When I was younger, I was really critical of lights this time of year. Tree lights, house lights, basically Christmas lights anywhere. If they weren't white and completely straight, it would drive me insane. If they were crooked AND blinking, wow, that was more than I could take.
Now that I'm older, I find myself just being grateful that people put up lights at all. It seems like a very optimistic act. We never put up lights--Eric has optimism to go around, but we tend to be lazy. Lazy trumps optimism every time--but we appreciate those who do.
All of that is just to say we got our Christmas tree on Sunday. It's a long, narrow little thing that came out of an actual tree lot and cost actual money. And here I thought we were amazing last year when we threw down $10 for an overgrown extravaganza at a you-pick place. We're getting soft in our old age.
Proof: Eric got a permit from the Forest Service so we could go tromp around out the wilderness and cut our own tree this year, but then it started snowing all crazy and we were like, the tree lot is fine!
It's pretty. I like it. And the branches more or less hold up our ornaments, which is most of the battle. Eric borrowed lights from his parents this year because apparently ours aren't working and we'd just come home from town and who wants to go to Walmart anyway? We set it by the window because that's as close to putting up lights as this family is ever going to get. You're welcome.
Also: Johanna's first slumber party on Friday night was a raging success. Not only did everyone make it through the night, no one cried! I was looking at those four little faces, laughing and having fun, and thanked God. I cannot even begin to imagine what parents are feeling in Newtown. All I know is that I tried really hard to be grateful for the noise and clutter and chaos. My heart aches, but so does everyone's.
P.S. I ended making her a cake after all. Well, she came home from school and wanted to, and how do you say no to that?
And: Abby had a basketball tournament all day on Saturday and wow, is her team terrible. Really nice girls, just not a lot of experience out there. Getting the ball up the court? Is a challenge of epic proportions. It's going to be a loooooong season. Life lessons!
Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, Winter Song: