Xmas Card, 2003
The sad truth is only a very few people ever saw this card.  Dani and I spent several days making it up in Word, then had a huge box full of cards printed along with maybe a hundred or so address labels.  Unfortunately, said box was in the trunk of her car when we ended up in the car crash a few days before we were to send it.  The box was completely crushed and pinched into place (thankfully my suitcase was on the other side from the impact), and Dani was too sore to get more than a handful of cards out to our immediate families.  I'm posting it here so we can say, "We were going to send you a card.  No, really!"

Dani’s 2003
…in a nutshell

January – Still shellshocked from grad school, I settled into my job as a social worker.  My position is complicated – I work full-time for Cancer Care Services, but am contracted out to work for two other agencies – Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation and Texas Oncology PA.  I’m faced with juggling two part-time positions, either of which could easily fill over 40 hours a week!  When I took the job I thought it might be a challenge… that was an understatement!  But, I haven’t been committed to the mental institution yet, so things must be going all right!

February – I celebrated Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, Alex.  Jumping ahead, in December 2003 we celebrated our one year anniversary!  Yes, for those of you who have seen me through my various and sundry boyfriends over the past decade or two, this seems rather miraculous!  Could he be a keeper”?!?  He is currently back in grad school completing a master's degree in Neuroscience, and plans to work on his Ph.D. next.  Alex is an excellent musician (guitar, bass, keyboard) and a dog lover – he fosters dogs for the DFW Pug Rescue.  And he's sweet and loving besides – I think I’m pretty lucky!

March – I was reminded of how much I miss my time in England when one of the American volunteers who was there with me – Pat Young – came to visit.  He lives in Chicago and wanted to have a “Real Texas” experience… and so Pat insisted I take him to the rodeo.  UGH!  Despite this incident, his visit was nice, and it brought back fond memories of Ludshott Manor and my wonderful British family (whom I've neglected horribly! Sorry friends!  I do love you and think of you often!).

April – I “ran” in the Oklahoma City Marathon with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.  I raised $1,500 for the cause, and was there in memory of my uncle David (who died from this disease several years ago) and in honor of the many childhood leukemia patients I work with every day.  Although my intentions were good, I ended up walking a half marathon instead… what can I say?!

May – I made a move from the front to the back half of my duplex!  It was worth the effort, since I now have 2 bedrooms and direct access to the backyard.  And the move came none too soon, as I acquired another cat (Momma Kitty) to add to my menagerie of Cricket, Cubbie, Gus, and whatever foster dog Alex has at the moment!

June – Here's my sweet nephew, Adam, reached the Terrible Twos!  Mom, Dad and I made our first trip of the year up to Massachusetts to celebrate.   In addition to seeing Adam (and Eric and Chris!), we took a trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to visit my friend Jenny and her husband, Lee.

July – I went with Alex to Slidell, Louisiana over the 4th of July weekend to meet his parents.  His parents were great hosts, and despite the non-stop rain resulting from a hurricane, I really enjoyed my visit.  It was fun to see the “embarrassing” pictures of Baby Alex and Teenage Alex, too! 

August & September – The Months of the Babies!  In August, I celebrated the birth of my good friends’ (Tom and Jessica Forrestal’s) beautiful baby, Megan Colleen. Since all of my other favorite “babies” (Adam, David, Brynne, Riley, Allie… ) live so far away, I've really been enjoying my time with Megan.  On September 6th yet another wonderful nephew was born - David Louis!  He is a precious little man… though “little” isn't an accurate description!  He is constantly worried about where his next meal will come from, but our David seems to be a sweet little guy and is very cuddly!

October – per Alex's request, we dressed up in full Matrix costume for Halloween.  Next year it's my turn to choose, and I’m excited about my plans to turn us into Raggedy Ann and Andy!  (ok, I don't think he's going for that, but I can dream, can't I ?!)  Alex had his 30th birthday this month and we went to see a theatrical performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Mom and I also made our annual trip to Nebraska in October to visit her mother (Manga).  It was a pleasurable trip, as measured by the vast amount of eating, chatting, and driving around town we did with Manga and the rest of the Nebraska crew!

November – it was back to Massachusetts this month to finally meet   David in person, and enjoy the antics of brother Adam.  Adam impressed us all with his reading, vocabulary and creativity.  His favorite TV program is This Old House, and he can make a drill or saw out of anything!  His favorite “drill” during our trip: Mom's curling iron!

December – I am now thirty-one.  There's no denying that I’m well out of my twenties, and cruising swiftly into the thirties.  My New Year's Resolutions?  Take more photos, get to the gym more often, and do a better job of keeping in touch with my friends!  I miss you all, and even if I've been negligent, I hope this card lets you know you're in my thoughts! 

Happy Holidays!   Love,

Copyright Dani Reed and "Merry Ale[X]mas."
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