The Gisellus at LHHS Senior Night

Think you’re busy?

Sign up for our newsletter!

* indicates required

Jeanne-Marie Gisellu is a working mom who also pitches in occasionally at husband Salvatore’s restaurant, Urban Crust. It’s a big year in the Gisellu household, with son, Matteo, now a sophomore on the Wildcat soccer team, and Luca, a senior football captain and Wrangler, applying to colleges.

And there’s this: the Gisellu home on Moss Meadows is on the Lake Highlands Women’s League home tour.

Though the Holiday in the Highlands fundraiser is just 3 weeks away and an anticipated 1700 visitors will soon be roaming her house, Jeanne-Marie is amazingly zen.

“It’s like having company come,” she says. “I’m going through old photos and touching up paint – minimal stuff.”

Outside, contractors are redoing her landscaping, replacing irrigation and repouring the front sidewalk. Jeanne-Marie, who enjoys hosting her sons and their friends, admits having projects going and workmen around creates a little extra chaos.

“Luca’s homecoming mum exchange was at our house, and we had rebar and wood stacked out front. Matteo’s group had dinner here, too, and the kids just stepped over it. Everyone has been so understanding. This is my neighborhood and these are my people.”

Asked if she should have chosen another year – perhaps next year when Luca is away at college – Jeanne-Marie doesn’t hesitate.

“I’m happy we’re doing it this year,” she says. “I want Luca to see it and be a part of it.”

Some friends, Jeanne-Marie admits, wonder if she’s crazy.

“When our home was first announced, everyone said how appreciative they were and what a wonderful thing we were doing, and I wondered, ‘Am I missing something?’ Honestly, our lives are always busy. This is not inconvenient. We’ll just polish the windows and get the Christmas decorations out. We are super honored to do it.”

Lauren Jones, whose home was on the 2008 tour, can imagine life at the Gisellu house. Her oldest son, Austin, was a graduating senior and a member of the football and Wrangler teams the year her Church Circle home was on display.

“That was the year we went deep into the playoffs,” recalls Lauren. “We were going strong and played the day after Thanksgiving. We were busy, but I remember it was really fun and really exciting.”

The 2008 team had a boost when Tony Romo and Will Smith visited for a playoff pep rally. The celebrities spoke personally to members of the team before busting into the gym to address astounded students.

Luca thinks this, too, could be a good year for the Wildcats. His team made playoffs likely when they defeated Pearce 42-28 last week, and beating back-of-the-pack W.T. White in the final game of the regular season this Friday could secure their spot and leave the Cats confident and ready for post-season play. LHHS is currently 4th in their 6A district behind Coppell, Jesuit and Skyline.

“If we put together excellent games, we can make our mark in the playoffs,” says Luca. “If we keep a focus every week and perform at the level our coaches expect from us, we will make progress. I know the team is ready for anything, as long as we keep a progressive and determined mindset, we will play fast, physical and smart football.”

If you’d like to see the Gisellu home, you can purchase tickets from any LHWL member or on the LHWL website here. David Weekley will also have a one of his Lake Highlands Town Center model homes on the tour. You may also buy tickets to the delicious luncheon, planned and prepared by LHWL members.

Holiday in the Highlands is held Friday, Dec. 1. Tour hours are 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and tickets are $20. The luncheon is from 11 to 1:30 at Highland Oaks Church of Christ, 10805 Walnut Hill near Plano Road, and tickets are $15. Admission to the LHWL bazaar is free, and it’s open Thursday, Nov. 30 1-3 p.m. and tour day 9-3.

You can read about another family with a home on this year’s tour, the Woodalls, online here or in our November magazine.