Saved by a friend.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to get the lights up this year…it’s hard enough to do inside stuff…but outside stuff? Requiring a ladder and four arms? Plus the tree? Ugh. I had managed the mantle and was just going to plod along as much as I could during Katie’s naps and possibly skip the outside lights…until Owen asked when we were putting them up because he liked them. Cue mom guilt. So I posted my lament on Facebook and a friend graciously offered to help (they’re moving soon so aren’t decorating this season). Boooo for them moving, but woohoo for her offer to help!

But what a debacle. (Granted, a minor debacle or two in the grand scheme of things, but still a debacle typical of my life.) My friend is now the outside proof that STRANGE THINGS really do seem to happen to me.

First.

We plugged the lights in before we got started and they worked. By the time we got to the end, they were out. Huh? We look again. Yep, out. This can’t be, we think—we both saw them lit. RIGHT? Maybe it was the extension cord? We tried another. Nope. The outlet? Nope, another item plugged in and worked fine. Reset the outlet. Nope. Tried about six rearrangements of extension cords and direct into the outlet and…nothing.

WHAT. THE. HELL?

We took a step back off the porch and—AHA! It was only the last 4′ of lights that were out—the section right above us that we were looking up at. The rest were on. But seriously? They were brand new expensive LED lights last year. GRRR. So our options were to leave them as is or restring the whole house again with some old-school multi-colored lights that are many years old that were just extras. And I’m sure you can guess what option I chose. I couldn’t leave the mantle garland uneven…you think I’m leaving up lights that have a section burnt out? :) So we restrung the whole house (at least we had the system down by then!) and I chucked the “old” ones.

Second.

This one should really be filed under YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I wouldn’t have believed it if it didn’t happen to me—but I had photo proof and a friend watching. So there.

I think it was actually quite impressive:

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Yes, that’s a light completely wedged in the sole of my flip flop. What? How? I mean really? I was just walking along and it got jammed in there. JAMMED. Like we needed to use pliers to get it out—and of course it broke. Which meant I had to take a light out of an extra string of all-blue lights. And then we had to replace a few other burnt-out lights with…blue lights.

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Fixing the dips.

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By the time we got to the end of the house, we had enough extra to put on the bushes…except we noticed that most of them were burnt out as well. Ugh. By that time I was burnt out on lights myself so I just let them hang down the side of the house and that was that!

Then Ruth, saint that she is, asked if there was anything else I needed help with. Well, I said, we could put the tree up… So we broke open two wine coolers as our celebratory drink after the escapade that was putting up the Christmas lights (plus we were both sweating from doing the lights—it was 72°!) and put the tree together and decorated most of it! (We left the bottom undone for Owen to finish.)

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I can’t begin to thank Ruth enough. Really. She helped me not lose my shit when all kept going wonky. If I had been doing it by myself, the swearing would have been in utter frustration instead of in humor. :)

As soon as she left, someone was already making herself at home.

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And her sister checking things out, too. Thankfully, this is as much interest as they both show.

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Comments: 2

  1. Ruth :) December 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I AM SO HONORED TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF THIS! :) Jen is super organized–the fact she had all of these lights at the ready with extension cords and timers–she’s amazing! And it was SO FUN to see all of the magical ornaments they had collected! LOVED IT! It was actually really fun!!!! XOXOX!!

  2. jeanschwalm December 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    And she let you risk your life climbing all over the roof??!!?!? Good Lord! Mine aren’t up yet–want to come up to Grayling and help me??? {o;

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