I've been having Christmas light envy.
You know - when you drive around town and see everyone's houses all decorated, lights twinkling across their rooftops, beautifully decorated trees peeking out of window panes when you haven't hung a single strand of lights.
Yeah, I was itching to get at least a strand of lights hung but I've been busy with work and Jason has been training for a little 5K that we're doing this weekend.
But we set out this weekend with my brother and sister in law to find tree #1 (you might remember that we get two trees each year). As a side note - my brother-in-law is Jason's brother -- who has become another coupon cowboy. My sister-in-law Shannon and I are the lucky ladies who have shelves and shelves of hair care products at our disposal. (Sorry I didn't get a picture of Joe and Shannon and my niece Kendra but I swear they were all there with us!)
It's a family tradition for us to go out and cut down our trees every year and this year, Noah got to walk the fields right along with us.
He was fascinated by everything, including this pine branch his Uncle Joe plucked from a tree for him.
He quickly discovered that he liked the way it smelled.
After a while of searching, we found just the tree we were looking for: tall but not too fat. We have a tendency to get really bushy trees that take up our whole living room. We tried to avoid that this year. We kept thinking the tree we found might not be tall enough. If you've ever cut a tree down, you know the feeling of thinking all of the trees look small once you're out in the woods.
But based on how difficult it was for Jason and Joe to get the tree up to the car, we figured it must be bigger than we thought.
It was certainly tall enough. Jason couldn't even reach the top when he was standing on the ladder and we had to put the tree where the skylights are to give it extra room!
We made a big pot of chili (a tradition each year) and got to work decorating. Noah needed a little help at first.
But he quickly caught on, and joined his sister Imani, who is a pro at decorating trees now.
There's something magical about decorating the tree each year. I wish I could hold the feeling in my heart all year long.
But the busyness of life goes on . . . Monday comes and I go to work, doing my very best to work my hardest and my perspective changes -- if only for a work day -- what's important shifts to job, bills, errands.
And only one night after the decorating started and that magical feeling begins to fade, I come home from work and see this.
And I'm reminded of the magic of the season all over again.