PTSD, Pill Poppin’, and Preparing to Face the Past

It seems trite to start this post by pointing out how I haven’t blogged much in a long time. But the truth is, I have not blogged much in a long time and there is a reason for that. For a while, I told myself I was in an “acting phase” and not really into writing but this week, I figured out that the truth is, I’ve been scared. I have realized that if I didn’t blog about everything that’s happened this year, I’d never be able to blog again. Like I couldn’t go over it, I couldn’t go around it, I couldn’t go under it. I have to go through it. So, here I am. I’ve poured myself a giant glass of red wine and I’m going to write about it the best that I can because I’m not okay.

I mean, on the surface, I seem okay. Better than okay. Great even. My Instagram and Facebook posts are happy and I’m not lying. I am happy. Life is going well. But that’s all on the surface. Underneath the surface, it’s black. Gross. The PTSD is bubbling up and bubbling over, like a volcano about to erupt, and it’s leading to scenarios like falling apart on my sweet husband’s chest while I ask him how I might find marijuana or tearing up at girl’s lunch and my precious friend who knows knows having to rub my back until I can participate in the conversation again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad I have people in my life who are aware of what has happened to me, who know I’m not okay, who listen and don’t judge and say things like, “You are a brave and courageous person. You will beat this.” Without these people, I’d be an even bigger mess and I get that, so my walking prayers in the morning involve a lot of thoughts like, “Thank you for the people in my life and the love I have. Please help me give that love back tenfold.”

It’s just that anniversaries are hard and this weekend is an anniversary of sorts. Not a traditional anniversary. Nothing to celebrate exactly unless you think it’s worth celebrating the fact that something derailed me, nearly destroyed me and everything I thought I knew and understood about this world came into question as a result of this situation which culminated last year at an annual event I attended. The same event I must attend this weekend. Same place. Same group of people. Same person who literally held my hand last year, leading me down a dark, disturbing, destructive path.

The PTSD is strong right now. There is a rehearsal for said event and then the event itself. My husband has agreed to accompany me as my date and my best sister friend will be with me and I will be fine. Technically. No one can hurt me. I am safe. I will be safe. My brain knows that. But my brain also knows that, if I break down in sobs every time I think about it now, once that night arrives, when I’m actually in the place, in the situation, near the person, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to keep it together. In fact, I’m so sure of my impending meltdown that I’ve had my husband locate some sedatives I was prescribed last year when I was scheduled for an MRI that never happened. He still has them and I’m pondering taking one which says a lot because he practically has to force feed me ibuprofen if I have a rare headache. I’m googling things like, “Valium for anxiety” and “What to do when your gut tells you someone is bad” and “How to tell if someone is a sexual predator”. It’s all coming back. Like it’s happening all over again. This isn’t fun.

Why am I attending the event, you ask? Because I have to. It’s my responsibility, for one thing. But there is also the simple fact that I’m one of those people who hates to be defeated. If I don’t attend this event and that person does… then they win. And I can’t let that happen.

I won’t let that happen.

Looking at my life today compared to a year ago, I can’t help but feel incredibly lucky and like a gigantic winner. Yes, I lost friends but every friend I lost has been replaced by three. Yes, my marriage went through hell but today my husband is my best friend and I know I can depend upon him to take care of me and be here for me when I need him. Every single part of my life is better than it was a year ago. There is so much to which I am looking forward, I’m having a blast, I’m not hurting, I feel pretty good, school is going well, I’m heavily involved in causes that matter to me. Stuff’s just great. So I know once this event is over, I will return to my regularly scheduled life and I’ll feel so good about myself for not letting anyone and their scariness run me off from something I love to do. And maybe then I’ll feel strong enough to blog about the rest of what happened to me. But until then… I think I will just have to accept that no one is invincible, everyone has a breaking point, and most people in my situation would have been run off soon as this happened to them so, the fact that I’m even writing about having to attend this function means I already win.

Even if I have to pop pills in order to make it through in one piece.

Pregrieving

Burning intense and with passion in the beginning

And it flickers out leaving nothing but ashes

This is how he describes all of my relationships

This is why he says I can’t keep friends

Because it is never just friends

Clearly I am building a wall

Stone by stone, daily I make it taller, wider, thicker

And I dare anyone to try and climb over it

As there I will be, on the other side, shaking in fear and ready to run

“You weren’t invited here,” I’ll scream

YOU WERE WARNED.

Best of luck

Everyone leaves eventually

Either I push them away or scare them away or won’t let them in to begin with

The results are all the same

It doesn’t matter

But this is how I feel and I know it doesn’t matter

That connection is so hard to find and so hard to live without

Because when I make a connection, I have to fear that the connection will be severed

So it is simply easier to avoid the connection in the first place

 

Vulnerabilty and New Friends: The Struggle is Real

Sometimes it’s scary trusting new people to come into your life and not make a giant mess of things.

After being hurt, repeatedly, by people I once trusted wholeheartedly, over and over and over again this past year, I’d nearly decided to not let myself love new people. It’s like I’d put in a place a cut off date… my friendship suddenly had an expiration date of sorts. If I’d met you prior to August of 2015, the friendship was viable otherwise it was too late.

And I’d built up walls. I’d convinced myself that no one could be trusted and I needed to be careful no matter what because everyone was out to get me.

It wasn’t a fun way to live but at least, so I thought, I was safe.

Then something amazing happened. I met a person. I met this person in the exact same context in which I’d met the last person who nearly destroyed me. Only this time the red flags were missing and my stomach didn’t lurch when I was around them.

At first I was terrified of making a new friend. And to be honest, I still am. But I feel a lot less alone and a lot less worried that I’m unsafe in the world. Not sure where I’m going from here and once I’m taking a break from theater, I might revert back to having those walls up. Still, I can’t help but think it’s super healthy for me to be dabbling in the art of “getting back out there”.

It’s terrifying to be vulnerable and to have to admit that you are, every single day of your life, not only to others but to yourself. I’m learning to navigate vulnerability. I’m also learning to recognize that others are also vulnerable. I’m not the only one out there scared of being hurt. I’m also learning to recognize that, when I let my vulnerabilities show, sure, yes, I get hurt but I am also given the unique opportunity to make some pretty incredible friends and connections. There are advantages and disadvantages to being so authentic and transparent.

Right now, I just know that I hate myself a little less and I hate other people a little less. So, I guess, that has to count for something.

 

 

When I hate myself

A few months ago, I didn’t hate myself.  I wasn’t completely in love with me either, but I was better able to look past my many flaws and focus on the things that I did right.  The things that made me who I was and that weren’t so bad.  Then, the “derailing” occurred and as I sit here, trying to put together the pieces of my shattered self-image, I find that I don’t love me so much anymore.

I ask myself why, exactly, is it that today’s version of me isn’t as good as the one I saw back in the spring?  What is it that makes me avoid looking at my face in the mirror and that has me sobbing into my pillows at night?  And I think I’ve come up with a few answers.

For one thing, the derailing involved being bombarded regularly with another’s self-hatred and while I did not agree with this person’s assessment of self, I was pained to see that the characteristics brought into question for being justifiable causes of self-loathing were ones I shared with this individual.  So if they were hate-worthy in someone else, they are hate-worthy in me?  If I wasn’t allowed to love this person who was so like me, how could I possibly love myself?

Next, I think I had covered up my self-hatred by creating a list of a few traits which I found to be admirable and using them to help me ignore the ones inside, the less admirable traits, the ones of which I was not so proud.  Apparently, I had begun to base my self-esteem on what I could do.  I could get up at 5am, work out, create food from scratch, unload the dishwasher, plan and execute school lessons, and just plain old nail everything.  As long as I was doing these things, these tangible things, I was at least okay and not being some of the qualities I least liked in others (wasteful, slothful, lazy, useless, boring). However, the past few months have left me less able to “do”.  Between nursing a broken heart, a shattered self-image, the loss of several relationships with people who may or may not have been my friends, it’s hard to say, and intense physical pain… well, I’ve slowed down.  It’s all been a vicious cycle.  When I don’t sleep, I am exhausted.  When I hurt, I can’t exercise.  When I don’t exercise, I deal with stress in my life less efficiently and I become depressed. When I’m depressed I don’t sleep.  I’m finally at a place where I can work out somewhat again but it’s been very difficult to get motivated.  If I look around and I see only half as much in the accomplishment department as I used to see then, well, I feel like a failure.

Then, of course, there is the pressure to be a better wife than I was for the past 12 years so that my husband doesn’t leave me.  Because he could leave me.  He should leave me, maybe, even.  Other people have left me and my actions had little to nothing to do with them so why shouldn’t he?  When I look at myself through his eyes, I have a hard time seeing what is making him love me.  Is he just pretending because it’s what he’s supposed to be doing or has he genuinely had a change of heart?  How much longer can he keep up this facade before everything slips back to the way it was?  And now that I’m not as useful around the house and with the kids, what could he possibly like more about me?  I’ve put on a little weight due to lack of mobility.  That has to be a deterrent.  Eventually he’ll notice that, right?  Besides, people don’t change.  So, all of the good stuff around here is basically a ticking time bomb.  When I see myself, all I see is a chubby, out of shape, emotionally wrecked, mentally challenged, useless drain on him, her children, and all of the people around her.  How can he see something so considerably different?

Once upon a time, I had the unconditional love of a mother.  She thought I hung the moon and the stars and the entire universe centered around me (not healthy, I know).  Still, I knew what it was like to be loved. At least by her.  This week, we got the tubs of old pictures belonging to my mother out of the attic.  Among the photographs of my childhood memories was a journal she was keeping near her death.  In fact, there were several journals she’d started about that time.  She never finished one.  Never stuck with it.  Annoyed the living daylights out of me.  As I thumbed through this one journal, though, a gratitude journal, I started to realize that toward the end of her life, her focus on me had shifted.  Not one time, in the pages upon pages listing for what she was most grateful did she ever once mention me, my children, or anything related to us.  By the time my mother died, she no longer saw me as the entire world.  In fact, I’m not sure we even liked one another.

I hold my babies in my arms, day in. Day out.  I wrap my arms around them and try to send them all of the love, strength, and positivity I can muster.  I imagine being able to somehow, magically, let them know how much they mean to me.  Are they my entire world? No.  I have other stuff in my life that brings me joy.  I’ve made sure of that.  And while I know that I will always love them more than life itself, and right now I know we have solid, healthy relationships, I cannot help but fear that one day, in the distant but not-so-distant future, my self-hatred will eventually destroy even that. That one thing I’ve managed to do right.

As the dust settles

The past two days I’ve had a change in perspective.  The dust is starting to settle after the craziness of the intense drama which finally blew up in my face.  My perspective has changed in that I’ve been able to see the important gains and positive results of this traumatizing experience.  I’ve been able to look beyond the losses and see what has been given to me.  And folks, it is so much.  More than I ever dreamed possible.  In no particular order, the gifts which I have received…

My husband.

I’ve never tried to cover up the fact that my marriage wasn’t exactly perfect.  Okay, it was not good, guys.  One terrible thing after another has happened to me and my husband throughout the course of our relationship and frankly, we never had a chance to catch our breath and reconnect before the next storm would hit.  So we were hanging on by a thread.  Living a very mundane existence of “waiting it out ’til the kids were grown.”  This wasn’t what either of us wanted but it was what we had.  Over the past two weeks, my husband has more than made up for any shortcomings and any wrongdoings I might have been holding against him.  He’s proven to me, once and for all, that he loves me, he’s not going anywhere, and he’s been willing to make changes he’s needed to make in order to truly be in a marriage with me again.  I’ve been changing too.  I’d say, “We still have a lot of work to do” but that doesn’t even feel right to say.  We’ve been doing all of that work for the past 9 years.  Now it’s time to just enjoy each other.  I was ready for that old marriage to be over.  This new one is way better than that old one ever was. We’ve divorced the old marriage. Not each other.

Friendships.

The chiz went down and when it did, I had to figure out to whom I could turn.  And the people I chose weren’t the ones I usually chose in the past.  Through this ordeal, I learned thtumblr_muqc21nqys1rsyukao1_1280-534at some people in my life were ready to move up to “the friend you call when you need someone right away” ranks.  I was reminded that a couple people who were on that list to begin with were still on that list.  And I was shown that ones I thought were on it?  Not so much.  I also reached out to new people who seemed cool and that went very well.  And, I reached out to one bestie who has always been here for me but, for some reason I never imagined I could be 100% myself around.  Yet, it turns out, no matter how ugly. No matter how imperfect my life becomes? She’s still there.  Loving me.  I’m in awe.  I reconnected with my cousin through this difficult time and learned that we are as compatible as friends as we ever were.  Best of all? I discovered that my very best friend, for life, is the man to whom I’m married.  He’s willing to fight for me.  He’s willing to tell me the truth.  He’s willing to forgive me and tell me that, just because I may have made a mistake does not mean I’m not lovable.  I’ve never been so loved by him.  Yet here I am, at my most unlovable.

My precious children.

Of course, I’ve always had my kids.  They didn’t go anywhere.  However, I must say that they have shown me more compassion and love during these dark weeks than children should ever have to show their mother.  The kindness is immeasurable.  Their love is tangible.  The sweet hugs, the wiping away of my tears, taking care of me and the house, the looks of compassion, a tender hand in mine or on my shoulder.  They may not have been blessed with a perfect mother but they have been blessed with a training program for learning how to be great listeners and empathetic friends.

49587f1ebb377cf5ac35a8d1f69323a5Discernment.

Turns out, I’m pretty book smart but my street smarts aren’t so hot.  I’m about as naive and mature as a teenager, at best.  At times I think I might be less mature and more naive than I was as a teen, even.  Like I might be developing backwards.  I look young, I act young, and I think young.  I also trust and love young.  Easily, openly, and hard.  I love hard. This is all well and good when it comes to my immediate family.  Those people I can safely love hard and no harm will come to me.  Unfortunately, I’m not always able to refrain from loving everyone around me.  Once in a while, that love is dangerous.  Abused. Taken advantage of. Exploited even. I keep thinking about how, if I can’t even protect myself, how am I to protect my children?  Hopefully, and it seems as if this is the case, they already have more discernment even at their tender ages of 11, 9, and 6 than I do at 37.  I’m not sure I’ve gained discernment but I sure have read a lot of articles about red flags and manipulation and, well… hopefully next time I’ll be able to just go to one of my family members and say, “HEY?! Is this dangerous?” and they will be able to guide me.  Also, my gut? It’s pretty on target it would seem.

Focus on new (old) things.

Many of the things I love are bringing me down right now because the are connected to bad memories.  So I’ve had to force myself to focus on either new stuff that interests me or bring out the old stuff that isn’t somehow connected to the icky stuff.  This has helped me refocus on things like my love of the B-52s, my art, my writing, movies in my Netflix queue which I’ve been meaning to watch, working out, my love of healthy foods and coffee.  I cannot remove all of the bad feelings and I cannot control all of the triggers but what I can do is continue to reintroduce non-triggers as regularly as possible.

Have you ever been able to see gifts and precious rewards given to you as a result of a difficult time?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!

It’s About Love. Messy Messy Love

For the first time since I became a mother, I felt as if I failed at Christmas.

Showing Messy Christmas love by baking for sweet friends.

Showing Messy Christmas love by baking for sweet friends.

The past few months have been crazy.  Fall semester is always much busier than spring but this one was particularly busy.  We left last week, directly following a production of “Annie Jr.” in which my older two children were involved, for a seven-day-long trip to Florida.  This trip involved more traveling than our vacations typically involve and was not exactly restful.  Upon arriving home, there were groceries to be purchased, friends to visit, and the next thing I knew, it was Christmas Eve.

And I was exhausted.  I’d been so exhausted and distracted that I accidentally bought my oldest child a gift I’d told his grandfather to get him.  And due to some miscommunication I don’t quite understand, three of his gifts under the tree this morning had been given to him last night by other family members.  So, at about 1 am I found myself scrambling around trying to figure out what I could do to make up to my child who was receiving significantly fewer gifts than his siblings.  As if that weren’t enough, I also realized that I’d kinda blown off stocking stuffers.  I had a few things for each child’s stocking but, well, it was pretty pitiful.  Maybe I’d meant to take care of that on the trip and just didn’t see anything they would like and it sorta slipped my mind?

Also, as usual, hubby was working last night.  Which meant that I had to do Christmas by myself again. I had to get the gifts out of the closet, stuff the stockings, read the Santa hate mail from the girl, and stress over the incongruity of the gifts… all by myself.  Slammed my head against the shelf in the gift hiding closet as I attempted to stealthily retrieve the gifts without waking the sleeping sweeties in my bed.    Being a single mom on Christmas is extremely lonely.

So when the oldest got up at 5 am, before his dad had time to get home from work with an extra gift, I found myself feeling embarrassed by my shortcomings.  I found myself explaining to him why he didn’t have as many gifts as his siblings and how I was sorry that the stockings weren’t full.  I held my breath, scared that he’d have a melt down, accuse me of not loving him as much as I loved his brother and sister.  Instead, he just looked the gifts over, said, “That’s the coolest backpack ever” about an Adventure Time bag I’d snagged at a local discount store, and proceeded to want to see a picture of the new baby sister that had been gifted to his best friends in the wee hours of this morning.

He didn’t care.

Not only did he not care, he felt the need to comfort me.

And despite the fact that I threw a giant fit, slammed doors, and locked myself in my bedroom where I cried for half an hour after the gifts had all been opened (and, at times, broken, insulted, thrown, and, to be fair, squealed over), he’s continued to be super sweet to me today.

After my fit (and a shower that helped me feel a little better), I announced in my kitchen that I wasn’t okay.  I stated that I felt like a giant failure because of the broken gift, the unappreciated “gross” gift, the Louise hat that didn’t quite fit right, the duplicate gifts,  the lack of stuffed stockings, the chocolate peppermint waffles that fell apart.  My husband promptly responded that I had it all wrong.

Christmas is not about gifts and everything being perfect.  It’s about family and being together and having fun.

“Well, I’m not having much fun right now!” I responded.

Then my five year old entered the room and yelled, “It’s about the looooove.  Christmas is about LOVE!”

I didn’t have anything to say about that.  This little boy understood Christmas better than I did?  How could this be?

And if Christmas was about love, how come I wasn’t feeling very loved at the moment?  After all, I received three gifts… earrings from my girl that I’d picked out and watched her buy, a calendar that I’d bought myself, and some candy that, in all fairness, I love and my son did pick out and purchase for me with his own money. Still, having worked so hard to buy something small and sweet that made me think of my husband, I was hurt when he’d not given me a gift.  First no birthday gift or card.  Then no anniversary gift or card.  And now no Christmas gift or card.  Sure, Christmas may not be about gifts but if it was about love, where was the expression of this love from this man who had promised to love me?

Then came the dreaded epiphany.  I realized that this Christmas wasn’t about the love that I would receive.  Instead it has been about the love that I have been able to give.

My reality is that I’m of very little use.  At least I don’t feel very useful.  I’m not great at anything.  The one thing that I might like to do for a career (work as a doula or a midwife assistant) is just beyond my reach because if I were to go through the training, I’d still have my husband’s night job standing in my way until  my children are old enough to be left alone at night for extended periods of time.  Heck, even my attempt to serve as a Bible teacher at church has left me feeling rejected, misunderstood, and completely useless.

I’m simply not much good to many people.

What I am good at, however, is loving people.  Some folks will tell you this is absolutely not true.  Those are the people who have met my attempts at friendship with contempt, judgment, and criticism.  Those people don’t get a vote.

But there is a whole other group of people who would tell you that I’m a damned good friend, a wonderful mother, and a service to my community.  Because those people see my actions and the love behind them.  Best of all are the folks in my life who let me love on them.  2014 has been a year filled with many opportunities to love on people.  I’ve been able to be the hands and feet of Christ, outside of the church walls, over and over again this year and I can honestly say that I finally feel like God is using me and my talents more than ever. While I still feel like I could make a bigger impact on the world around me, I can at least see myself as a blessing to others.

Clearly, my little guy was right… Christmas is about love.  And this afternoon I’ve dried my tears and I intend to spend the remainder of the day resting, taking care of myself, making food for my family, and maybe watching another one of my favorite Christmas movies.  I will feel grateful that my life is filled to the brim with people who I love.  Who let me love them.  And I will love on my kids too, because they are a huge part of my ministry and were given to me, specifically, because I am capable of loving them best.

I may have forgotten to fill my children’s stockings but I can certainly be intentional about filling their hearts.  And I will make it my mission to try and fill my husband’s heart as well, forgiving him for what may have simply been an oversight on his part as much as the stocking stuffers were an oversight on mine.  But even if it wasn’t an over sight, it doesn’t matter.  My true gift is being given another day to love on him.  And I can totally do that.

Eclectic Decor for an Eclectic Family

When I was younger, I used to dream of moving to the Big Apple.  The theater, the art, the interesting people, the hustle and the bustle all seemed so very… romantic to me.  Of course, this was before I actually knew myself and realized I wasn’t a city girl at all.  Still, something about a place potentially full of weirdos like me was so very appealing to this girl stuck in Middle Tennessee (a place that has only started to grow on me once I started my journey as a homeschool mother).  In theory, had I ever actually gone forward with this fantasy, I would have been so very lost.  Trying to figure out where in NYC I would best fit in would have been no easy task.  Probably, I would have needed a resource, perhaps something akin to this amazing Neighborhood Guide by Urban Compass would have helped me figure out which area of the city would best fit my lifestyle and personality.

As a family with rather eclectic tastes, it would have been nice to have had a resource like Urban Compass available to us eight years ago when we were house hunting.  We are certainly a group of people who rarely fit in anywhere!  Nothing reflects how odd we are better than our home decor.  Even the holiday decorations that adorn our living space mirror how eccentric we happen to be.

Eclectic is the best word to describe our homeschooling style and I’d dare say it’s also the best word to describe our Christmas decor. From natural touches to pop culture figures, our home displays a wide-range of tastes, revealing the scope of interests represented in our household.

Just take a look.

SONY DSCThis year we bought a new Christmas tree for our living area.  Twelve years ago, when my husband and I were planning our holiday-themed wedding, we purchased two used, but matching, Christmas trees from a local thrift shop.  I gave one of them to my mom and kept the other for our new home.  By this year, it was in disrepair and looked terrible.  Plus, if I am being honest here, I have always detested green Christmas trees and instead dreamed of having this vintage get up here (and I will some day, dang it.  Just you wait and see).  Hubby wasn’t down with spending this kinda cash on a Christmas tree this year, though, and he also didn’t care for this rainbow tree I went on about so it was to Walmart he traveled for a $30 white tree.  He got colored lights with white wire and all was well in the world.  Except it was so well, that I have not exactly wanted to put any ornaments on this tree.  Some might find it hard to believe but once in a while, I believe that less is more.  And the simplicity of this white tree with colored lights… I don’t want to tarnish it.  My oldest son was not happy about the lack of ornaments on the tree, despite the fact that I decorated the tree he had in his hospital room four years ago when he lived there for the holidays.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Nope, this was no comfort to him at all.  He’s pretty angry with me about the whole “new tree, no ornaments” endeavor.  In fact, he claims that this new tree is “ruining all of our traditions.”

Did I mention we have a house full of aspies?  😉

Anyway, we had some lights leftover from the green tree so I used them here on this small table where we are keeping our plate and cup for Santa’s cookies and eggnog (and Ridiculous Chocolate) which we will serve him on Christmas Eve, despite the fact that everyone around here knows it is just a game.  On top of the table, you’ll see our Trader Joe’s Advent calendars… the only Advent I’ve had time for this year what with having two children involved with a local production of Annie Jr.

SONY DSC

Some of our decorations are ones passed down from my childhood.  Growing up, we didn’t have much, and most of what we did have were things that I never would have wanted to bring into my own home.  However, I am so thankful for a few items that remind me of the Christmases from my past.  My good holiday memories aren’t about gifts.  Gifts stressed me out so I blocked a lot of those memories. No, my best memories from the holidays are about these specific decorations.  Laying on the sofa, watching the flickering of the candles as the three wise men made their journey to see the newborn king.

SONY DSCI was celebrating my second Christmas as a wife and I was incredibly pregnant with my first child.  The outside of this candle holder wasn’t packaged safely enough and when I opened it, I discovered, to my horror, that it had been cracked.  Amazingly, my husband swiftly found a replacement for $7.00 on Ebay.  The lady who sold it to him was so happy to hear how she had saved his poor pregnant wife’s Christmas by replacing her favorite broken childhood decoration.  Somehow, this part of the story makes it that much more special.  I hope to find more of these so each of my children can have one.  To me, this is how real Christmas heirlooms are created rather than through some forced farce like that creepy elf thing.

During the holidays, I also enjoy decorating with food.  I love how the colors of the season evolve.  In the fall, my antique bread bowl, passed down to me from my great grandfather’s mother, was adorned with oranges, yellows, and greens.  Pomegranates are in season and their color make the perfect coffee table centerpiece.  So simple, practical, and natural.

SONY DSC

But I have to say that our crowning holiday decorative achievement is neither simple, practical, nor natural.  In fact, it was incredibly impractical to fork over the cash this spring for this Simpsons Lego house but boy we sure have enjoyed it.  To further my enjoyment, I moved it to our holiday play table and then I set about decorating it.

SONY DSC

Look closely and you will see Christmas lights on the house made with clay and dental floss.  Lego candy cane poles line the front porch while battery-operated candles give off a flickering and warm light through the windows.  Each member of the Simpsons clan is wearing a fleece scarf, handmade with love by me.  I needlefelted them a Christmas tree (which is surrounded by Lego Christmas gifts) and I even made a wreath out of Shrinky Dinks for their front door.  This work of art is officially my new favorite holiday decoration.  I can’t wait to think of new things to add.  Next year I intend to decorate the inside of the house.

Thanks for joining me on this tour of our holiday decorations.  I’d love to see how the way you decorate your home reflects the personalities of the people in it.

Merry Christmas!