Wednesday, December 11, 2013

trees & memories

November of 2012, I attempted to do a thankful post every day.  November of 2013 saw but one post.  It wasn't because I wasn't thankful.  I am thankful for a whole lot.  I found myself in a very introspective frame of mind with little motivation to put it to words.  We did make a trip to SC to visit Kearsten for Thanksgiving.  It was a short, but much needed, trip to hug my girl.
At any rate, have I ever mentioned that I truly enjoy decorating for Christmas?  It makes me feel like we are getting the house ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday in a way we don't fancy it up any other time of the year.  Before we left for SC, I got everything done except for the live tree we always go out & get together at the tree farm.  This last weekend's weather threw us a curve ball.  It was awfully cold for the littler people in our household, so for the first time in as many years as I can remember, we did not go with all the kids in tow.  Kam & Kade stayed home with the little ones & Kyler offered to go along.
Honestly, I got all blubbery at the tree farm.  It felt funny, I have already been struggling with the changes that have taken place this last year (read: 2 have flown the nest & I don't like it), & I have just been overly emotional anyway.  Since it was so cold, we opted to pick a pre-cut tree instead of taking the wagon out to the field.  We decided to tell Kyler it was his pick.  He picked what looked to be a pretty good-sized tree (ok, he has his mother's affinity for the wide trees!), so we had it wrapped in the netting & headed out to the van.  This is where the whole day turned around for me.
The tree was wayyyy bigger than we thought, & there was no way it was sliding in through the back to rest on top of the seats like we planned.  After some time, we came up with the ridiculous brilliant idea to put the tree in through the sliding door on the side & let it hang out for the ride home.  Total genious!  Kyler & I sat on the 2nd bench to hold onto the tree so it didn't jump ship on the busy road home.  Kyler was sure we would be remembering the year he lost a tree on Rt 42, but we made it! Our hands & faces were frozen (it was windy & snowing the whole way home), but I was laughing so hard that my tears were no longer sad ones!  New, crazy memories are okay. :o)
Is that not an ridiculously obnoxious sight!? 
Even more obnoxious is the amount of space it takes up in our living room, & I LOVE IT!
The kids enjoyed decorating, but the lower branches became a bit heavy.
We have 2 other trees on the main floor of the house.  This next one is in the kitchen.  It is so special to me because I decorate it with copper-colored cookie cutters & jello molds that my grandmother gave me many years ago. 
And this tree is & always will be my most favorite.  People often ask me for parenting advice, which I always feel ill-equipped to give, but here's something I strongly suggest:  Save those sweet ornaments your children make in Sunday School & school (or wherever).  They are treasures, & I enjoy unwrapping them every.single.Christmas.  Some of them are now 20 years old.  The kids even enjoy looking at them.
Through the love of family, traditions, making new memories, heirlooms given in love, & carefully crafted treasures made with love by the hands of my children, I am reminded of God's love & most precious gift of His Son at Christmas.

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