Sunday, November 18, 2012


chad's mom has been here from iowa all week.  she's not one for pictures, that one.  and although life could not stop, unfortunately, when she got here...we did have 2 different mornings that we just huddled in the living room, lit only by the sweet sun streaming in through the windows and the twinkly lights on the fireplace mantle.  we sipped hot chocolate and ate coffee cake and watched recorded hallmark christmas movies.  and for a second had slowed to a pace that i welcomed.
for one night this week, chase was the man of the hour.  we were all there for him.  and that boy played an 80's rocker like nobody's business!

yesterday morning, i proclaimed that it was outside light day.  and...just like every year...i expected a chorus of "yippees" and "this is the funnest day ever" and instead...just like every year...i got a hum-drum response of "i hate fluffing garland" and "it's not even thanksgiving."
i don't know how this continues to surprise and disappoint me every year...but i just don't get it.
when i was little (and "little" continued right up until my senior year of college)...putting the outdoor christmas lights up was my most favorite thing to do.  my freshman year of college, when i was away at TCU, i made sure that my dad and brother were going to wait for me to get home for christmas break to put the lights up.  every time we would talk on the phone, i would ask, "now...y'all are gonna wait for me, right???"  and they did.  every year, when UK and i were little, we would sit down with pencil and paper and draw "blue prints" for the plan.  and every dad would always do the same thing: the big, colored bulbs across the porch, and white twinkly lights in the bushes.  at one point...we talked him into draping the white lights down the walk way and around the yard.  but that was where he drew the line.  and it didn't matter how elaborate our blue print was or how desperately we begged...the lampoon's christmas vacation house was never gonna happen.  now i understand the whole electrical outlet limitation...but back then...magic was always possible.
i know i've probably told that story before...but that's the beauty of having your own blog.  i can tell a story as many times as i want to.  because it's my story to tell.

but times have changed.  and the magical moments of childhood have transformed over the years.  now...meticulously untangling a ball of lights and wiggling every last bulb to try to salvage a half lit strand isn't as magical as it once was.
or maybe it never was.  maybe i just had the ability to find the magic in the mundane...even way back then.

after much complaining about lights...i decided that it was time to bring out the big guns...for the first time in 18 years.
back then, my dad would let me wear his red, LL bean, flannel shirt.  i called it the christmas shirt.  and it became my light hanging uniform.  it swallowed me, of course...but it was part of the magic.  and i wore it with pride.
yesterday morning...i walked into my closet, flipped on the light, and sifted through my clothes, hanging neatly in my closet.  i have a problem giving away "memory" clothes.  i still have the outfit that i was wearing when chad proposed.  and there it hung.  right next to the first plaid polo i ever got.  i took off my t-shirt and slid the soft flannel over my shoulders...feeling the memories engulf me like the shirt did.  i buttoned each button and thought, "this is exactly what the doctor ordered.  the kids need to know about my uniform."
i walked out and they just sort of looked at me like..."what the heck are you wearing..."
but it didn't take long for the story to start spilling out like all good stories do.
and they listened.

they still didn't leave their video games for too long...

but they appreciated how important this was to me.

and the magic was lit once again.

let it be said that the deer has always been my very favorite animal.  in a small way...i like that you can find them now.  on clothes, on pillows...even on welcome mats. takes a little bit of the originality away.  if you know what i mean.

today, the elves arrived.

they were waiting for the kids when we got home from lunch and a target run...where we didn't get out of there without breaking not one...but TWO christmas ornaments and leaving one american girl doll in the wrapping paper and bow isle.  (thank goodness there are honest people left in this world and she was safely turned into customer service.)

we had some happy kids on return.  two of them even cried real tears of joy at the sight of those long, lost friends from the north pole.
and let the wrapping commence.  this little idea was found on, none other than, pinterest.  i'm convinced it's gonna take wrapping to a cosmic level of enjoyment.

it's a magical time, folks.  a magical time, indeed.

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