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Blame it on the busy photography season…or how we packed up, moved, sold, and closed on a house during the busiest part of that season and also celebrated a few holidays right around it all…but it’s been 3 months since my last house build update!

And we have been in our new house for about a month now and while we are far from completely unpacked, we are settling more and more every day.  If I’m honest, it has been a difficult and overly packed month…moving with 3 small kids on top of everything else is no joke, let alone doing it when everything isn’t quite done in your house yet.  Things got very tight time wise at the end and there is still a lot left to do even a month in.

But the house itself? We love it.  I have shared before that we were extremely intentional about every single choice with this house (probably to a way overboard extent!).  I am going to share a whole post about those decisions later, especially as they relate to our kids…but in the mean time, I have to share that this house has functioned so well for us as a family.  It is just what we dreamed for the space and I can’t wait to share a million little tips and tricks that make it so!

One of the really challenging and really fun parts about the timing of our move is that we moved during the limbo between fall decor and Christmas decor…I would decorate for Christmas on November 1st and Michael would prefer December 10th or so…so we typically go with the weekend after Thanksgiving as a compromise!  But that time in between gave us a lot of time to get used to our paint colors on the walls with nothing else…and also forced us to be extremely intentional about what goes on the walls and where!  In the past, I am a definite get things up RIGHT away and make it feel homey type of girl.  And we put things on the kids walls right away for that very purpose…but we are really considering everything else in every room to decide what we want to keep and what doesn’t fit anymore- so we only had a few things up until Christmas decoration time, and then suddenly not only did we have holiday decor but also finally things up!  Anyways- it was a bigger transformation than typical because of that, and that made it all so very fun.  There still are a lot of empty walls (because I also wasn’t sure to put Christmas decor that hangs on the walls since there wasn’t already nails and hangars up!) but it is coming together piece by piece.  And it felt like home the moment we moved in already, just as we had hoped!

So here are a few pictures of our Gum Farmhouse with some Christmas decor.  I am not a particularly fancy holiday decorator- I tend to use mostly decorations and ornaments that are meaningful to us and our family.  That means our main tree is full of ornaments that the kids have made or ornaments we have gotten them (once they hit age 3 or so, we get them an ornament every year that represents something they love that year so they will have a collection started once they are adults!).  But I do have a few sparkly corners that are all for looks that I love!

If you follow me on social media, I’ve been RAVING about our new fake flocked tree.  I am not a fake tree girl at all but with 2 trees in our new house, 1 fake one made sense.  This is the King slim flock 7.5 prelit tree from King of Christmas and I LOVE it!!!  The gold Tree Collar came from wayfair- here is the link! This is my space of both meaning and beauty…we are anxious to get a full nativity scene but haven’t found one we love yet so this is our little temporary one we have had for years! This angel was my grandmothers, and it is among my most cherished possessions. Downstairs is where we did the tree with colored lights (for the kids… they LOVE colored lights) and the more traditionally colored Christmas decor, with lots of the old decor from E3’s nursery!! Michael collected vintage tractor ornaments and a little darling country village that we display every year- this year on our basement mantel!  The kids LOVE these and so do we! We collect ornamentse verywhere we travel, so you will see a few favorites here! These houses and moving ornaments are from my childhood (among many of the other things we have!). I also cannot get rid of any of the many ornaments the kids bring home from school/church, so we have lots of lovingly made crafty ornaments from them that I’m pretty sure we will cherish forever on this tree!

Click HERE for part I with big details about our build!

Click HERE to see Part II about our build about framing!

Click HERE to see Part III of our build  when we got windows and a roof!

Click HERE to see Part IV where everything began to look like a home!!

Click HERE to see our floor plan tips for building!

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I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic Aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!). 

As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids.  I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!

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I'm so glad you are here!  Teaching Photographers and other small business owners how to run more joyful, successful, and profitable businesses is one of my favorite parts of my business!  I specialize in working with photographers to make their goals a reality (or figure out what their goals should be in the first place!).  

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