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Christmas at 31.

Christmas when you’re an adult is truly nothing like it is when you’re a child. Granted, I’ve had a slew of medical issues + a lot of stress + depression dragging me down, but even with making allowances for all of that… I truly wasn’t feeling Christmas this year, and it was a relief when it was over. Don’t get me wrong: I decorated early and played Christmas music and talked the kids’ excitement level up about Santa and gifts and holiday break, but it truly was a case of just going through the motions. I was ready to rip everything down on the 26th, and was very happy to see Dan tackle that job yesterday evening (though as of now we still need to de-Christmas the outside of the house, and I believe there are still lights in the kids’ bedroom windows).

Still, I’m very happy for the Christmas gifts I received this year: a FreedomPop-compatible Samsung Galaxy S3 from Jason, crazy cat lady items + a sparkly red candle (pre-chewed by a cat, because how appropriate) from Amanda, sexy panties and a homemade coupon book from Daniel, sparkly jewelry from Alyssa and Ryan, and a “Fierce” Shakespeare quote necklace from my mom. Thank you guys – you know me so well. ♥

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, insert fake smiles and happiness here.

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Thinking about cheese

Today Amanda and Sophie are coming over for our annual belated Christmas get-together, and among other things (presents! TV! hair dye! mocking dramatic tween girls! maybe some games!) I’m going to make soup to satisfy our mutual craving for all things tomato-y and cheesy. I need to get my ass into the kitchen and get started on that, but first I want to knock out a blog entry here and another on In Jenn’s Bag. 2015 was the year of slacking in all things blogging-related, so this year I’m going to make sure I at least get blogging done each and every day.

How is your Saturday going?

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Looking back at 2015 (pictures)

January 2015
For my love, because why go through surgery if you won't get cheesy gift shop items? #cholecystectomy #gallbladder #surgery
Dan made it through gallbladder removal surgery.

February 2015
Ortho people: I can't make heads or tail(bone)s of this!
And so begins many frustrating and pain-filled months of doctor’s visits, appointments with specialists, and a variety of tests to figure out the source of my back pain.

March 2015
Slow, gentle bonding with Aslan. He's a toe-flexer! #FIVcat #FIVawareness #FIVpositive #formerstray #rescuecat #cat #catstagram #catsofInstagram
New arrival: Aslan aka Cube Cat, a stray FIV+ cat who was rounded up during a TNR.

April 2015
Happy 33rd Birthday to the love of my life, my sexy, awesome, amazing husband who is not just my soulmate and partner in life but also my best friend. <3
Happy 33rd Birthday to my love!

May 2015
At Hershey Medical Center's ER per my bariatric surgeon's orders because my intestines are twisting again. It is sooooo painful. :'( I dealt with this five years ago - half a dozen ER visits, several scans, and two surgeries to fix. that a QR cod
I underwent the first of two emergency abdominal surgeries to fix a life-threatening medical condition: a hernia that was strangulating part of my small intestine.

June 2015
Monkey Joe's
An attempt at normalcy with an evening at Monkey Joe’s with our kids and Amanda’s daughter.

July 2015
Happy Independence Day! #IndependenceDay #FourthofJuly #July4
More normalcy: barbecues, picnics, pool days.

August 2015
Ciao, beautiful.
August 1st began with a perforated ulcer in my small intestine. The pain was horrible, the knowledge of facing imminent death without immediate surgical intervention was terrifying. Fortunately, I have a great team of doctors, surgeons, and nurses at Hershey Medical Center; and after a long surgery involving blood transfusions and the implementation of a gastric feeding tube, I lived to tell the tale!

September 2015
New kitten arrival. His name is Odin, and he is utterly Dan’s baby.

October 2015
Happy Halloween! Alyssa turns 11.

November 2015
The arrival of six stray cats: Bones, a sickly kitten who dies despite a week of care due to toxoplasmosis; 7ish week-old Freyja and her brother Gizmo; a white and gray mama cat with two newborn babies (umbilical cords were still attached!).

December 2015
The excitement of Christmas and the relief knowing another stressful year is almost over.

(I did this in 2013, too!)

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Insert cliches about a new year and new resolutions here.

Happy New Year! I’m not going to sit here and list what I loved/hated about 2015 and what my resolutions are for 2016, because truth be told 2015 was a pretty terrible year all in all, and for 2016 my only resolution is not to die from small intestinal woes or stress.

My only plan for 2016:

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2015: a meme

1.What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
I had emergency surgery…twice. Most people don’t have it once in a year, let alone twice.

2.Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, and maybe. I’m kind of anti-resolution these days.

3.Did anyone close to you give birth?

4.Did anyone close to you die?
We lost a sickly rescue kitten, Bones.

5.What countries did you visit?

6.What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Peace of mind, followed closely by a good night’s sleep.

7.What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 1, 2015. This was the date of my second emergency surgery in 2015, and my second ulcer perforation. It was a horrific situation followed by a long surgery followed by a long, painful recovery, and I’m now dealing with additional problems: a recurring ulcer that causes pain and puts me at risk for a third perforation, and abdominal adhesions that are also quite painful.

8.What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I applied for and was approved for scholarships to two awesome educational STEM camps for Alyssa and Ryan. Those camps were the highlight of their summer, and Ryan has already asked if he can go again next summer!

9.What was your biggest failure?
Being self-disciplined in all things, especially sleep and work.

10.Did you suffer illness or injury?
No illnesses, but I had a strangulated hernia in May and a perforated ulcer in my small intestine in August.

11.What was the best thing you bought?
For myself? A snazzy HP laptop – it’s bright blue! And fast. And did I mention snazzy?

12.Whose behavior merited celebration?
Not mine.

13.Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My now 20 year old brother. With every passing year he does something a little more appalling and/or disgusting and/or both. This year he assaulted my husband, called me despicable names on Facebook, and his Christmas gift to my mother was the threat of eviction from their apartment, due to him telling their landlord all sorts of untrue nastiness.

14.Where did most of your money go?

15.What events did you get really, really, really excited about?
Nothing. I’ve been faking happiness all year ’round.

16.What song will always remind you of 2015?
Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams.

17.Compared to this time last year, are you:
i.happier or sadder? Sadder.
ii.thinner or fatter? 15 lbs. thinner.
iii.richer or poorer? Poorer.

18.What do you wish you’d done more of?

19.What do you wish you’d done less of?

20.How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas at home with Dan and the sprogs (plus my mom and his mom), and honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

21.Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Probably my mom.

22.Did you fall in love in 2015?
Only with my loves – Daniel, and the kids.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
House. (I can never get enough of this show.)

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
There are a few people I hate more than I did last year – does that count?

26. What was the best book you read?
I didn’t finish any books in 2015 – how awful is that? I have four or five unfinished books on my desk.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery?
Lady Gaga.

28. What did you want and get?
A new laptop.

29. What did you want and not get?

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
Jurassic World was good.

31.What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31 and did absolutely nothing.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less stress.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

34. What kept you sane?
Dan, Jason, and Amanda. Love you guys!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most/least?
Chris Hemsworth, still.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Women’s rights.

37. Whom did you miss?
My grandparents.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:
Work hard, then work harder.

40. Do you have any lost feelings of others.
I’m still at a loss.

41.Quote a song that sums up your year:
“Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days, when our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out” – twenty one pilots’ “Stressed Out”

(I did this in 2013, too!)

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