We had an interesting Thanksgiving. Damon had surgery on Tuesday, and so we sent the little one off with his grandparents to Utah. It was really quite, and we mostly slept. I did manage to bake a turkey, make potatoes and gravy, and pies. It was fun to have quiet time. Damon and I are both so tired from everything that has been going on. A week before I was hospitalized because of another MS flare. I am getting used to the shots, but I don't know how to pace myself, and prevent the stress that causes flares. Damon needing hand surgery didn't help. On Thanksgiving Benjamin called, and wished us a "Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you feel better, see you tomorrow." He was having too much fun to stop and talk.

Benjamin had a blast in Utah, and brought us home a Christmas tree. We decorated it the next day, and it turned out quite lovely. Benjamin has a tendency to group all his ornaments together on the very tip of a branch so they all fall off if you brush past them. Then we made great paper chains to drape around. I got to do all the ladder climbing since Damon is out for the count.

Damon did well until Sunday when the antibiotics once again screwed up his digestive system. I am making him stop taking them, stay home, and we'll pump him full of home remedies in a desperate attempt to avoid the hospital again this year. It has been a banner year for us. I've been hospitalized three times, plus we've gone to such exotic places as the Cleveland Clinic and UCLA for help and advice.

Christmas this year will, of necessity, be quite small. We are trying to focus on the spirit of giving and make gifts for each other, but our family also has the unique challenge of our birthdays also arriving at this time of year. We shop and budget for it all year long, and we do have some things, but Benjamin cannot make up his mind, and that is complicating the matter. Hopefully he'll be happy no matter what he receives, and if not, this year might be a year he has to grow up a little.

On a sad note, we have decided to put our adoption application on hold. Physically, financially, and mentally we are stretched too thin, and it's time to renew our application, which would cost $500, and we just don't have any extra to spare. It is really hard to do, and I don't know why this is something that Heavenly Father is asking of us, but I have faith that the time will be right someday. We have waited for years already, another year of preparation and retrenchment won't hurt things. We can still adopt through a licensed attorney if it is a designated adoption, but we will no longer be on the waiting list with LDS Family Services. When we are ready, it is an easy process to renew our license and start searching again. I was told to give myself a year with MS to recover and decide to return to work or school, so maybe this just needs a year too. Hopefully by then the medications will control my symptoms and flares and financially we will have recovered.

Benjamin continues to be the light of our life, and we have moved to a new home with great neighbors, a really close park, and a beautiful home. Damon and I craft and plan to try to sale our creations online and at fairs for fun. Benjamin is avidly into reading right now, and loves books, which is just as we would have expected and hoped. Damon will recover from surgery, even if he does have to be hospitalized, and my MS is back in remission for now. There are so many people who have helped us in our Church and family, and we have been humbled and richly blessed. Today should be a day for thank you cards and counting blessings. There are many struggles in life, and we have certainly seen our share this year. I hope that we can pause this Christmas, and just have time to be a family and enjoy the simple things. I plan to bake a lot, and make gifts, and find time for friends and family. First, I have to get my husband back on his feet so we can function better, but that's all in a days work.