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 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 Beth Joyce Beth Joyce

    Gorgeous! Love the mixture of contemporary and antique styles. Any idea where that great sectional in the 4th photo came from?

  2. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    So much prettiness! We're about to put our big old house on the market, after living here 27 years and raising our family here. Some days I'm excited about the house to come (need to find her!); other days I can hardly catch my breath at the idea of leaving this house. Happy to hear it worked out so well for you! OX

  3. Image for Linda G. Linda G.

    I can see why you were so happy. It’s a beautiful home wrapped in lots of love. It’s been a lucky home to have had loving families share it’s walls.

  4. Image for Rev. Suzanne L. Taylor Rev. Suzanne L. Taylor

    The house looks great, but it's your story about it that makes it beautiful. Thank you for sharing your lovely memories.

  5. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Like Beth, I must know where that fabulous sectional in photo #4 was found!!! There's no sight of it on her Instagram...

  6. Image for Kris Kris

    It's pure fantasy, but I like to think that houses have souls and that the previous happy events help create an atmosphere of future joy, even when houses change owners.

  7. Image for Charlotte S Snodgrass Charlotte S Snodgrass

    I love this home tour! Those rugs with the sea salt walls are beautiful! Love the square bottom stockings and everything about this place!

  8. Image for Yvette Yvette

    I love this...♥️ I love that you get to visit your old home and love it. I love that your old home is happy and that you get to see and know that it is happy, loved, and has old and new memories.

  9. Image for Joan Sommerfield Joan Sommerfield

    What a inspiring post. Somany things remind me of where I grew up. Wish you had shown the exterior as well. You are right. It is a happy house!

  10. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Lucky you!! Thank these people for allowing us to visit. Tell me details about the day beds? Sofas? May you remain friends forever and ever.

  11. Image for Sue Sue

    Best Christmas card ever!! So happy for you that you are able to spend time in the house that holds so many memories for you and your family.

  12. Image for june june

    I love the pics and especially your comments at the end. I have printed for future reference. What a great way to look back at a home we once lived in and loved and wishing for it to live its best life with a new family. I know the day will come when my hubby and I make the decision to downsize...your words will bring comfort.

  13. Image for Michele M Michele M

    WOW!!!! Funny just yesterday my little sister out of the blue texted me a pic of a place and said "guess what this is?" We had just been talking about her neighbor/bff so I was kinda Hmmmming and trying to guess. Then I went and put on my reader glasses and exclaimed "my first house!!!!" You see, she was in my home town for a funeral of a high school friend's momma - and happen to be driving past my first home from way way way long ago. It took reader glasses to even recognize it. So I loved this post - 'cuz just yesterday I really went down memory lane. Wish I am able to go inside and see the improvements - I know there must be many, we were in our early 20s and trying to make ends meet. Ramen noodle dinners was a common thing back then, haha - college tuition and having babies young kept dreams of home improvement at bay. This home you shared is really loved - that must feel so good to you, I love her "true to self" eclectic style - nothing about her house is copy cat, and your photography is award winning. You featured that beautiful home well, KA. ♥

  14. Image for Jean Jean

    Simply a wonderfully gorgeous home! I was wondering if the NOEL letters on the mantel were made by your brother? So enjoyed your “story “ ❤️

  15. Image for Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap

    I recently visited a home that I had lived in as a child and met the people who have loved it for quite a few years now. It brought back so many memories and although a lot has changed since I lived there, it was good to see how much its current family loves it.

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