I can't believe it's Christmas Eve already! I feel totally unprepared for Christmas, but I *think* that we're ready. I did some last minute shopping today (I didn't even have wrapping paper), because I've been focusing so much on Mark this week that I haven't really given much thought to getting prepared for Christmas.
Our Christmas is going to be pretty low-key, for which I am grateful. Jerry is off work for the first time in about 10 Christmases, so I'm looking forward to spending the day with him and the boys. We're going to open presents in the morning, of course, and shortly after that, we'll head up to the hospital to visit Mark for a couple of hours. Then tomorrow evening, my little brother, Nathan, is supposed to come over for a little bit.
I went up to the hospital yesterday. First, I stopped and picked up Mark's cards from the box, then I got a gift card to Starbucks for the nursing assistant who hung up the cards. Mark had requested that I bring him Cheetos and a strawberry McDonald's milkshake, so I stopped to get those, also. I was carrying a bunch of stuff, but when I got to the hospital, I decided to take the stairs again (Mark's room is on the tenth floor). I took a different stairway than last time, and halfway up, the stairway ended. So I went all the way back down to the first floor, found the correct stairway, and then hiked up 10 flights of stairs while carrying a ton of stuff. Fun!
I got there at around 11:00, and Mark had just been taken down to radiation. The treatment only takes a few minutes, but by 1:00, he still wasn't in his room. I asked about him at the nurse's station, and they said that he'd been ready for a long time, but they were waiting for transportation to bring him back to his room. Good grief! I know that they are busy, but that's a long time for him to be waiting in a hallway, with nothing to do (while his milkshake was melting in his room).
Finally, at around 1:15, they brought him to his room. Things got a little hectic then, because his nephew, Dan, showed up, along with Dan's six-year old son, Daniel. A few minutes later, my dad showed up. Mark was thrilled to see everyone, of course, particularly Daniel. We chatted for a little while, and then a couple of more people showed up: Santa and Mrs. Claus ;) They sang some Christmas songs, did a couple of magic tricks, and read a Christmas story.
Santa gave Mark some sort of "Christmas cheer" on his lungs--he pressed his thumb to Mark's chest, and his thumb lit up red.
Later, after Santa had left, we were just sitting around talking. Any time there is a lapse in conversation, Mark says, "Keep talking, keep talking!" My dad told him, "Mark, it's your turn--you talk to us." And Mark's choice of conversation made me burst out laughing. He thought for a second, and then exclaimed (while looking at me): "Remember when you broke down and cried?!" like it was this big event, as if I'd gotten married. And then he told Dan and my dad, "She broke down and cried. I cried too, because I was in a lot of pain, and I just want to go home." We all laughed at his honesty :)
Anyway, it was a good visit, and Mark was really tired when we left. I told him I'd be back on Christmas. I bought him a couple of gifts while I was out today. I just hope that he's feeling good tomorrow!
This morning, I wasn't feeling great, probably because I didn't get any sleep last night. I have no idea why, but I had the hardest time falling asleep, and then I got up way too early (much thanks to Paolo). I had three miles at tempo pace on the schedule, but I put it off until the afternoon. I took the boys shopping with me this morning, and then came home and wrapped presents for a couple of hours. Finally, I decided to get it done.
The roads are solid ice right now, so I had to run on the treadmill. I set the pace at 7.8 mph, up just a touch from the last tempo run, and just left it there while I ran the whole three miles. I wanted to slow down, but I knew I was perfectly capable of finishing, so I just kept going. I always feel so good after a hard run!
My spring goal for a 5K is 23:59, so that would be a 7:43/mi pace. Now I just have to practice running this pace outdoors, which is definitely harder!
So... it's hard to admit this, but after reading that one book on Noah's Kindle, I find that I definitely prefer the Kindle to an actual book now. I was so resistant to go electronic when it comes to books, but it really is so convenient! I am reading a book right now (an actual book, not on the Kindle) and I find myself not even wanting to pick it up to read.
I like to read while I eat breakfast or lunch, but holding the book open is really difficult, and I miss the ease of the Kindle. I think once I'm done reading this book ("The Survivor's Club" by Lisa Gardner), I'll just start looking at the electronic resource library. My library has a ton of books that are available for download, and a lot of older books are only available electronically. I never thought I'd convert to electronic!
I wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas tomorrow! If I have some time, I'll write a post, but I may take a break from the computer altogether tomorrow.