This was mine and Garrett's 4th Christmas married. I love these pictures, and I so enjoy comparing them side by side each year.
That first year we were in the tiniest little apartment. It had classroom carpet, and the kitchen was literally just a hallway. We went to the tree-lot and asked for the cheapest tree they had. I think we paid $12 bucks for it, which still hurt our budget. Then we got home and I handed G a strand of lights to start decorating. Growing up, my dad always did the lights, and he was meticulous. Garrett fiddled with the lights for maybe 3 minutes, and called it good. I remember watching him and being like, "wait….no, that's not how it's supposed to be….did you wrap every single individual branch?" He looked at me like, "Kaela...there's hardly three branches on this whole tree...I'm not sure what you're looking for." I then took it upon myself to be the official tree-light putter-on-er. (more here and here)
When we got our second Christmas tree, we had just found out we were pregnant with Rae. We were in our second provo Apartment....same classroom-carpet but this one had a second bedroom. High rollers! The tree was a step-up from the year before, but still had a couple holes and gaps in it. We drove to three different tree lots before we found it, and we loved it so....holes and all. Buying and decorating the tree counted as our first few dates of our 12 Dates of Christmas.
Last year was Rae's first Christmas, and we were so excited to take her with us to get a tree! Garrett even put aside his innate frugality and we were able to graduate from the charlie-brown tree section. Again, buying and decorating the tree was part of our 12 Dates tradition. I decided to let G have another go at the heavy responsibility of doing the lights...and he passed this time (a Christmas miracle!)! We ate cinnamon rolls, drank hot chocolate, and Rae rolled over for the first time!
This year, having just bought a house, we found ourselves with the tightest budget yet. And knowing that we were going to be in Idaho for Christmas, we decided to forgo a real Christmas tree. Instead, we got a little creative. We ate yummy cookies, drank hot chocolate, and put a couple dozen pin-holes in the wall. It was perfect, and Rae was ecstatic....no breakable ornaments, no risk of a tree tipping on top of her, and she could touch it all she wanted. We took our traditional tree-picture in front of the Frame's gorgeous tree, which they cut down themselves every year.
Taking our traditional tree picture has become something both Garrett and I look forward to...which is really saying something because G usually hates when I make him take pictures. It's exciting to imagine how our pictures will change and grow as the years continue to pass! Can't wait to see what the coming years have in store for us!