I live in Sacramento, almost half a year ago they changed our city from the “city of trees” to “Americans farm to fork capital”
Yesterday i found a picture of a cut down tree with these words on it.
I thought it was beautiful.
This is a little Christmas gift to my homesick friend and anybody who wants to spend Christmas with T.O.P~ Enjoy and Happy Holidays :)
“Oppa, where did you put the stamps?” You asked as you continued sifting through a drawer, your phone pressed in between your cheek and shoulder.
“The postage stamps! You were the last person to use them…”
“They’re not in the desk?”
“No, I’m still looking.”
“Then they must be in your heart.”
You stopped what you were doing and stood up, holding your phone in disbelief. “What?”
“Because I stamped my mark there.” You could hear your boyfriend laughing at his own joke through the line.
You sighed. “Oppa, I’m serious. I need to mail these Christmas cards out soon or they won’t get to my friends in time. You know international mail takes longer.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll buy some more on my way in. Haha, I’m so funny.”
You hung up before he could say any more.
You were both cuddled together on the couch under a fluffy blanket that Seunghyun had brought home from one of his trips overseas (“It’s alpaca fur. From Peru,” he had simply announced, expecting to be praised. You had rolled your eyes, but you had to admit, it was really very soft). You were flipping through the channels on tv when he lifted his head from your shoulder.
“Hmmm?” There were too many good dramas on right now, it was hard to choose…
“Why don’t we have a Christmas tree? You told me stories about how you’d have real trees and decorate them and stuff with your family as you were growing up. Why don’t we get one?”
You threw your head back and laughed. “Mr. Choi, where are we going to find a real tree like that in the middle of Seoul?”
Seunghyun pouted as he looked out the large glass window to see the lights of the bustling city flicker off the Han River. “True. But you always talked about how good they smell.” Your eyes traced the silhouette of his masculine face as he looked at the view that the extravagant villa offered. There were times that you still couldn’t believe that this man, the very same T.O.P of Big Bang, was yours. And every minute that you did believe it, you were so grateful that you had met him and moved to Korea. But sometimes, just sometimes, you missed home. You missed your family, the town you grew up in, the familiarity of the neighborhood grocery store, and the memories of Christmas spent together around the fragrant conifer decorated with glass baubles, handmade ornaments, and string lights, much like the lights that danced across the reflection of the river in the window.
Seunghyun had noticed the wistful look in your eyes. “What is it?” he asked.
“Nothing, it’s just…this is the first time I won’t be home for Christmas,” you said.
Without another word, he guided your head to rest on his shoulder, stroking your hair. It was true that he was the biggest goofball ever, but moments like these reminded you that he also knew how to be a quiet comforter.
“Ah! So bitter!”
“Sorry!” Seunghyun quickly apologized with an apologetic smile as he bustled about, picking up his scarf and throwing on his coat. He was running late to a morning meeting at the YG building, but that hadn’t stopped him from making you coffee. Even if it was extra bitter.
“It’s fine, go, go.” You waved him out as you shuffled sleepily towards the sugar jar. It was early; you had just gotten out of bed.
“Alright, I’m leaving, but hey, be ready to go out this evening, okay? I’ll come pick you up.” He was tying his shoelaces.
“Where are we going?”
Seunghyun stood up and beamed like a child. “To get a tree!”
A tree? You wanted to question it, but he was already late. “Okay, but you need to go!”
He opened the door to leave and turned around, grinning at you. “By the way honey, that pajama fashion with the bed hair, you’re killing it.” He flashed his teeth and escaped before he could hear your indignant reply.
You strung the last piece of tinsel on a branch, stepping back to admire your work. “Done!”
Your boyfriend came up behind you, squeezing your shoulder. “It’s…it’s…beautiful.”
You snorted at his dramatics. You had to admit, though, the tree did look really good. It wasn’t a real tree, but you and Seunghyun had found a nice artificial tree yesterday at the shopping mall, and after decorating it with all of the ornaments the two of you had picked out, it stood impressively in the corner of the living room. “It’s just missing the smell.”
“Actually I have just the thing.” He left the room briefly, then returned holding a gift bag. “One of my fans sent me pine-needle candles.” You lit them and enjoyed looking at the tree with the scent of Christmas in the air. “It’s maybe not quite home,” Seunghyun said, “but is it almost as good?”
You turned to him with a grateful smile, resting your head on his chest as he pulled you into a hug. “It’s just as good.”
“The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”
“Oppa~” You tried pulling a cute face to convince Seunghyun to watch your choice of holiday film. He groaned before throwing his hands up in the air.
“Fine. Elf it is. But promise that we’ll watch the Grinch tomorrow.”
“What if she doesn’t like it?” You watched from the bed as Seunghyun paced the room, anxious.
“Don’t worry, Mom will like it. It’s jewelry. She loves jewelry.” You had just gotten off the phone with your parents, who had called to let you know that the international delivery for their gifts had arrived and that they had placed the boxes underneath their tree. Upon hearing the news, your boyfriend had suddenly feared that he had made the wrong choices for their presents.
“What about your father? Oh no. He’s picky, right?” Seunghyun had his face in his hands.
You were slightly amused, seeing him like this. No one else in the world, you were sure, had ever seen T.O.P in this state. “Oppa, my dad loves you. He’ll like whatever you give him. Besides, you didn’t just send him anything, you sent him that fancy French wine.”
“Mouton Rothschild 1945 vintage.”
“Yeah, that.” You didn’t know nearly as much about wine, just that whatever he had sent your father was hella expensive. “He’ll like it.”
“This one, this one, or unbuttoned?”
“Hmmm.” You considered the options as Seunghyun held them up against his neck. The two of you were heading out to the YG family Christmas dinner, and he wasn’t sure which tie to wear. “Unbuttoned.”
“Ohhh,” he put the silk ties down and pranced towards you, winking. “You liiiiike?”
By the door, Seunghyun stopped you as you bent to put on your heels. “Is that all you’re wearing? You’ll catch a cold.”
“Oppa, don’t you know that dressing like this in cold weather is fashion?”
“I can’t tell if you sound more like Jiyong or Seungri,” he muttered, shaking his head.
You woke up with a runny nose and raging headache. Seunghyun stayed home all day to take care of you. You missed your mom’s home-made remedial soup, but he kept you cheerful with horrible puns and funny dances.
Seunghyun woke up with a runny nose and raging headache. He stayed home all day so you could take care of him. His puns were possibly worse than ever, but you forgave him since you gave him the cold.
You raised your glass. “To another Christmas!” Every girl around the table cheered in response and drank the champagne you had ordered. Seunghyun had gone out with his buddies, so you had decided to get together with some of your best friends in Korea and have a girls night.
“How are you doing?” Your closest friend, sitting on your right, asked you sincerely.
“Good,” you smiled knowingly. “I’m a bit homesick, what with the holiday season and all.”
“But you’re happy?”
“Merry Christmas!!” You pounced on Seunghyun, who was still sleeping in bed. He half-opened his eyes and threw his arm over them to keep out the light. “Oppa, it’s Christmas morning! Wake up!”
“Wait, what?!” He sat up abruptly, wincing at the sudden rush.
“Didn’t you say you wanted to be the first person to call the Big Bang members this year?” You reminded him innocently, handing him his phone, which you had courteously unlocked.
“I better call Daesungie~”
You could faintly hear the other end of the line. “H-hyung? Is something wrong?”
“Daesung-ah, Merry Christmas! Aren’t I the best hyung ever? I called you first!”
“Um, Hyung, it’s only the 24th. And it’s five in the morning.”
Seunghyun pulled his phone away from his face to look at the lock screen, seeing that it was indeed the 24th, and then to look at you. You doubled over laughing.
“Ah, sorry, Daesung-ah.” He hung up and looked at you, tears streaming down your face as you cracked up. “YAH!”
You opened your eyes groggily and looked at the clock. 8am. You turned over on your side and saw Seunghyun asleep, curled into the fetal position and his head mussed. What day was it? Oh! It was Christmas!
You gently pushed him awake. “Oppa.”
His brow furrowed as he came to, smiling immediately as soon as he saw you.
“Merry Christmas,” you told him.
“This one’s real, right?”
You grinned, nodding. “Let’s go downstairs!”
“You go first,” Seunghyun said, “I’ll be right down.”
You stood in front of the tree the two of you had decorated last week. Sitting underneath were a few wrapped gifts, the sparkling fairy lights twinkling off the reflective wrapping paper. You heard Seunghyun approach.
“Oppa, let’s open th— what the heck?” You froze mid-sentence as you turned around to see your playful boyfriend dressed in a Santa costume, complete with the fake beard. You recognized it as the one he had worn in his Tokyo Dome concerts; you hadn’t known he had kept it.
“Ta-da! Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!”
Though it was ridiculous, it was also just like Choi Seunghyun, and you couldn’t help but laugh at the get-up. “Does the Korean Santa even say ho ho ho?”
“I don’t know, but I’m trying to mimic the Santa you grew up with!”
That was sweet. You gave him a quick kiss and quickly turned to the tree. “Let’s open the presents!” You took turns opening the gifts. You were both pretty good at knowing what the other wanted, so everyone was happy. After the last box was unwrapped and opened, Seunghyun stopped you before you could stand up.
“Wait, one last thing.” He pulled from the pocket of his Santa coat a simple envelope. You looked up at him questioningly, but he gestured for you to open it. As you slid your finger underneath the flap, your heart fluttered. Somehow, you knew that this was the biggest gift of the holiday. You pulled out a piece of paper. On it was your name and his, with a flight itinerary. Was this what you thought it was?
“Am I…are we…” you stuttered.
“I noticed you’ve been extra homesick these days. Look, we’ll be there in time to celebrate New Years with your family! I’ve checked with them and they know we’re coming.” Seunghyun carefully watched your face for a response.
You’d be going home? And not just alone, but with Seunghyun too? How had he cleared his busy schedule? You had so many questions, but none of them mattered right now. A happy tear rolled down your face as you looked up at him. “Thank you,” you whispered.
He pulled you into a warm hug, the best gift Santa could ever bring. “Merry Christmas my love.”
Did a fun shoot with this handsome fella today. We found the coolest looking tree with nothing but branches and red berries yesterday while hiking and we had to go back today and shoot there. More photos tomorrow….
Happy Spring! Found the prettiest tree yesterday on our walk with Milan ( @stylishbambina ) so obviously had to take a picture and almost broke my neck. Lol 🙈👶🏻🌸🙌🏼 #spring #thethingswedoforinstagram by @stylishpetite
I know I already posted a pic or two of this bee and flowers yesterday, but get used to them.
Yesterday I found this flowering shrub or tree sprouting up in the logged area. It seems to be the only one like it there, and I have no idea what it is. There was this honey bee enjoying the flowers and I got obsessed with getting a picture of it. The bee was moving, the wind blowing, and I knelt there half an hour trying to catch moments they were still enough for my camera. I ended up up with more pics than I expected (and soaked muddy knees).
So the bee joins the azalea and wisteria in the “oh geez, not another one of THOSE!” post club! LOL