Christmas is Here....


We've been decorating since the day after Thanksgiving, yet our house is FINALLY finished and put back together (sometimes). It seems like it takes forever to get all of the 'normal' things put away along with the empty boxes that held the Christmas stuff.  It doesn't help that I keep coming up with all of these projects for us to do (some of which have been a total bust), but I keep coming across all of these super cute Christmas ideas that I can't pass up.  Thankfully I have a great husband that's willing to either help me, or ignore the fact that I'm trying to squeeze in one more thing and making another mess in the process. 

Anyway, we're finished and enjoying the decorations for a few more days, because Christmas is in ONE WEEK!

We have three trees this year:

The living room tree.
(It does have lights, but I can't get them to show in a picture.)

When we got married, we had to compromise.  Growing up we always had a real tree with colored lights, and Justin always had a fake tree with white lights.  We finally agreed on a fake tree with colored lights.  I just LOVE colors.  White lights are beautiful, and that's mostly what you see on trees now.  Someday I may give in and have white lights...Oh, who am I kidding?
Colored lights are in my blood!

The dining room "retro" tree is adorned with green and brown to match the rest of the dining room.  This is how I satisfy my need for a theme (you know, since we don't have white lights on our big tree, we can't have a "theme" on that one).  We don't have lights on this tree, because it won't hold lights.  (Some of you know this, but) these trees used to have a color wheel that sat under them and changed colors.  I'm sure the aluminum tree all sparkly and colorful is gorgeous!!  We obviously don't have a color wheel, but I'm pretty certain that I would LOVE it!  It's much prettier in person.  The picture doesn't do it any justice.  (And just in case you're wondering, it's raining outside.  The windows aren't that dirty.)

Finally, we have D's GAMECOCK tree (it also has lights, but...).  For the skirt, we used the Gamecock SC flag...creative, right?  I have to thank Justin for that!  Hopefully it's not illegal, or sacrilegious, or something.  Shhh.  Don't tell! :)  D loves having the tree lit up in his room!

We've been having lots of photo shoots.  I just can't help myself.
I'll post more pictures of this little elf soon.


We've also been doing some crafts.  I'll post pics of the rest of them after Christmas.
This wreath was super easy, and came from the Thrifty Decor Chick.  I love it, but it's extremely difficult to take a picture of it on a mirror! 

I've REALLY been struggling to keep the house clean...
someone likes to take things out of boxes.  A lot.

It's going to get really difficult when he's mobile!

Overall we've been pretty good around here.  I've been trying my best to stay as busy as possible.  I have a to-do list that's a mile long and I'm determined to get everything crossed off before we leave Tuesday night for D's cath.  I have to admit that it's full of ridiculous things like rearranging the kitchen cabinets where we moved some things out, and stuff like that.  There's no true need for that to take place right now, but I realized the other day that I desperately need to stay busy.

As long as I'm not thinking about reality, well, it's not reality.  There's just a lot to do before Christmas, and that's it.  I'm just busy.  I'm not subconsciously ignoring that Derrick is going for another heart cath in five days.  I'm not ignoring that surgery is looming...most likely really close.  I'm not ignoring that I'm completely not ready for surgery again, and not ignoring that it kills me to look at Derrick so happy and bouncing around not having a clue about what's about to happen to him.

I'm not ignoring anything.

I'm just trying not to think about it.  Because, quite frankly, it hurts too much.


  1. Your Christmas decorations look gorgeous!!! I grew up with colored lights on our tree too but I use white lights on my tree at home. However our wagon outside is all decked out looking so retro in soft colored lights. I love looking out the window and seeing the lights covered with snow. It so reminds me growing up.

    I know exactly what you mean about trying to stay busy so you don't have to think about it so much. It's ok....and I have found myself doing the same thing after my meltdown a week ago. Don't be afraid to call me if you need to vent. I am always here! {{{HUG}}}

    Saying lots of prayers for the week ahead!

    Stef, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan

  2. Really cute pictures!! I love it that D is starting to explore and get things out. Might be a little crazy right now but enjoy :-)

    I'm with you on the keeping busy part. We got news on Thursday that Jordan will be having OH surgery again in January along with a possible cath. This comes as a kind of a shock since her original defect was on the "minor" side of things. I guess once a heart family, always a heart family!

    We will be thinking of D and the family when he has his cath done!!

    Merry Christmas!
    Tracey, Jeremy, Riley, Drew and Jordan Snyder
    cp: jordansheartpage

  3. I love all your beautiful trees, but I love the pics of Derrick the most!! The retro tree brings me back..I would love to still have my family silver tree. We will be praying for you guys this week and especially for the Lil sweet boy..
    Hugs and Love,

    Rhonda ~

  4. Just wanted to let you know that enjoy following your blog and gave you a "tag" award on my blog! Stop by to check it out!

  5. Hey Carter Family,

    Beautiful pictures of the decorations! Wanna come do our's?!?! Kidding! We just wanted to let you know that we are saying lots of prayers for the week ahead. Please let us know if you need anything! We'll be checking in to see how things go for you all. Merry Christmas!

    Heart hugs and prayers,
    Abbie, Shannon, Elijah, and Micah Marsh

  6. Hey Shannon...
    I can hear the sheer desperation in your voice! I now can relate to that very same feeling of not wanting to think...just stay busy. Pack a bag, call a friend, clean the house...okay so not much of that :)...but I understand completely! Willis and I are both here for you and we'll be praying you and your family through every step of the day. Try and remember the verse Deuteronomy 31:6 "Do not be afraid or terrified for the Lord your GOD goes with YOU...WHEREVER YOU GO... He will NOT LEAVE you nor will He Forsake you." Hold on to this scripture and say it over and over. Don't allow any of your thoughts to wonder off in dark places. Our minds will take us there sometimes! Get us all upset, worked up and fearful of the worst! Remember the love of our Savior Jesus Christ, and how awesome it is to worship a God that not only hears ALL of our prayers...but listens! Just remember Derrick has a special place in all of our hearts....and most importantly in God's too. He will be holding Derrick's little hand every step of the way. He's not failed you yet! If you need anything please don't hesitate to call us.
    We love you all...
    Love In Christ,
    Willis, Amy, Karlyn, and Parker Craft