Dear Family and Friends



I remember the year Santa left me a Lion King toy. It was 1994, I was six years old, and my brother and I were spending Christmas Eve at our dad’s. Before we went to bed, my brother gestured toward the window and said, “Did you see that? The red dot flying over? Had to be Rudolph’s nose.”

My brother—eight years my senior—knew who Santa was. But that year, he let me believe. He made sure I went to bed with an eager heart so that, when I woke, raced to the living room, and saw a three-foot-long stuffed Mufusa, I’d think magic was possible. 

Now that I’m older, I have items like dish rags and socks on my wish list. I still think magic exists, however. I am of the opinion that it is what makes wi-fi work. I also think it’s in the sparkle of winter frost, and in my 14-month-old nephew’s laughter. And I’m pretty sure it’s behind those moments when you can’t stop smiling, hugging, and thanking the heavens.

When it comes to 2016, there are a few moments I would label “magical.” Like when Ty and I traveled to Colorado, for instance. Standing atop the mountains, breathing in the crisp air? Enchanting. This also was the year I ran my first 10K, as well as two half-marathons. Running in the pouring rain—and knowing Ty was at the finish line—was exhilarating. The most heartfelt moment of 2016? Having my nephew tell me, clear as day, “Goodnight.”

That said, this year has had its challenges. We all know the election has been … the election. And, as you probably know, I’ve been fighting depression and anxiety for the last couple of years. However, I did find a therapist whom I trust, respect, and adore. She’s been helping me understand myself, accept myself, love myself. Not an easy journey. But when I’m feeling low, I’ll generally go for a walk. (And by “go for a walk,” I mean, “end up sitting cross-legged in the middle of the sidewalk, a stray cat in my lap.”)

What’s gotten me through my darkest days are the little things—a goofy animal photo from a friend, a compliment from a stranger. Lately, though, I’ve been gazing at my Christmas tree, filled with childlike content. Because even though 2016 has beaten me down at times, life is … good. Weird, but good. This is the year I performed my first stand-up routine, started eating pistachios, and stopped wearing bras.

Undergarments aside, I’m looking forward to spending time with family, friends, and Ty, who has been my better three-quarters for more than three years. And while I don’t expect Santa to make an appearance at this year’s celebrations, I fully believe there still will be laughter, surprises, and, yes, magic. And I hope, sincerely, that your Christmas is filled with it, too.

Merry Christmas,
Dawn

12 comments:

  1. Gah Dawn, I'm so proud of you for all the things you've done this year - weird but good totally describes me right now too and you know what, I'll take it! Have a merry christmas love and heres to 2017 - hopefully not any weirder but as good as 2016 (politics excluded bah)

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    1. Merry Christmas, Rhianne! After the past couple of years, I'll take definitely take "weird but good." I hope your 2017 starts off with a joyous bang! So happy to hear that you're doing well. xoxo

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  2. Merry Christmas, Dawn! I think you're wonderful. I hope we get to meet in person sometime. I have Chicago on my list to visit (maybe 2017?). Sending lots of love to you + yours. Cheers! love, kaitlin

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    1. Meeting you would be such a delight! I would love to meet you in Chicago! In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday and a fabulous start to 2017. Merry Christmas, Kaitlin!

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  3. What a year! I didn't know you did a stand-up comedy routine. Wow! That's gutsy. My humor falls in line more with my late grandparents. I'll be a great grandma one day (hopefully) but, um, no one would pay to hear my kind of humor. Ha ha! And no bra? Equally gutsy. Ha ha! I have a "thing" for my Coobie bra. I don't even notice it. But I do hate socks. Like, I HATE socks! I wish I could wear flip flops and sandals all year round. Fortunately, there's a heating vent directly below my desk in our new-to-us house so I don't HAVE to wear 'em! Yay! Sure, I have to fight fat cats for access, but still. Barefoot inside at least FTW.

    Here's to a better year ahead. :) And, I DO have the Christmas ornament for my ornament swap BUT I only found where I had put it today! Argh. Shoved it in the bag with a kid's present. Now if I could only find my mother's gift, I'd be all set!

    Also, love the image above.

    Glad you are feeling back to you again.

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    1. My sister-in-law is the same way with socks and shoes. She's not a fan, either. Flip-flops anytime she can get away with them! I hope that you and the family have had a wonderful Christmas season. I'm jealous that you were able to get to the Artcraft (I wasn't able to make it this year). In the meantime, have a wonderful end to 2016 and a joyous start to 2017. Merry Christmas!

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  4. So proud of you!! Keep seeing the beauty!

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    1. Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and the entire family!

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  5. Merry Christmas and a magic-filled new year.

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  6. You are an amazing young woman, Dawn. Wishing you many blessings today and in the New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Mrs. Vorthmann! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a beautiful start to 2017!

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