December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

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.


  1. Katie

    Thanks so much of the update on Mark... so glad his day went well. Please tell him that I'm going to light a candle for him tonight at midnight Mass...

    I have NEVER ran that fast - WOW !!!! At almost 47.... I'm happy to just trot : )

    When you get the chance are the gerbils ? Are the kitties still mostly afraid of them !?

    Have a very merry Christmas... prayers and peace to all...

  2. Merry Christmas Katie!

  3. I'm the same way with books - I'd always loved holding them and never thought I'd want an e-reader... but the pages really don't look very different and it's so convenient! Plus then when you finish a book and want to read the next one in the series right away, there's no wait ;)

  4. I was the same way about converting to electronic books! I still love having "real" books, but e-books are just so convenient! I can immediately look for new books when I finish one, or read a sample before I commit. Also, it's easier to pack. I'm not trying to pack 10 different novels on vacation (I never know what I'll feel like reading), I just need room for my tablet.

  5. Merry Christmas Katie! Enjoy the holiday with Mark and all your family!

  6. I'm telling ya, once you go eBook, you don't go back!! I too was a diehard "physical book" gal for ever, but then I got a Barnes & Noble Nook and my life was forever changed, haha. Last year for Christmas I got an iPad mini from hubs and it's fantastic- good size, and you can dowload Kindle books, B&N books and iBooks. It's nice for price comparisons on books!

  7. Love your update regarding Mark, glad he is in good spirit after all. Merry Christmas! :-)

  8. I'm so glad Mark has wonderful people like you in his life. He sounds like such a sweet, sweet soul. <3

    Like you, I did not think I would ever convert to electronic books. If not for my textbooks for my graduate classes, I would probably never use another physical book again. LOVE reading books on my tablet, especially when I go to bed. I can read without having to have the light on and disturb my hubby.

    Merry Christmas! Thank you for continuing to inspire me. :)

  9. Merry Christmas Katie! I sent Mark a Starbucks card- and there is enough on it to get the nurse a drink too (or yourself if she just happens to be off that day ;o)- ha ha!!) Enjoy this time with your family!! Lots of love coming from beautiful CA.

  10. I love my Kindle but there are some books that are just better in a real version - like any kind of a reference/picture book. It's just too hard to flip around and remember what page is what. Maybe if I figured out how to use the bookmark option it wouldn't be so bad...I tend to be technologically challenged!

    Thanks for the update on Mark! We mailed a card (with a hand-drawn photo from my daughter) yesterday.

  11. So glad Mark is in better spirits. I was just thinking today about how your birthday virtual 5k was my very first race and it got me started running. I hope that you are going to do it again this year. Even if there aren't prizes :) Merry Christmas.

  12. I totally agree about the Kindle! I was hesitant because I love actual books, but asked for a Kindle because we move a lot and the weight of books really adds up. After using my Kindle, and also reading those books on the Kindle app on my phone or ipad, I can not get myself to pick up a physical book, even though I have lots on my shelf to read! Although I agree that real books are much more useful for looking things up (recipes, exercise, etc.)

  13. I know right! 2013 has gone just like that! Time really does fly! Merry belated Christmas to you! Hope you have an amazing new year too!

  14. Merry Christmas!!!!

    I adore my kindle. I have an older version with a keyboard at the bottom. However, I'm drooling over the paperwhite. I like that it's not a true "backlight" in the sense that the light doesn't shine towards your eyes but rather towards the screen. I got some $ for xmas and I think I'm going to buy myself one! I just love reading on the kindle so much! And they are just so affordable really considering how many free books I get. I subscribe to bookbub and get a daily email with deals. Often times there is a free book listed. :) I have too many right now that I can't keep up!

  15. I never thought I'd like the Kindle either but I do! I like that it has the light too so I can read when it's dark without turning on a light. The only bad thing is that the battery goes dead!


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