Monday, December 01, 2014

It's That Time!

I've secretly been listening to Christmas music for several weeks while Jake has been at work.  I've always prided myself on waiting until after Thanksgiving.  This year, I just couldn't wait.  Maybe it's the new life in my belly, or the new house, or the wide-eyed kindergartener who is so full of wonder.

No matter - there was no waiting, this year!

The day after Thanksgiving, we bundled up and headed out to cut down our Christmas tree.  Possibly my favorite tradition of the whole year.

It was cold.  Dang cold.  But it's Wisconsin, after all.  So we've just learned to suck it up and deal with it.

We saw a tree we liked almost right away, but had to walk around for 45 minutes to make sure there wasn't something better.

There wasn't.

It was cold.  My body wasn't prepared for all this walking in boots and snow and snow pants.  Carter's mittens were wet from dragging them in the snow.

This special tradition was turning into a crapstorm.

We went back to the first tree we saw, and guess what we did?!  We cut it down.  Forty five minutes of senseless walking in the cold.  But, memories!  And, traditions!  At this point, we didn't really care.

"Let's just get the heck out of here. Mmmkay?"

So, Jake got down on the snowy ground and started sawing.  And sawing.  And sawing.  Nothing was happening.

More sawing.  Some tree-pushing.  More sawing.  And then - 'snap'.

Our saw broke.  Thankfully the family nearby had a saws-all.  It saws-all.  Saws-all to the rescue.

We finally got the tree loaded on to the top of the car.  (You know, the one we could have cut down after five minutes of looking around).  We tied it down good and tight.  Off we went, home! 

And then, a mile down the road, we realized it wasn't really tied down all that tight.  It was sliding off our car.  We tried to laugh, but it was hard.  So we pulled over, and tried to fix it.

Carter is yelling from the back "Nooo! No! Home! Carter's house!".  He didn't like that we were stopped - he didn't care that the tree was slipping and sliding and would soon be in the middle of the road.  

We got it fixed, only to stop again a mile or two later.  Eventually we made it home, and just as we pulled into the driveway - laughter.  It's okay.  It's just - life.  Life is messy and funny and sometimes hard.  

But we're learning.  Actually, I suspect we'll spend our whole lives learning.  


That night, as the tree defrosted and dripped off in the garage, we did the only thing you really can do after such a messy day.

We ate chips.  And salsa.  And lots of rice.  And fajitas.  And drank coke (or chocolate milk, if you're in kindergarten). 

And we laughed.  We laughed so much.  


The tree is up, and even though the cutting down part was messy - the putting up part was perfect.  

Our sweet boy was mystified by the lights and was so eager to help.  After he went to bed for the night, Jake and I pulled out all the ornaments and got to work.

We cried a little bit.  Because some ornaments can't be unwrapped without shedding a few tears.

Like this one.

Confused? Click HERE. 
And some remind us of people who aren't here anymore, and maybe we are still learning lessons from those people.

Others remind us of pets who aren't here any more, and maybe their floppy lips and perky ears left great big holes in our hearts.

A few ornaments fill us up with all good feelings and each time we look at them we can't help but rejoice and be thankful.

So it's Christmas.  And this is where we are.  Remembering, rejoicing, and learning.

Always learning.

Merry Christmas, friend.

One Thing I Know For Sure: It's the most wonderful time of the year :)

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