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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Given that it's December 1st, I thought it was time to deck the walls here at the 4th Frog. And I'm quite tickled that I was able to do it all by myself. It was mostly a cut and paste job, but I did have to go in and edit the HTML. So a little woot! woot! to moi!

But what's way more amazing than the fact that my blog is looking all holiday-ish is the fact that my house is. And I can't take any credit for that.

I left home at 10am on Saturday morning to take Charlie to basketball practice, ran a few errands, picked him up at practice at noon, ran a few more errands and came home to Christmas central. A not-so-short elf named Annie had been busy for several hours decking the halls -- and the bookshelves and the staircase.

I can't tell you how good it felt to walk in and have all that work done. Just about the only thing she didn't do was put up the Christmas tree. So, when Robbie looked at me and said, for about the 12th time since I carried the $49 bargain Christmas-tree-in-a-box into the house, "NOW can we PLEASE put up the Christmas tree?!," I happily said yes.

There was definitely some apprehension as I took the tree out of the box, hoping it wouldn't look like a $49 tree. It went together easily enough. But it as the branches unfurled, the tree was looking a little Charlie Brown-ish.

Annie was moritifed. "Mom! You bought a Christmas stick! I can see right through to the middle."

As I assured it her it would look fine once we fluffed all the branches and hung all the ornaments, inside I was afraid she was right. But I was determined to make it work. So we all kept fluffing and hanging, waiting for the transformation from Charlie Brown to Martha Stewart.

Hearing the kids recall where certain ornaments came from, seeing them light up upon finding foam-laden, puffy paint-coated ornaments made by their formerly preschool hands gave me that warm, tingly "thank you God for putting me here" feeling.


When it was all said and done, I'm not sure what we got was Martha Stewart, though truthfully I'm not the Martha Stewart type. What we ended up with was the warm, hodge-podgy look I love in a Christmas tree.


Now that the decking is done, I'm hoping we can spend the next weeks of Advent creating more of those "thanks for putting me here" moments, really enjoying the season. Driving around looking at lights, doing a little holiday baking, going to Christmas concert and live nativities, etc.

How about you? Have you decked your halls yet? What do you hope to do before Christmas arrives?


Eternal Lizdom said...

Your post gave me happy tears, Amy! Annie is a special girl! What a wonderful treat and what a special way for her to demonstrate love for her family.

Our house is mostly done. Tree is up and decorated. My office decorations are out.

Next steps? Big family gathering in Chicago next weekend. The weekend after, we plan to ring the Salvation Army kettle bell for IndyMoms and the Radiothon. Then to the State Museum for the Girl Scout sing along and a visit to Santa and countless rides on the little train. I want to do Christmas at the Zoo this year- we've not done that before. And I love going to the Children's Museum at Christmas, too! I also have to find time for holiday baking and planning Teagan's preschool party. Whew! I love the holidays!

Shelley said...

LOVED this post. Loved it! The blog looks great and I am so impressed that you were able to do that coding - it gives me a headache!

Your Annie Elf probably gave you the most special Christmas gift any working mother could ask for.

And your tree is very nice. Not Charlie Brownish at all!

Joanne said...

Your tree is beautiful and I loved how your children know the stories behind all the ornaments. I grew up with a tree that had plain coloured balls - no other ornaments. When I was about 17 I was helping my friend with their tree and like you all the ornaments had a history. My tree has history and I love putting it up each year.

Enjoy the season - love the blog look I have to figure out how to keep my writing space white and do fancier background - next year.

Lisa said...

Look at your pretty tree! And your pretty snowflaked-out site! Our house is mostly decorated thanks to my kids too - and the panic inspired by the notification that I'm hosting the family Christmas this year. (Who knew? Not me, apparently)

Funny side story. Our tree is huge - it came with the house and fill the great room. It takes my husband and stepson to put it together and it touches the top of the 15-foot ceiling. Seriously. None of us are tall enough to decorate to the top so we've decided three-fourths decorating is our new family tradition. I'll send you a picture...

Vicki said...

I love your tree! Must wait for hubby to put the tree up,then I will do my part of the decorating.
Thank you for sharing.

Sharon said...

Beautiful. :) Annie rocks, yet again.

We did our tree the other day, and I finished w/ the ornaments last night. I ALWAYS get emotional when doing the ornaments. I don't think they mean to anyone else in my family what they mean to me, but oh well. Each ornament is a memory. Sounds like it is in your family, too.

So you mentioned baking. What's on your list?

Michelle said...

Hooray for you! Love the frog's new look!
I am 0% decked. Realized I still need to get out the advent book and start it today! Thanks for the reminder! I think we can do it before TBL starts!

Shauna said...

I like your seasonally appropriate blog look! :)

We don't have many halls to deck, or many decorations to deck them with. But I have put a few things up, and we actually bought a tree this year. It's a Christmas stick, for sure, but it's our first tree and I love it. It's all covered in mismatched ornaments, with all the ugliest ones at the bottom because of the cats. The tree skirt is all fluffled up, and the star on top is very crooked. But I think it's perfect.

Carrie said...

It all looks great and I love your tree! We don't traditionally deck the halls until the second weekend of December because my daughter's birthday is on the 4th and I always wanted to make sure that her birthday didn't get lost in the holidays. (Can you tell I'm a January baby who received many Christmas/birthday gifts!) :)

Momza said...

Your tree is sweet and lovely. I have yet to put up ours whatwith the new baby and all...hopefully that'll get done this weekend.
I'm with you...I want a "grateful" Christmas, surely I have so much to be thankful for!
Good Luck with the New Adventure in your life...I know you're going to do fabulous!!