Monday, January 31, 2011

Sleep and dreams

I'm wondering if anyone can relate to this post.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I cannot for the life of me remember what day it is! Of course it comes back to me after thinking about it for a few minutes, but it's such a strange feeling!

The other weird thing is when I'm dreaming that I'm either mad at someone, or someone is mad at me. For example, I was having a dream right before I woke up this morning that my mom was mad at me. She wasn't, of course, but that's what makes it so strange! Another example is when someone is being mean to me in my dream, and I wake up mad at them! It's always such a bizarre feeling. I have dreams like this fairly frequently, and I don't know why. Fortunately, it's only a dream, right?!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Scars and broken bones

Before my car accident I'd never broken a bone and I hadn't had any major health problems. No stitches, surgeries or scars. When I had my accident I broke my first bone(s) – my pelvis, a few ribs and my neck. My injuries were severe, so I had my first of many surgeries, which of course resulted in scars. Some of my scars are smaller than others, but I've got some great ones!

Here's a little bit about my three favorites: I have a long, 12" scar down my abdomen (breastbone to pubic bone) from the emergency surgery that I had right after my accident. I had severe internal trauma, so they opened me up to survey the damage. They stopped the internal bleeding and removed my ruptured spleen. After that they closed me up and put me back together with 40 staples. (It looked like a zipper.) Over the years my scar has faded from purple to red to pink, but it's still there, serving as a reminder of my very first surgery.

Second are two scars on my neck that are from the surgery when my neck was stabilized. This was a very tricky surgery that took eight hours, instead of the predicted four. The surgeon first tried to get to my spine by cutting into my neck from the front. This was unsuccessful, so they had to carefully turn my body over so that the surgeon could cut into the back of my neck. The surgeon later told my mom that he'd never seen a neck that was so badly broken where the person was still alive. This was a sobering fact! The scars on my neck aren't nearly as visible as they once were, especially the one on the back of my neck since it's now covered with hair. (They had to shave the back half of my head to do the surgery.)

By far my favorite and most grizzly looking scar is on the underside of my right forearm. When I was in the emergency room right after my accident, I had several IVs and I was hooked up to all sorts of different drugs. In one of my IVs I was being given potassium, and the IV infiltrated. (This means that the IV slipped out of the vein, but the potassium was still flowing, so it pooled on the inside of my arm, resulting in a terrible burn.) My skin was basically charred from the inside out, and I had a thick, black scab of charred skin that was about 6 inches long and 2 or 3 inches wide. This thick scab had to later be cut off with surgical scissors. Remarkably, it didn't hurt at all. Although I could feel the pressure of being touched, I felt no pain. This wound was very deep (deep enough that I could see the tendons in my arm) and it took months to heal. I'm always proud to show people this scar since it has such a great story to go with it!

As much as I love my scars, they are nothing compared to the scars that my two younger sisters have. They are both burn survivors and have extensive scars covering much of their bodies. (Fortunately, their scars are mostly in places that are covered by clothing.) I love their scars since I feel it says so much about them; what they've been through and how they both survived such horrible injuries. I'm sure they both feel differently than I do about having scars, but I really admire them both.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Yesterday I was watching the news and I heard something that I thought was crazy. Bristol Palin is coming to Washington University in St. Louis in a few months to talk to the students about abstinence and teen pregnancy. Although I don't think she's the best person to speak on that topic, the thing that really irritated me was that she's getting paid $20,000 for her services. I can understand her getting paid for airfare and other travel expenses, but $20,000 is just outrageous!

Does anyone else think this is crazy?!

Betty White… so cute!

I saw an interview with Betty White on The Early Show this morning, and I think she is so cute! She's 89 years old, but she's so lively and with it. She said she really loves working, and she talked about a new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie that she's in this Sunday on CBS called The Lost Valentine. It looks really cute and my mom and I are planning on watching it together.

One thing that has always impressed me about Betty White is the love that she has for her late husband, Allen Ludden. Even though Allen has been dead for almost 30 years, Betty White is always saying that he is her one true love. I find that so endearing!

I love watching old episodes of Password, a game show that was hosted by Allen Ludden. I especially like the episodes where Betty White is a guest. Here's a clip:

Go Gabby!

I can really relate to Gabrielle Giffords – the congresswomen who was shot in the Tucson shooting on January 8. No, I've never been shot in the head, and Gabby wasn't paralyzed in a car accident, however, we've both been through tragic accidents that have left us physically damaged. I've heard a lot about Gabby and her medical condition on the news. She's making miraculous progress, which is great.

Earlier this week she was moved to a rehabilitation hospital in Texas. I can't help but think back to seven years ago when I went to a rehab hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Gabby is going to have months of rehab ahead of her, and most likely a lifetime of health issues, but if her track record so far is any indication of how she will do him rehab, then I predict she will do very well.

It's crazy to think how your life can change so dramatically in an instant, and how it can impact you every day for the rest of your life. No one ever thinks they're going to be involved in a life-changing accident, but once it happens it changes everything.
I'm pulling for you, Gabby, and hope you keep making miraculous progress!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A wish

I love to daydream! It's so fun to think about what life would be like if I weren't paralyzed, and if I were leading a "normal" life. However, my life isn't normal or typical.

If I could have a wish (beyond health and prosperity for myself and my family) I would love to be rich! There's so much I would love to do if I had unlimited funds! I would love to be able to donate to charities and to do nice things for people. It's the best!

I love, love, love buying gifts for people, and if I were rich I could be even more generous than I am now. When I give a gift to someone, I love spending time thinking about something that would be meaningful and special for them.
For me, the best part about Christmas is giving gifts to people; I much rather give gifts than receive gifts. I wish I were Santa Claus!
One of my top dreams for myself is to have my own house one day. I would love to live in a house that is one story and completely accessible so that I don't have as many restrictions on where I can and can't go in my own home. I don't want to seem ungrateful for the nice home that I'm living in now, especially since there are so many people in the world who are either homeless or don't have a home near as nice as the one I live in now. However, this isn't my home.

My mom and I are a package deal since she is my main caregiver (not to mention my best friend), so I would love to have a house that we could share where we both have our own areas in the house that are just ours, while at the same time having common areas that we share.

I wish someone who is extremely wealthy like Oprah or Tyler Perry would give me just a pinch of their money so that my dream of having an accessible house could come true! Hopefully one day I'll have my own house, but for now I'll just stick to daydreaming and being grateful for the things that I do have!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"The Help"

Earlier this evening I had my book club. First of all, I just have to say much I enjoy my book club because it's a way that I can socialize with others. I started it 2 1/2 years ago and I invited gals in my ward at church (congregation) to join if they were interested. We usually have an average of 10 people come, which is the perfect number.

I've heard a lot about the book The Help, so I decided to choose it for my pick this month. It was SO good and definitely worth reading. It was a thought provoking book, and it really lent itself well for a good discussion. I highly recommend this book!

Coming up with a treat to have this month was a no-brainer… chocolate pie! (If you've read The Help, you'll understand why it was a no-brainer!)

This book is being made into a motion picture, and I can't wait for it to come out in theaters later this year!

*I usually pick the book every other month or so, so I'm always looking for suggestions for great books!

If I were…

– a color, I would be green (seafoam, specifically)
– a shape, I would be a star (I love stars!)
– a food, I would be chocolate, or maybe a sub sandwich, or maybe Chinese food, but probably chocolate!
– an animal, I would be a giraffe or an elephant (both are so unique)
– a bird, I would be a hummingbird (so delicate!) – a breed of dog, I would be a Westie (the Cesar dog! If you know me then you know that I don't like dogs, or pets in general, for that matter. However, if I ever were to have a dog, then this is what I would pick.)

Holding steady

Last Wednesday I went for a bone density scan. When you're paralyzed and you aren't able to bear weight on your bones, they often become brittle and osteoporotic. My last scan was about two years ago, and it showed that I was losing bone mass, so my doctor put me on a medication that helps prevent this. Last week's scan showed that I haven't lost any additional bone mass in the last two years, so I'm holding steady, and that's a good thing.

You wouldn't believe all the ways being paralyzed compromises your body! It's crazy! So although holding steady means that I'm not as healthy as I once was, or as I'd like to be, I'll take it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A new twist on an old thing

Last night I tried a new kind of candy: peanut butter snickers. I love, love, love peanut butter, and I think it makes everything better! A lot of times people say not to mess with a good thing, but in my humble opinion, peanut better snickers are even better than the original! If you love peanut butter or candy in general, I think they're worth checking out.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

mmm... popcorn!

Popcorn is one of my favorite foods, among other things like biscuits, sandwiches, Chinese food, chocolate and desserts. It's just so good! A perfect snack!

One of my Christmas presents this year was a whirly pop. Check it out here. A whirly pop is something you use on your stovetop to make popcorn. It's relatively inexpensive ($22) and it makes really good popcorn! You can also make kettle corn, which is my personal favorite. My sister Kristin has some friends that used to make the best kettle corn with a whirly pop for their parties. She got their tips and tricks and passed them along to me. The popcorn takes about 5 minutes to make, and it turns out so crispy with just the right balance of salty and sweet. I love it!

Am I weird?!

I love watching movies, especially on my laptop because I can set them on fast-forward mode, so I get through the movie faster. You're still seeing the entire movie, it just plays a little faster than it normally would. (What would normally take 10 minutes to watch might only take 7 minutes, depending on how fast I have it set.) You're not missing anything, people just talk a little faster, walk a little faster, things like that.

My sister Chandra makes fun of me and laughs when she sees me watching a movie in fast-forward mode on my laptop. I have a perfectly logical reason why I do this, though. I'm a busy girl! I've got lots to do (including watching movies) and if I can shave say, 30 minutes off of a movie, then it's a win-win situation because I've been able to watch the entire movie I want to see, and I have the extra time that I've saved to do something else.

So my question is, am I weird, or am I just really good at managing my time?!

Let it snow!

I absolutely love snow and always have. When I was a little girl and snow would be in the forecast, I'd constantly go to the back door, turn on the patio light and look out, just hoping to see some sign of snow. I'd always get so disappointed when we were supposed to get snow, and it didn't happen, or it only snowed a little bit. I also have fond memories of getting up in the morning when it had snowed and listening to the radio to see if school was canceled. I'd always cheer when my schools name would be on the list of canceled schools.

Snow was in the forecast yesterday, and even though I'm 26 years old, I still get giddy and excited! It started snowing last night sometime around eight, and everything was white when I woke up this morning. My mom went out to shovel the driveway (she loves shoveling!) and she thought we'd gotten about 3 inches of snow. It has continued to snow and is still snowing now, although the flakes are very tiny. I'd estimate that there's 4 or 5 inches of snow on the ground right now. (Although, it's hard to tell since I'm eyeballing it from the inside.) It's definitely not as much snow as I would would like, but I'm just glad that there's enough snow to cover the grass and make everything look pretty. I love having a huge window in my room so that I can enjoy looking at the snow.

I'm not sure why, but the county that I live in always seems to get the shaft when it comes to getting snow. My mom is wondering if it maybe has something to do with the rivers in the area, but we always seem to get considerably less snow than the other counties in our area. I'll take all the snow I can get, but I don't like drawing the short end of the stick!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The saddest day of the year

For the past week I've been hearing on the news that January 17 is the saddest day of the year. The reasons that they gave are that the holidays are over, the Christmas bills are starting to roll in and people are starting to slip on their New Year's resolutions (if they haven't already completely given them up).

Ironically, January 17th is the day that my dad died, so it has the potential to be the saddest day of the year for me, but it's not. The anniversary of my dad's death isn't a sad day for me at all. It's actually a happy day as I reflect on the good times and look forward to the day when I'll see Dad again. If I didn't know that I absolutely would see Dad again, then it would be a sad day. What do people who don't know that they will see their loved ones again do? Now that's a sad thing to think about!

It's hard to believe that that Dad's been gone for so long. 11 years of growth and changes! When Dad died I was still in high school and I could still move! Three new sons-in-law/brothers-in-law have been added to my family, as well as all 16 grandchildren. I can't imagine my life any other way than it is now, but it would definitely be interesting to see what life would be like if Dad were still living.

I hope everyone's having a great day, but if you aren't, hang in there and know that things always have a way of turning up! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kindness from family, friends and strangers

I just want to make a quick update about my sister Kristin and her family. They've been in their new town for two weeks now and they are settling in. Kristin enrolled her oldest son in first grade and he likes his new class. Scott started his new job last Monday and that's going well, too.

Their U-Haul trailer was found a few days after it was stolen, but it was empty, of course. Even though Scott had taken out the full amount of insurance that U-Haul offered, they said that their insurance doesn't cover theft. After my sister's experience with U-Haul, I would never use them or recommend their services to anyone. They were extremely slow to respond when my sister called to talk about things, and they just had an awful experience with U-Haul all around.

People have been so generous to my sister and her family. Family and friends have sent money or gift cards, or have sent clothing or other care packages. Even perfect strangers who have heard about my sister's situation have reached out to help. Here's one example: our younger sister Laura is on a mommy blog and she wrote about Kristin's situation. One of the other moms on the blog sent Kristin a big box of brand-new clothes from Children's Place. Other people that Kristin hasn't seen since high school have sent packages, too. Kristin has been so touched at the outpouring of love and help.

It just warms my heart to see the way people react when someone's in need. It's really the way it should be!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy medium between blogging and journaling

One of the things that I'm going to try to improve on this year is journaling. I've been keeping a consistent journal on my laptop for the past four years, and I usually write once or twice a week. However, my journaling has been harder to manage now that I've started a blog. My blog is kind of like a journal in and of itself, but I'm trying to find that happy medium between blogging and journaling so that I can have a great blog and a great journal.

Another thing that makes finding this happy medium hard is that I love blogging and have fun doing it, but I don't enjoy journaling near as well and I definitely look at it as more of a chore. It would be easy to ditch the journal and just stick to blogging, but the reason I keep journaling is because my journal is where I record my deepest thoughts and feelings; the things that are probably of the most value. So I'll keep journaling even though I don't particularly like it because I feel that maybe one day someone will find value in the things that are written in my journals.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010: goals and highlights

At the beginning of 2010 I made a list of goals and other things I wanted to do throughout the year. Here are some of my adventures:

Cheesecake Factory: I'd never been to The Cheesecake Factory before this year, so I put that on my list of things to do. I went with my sister Chandra, my sister Laura and her husband and my friend Nate in April. I ate potstickers and Godiva chocolate cheesecake. I tried my friend's avocado egg rolls, and those were really good too. (I think that's what I'll get to eat when I go back.)

Baseball Game: I haven't been to a St. Louis Cardinals game since my car accident. Busch Stadium was rebuilt a couple of years ago, so I also really wanted to see the new stadium. I went with my sister Chandra and three of our friends. Although it was August, the weather was absolutely perfect and we had a great time. The Cards even one! Butterfly House: There's a great place to go in St. Louis called The Butterfly House. I'd always wanted to go, but I'd never been before. I was actually able to go twice this year, once in October and another time in November. Although it's hot and very humid in the dome were the butterflies are, it is wonderful to be in a place where thousands of butterflies flutter around you… and even land on you if you're lucky (which I was the second time!). 25 movies in the theater: I love movies and always have, so I thought it would be fun to see 25 movies in the theater this year. It was a lofty goal, but I thought I could make it if I was committed to the goal! I just barely made it, seeing my last movie on December 27, but I squeezed it in the made my goal. (I actually went to the movies 26 times, because I saw Shrek Forever After twice, but I only saw 25 different movies.) I saw lots of movies that I liked, but my five favorites were probably: One goal I made that I was not successful in keeping was to remain hospital-free all year. I was hospitalized twice this past year with kidney stones, or complications related to kidney stones, but that's the way things go when you're paralyzed! Stones are going to be the bane of my existence for the rest of my life! Thankfully, I made it the rest of the year without having any major health problems.

These are some of the best things that happened in 2010; the highlights:

We had a small "baby boom" in our family this year and I now have four new nieces and nephews: Rebecah, Aaron, Matthew and Amy, bringing my total to 16! I love being an aunt and it's always so exciting when my sisters have babies. I love being a part of a big family!

I was able to see all of my family at least once this year. Since my four older sisters and their families all live far away, family visits are always something I look forward to. We had company for almost three weeks straight at the end of May/beginning of June. I was finally able to meet one of my new nieces and two of my new nephews. It was wonderful!

By far the very best thing that happened to me last year was when my sister Kristin and her family moved in with my mom and me while her husband Scott was looking for a job. I loved every minute of it and I'm so thankful that I was able to get to know Kristin's four little boys better. I didn't know them at all before they moved here and it was great to get to know them on an individual and personal level. I miss watching them play and seeing their creativity come out. It was so fun to watch my five-year-old nephew Ethan always fighting imaginary bad guys around the house. He always made the best sound effects that were so entertaining and funny!

It was wonderful to have so much family around for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. As I've said in a previous post, this was my second favorite Christmas of all time, mostly because there was so much family here to share it with.

I'm still blogging! I made 176 blog posts in 2010. I love to blog, and it's especially fun when I get feedback from strangers, and even some comments from people all over the world. If you're one of my readers from another part of the world, leave me a comment and tell me where you're reading from. It's so much fun!

I've had a few people ask me what my goals for 2011 are. I decided that making goals and lists of things to do was what I did in 2010 and I don't really want to do that again. Not this year, at least. My one standby that will always be a goal every year for the rest of my life will be to remain hospital-free. Other than this, I just hope that my family is happy and healthy and that I remain full of joy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I know when I'm feeling sick when… blogging and working on my computer takes a backseat since I'm feeling so crummy.

I started feeling sick last Wednesday. It first started out as a mild headache and muscle aches, but then it changed into congestion in my head and chest. As the days went on, I wasn't getting any worse, but I wasn't getting any better, either. I had a low grade fever of about 100° off and on, but I wasn't too concerned about it.

My chest hurt and it was definitely harder to breathe than usual. The pain in my chest actually felt similar to the burning feeling you experience when you run outside in cold weather. I had so much fluid in my airway and we were constantly having to suction it out. I kept feeling the urge to cough, but since I can't breathe on my own I can't really cough like a normal person can. (Just to explain… when a normal person coughs, they start by taking a deep breath. I can't do this since I have no control over the breaths I take since I use artificial means to breathe, so that's why I say I can't cough very well. It's probably hard for the average person to understand what I'm talking about if they don't have experience with someone who can't breathe on their own.)

My mom decided to call my doctor Tuesday morning to see what she would suggest. She called in a prescription and I was thankful that I didn't have to go into the office. I took the first dose of my antibiotic around 12 that afternoon. Not too long later I started shivering and I couldn't get warm. I covered up in attempts to warm up, but then I got really hot. I got hotter and hotter, and I felt worse than ever. My face was really flushed, so my mom decided to take my temperature. It was 103.9°, so now instead of feeling cold and shivery, I was so hot, hot, hot! I took some Tylenol to lower my fever and that helped a lot.

A few hours later I was thankfully feeling a lot better. I think I've finally turned the corner and am on the mend. I'm glad because I don't like feeling sick!

For the record, I totally blame my sick nieces and nephews who I saw a few weeks ago during the holidays. It's totally okay, though! I won't hold a grudge for too long! As horrible as it is to be sick, it's worth it because I love being around my nieces and nephews. ;)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Update on the Hawkins front

When I write on my blog about things that are going on in my life, I try to give as much of the story as I can for anyone who might be reading my blog for the first time, but not too many details that my regular readers already know. Hopefully I can catch everyone up on what has happened to the Hawkins family, while remaining brief at the same time.

Over the past five months I've written a lot about my sister Kristin and her family since they have been living with us while her husband Scott looked for a job. Scott finally found a job, so the Hawkins family packed up their belongings in a U-Haul trailer and left for California this past Tuesday. That night they stopped over at a hotel in Oklahoma City so that they could get some sleep. While they were sleeping someone stole the U-Haul trailer that they were towing behind their van.

They haven't lost all of their possessions, because they didn't bring everything they owned to St. Louis when they moved here from Utah, just the most important things. While all of their furniture, couches, beds and things like that are safe and sound, the things that they lost were the things that were most important to them for various reasons. Here's a list:

– Almost all of the clothing for the six family members. All of Scott's suits, shirts and ties as well as his nicer casual clothing. The boys each had a couple of outfits in their suitcases, but these were their play clothes and not the clothing/shoes that they wear to go out in public, to school and to church. It makes me sad because my sister had some really nice clothes. After I had my accident I had to get rid of the majority of my clothing because I didn't wear it anymore for various reasons. I gave Kristin lots of things, and these are things she still wears today. I always felt happy when she would come down the stairs wearing something of mine. It made me feel like the "old" me lived on through her.

– All of Kristin's jewelry. A few years ago Kristin started making jewelry, and she has quite a collection of necklaces and bracelets that she's made herself to complement her wardrobe. All of her jewelry was in the trailer, as well as all of the tools, supplies and beads that she uses to make jewelry.

– Kristin's family brought their TV, Wii console, Wii games, Wii controllers and all of the accessories that go with it. Kristin's boys love playing Wii so that's why they decided to bring it with them when they came to live here instead of leaving it in their storage unit. The cost of the TV, Wii and all of the other accessories is easily over $1000, so it's going to take a long time before they will even be able to start to think about replacing some of it.

– If you know Kristin, then you know how awesome of a cook she is. When Kristin moved here she brought a lot of her specialized cooking equipment. Her KitchenAid mixer, Cuisinart food processor, all of the things that she uses to make and decorate cakes, plus her digital food scale, her digital candy thermometer and a lot of other expensive kitchen tools that are going to be hard for her to live without. She's just glad that she didn't bring any more of her kitchen stuff like dishes, measuring cups and things like that because she's going to have a hard enough time replacing the specialty things.

– When my sisters and I were kids, my mom made stuffed dogs for all of us. Kristin had two of them, actually. Her boys thought they were really neat and liked having them on the end of the beds that they slept on while living here. So they took them with them to put on their beds in their new home. I also gave Kristin a small stuffed elephant. Of course this doesn't sound like much, but I have the exact same elephant, so it was sentimental. We thought it was a cool way to remember each other when we would see our individual elephants and know that it was part of a pair and the other one was in good hands, albeit across the country. My mom also gave Kristin a housewarming present that she was supposed to open when she got to California. It was a small, clay wizard that Kristin made my mom when she was in fifth grade. All of the things in this paragraph were of course in the trailer. These things sound silly when I see the words on my computer screen, but they meant a lot to my sister and her family.

– By far the most devastating thing that they lost was the piano that my late dad gave my mom 30 years ago. Kristin loves playing the piano and would sit down and play almost every day in the months that they were living here. My favorite was when she would play Christmas songs. My mom had a music book with all sorts of different Christmas piano music in it. My mom decided to give Kristin her piano as a housewarming gift since Kristin loves playing so much. In hindsight my mom wishes that she hadn't given it away because it would still be here waiting for Kristin. However there are no second chances when it comes to something like this, so we've all told ourselves that it's gone. I think it's easier that way so that were not sitting around hoping for it to turn up, safe and sound, when that's realisticly never going to happen.

Kristin and her family arrived in Ridgecrest, California, last Friday. They've moved in and are trying to make things as normal as possible. This would be a challenging time for them anyway, even if their things hadn't gotten stolen, because they've had to leave family and move across the country to a tiny, tiny town. I was shocked when I heard how tiny of a town Ridgecrest is. There's one grocery store, one Walmart and Kmart (neither of which are supercenters) as well as a few restaurants like Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins. Everyone Kristin's met has told her that when you want to go shopping, you basically just have to make a day of it because you have to travel a few hours in one direction to get to any decent shopping.

I just miss Kristin and her boys so much. I could start crying at any minute if I stop and think about it long enough, but I know that doesn't do any good, so I just try to not think about my sadness. On a brighter note, I know that everything happens for a reason. Even this trial of my sister's belongings getting stolen. Right now it's hard to make any rhyme or reason of why this happened, or how any good could possibly come from it, but I have a feeling that someday we just might understand.

*By the way, Kristin called sometime on Saturday and told my mom that their U-Haul trailer had been found. It was empty, of course. Even this is fortunate, though. My brother-in-law Scott took out the maximum insurance on the U-Haul, but when he called to report it stolen, they told him that they wouldn't even talk to him until the trailer was either turned in or found. Who knows what, if any, compensation they will get from the U-Haul, but at least the ball has started rolling.

For anyone who would still like to donate to my sister's cause, here's the link:

Post-Christmas blues!

My favorite day of the year is always Christmas Eve. The first few hours of Christmas are fun, too, but after all of the presents are opened, the rest of the day has a lackluster feel. The day after Christmas is one of the worst days of the year, in my opinion, because you realize that the thing you were so excited for and had so much anticipation for is over and won't come again for another 364 days.

I usually get a touch of the post-Christmas blues, but this year has been worse than normal because a few days after Christmas my sister Kristin's family left for California. The next day my sister Sharon and her family left to go back to Mississippi. Things are back to normal now, I guess, but I had gotten used to having Kristin's family living with us, so now things are too quiet, too clean, too boring and not nearly as exciting.

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