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the duality of a new year

8 Jan

A New Year.

I don’t know if I am alone in this but I always have such mixed emotions when a new year arrives.

On one hand, I am so excited for a new start with new goals and exciting ideas to pursue. Every year it seems that I add another 3-4 more goals/resolutions to my list than I had last year. I love to pick out a new and hopefully inspirational datebook. A clean slate for a slew of whole new experiences and adventures. In my mind, I am ready for spring to come (which is crazy because here in Colorado, winter is just getting started). But I feel the need to do the “spring cleaning” and shed unnecessary things out of my life. This is quite evident in my on-going purging, which is going quite well by the way.  I’m ready for a re-birth, so to speak.

The other part of me keeps looking back. I don’t want to take down our Christmas tree or any of our seasonal decorations for that matter. I don’t want to say good-bye to my grandparents. I have a strong fighting urge in me that refuses to go back to the normal work routine. Deep within me, I’m shocked and a little sad that a whole other year of my life has flown by. Even though I buy a new date book, I keep the old one (shocking, I know). I love the feeling of the season and I hate to let it go. I used to have a book when I was young. The story was about a little girl that made a wish that Christmas would never end. She got her wish and it was fantastic at first. Every morning she woke up with great new toys and treats overflowing from under her tree and in her stocking. But soon, her tummy got upset from all the treats and eventually she couldn’t even see her family because there was so much stuff packed in her house. She was wrought with sadness and un-wished her wish.

So, change is inevitable. Otherwise you end up lonely and with a tummy ache (and chubby). This is just plain true. And if little children can accept this, then so can I.

So this weekend we are taking down the decorations. We are building a new bookshelf. I will be continuing the great purge. The last draft of my list of goals for 2011 has a total of 19 goals and my new datebook has a place set aside for both growth and remembrance. Growth being the key.

I am preparing for the new and I am ready for new things, I promise.

There are several goals I have already started working on.

The true test: can I throw away my 2010 datebook?

Kaleigh

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A Wonderful Christmas = More Stuff

29 Dec

Alright so, have I shared with you that I am a borderline hoarder? With such a small space, this is not really productive. You really can’t tell walking into our house because thanks to years of working in tedious retail jobs, I am extremely good at organizing.

YES! It's color coded, and just in case you're wondering, so is my side of the closet.

But I mean, I am a proponent of “reduce, reuse and recycle”. I do admit I am mildly harkening back to elementary school platforms (or more recently, bureaucratic 60-year-old’s platforms) where the little green arrowed triangle is stamped on to our mushy little brains in hopes that we may some day throw that cream of mushroom soup can and our soon-to-be non-existent newspapers in the recycle bin and save the world!! (Cue Star Wars theme music)

But here’s the thing, I still have my Cabbage patch doll from my 1st birthday, Valentine’s Day cards from when I was 7, and I’ve taken up an ever-expanding collection of old clothes and various fabric in hopes that some day I will make something wonderful out of them.

Why do I still have these?!

And since some extremely lazy residents in our complex couldn’t walk another ten feet to dispose of their trash in the correct receptacle, we no longer have recycling in our apartments. So now I find it extremely hard to throw away beautiful glass jars (despite the fact I have not come up with ONE idea as how to repurpose them).

But wait, didn’t global warming get de-bunked? Shouldn’t all these ‘green’ practices that we have so happily adapted be making some sort of dent in this ‘horrible’ place we’ve created for ourselves? Who knows and really that’s an argument for another day.

Anyways, in our tiny little piece of the universe, it’s getting to be a bit much.The other day, as I was trying to pull out my gift-wrapping ephemera (i.e. re-used boxes, recycled tins and wrapping paper, ribbons, etc), I thought I was either going to be killed in an avalanche of stuff or have a panic attack complete with mental break down.

Watch out!

I even considered shelling out the extra dough each month so we can have a glorious chunk of real estate (comparatively speaking) for storage space, aka ‘a garage’. All of a sudden I had wholesome daydreams of a house (rented or bought is neither here nor there) with a lusciously green back yard for the dogs and multiple rooms complete with craft room for me and man cave for Kyle. Swoon!

Then… suddenly remembering our current balance in our checking and savings accounts… I dreamt of becoming a minimalist. Ravenously throwing things out left and right. Living off of dried beans and rice, no cable/internet, and the good Lord forbid, only two t-shirts and one pair of shoes, or shall I say sandals.

Don’t get me wrong, I am SO THANKFUL for the gifts we have received, but we are dealing with limited space here people! Luckily we received some things that are going to encourage organization. Yeah for bookshelves!

I believe the exact words I chanted upon opening were “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

Is that blasphemous?

So needless to say the top of the list for resolutions and all that… CLEAN HOUSE!! But can I rid our place of things that I KNOW we will need at some point???

Ummmm…..

I think we need more storage.

Traditions

20 Dec

Ok, so the past couple weeks have been very warm. And I will tell you I am VERY much a traditionalist. Christmas time and warmth don’t compute with me. We really have not got much snow, even to speak of. There’s been a couple days that I didn’t need my jacket when walking to work. This is concerning to me. BUT, I always can count on there being cold and snow up in Winter Park. This is where we go to cut down our Christmas tree every year. It is a tradition that we do with my dad, his brother and wife and my cousin and her family.

We stay in the same condo, usually a couple nights. We have the same long-standing jokes that have to be repeated. We always go in the hot tub, and usually do some tubing. It’s amazing.

Ahh yes. This feels like Christmas. It was cold, but not a lot of snow. It flurried a little but no big dump of snow like we were really hoping for. This weekend went QUICK! We did a little bit of shopping…

Hat shopping 🙂 This is my uncle. Funny thing is, the fake hat “hair” looks like his real hair!

Walked the dogs. My dad has two dogs, plus our two, and therefore this equals a lot of chaos. We have a pack of canines. A dog sled team… except they aren’t smart enough to combine their efforts to drag out our trees for us.

We watched a couple Christmas movies and ate. Oh how we eat! This is Kyle’s favorite part of the whole weekend. We get to eat some really amazing meals during this get-away. All of it, not great for the waist-line, but certainly yummy for the soul. Homemade hash browns, bacon, bacon, bacon, eggs, lasagna, cowboy spaghetti… cupcakes!!

We did an especially fun and special activity this trip. We made a trophy for who ever nabs the best tree! Each piece on the trophy has a deeply meaningful significance. Except maybe Kyle’s token Star Wars lego men.

There it is. In all her glory. It was such a blast to make this! Hopefully WE found the beauty that puts all others to shame! We always celebrate my birthday up here… so the traditional sweet treat is always present.

Molly and me resting before the big trek the next day.

Up on the mountain: Enter snow!!! It’s silly, and every year we debate this, but we go pretty far up the mountain to our sweet spot. Our “Eureka” spot, if you will. I can’t even tell you how far we go up, but it’s far, and it’s hard. It wouldn’t be so bad if the snow wasn’t so deep and other people actually ventured up there as well.

NEWS FLASH: I am out of shape. Period. Here I am, sucking wind. I love everyone’s face in this picture. It really gets across the idea that the actual tree retrieving part is not really all that fun… except for the person taking the picture. Whom of which is Kyle. He’s been training and exercising regularly, so this was a light jaunt for him.

Despite the laborious trek, this park is so unbelievably beautiful!!

And the dogs have a blast!!!!

It truly is a family tradition that I hope we never let die. It is so nice to take a long weekend and laugh and eat with my family. The thought of this weekend warms my heart and I am so happy that we get to do it year after year.

And our spoils…? Well thar she blows!!

Sans decoration and drying out, you know, from all the snow.

Snow?

What?

When did it snow?!

Oh yeah, a day after we left. And just about every day since we’ve been gone.

And down here, where we live? Nada.

Humpff. Humbug.