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Every year, right before Christmas, I go to The Target to buy myself an ornament for the tree. One of those absurdly expensive ones (for The Target, I should clarify) made out of the tiny hands of Ethiopian kids or by collecting the tears of the Unicorn that lives atop Mount Olympus. I’m not really sure. I’m not an ornament-maker.

It’s one of the more sentimental things I do. I mean, I’m the person that’s like, what the SHIT am I gonna do with all of these kids drawings? Sure, I love looking at them, but do I need to save every fucking one of the pages of scribbles just so someday, my kid can look back on it and be all, “Fuck, I was a terrible artist?” I think no.

We all know I’m not overly sentimental…until it comes to these ornaments. I try to select, from the supply that’s long-since been depleted because I am both lazy and cheap (sales make me happy in the pants), something that represents either the year before or the year ahead.

For both Alex and Amelia’s first Christmas, I bought them two crystal-studded “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments – one in blue and the other in pink, clearly for the year that passed.

Of course, these remain locked into the box of nice ornaments for another year while I display the very cheapest of ugly plastic ornaments – I’m afraid I’d burst into the Ugly Cry if one of those got misplaced.

This year, the selection being “pink for breast cancer,” a smattering of initials, and a couple of “for teacher” ones, I found the one I wanted to represent the coming year.

2011 was the year of losses – both great and small. I won’t wax poetic about the lessons I’ve learned because I didn’t really learn anything beyond “I’m an asshole,” and “other people are assholes.” Frankly, I knew that going IN to 2011, so it’s not like I need to sit back and be all nostalgic about all that I’ve lost. Who does that?

Anyway.

I don’t want to sit around with my thumb up my ass being all *sad trombone* here. I’ve had enough of that lately (it’s January, after all) and frankly, The Ugly Cry is starting to break capillaries in my face.

For 2012, I bought a simple ornament. It has one word on it.

Hope.

This year, I hope.

And I do.

I wrote this on Band Back Together. You should read it.

And contribute, if you haven’t already, for our Spotlight on Birth Defects.

Back when I bought this house, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Jesus played beer pong with me in college (He’s fucking better than I am), I thought that the living room was the least offensive of all the rooms in my house.

The tiny downstairs bathroom had three (THREE!!!) types of wallpaper. The upstairs bedroom was painted Pepto-Bismol pink. The dining room was Cat Pee on Plasterboard colored. The kitchen was (is) some variation of taupe that (still) makes me want to heave whenever I look at it. The family room is painted 3 different motherfucking colors.

So the living room? Not on my radar. Like pants!

That was, until, of course, I had two babies and major abdominal surgery and had to stare at the walls in the living room (also known as the “front room” to those of you who come from places that start with N and end in Dakota). The white looked dingier by the moment. There was a single roller swatch of pure white behind the french doors. The ceiling was a fucking mess.

Take this shot, from the day I closed the deal on the house.

The furniture is not fucking mine.

Looks fine. Besides, of course, the awful furniture, which IS NOT FUCKING MINE.

See? It LOOKS not…so bad! Probably because you’re distracted by the fug furniture.

That wall needs something…else. But I don’t know what.

Sorry, no shot of my ass this time.

I’m still not entirely certain what the room needs, but it needs…moar. Cowbell? Vodka? Perhaps. Or perhaps I should go score that sweet couch on the side of the road, for old times sake.

Thoughts, Pranksters?

I’m afraid that if you don’t help me, I’m going to end up with a Fat Head of me on one of the walls.

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