My “REAL” Christmas Home Tour {aka: pictures you probably shouldn’t see}


Today, I wanted to show you my real Christmas Home Tour.

The pictures of what my house really looks like behind my back when I am taking pictures like this one…

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Why am I showing you these pictures?

Well, I don’t really know.

Maybe just because I want my readers to know that I am real, just like you.

I visited many Christmas Home Tours this past month all across blogland, and I am amazed by all of the beautiful homes.  Seriously.  Weren’t you blown away by all of the Christmas goodness?!

Yet sometimes, when I would take a peek inside their homes, I felt something start to stir in my heart.  Maybe discontentment?  Maybe inadequacy?  I would start to compare my home to theirs, and I started wishing I had this or that.  Or I would start to feel like my home just wasn’t as pretty as so-and-so’s.

And something tells me that maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes?

The truth is, not every room in my home is “as pretty as a picture.”  Actually, most of my home isn’t!

I thought you might get a laugh out of some of the pictures I am going to show you today.  And I thought we could have fun celebrating imperfection together today!!

So here we go…

I showed you my bedroom during my Christmas home tour.

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I get questions about my bed all the time.  People are always wanting to know where I got it.

Well, it was my mom and dad’s.  They got it for a couple hundred dollars off of Craigslist.  I think it is called a “rice grain” bed or something.  It was cherry, but I painted it black.

And guess what?  It’s held up with bricks right now.  Yep. Bricks.

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The thing is falling to pieces, but I don’t have money for a new bed, so bricks it is!  And it works just fine!

See the dust?  And the hardware missing?  Yep.  I’m keepin’ it classy ‘round here!

When looking at this picture, I laugh when I think of where everything comes from.

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The bed was my parents.  The red quilt is from Pottery Barn Kids and has stars on the other side of it.  I used to use it in Adam’s room.  The bench in front of the bed was from my in-laws.  The table on the right was about $6 from Goodwill.  The chair was $6.50 from Goodwill, and I recovered it.  The blue fan was a few bucks from a yard sale.  The dresser on the left was my mom’s.  The mirror was a Goodwill find for about $6.00.  I think the only thing I have bought for this space is that chandelier from Ballard Designs that I got for almost half off.

Now let’s move on to the kitchen..

When I showed it to you last week, it was so clean!  Ahhh….

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Well, if you are like me, you know that to make one room clean, you have to make another one a mess.

Check out my office….

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Would you just take a second to soak up all the goodness in that picture?  Like the blow dryer in the floor and the vacuum cleaner in the hallway?  I’ve got my drill, some stain and some paint, and a bunch of other stuff piled on my desk.  And that is the clean side of my office!!!

Remember my Christmas bathroom?….

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Well, this is what it looked like outside the bathroom when I took that picture…

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We had been without a bathroom door since October when BHG came because one of the boys had knocked a hole in it somehow.  I didn’t want BHG to see it, so I just took the whole door off.  I figured it would make it easier for them to shoot the small space anyway.

Well, I have been replacing our hollow core doors around the home with old solid wood doors that I find at thrift stores, and I just knew I could find one quickly to replace the old one.  Wrong.

I didn’t find a door until about two weeks ago.  But, I scored it for $2.50 at The Habitat Store!!! I KNOW!  Solid wood for $2.50?!  Are you kidding me?!!

Well, I didn’t have the door hung when I took my Christmas tour pictures, but I am happy to report that we now have a bathroom door on our bathroom!  yay!

Cy hung it about a week ago.

Here’s one more for you to enjoy….

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It’s my junk corner in the master bedroom.

Do you have a junk corner?

I was too lazy to take the Christmas boxes back out to the shed, so I just stacked them up against the wall.  And oh yeah, that is a leopard gecko tank.  Luke’s leopard gecko, Luna, has been living in our bedroom for about a month since we are doing work in the boys’ room upstairs, and Luke doesn’t want Luna to be frightened by the hammering and sawing. Smile


Friends, as much as I love the “pretty parts” of my home, I love the messy parts more.

‘Cause those parts are the parts that make it feel most like home.  The “lived in” parts…where you feel comfortable to kick your shoes off and relax.  The parts of my home that remind me that it’s just plain fine to be imperfect.  {Perfection is highly overrated.}

I love my messy, work-in-progress home.

And I know that even though my home isn’t as pretty as others, I know that it is filled with more love than most.

And though my bed is held up with bricks, and Adam and Eli are sleeping on a mattress on the floor upstairs, I know we are blessed beyond measure.

I saw children sleeping on cardboard boxes this past summer during my trip to Nicaragua with Compassion.

We have nothing to complain about.

We will celebrate our imperfect home.  Smile

Thanks for letting me share it with you each day here on my blog!  I love that I can show you the good, bad, and the ugly with you.




  1. Thanks for keeping it real! My office looks terrible right now. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you! Thank you for being a blessing in my life!!

  2. Oh, I love it !!!! I’m 62 years old & just wish I had began I learn this earlier in life. I just bought an old 3-way screen at an estate sale to put in a spare bedroom to “stick my junk” behind. The best buy I have ever made. I love you being so transparent & honesty….this will draw more people to Christ through you than any other thing on earth ++++ Look what you are teaching your boys.

  3. Yes, Yes, Yes. I kept looking at all those homes on the tours and wondered if they spend any time with family or friends??? So happy to see that there is someone who “gets it.” Dianntha

  4. I love this post! It takes you from “a blogger I follow” to Traci from down the street that I love to have coffee with and laugh at all the boy stuff that goes on in our “lived in” homes. :)

  5. Oh how I loved your tour! We have so much in common including a bed on bricks. I had a frame….then no frame and on the floor…and then a frame….and then my youngest son kept jumping on the bed and bent the frame…now I’m on bricks again and my 2 youngest son’s…their mattress is on the floor as well. Thanks SO MUCH for making my day!

    hugs, mb

  6. I loved looking at all the pretty homes,but looking at your lived in loved in home was even better!!! You have a beautiful home!

  7. Oh, you are human like the rest of us. When I had a sewing room in our other home, I would always throw things in there at Christmas. It was my “Christmas Threw Up” room! Smoke and Mirrors, baby, Smoke and Mirrors!

  8. I thought your home was very, very lovely. You have a great eye for design. I really love your office with that big wrap around desk. I would love to have one. And your bed is so cool it would be perfect in my bedroom as I’ve painted my dressor and nite stands black. It was nice to see the real thing. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Great post, Traci. We all need to have the courage to be real. Thanks for modeling for us what that looks like.

  10. Love that you are so unpretentious and real. You can tell that your home is full of love! Such a great post!
    Happy New Year Traci!

  11. Oh, I really needed to see this post!! I think your home is awesome, but I am so glad that you shared the less than perfect parts. I took a long blogging break this past year – mainly because I felt insecure. I finally told myself to get a grip!! Thank you for reminding me that we don’t have to be perfect!

    Merry Christmas!

  12. Traci I wouldn’t even take a picture of our bedroom – it is that bad right now and I am having company on Saturday, lots to do. Our bed is over 50 years old and I painted it red. Think I am going to paint it black now. I love that you are “normal”. Incidentally your Luke has a kind heart like his momma.

  13. Now I a definitely a huge fan. My home is spotless most of the time and currently there is only that cute guy I marred and I living here but whenever I am tidying up, anything that doesn’t have a “home” gets tossed, I mean placed in my dressing room/office/den until I figure out where it belongs. By the end of the clean up, it is a disaster zone. So that you showed that happens in your beautiful house only makes me love you more sweet girl. Cheers

  14. Thanks so much for making us all feel better about what happens around our home that’s just normal and should be guilt free. Never get hung up on the “flaws” to the point you can’t see the overall beauty. Feeling inspired.

  15. Can I just say I LOVE you? LOL! Seriously, this is so liberating, so awesome to see that such “normalcy” is just around the corner of perfection. I’m seriously encouraged! Thank you so much for being real. God bless!

  16. Amen! I keep saying that anyone who has a home that is picture perfect everywhere must have a staff and a number of assistants. I love your saying that to make one room clean you have to make a mess of another. That is soooo true! We are all so VERY blessed to have enough to make messes with. Thank you for your honest picture of reality in your post.

  17. Traci – YOU are keeping it REAL!

    Thank you for your heart for Jesus and children. You are so inspiring to many and we all love you for who you are.

    I am looking forward to more great post in 2014.

    From my husband and me – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Marilyn & Tony C.

  18. Thanks for sharing…. I quit blogging, almost quit reading them… my thoughts, “Do people really live that” & “Is that what I am striving for?”… I always read the posts about family, & real life. And though I love a good bargain & great make-over it is not all there is. in fact in the scope of life, it is nothing. I recently scored a great table @ GW for $6. & came home & read a FB post of a friend who had no place to stay that night… She could have used my $6.
    Blogging is great & I have learned a ton, but I was getting caught up in the “I can do better” & I don’t want to hear someday, “Well done good & faithful, you painted the perfect buffet” : )
    “The good, bad & the ugly” is not that, it is full of the value of your family love.

  19. Hello, I really thank you for sharing that no matter how we try to make everything look beautiful that sometimes not all things can be perfect!! Thank you for your honesty and making me feel better about my messy corners!!!

  20. Finally! Someone we can relate to! Its hard to read blog posts and not feels “less than” and envy the “perfect” rooms shown. Thank you for the bricks and dust and missing pieces! Now that is beautiful and real. If you can make a room perfect with imperfect things then you are PURE TALENT! Its so hard to NOT get frustrated by home tours full of beautiful rooms that cost a fortune!! Anyone can do that! But your home is beautiful and real and full of charm!
    aThank You!

  21. It is very hard to not read blogs and be envious of homes, lives, jobs, etc. Sometimes God smacks you with a little perspective.

    On another note though…junk corner? Really? I have a junk ROOM. The really sad part is that I’ve lived in my house 4 years now and it’s still a wreck. I have no excuse!

  22. Thanks for sharing the real you with us! While I like looking at all the “perfect shots”, your post helps bring reality back around. Its good to know that we’re not the only ones who really “live” in our house 365 days of the year.

  23. Your home is beautiful! And, it’s great to see that it’s “normal” too. ;-) I have trouble getting good photos of the pretty parts of my home to post on my blog. So, I usually just post close ups of things or small parts of a room. And, since my home isn’t “done” yet (like it ever will be), I worry when people come over that they’ll judge me that it’s not perfect. But, I know most other homes aren’t. And, I love seeing the “real” parts of other homes. So, I don’t know why I worry so much. Thanks for sharing. I think we all need to be brave like that and let the real parts show. We’d all feel better and be braver to show the good parts too. Have a wonderful weekend!

  24. Thank you for sharing this. I try to get my house in order but with three kids it is almost impossible…the messes are actually evidence that the house is well lived and that life is well shared with those we love. Love your blog, thanks for all the inspiration and motivation!

  25. I LOVE this!!!! You have no idea how many times I have wanted to do this!!! Great post! My guest room is my junk corner for now…..heaven forbid anyone really want to be our overnight guest, lol!

  26. Thank you! :) Yay…..someone else has a junk corner in their bedroom!!!! My excuse is that I’m lazy but also when I look at it, it is so over whelming that I just keep on walking :} You have also inspired me to go to thrift stores and look for good buys.

  27. I love you even more after this post! I did get my home all together…decorated…beautiful food…beds made with pressed sheets and pillow cases…rolled white towels in the sparkling guest bath…fresh flowers…you should have seen it. Then the overnight guests arrived. I don’t think they ever noticed how beautiful my house looked. They unloaded their car covering half the living room floor with wrapped gifts. They moved in to the guest bath and bedroom…suitcases and clothes everywhere. Boy am I glad everything was perfect when they got here…ha, ha. You know what? I gave up on perfection and just relaxed and enjoyed family. Crumbs on the floor, furniture moved out of the way of toys, dirty dishes all over the house. Who cares. We had a great time. That’s what it’s all about…love of family.
    Everyone went home yesterday afternoon. Now the house is clean and neat again and VERY QUIET. I’m ready to do it all over again….NEXT YEAR!

  28. Oh goodness, this was so real I loved it and chuckled my way through the post….you would all be crying of laughter if I took pics of my messes…..we had a party a few weeks ago and I had to get it together….I reminded them that the house is NOT always “company ready!”….I think it only took a few days to getting it imperfect again! Thanks for the most REAL post I’ve read in awhile! Love the bricks! Happy New Year.

  29. GOD LUV YA ! I love to see all the beautiful homes, how we accessorize, colours , get ideas … but so true, we can start to be discontent with what we have and compare and even judge a little . thanks for showing us your “HOME”.

  30. These are my fav kind of posts. The ones that make life real. They invite us to love our home as it is. While I strive to keep my home clean, it’s not always a reality. We have kids, we live, we play and at the end of the day I don’t want to always clean.

  31. I love this post, it is so easy to just take the pics of the pretty sections of our homes & pretend the rest looks or the same, I guess its like airbrushing a super model. It makes us all aspire to something that isnt real sometimes.
    love your honesty
    Happy new year xo

  32. Traci, of all the bloggers I follow, I have to say, I think you’re my favorite and this is precisely the reason why. Love you!

  33. Thank you so much for this kind of a post. A REAL post. Some of the really pretty places in a home. And some of the not always really pretty places. Normal living!

    Me’thinks lots of those Holiday House Tours are done by Holiday Decorators. That’s not Christmas Decorating, to me.

    Oh by the way, your and your parent’s bed, we got one from Stickley, years ago. And since we are “olden,” we are more in your parents’ age group. Ours is cherry. But a very, very dark cherry. Almost black…


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