Ten Years of “For Better or For Worse”

Our Christmas tree is probably a lot like many of your Christmas trees; covered with ornaments accumulated over a lifetime, many of which tell their own story. Collectively, many of our ornaments tell the story of our 10-year marriage. As we decorate each year, we can recall every trip, every occasion, every gift, every funny story behind how we acquired each festive bauble. From mementos of trips to handmade gifts from friends to celebrations of our boys’ arrival, our Christmas ornaments are snapshots of some of our best moments and adventures.

Inexplicably, ten years ago Karma allowed me to follow through on one of the only good decisions I’ve ever made (that didn’t involve choosing where to eat dinner). Before friends and family and this psychopath that managed the venue (a story for another day), I married Kat, whose virtues are too many to name, but among them is the ability to draw the best out of me, and the best of me out.

Other people in this world have had a better decade and worse decade, but I think not that many have had a more eventful decade than we have. From marriage to cross-country moves to new (good) jobs and new (shitty) jobs to job losses to amazing trips to cancer to infertility to mental health issues to lycanthropy AND vampirism to two wonderful twin boys, we’ve had a rich tapestry of a married life.

I was thinking about this when I was admiring our Christmas tree ornaments this year. I want to share two of them with you:

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A few others may have gotten into the shot, but you aren’t allowed to look at those.

In the foreground there is a resin Santa with a cat draped over his arm. This was the first tree ornament we got as a married couple, during our honeymoon (read: broke-ass three-day weekend in St. Augustine).

Behind ol’ Saint Nick is a little Elmo figure, merrily toting some presents somewhere. It was bought unceremoniously in the Christmas area of a nearby Target. It was the first ornament we got “for” the boys, beginning to weave their likes and personalities into our familial holiday DNA. It was also the last ornament we got before our ten-year anniversary this week.

We’d bought ornaments before the Santa, and we’ll buy more after the Elmo. I just thought about the juxtaposition of a nicer, “grownup” ornament and a fun one for the kids, and think they’re interesting bookends to the first decade of our little family.

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