They say you can never go home.

But last week I did.

I went to the house where I used to live before Thistlewood after the first house we ever owned before the house I grew up in.


Oh good, me too.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of my life.

Girl meets the cutest pair of sparkling brown eyes.

He marries her and moves her around the country to 457 different apartments.

They have two boys.

They buy their first house.

They have twins.

They buy this house (the one I am about to show you that I just photographed at Christmas).

They leave this house jump to the middle of the country in Kentucky and buy Thistlewood.

They jump back to Texas and buy the house that the girl grew up in.

I thought it might be fun if I showed you where it all started.

The house before Thistlewood….

….all decorated for Christmas.

But before we get started–in complete and utter transparency….

….I wish I could tell you that the house looked this cute when we lived here.


You have no idea I want to tell you that this is exactly how I decorated it with every fiber of my being.

But truth?

It looks so much cuter than I could have ever imagined when I lived here.

The new owners, Becca and Bryan—the ones we sold the house to all those years ago—still live here.

They are amazing.

And funny.

And sweet.

And kind.

And brilliant decorators.

And we are still friends.

I stop by for coffee and hang out at their yard sales and go to parties at their house.

I can remember being worried after we sold it.

All those emotions.  All that time.  All those events.

I thought the house was gone forever.

There was so much life lived between these walls.

The twins took their first steps on this floor.

Denton lost his first tooth on the back porch.

The twins had their first princess party on this back porch.

Zack used to layer up skateboard ramps and ride up and down this floor.

Our black german shepherd, Noel, used to stomp her muddy paws all over this porch.

So many memories.

So many hours of joy.

So many milestones.

Each and every one lived within these walls.

I thought I would cry the first time I walked back in.

I thought I would mourn the loss.

I braced myself.

I prepared my heart when she opened the front door and I stepped inside.

But I wasn’t sad.

Not even a little bit.

Not even for a moment.


I was full of joy.

I couldn’t be sad.



It was living with a new family.

It was wearing new furniture and going to new parties and painting itself new colors and shining its new floors.

And making new memories.

And new friends.

And living its best life.

A Christmas card from me to you…

…of a house well-lived.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Jean Waldrop Jean Waldrop

    Oh my goodness, how hard to leave such a pretty house. And what a change in decorating style. Did you just leave all your beautiful furniture and start from scratch when back in Texas, as I do not see any of the Kentucky furniture in your present home. What a decorator you are!!!

  2. Image for Carrie Carrie

    You may have packed up and moved, but the walls will always hold the sound of laughter and memories, no matter where you roam. Each home will always be a part of your family story. It is so beautifully decorated~ thank you for sharing!

  3. Image for Barbara Barbara

    How special to return to that home! And find it Happy:) I sure wish I could visit a few houses I've lived in. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!♥

  4. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    What a beautiful happy home. So glad you had the opportunity to see how well lived and loved the house is. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you did with that house. And - it has so many interesting, architectural elements. You're so talented. You make magic wherever you go! Merry Christmas, KariAnne and family!

  6. Image for Robin S Kiser Robin S Kiser

    Exceptional design and OH the memories those walls hold. Your eye for detail is exceptional and so inspiring!!

  7. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Such a pretty house. You always seem to capture the best images. I love that manger scene. My angel in my set is a standing angel. I've always wanted an angel that hovers above. I think I'll treat myself. Thanks for the inspiration. Nancy

  8. Image for Lori Lori

    Looks like a wonderful life. Your dogs name Noel is even still over the fireplace..Lol! The character in that house and all the textured details are great. Home is where you lay your hat..and we have many hats (to quote a Hallmark Christmas in Vienna movie). You create love and happiness where ever you go. Such a treat to get to go back and visit your old home. are friends! Cheers to many more.

  9. Image for Alice Hanson Alice Hanson

    Oh KariAnne, I love your stories! You inspire and delight me each and every time! Thank you! Precious happy house! Smiles, Alice

  10. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    What a cool house! I love the decor. Would love to see more pictures of this home. It must have been hard to leave it.

  11. Image for Sheila Earhart Sheila Earhart

    This is gorgeous! A dream home for sure. I am sure your current home is a dream home too! ❤️❤️

  12. Image for Rita Rita

    Wow, they have done an awesome job with the interior. It's beautiful. Nice to revisit and have those memories.

  13. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Thank you for`sharing your lovely decorated home. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas Season. Marilyn

  14. Image for Pastor Suzanne Pastor Suzanne

    KariAnne, your former home looks wonderful. The new owners have done an amazing job with it. Your current home is beautiful, and it fits you perfectly. You are back where you began. I hope you get to live there for a very long time.

  15. Image for Michele M / Finch Rest Michele M / Finch Rest

    Oh KA - how awesome - for many different reasons! Awesome you were able to visit there. Awesome the couple who bought it are so amazing. Awesome you shared the sweetest memories with us.... and way way WAY awesome that their house looks so AWESOME!!!!! Thanks for the share! That house has such uniqueness to it!!

  16. Image for JC JC

    Such a pretty home and you have all those memories engraved in your hearts. Thanks for inviting us to into your home from time past.


    So many precious memories, KariAnne! So nice that you are able to go back and see your friends who bought it! How nice they are still there enjoying it! How precious that you are living in your beautiful "family" home that you grew up in! This, too, brings many precious memories! Enjoy! Have a blessed week!

  18. Image for Susanne Bodai Susanne Bodai

    The home is beautiful and how lovely that you are friends and can go visit it. I’d love to know more about that couch with the wooden frame. It’s amazing. Do you know where it’s from???

  19. Image for Katy Ford Katy Ford

    Love it!!!! A touching tale with a happy, happy ending! It’s a happy house with a sweet history with your family and now another family filling it with love and life! I love that you had a black shepherd named Noel. Our first family dog was Storm, a pure black GSD. Now we have Savannah to carry on the tradition. I knew I liked you GF!

  20. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    This is the perfect amount of Christmas cheer, for my tastes, when it comes to decorating! So lovely! And how sweet that you get to visit your old home and see is so well cared for!

  21. Image for Kris Kris

    I'm crushing over the sconces in the entryway AND the ones over the sectional. Love it when pretty and practical meet up. And I'm fairly sure my mom had those same vintage ornaments and the creche .....! KariAnne, of course you are friends with the owners of your former home. Who wouldn't want to be your friend? I like to think that the joy you experienced in the house has filtered through to the current family. :)

  22. Image for Becca in NJ Becca in NJ

    This is so timely for my husband and I as we are closing next week on our home and confess to wondering what the new owners will do with it. I will indeed share this amazing post with my husband. I think it will make him feel better!!! Thank you, and Merry Christmas!!

  23. Image for Jayne McLeod Jayne McLeod

    I must say this was a very delightful Christmas house tour ... and YOU ... You are lovely and most encouraging tour guide to be guided on through with !! Thank you for always sharing your heart & soul ... a very blessed CHRISTmas season to you and your family. Jayne

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