Where we’ll be next Christmas

Just wanted to give you guys a glimpse of where we plan on being next Christmas.


My parents are building a house in snowy Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and it’s gonna be a beaut. So much thought has gone into this house, and it’s starting to pay off as the vision comes together.

I’m so glad they have the chance to build this. After years and years living in a variety of apartments across the U.S. and Spain and renovating the heck out of every place they inhabited since they were about 24 years old, they finally get to build something they like from the get-go. Which won’t require walls and doors to be torn down and shifted to their satisfaction, or bathrooms to be gutted and re-worked, or stucco on the ceiling that has to be laboriously scraped off. I’m especially happy for my mom, who has dreamed of designing a house for years, and now gets to fulfill that dream.

Mom and Dad spent about 9 years in their last apartment in Madrid making it work, redoing the kitchen themselves, spackling things, tearing holes in walls, building cabinets with their own two hands, etc. etc. (Mom destroyed her knees in the process of tiling and destroyed her arms in the process of spackling and sanding the walls) They did a great job of making it as beautiful as possible, but all their efforts aside, this apartment was a dark cave where no sunlight EVER hit.

I remember being there for Christmas years ago and never wanting to get out of bed because it felt like nighttime 24/7. Have you ever lived in a dark cave? Do you know what I’m talking about?? That feeling is no fun, man. It’s depressing, in fact. So it brings joy to my heart that now my parents will have plenty of light, streaming through the windows of the sun room Mom is so thrilled about, and through the windows of this studio.

Where she can paint!

Sunlight makes such a difference in our state of general happiness, doesn’t it?

Mom regularly posts picture updates on facebook so that we can see the whole process–the construction team just recently installed a good amount of insulation and has started putting in dry wall. But when we visited my parents for Christmas, I got to see the house in person for the first time.


Though these pictures are a little outdated and much more progress has been made since December, I thought you guys might enjoy seeing a glimpse of the work-in-progress. I can’t wait to celebrate next Christmas in this gorgeous space!

Is it too soon to start dreaming fuzzy dreams about the holidays? I hope not . . . because there’s no way I can stop now that I’ve started. I have visions of childhood Christmas music peacefully playing in the background, 4-part harmony happening spontaneously as we intone Christmas carols while doing the dishes, steaming cups of espresso welcoming us to the breakfast table, Christmas brew simmering on the stove, an angel food cake being whipped together Christmas Eve, the whole family gathered (spouses included) for the first time in many years . . . and of course, little James (an almost 2-year-old by then) toddling around, and other wee babies whom we’ve not yet met being passed from person to person and snuggled to death (my cousin Steve and Steph are having their first pretty dang soon, and my sister Heidi is pregnant again–yippee-yay-yay!) (aside note: looks like my strategy worked).

Ah. After this little parenthesis of day-dreaming, I think I’ll float around for the rest of the day in a cloud of peace.

11 thoughts on “Where we’ll be next Christmas

  1. Jenny @ Words On Wendhurst

    Erica mentioned a while ago that your parents were building – so happy for them! And yes, I remember that insanely depressing dark apartment, so glad Twinky will have sunshine now! And a million congratulations to Heidi!

  2. Suzie

    That’s wonderful that your parents are building their dream home. It looks like it will be fantastic and I love the big windows and the sun room. I’d be dreaming of next Christmas too! Congrats to Heidi also!! 🙂

  3. Veronica

    The house looks so pretty, even at this early stage, I can just imagine how gorgeous it will be when finished. I bet your parents are so proud! What a dream come true. Can’t wait to see you guys gathered in it at Christmas–I love all your dreams of that time! And congrats on becoming an aunt-to-be again! Congrats to Heidi and Mike!

  4. Kimby

    Love their views, with a variety of trees for peace and privacy — definitely a retreat, a haven, and an artist’s dream come true. You will have SOOOO much fun there, Jenna! I love that your family does four-part harmony Christmas carols, too — my kinda people. 🙂

  5. Joanne

    CRAZY! And exciting. I work in a dark cave, so I can tell you it is NOT fun. I can’t imagine living in one.

    Can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like! Now I’m excited for X-mas already also.

  6. Terri @ that's some good cookin'

    This must be so fun for your parents! Good for them that they finally get build a house of their very own. The property looks beautiful through those windows–love the trees.

    And, here is something totally off subject…did your mom get that scarf in China? I have one EXACTLY like it! My sister in-law brought it back for me when she visited China a few years ago.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hey Terri! I love the trees too–their property is pretty darn gorgeous. And I think my mom got the scarf in Spain, but I have a similar on from NYC, so it seems like those scarves are all over the place!

  7. Twinky

    Jenna, what a lovely post! I am so glad you did something on the house… my apologies for being so delinquent and not doing a guest posting on the topic! I am so excited to have you all for Christmas, and I TOO am looking forward to some additional “bundles of joy” in addition to James and his new sibliing-on-the-way…. what sweet memories that we will be able to renew together… maybe even Christmas Eve homemade bagels and picoteo “a la española”. I’m already smiling!

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