Christmas Eve

I am the first one up today, drinking coffee in the dark out of my Santa Claus mug, writing by the light of the Christmas tree...

It's been a good start to our winter break.  Harkins family Christmas was a success.  We decorated cookies and played games and ate prime rib.  We also talked a lot about Shannon.  Tears were shed, but that's OK.  It would feel worse if we didn't acknowledge the pain we carry.

Erin is making the most of her time off - sleeping in, hanging with friends, but still happy to hang out with me and Dan as well.  It's a wonderful dynamic we have developed as a threesome.  Erin has her say in things.  Not an equal to me and Dan, but pretty damn close.  She's earned it.  But, her excitement about Christmas has been a reminder that she is just twelve.  She wants to know when she gets to open her presents...

Today we will head to St. Paul and Minneapolis, stopping a few places to wish people a Merry Christmas before an O'Hara gathering this evening.

We received a lovely note yesterday from one of our followers, thanking us for this blog and letting us know it's helping her deal with grief in her own life.  Yesterday, Dan and I both had encounters with people who have stories of their own.  Stories of struggle, pain, and suffering.  We did our best to comfort, console and encourage.

If we've learned anything, it's that human connections are what matter the most in this life.  We hope that each of you can enjoy this special time of year with those you love.

Merry Christmas.