know that feeling of your heart hurting. My granny raised me too, one day I ate lunch with her, told her that I would see her tomorrow, and she died that afternoon. Then I lost my mom 2 months later. I hope you have a Merry Christmas anyway, and just remember all the good times.

  26. Sara J. says

    Melanie, my heart hurts for you. You are incredible and I’m sure your grandma is so proud of you. I hope you are able to take the necessary time to heal both emotionally and physically. My grandma passed away a couple days before Zvalentibes day, that holiday holds more hurt than love for me. I hope you’re able to find peace! You and your family are in my prayers!
    I also need to say…I LOVE YOUR HOME! I love mix of modern with contemporary, mixed with rustic! It all works so well together! I wish you could help me with my home and classroom! You’ve got some AMAZING talent young lady!

  27. Rachael Mitchell says

    Dear friend,
    I am so sorry for your loss. My greatest fear is losing my Grandmother, she is my best friend & the reason I believe in soul mates, she is mine. I am sorry your heart is aching. Memories will keep you going, take time to cry & mourn. Someday the pain will get less & less. My grandfather has been gone since 1990 & there are still days I miss him terribly. Hold onto your memories they will get you through.

  28. Sandy says

    Melanie, Our family recently went through a loss as well (my husband’s Dad) so I know the hurt you are feeling, and understand how when we experience such a loss everything else becomes so insignificant. I think this is God’s way of reminding us how we must prioritize His people ahead of the “things” in this life. You are in my prayers. And, as always your pictures are beautiful and you continue to inspire us. So, thank you for using your talents to reach His people.

  29. Erica Bohrer says

    Awe, Melanie I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. I lost my grandma this year and Christmas was not the same without her. She had planned ahead and gotten us all gifts. Your decor is stunning and I hope you are feeling better soon. Hugs to you, my friend.

  30. Jennifer Young says

    My heart goes out to you. Thank you for being open. Some people don’t realize that sometimes real life impacts us all. I am so sorry for your loss. The work you put into your rooms is beautiful.

  31. Julie Hardy says

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I am so sorry for the loss of your special grandmother. My own beautiful mother died a few weeks ago. Christmas and Christmas Eve (my birthday) were very difficult. If not for having my 3 youngest girls still living at home, I would have gladly skipped Christmas this year. But life does go on, and our precious memories (not to mention the promise of everlasting life) help sustain us during our darkest moments. Thank you, too, for sharing your gift of beauty with all of us. Blessings on you.

  32. Jennifer says

    Oh my goodness- I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sending you a prayer right this minute. I’m also so sorry you have been sick and not 100%. Your home looked lovely.

  33. Lisa Van Gemert says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I understand how a grandma can be essential to happiness, an anchor in a storm-tossed sea, the one who always understands and loves you, and your biggest champion. May the Lord bless you with peace as you grieve.

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