Dear Friends,

This year sucked. Delete, delete, delete. 

This year was challenging. Delete, delete, delete.

This year was great! Delete, delete, delete.

This Year.

It's 3:31 am two days before Christmas and I find myself awake after a brief stint with sleep that was interrupted by our adorable grey dog who first needed to go outside and pee, and second needed to come inside and throw up on the carpet. Once this was complete, he was way too upset to sleep on the couch by himself (obviously) and therefore was allowed to cuddle in with us. He tossed and turned, we tossed and turned, I got up. Turned the Christmas tree lights on and settled in, working away at a few loose-ends for Adesso and answering a few personal emails. Despite my fatigue and a big mug of sleepy time tea I remain awake. So awake it is.

This discombobulated night feels like an excellent metaphor for 2015. Unexpected, mostly unwelcome, requiring huge doses of patience in order to survive. This year will forever more be the year that Karen died, the year Dad got fired (again), the year my business almost collapsed in on itself due to the first two items on the list. With nine days left until the New Year I commented to Jon that I felt exceedingly tired; I realize now I haven't taken more than four days off since this time last year. Oh. Boy.

While the year was difficult I would be remiss to say there weren't positives: I had two wonderful long weekends in Houston, I enjoyed joining Jon on his training camp in St. George, I had a truly amazing time with Mat, Jason and Caitlin in Ottawa for the marathon (despite my less than stellar race).  Jon and I remain healthy, and our little grey beast is the highlight of many of our days (despite the rug vomit stunt of a few hours ago).

It was my intention to complete all my Christmas cards in the summer and write a letter to go in them, just like my Mom does. My intention was good but my follow through was poor. I'm low on energy and struggling to string together a Christmas I have entirely been dreading. I wish I could give an upbeat end to this prose, my very best bet is to indicate I am tremendously looking forward to 2016, to turning over into a new year, to turning over into new hope.

It might not be the merriest or brightest of notes, but it is honest.

Wishing our friends, family and random strangers who read this a very Happy Christmas season and a special 2016.

Holly, Jon + Pal