Christmas in Song

“Grown a little sadder/Grown a little older/And I need a little angel/Sitting on my shoulder/Need a little Christmas now” – We Need a Little Christmas

I love Christmas, but this year it was hard to get into. Granted, we were abnormally busy this year – on December 19, DJ successfully defended his PhD. He’s officially* a doctor! But removed from that, we both just felt like something was missing. I mentioned this in my previous post, so I’m not going to dwell on it, but we thought we would celebrating this Christmas as a family of three, instead of a family of two. So preparing for Christmas was a little sadder than normal this year.

 

“And everyone is singing/I hear those sleigh bells ringing/Santa, won’t you bring me the one I really need?/Won’t you please bring my baby to me?”All I Want for Christmas is You

This is my favorite Christmas song (and I can sing this song almost as well as Mariah Carey herself, although DJ and the dogs tend to disagree). Again, we thought we’d be a family of three this year, so it was hard to hear this song and not think of the baby we were hoping Santa would bring us.

 

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas/may your heart be light/In a year our troubles will be out of sight.” – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aASCHienefI

This is a close second as my favorite Christmas song. It really resonated with me this year, thinking back over the last year and especially where we were this time last year. I had just been laid off, so DJ and I were both applying and interviewing for jobs. We didn’t know where we were going to be living come summer, if we were going to be living in the same city or different cities, or even if we would find jobs. Our troubles of last are truly out of sight this year. We both have good jobs, we are still living in our home (which I love so much more at Christmas), and, most important, we are together. Everything may not be the way we would like, but that’s okay. We both believe that “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

 

We had a wonderful Christmas. We both had to work Christmas eve, but we had a great day home together yesterday. We spent the evening with friends, sharing a meal and each other’s company. So Christmas was good, we are good, and we’re ever hopeful for a family of three for Christmas 2015. We hope that you are well and that you had a good Christmas. We hope for good things for everyone in 2015.

 

*It won’t be “official” until graduation in May, but he’s done all the work. All that’s left is to walk across the stage on May 9!

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Christmas

Christmastime is one of the busiest times of the year here in our household.  It starts the day after Thanksgiving, when I lift the ban on Julie listening to Christmas music.  That Christmas music doesn’t stop until the end of December.  That first post-Thanksgiving weekend is our weekend to decorate and get the lights up on the house, but most of all, it is our time to cut down and decorate our Christmas tree.

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Every year in the lead up to Christmas, we like to do something for our neighbors.  This year, we decided we wanted to give out cookies and went a little overboard.  We made about 15 dozen cookies, hand decorating over 100 of those.  It took a full weekend, but it was a lot of fun.

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This year, we started what we hope will be a new tradition.  This was the inaugural year for the Tacky Lights Run.  This 6k race is at night and winds the runners through a neighborhood famous for its tacky lights.  It absolutely poured that night, but everybody still came out all dressed up in lights and Santa costumes.  It was really pretty special.

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Christmas day is our day.  We exchange our gifts and make cinnamon buns and just enjoy the day together.  We can’t wait to share this with our child.  In the days after Christmas, we visit with family.  This year, both of our parents travelled to our house.  It was really nice to have them around and enjoy the season with them. As I sit here on New Year’s Day, writing this post, I can’t help but think of all of the changes that 2014 might bring.  It is a little daunting, but we couldn’t be more excited.

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Giving Blood Failure

Giving back to our community is something that’s important to DJ and I. This year, we’re trying to save money, so we decided to donate platelets to the local blood bank instead. This is the story of that epic failure.

We decided last weekend we wanted to donate platelets. A friend of ours from college passed away from leukemia and he required a lot of platelets in his treatment. We talked about it and made our appointments for yesterday afternoon. We were both excited as we had never donated before. DJ’s always been afraid of passing out (he has a track record) and I’ve always been deathly afraid of needles (working in a medical lab gets you over that).

We rolled into the donation center excited about what we were about to do. We registered, went through our physicals, and headed over to the donation stations. The phlebotomist looked at my vein and said she didn’t think my vein could handle a platelet donation and I should stick to a regular blood donation. Slightly discouraged, because my blood type isn’t in as much demand as are platelets, I made my way to the whole blood station. The phlebotomist there was confident my vein was fine for platelets and she could stick me. She took me back over and got me settled in to donate.

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Meanwhile, DJ was turned down for platelet donation as well. His vein wasn’t cooperating and they couldn’t get the needle in. Whole blood was his only remaining option. He originally didn’t want to donate whole blood and was nervous to because he has a history of passing out (at the ear doctor, in his cousin’s wedding…). He wasn’t looking forward to repeating the experience. In platelet donation, you don’t lose much blood volume like in whole blood, so the risk of passing out is much lower.

Platelet donation takes about an hour and a half to two hours. I got twenty minutes in and now my vein just wasn’t cooperating. Fluid starting building up under the skin above the vein and the phlebotomist called it quits. They got enough of my platelets to maybe stop a paper cut. The donation process had started to make me nauseous, so stopping was okay with me. I made my way to the juice and cookie station, with the room getting progressively darker as I got there. I asked if there was somewhere I could lay down and the next thing I knew, I was surrounded by staff who rolled me on a desk chair over to an empty donation chair. In no time flat they had me lying flat with a barf bag and were fanning me to keep me from being sick. Not the experience I was hoping for.

They put me next to DJ, where he we proceeded to make fun of me each other the whole time. Mostly we were trying to make the staff decide who was more sympathetic. DJ’s veins were still not cooperating for his blood donation and he required staff supervision the whole time.

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DJ finally finished and I recovered sufficiently enough to walk back across the room. We sheepishly ate our snacks (which we are convinced the staff thinks were the only reason we came in) and made our way home.

It definitely wasn’t the experience we were hoping but the snacks were so worth it.