Friday, November 30, 2012

Trimming the Tree

Growing up, a real tree was a must. The year we moved to Puerto Rico, my parents bought one of those silver tinsel trees which was better than nothing, but was no substitute for the real thing. It was straight out a Charlie Brown Christmas. Not the tree that Charlie Brown picked out, but one of those gaudy ones that the rest of the gang wanted him to get. 

In our house, my mom or dad would turn on the Christmas tree lights in the morning. It was so wonderful walking into the living room, half asleep, the lights twinkling in the early morning. It made getting up for school those last few weeks before Christmas vacation very easy to do. I would hurriedly get dressed and eat breakfast so I could spend some time, draping tinsel carefully over the green branches. Such wonderful memories. They always come back to me at the start of the Christmas season. 

I hope we always can get a real tree because the fragrance of the pine makes it so special.  I love how it fills the hallway as I make way downstairs. Even now I still turn on the lights in the morning. The lights in the morning are almost more magical to me than the lights at night. 

For many years, we would buy a tree that was still bound with twine because it was easier to get home and into the tree stand. There was that moment when we would unwind the twine, not sure if the tree would be lopsided or barren on one side. Somehow we always got lucky.

This year, we got the tree a little earlier than normal. We usually get it the first weekend of December, but one of Brie's friend's dad offered to help us get the tree. I could have cried. Brie and Sierra spent quickly got the lights up and Brie spent some time today adding bulbs and ornaments. 

I wasn't really sure how I was going to get the house decorated and somehow it's coming together. 

It's going to be a good Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finding Joy

I love the Christmas season. I love almost everything about it...

The colors whether they be red and white, blue and silver, gold and green,

The lights, inside the house and outside,


The fragrance of the tree, fireplaces, apple cider and baked goods fresh out of the oven,

Baking cookies, a different kind every week,

Giving of gifts,

The excitement in the air

Christmas carols,

Christmas eve service,

The birth of a Savior.

I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it this year. But thanks to Brie and her friends, the house is almost all decorated and the tree is up. I'm finding joy that I didn't expect.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's a Long Story

It's amazing how quickly life can turn around and how long it can take to get it right again. Not too long ago, I was asked to share what was the best thing that happened in 2012. My answer easily was June. Brie graduated, Aurora was born and we went to Italy where I felt the need to pinch myself on a daily basis. 

By the end of July, it was as if June had never happened. August slipped into September, September into October, October into November. I felt helpless. At times, even hopeless. Those were my low points. 

After months of just feeling like I was hanging on, for the past few days, I have finally been feeling like my old self. Today, I felt hungry. I mean really hungry. Hungry for food. Hungry for life. 

And I've finally been taking pictures again. I mean, really taking pictures. Excited about the light. Excited about the things I see. I even managed to get down on the ground today and take a picture. I even managed to get back up. Just a few of the photos I took over the past two days.