It was that time.

Our yearly trek to the Christmas tree farm.

Determined this year to find the biggest one that these 4 sets of hands could cut down and haul back to the barn unassisted.

We hadn’t quite found a way to make it out earlier in the month when the weather was hovering in the low 50’s.

Instead, we managed to pick a 21 degree morning to put on our boots, pick up our saw and head out in search of holiday perfection.


There was a pep talk first, which when looking at the picture makes one believe it was much more of the “stern warning” variety then the uplifting kind.


Consensus was reached 20 minutes into our adventure;

after of course they all made their case for a tree they had “discovered”.


Ultimately we did the happy dance when we found this guy.


Then my phone died and with it the chance to document Momma on her side chopping down nine and a half feet of white pine goodness.

We warmed up with some pizza from our favorite pizza shop that’s right around the corner from the tree farm, then headed home to put her up.



This year all 5’8 of Sid proved to be particularly helpful.


She was the untangler of lights and Ellery Jane’s own personal ladder.

Audrey our comedic relief when Momma got frustrated with setback.


Sometime around 4pm we stepped back to marvel at our doing.


We’d done it again, together, our tradition.

Making memories, my team, my family.




This Joy

I heard his words.

This day, in this wooden pew, in this church in Cincinnati, Ohio, I listened.

As the priest told us how joy is not a state of mind but a condition we choose to live in;

a grace given by the father, all to often left unopened,

I nodded my head in agreement.

Looking to my right and left at the faces of those I cherished most in this world, I understood.

We do hard things.

We wrestle challenge.

But, each day, we make a choice to live in the grace he has provided.

The pain and the joy partners on this path.

“Momma are you crying”, she whispered in my ear.

“No tears today”, I whispered back;

just JOY.

from The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis: