Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours | Our Christmas Miracle

Merry Christmas!! I hope today's festivities have filled your heart with a heap of joy. Wherever you may be, I hope you're near those closest to you, and that your Holidays are happy, safe and merry!

I don't have a project to share today, but I do have a special post lined up.

Seeing as this month marks five years since we've made this lovely house our home, and it's been a while since I've introduced myself (and my hubby), we thought nothing was better than inviting you all to our home for the Holidays! Because as homebodies, there is nowhere else we find quite as magical as home sweet home! I have also been meaning to start a whole new side to this blog that takes a peek into a lot more than just my crafty side.....Soooo all that said, I couldn't think of a better day than today!

So come along with us. Grab a cup of eggnog, or your favorite bevvy,  and take a break from all that Holiday-ing, Christmas eating, and festive jollying, and come check out the place we love so dearly!

We would like to take you on a five-year journey - our Christmas miracle - for which we are so grateful each and every year when this beautiful day comes upon us.

So rewind to five years ago, on a cold December day, our dream of becoming 'home' owners was about to come true. Months of planning, home shopping, and flip-flopping between 'Do we really need to move out of our comfortable and super stylish condo and take on all the adulting responsibilities of home ownership?' and 'We can't wait to get out of here, to have our own backyard, to welcome a pet, to be done with condo living!' But we knew that our hearts would be settled once (and if) we found the right place.

After much searching, we did absolutely that! I remember the cold Spring day, still snow on the ground, as we drove around our little city visiting each show home featured in a lottery of some sorts. Each house we saw was beautiful, but it just didn't feel like us. 
We almost decided to head home, when we saw there was one more house, in a brand new and faraway corner of our city. We remembered touring this area years prior, and loving all the craftsman-style homes. Modern-day cottages, with heaps of windows, gorgeous trimwork, and the most delightful porch-lined streets. At that time, it was completely out of our price range, but remained in our hearts as number one.

Since that time, much had changed in the market, prices had started to drop, and we had had an extra couple of years of savings. So back to the cold Spring day - we turned the car around and drove to the showhome.

Have you ever had that feeling when you love something so much, and it just fits? And pretty soon, it's all you can think about? Partly because you can't believe you found exactly what your vision was and partly because it feels like destiny? Well that was us, friends.

We walked through the showhome, and from the first second, our hearts skipped both for better and for worse - still thinking this gorgeous home was out of reach, but also knowing that we

Or at least the company that was going to build our home. We loved everything about it, the neighborhood, the design, the lovely folks who were part of the company. It all seemed too good to be true.

This love affair went on for months. Finally one Spring day, much later, when the snow was gone, we took another drive, but this time with a determination and our bargaining hats on. We were going to find a way!!

And we did! While our love-at-first-sight was still a tad overpriced, it just so happened that right around the corner a new showhome was being built, and it was ready for the taking. With the market dip and our eagerness, we were able to meet in the middle and make it work! Months later, lots of contracts, and many, many building decisions and bumps, it was official! I can clearly remember that Summer leading up to finalizing everything. We drove by the house every single day! I am not kidding, even if the smallest blade of grass was different, we knew it, because we were there daily!

We dreamed of the day we would get to move in and started planning for our Autumn move and spending Thanksgiving in our new home. So many ideas, so many plans and so many exciting firsts.

But it wasn't all rainbows and sunshine.

It's was more of a roller coaster, if being honest. Finishing a new build, taking on a steep learning curve in home construction, project delays resulting in us being home-less for a period, contract issues, staff turnovers, challenges in communication, and sooo many hiccups with the house to boot - furnace breakages, water leakage, counterless (read: sinkless) for months, landscaping nightmares (yep, they do exist!) - you name it! Every day there was a new surprise! Or a new repairman coming through the door. But perhaps the worst was trying to keep track of it all, and make sure it would get taken care of. Constantly being pushed aside, minimized and feeling like the nagging customer. It was not fun. And the craziness went on for 3 years! Non-stop madness, every single day.

At our lowest points, we thought about just throwing in the towel, and abandoning the whole thing.
Our hearts ached, our funds depleted, our energy spent. This was not what it was supposed to be like. It was not what we imagined. Not for such a special and momentous occasion.

We started to resent the house. The time and energy it was draining us of. We started to resent being homeowners, and spent many nights crying ourselves to sleep. We felt like we had made the biggest mistake of our lives. The market by this point was doing terribly, and selling the house was not an option.

The only thing that kept us going, was knowing that one day, eventually, things would get better. So we decided that we were going to fight like never before and that it would make this home even more special to us, for it would hold all the struggles, but also the victories.

We changed how we looked at the situation. Sure we had no running water sinks in our bathrooms or kitchen, but we had the upstairs bath, and that became our new sink, our dishwasher, our everything! While challenging, it also provided for many hours of laughter and crafty sarcasm, that only arises in the hardest of moments. This home brought us together like nothing else had before.

We learned to lean on each other more than ever. With hubby pursuing an advanced degree and working full-time, and with me working on my start up business, time was of the essence, so we had to think, work and be smarter. We had to learn quickly, and we had to think on our feet.

But most importantly, we had to understand that life throws its curveballs and sometimes you're just not going to be able to swing it. In all honesty, at that time, I wish someone would have told us that it was okay to give up and move on. That all the stress could impact our health and happiness. I wish we had known that it was okay to feel so stressed about this. Everywhere we looked, we saw people having 'real' problems, and we didn't feel entitled to the heartache and anxiety that we had grown to have.

We also felt like from the outside, it looked like this perfect dream, that no one could believe the horrors that lie beneath.

Have you ever seen the movie Money Pit? I can honestly say this movie got us through soooo much!

But one day, without any of our doing, everything changed. And this is our miracle story! The builder hired a very capable and compassionate man to take over the customer care department, and everything changed. It showed us firsthand how far a caring heart goes.

He was the first person who took the time to listen, familiarize with and acknowledge the problems. He was the first to commit to fixing them, and the first to take accountability.

It was a game changer. He became like a part of the family - a person we will never be able to thank enough for all that he has done for us.

He also gave us the courage to stand up and demand better.

And just like that, one by one, the problems slowly started to subside. All of a sudden, we had a functional kitchen, our broken countertops were replaced with  new and seamless ones, our leaking-backyard-disaster-turned-pond transformed into the grassy lawn as intended, the roof leaks were fixed for good, and allllllll the rest of the list was resolved. It took over a year to get everything under control, but it took immense pressure and stress off our hearts.

 In between there somewhere, we also realized, that we had spent so much time, energy and money in the house, that decorating/filling every room from scratch after living in a condo was not going to be an easy feat, but for the first time, we were so excited. This was what we had dreamed of all those years ago, and it was finally here.

Over the next year, we spent time falling back in love with our house. We did projects together, scoured for the best deals, and eventually furnished the home of our dreams. On a budget, too :) We also grew to love this home of ours all over again, and I might even go as far as saying that it's even better this time around.

All that's been invested in this home, and all that is yet to be, we're in it together and not looking back. It might not be our forever home, but it sure is our nest.

We love it deeply, and we enjoy it deeply. Every chance we get, we're thrilled to fill our walls with friends and family, happy memories and quaint days. And when we look upon it, we don't just see a house, or even a home, we a see a mountain climbed, a challenge accepted. We see what is possible when two people are passionate and determined, and when the universe showers a little caring along the way.

Now that you know our journey, here are some images of your beautiful and very special home. We're so happy you're here. Thank you for everything and Merry Christmas from our home sweet home to yours. 

Here are just some images of all the fun and joy shared in our home during the Holidays and leading up to them. A lot of baking, wreath-making, decorating (with this Pinkfresh set), and plenty of cozy moments.

Love you all and wish you the Merriest Christmas!!!

Ivana and Mark


  1. Such a beautiful trip in time Ivana! Thank you for inviting us to your amazing home last Christmas. It was a great privilege and we are very thankful. It's so much fun to see fimiliar corners of you home and refresh memories! Merry Christmas to you handsome friends! xoxo

    1. Awe, it was our sincerest pleasure!! Such a delight to share this wonderful day with you both. Thank you for making our Christmas last year super special! Merry Christmas and Happiest New Year sweet friends, may 2019 be your best one yet!

  2. Wonderful pictures and post Ivana, best of the holidays to you and your husband.

    Hugs Diane

    1. Thank you so much dear Diane :) many Holiday wishes to you and yours!! xo

  3. Merry Christmas!! Your home is so lovely and I love the story behind it. I am loving the light colors you used and your kitchen-WOW!!! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Merry Christmas dearest Nora! Thank you so much for the wishes :) Many hugs and all the best to you and yours this Holiday Season xoxo

  4. Merry Christmas! Your home is beautiful!

    1. Merry Christmas, Betty Sue!! Thank you so much :)

  5. Beautiful post, beautiful photos, beautiful home and a beautiful couple! I hope you enjoyed a Merry Christmas. Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with many blessings!

    1. Awww Lisa!!! Thank you so much ☺️ Our Christmas was very lovely, I also hope yours was wonderful! The biggest hugs to you and yours + all the best this Holiday Season. So many hugs!!!

  6. Ivana, when we meet for that coffee, I will tell you OUR home-building story - yes, with our own four hands!
    Your house is your home now, and all of that frustration well worth it! Look at those two people who love each other even more having been through this [at times harrowing] experience?
    Forget that coffee... I think I want to come cook with you in your fabulous kitchen!
    xxoo and the happiest New Year's wishes to you, and Mark!

  7. Awe Michele I couldn’t agree more - the most challenging things are the ones that give us something to treasure that much more! Yes to coffee, yes to cooking, yes to everything!! 😘 I can’t wait to hear your story! 😮 Happy New Year friend!!

  8. You are a darling couple & so sweet of you to invite us into your gorgeous home! Feels even more like we're friends now, Ivana! I could never decorate like you did, but I love seeing it--such a fresh, clean inviting place you 2 created--love your style! Wishing you & Mark peace & happiness in 2019! PS--will finish visiting your blog as soon as I can. It's game night at our house, so off to see if I can beat hubby at UpWords!

    1. Thank you so much, Greta!I'm so lucky that hubby enjoys decorating as much as I do, so it's never a chore around here! And it was super fun to share a post that's a little different than the usual - feels like the next best thing to having all my crafty friends over for a visit! Biggest hugs and many best wishes for 2019 to you and all of yours! xoxo


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