Well, we finally brought our tree in from its bucket of water on the patio and got it decorated. I think it's really pretty. Just don't come look at it from the side because the trunk is crooked and leans to the front. :) Zach picked out the tree, and I think he did good. My mom agrees and hopes he got paid well. I told her he did...he got to go to Disney World. LOL Anyway...here are a couple pics of it.
Here you see Freedom, Zach's Golden Retriever, stretched out. Keeping her away from the tree will be a chore...she LOVES to chew on things...ARRRGGGGH!!!
The red Mickey ornament was from our first trip to Disney in 2005, which we took to celebrate Wes' return from a year in Iraq. HOWEVER, it's not the original one. The original one got broken last year as Zach & I were decorating our tree. I was crushed; broke down. You see, Wes had just left (in October) for Afghanistan; and Zach & I were really having a difficult time with this deployment. I have a WONDERFUL friend, Karen, who frequents Disney "on occasion" ;) and I told her what happened. She, too, was sad. Well, I knew she was going back to Disney that next week. I almost didn't ask, but then I did...I asked if she would mind picking up a replacement for me and I'd pay her back. She said she'd be glad to and that she had actually considered that, but didn't want to butt in (you gotta butt in, Karen...I count on it! LOL).
So, she goes to Days of Disney Christmas to get a replacement. Well, they didn't have any of the red Mickey ornament balls. She starts to get upset and the artist says to her, "tell me what's going on." Karen tells her. Lil, the artist, says, "We'll make this right. Wait here." She went to get the manager, Yvette. Karen tells Yvette the story. Yvette tells her that they're expecting more of the red Mickey ornaments in on such-such day. We'll take care of it. She then asked what my son's name was. Karen told her. Yvette said they would do something special for him. Karen asked how much she owed...Yvette said..."It's on Disney. It's our way of thanking him for his service and the family for their sacrifice." Karen was touched (as was I when she told me the story). So, the blue Mickey below, is Zach's. It has his name on the back of it, too. The green one is the one we got this year for our "Return to Disney" after Wes' return from Afghanistan.
We stopped by Disney's Days of Christmas to express our thanks for such a wonderful gesture; but Yvette was no longer there. I believe she's been transferred, and I was not able to track down Lil; but I did leave a note for all that worked there JUST IN CASE any of them remembered the story and to let them know how much it touched mine & Zach's hearts for what they did. I still get emotional just thinking about it.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!