Minimally Minimalist

Yep. We watched it, too. Minimalism. That documentary on Netflix. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, go watch it. Actually read this first, then watch it.

We watched it and I was acutely aware of my thought trajectory and it was so surprising that I actually thought, "Is this what it's like to be brainwashed?" What I should have been saying was, "so this is what it's like to hear truth and recognize it." But isn't that what the brainwashers want me to think?...

There is a lot that we gleaned from the film. I went through my closet and shoes and that felt good. I went through the kitchen and that also felt good. Bathroom, books, movies and "junk drawer." Good, good, good.

But there was one thought I had while watching that really seared itself into my brain. Tyler articulated it so nicely. He said that filling your life with things distracts from what you think all of those things are for: the people in your life that you love.

It is so easy to buy things and hold onto things, telling yourself that you need those things in order for your family to be happy. Or you need those things in order for you to feel content and happy.

But the process of obtaining all of those things grows like a balloon in your life. And in order to make room for the balloon other things have to get pushed away and eventually out of your life. Things like family and bonding and love and the joy of watching someone you love learn and grow, try new things, and be a better person than the day before.  

Do I think I've pushed my Tyler and now, our Alice, away from me and out of my life in order to make room for things I think will make us happy? No, no no no no obviously I've never done that. Umm, actually, kind of...yes.

I did it unintentionally. Almost undetected. I wanted, and still want, for things that I think I need to be a complete, whole, happy person. But the truth is my happiest moments are filled with my family and friends instead of things.

That's just so hard to remember in all of those little tiny moments during the day when you see something and long to have it. When you click through to the site. When you sift and shop through all of these products looking for the one that will give you a little pinch of happiness. Or when you walk past the dollar section at Target, or any section for that matter cause I would like all the things that Target sells.

With all that being said, I am going to try really hard to remember that when I bring extra, unnecessary things into my life, I push something else just a little farther out of my life. And a lot of times that something else can be one of the things that brings me the most joy.

Here's to filling up my happiness well with the moments I have instead of the things I want.

Traditions and mini traditions.

Last year I was pregnant. And it snowed A LOT. So instead of going to one of the fun farms in Greenbluff to cut down our Christmas tree I insisted we drive ONE BLOCK to the tree lot, stuff the tree in the trunk and drive it back. Like some kind of pregnant Grinch. 

But we had also found out Alice was a girl that day. Before we went to the tree lot we went to Target to get some pink ribbon to tie on the tree for little Alice. 

So we got the tree home and decorated it with the pink ribbon and twinkly lights and I felt less grinch-y and way ready for Christmas!

All this to say I've been waiting three hundred and a thousand days to drive up to Greenbluff and cut down our tree like the real Washingtonians we are.

We decided to go to Dietz to get our tree because it looked like they had the most options from the road. And online it said they had free hot chocolate so maybe that was the real reason. They had hills and hills of trees so we felt good about finding one we would like.

In the choosing of our trees over the years, I've realized my priority was 'cute.' ha. Ya I just want a cute tree.

One of Tyler's priorities is the smell of the tree. It needs to smell like forest, Christmas, pine, spruce, woods, etc. See below. Alice obviously feels that the taste of her gloves is important.


A priority we both have is that it is a full tree, tall enough for our house, and has pretty branches and minimal holes.


This really is one of my favorite things to do when the holidays come around. I love to go to the mountains (or the Rite-Aid parking lot if I'm pregnant) and find the tree that we'll put lights and ornaments on and tuck presents underneath.


While that all sounds magical, this favorite tradition encompasses lots of mini traditions.

Wandering around in the snow(rain now because WA).

Sipping i.e. spilling hot chocolate.

Taking much longer than planned because of our tree priorities(see above).

Quoting Clark Griswold all day long.

Sticky, sap fingers. And consequentially sticky, sap hair, clothes, steering wheel, etc.

Christmas song sing alongs.

And driving home with the sunset.

Those mini traditions happen to be ones we complain about a lot but maybe they'll be some of the funnest ones to remember when we're older and have other things to complain about.