Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Perfect Tree, the Perfect Smile, and the Perfect Pint

The perfect family we are not. I find it incredibly nauseating when people ramble on and on about how perfect their perfect little lives and perfect little families seem to perfectly be. So please continue reading as I ramble on about how messed up our totally dysfunctional family is. Ha ha. Just kidding. Kind of.

But seriously, this business of raising kids can be good, bad, and certainly ugly. We are far from perfect around here. However, that does not keep me from striving for some sort of perfection when it comes to THE HOLIDAYS! Oh yes, I have been intoxicated by the Christmas Spirit(s) (ha ha) ever since we polished off the Halloween candy.

And so, with naive perfection in mind, we set off to find The Perfect Christmas Tree. We were not going to half ass it and buy our tree from the lot. Oh no! No Fred Meyer Christmas trees for us either! We were going up into THE WOODS to CHOP DOWN the PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE. Dammit.

First stop, the ranger station. Brent went inside to get our tree permit ($5?! what a steal!) and returned to the car with the news that Smokey the Bear was inside (!!! OMG! I was totally obsessed with Smokey the Bear when I was a kid, and here he was! Would he sign autographs? Did my hair look okay?). We unloaded the little people and quickly prepped them for meeting the Biggest Forest Service Celebrity of All Time. OMG! OMG! Smokey the freaking Bear. Remember to breathe. The kids were cool as cucumbers when we walked in the door, but when Sawyer saw Smokey, it was like Halloween at Grandpa Doug's all over again...

After a quick photo op and goodie bags (!) we promised not to play with matches and Sawyer even managed a tearful "Bye bye Smokey" as we headed out the door.

And then we drove up into the snow. I am selfishly hesitant to tell you where we went because it was so quiet and pristine, but since most of you are lazy bums who would never think of putting down your beers to go cut down your own trees, I suppose I'll spill the beans. Again, just kidding. Kind of. We went up the road behind Oakridge and followed the map that Smokey's colleagues had given us. It was so easy to get there and suddenly we were surrounded by gleaming snow banks and potential Christmas trees.

Was this weather not absolutely perfect? Oh yes, we lucked out. I had the brilliant idea that I would get the perfect picture of the boys to use as our Christmas card this year. Seemed simple enough, what with this beautiful forest for a background and flattering natural light. Oh yeah, and the cute kids, too.

I took about 500 pictures of these two goons. I wish I could tell you that I was exaggerating. Most of them looked like this:

What is the deal with Sawyer? Is he incapable of smiling for the camera. You think this one is bad?

The piece de resistance:
Wow. I don't know what is wrong with him. He's much cuter in real life.

See? Much cuter.

Now, I have to tell you something and you're probably not going to believe me, and if you do believe me you will probably be asking what the hell is wrong with us, wondering if we should be reported to the authorities, and considering confiscating our camera. But here goes:

I think this is the only picture we have of the four of us together. I know that is shocking and ridiculous, but I do believe that it is true. I'm really not sure how that could have happened, but apparently it did. Maybe I need to book us a photo shoot at Sears to make up for lost time...

Good thing this one photo is PERFECT!

And we found the perfect tree. Well, perfect enough for us anyway. The funny thing about cutting down your own tree is that it looks a lot smaller out in the forest than in your living room. A lot. For future reference.

Brent had planned out a little side trip and so on the way home we stopped in Oakridge for lunch and a pint at the new brewery, Brewers Union Local 180. If you thought I spilled the beans about the Christmas tree spot, just wait till you hear about this place! This pub is just about the sweetest, homiest, most welcoming place I've ever been. And the beer was divine.

Jack's first time sitting up at the bar. He was a fan!

The ambiance is relaxed, cozy, and totally kid friendly. They have a wall of board games, room for big groups to sit and for people to mingle, corners for reading, and a pint sized pool table for the kids. I loved this place. Almost enough to consider moving to Oakridge. Almost.

We ran into some people we knew from Eugene who were just coming off the mountain. This pub is the perfect apres ski pit stop. Perfect.

And I would love to tell you that we all arrived home from our day in the woods feeling refreshed and ready for an evening of Christmas carols, cocoa, and tree decorating. Instead, Jack threw an epic tantrum, Sawyer tried to smash all of the ornaments, and Brent and I had to put the kids to bed early to preserve the remaining shreds of our sanity and get that damn tree decorated.

But at least Brent had the foresight to bring along the growler and have it filled at the pub. And so, if nothing else, the beer was perfect that night.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for perfect beer! Loved this post, super funny. :) Great picture of all of you!