Snow on Snow


Never in all my years did I have a white Christmas before now. The snow started falling on Christmas Eve, and we watched with wonder to see if it would stick. It did.

In our early years of marriage, we struggled to reconcile our very different ideas of how Christmas should be, and to build new traditions for our family. This was the year we both finally felt at home.


We now know first-hand the grogginess that parents with young children experience on Christmas morning after staying up the night before to set everything into place, but there are only a few special years that a gift can seem magical. The dollhouse was “just right,” she said. We loved making it for her.



We sat around the table to read the story and give thanks for  the one true gift — the coming of the Light of the World.


Thank you for reading along with me this year. I am so thankful for every one of you. I hope your holiday season is merry and bright!
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. It’s great that Lane got to play in the snow! Nothing like it for a little one.

    That said, you keep the white stuff up there in Dallas, okay? Austin is sunny & dry today. :)

  2. What a stunning opening photography! Such Joy. That doll house is spectacular. I think that maybe I’ll abandon the idea of a purchased doll house for our daughter’s Valentine 3rd b’day and aim for this next year! Well done.

    Tepary´s last post…Christmas Day Review

  3. It’s funny…I’ve only had a very few Christmases in my life that weren’t white. I’ll try to remember not to take them for granted, because they do just seem “right”!

    I’m glad to hear that you finally found your balance. We are still looking for ours. It was fine before we had a baby…we were happy just to be together on Christmas and usually had friends to hang out with since our families are far away. But now that we have a little one we seem to have very different ideas of what Christmas should be be. Thankfully we did find a few new traditions to love this year and next year I look forward to discovering more.

    The doll house and quilt are stunning! It so plain to see how loved your children are! Merry Christmas!

  4. the color is that first picture is amazing. yes, I told my husband last night that everything was “just right” this year. i’ve enjoyed reading along with you all year and hopefully for years to come!

  5. Oh my gosh, that shot of Lane in the snow is priceless! Good job! I love the dollhouse so much, and the quilt as well. Congrats on formulating what Christmas means to your family. It isn’t always easy to reconcile, is it?

    White Christmases are so special. I grew up in New Mexico, and my brother and I used to sing, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I’ve never known.” Now I live in Alaska, and white Christmases are the norm. I try to never take it for granted, though. :)

    liz´s last post…midwinter

  6. I have a feeling that first photograph is going to go down in history!!! Or up in lights!!! It is brilliant and beautiful and bouncy. Love it!!! Hope you have a great year… I have so enjoyed your blog this year, lovely, lovely!!!

    se7en´s last post…The Week That Was – 2.26 – A GiveAway!!!

    • I’m glad everyone is enjoying that photo. I had no idea when I started to take a photo that I was about to have snow thrown all over me!

  7. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the snow!

    Kelli´s last post…Tradition! #2 and #4

  8. Cute photos but what I really have to comment on is the fireplace. The fireplace is so cool!!! It looks like wood…am I correct? How is it protected? Or is it a gas insert?

  9. that doll house looks amazing!
    happy christmas, rachel! i am so pleased to have stumbled on your blog :)

    rachel´s last post…A wonderful Boxing Day…

  10. Love the pictures! I bet being in Dallas y’all loved having snow! :)
    I absolutely adore your blog. I wish Christmas was simpler this year for my son (3.5) and daughter (19 mo.). Even after I asked, everyone sent TONS of stuff.
    I dislike STUFF.
    Have a Happy New Year! :)

  11. I am glad you got to enjoy your first white Christmas.Snow at Christmas is magical. BTW, for some reason, I thought you lived in NYC! How funny is that? I just experienced my first brown Christmas (my husband and I moved to Central Texas just after Christmas last year). If only we had moved 3 hours north…*sigh*

  12. So beautiful. Never had a white Christmas here. And this year it was rain…flooding rain.

    Southern Gal´s last post…The Day After

  13. That is a spectacular dollhouse!

    Melissa´s last post…A Few Books Under the Tree

  14. That’s a beautiful doll house! You can tell it was made with much love. Your quilt has inspired me. Baby quilt is a bit late for me but maybe I will make some kind of family memories quilt one day. :)

    Oh and I am still waiting to have my first “white Christmas”…

    Our Lives´s last post…Pressents

  15. I love your white Christmas. Our white was a little too much, so plans changed–but it was all good! Sometimes He just knows what he is doing!!

    Love the doll house and the quilt. What a special Christmas!

    mrs.e´s last post…The Hand Spa Is Open

  16. Awww. How special! The quilt and dollhouse turned out beautifully!

    Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with us this past year. It’s comforting to have voices out there that closely mimic our own to know that we’re all in this together.

    Blessings for a wonderful New Year to you and your family. :)

  17. lovely! we are still making traditions and finding our way, as family is all nearby and wanting of us and as our children get a little bigger.
    your images and sentiments are lovely.
    happy holidays!

    nicola´s last post…very merry

  18. What a sweet dollhouse! I am also intrigued by your fireplace. Happy New Year!

    Kim´s last post…Happy Birthday to Me!

  19. vermontmommy says:

    I have to tell you that you have been inspiring me. :) After you post about handwriting things I called my mother and asked her for recipes that my grandmothers had written. She dug through her boxes and found some that she is giving me to frame and put in a book. I also put together a book with all our winter traditions like our menu. I had a few things typed but the things I did not I wrote by hand. I had my 7 year old draw pictures and write a title for each day (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years’ Day etc).

    I love that I have all our recipes in one binder and that they are in my own writing. I hope that my three children will want to have copies of it when they are older.

    Just wanted to say you inspired me. :)

  20. Looks like a lovely Christmas! Blessings on you and your family in 2010.

    Christine´s last post…Inspiration Co.

  21. Love your blog. Your fireplace mantle is stunning.

  22. Rachel, I love, love, love your blog. I just had a couple of questions, as I am looking to make future Christmases more simple. First, do you and your husband limit the amount of presents for each child? Second, do you exchange gifts with your husband or other members of your family? Thanks! You have a beautiful life!:)

    • For our kids, we give either one big gift or three smaller gifts to each child, and it has seemed like the right amount. This year Lane got the dollhouse and Tom received the quilt, and that’s it from us besides stockings. Stockings include a couple of little things and snacks like juice boxes. Last year we gave Lane three toys to play with including one that was handmade. I have a big extended family who also like to give toys and clothes, so we have to limit it.

      Doug and I like exchanging gifts, and we even do stockings for each other too just because I like them so much.

      For my extended family, we draw names, and for Doug’s extended family we try to find a family gift (like a Wii game this year) so our total gift list is relatively small.

  23. The dollhouse is gorgeous! Terrific work.

    Juice´s last post…A Semi-Homemade Christmas

  24. That dollhouse makes me want to cry it turned out so lovely.

    Even though I am not a huge fan of snow, I did love being snowed in for Christmas Day this year. It was amazing to have a very laid-back day just with our girls and nowhere to go. We played with toys and played in the snow. Definitely, definitely “just right.”

    Megan at Simple Kids´s last post…Special Edition Showcase: DIY Robot

  25. Beautiful, beautiful look of discovery and delight on your daughter’s face as she peers into the dollhouse. You must be so pleased.

    Anna´s last post…A Flighty Little Skirt

  26. Did you use a pattern for the dollhouse? Or did it come in some kind of kit? Is there a link to the pattern online? It looks amazing.

    • We bought the Orchid dollhouse kit. The lowest price I found is currently at Amazon.

      It required a lot of time and patience. The kit comes with wood pieces that you have to punch out and glue together. We used wood glue for all of it except for the shingles which took hot glue. There is also sanding, filling, primer, and paint. It was fun making it the way that we thought would be best, but there was definitely a lot of time involved.

  27. what a great article, the dolls house is truly stunning, I too would love to know if you have a diagram/pattern, my daughter would love something like this in the next year or two.

  28. We’re bucking the trend down under in New Zealand by having Christmas by the beach ;)

    Hope you are having a relaxing New Year!

    Meeks´s last post…Fun and Housework?? It is possible!