Last year Nate was sick on Tree Killin' day, so Hazel and I braved the elements alone. Well, it wasn't actually as dire as it sounds. We rode with Mom and Dad way far away (couldn't exactly tell you where we landed but it was getting close to Breitenbush campground. (Did you notice that those are two separate links? I'm tricky and slick sometimes.)
I strapped Hazel onto my back in the Kelty and we started hiking straight uphill, right on Mom and Dad's heels. I lost wind pretty quickly; it was way too hard. And it became way too cold. I'm pretty sure Hazel came *this close* to losing an eye a couple times. That kid never cries in discomfort really, no not ever. She threw a true tantrum once before this adventure (during our last Christmas photo, picture below - she had a fever and double ear infection and we had no idea until she melted down three snaps in during our photo session). Branches kept whipping up and hitting her in the face while were climbing the hill. Straight up. I realize that you probably just read between the lines to realize that, in the end, that's my fault. It's true. I'm probably the one who made the branches whip around and smack her. I realized that around the third time she cried out, so that, coupled with not being able to feel my nose any more, helped me make the incredibly easy decision to head down the hill, back to the truck, so that we could warm up comfortably while Mom and Dad did their crazy hiking. Pictures:
Can you see her ultra cold cheeks and nose? It's hard to see the scratches on her face, but they're there. We sat in the truck for quite awhile before Mom and Dad showed up with their tree. Dad loaded it into the truck bed and we headed down the hill to have lunch in Estacada. We hit up a tree farm on the way into Damascus so that we could return home with some success. (SUCCESS? Bah. It burns me to pay more than $5 for a Christmas tree, stupid tree farms.) Nate was laid out on the couch when I got home. He held Hazel and watched me wrestle the tree through the door and then decorate it.
Below is the picture we used with our Christmas letter. Not the best. Following that is a picture I wanted to use but couldn't because Hazel was entering her meltdown.
I must say, this year's experience with our tree is bound to be better! We won't have a tree in our room, so we're cutting one for Rick and Karen. It'll stand in their living room for everyone to enjoy. I can hardly wait to decorate it! All my ornaments are packed away for next year so I'm really looking forward to helping Karen with hers. Hazel is going to lose her mind. It'll be the best!