However, this picture was taken Easter 2012. Sometimes things just get away from me.
The Christmas tree went up right after Thanksgiving and came down right after Easter. For those of you who don't remember, Easter was in April that year. My tree didn't come down until almost May.
It was one of those things that just slipped through the cracks. We had pretty much gotten used to it. We didn't really give it much thought. It was becoming part of the decor.
But then someone would visit. And the first thing they would say is, "You still have your Christmas tree up?"
And then I sent my mom some Easter photos of the girls. And the first thing she said was, "Is that your Christmas tree in the background?"
Yes. Yes, it is.
I love Christmas. It's the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Someone I could not make it through the day without. But that Christmas tree meant something else after all the festivities of the holiday were over. That Christmas tree was physical proof that I was different.
There was a time that I couldn't have done that. There was a time when the tree went up on a certain day and came down on a certain day and nothing stood in the way of that. There was a day that I would have been embarrassed to have to explain why my Christmas tree was up in spring. Those days are long gone.
What happened? Life. And in a good way. Why was my Christmas tree still up when the next holiday rolled around? Because we were busy.
Busy roping steer.
Busy planting flowers.
Busy getting to know Amy.
Busy making homemade pizzas.
Busy building with Legos.
Busy with life.
So my Christmas tree was up longer than usual. When we actually took it down, it took all of about 15 minutes. Could we have fit that in earlier? Yes. Does it matter? No. I like what it represented to us that year. Less structure and routine, more spontaneous. I'm learning that relationships matter most, building them, maintaining them, enjoying them.
Don't get me wrong, I love my routine. I'm just learning to flow with the people that are a part of it. Becoming less "my way or the highway" and adopting more of a team mentality.
This past year the tree went up and came down in a timely manner. It was bittersweet. The girls and I talked about the previous year. About what the tree represented to us in April and about how we wanted to be sure to keep that with us, even if the tree is back in the attic.
So for anyone out there with a Christmas tree in your living room right now, I understand and even applaud you. I wish mine was up, too.