Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

YAY! :) I love this time of the year. Yesterday we had our first real snowfall of the year and then last night we decorated the Christmas tree.

We tried to decorate the tree on Sunday night, but after getting out the Christmas tree and finding that half of the lights aren't working (it's a pre-lit tree), we decided that we needed a new tree. Every year we get that tree out and fight to get the lights working and this time Shawn fought with it for a while and lost so we decided that it was time to retire it and find a new tree.

So Monday I looked around and found a great replacement and we had a much more sucessful tree decorating experience last night!

Last year when we were packing up the Christmas decorations I commented that the next time we opened the Christmas decoration box Clarissa would be here, so getting that box out of the basement and opening it up last night with Clarissa was really fun for me. Clarissa was on my mind a lot last Christmas, so having her here with us is just making the holidays that much sweeter.

We have a Christmas tradition in our family of buying an ornament each year that signifies something significant that happened that year. Sometimes we buy an ornament from a fun family vacation, we have one that signifies moving into our new house, one from when I was pregnant with Matthew, etc. I always make sure that they have the year on them so that we always remember all the fun events in our family. Shawn and I actually went to a company Christmas party together when we were dating and they gave everyone a dated Christmas tree ornament at that party and that's what started the whole thing. So we have ornaments going back to 1996, the year before we got married.

One of my favorite ornaments is a really cheap, ugly looking metal Christmas tree with 1998 engraved on it. In 1998 we were super poor college students and I managed to scrounge up a few dollars to buy an ornament. I couldn't find a dated ornament cheap enough and then I finally ran across a display at a store that offered engraved ornaments for about $4 or something. I decided that was going to have to work so I picked out a Christmas tree ornament and took it to the employee to have the date engraved on it and he handed me the engraving tool and said that he couldn't engrave them, we needed to do it ourselves! It's truly an ugly ornament, lol.

Over the years our financial situation has changed and I can afford to buy nicer ornaments now, but that ugly Christmas tree ornament from 1998 is still one of my favorites. It reminds me of how far we've come and it brings back really fun memories of the early years of our marriage.

So anyway, it's always a really fun tradition in our family to put the ornaments on the Christmas tree and tell the stories of the ornaments as we put them on. The tree is a reflection of our family's history and as the years go buy it's fun to add to the story.

This year I'm looking for a nice ornament that has Korea on it because I didn't think to look for a Korean Christmas tree ornament while we were there, although I doubt one would have been easy to find. I'm also having one made that signifies Clarissa coming home. Telling the story of those ormanents will always be really fun. This is a Christmas that I don't think we'll ever forget.

After we got the tree up we picked up hamburgers from our favorite burger place and we came back and watched the Phinius and Ferb Christmas special. That show cracks us up. I think that Christmas episode is going to become a yearly classic in our family.

It was a pretty great night at our house. At one point I was sitting on the couch with Clarissa watching Shawn and the boys adjust some of the last ornaments on the tree and I just had a moment where I looked around and just felt an overwhelming feeling of love and appreciation for my family, for Clarissa being home, for Shawn and for my life. It was just one of those truly perfect moments that I never want to forget.

Here are a few photos from last night:

In Clarissa news, she's started pulling up on furniture constantly in the past couple of days. I had seen her do it a few times in the past, but she had to really work hard to do it. Suddenly she's popping up with no problem! The problem is that once she stands up she's afraid to get back down, lol. So she'll pull up on the couch and stand there for a few minutes, all proud of herself for standing up, and then she'll decided that she's done standing and she'll start crying for someone to come sit her back down. Funny kid!

Now that she can stand she's able to reach things that she couldn't reach before and that's been something to adjust to! I left the room for a couple of minutes yesterday to answer the door and when I came back she was shredding a magazine that I had left on the couch.

Her other new thing is talking on the phone. She loves to pretend that she's talking on the phone! She thinks everything is a telephone, especially TV remotes. She'll put it to her ear and start babbling and sometimes she'll hand it to me so that I can talk. It's super cute! The funny thing is that when I actually put the real phone to her ear and there is someone on the other end, she wants nothing to do with it. Shawn calls sometimes during the day and tries to talk to her and she won't put the phone to her ear. She just stares at it and tries to figure out how daddy got into that tiny phone. I love that kid. :)


Christine said...

So sweet! I'm so happy for your family. I know you'll be adding many more family traditions in the years to come. :) Have a Merry Christmas!

My5Blessings said...

Hi Wendy,
I am glad that the transition with Clarissa is going so well. She sounds so totally adorable! Enjoy every minute with her. I love looking back at the different ornaments over the years, especially the ones the kids have made.
I hope you and your family have a Wonderful Christmas together! I can just imagine Clarissa's face to waking up to all of those presents. It will be a fun year!

Prdmum2-4 said...

You've all been on my mind. I miss you from the boards. Merry Christmas to all of you, and Happy New Year. You probably won't get it in time for Christmas, but, here is a perfect ornament for all of you.: