2013 ::: Started with snow on the ground, and cold air filling up lungs. It moved into a new semester with new adventures and challenges. Spring came and friends parted ways at the end of a school year. Things changed. Summer rushed in with heat waves and green grass creeping up between the toes. Everything changed in the summer. Four months seemed like ten years, but at the same time, it was over too soon. School started again. Autumn finally showed up with a whirlwind of events, tears, struggles, joys and bits of laughter. The changing of the leaves was a visual metaphor for life. Pushing through with a weary soul, Winter came just in time. Holiday spirit refilled the soul, and the anticipation for 2014 was strong. With a quick glance back, 2013 was a year for growth. With that realization, it was time to move forward.
Iphone images from 2013 January-December. Processed with VSCOcam.
“Breathe, my friend. You are not old, you are young. You are not a mess, you are normal. Extraordinary, perhaps. In the blink of an eye your life will change. And it will continue to change for decades to come. Enjoy it, embrace it… be grateful for the ride. You are not old, you are young. And faith will get you everywhere. Just you wait.”
[ ABBY LARSON ]
Some of my most vivid memories from childhood are the ones from Christmas morning. My siblings and I have always awakened at the earliest moment possible (usually 6:30AM) to run up the stairs at Grandma’s house and sneak around the sleeping family members on the living room couches to get to the stockings that are sure to be filled with unknown surprises. We did this for years and thought our parents never knew (because we went back down to our beds after rummaging through the candy) but of course, they knew what we were up to the whole time. The whole scene of looking through the stockings in the dim morning light and then venturing over the the Christmas tree where we attempted to count the presents (and to see who got the biggest one) has been the norm my whole life. Even my senior year of high school, I snuck up the stairs with my siblings to see what was in those old stockings. But, Christmas has changed for me over the past two years.
Everyone has seen those scenes in the cheesy Christmas Hallmark movies. The ones where the girls returns home from New York or some sort of big town. She returns home to her small country or mountain town where everyone knows everybody. Christmas spirit fills the air and everyone has a contagious smile and life couldn’t be better because Christmas is coming. I realized this year that returning to this small town I grew up in for Christmas is exactly the same as it is in all those Hallmark movies. There was several inches of snow on the ground, the air was colder than cold, but people still had smiles on their faces. Christmas spirit was everywhere. Inside the stores, outside the town houses that were covered in lights and the contagious Christmas energy from people was so abundant that it was hard to miss. It was that moment when I was walking down the street as the snow began to fall again, that I realized what the Christmas season means to me now, as a 20 year old college student. It means returning.
After finishing a semester of school that was at times, extremely hard to push through and not break down and give up, returning home was exactly what was needed. Add Christmas spirit and everything that comes with the holiday season to the mix and it becomes the perfect remedy to a worn out soul and body. There is definitely something to be said about returning to the place you call “home.” Another place might also be home to me now, but returning to the original place known as home for a few weeks gets me more excited than anything.
Christmas to me, means returning and it means family. Since Christmas break has started I’ve watched more Hallmark movies than I care to admit, but me and my sister Megan sure did have several good laughs over them. Watching those has been a tradition for the past few years, and it’s one of my favorites. I spent an afternoon making cookies with Meredith. An afternoon coloring Christmas pictures and watching Home Alone with Mallory. (I’m sure Jordan and I will find something to do together in the next few days.) But even when we aren’t doing actives that are deemed “Christmas-y” just being home is more wonderful that I can even put into words. I’m looking forward to watching the Santa Claus and all of our favorite Christmas shows and movies that we watch every year as a family. I’m looking forward to Christmas shopping and wrapping presents. I’m looking forward to the Christmas Eve traditions. But most of all, I’m just excited to be spending Christmas with my family. Christmas means so much more to me this season that it ever has before. I wouldn’t mind if there were no presents under the tree. They don’t matter to me. All I care about is being able to be here with my family. Returning home and spending time with all my family members. Carrying out traditions, laughing over cheesy movies, remembering moments from Christmas’s over the years. This is was Christmas is about for me. Being here, being present, making memories and enjoy the fun spirit that comes with this season. I never really understood this until this year. But it makes me love Christmas ever more. The song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” actually has a real meaning to me this year.