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Thanksgiving Mantel Decor

I’ll never forget a certain Thanksgiving about 8 years ago. We had just moved to Des Moines, Iowa for my husbands new job. I was 22, and we knew no one. The Mr. worked all day and went to graduate school at night. I still hadn’t found a job yet and I was spending all my days refinishing hardwood floors, painting, tiling and generally trying to beautify (somethings never change) our first “new to us”  run down little home.

In short, I needed a break and desperately wanted to go home for Thanksgiving,

in shorter, I wanted my mom!

A living room filled with furniture and a fire place

 Thankfully my parents sent us two airplane tickets home for the weekend and I was counting down the minutes…

and then it started to snow…

and snow…

 and snow some more.

Give Thanks Banner

 The Mr. started to look at me nervously, but he gamely packed up the car and we headed to the airport. Sure enough we were greeted at the airport with long lines and canceled flights. The earliest they could get us there was Friday,

not cool snow storm, not cool.

Thanksgiving Mantel Decor Ideas

Being the total mature grown up I was I called my mom to rationally break the news…

and totally started balling like a baby. We started the treacherous drive back to our house when my phone rang. It was my Dad calling me, urgently telling us to drive to the nearest truck stop and a semi would pick us up in 20 minutes to drive us home. What?!

GIve Thanks Banner

So, here’s where I should take a moment to discourage hitch hiking with random semi-trucks and mention my dad run’s a long distance trucking company. Upon hearing that we weren’t going to make it home he got on his computer and started tracking which truck was closest to us (living right along I-80 came in handy here) trying to find one to drive us safely home.

GIve Thanks Banner

Me:  “Um, ok dad? Really, we are going to ride the whole 8 hours in a semi truck in the middle of a blizzard?” 

Dad: “Well, actually since the roads are so bad it will probably be more like 11 or 12 hours…”

Okeedokee, let’s do this.

 We met our super nice truck drivers at the local truck stop, it was a husband and wife team on their way home from California. They also had their 2 dogs, cat, hamster, goldfish and parakeet. Ok, so I made up the last few animals, but we had our dog too so let’s just say it was cozy. Oh and did I mention I’m severely allergic to cats? Such was the level of my commitment to make it back to Michigan, I was not going to let my swollen eyes or a few itchy hives stop me!

The Mr. was pumped and rode shot gun the whole time listening to the other truckers on the CB radio. He was all “over and out” and “roger that!”…

 Good to know he has another career to fall back on, except for the fact that he is completely directionally challenged.

Thanksgiving Mantel Decor

It was a long night to say the least…but we made it home! My eyes were totally swollen shut, I had snot running down my face and cat hair permanently embedded in my clothes, but we made it back in time for turkey.

Thanksgiving Mantel Decor

Needless to say this year I’m especially thankful for home. Not only home, but my home home. No 10 hours in the back of a semi in a blizzard for this girl. Waking up in my own bed on Thanksgiving morning to my kids crawling under the covers for snuggles, puttering around in my own kitchen preparing a dish to share, and taking a short walk down the road to eat the feast my mom has prepared.

Then waddling home again…no cats in sight :)

I love the fact that we have put down permanent roots back here in Michigan, 7 moves and 10 years later, we finally feel right where we are meant to be. It’s so fun to look back on the journey that God has brought us on, but  we are so thankful for the blessing of being home again. 

Make sure you check out all the other fantastic Thanksgiving stories and projects from some of my favorite bloggers below!

Oh and PS I’ll show you how easy it is to make your very own “Give Thanks” banner tomorrow. UPDATE – You can now find the banner tutorial HERE.

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Savvy Southern Style
Finding Home
Lilacs & Longhorns
The Inspired Room
The Crafty Woman

Stone Gable
What Meegan Makes
Maison de Pax
Confessions of a Plate Addict

Thistlewood Farm
Eclectically Vintage
My Soulful Home
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Southern Hospitality

The Lilypad Cottage
A Little Claireification
Fresh Idea Studio
The Rustic Pig

Housepitality Designs
Country Design Style
The Everyday Home
Unskinny Boppy

Sharing at Liz Marie Blog

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  1. So much to be thankful for! I love your story and I can imagine you and your husband doing the same for your children. I’m sure your mom gave thanks for being able to have you back home too.

  2. I love this story! You have an awesome dad to think of something like that. Can’t remember how I got here, but I’m so glad I did. I’m your newest follower!

  3. Thank you so much for the idea!! I just finished a “Give Thanks” in a navy blue and then I did a “Merry Christmas in sparkly red paint!! I used left over dropcloth material that I had from recovering my dining room chairs!! So cute and just what I needed for my mantel!! I am going to tie them on to tiny pumpkins to hang down in front of the fire place. Thanks again!!

  4. Kelly, What a great story. I could picture the whole thing in my head. What a great dad you have too. The crazy things we will do to get to our family. There is an old Steve Martin/John Candy movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, you need to check out sometime. It’s your story and then some. Love your mantel too. Enjoy your Thanksgiving – it’s only a short walk away!

  5. What a great story…and it goes to show what we will go through just to be with family on Thanksgiving…even though your trip with swollen eyes and cat hair embedded clothing…you will have a story to tell your children about that Thanksgiving when your dad found a way for your to come home….and love the banner!..

  6. Kelly what a gorgeous story. I actually felt a little teary at the end when you said your mum is just up the road (even tho’ I know you’ve mentioned this before) as it’s so lovely to have your family close by especially for precious occasions, and to share fabulous memories like yours. :-)

  7. What a great Thanksgiving adventure! No wonder you cherish holidays at home! LOL Love your mantel and unique blue and white color palette!

  8. Love this story. I think you are nuts, but I love it ;) Actually not totally nuts – we drove 12+ hours in a blizzard with a 1 1/2 week old in the backseat to get from MA to PA for Christmas 5 years ago. And I would do it again. Maybe…

  9. Kelly I LOVE this story!! Back in 1989 or 90 {I was in college} my flight from Dallas to Jax FL was cancelled on 12/24. I had never not been home for Christmas and there was a fluke mini snow storm in Jax {which is so crazy right there} so incoming flights were cancelled. I did the same thing – called my Mom from the airport sobbing. lol They had the bright idea to have me fly into Tampa. Due to the icy roads it took my Dad and I eight hours to get to Jax – normally takes 3. Ahhh. But it was so worth it to be home!!
    So happy to be a part of this tour with you and your banner is BEAUTIFUL. Pinning now!! xo

  10. What a great story/adventure! Love it! I am allergic to cats too, but would have jumped on board as well. Glad you are ‘home” Kelly. Thanks for being part of our tour!

    1. Hi Joy! It’s from JoAnne’s fabric, I talk a little more about it today in the tutorial if you want to come back and check it out :)

  11. Ok, first of all, I LOVE that story! I was totally envisioning you through it and cracking up at all the craziness! Second, I’m saddened by the fact that you are allergic to cats because that means you can’t come over to visit…ever! :( I guess I’ll just keep coming to you…until my cats die! :) Oh, and third, I LOVE your mantel! It’s so classic and pretty! Beautiful as always, friend!

    1. I can totally come over for a few hours, it was more the being trapped in a small space for 10 hours with a cat that almost killed me ;)

  12. Oh my goodness Kelly! I’m laughing, crying…what a wonderful Thanksgiving memory. Oh the lives we live! Happy and blessed to be on the Thankful and Home tour with you today and looking forward to getting to know your and your cozy Lily Pad Cottage better.

  13. Kelly, What a sweet, scary and touching story! I know how that feels from a mother’s heart to hear when your kids can’t make it. You will do anything to get them to you. What sweet parents and a beautiful story! So happy to be a part of this series with you.
    Your mantel is amazing!!

  14. What a heart warming story. I am so glad that you made it home. There is nothing like going home. How great that you were able to move back home and be close to your parents.
    I am a new follower and so glad that I found your blog. Stop and visit me.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. What a great story, Kelly! It must be so nice to be close to your family again. My parents are in Minnesota and I am in Texas…it makes the holidays tough sometimes.
    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home and being a part of this tour!

  16. I loved that story!!!! Wow, what a great husband to do that trip and better yet, what an awesome Dad!!! Now you live down the street from your parents…..dream come true!

  17. You crack me up!! So funny….but sweet too. Glad you settled near your family and are “home” now.

  18. I love this story. It is especially sweet that your Mr. was game for that. True love! And, so sweet that your daddy came to your rescue! And, finally I love that you can walk to have lunch with your family….even if you do have to waddle home!

  19. Great story! We too have moved many times, actually 5 times in 8 years, we still have one more move till we are permanently in one locstion. There really is no place like home! Love your blog Kelly and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  20. Very cute Thanksgiving Mantal and a great story. I agree with Yvonne, there is no place like home for the holidays. Have a blessed Thanksgiving to you and your Family,Kelly.

  21. What a darling story, Kelly! As upset as you were, I bet your parents were twice as upset! There is no place like home… especially for the holidays (sounds like a song). Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving adventure! love it!

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