The Christmas tree was kind of a big deal when I was going up. We went and got on Thanksgiving or the day after. We strung popcorn (or played with needles and popcorn while my mother labored over yards of stringing popcorn.) It was an ordeal, until it wasn’t. I can’t remember how old I was when my mom scratched the tree made of years of three children creating ornaments for the beautifully color coordinated masterpiece, though I can remember a sadness.
Anyway, the first few years after the storm my wife and I did the big tree thing. It just never really settled in. We tried to do a Thanksgiving evening tree run. It never felt like the time. Then, five years ago we moved into our home. In a matter of months we suddenly had three cats. In a year we had five and a big tree didn’t seem practical. That year we decided to go small. We had a pretty big side table and thought that maybe we could use it for the tree and gifts. We bought a four foot tree and it was perfect. Christmas morning the kids were thrilled with gifts cascading down to fill the space under and around the table. (It really made it look like way more than was there! lol) The next year we were later still to put a tree up and we wanted something simple. I picked up a small, pre-lit pinkish-purple tree and a pack of blue ornaments. The whole thing cost $20 dollars and the girls loved it. (Lou ♥’s favorite color is blue, Mavis, darling!’s favorite color is pink and those also happen to me my wedding colors! Yay!)
This year we are using the tree again, my wife even picked up the perfect star for her topper! I was kind of amazing at how different it was from my childhood. I even commented about it to my wife. Then a few days ago I was on the phone with my sister and we started talking about our Christmas trees and it seems her is almost the same as mine. It’s a white, pre-lit, thin (like mine, but taller) tree with pretty little dark pink, green, turquoise ornaments. It’s lovely, but it is nothing like our childhood trees. How interesting that we both veered, in the same basic direction, so far from home.
To be with my wife, spending time with her and doing things that they kids could do with us like feeding the ducks. The girls are at a strange age, where anything that happens before one in the afternoon will be passed by for more sleep. I get it, growing bodies and all. Truly we are blessed to have tweens who are still a delight to be with, who choose to spend time with us and who, when they are drug out of bed, acclimate quickly and still enjoy themselves. Still, it’s an odd feeling, like we are doing something wrong. lol This weekend my wife and I stepped out twice without the girls. We went to a local bar to see a band her father was playing with. We only went for 28 minutes and we didn’t drink, but it still felt silly to not be spending that time with the kids. (Even at only 28 minutes the smoke managed to make me smell like an ashtray and get sick.)
We also went and stopped at the park to feed the ducks some old bread that the kids have been declining to go feed them. The lack of children allowed us to be quiet and still enough to get the seagulls to eat from our hands.
It felt almost like a glimpse into our older years, when it will be just she and I more and more often. My heart aches a little (a lot) at that thought. My girls are my life. I am blessed beyond blessed, though, that I have married my best friend. I enjoy doing nothing with her, I love being outside with her, I like cleaning house with her… Life is good with her, so I have a lot to look forward to!
Every year it is a goal to give hand made gifts. This year it is actually happening! In the upcoming weeks we will give out over thirty-five gifts all made my my hands or the children’s. The girls even made over twenty “thoughts” to give out this weekend. I was so happy to see their happiness at crafting things for others! I now have really high hopes for next year!
Christmas PJ Party 2014
I have the BEST framily. Seriously, if I ever am sad about my blood family I have to stop and remind myself that in my framily I have more than any one person could deserve. God blessed me.
This Saturday my Gipper invited us to come to her family’s annual PJ Christmas PJ party and the kids were thrilled. It was a blast and the children (the older who are “too cool” and the younger who are “too rambunctious”) all had a fantastic time! Gipper planned a Christmas decor scavenger hunt during which we split the children into teams and took them to look for the decor on the list! lol
We were off to a freaking A+ start and then we hit the snags – gingerbread man and a decorated car! What? We ran back and forth for the better part of our 30 minute time allotment looking for those two things. NO WHERE TO BE FOUND! Then, in the last five minutes as we look into the yard you literally start at a flipping gingerbread man jumps out of the gifts! What? However, it was as we walked back to the meeting point all awash in the failure of finding a decorated car that a car started down the street. My brain was slow to calculate the meaning of the reindeer antlers and then BOOM! Next thing you know I am jumping out asking them to stop for a picture! lol Our most prized findings:
The other team:
After the hunt (which we won, but were polite enough to call a tie) the kids all crafted until they couldn’t stand it! The movie was put on, but only Mavis, darling! actually sat to watch it. Everyone else was visiting and being too loud for the poor kiddo to hear I’m sure!
I’ve talked about them before. Generally bad, moments that leave you completely different. Like a here and there line in the sands of life. Sometimes they are these giant quakes that leave a canyon between the here and the there. Sometimes they are a slow, almost unnoticeable trickle – constant and unremarkable – wearing away until you hear a crack and notice that something fell away. It’s almost as if there doesn’t exist anymore. You are standing on the here and the there has disappeared, worn down and away. Going back is not an option, you can move forward or freeze.
I used to freeze. Close my eyes and live in a land of memories and wishes. I changed. I think it was Katrina. If I am honest I think it was being completely insane in the wake of that, there was so much personal growth and wreckage. The storm tore up the earth while a storm in my heart and mind tore apart who I was. I was a seed that had been tossed too far from soil to have any hope. The hurricane washed everything away, but it also reached that seed. I floated for a while, but when the water left and I settled I settled into a little patch of earth where I could actually grow. It’s been a slow and steady working of the garden since then. I have been through many seasons, lost and gained. Only, on this side of that I was a new person. Now, when the line of here and there is drawn I let the sadness of lost or disappointment be felt and then I look forward. Wishes for the past are wasted, but wishes for the future are full of possibilities.
It’s in the air. My world has been quaking for a while now. There has found definition and I am once again standing at a point of here. It dawned on me this morning. There was this moment that I think the last few days have been building to, and maybe because I actually got some sleep last night I was able to understand my own thoughts. Whatever made this the moment it was like in this one instance I saw things line up and make sense before hurling themselves back out into the universe. (It has the same feeling of understanding that realizing you are dreaming has – a flash and then instantly you are awake, all the snippets of dreams fade seconds from each other.) I supposed I could be angry with myself for not memorizing that moment, making it easier to put back together. Thing is now I know that I have all the pieces for this next part of life, whether that is a month or six or two years… Time to move forward.
I was raised kind of quirky. Constantly being told about the power of my tongue. If I expressed a fear I was told not to talk that way, I was speaking it into existence. Through the years I watched this happen, but it seemed only the bad things I said took root. I don’t know why that is. I don’t believe that so much, though I do believe in the power of your words. Maybe, however, not so directly.
Right now in life I feel so overwhelmed and it just isn’t letting up. I don’t have a car for me and the kids, not a reliable and safe one at least. Without a working and reliable vehicle I can’t book jobs – how would I get there and haul my set up? We are stretched beyond thin. Beyond. Our oldest needs braces. I have three teeth that are falling out bit by bit, making it hard to eat or think or exist. Then, on my birthday I discovered a leak. After as much investigation as we could I am pretty sure it has been here the whole time we lived here, basically covered up by the guy who worked on the house. I am scared of the mold that may be in our walls, of the fact that we can’t possibly afford to fix this now. I am scared that this is what has caused me to be ill for years (I literally got sick months after moving here.)
That list of worries doesn’t even include the fact that it’s Christmas with all that that brings. It doesn’t display all the intricate and private parts of life.
I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel like I am on the verge of crying, all the time. I feel tired. It isn’t any good at all that stress equals pain in my body. Lately, I feel like I am functioning pretty well on the outside, but on the inside it hurts like crazy. My bones throb and my head is constantly stabbing me!
It’s been a really long time since my older sister, younger brother, parents and myself have all been together in our childhood home. If I am correct it was when my Granny died, but I don’t count that because I took a Xanax to get through it. For what that’s worth. It was interesting to say the least, though due to my dreams I think I drug some deep things up.
Did you know I recently had a birthday? You did? You are so smart. My sister is the best gift giver IN THE WORLD and this year she blew me away. (Only down side is there is no way I could do the same, but I did spy a fantastic _______ and if I can figure out where to get _______ I am so getting that for her!
This year she nailed it, once again!