fake it ’til you make it

You know that saying, “Fake it ’til you make it”? I recently decided to see if it really works.

The past few holiday seasons have been very difficult for me. During a time that is so focused on family, it is hard to be without our own. Not that I’m counting or anything, but this is the sixth holiday season to come (and soon, go) since we started trying to have a family.

Last year, we did not do a single thing to recognize the holiday season. No decorations, no cards, no parties, nothing. We even canceled our travel plans since Craig’s mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and we decided we should stay near her. We missed out on spending time with our only other fairly local family (Craig’s cousin) because they had a baby on December 23rd. Our holiday consisted of a dinner for two on Christmas Eve and about two hours with Craig’s mom, who was recovering from chemo and not up for much, on Christmas Day. It was just not a fun time.

This year, I felt the lack of spirit taking over early on. But I decided I needed to fake it until I made it. So, I started by playing lots of holiday music. Then I made a shopping trip to Tar.get and picked up a few decorations. We’ve received our first couple of holiday cards in the mail. I put out a few house decorations, although we did decide to forego the tree, since we won’t be home for Christmas.Β  Today we decided to put up our outdoor decorations.

Here is my snowman collection along with a few fun miniature trees:

Rocky managed to make his way into this shot!

You have to know that our house is pretty free of clutter and cutesy stuff, so this type of display is very unusual. We prefer a simple, clean look to the house. (We know, we’re in for it when we have kids!) So, when Craig saw my snowman display, he was a bit horrified. In fact, he started laughing so hard he could barely speak the following words (and I quote), “It looks like a craft store threw up on the piano!” I told him it was too bad – it was my holiday spirit, dammit! πŸ™‚

The new wreath for the front door:

I think porches like ours call out for this type of decoration:

[Sorry for the dark photo, but I was trying to capture the lights!]

Anyway, it turns out that the faking it really works! I might have had to force myself to do these things, but now that I have, I am feeling a bit of that holiday spirit. Woohoo!

Also, I want to share something that I picked up the other day. I have mentioned before that in terms of acquiring stuff for our future child, we have a couple of stuffed animals, our Ethiopian flag blanket, a couple of books, and that’s it. I’m just not able (emotionally) to do anything more at this point. So, my reaction caught me by surprise the other day as I was shopping and I came across the baby section in the store. There were cute little holiday outfits and such out on the end of an aisle (I wouldn’t dare walk down those baby aisles!), and I thought to myself, I should get something for next Christmas, when we’ll hopefully have our child home with us. So I looked around a bit, and then my eyes focused on this bib:

Disregard the fact that it is pink – it was the only color they had, and I just knew I was going to get it. Plus, if we adopt a boy, we’re going to make sure he learns early on that it’s okay for boys to wear pink, and that he does not have to abide by any gender stereotypes. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it was a good step for me to pick up this bib. First, it came shortly after my post the other day about feeling discouraged about the wait. While I’ve felt pretty comfortable thinking that our child will be home by this time next year,Β  I’m not so sure anymore. But, buoyed by your support and kind words (THANK YOU!), I’m going to try to get back into positive thinking about that. (Realistic, but generally positive.) Second, it helps tie into my efforts about boosting my holiday spirit. And last but certainly not least, it’s something for our child, the child we’ve wished for for years. I can’t wait until it’s all covered in drool and messy food!

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25 Responses to fake it ’til you make it

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love so much about this post – the hope, the joy, and the fun! I also love Rocky peeking in on the snowmen display πŸ™‚
    I’m very impressed that the faking it worked for you! And I’m so very happy for you to be having a more pleasant holiday this year than last.
    But I *LOVE* that, by this time next year, we’ll hopefully see a cute little baby face popping out of the top of that bib!!!

  2. Barbara says:

    I love the bib!! Great philosophy too. I think everyone needs to fake it sometimes for different reasons. Happy holidays!! Sending along really positive thoughts for 2011!!!

  3. First off, Rocky was the first thing I noticed and I died laughing. Sometimes we have to fake it to make it and I have a feeling this is your last holiday as a family of two. You best start stocking up on those bibs!

  4. Brandi says:

    That bib is just PERFECT!!! Girl, you’ve made it this far with all you’ve been through…just a little longer!! You can do it! Just think of all the wonderful memories you will have SOON! Love ya!

    BTW, where’s the inflatable tree????? πŸ™‚

  5. Jennifer says:

    Ok Craig’s comment about the piano cracked me up! I love it!

    I understand the holiday spirit. I do next to nothing… borderline next to nothing. In fact, someone said this weekend my house looks like the Adam’s Family House for Halloween, and then I let Christmas go….. Ummm yeah. I am single, so I didn’t see the purpose in going all out. In the old days I would choose a different place to visit each year.. Australia, Chile, wherever… Now, though I have a niece who moved to to the area.. YEAH!! and her boyfriend!! Therefore, I am making a dinner if nothing else.

    I think I will have to turn on the radio and see if listening to songs helps. I just tell myself next year is going to be very, very different. With a two year old and a 5ish year old next winter, Christmas is going to have to consist of a lot of music, decorations, and baking cookies… and the obligatory, over-priced, Santa pics. πŸ™‚

    Love, love, love the bib. My mother brought some of my old things when she visited at Thanksgiving. I told her i would take a little blanket for the now 13 month old. She brought mine.. solid pink. I said I won’t be wrapping it around him on the plane. Then everyone will ask about “her”. πŸ˜‰

  6. Meg B says:

    Yay for drool and food covered bibs. I admire your ‘fake it till you make it’ and general positive attitude. I have been putting off holiday decorations and the like…whether I am willing to admit it or not, the Wait is obviously getting to me be a bit. I seriously think I would be ok if I just had an idea of projected Wait Times…sigh… we just have to let go and see what happens. Your home looks lovely and your renewed holiday spirit is an excellent practice run for next year with your child! Happy Holidays!

  7. Erin says:

    *hugs* Kelly. Think of it as your and your hubbies last Christmas alone together πŸ˜‰ celebrate it in some special way or should I say close it in some special way? Next Christmas will be so magical for you. I can’t wait for you.

  8. Zoe says:

    Fake it to you make it does work a lot more than people think. Sometimes your body and choices have to tell your mind and heart what to think and feel! πŸ™‚ Glad you’re feeling some holiday spirit and love the bib!

  9. Emily B. says:

    I love the HOPE in this post. I just read your last post too and I know it may not seem like it to you but from where you I sit you are handling this wait extremely well!!! The wait is just brutal and so emotionally draining. I feel like there is just no way around that. I happen to like your snowman display! πŸ™‚ It is very festive! The wreath looks great too! Sending hugs to you!!

  10. Christine says:

    I *love* this. Every single detail. Especially the snowmen though… I have a snowman collection too, so seeing other people’s makes me happy. πŸ™‚

    I got a big giggle out of Rocky. Ahem, “Wockee.” It totally looks like he thinks the photo is all about him. Adorable!

    And the bib?! Oh my… the tears welled up as soon as I laid eyes on it. It makes me want to jump on the Acela and come hug you. (Mostly happy hugs) It’s such a huge step to start buying things (well, for me it was.) and I’m so thrilled for you. (And really, really excited for next year!)

    PS – Spencer has a lot of pink too. I love him in it. Unfortunately, I don’t have many photos since it’s dressier stuff. (Think pink oxford shirt with pink tie.) And I’m usually somewhere nice with him, where I’m focused on him not destroying stuff over taking photos of him.

  11. Martha says:

    I know the holidays are hard but you are doing a great job! I love the snowmen display – I collect snow people…they make me happy…big hugs to you…

  12. Liz says:

    Hooray for holiday spirit – even if you had to fake it at first!

  13. Leah says:

    I noticed a lot of boys wear pink in Ethiopia, so it’s all good. πŸ™‚ I love your decorations! They look great! I totally think faking it until you make it works. I have to do it in my life from time to time, and it definitely gets me through the difficult moments. πŸ™‚

  14. Dad says:

    Pink is good. I had a pink bedroom until I realized I could speak up. I think I turned out ok. Remember my prized toy was a plastic donkey. Those were tough times, I guess, I wouldn’t have known the difference. We have two presents we are waiting patiently to give to you One traditional and another is (with it). Can’t wait to see you in Denver. Love Dad

  15. Jenny says:

    Okay… LOVE the snowmen. Snowmen are some of my favorite holiday decorations! And your wreath is just GORGEOUS! I love that you bought that cute little bib! I can’t wait for next Christmas for the both of us!!!! It’ll be both of our babies’ first Christmas home! (And probably your baby’s first Christmas period!)

  16. zsmama says:

    I know exactly how you feel. Unwilling to really make that leap into buying stuff! Way to go though getting past that even just slightly.

  17. Sarah says:

    I totally get the emotional pacing bit. It just sucks, guarding yourself against further hurt, but also missing out some of the fun of anticipating things in life. So happy to hear you are inching towards the other side, preparing your home for chrsitmas and for a baby. Your house looks great, btw!

  18. angela says:

    You and Craig are pretty funny.. a craft store threw up. lol! Well anyway, your house is looking good for the holidays and the bib is cute!

  19. Kelly says:

    I think your house and your decorations look GREAT! (Although Craig’s comment cracked me up.) I truly believe in the “fake it til you make it” attitude. I’m glad it’s working for you. It’s amazing what some Christmas carols can do to your mood, I swear!

    I am thrilled you bought the bib. I know it’s hard, but I think you could start slowly buying fun things like that now that you are getting closer (slowly, yes, but closer still). These little things will make you smile and remind you that you WILL have a child in your house soon. That it’s real. Hugs, friend.

  20. sue says:

    this post warmed my heart. the holidays are sooo hard when you are waiting. i think it’s wonderful that you are getting into the spirit of them! and i love your snow man decorations – but i also love what craig said when he saw it!!!

    i came across some fabric the other day that someone had given us for c’s quilt. they sent waaay too much. i’ve had it stashed away. i’m never going to use it for anything else (you’ll see why), so i wanted to make something for your baby and send it to you. is that ok? it may take me awhile, so don’t expect anything until after the holidays. but i’m really excited about it!

  21. Kala says:

    I’m sure it will be hard. ((HUGS)) to you. Love love love the bib!!

  22. Sandra says:

    I am so happy you bought the bib. It will be so special to put it on your child next year.

  23. colleen says:

    hi kelly. i’m happy to be able to follow along your journey now. i can’t even begin to imagine how hard a 13 month ( and then some ) wait is. but i do still remember the feeling very well of yearning for years for a family. i give you so much credit for trying out the “fake it to make it” attitude and i pray that this time next year we are all reading about your first christmas as a family of three.
    ( ohh, and ps….love the bib! and with an artist husband and two artist siblings, i agree…color has no gender and i love pink on boys. ) πŸ™‚

  24. Way to grab hold of the Christmas spirit. I think 2011 is going to be quite a year for your family. That bib is absolutely adorable and so perfectly appropriate.

  25. Janet says:

    You might notice…I’m slowly catching up on blog reading…

    I love this post! I’m glad you felt like decorating to bring in a little holiday spirit. I laughed at your DH’s comment about your snowman display. Tee-hee! We were VERY minimalist and total neat-freaks…we’ve relaxed a LOT about clutter around (especially toys on the floor). You will too. It is different when it is clutter for a good reason…and not just my crap all over the place. Yep. πŸ˜‰

    I know what you mean about not wanting to buy anything or at least not much too early. I didn’t buy ANY clothing for D until we got our travel call. I’m not kidding. Then it was time for some sprint shopping.

    In Korea boys wear pink a LOT (just notice all the Hanbok shots posted on various blogs)…and baby boys in America used to wear pink a lot too (years back)…so your baby boy can wear pink too…why the heck not?! I agree with you…boys and girls should do/wear whatever…to avoid the gender stereotypes as much as possible. In fact…Santa brought our son a kitchen set this year…and so far he LOVES it. I know I love a man who can cook, right?!

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