Bah Humbug: A Tale of my Decor Grinch

2c7f1418c3216d1fe8f28ad19ae0a470Oh Christmas. You have brought a tad bit of strife into my life. Maybe it is because of all the pregnancy hormones… maybe it is having a toddler… or maybe it is because I may or may not live with someone who is not very fond of decorating for Christmas. I have my own little decor Grinch.

Apparently decorating for Christmas is not something practical people like to do… or people with small children… or husbands who think there is no point especially since baby children destroy everything.

This is what our three Christmases have looked like with the decor Grinch:

Year 1:

Taylor reasons that because we would be flying home for Christmas (we lived in South Dakota at the time), there was no reason to do any decorating on our beautiful, turn of the century home that was blanketed with snow.

(People of Minnesota… this is a big deal for a Southern California girl… we do not have beautiful old houses, and if we want to see snow we take a day trip to the mountains.)

Taylor did not budge. He had zero desire to decorate when we would be gone for a week. Heaven forbid we enjoy decorations during the weeks leading up to Christmas, but I digress. I was in my first trimester and morning sickness clouded my judgment so alas… we did not decorate anything.

Year 2:

This is the  Christmas that traumatized Taylor. I was bound and determined to give my five month old the best first Christmas ever. This meant we were decorating. We now lived in California so instead of a beautiful turn of the century yellow house with a red door, we had a third floor apartment to spruce up. I didn’t care. Once again, Tay and I went back and forth over whether or not to get a Christmas tree.

This time I won.

I had it all planned out. We would all get dressed up. We would meet at the Christmas tree farm after Taylor got off of work. We would take pictures with our adorable baby. Picking out a Christmas tree is about the experience you know. We would be the perfect, happy, Christmas card, Norman Rockwell  family.

… And I would love to tell you that is what happened, but alas, my dream did not come true.

The day we were to get the tree was a very hectic day. I don’t remember why, but I know I was stressed and for some reason that was the only day we could get a tree. There was also terrible traffic. But it was going to be ok… I was going to meet my husband at that Christmas tree farm, and we were going to have a grand time.

While sitting in terrible traffic, late to our date at the Christmas tree farm, I get a call.

“I picked out a tree. Traffic is terrible so I am just going to load it up on the car.”

Dream. Crushed.

I just replied “Ok” and headed for home. I reasoned the entire drive back to the apartment.

“I am not going to get upset. Our baby is small so he wouldn’t remember anyways. At least we got a tree… it is a step in the right direction.”

What seemed like forever later I heard our front door open. In walks a disheveled Taylor pulling a Christmas tree. Apparently getting a tree on top of a Camry and then getting it up three flights of stairs is no easy task.

He then tries to put up the tree, but the pedestal the tree goes in is not holding the tree. Our poor tree keeps falling over, and Taylor is getting more and more frustrated. Finally, over an hour later, we are able to begin decorating our first tree with all our personal ornaments from childhood and our first years of marriage.

I am in heaven looking at our beautiful tree. I do not even mind cleaning up all the needle mess it leaves behind. I just know that even though Holden cannot talk… or crawl for that matter… my child is in awe of our beautiful tree. We head to bed.

Boom.

Three am and it seems our tree has decided to commit suicide. Apparently we did not figure out how to get the pedestal to work. Thankfully, only two of our ornaments were broken in the tragedy.

I think Taylor is starting to get a nervous twitch as he surveys the mess. I just pick up the tree and lean it against the wall and leave it at that.

Year 3:

The Christmas tree argument is back on in full swing.

Taylor refuses to ever get a real tree again. He declares last year was his nightmare.

I am in my third trimester, and we have an active toddler who loves to destroy. Maybe I should just give up on decor. What is the point when my husband does not seem to care, and my little one is too young to notice? I thought I was at peace with this decision until… Target.

Tay hates Target. He hates it with a passion. He hates that we go in there for one thing, but then I drag him around the entire store just to look at other things he has no desire to buy. All in all… Taylor hates shopping, and Target is his personal hell. So we are both in splendid moods since I just want him to be merry and browse, and this is the last thing he wants to do with his free time.  While shopping, we happen upon the Christmas tree and decor aisle. I look at all the decorations and the tree and try to squelch my desire to decorate. Then I hear Mr. Decor Grinch:

“We are not getting a tree. We are not decorating. There is no point in being in this aisle. Let’s get what we came for and go home.”

I broke. Like a toddler who is trying their best not to throw a tantrum over not being able to get their favorite toy, I bite my lower lip, say “FINE”, and head for the check out stand. People, with the amount of hormones and moodiness in this pregnant body, it was not long before I was full on crying. As an adult. In Target. Because I was not getting what I wanted. I actually had to excuse myself and go to the restroom while Taylor paid.

When we got in the car, Taylor turned to his highly emotional wife, and asks the question I had been wanting to hear,

“Do you want a tree? I will go back there and get you a tree if you want one. ”

“Yes. Yes I want a tree.”

So my friends, I got my tree. It is fake, but it is beautiful. I will have my tree every year from now on, and Tay promises to feign happiness over our decor… to the best of his ability.

Moral of the story: Even as an adult, crying gets you what you want at Christmas. Just kidding. Sort of.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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Everyday Fairytale

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Hey there.

It has been awhile I know. There is so much to catch up on, but I am back.

Currently I am 26 weeks pregnant and about to hit my 3rd wedding anniversary.

THIRD.

Wow time has gone by so fast.

I was contemplating this the other day. How much life has changed… how much I have changed… how much Tay has changed… how much marriage has changed.

And how much has remained unchanged.

We are about to hit year three, and I have one thing to say about marriage: It just keeps getting better.

Granted many times the most romantic gestures of the day look pretty mundane to the unseeing eye, but I notice. I appreciate. My fairytale may not look like the ones in a story book, but it is still my fairytale. Taylor is still my Prince Charming.

For example:

I am giving Holden a bath in the royal chamber. I am not fully paying attention to my child in the bath because let’s be real… His love of water toys and his man parts are giving me plenty of much needed silence. I relish in the freedom I get at bath time. I am going to sit here next to the little Prince’s tub and try and read a book on the Kindle.

Foolish Mother.what-its-like-all-day

Who would have guessed what would come next? Not I.

I hear a giggle… I look up… and gaze into the tub of my beloved son.

But wait… Hold the phone… What is that in the tub?

On his hands?

IN HIS MOUTH!?

No. I refuse to accept this as my reality.

Can we go back to the land of literature and peace?

Because there… in all his glory… is my beautiful little boy… playing in his own feces.

He had relieved himself in the tub and decided his excrement could be used as play dough… or mashed potatoes.

Oh the horror.

I don’t even know what to do. I just yell for Taylor that I need help.

At the sound of my horror and yells, Taylor runs in. My knight in shining armor has arrived. In the midst of the terror, I, his one true love, gaze upon my rescuer’s face and say tenderly, ” Your son is not only playing in his own poop. He is eating it. It’s everywhere. Please, please take care of this.”

I then whisk myself from the room, while my gallant husband slays the brown mess of the blue eyed monster.

And in this moment I love him a little more.

I remember someone telling me once that when you have a baby, the love you have for your baby defies all comprehension. I would have to say I disagree. I can comprehend and grasp the love I have for my children. It makes sense to me. They are a part of me. I am responsible for them. I carried them inside me. I nursed them. The bond between mother and child makes sense to me. What I cannot comprehend is the love I have for Taylor. It is so full and consuming. How is it possibly to love a person so deeply? We are not related by blood. He is not my child. He was raised in a different home. We are separate, unique individuals, but he is a part of me. I know this sounds so cheesy, but I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I firmly believe that you don’t marry your soulmate. Your soulmate is the person you marry. There is a depth of love within a marriage that only grows with time.

True love grows with the little things… a day at a time.

I believe love isn’t in the big romantic gestures. (Although hey I will take those too!)

To me love is:

It is never having to fill up the water in my Keurig because he always notices when it’s getting low and wants to make sure I can get my coffee ASAP in the morning.

It is opening my car door and rarely seeing it messy because he routinely cleans it out and details it for me.

It is never having to worry about my gas tank being full because he always fills it.

It is saying my feet hurt and hours later when we are alone on the couch he starts to rub my feet.

It is going to bed with dirty dishes and waking up to clean dishes and laundry going.

It is overhearing him tell people my job as a stay at home mom is much harder than his.

It is the absence of any complaint, grumble, or harsh word.

It is in his silence as he listens to every word.. and randomly repeats things back to me.

It is in the matter of fact way he says things… not realizing he just said something sweet.. like being asked in a game what he would do if he found 100 dollars… he would spend it on me.

It is in nighttime prayers with our son.

It is in our own prayers.

It is in the nighttime laughs and daytime winks.

It is seeing how much my family adores him or hearing my sisters say they want a husband just like him.

It is my Taylor.

Steady.. unselfish.. unchanging.. constant.

Were these the words I would have used as a young girl to describe a great romance? No. Probably not. But they are the words and the attributes I so cherish now.

All this love… all this kindness… wrapped up in this big man who doesn’t talk much, but shows me everyday what it means to love someone with all his heart.

And in turn I do my best to deserve him.

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