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And then there were 3...

Life at home has changed substantially with the departure of my younger brother for his Austrian adventure working as a chalet boy in the alps for the winter season. He left on November 28th and won't return until April next year! 5 whole months! In anticipation of his departure we decided to celebrate christmas early as a family the weekend of the 22th November. My sister and her boyfriend came up from London to stay for the weekend so there was the 6 of us celebrating christmas on the Saturday and boxing day on the Sunday! It was agreed we would exchange presents with my brother but leave the rest until 'real' christmas! Christmas of course would not be complete without a christmas tree so me and dad, slightly earlier than usual, went on our annual trip to B&Q to pick the perfect tree! This year was we were rather quick at picking, we only got 5 trees out their net and spent an hour deliberating before we agreed on a 7 foot Norwegian Fir specimen! The lady on the till proudly informed us that our tree was the first one they'd sold that year! 

My dad holding the tree for me to inspect
The chosen tree!
The tree all decorated with presents under!
With our free popcorn!
The table all set with napkins, crackers, apple and cranberry sauce!
Cute reindeer and tartan designs
6 perfect dinners
My brother!
Me eating my first sprout!
My sister very happy with her wine, sprout and pig in blanket!
Cracker tug of brother won!
Big smiles, our last photo together before he left!

On Sunday, 2 days after my brother left I was really missing him and had a lazy day in bed watching Netflix, I didn't venture down stairs until gone 5pm but I'm so glad I finally did because look what I found...
A huge knitted hot air balloon complete with little knitted Holly in the basket!
When we got home and told mum this nugget of information she was mortified; we don't usually put our tree up until the week before the 25th December! Anyway, we ploughed on with the festive preparations and the tree was up on Friday 21st ready for the big day on Saturday! 

Friday night (christmas eve) was spent with my brother, we went for dinner at Nandos before going to see the Mocking Jay part 1 in the pish posh directors lounge at the cinema! 

My sister and boyfriend arrived midday Saturday enabling us to have a lazy morning! Once they arrived we had a brunch before beginning dinner preparations! We all mucked in whilst christmas music played (essential) and the wonderful smell of cranberry sauce wafted up our nostrils teasing us of the delights to come! Dinner was served at 4pm ish, the table set with christmas napkins and crackers (of course)! The dinner was heavenly, I thought I'd done the eyes bigger than my belly mistake in my excitement but it was so delicious I polished off the lot! The crackers were a jolly affair, standard cracker jokes that you can't help but let out a giggle to before cringing! Brain teasers, 20 questions and a lively selection of charades, that involved me getting up from my seat running and jumping in the air with my arms spread wide, their first guess was titanic but after a few more demonstrations they finally guessed dirty dancing! Hurrah! 

After dinner the exchanging of presents began! We all gave my brother his and he gave us ours from him, he was sat with a huge pile it was quite comical! I was lucky enough to have got given a dream journal (to record my wacky dreams in whilst he is away as he'll miss me telling him about them each morning) and a set of stamps in the shape of scrabble letters, very useful for my crafty side! Me and my sister bought him a polaroid camera and travel journal to document his experience in! He was chuffed to bits with it! We then obviously had to take a family snap in front of the christmas tree with the polaroid as his first photo for the journal! After lots of shifting positions Katy's boyfriend snapped 

a terrific shot of our Christmas 2014!

On my brothers last night we went out for dinner at the Italian restaurant 'ASK', we had a delicious meal before heading down to our local pub for his leaving drinks with our friends! 
Once again my 3 crazy daisy knitting ladies succeeded in their quest to make me smile!The house is much more quiet with just me and my parents, but it's nice to spend quality time with them. Over the last 2 weeks the combination of IV antibiotics I've been on was what I call 'my favourite' due to the lack of side effects, my increased appetite and most importantly raised energy levels. Those 3 crucial things meant I was able to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, feel positive and get cracking on being creative and helpful! I've also being able to take charge and cook dinner on a few nights to give my mum a well earned break. Having the opportunity to do little things like that mean so much to me, my mum does so much for me being able to give a little bit back is a nice. I'm also so proud of myself for actually following through and completing a goal I had. You may remember I wrote about wanting to make cards and sell them at craft fairs or on etsy, well I've made all the stock, I have 40 handmade christmas cards to sell at a craft fair next Thursday! I think I am going to sell them for £2 each and donate 25% of that to the cystic fibrosis trust. The money I make from the cards needs to cover the cost of materials I used to make the, a donation to the CF trust and a small amount for myself. I'm really excited to see how it goes. Any left over cards I am going to try and sell on Facebook or maybe save for next year as I realise it's already December and I may be a bit late off the mark and most people probably already have their cards to send! You never know though it's worth a try! Within these 2 weeks I have also managed to get all my christmas shopping done granted the majority I did online from the comfort of my own bed but I did manage a trip to town, minus my oxygen and wheelchair, walking at a very slow pace round the few shops I needed to visit to get the last few bits I was unable to buy online. Only problem with online shopping is that the presents are delivered and it is normally my mum who answers the door to them. So for the last week whenever the doorbell goes I shout I get it and make my way to the door as quickly as my lungs let me to avoid any surprises being ruined! I had a clinic appointment on Thursday, which went as well as I could have hoped, they are pleased that I am staying at a constant level of health with the permanent IV antibiotics and feel confident they are working. I need to get a bit more stuck in on the exercise front, so have arranged a trip to the hospital gym next week with my Physio to focus on core strength and building muscle, both crucial in a speedy recovery from transplant! My weight was lower than what I would like, when I went to newcastle with my false alarm my weight was 41.5kg, which is terrible, they want me to be at least 46kg so since the false alarm I have knuckled down and been ng feeding overnight every night as well as trying to eat as high calorie diet in the day as I can, it's paid off as my weight yesterday was 43.5kg so I've managed 2kg in 2 weeks. I just need to continue what I'm doing, not get complacent and hopefully I'll be back up to 46kg in no time! Like my doctor said, with my weight, I'm walking up a downward escalator, as soon as I stop walking I go down, meaning as soon as I slack of from intense feeding and eating, I lose weight. Its a constant battle I have to fight. It will be worth it though when I get my new lungs! Oh and I'm not complaining if the increase in weight means a bigger bottom and boobs! I am going to spend this weekend like santa's elf wrapping all my presents up, I go a little overboard with ribbons, bows and gift tags, but y'know if you can't be flamboyant at christmas then when can you?! I am also looking forward to going for lunch with Isla my goddaughter and watching her sing christmas carols at my local supermarket with the drama group she attends! I'll leave you with the thought of me right now, sat in bed, christmas yankee candles burning, my mini christmas tree glowing and selecting a christmas film on Netflix to watch will drinking hot chocolate and eating gingerbread biscuits! 
Holly x


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