Two Christmas Surprises

Nope, we didn’t find out that we’re having twins. There’s definitely just one little guy or girl in there (we actually found out the bean’s sex the day before Christmas Eve and will be revealing it shortly so stay tuned for that…). But we also discovered two unexpected and totally amazing holiday gifts waiting for us in our PO Box when we checked it one last time before heading over to John’s family’s house on the 24th.

One item was a box from one of our lovely readers who attached a note that said she enjoyed our blog regularly and referenced my love of ceramic animals. Of course I could hardly contain myself as I tore open the package to see what little white creature would be joining my faux-managerie. And I literally squealed with glee when I learned it was a small ceramic peacock in the most clean and elegant snow globe I’d ever seen. I’d actually been eying this baby from West Elm for months, so imagine my surprise when it arrived out of thin air from sweet Katie in Texas. What a fantastic and unexpected gift! Here’s my regal little peacock in all of her fine feathered white ceramic glory:

And here she is living it up on our living room side table after a little snowstorm ensued:

Isn’t that fun? We’re so glad to have something decorative to post about since we actually received a ton of baby stuff from the family for the holidays so we didn’t think we’d even have a holiday gift post because there was nary a home-decor-related object in sight. But we said there were two surprises right? Well, back to that. The other item in our PO Box was a large flat envelope, which also came with a sweet card from another one of our readers named Steph (coincidentally also from Texas- my you guys are kind down there!) saying that she enjoyed keeping up with us and our blog and wished us a very happy holiday. And look what we found inside:

Yes that is custom art work of our furbaby Burger! And yes we are in love with it. Of course the sender mentioned that she knew we adored having portraits of our beloved four-legger around and she thought this one could be added to our existing collection:

Isn’t it a fantastic little ode to our favorite pooch? We just kept staring at it in awe (so pretty! so realistic! so generous!). So that’s how this post about holiday house stuff came to be. The kindness of strangers. Well, except that we consider all of our readers to be friends, and this is exactly why. Thanks Katie and Steph! Two gushing thank you notes are already in the mail…

But what about you guys? Did you get anything home related for the holidays? Any huge surprises like a new car or twins or a leopard print snuggie? Do tell.


  1. Joshua says

    I love the painting of lil burger… is so adorable….I can’t wait to have a piece of art with my beloved “fur” children :) Happy New Year Everyone!!!

  2. Stephanie says

    No lie, I totally got a leopard print snuggie. My sister keeps things really cold at her house and we always complain, so she got all of our siblings snuggies. Of course, mine was leopard print.

  3. Letty says

    How adorable! Surprises are the best!!

    I wasn’t really expecting anything specific for Christmas, so I was beyond stoked when my wonderful boyfriend got me a super comfy chair and ottoman for my room, so now I can read in my own little reading nook. Yaay!

    The painting of Burger is seriously cool! Enjoy you two– you deserve it. xo

  4. Amelia says

    beautiful gifts! does Steph perhaps sell these custom pet portraits to the public? if not, she sure should consider it. I know many, including myself, would be lined up to get one of their “fur” baby(ies).
    Can’t wait to here what your “bean” is!!! let me put my 2-cents in now and say i think you are having a….BOY
    or maybe it is a girl…nope, okay, staying with BOY.

    • says

      Hey Amelia,

      You can scroll up for Steph’s info to inquire about a portrait of your own- hope it helps! And as for the boy guess, this is fun! Anyone else have a guess they want to log before our big reveal on Monday?


  5. Kimberly says

    What fun getting beautiful, custom-made gifts!

    Honestly, I just wanted a RUG for Christmas! Our poor dining table was dwarfing its current companion, being a 5+change x 7+change. I looked and looked but mostly found 8×10’s and I was so afraid that size would be much too big for the table and also look funny in my dining space. After much shopping with my mother (who was not too thrilled but had offered to pay for my rug as a Christmas gift), I finally found one at World Market and a 9×6 also! I was so excited when my husband agreed to go with me to look at it :-) He liked – we PURCHASED with a 10% off coupon, which kept us under my mom’s budget! Thanks to my Mom for a great, and much appreciated gift!

    BTW, I live in San Antonio and LOVE Texas! Moved here from Ohio, left after 8 months for a deployment to Iraq and got back this fall! Our spare room is always available if you are up for trip to our friendly state!

    Happy New Year to you both :-)

  6. says

    How wonderful! I love surprises! The peacock snow globe is beautiful! I’ve been trying to find something peacock related to decorate our home with that’s not over the top. My husband and I love to collect art done by friends, local artists, or even famous ones (those are just hard to find in our price range). What a great addition to your collection of Burger portraits! =)
    My husband surprised me with a sewing machine! It’s so awesome! He got me the Brother XR 9000. I keep saying I want to make curtains or re-upholster our chairs, but i need a sewing machine to do those things. Hooray! =) I surprised him with a Lego Batmobile 7784. He’s wanted a Batmobile since he was 4 years old. I got him one he could make (he’s an engineer and loves putting things together and taking them apart)!
    I think you’re having a girl, because it looks like the little bean is sitting low.

  7. amy says

    I think you’re having a girl:

    When the bump is more “basketball” like up front, it’s a girl.

    When the bump is more spread out to the sides, it’s a boy.

  8. Meredith says

    Hi John and Sherry!

    Can’t wait to hear your genderific news! Looking forward to hearing if you did anything creative to find out yourselves, or to tell loved ones (gender cakes, etc.) Quick question for you: I am also expecting (July), and I was wondering if there are any baby stuff or nursery design blogs that you would recommend or that you follow yourselves. I completely trust your style, so if you could pass any fun info along it would be much appreciated!! <3 Best Wishes for a healthy rest of your pregnancy!

  9. says

    What a nice surprise!!!

    A friend posted on my FB wall this morning, “Hey!! Are you “Steph from Texas”?! Is that super cute painting of Burger, featured today on Young House Love, your masterful creation?!” I am! It IS!

    THANK YOU BOTH! I’m so happy you like his Animal Print. I’m quite fond of your little Burger.

    Here’s a running post of other 4-legged critters who have been keeping me busy.

  10. says

    I’ve had my eye on that snow globe for a few months too… maybe they’ll be on after-Christmas sale and I’ll treat myself. And the portrait is just too sweet for words, what a lovely gift. Can’t wait to find out the Bean’s gender.

  11. Brandi says

    I can’t wait Sherry…the suspense is killlllling me! As for theories, my OB-Gyn tells me that in his 30+ years, most of the time, spread all over is girl and all up front is boy. My 4 boys were all up front like a basketball. This has been true for all the women in my family as well. I have said since day one that it’s a girl, but that’s just my theory ;) Can’t wait to hear!!

  12. Amanda Z. says

    Our family had a very frugal year, so we opted to skip Christmas gifts for once. I have to say it was the most relaxing holiday I’ve had in a long time! Plus everyone is awaiting our little one’s arrival (a boy) in (+/-) 5 weeks!

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