My blogger friend Tia has inspired me to flashback on Fridays (when I remember) and this Friday her flashback inspired mine as well.
Since getting married, my husband and I have established the tradition of getting our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Now that Aaron works on that Friday serving a huge Thanksgiving feast to the homeless community, we've pushed our tree expedition back to Saturday or Sunday dependent on weather, but we like to get our tree as soon as possible so we can enjoy it for as long as we can.
Getting a real tree is a must for both of us. It is what we grew up with, and living where we do, I can't imagine celebrating Christmas without the crisp heady aroma of a real tree scenting the air! Last year was our first Christmas in our new home, and my husband managed to catch the sweetest photos of the kids as we started to decorate the tree.
Also, see how he put all the jingle bells on the end of one branch? That was his decorating style last year. We had four very over-laden branches where he'd chosen to decorate. I left them like that because it was too cute!
Miriam was 21 months and this was the first year she was aware of the hoopla surrounding Christmas. She saw her older brother sniff the tree, so of course she had to as well.
This set of three photos makes my heart swell with love, and maybe with a touch of sadness because already the kids have grown up more since this time last year and have left these stages behind, and I just want to gather those moments up and hide them inside me, where I can keep my kids safe and no one can ever ever hurt them.
Of course, that's not possible, and I wouldn't be where I am today if my mom had done the same to me, after all. So as I look back over this past year, all our ups and downs, all the tears cried (many by me), all the stress, worry, fear, angst over my children (it's been a hard year), and even the laughter too - I realize that my kids will grow up no matter what I do, so I'd better just do the best I can and take lots of pictures along the way.