Tag Archives: Decorating

Nassau and The Worst Day Ever

An ornament we brought back from our honeymoon for Emily

On our honeymoon we were going to go para sailing.   MQD was excited.  So was I.  It was a very honeymoon thing to do.  I had a picture in my head, of the day, of us, holding hands high above a beautiful beach and crystal blue water.  The sun on our faces, smiling.

Only it was windy that day.  And they canceled our excursion.  There was a temptation to try and “do” something else.  Something special.  We strolled around Nassau, hand in hand.  Looking for something “to do.” We went in and out of a few shops, we thought about buying a watch.   And we laughed about how this was “the worst day ever.”  And that our honeymoon was the pits. We bought a Christmas ornament that says “Nassau” for Emily.

The dates that MQD and I plan have a way of not working out.  We have abandoned more concerts halfway through, or not gone at all, choosing instead to stay at dinner an hour or two longer, just talking.   He likes me.  And I like him.  It’s easy to have fun when you’re with your best friend.  I hope I look at him just like this for many, many years to come.

Honeymoon, May 2011

Disco, the ornament not the music or the nap

I have a tendency to attach a tremendous amount of meaning to the most trivial of things.  I remember where I got them, who I was with, how I felt.  This item, a lighter, a tshirt, a coffee cup, it becomes a touchstone to that moment in time.

It is only very occasionally that I have had something for a long time and I don’t have any recollection of where it came from.

I know I have had this disco ball ornament for a long time.  I know I bought it for myself. I can vaguely recall taking it out of the box.  I am not much of an impulse buyer of things like ornaments.  Again, always so sentimental, my ornament collection is largely made up of memories.

I know it hung on my Christmas Tree after Em and I moved to Chapel Hill and then hung from a teeny hook in my living room for the remainder of the time we lived in that apartment.  I remember it hanging on my first big Christmas Tree in our house at the beach.  And I am fairly sure it graced the tree in my dinky little duplex the first year I lived in Kill Devil Hills.

Going back in time to Williamsburg and the Christmas Trees I had in college, I don’t think I had it then.  Those years were full of disco naps and a tree decorated in Happy Meal toys.  But I don’t think I had a disco ball.

 Strangely, I can’t be sure.

Merry Christmas to you, mysterious Disco Ball.  And thanks very much to the Kelly of Christmas Past that had the good sense to snag you off the shelf.

Counting down the days…

The countdown is on.  To Christmas.  To Baby D.  To figuring out how to be a work from home Mom of two with a new house she loves.  I fear without a little direction my musings over the next few weeks could be more of a report.  There are x number of days until Christmas.  The following parts of my body are either leaking or aching.  This is what I am afraid of today.  And this is what I am excited about.

While that all sounds fabulously interesting I though I might use some of my favorite Christmas decorations and ornaments to tell the story of the 25 days leading up to Christmas.  I can’t promise that I don’t sneak in a little “Here is a snowman, see his big fat ass, that reminds me my hip aches and my boobs are dripping” but I am gonna give it my all.

The year my father sold the house I grew up in my brother and I sat on the floor in the basement.  One at a time we went through boxes of ornaments.  One for me, one for Scott.   Together we divided up our childhood, one we shared.  I eagerly await the day he and Lauren (and Baby!!) return from Hawaii so we can share a Christmas together, our families.  And so I can sneak a peek at the ornaments on his tree, the ones I have long since forgotten.

The first ornament I chose in the Great Ornament Trade of 2005

To kick things off, an all time favorite ornament.  I love this picture. This is an ornament my mom made I’d guess 1982ish?  Mom and I are wearing clown costumes she made for Halloween in 1981.  Later the clown costumes were resurrected for  the Clowntastic Event.  The Clowntastic Event was an elementary school party rivaled only by the Wild Rumpus the following year.

Kelly, 1982

 I am reminded of being just about this age often lately.  The other evening Em and I were laughing on the couch, about nothing.  The same laughter that I share with no one else besides my mother.  There is an easy laughter I share with her; there is nothing unsaid, nothing to question, just pure living in the moment.  A moment that brings us both to tears laughing from time to time.

As a kid I thought that my mom did it all for me.  That she was a Mother, and a Mother only.  And as I lean back against the couch and laugh with Emily I wonder if Em has any idea what a genuinely good time I am having. I look at this picture of Mom and I in our clown suits and I wonder how it is that I didn’t see that smile.  Not the smile on my face, but on hers.  We had such a good time.  We still do.

Someday Emily will realize that while I do love her madly it wasn’t always to put a smile on her face that I suggested we got out for a few, just us.  Or snuggle on the couch and have a Ladies’ Night.  I just like her.  She cracks my shit up.  Sometimes I hang out with her for me.  I suppose I could just tell her.  But that would ruin the whole Mother of the Year thing I have got going.

My clown costume has long since been passed on elsewhere, but Mom's makes an appearance from time to time. Not long before MQD and I were engaged it came out for a night of gin and tonics and dominos.


Looking at this succession of pictures, you can see it happen.  How the daughter becomes the mother.  In the first picture, there we are.  Two distinct clowns.  In the second, Mom’s hair  bow becomes my tie.  In the end her costume has become mine.  But I am still wearing the same Raggedy Ann-esque wig from the very beginning.  This is either an allegory for something very deep or it is much, much simpler.  My mom and I are a couple of clowns.

25 days until Christmas Eve.  And I’d guess about 25 more years before Em realizes she is turning in to me.