Saturday, December 3, 2011

Decorating the Tree

Today is one of my favorite days of the year.... not the date itself but, the day.  Today, we decorated our tree and took a trip down memory lane!  I love it!!!  This year the trip was a bit sad but I'll talk more about that later.  Some people have themed trees with ornaments that are all the same idea that they have gone out and purchased (probably at one time).  Our tree is a mish mash of ornaments but most of them have a special meaning to them.  Every year everyone gets an ornament that symbolizes that year which is why putting up our tree takes us on an adventure down memory lane!
The tradition starts with daddy stringing the lights on the tree. (I also decided to dress the kids in their Christmas outfits so they would be cute in pictures.... an so we would get a lot of use out of these outfits!!! : )  This will also become part of the tradition.)  The second part of the tradition, before hanging the ornaments, is that we count to 3 and then daddy plugs the lights in!!!
And once the lights are plugged in, we all sit back in awe of the beauty of the tree!!!!
 We put on Christmas music, cheered the holiday season, and let the decorating begin!
The kids each take turns hanging one of their ornaments before the madness of hanging begins!
Both Owen and Addyson choose to hang their Razorback ornaments from last year!!!  A great way to kick off this tradition!  I had so much fun watching their little hands try to hang their ornaments on a tree branch.  I couldn't find my hooks this year so they had to open the strings (some smaller than others) and then feed the branch through the string which made some ornaments easier to hang than others.
As we choose an ornament to hang, we talk about whose ornament that is and why they got that ornament (1st Christmas, big brother, etc.).  Addyson found the first of several Yorkie ornaments.... it was a Yorkie in a sled.  She picked it up and snuggled it and said she found Skippy.  It broke my heart.... which leads to why the trip down memory lane was sad this year.  It is our first Christmas without any dog.... I can't believe we lost BOTH Sam AND Skip this year.
It was so sweet to watch her tenderly hang Skippy on the tree...
and as I look at this ornament and the other Yorkie ornaments I am overwhelmed with sadness but, I am trying to remember all of the good times.... I also found Sammy's stocking that I bought when it was just he and I......I'm trying to decide what I will do with that stocking this year.
Once Skippy was hung on the tree, both kids came to admire him on the tree.
As the kids hung the ornaments, the bottom branches got really full and really heavy so they started to sag a bit.  I would see 2 to 3 ornaments on one branch.  As I moved some, the branches would quickly fill back up or the ornaments I have moved would get moved back to their original branch.
So we talked the kids into letting us help them hang some of the ornaments up higher.
Here is a fun trip down memory lane, this group of ornaments has one from almost every year Brad and I have been together!  The camo snowman is from when Brad was in Iraq.  The heart is from the year we got married!  The chickens is from the year we were pregnant with Owen.  Pooh Bear is from the year Owen was born and the bottle is from the year Addyson was born!!!!  The other fun thing about remembering these events is remembering who gave us certain ornaments and thinking of how they were helping us celebrate those special milestones!
And finally, our tree was decorated and our beautiful kids were very excited to see the tree all finished!!!  They also knew that meant that we got to go visit Santa next!!!  Owen was super excited!!!

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