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.
How fun! It is always great to receive unexpected things in the mail. I would love to know where you got the cartoon-like illustrated rendering of Burger. I would love to get one made of my English bulldog, Oliver!
That was actually drawn by my friend Heather on my “wall” in Facebook with the Graffiti application. I loved it so much I printed it out and framed it on the spot. Art really can come from anywhere! Why not try whipping up one of your own in “paint” or even with markers? The looser and sketchier, the better!
Cindy @ The Saga says
That painting is INCREDIBLE! I have zero artistic talent, so I’m totally in awe of people with so much talent!!
One of our fav gifts was a hammock and stand from my parents. They told us we need more R & R in our life so they were hoping to help us out! Sooo excited to soak up some sunshine in that baby next summer!
Jessica @ How Sweet says
That is so gorgeous! And wow I LOVE that painting – amazing! Can’t wait to hear what you’re having. :)
Jenny @ Words On Wendhurst says
Love that snowglobe. So elegant, and peacocks are one of my favorites! No surprises here, but we had a lovely and low key Christmas. :-)
Kate @ Twenty-Six 2 Life says
The picture of burger is cute. I love the expression on his face.
And thanks for sharing the facebook thing Sherry! I may have to do that with my pups too!
Lori H says
I love both the peacock and the Burger portrait! My daughter requested and received the leopard Snuggie for her 18th bday which was the 23rd. But no real surprise gifts this year.
Happy New Year!
Rebekah Coleman-Brahler says
we’re waiting with bated-breath to hear about the twins next week (seriously)…but as for home-related gifts, my parents got me a print by one of our favorite cape cod artists, timothy struna, so i can now complete the beachy/nautical gallery wall i’ve been planning for our hallway.
I thought my wife and I were the only ones to put photos of our dog all over the house. I guess I’m not crazy.
Either that or we’re both crazy…
What fun gifts from your readers! :)
We were thrilled to receive a dishwasher from my in-laws! Our house (we bought it in late August) came with a portable dishwasher that flooded our kitchen the first time we used it. My in-laws bought us a Kenmore something-or-other (it’s still in the box, actually) and my handy FIL will be helping my husband cut apart the cabinets to build it in. Can’t wait!
We received a gorgeous handmade, all maple wood rocking chair from my in-laws. It’s from a place in PA that makes all hardwood, handmade furniture. It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL and a huge surprise!
Well that is just so sweet and lovely that you got those gifts!
I have to say, when I scrolled down to the picture of Burger, and read your note about it saying look what we got, I studied the picture for a second, and thought, “what? A new collar?” And then I suddenly realized it was a painting of Burger! I had actually thought it was a real picture of him wearing some new gift… that’s some talent!
We may be crazy too…because we have photos of our dogs in at least half of the rooms in our house :)
My husbands parents got us a new set of Cuisinart Greenware pots and pans (after they asked what we wanted and I handed over the specifics). I LOVE them and I got rid of all our yucky teflon right away!
that peacock is so, SO fabulous!! I collect things with peacocks, I even have a peacock-themed christmas tree. I must have that!! West Elm, you say?
I didn’t get a whole lot that was particularly “home-related” myself, but I did buy myself a beautiful glass tray with hummingbirds on it with xmas money, and my parents gave me a sewing machine! I can certainly make things for my home with it. I plan on starting with new bedroom curtains–wish me luck.
I hope YHL had a wonderful christmas! we love you :)
briel K. says
wow nice presents! i love the portrait of burger!
How sweet of your readers!
Our surprise was just… awesome. I am still having trouble coming up with words to say how much I love this- My hubby’s parents are super-creative-crafty-DIYers. They gave us some cool wall art very much like what the Frame the Date company does, except they did it in letters with our last name. And the hubby grew up in Rochester, NY, so it’s all pics from around there. AND they matted and framed it all themselves. I wish I had a pic of it uploaded to share, but I don’t quite yet. I am still trying to pick the perfect spot to hang it!
I love the painting of lil burger…..it is so adorable….I can’t wait to have a piece of art with my beloved “fur” children :) Happy New Year Everyone!!!
I love the portrait! I want one of Nico! She says Burger looks so handsome! I hope my son in law (+parents) had a wonderful Christmas! :D
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.
[email protected] says
Oh WOWZA!!! Those are some amazing gifts from readers! The painting is exquisite! Does she do commissions??? Gorgeous!
Steph has a blog but we’re not sure if she does commissions. Perhaps you can contact her to inquire! Here’s her info: http://gadorawilder.com/gadora-wilder-who/
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
Jill Stigs says
How cool! Loving both of your gifts and they are so you!
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.
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?
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 :-)
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.
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.
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!
Good question! We’re currently enjoying: http://www.spearmintbaby.com/ and Apartment Therapy’s: http://www.ohdeedoh.com/
Both are full of ideas and inspiration! Hope it helps!
Steph Lewis 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.
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.
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!!
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!
I’m pretty sure it’s a boy! I have a theory that works – but it’s a secret! I’m 5 for 5 of the last few babies born at my work and in my family!
Oh good! I can’t wait for your reveal since I am due a week before you and am anxiously hoping that you are also having a boy so that I can sneakily steal your nursery ideas. I have spent way TOO much time nursery obsessing! I love ohdeehoh.com – thanks for the spearmintbaby link – will check it out asap.
Yay for Taurus babies! (he is kicking his little face off as a type!)
It seems like you are carrying the baby low. I’ve always heard that is the way it is for a BOY! It was true for me. I can’t wait until Monday to see if I’m right!
One more thing – check out this site for incredible eco-baby goodness and deals. I cannot stop myself from buying stuff but it is so cheap!
Ooh thanks Abby! Can’t wait to check it out!
Love the snow globe–and I tend not to be a fan of white ceramics or snow globes. haha
My husband and I received 14×16 framed photos of my in-laws and husband’s grandmother. Now that’s a design challenge!
Hmm, we love a large photo wall so maybe you could gather other photos of family, friends and favorite moments and hang everything en masse? Here’s a post/video all about different framing arrangements and ideas: https://www.younghouselove.com/getting-the-hang-of-it/
Hope it helps!
What sweet and thoughtful gifts.
My bestest surprise was winning a blog giveaway–a copy of Love Actually, a lovely (actually) Christmas-y movie that I did not already own.
Re: the baby? “AS LONG AS IT’S HEALTHY…”
Sunny's Life in Rehab says
I didn’t get a surprise (I’m asking for IKEA when the reconstruction is done), but I did managed to surprise my parents. I stumbled on an amazingly talented portrait artist at our local Renaissance Festival. He was doing 20″ portraits in about 15 minutes for $10 apiece. I had the children, ages 15, 16, and 18, each done seperately in black and white; all were sporting full costume. We then had 11×14 copies made, hand-colored their eyes and subtly accented their lips, and framed them in black. (We did mini versions in triple frames for the aunts and uncles too!)
Our families usually all call Christmas day for mutual thanks, but both sets of grandparents called elated before the mail truck was out of their driveways.
Kevin M says
Very cool pieces and very generous of your readers.
My husband bought a tealy-blue and white damask loveseat I’d been eyeballing and then *walked* it home to our house using a dolly. The store is a couple streets down and over from our house and he had some very strange looks as he did it. It was totally unexpected and I love the new couch!
Jamie Wright, REALTOR says
Such thoughtful gifts! I ordered my husband a silhouette of my Newfoundland from the website that Sherry passed along to me- and we are so thrilled with the way it turned out. It was such a different/personal Christmas gift. Thanks so much for the inspiration and suggestion!
The painting of Burger is adorable! Steph should definitely start a business, or maybe she already has one..I’d love a picture like that of my puppy!
Oh man, I am so jealous of that snowglobe! I was eying the silver tree snowglobe from West Elm, but the snowglobes are no longer available, which broke my heart. You have such fabulous readers! And that picture of Burger is so cute. I can’t wait to see where you decide to put it in your home!
Thats awesome, must be nice to be loved like that ;) My parents bought my husband and I a storage bench, sage green, i love it! Extra seating in my living room and a hidden storage area! I bet you are having a BOY!
I too have been eyeing the delicious snow globes at West Elm.Actually they’ve done a really good job merchandising–I actually like almost everything they have in-store right now!
I never thought I’d see the day, but at a gift exchange party my daughters and I attended a couple of weeks ago…the leopard pring snuggie was the most hotly contested gift in the steal portion of the evenin. My daughter who is a chip off the old block in the competition department prevailed and that snuggie has been used daily since!
How generous! love the gifts, and the blogs. And yes, I did get a leopard-print Snuggie for Christmas from the hubs!
We got $400 in home depot gift cards! Good thing too because we have to update 2 bathrooms before baby arrives in May.
I can’t wait to find out the bean’s gender! Had a 20 week sonogram yesterday and it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. My gender is a surprise though, so I need to live through Sherry and John!
eeek- I totally didn’t think you’d put this in a post! I’m so glad you like the snow globe :)
That portrait of Burger is. awesome. So thoughtful!
glad you guys had a merry Christmas- you deserve it!
Aw thanks Katie! Of course it’s post worthy! We love our snow globe and you were so thoughtful to send it our way! Oh and Burger sends his love to Coco.
s (& j)
It’s totally a girl!
I love your blog and check it every day! I wish nothing but the best for the Petersik family for 2010. Happy and healthy wishes from Minnesota/Arizona =)
ps. I think it’s a girl!