the one with the christmas tree, 2014 edition

We got back into town, came home to eat frozen pizzas (don't judge, we had been out of town a while) and then headed back to the car to go pick out a Christmas tree. I've seen photos online of people who aren't Floridians who actually go and chop down their own trees. I forget that option exists. For me, I see the tree lot tent go up on the corner near our house and get all excited because the trees are here! And what is more Christmas-y than walking through a lot of pre-cut trees trying to pick the perfect one? (Non-Floridians, don't answer that.)

Ethan was really excited about the tree this year. He spent an ungodly amount of time walking the lot, trying to make the most careful choice. We ended up finding a really great tree. We walked in the door with the tree and Ethan was elbow deep in the boxes of ornaments, making his plans for decoration and set-up.

(Also, yes, that is my laundry pile sitting proudly atop my couch. I can own it.)

Back before we had kids, my husband and I were so diligent about collecting ornaments. Okay. Wait. I was diligent about collecting ornaments. My husband really couldn't have cared less. I was all about ordering the most fragile, beautiful custom ornaments to represent our year or the events that took place that year. I kept this up through Ethan's first Christmas until I realized that, you know, kids break things.

That, and four thousand tons of salt dough on your tree looks way better anyway.

Of course, my top favorite part of tree decorating with a toddler is the cluster of plastic unbreakable ornaments that he has hung across the lower half of the tree. Breakables on top, plastic on the bottom.

This holiday season is the exact opposite of how I imagined it would be. There's a nursery all locked up just down the hallway. There's someone missing from the festivities. Things are both the same as they were last year and, yet, couldn't be more different. I'm learning to take a deep breath and throw myself into the magic of the season with Ethan. His happiness is contagious and I'm glad to share his joy.


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