The smell of pine makes a heart feel fine

I didn't get out of my pajamas until 6 o'clock at night Saturday. I spent the morning sleeping, talking to my sister who had just labored for 71 hours with her son, Atticus, and writing my grandmother's obituary. I napped for two hours and felt vaguely human again.

By yesterday I had climbed out of my fog and therefore decided to push on with my Christmas decorating. The last piece?? The tree!!! The rest of the house was already done - thank God for busy work, right? - and Anthony had set up an old train set from his father's boyhood days which would be perfect to circle the tree.

We went to the same nursery we visited the first holiday season after Hollis was born. They carry gorgeous Fraser firs which look blue and whose needles are soft like rubber. We were in and out in under 15 minutes. I decided a couple of years ago to avoid those anxiety- and bickering-filled family Christmas-tree-hunting outings of my childhood by really embracing the idea that its JUST A TREE and no matter what we get it'll look beautiful and magical.

Actually, Hollis was more interested in the Koi pond than anything else.

While the college-aged boys were loading it on the top of our car I was busy buckling Hollis into his car seat. From his vantage point all he could see were the legs and torsos of these young men standing on our car. He was beyond excited, shouting, "Man! Car! Tree!!" We were all cracking up.

Once we got it home it was nap time. Hollis, as a two year old is apt to do, forgot all about the tree when he woke up. He skidded to a stop as he rounded the corner and yelled, "Tree!" when he saw it in the front window. I'm telling you, I'd have a tree in every room of our house if I could, his reaction was so precious.

When it was time for decorating Hollis ran around the tree and played on the window-box. He shouted, "Help! Tree! Mama! Dada!" and alternated between dragging his chair and his step-stool around. Anything to "help" and make him taller was fine with him.

He's a really gentle kid by nature (he must get that from Anthony) and he gingerly hung his little owl ornament for this year - this white, feathery poof of a thing - on a branch and watched in rapt wonder as Anthony and I went to these mysterious boxes and pulled out "balls" and weird little doodads and started to hang them on the house tree. He quickly caught on and decided he'd hang some, too, though instead of hanging them, he placed them. In a careful heap on a low hanging bough... with packing peanuts he found in the ornament boxes. Ugh. The cuteness! Must. stop. the. cuteness! My heart just can't take this!!

It's just gotta be so weird to see the first time. A tree in the house?! And then we put all these shiny, dangling things all over it hahaha.

There were a few "men" lost in the fray, but nothing I gave a shit about. Hollis would yell, "Broke!" and we'd sweep it up and try to keep him away from the other breakable ornaments. In fact, our tree is divided clean in half. The upper half houses all fragile ornaments, the bottom half all the felt, wooden, paper, and plastic. (My parents took it a step further when I was a toddler and only decorated the top half of their entire tree haha. Gotta love it.)

The grand finale was cleaning up because it involved the vacuum cleaner.

I'm pretty sure Hollis had one of the best days of his sweet, baby life yesterday. Not only did it involve Koi, trees, ornaments, trains, and vacuum cleaners, but he also ate his first donut ever and made friends with a skiing polar bear lawn ornament on our nightly walk. And his amazing day made my day exponentially better, too.

Children are so powerful and I don't think we even realize it in our day-to-day goings on sometimes. I still feel "drunk" off his day yesterday; I can't wipe this smile off of my face. Although, that could be because while I've been writing he's been on my lap watching Sesame Street skits on Hulu and kissing and loving on me. Either way, I'm feeling pretty damn warm and fuzzy today.

This post was brought to you by
Adrian Grenier: Season, Paul Rudd: Brilliant, Sesame Street Mad Men, Abby Cadabby's Wand Magic With Elmo, Hey Food, The King and I, Danger's No Stranger.


  1. Christmas is such a nice time of year. It looks like your little guy had a nice time!

  2. That is pretty darn cute. We haven't done a tree yet but I am looking forward to it.

  3. Sounds like you have had a lot going on!
    What wonderful pictures!! Beautiful and adorable!

  4. I love those pics of Hollis and the tree! Your tree looks great, Jessica! :)