If it were any other year, you can bet our tree would've been trimmed within two hours of clearing the Thanksgiving table. If it were any other year we would've had turkey on Thanksgiving, not turkey loaf. Hey, gotta give props to my mom for trying.
If it were any other year.
But it's 2012, our daughter is gone, and decorating the Christmas tree was the last thing I wanted to do.
So I didn't.
At least not that day.
Considering all that's happened, skipping the tree altogether probably would've been acceptable.
But we have a 5 year old and a 3 year old and the magic of Christmas is alive and well in their hearts.
We have a beautiful pre-lit tree sitting in a couple of totes in our basement. But two sections of the pre-lit tree bit the dust last year and I had to string lights up, down, and around its wire branches.
I figured I'd start working on stringing the lights, the baby would need to be fed, or I'd find myself mentally tapped and there we'd sit. Looking at a half-lit tree with no ornaments on Christmas Eve.
So I ordered a new one.
Waited. Waited. Waited for it to come.
And then it did.
It sat in our doorway for a full five minutes before my mom and I decided to tackle it.
It took about five seconds to assemble, which was good.
That meant later that night we were going to have to dig out the decorations. You know how it is with Christmas ornaments. Each one has a story.
Take this one, for example.
My sixth grade teacher gave it to us on our wedding day 14 years ago. Since all this has happened, I've often wondered about God's commentary on that day.
I picture Him saying, "Here's this couple that's so completely happy, ready for life, poised for the future. And they'll have a great life, but they will suffer a loss. The biggest loss."
Or this one.
The first of our Baby's First Christmas ornaments. Inside is information detailing what we did for Addie's first Christmas.
And this one.
Addie made it in pre-school. I can't even imagine the glittery mess that went into making it.
We picked it up on a trip to the Nebraska-Colorado game in 2005. We cheered. We won. And had an interesting exchange with some fans before the game.
Another Baby's First Christmas. This one is for Isaac and it's double-sided.
And these creations crafted by the littlest of hands.
This is one of my personal favorites because it has Addie's fingerprints all over it.
A new baby means a new ornament.
And another to show our growing family.
One for Baby Landry.
And one from Addie that we'd never ever seen before.
An ornament to let her know she will be forever loved.
And these from so many people who let us know how much they love us.
You know how it is with ornaments. Each one tells a story.
This is our story.
And our story continues (even on days when continuing doesn't seem possible).
With creations crafted by the littlest of hands.
And a love big enough to fill all of our hearts.
Until we meet again.