It used to be that I REFUSED to put up my tree or ANY kind of Christmas decoration until the day after Thanksgiving. Actually, it was ON Thanksgiving.
After I’d eaten (and then napped), on went the Christmas music, out came the decorations, and down went the Frothy Eggnog. (Yes, I said Frothy. It’s eggnog, rum and ice all mixed in a blender.)
I’d start with the Christmas village, and then moved forward with the rest of the decorations. I’ve ALWAYS had an obsession with Christmas villages. I LOVE them!
I love to sit and look down at them and imagine all the goings-on that are happening in the tiny little town.
Children giggling in bed until all hours. Peeking down the stairs when they hear the floors creak. Waking up before the sun to beg mom and dad to let them check out their stockings and open presents.
About 10 years ago or so, I found little ceramic houses. I bought one thinking it would be good to help pass the time and little did I know that 10 years later I would still be collecting them and painting them one-by-one.
One painstaking, detail-oriented, OCD-in-full-effect house at a time. Here’s a sneak-peek at a few of them!
They all start out like this!
And then I add the details!
And then I add glitter for snooooow!
I think of those little houses like us. Blank as can be, and then God fills in all the tiny little details – right down to the number of hairs on our head.
I found that when I got out on my own, my traditions changed.
My husband and I started our own traditions 7 years ago – it all started with a tree. And it hasn’t changed since. (It almost ended with a tree too, but that’s a WHOLE other story!)
The holidays have been kind of rough the last couple years. I’ve always looked forward to the holidays with children. While it’s not at all impossible for adults to enjoy Christmas without kids (side note: people who think it is are on my list of people I don’t want to hear comments from. ever.) I had just always dreamed about wrapping presents and filling stockings for our kids. I had even hoped I would be able to do a creative, fun pregnancy announcement for the holidays! But the last couple years, I haven’t much wanted to participate.
This year… this year is different. There’s a new sense of cautious optimism. A tentative joy. A watchful hope.
J and I have been ensconced in the process of adoption… mountains of paperwork and doctor’s appointments and reference letters and background checks. It’s seriously a LOT of work!
Part of all the paperwork are a LARGE list of questions that J and I have to answer separately. Questions about the other. Questions about ourselves.
Me being COMPLETELY OCD couldn’t just leave the answers in our own handwriting – noooooooo. I had to type them up and then highlight my name in pink and his in blue for our respective answers. (DON’T JUDGE.)
I answered my questions on my own and had J do the same. As I was reading through his answers and typing them out – through tears – I realized something.
INFERTILITY SUCKS. But if it weren’t for this trial, and for the amazing blessing we are preparing to receive, we would probably have never asked each other a lot of the questions.
- Describe your personality
- Describe your spouse’s personality
- What’s your biggest strength/weakness?
- What’s your spouse’s biggest strength/weakness?
- What makes your marriage strong?
- Describe your happiest/worst childhood memory
How many of you can tell me what your spouse’s favorite childhood memory is?
It sure does wake something up inside of you when you hear your biggest strength and weakness in someone else’s voice. And it certainly does something to your self-esteem when you see yourself through someone else’s eyes.
I try SO HARD to be grateful for every situation we face. Some days I fail. Other days I fail MISERABLY. Other days, I can almost feel the silver lining. But I am SO GRATEFUL that I was able to learn those things!!
This year, as I was decorating our tree, the song “My Grown-Up Christmas List” sang by Michael Bublé came on. And as he sang about wishing for no more lives torn apart, no war, time healing all hearts, everyone having a friend and love never ending, I wanted to write my own lyrics to the song, but my rhyming skills are SERIOUSLY lacking.
As I’ve grown older, my list has gotten smaller. I’d like to say that the things I want can’t be bought, but as we all in the infertility world know, unfortunately they really CAN put a price on a child.
But they can’t put a price on happiness.
And after I finish my Grown-Up Christmas List, I won’t be sitting on any laps to tell what it is… No, I’ll be reading it on my knees.