Christmas Books & Hallmark Movies

Today’s post is for all of you out there, who like me, live off of cheesy holiday books and movies.  I’m sharing my favorite of both 🙂 .

Every year, I try and read several holiday books to keep me in the Christmas spirit, so today, I compiled a list in case you want to do it too.  These books aren’t in any particular order, but if you want something light, festive and happy to read this Christmas, you will love any one of these.  I went back to my reviews from years past and pulled my favorite 11 holiday books…

Winter Street Series by Elin Hilderbrand (all 4 books)

This is actually a four book series and out of all of the books today, this series is my favorite!!  If you don’t know where to start, start here.  Make sure you read the books in order though!  Start with Winter Street and then Winter Stroll followed by Winter Storms and then finally,Winter Solstice


Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer


Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber


Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz


Holly and Ivy by Fern Michaels


Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews


A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber

I’ve also had several of you ask me which Hallmark movies are my favorite and to be honest, that’s tough because they’re pretty similar and often have the same actors, BUT there are a few that always stand out to me and when I see that they’re on, I’ll watch them again and again.

Here are my faves (also in no particular order!):

When I first started watching Hallmark Christmas movies a few years ago, I asked on here which ones I should watch and many of you said “just any of them with Candace Cameron Bure”…and now that I’ve been watching, I couldn’t agree more 😉 .

Can I be honest?  This is me right now.  I know it’s only November 15th, but I’m ready, I’m listening and I’m getting into the spirit of things.  At this very moment, I’m a little overwhelmed with life, but I know it will all sort itself out.  We got home from our trip on Wednesday, got as much done as we could yesterday and then today, my sweet Kensington has her first procedure that will require general anesthesia at the hospital.  My other three kiddos have all already had to do that, but this is her first time and she’s nervous.

Ashby had her last surgery on October 2nd and in the five days that followed, I was told that I needed to undergo some medical stuff, that Kensington needed this procedure and that Madeley will almost definitely need a biopsy.  Throw in there RSV on a fifth birthday and the fact that Andrew is also having some medical testing done, it adds up.  We’re checking things off one at a time, but when I was looking at previous holiday posts to come up with today’s list of books, I got a little overwhelmed as we have a lot on our plate this season, and I just have to realize we might not be able to do #allthethings we have in the past when it comes to the holidays…and that’s okay too.  If you’re out there right now already a little anxious about the rest of the year, please know, I am too.  Sending you guys love and praying peace over Kensington this morning.  Have a great weekend!  xo

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157 Comments

  • Reply Shauna November 15, 2019 at 4:51 am

    Sending love from NJ to your family!

  • Reply Marybeth November 15, 2019 at 4:53 am

    Thanks for all your wonderful posts, Shay. I’m sure I can speak for all of your readers when I say that we appreciate them and you. Prayers for you and your family. I understand the trials and pain, albeit in different ways, particularly during the holidays, and please know that your loving family and the watchful eye of God (and trust in Him) will make all the difference.

  • Reply Taylor November 15, 2019 at 4:55 am

    Praying for you and your family! I appreciate you being real & honest with us. I am officially in Christmas mode and soaking up every minute because I know I’ll blink and it’ll be January.

  • Reply Christie Asmussen November 15, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Thinking of you! XOXO

    • Reply Becky Carl November 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      Prayers for you and your sweet family during this journey. God is with you every step of the way.

  • Reply Ruth November 15, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Praying for you Shay!

    • Reply Amanda November 15, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      Which Netflix Christmas movies would you recommend?

  • Reply Angela Ellingson November 15, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Well this is just a fun post! I loved the Winter Street series and can’t get enough Hallmark Christmas movies! My 8-year-old Clara loves to snuggle up and watch them with me. It’s the best. There are definitely some movies that I especially love but looking back it’s hard to remember as they totally blur together. Everything with Candace Cameron Bure are definitely my very favorites! So sorry to hear your family is going through a hard season. Prayers for peace and health over each one of you!

    • Reply Kate November 16, 2019 at 7:04 am

      Just in case YOU need a Hallmark suggestion….Lacey Chabert “A Family for Christmas” – I love it, will temporarily melt all your worries away!
      I love Christmas books too and have read most of yours but will definitely grab the ones I haven’t!

  • Reply Jessica November 15, 2019 at 5:12 am

    Prayers for your sweet Kensington!!! And for the rest of your family during this season. Prayers for peace and joy in the midst of it all. Thinking of you!

  • Reply Crissy November 15, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Praying for your sweet family! I know going through medical issues is so very hard!! Many blessings!!!

  • Reply Ahna @ Hammers N Hugs November 15, 2019 at 5:15 am

    “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will You let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” Psalm 16:7-11

    I am very likely going to lose my best friend of over 20 years to breast cancer in the coming weeks, and the heartache, suffering, and pain become unbearable! Suffocating even. But a couple weeks ago Jesus made His presence so real to me, and He reminded me of a couple things – “Fix your eyes on me” (2 Cor. 4:18) “Neither present nor the future nor ANY powers … can separate you from me” (Rom. 8:38-39). “Be still and know that I am God. I will exalt myself in this earth” (Psm 46:10). Lastly He said, “Take heart. For I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Overcome cancer. Overcome illness. Overcome my fear for her 4 young children. He has overcome it all 🙂 Praying the joy we feel in His presence over you right now, Shay, and anyone else who reads this and needs a little LIFE breathed into them this holiday season!! XO

  • Reply Dana November 15, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Praying for you, Shay! I could tell through your posts lately that things have been heavier for you. May the peace of Christ rule in your heart through this trial that He is walking with you through. 💙 During difficult times like that, I love to listen to my Bible as I’m going throughout my day (I just use the ESV app and have it read to me) and I find it helpful to have a good book like Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss to help me take my thoughts captive. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that your little fan club here is lifting you, Andrew, and your kiddos up in prayer!

    • Reply Lisa November 17, 2019 at 6:12 am

      Hope everyone is on the mend soon. One day at a time!
      I dont watch Hallmark movies, so may I ask…is everyone white in these movies? There seems to be no diversity in any of the photos above 🙁

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog November 15, 2019 at 5:19 am

    I’m so ready for some festive holiday reads! Thanks for the recommendations, Shay! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • Reply Kristen Thompson November 15, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Keeping Kensington in my prayers today and everyone in your family for all that you are facing right now! Sorry all of this is going on during such a magical time of year, although I am happy you have the Christmas spirit to bring everyone some joy during a hard time! Thinking and praying for everyone.

  • Reply Derricca Krutsinger November 15, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Life can be rough sometimes. We are going through some really hard things this season with our family as well, so I appreciate your honesty. It’s tough to be vulnerable when we just want things to be happy and upbeat! I get that. Cheers to you for staying positive and still posting your favorite books/movies for us all anyway! Thank you, and blessings with Kensington and the rest of your family.

  • Reply Lynn November 15, 2019 at 5:26 am

    I hear you!! My mum is in the middle of chemo for leukaemia, my dad is getting a lump removed Monday and awaiting results for prostate cancer. Christmas is far from our thoughts and just seems exhausting and an effort. Instagram can be difficult to scroll through, peoples lives seems so great and so simple in those little squares. Thankfully God is good. Listen to the song by Bethel Music, Goodness of God it makes me thankful for each new day x

  • Reply Sara November 15, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Prayers for you. Life is in a hard season for me also 😣 Hang in there with everything – even though I don’t know you personally, I truly care about you and your family! Thank you for sharing some of the tough stuff 💖

  • Reply Kim Clark November 15, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Prayers for Kensington and your entire precious family.

  • Reply Rebekah November 15, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Just praying!

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims November 15, 2019 at 5:49 am

    BIG prayers for y’all over here!!!!

  • Reply Kelsey November 15, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Praying for Kensington today and all of you!

  • Reply Maria November 15, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Sending prayers of comfort to you and sweet Kensington. Praying Psalm 46:10 ~Be still and know that I am God… Praying Isaiah 41:10~ Fear NOT~ . God got you and Kensington in the palms of His precious hands. Praying for the amazing doctors and nurses that will have the opportunity to see the light of Jesus all around your family.

  • Reply Narci November 15, 2019 at 6:04 am

    Praying for your sweet K today! Xoxo

    • Reply Tracey November 15, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      My mom and I have been watching Hallmark Christmas movies for years! We still love them and look forward to them every year! 🙂 I love The Christmas Cottage, The Christmas Card, and One Starry Christmas! But honestly I get hooked on all of them!! 🎄
      I am praying for you and your sweet family. You always have such a positive attitude in your blog each day. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season!

  • Reply Kristin Wilkerson November 15, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Thank you for the encouragement ! Just what I needed this morning. We are meeting with a realtor today to put our house on the market. It’s so unlike me to not have decorated for Christmas by now but read it doesn’t help your house sell if you’re decorated. Hopefully the realtor will tell us differently. We’re selling our house, moving to Dallas (from 3 states away) and I’m quitting my job for my husband to take an incredible job all during the Christmas season. Just like you said – overwhelmed but God is in control and not surprised by any of this!

    • Reply Melissa November 15, 2019 at 8:34 pm

      Praying for your family. Dallas is beautiful, and I hope you love it (from Prosper, TX) and your new home.

  • Reply Angela Banae November 15, 2019 at 6:08 am

    Hugs and prayers to you and your family, Shay. Praying for Kensington’s procedure today & that she recovers quickly! God has this, Mama! xo

  • Reply Denise November 15, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Sending good thoughts and prayers for Kensington and all of your family. Take one day at time!

  • Reply Erika Slaughter November 15, 2019 at 6:12 am

    What do you mean you think those Hallmark movies are similar?? That made me laugh!! And we’ve been praying for K all week!! She’s gonna do great!

  • Reply Valerie Allen November 15, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Prayers for health and happiness for your whole family during this time.

  • Reply Christina November 15, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Shay, you and your family are in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your worries with us. I have worries as well currently. Praying everything will be ok for both of us (and our families) and we both have a happy, healthy holiday season. Christina

  • Reply Nicole November 15, 2019 at 6:21 am

    The chapter I’m reading right this very minute was written for you!! You need to buy Risen Motherhood right now!! I think it will really bless you!! Praying for you and your family, Shay! xo

  • Reply Lesley McFarland November 15, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Oh Shay I’m sorry to hear about everything. k will do great today! You guys are in prayers today for peace.
    Also, just a note on not getting to ALLLLLLLL the Christmas activities. I learned a few years ago since my kids were getting older and busier the fun advent calendar was not for us anymore. Honestly it me very sad. But now we do still do all the things except it’s in one day….not over the whole month. I used to get them out of school, but now I have a high schooler in athletics. So one day out of the month…we pick out wrapping paper, ornaments, shop for angel tree kids, see Santa and look at Christmas lights. It’s a busy day buts it’s DONE!!

    Btw those Christmas books look AMAZING!! I cannot wait to read a few!!

  • Reply SS November 15, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Shay, prayers for K and all of you! Hopefully the new Hallmark movies this weekend keep you all entertained while recovering!
    We like the Candace and Lacey Chabert movies. We are having a hard time with Hallmark vs Lifetime movies. Lol! We like Melissa Joan Hart on the Lifetime movies. We go back and forth.

    Take it easy this season…great memories will be may no matter what! Hugs to all of you!

    • Reply Christi November 16, 2019 at 1:52 am

      Good luck with all the medical stuff. It can feel overwhelming.
      In the past few years I’ve had to say no to so many things because of family, health, etc. Being present with my family is the best gift.
      And just remember to breathe.

  • Reply Charly November 15, 2019 at 6:53 am

    I’ve read your blog for years, we’re the same age and our oldest and youngest daughters are the same age. 😊 You have no idea who I am, but I’ve sure grown to love your family over the years! Praying for your sweet family. ❤️🎄

  • Reply Holly Breton @ Pink Lady November 15, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Sending you prayers, peace and healthy thoughts- you got this Mama

  • Reply Kerrie Hofstad November 15, 2019 at 6:58 am

    This hurts my heart. Going to the Lord for you and your family right now.

  • Reply Linda November 15, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Hey Shay,

    Thanks for the recommendations!
    Enjoy your weekend! I know what I’ll be doing 😉

  • Reply Sarita November 15, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Wishing you all strength, love, peace and good health in the upcoming months. God’s blessings!!

  • Reply Paula November 15, 2019 at 7:06 am

    All the holiday stuff is great, but medical needs somehow help us to see just being together is most important. I hope all goes well and maybe more Cheesy Christmas movie/book/snughle time is in your future.

  • Reply Rachel November 15, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Praying for all of you and for Kensington this morning!

  • Reply Hilary November 15, 2019 at 7:17 am

    You can now apparently get paid to watch Hallmark
    Movies!! That’s my kind of job that I could get behind! Haha
    https://www.centurylinkquote.com/get-paid-to-watch-hallmark-christmas-movies

  • Reply Elspeth November 15, 2019 at 7:24 am

    SO many great suggestions out there. Also, thinking of you and your family during this busy season on life. You will get through it. Have a great weekend.
    http://www.elspethsdaybyday.com

  • Reply Paula Romer November 15, 2019 at 7:26 am

    Sweet Shay, I am so sorry your family is going through this difficult time with the various health challenges. I pray the Lord will guard your heart and mind and that He would grant you grace for each moment you need it. I pray He makes himself real to your family in a more powerful way as you lean on Him to give you peace and comfort as you walk this unknown path. I pray He gives you joy unspeakable even when you are walking through things you don’t understand. I pray He gives you the peace that passes ALL understanding and equips you with strength, perseverance and even motivation to enjoy the holiday season as you wish to do so in your heart. Sometimes I find that even in hard times… those small things that we love and cherish can be an anchor of peace and joy… even in the midst of hard things. Find joy in those small things that bring you delight… even if that’s Coffee…Hallmark and Michael Buble. By the way… have you heard Leslie Odom Jr.’s Christmas cd? It’s one of my faves… along with Lauren Daigle’s Christmas album. I bet your kiddos would enjoy any of the Pentatonix Christmas albums. A Christmas movie I really like is called “Trading Christmas,” with Faith Ford. It’s cute.

  • Reply Erin Upton November 15, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Sending positive vibes to your family!

  • Reply Sarah November 15, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Sending prayers and love to you all this season.

  • Reply Michele November 15, 2019 at 7:31 am

    I’m so sorry that you are going through a rough patch. I’m praying for you and your sweet family. Give Kensington extra hugs today from her “internet family”. Praying for you, Shay.

  • Reply Paula R. November 15, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Shay… one more thing! In the spirit of all things “holiday fabulous.” You MUST check out the most amazingly, FESTIVE instagram account. It will be a bright spot in your holiday season-I promise!!! I found the Instagram accounts of New England designers Kiel James Patrick and his wife, Sarah. They live in Rhode Island and spend a lot of time at a cabin in Vermont. You cannot believe the amazing-ness and seasonal festivity and cheer on their accounts. Their fall foliage photos and how they stage their life during the holidays, decorate and capture their outings is the most amazing thing to see. It transports me to a warm, fuzzy, happy place! Their fall and Christmas posts are the best. It truly makes me to want to move to Rhode Island or Vermont. The accounts are: Kiel James Patrick @kjp. And his wife Sarah, at @sarahkjp.
    It’s my favorite account! Check it out now… it’s the most delightful, holiday-ish rabbit hole ever!!!

  • Reply Jamie Brown November 15, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Prayers for you and your family! God is good!

  • Reply Allison Lacey November 15, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Prayers for sweet Kensington and all of you!!! Hang in there momma you got this!!

  • Reply Lynn November 15, 2019 at 7:36 am

    I am currently doing the Psalm 23 bible study by Jennifer Rothschild. This morning’s video teaching lesson (lesson 5) was about walking through valleys. God is in our valleys and walks with us through our valleys. Praying for you and your family as you walk this valley. You can rent the video bible study on Lifeway.com .

  • Reply Francesca November 15, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Prayers momma! You got this! ❤️

    • Reply Stephanie November 15, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      Sending up prayers for wellness and peace. ❤️

  • Reply Holly November 15, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Prayers for Kensington and all of the Shulls!❤️

  • Reply Becky November 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Prayers to you and your family.

  • Reply Amy Coose November 15, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Sending prayers for your sweet family!

  • Reply Kristin November 15, 2019 at 7:51 am

    That is definitely too much medical stuff going on. I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Sending prayers and positive energy your way. And definitely indulge yourself in all of the Christmas music and movies and whatever will help you get through this difficult time.

  • Reply Monica November 15, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Thoughts and prayers to the entire Shull family.

  • Reply Mara November 15, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Wishing you peace, strength and love during this time. xo

  • Reply Alison Hughes November 15, 2019 at 7:54 am

    I love ALL the Christmas things- books, movies, family time, give me all of it. The holiday season does get busy and overwhelming at times. I will be praying for you and your sweet, little family. I love reading your blog and feeling like we are friends. Bless you, Mama.

  • Reply Wendy Hicks November 15, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Oh my, you really do have a lot on your plate. 🙏for you and your family and remember God’s got this💕💕

  • Reply Jenna November 15, 2019 at 8:01 am

    My all time favorite Christmas movie is 12 Dates of Christmas. I can’t wait to watch it every year! Closely followed by The Mistletones! Both were on freeform!

  • Reply Brenda November 15, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Thank you for sharing what you are currently experiencing – thinking of and praying for Kensington today and all of you in the days to come as you make your way through these things. And know what? If decorating and spending as much time as you want enjoying this beautiful season brings you comfort during this, or any, holiday season, that’s wonderful. Take care – keeping you in my prayers.

  • Reply Stefany November 15, 2019 at 8:07 am

    I said a prayer for Kensington right now, and praying for your sweet family…during this Season. ❤️

  • Reply Serena November 15, 2019 at 8:10 am

    We’re feeling anxious together BUT we can get through this season. Take a deep breath and just take it one thing/day at a time. I know it’s easier said than done. I also love watching Hallmark Christmas movies and just enjoy the good vibes and sweet stories. Praying for The Shull Family!

  • Reply Kelly November 15, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Oh, Shay! I’m so sorry that you’re having a bit of a tough time. Please know that I’ll be praying for sweet Kensington, Ashby, Madeley, Andrew, YOU…and why not Smith as well?! 🙂 I pray for peace and comfort for all of you during this time, but I already know that God’s got this! None of our worries are news to Him. God’s got this. He is FOR US and not against us. You have always had the right priorities: God, family, friends. He knows how precious all of your babies are to you, and He is already working things out. Please try to not worry; give it over and have peace. Sending so much warmth and love to you today.

  • Reply Julie November 15, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Oh, Shay, I’m so sorry to hear this is a tough time for you and your family. Nothing counts more in life than the health of your family! So I can only imagine how hard it is to have not one, but multiple health concerns. Definitely go easy on yourself! In the grand scheme of things, the kids will remember allll the wonderful and loving memories you created, and not this ONE year where things weren’t done exactly as usual. Just make it easy for yourself, keep it simple!, and focus on time together not perfection. You are such a good mom and that counts way more than keeping to every single tradition! Ups and downs never last in life, right? So, this down will be over before you know it. Sending so many positive vibes to K today and to all of you on your other health journeys. You are always there to brighten your readers day and I hope we can do the same for you. Love from Boston!

  • Reply Emily November 15, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Thinking of you and your family, especially Kensington today.

  • Reply Becky Cowen November 15, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Prayers for you and your sweet family!

  • Reply Lauren November 15, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Prayers for Kensington that all goes well.

  • Reply Beth Valenta November 15, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Prayers for your sweet girl. HE has this!

  • Reply Jamie November 15, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Shay, Praying for you all today and during this season. We are dealing with some very difficult stuff too so you’re not alone. Thinking of sweet Kensington today!

  • Reply Kathie November 15, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Thanks you for your vulnerability. Life is not always simple. Praying for you and your family. God always shows up.

  • Reply Maggie November 15, 2019 at 8:25 am

    God doesn’t keep score. There is no need to run yourselves ragged racing from one tradition to the next. You should just take a breather and relax at home with the family. It won’t be your last Christmas season so sit this one out and maybe you’ll find that it actually turns out to be better than ever. It’s like all those Hallmark movies where the crazy busy people learn that they need to slow down have been training you for this!
    I hope Kensington breezes through today’s procedure.

  • Reply Christine November 15, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Sending you hugs and prayers!

  • Reply Laura November 15, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Sending ALL of you love and prayers! 🙂

  • Reply Beverly November 15, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Thanks Shay for sharing your thoughts today about the holiday season! I am definitely feeling overwhelmed and anxious, but I am just trying to take one day at a time and not let these feelings steal my joy! The time goes so quickly! Prayers for all of your family and for a wonderful holiday season! You are an inspiration! Also, we love Hallmark!

  • Reply Felicia Nguyen November 15, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Praying for a smooth procedure and speedy recovery

  • Reply MelanieL November 15, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Sending my best to all of you! When a season is heavy with stuff it makes it hard to find joy but if anyone can, it’s you. Our strong friends need nurturing too. 🙂

  • Reply Shelby Hennigar November 15, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Prayers of peace over your whole family and that all goes well!

  • Reply DANIELLE K RIGG November 15, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Oh Shay, I am so sorry you are going through all this. It is never a good time but I know how much joy you have for the Christmas Season. Try to focus on the Joy, believe in the power of prayer as we all are praying for you and your family. Much love and blessings. Danielle

  • Reply Alison Martinich November 15, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I was most certainly be lifting you up in prayers during this season!

  • Reply Kelly November 15, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Praying for Kensington and all of the Shull’s who are dealing with medical stuff. That’s hard especially during the holidays.

  • Reply Jordan November 15, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Shay, my heart goes out for your sweet family and I’ll be praying for you. 2019 has been the hardest year of my life. We lost our first child at 22 weeks in April and then I started a stressful new job, which led to severe TMJ that lasted 3+ months. I am pretty private, so very few people outside family knew all that we were battling. Your post today is a good reminder that you just never know what others are going through. Praying for peace for all of you and a GREAT start to 2020! xo

  • Reply Julia November 15, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Prayers to you and your family and everyone’s medical needs right now!

    Loved this post filled with holiday cheer. I’m in Boston right now for work and actually ran into Elin Hilderbrand in Quincy Market while I was getting lunch yesterday! Thought of you right away because you introduced me to the Winter Street series last year and now I’ve read all her books!

  • Reply Debbie November 15, 2019 at 8:54 am

    I hope Kensington’s procedure goes well. It does sound like a lot to deal with. Sometimes we just have to slow down and accept the changes, even embrace them. Our season will be difficult this year as well since we lost both of my parents in the last two months, but God is good! He is helping us through! Prayers for your family!

  • Reply Raquel Whatley November 15, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Peaks and valleys, the Lord is always with you. I pray the Lord will provide you with strength and peace. Take a deep breath and know you are not alone. God bless you..

  • Reply Sheila R Lehmenkuler November 15, 2019 at 9:05 am

    I seem to watch Hallmark movies with my favorite actresses and actors. My very favorite is Christmas Detour, seen it over and over.

  • Reply Katie November 15, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Prayers going up for The Shull Family!

  • Reply Brittany B November 15, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Hi Shay, I’ll be praying for K today and your family’s upcoming schedule and procedures. I don’t know you personally, but I can relate. Sometimes people say that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but I think God definitely allows us to endure more than we can handle so we can rely on HIS strength and not our own. Praying for you guys to lean in and rely on Him to show up in a way that only God can. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
    ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    P.S. I live in Iowa, and there’s been snow already so we definitely have our tree up and the Christmas movies are streaming. It’s never to early to start celebrating Christmas. 🎄

  • Reply Jill November 15, 2019 at 9:19 am

    “Merry and Bright” by Debbie Macomber is literally a Hallmark movie in book form. I thought it was adorable! A few of these book suggestions are new to me, so thank you! I’ll be adding them to my list for December. 🙂

  • Reply Carolyn November 15, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for sharing your health issues. It helps those of us who are going through similar things! Love and prayers for your sweet family!

  • Reply Jeanne Cobianchi November 15, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Sending prayers for all of your family (especially Kensington).

  • Reply Jill November 15, 2019 at 9:31 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Shay! I hope that this holiday season brings you peace and joy in the moments with your precious family.

  • Reply Erica Werner November 15, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Praying for you and your sweet family. XO

  • Reply Rebecca Jo Vincent November 15, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for the list on the Winter books by Hilderbrand. I have 2 of them & couldnt figure out what I was missing or the order of them!!!

  • Reply Sarah R November 15, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Praying for your family now, and thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Reply Spencer Laura Ryan November 15, 2019 at 9:57 am

    In case anyone was crushed when they switched service providers (i.e. YouTube TV) and realized they don’t carry Hallmark channel, I am pleased to report that you can download the “FrndlyTv” app which includes all the Hallmark channels for just $5.99/month!! 🙂

  • Reply Spencer Laura Ryan November 15, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I am also thinking of you and your family during what can be a very stressful time, Shay! That was us earlier this year. Hopefully Christmas books, coffee, and Hallmark movies make things just a little bit easier.

  • Reply Corinne Bosh-Sadowsky November 15, 2019 at 10:01 am

    God bless you and your family. I will keep all of you in my prayers this holiday season and into the new year.

  • Reply Diane November 15, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Check out Pamela Kelley’s Nantucket Inn series—she just published a Christmas one I am saving for winter break! Hugs from this SLP Grandma in Waco 🎄.

  • Reply Keisha Dawson November 15, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Prayers for you and your family as you deal with all of these things through the holidays. This makes my worries of moving in the middle of the holidays seem so minor.

  • Reply Deb Weber November 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Continued prayers are heading your way! He will see you through it!!

  • Reply Kathy November 15, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I hope and pray Kensington’s procedure goes very smoothly, that she recovers quickly, and is feeling great in no time at all!

  • Reply Megan November 15, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Thank you for being honest about things not always being “perfect”! Somehow it helps when we know that we all go through times that are more tough. Sending you and your family much love and many prayers for good health and a happy holiday season. I hope through the “tough” of medical procedures you can “enjoy” the down time as a family and any special moments that come with it 😉

  • Reply Jessie November 15, 2019 at 10:42 am

    That is a lot going on, Shay! Praying for you and your whole beautiful family. ❤️

  • Reply Jenny November 15, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Praying for your sweet family! Thank you for sharing, it hits right at my heart because it’s so similar for us this year. I’m going to dive into all of those Hallmark movies and Christmas books!!

  • Reply Amy D. November 15, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Sending up lots of prayers for you and your family. *hugs* <3

  • Reply Lindsay November 15, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Awww, praying or you and your family! God’s got all of this in his hands!

  • Reply Melanie M. November 15, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Wow! Look at all of the prayer support, so far. And I know there are others praying even if they didn’t write a comment on here! Of course, I am praying for you all, too. I didn’t get a chance to comment on IG when you asked our favorite Hallmark Christmas movie. I really love these 3: Finding Father Christmas, Engaging Father Christmas, and Marrying Father Christmas. I love Erin Krakow.

  • Reply Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World November 15, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Your sweet girl is in my prayers today. I hope everything goes smoothly and that you get the best outcome possible. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re in a rough patch. The beginning of this year was rough for us, but we’ve finally made it through to the other side. I hope you see the other side very soon, too. Much love to you and your sweet family!

  • Reply Katy November 15, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Prayers for your family!

  • Reply Natalie November 15, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Can completely relate. Praying you through

  • Reply Corbie November 15, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Praying for Kensington today and prayers for health over your entire family. Thank you for keeping it real. Life can get a bit overwhelming at times and when it does I think it is really important to be honest about it and ask for prayer. One foot in front of the other and remember to keep lifting your fears, thoughts, emotions to Jesus each time you catch your head spinning!

  • Reply Prudence November 15, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I love the Hallmark Christmas movies. I can watch them repeatedly. There was a great one last weekend that debuted; Picture a Perfect Christmas.

    I am sending prayers of strength, comfort and peace to you and your family. Hoping everything went well with Kensington’s procedure today. 🙏🏻❤️

  • Reply Jenny Suszka November 15, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I will be putting Kensington and your whole family on my prayer list.
    A nice Christmas movie for the whole family and one of my favorites is ‘A Dog named Christmas’. I don’t think it’s on Hallmark.

    • Reply Jen November 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      That is the sequel to my favorite Christmas movie- Christmas with Tucker. It has the same family members. Both movies are awesome!

  • Reply Patty Anderson November 15, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Prayers for all of you and for the various medical teams which you’ll be working with in the days ahead. May you be blessed with comfort and peace this CHRISTmas season.

  • Reply Amanda Balaban November 15, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    He has gone before all of this and will not leave you. He is always good. We are here for you, and pray with you!

  • Reply Michaelann November 15, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Praying for your family, and thankful that we serve a God who can offer you peace through this season!

  • Reply Laurel M November 15, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Thoughts and prayers during this crazy season! Also to anyone who isn’t a big tv person but still enjoys Hallmark holiday movies like myself, you can stream the movies for $5/ month with no commitment, yay! Just cancel when you’re done!

  • Reply Laci November 15, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Lots going on, prayers for the Shull family!

  • Reply Suzie Scherbenske November 15, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    I will be praying for sweet Kensington and all of your precious family. I am so touched by your tenderness, and how well you mother your sweet children. Jesus is holding you all, that I know:)

  • Reply Lara November 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    A very brave thing to share with your blogger fans – thank you for that! 2019 has been a challenging year for our family as well, and we are juggling 22 month old twin boys on top of it all. We have good days, and we have overwhelming days. I take comfort in knowing our family is not alone. HUGS to you all.

  • Reply Laura November 15, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Thinking of you all. Medical issues and testing has always terrified me and it happening during the holidays could feel all around sad. I am also one of those #allthethings people from October through December and I have many traditions. Last year I was 8 months pregnant in December and the weather was generally horrible most weekends so we missed out on a lot. It was tough but here we are one year later and we have a chance to do it all again! Health always comes first 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne November 15, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    We don’t get Hallmark movies here in Australia. Wishing you well with all that you have going on. I can relate. Sending you love.

  • Reply Dana November 15, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I am late getting to read your post today, but am sending prayers your way for all of you!!! You are always so encouraging and an inspiration – I hate to hear that you have so much on you, but I know that God has you in His hands and will take great care of you, and with all the love and prayers we – your followers – will be sending for you – everything will be great!

  • Reply Dana November 15, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Lifting you all up in prayer! 🙏🏼 Thank you for sharing your life with us and even taking the time to round up your fave holiday books and movies! I hope everything goes well for each of you!

  • Reply Eileen November 15, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Life is hard and God is asking a lot from you right now, Shay!! Prayers and positive thoughts and God’s special blessings for you and your sweet family!!

  • Reply Kendra November 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    I have been praying for Kensington all day. What was the procedure for? Also does this mean Ashby is done with her surgeries? I hope your family gets healthy again soon!

  • Reply Lorelei Boyett November 15, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    I’m late to the game, but praying for you all!! I’m going into the holidays knowing that our oldest granddaughter (13) is coming to live with us after Christmas and that brings all sorts of anxiety! I’m 56 my husband 61 and we never imagined taking this on but I guess you do what you need to when it comes to your family. We’re going to need lots of prayers, but I know if God calls us to it He will see us through it. Love to you and yours!!❤️

  • Reply Liz Thorson November 15, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Shay, it’s late in the day, but I am carrying positive thoughts that Kensington is feeling OK and that her procedure was not too scary for her? I’m also thinking positive thoughts for you, Andrew, Madeley, Ashby, and as someone else shared, sweet Smith, too. Gosh, you have a lot to worry about right now. I am so sorry. I am so glad your mom, dad, grandparents brother and sister-in-law and many dear friends are such wonderful, loving people who will certainly be available to help you navigate this trying time. Much love to strong, thoughtful, generous, kind, dear you, Shay.

  • Reply Stacey November 15, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Shay, I am praying for Kensington and the whole family. Best wishes for all of you this season and always.

  • Reply Stacey A. November 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Prayers to your whole family! I love your blog and keeping it real.

  • Reply MaryKate November 15, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Thinking of you and your family. You got this. Stay strong!

  • Reply Susan McKain November 15, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Thinking of all of you and saying prayers.

  • Reply Bev November 16, 2019 at 7:08 am

    So sorry to hear of all that’s going on in your family, that’s a lot all at once! Praying for you now.

  • Reply Faith November 16, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Praying for your whole family!

  • Reply Amanda November 16, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Thinking of you all! I know you only share the positives in your life for the most part so sometimes I need to remind myself that you deal with the tough stuff too. Sending you all love, light and prayers! You’ve got this, mama!

  • Reply Meri Rogers November 16, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Have you watched any of the OWN Christmas movies that are coming out? As a multi racial family, I’m looking forward to seeing the diversity!

  • Reply Jeanie November 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Prayers and best wishes on all the medical issues. All that you’re going through would make anyone anxious. Please keep us posted.

  • Reply Paula B. November 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Not sure if I have ever commented before, but I am a long time follower of your blog. admire your example so much and love to read all about your family adventures! Just adding as so many others have, that I will keep you and all the family in my prayers as you navigate the medical “stuff” and all the holiday hustle and bustle. This is a tough time of year for a lot of us for a variety of reasons so know that you are not alone and that others are in your corner – sending good karma, positive energy and the power of healing prayer.

  • Reply Janet November 16, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Praying for the Shull family in this season of life.

  • Reply Janet November 16, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Praying for the Shull family in this season of life.

  • Reply Sharon November 16, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    I hear you. I got all the Christmas decorations down and think I’m going to put half of them back up. Lights are up and with that last storm, the wreaths fell off the windows. Just lack the energy to coordinate getting them put back on. Just too much going on in our world too. Hope and pray all the medical issues work out. Sometimes I feel like it’s a full time job lugging my crew around to all the doctor appointments! And I only have three kids. So over them and we have healthy children. Can’t imagine if your kid had something major.

  • Reply grace November 17, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Dear Shay,
    Thank you for sharing favorite movies, for really listening to your readers and writing this post and even more so for sharing of yourself on here as vulnerability is so beautiful. Praying for you and your precious family.

    “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
    ― Victor Hugo

  • Reply Megan November 18, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Thinking of you and your family, Shay. We’ve had a tough year health-wise (second diagnosis of breast cancer which led to two surgeries), and one of the hardest parts is not being able to do everything as a family that I’d like to (and that it seems like everyone on social media is doing). Hang in there and know that your kids will enjoy whatever you do and just being together as a family is most important. <3

  • Reply Lauren November 18, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Sending lots of prayers to your family this season <3
    Something to make you smile today – I, like you, am a lover of all Hallmark movies and my husband just sent this to me. I thought you may get a kick out of it! https://www.wcvb.com/article/this-company-will-pay-you-dollar1000-to-watch-hallmark-christmas-movies/29803758

  • Reply Julie November 18, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Praying for you and your sweet family. I hope everything is okay!

  • Reply MAUREEN C WERNER November 18, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Shay, I have always loved your Christmas traditions and looked forward to reading about all the wonderful things you and your family do during the Holidays! I have been so inspired by you and have added so many of your fun ideas to our own family traditions, like Jammie Cocoa Christmas which is definitely one of my kids all time favorites! And I know it is so hard to hit the holidays and not get to do All The Things! We are paring down our own big celebrations this year as I am in the midst of adopting a sibling set of 5 children which will bring our family total to 13 and sometimes you just need to stop and breathe and let the magic of the season lay over you lightly so you can really feel God’s love and light! But just know that we are all out here praying for you and wishing you and your family the best. And I just know that God is preparing wonderful things for you all!

  • Reply Mother of 3 November 19, 2019 at 4:31 am

    We are right there in the same boat with you– my oldest just went under general anesthesia last week to have his wisdom teeth out (all 4 were quite extensive to get out!), I need surgery (most likely in the coming month), my middle son needs some medical x-rays before we can see what (if anything) might need to be done, and we have had 4 family/friends end up in the hospital in the past two weeks– one with a really awful prognosis. To say is has been stressful is an understatement. I too am planning to pair down as much as I can and plan to get things done as early as I can. I might need to rely more on help from others and while our holiday season might not look like it has in the past I know that’s OK and what we need this year.

  • Reply leigh November 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    So, some advice from a now older mama of a teen and college kid. I always love reading about what you do and seeing the pictures and I know your family loves it too. BUT, remember that you’re pretty great at being the mom in the moment at the holidays and that is EXACTLY what they remember. They love all that other stuff, but when they’re older, what they talk about and want is the time with mama and daddy and the family, hanging out, having hot chocolate, watching a Christmas movie together and snuggling up. And this isn’t the “it goes by so fast” lecture that I find it hard not to give now that I don’t have littles. It is literally reassurance that the thing they love is you and Daddy and a house with ANY decorations and being together. Setting the tone for the holiday really is on a mama’s shoulders and it can be a lot, but just try and remember you’re already right on track. Bless all of you!

  • Reply Kim November 20, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I’m a few days late reading this but praying for your family this season. Hope Kensington’s procedure went well and that all of you are okay!

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