Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pre Christmas Update

(Pic: Christmas Eve 2010) It's definitely been a different Christmas this year with Shayla knowing what she does. I told her it really has taken the pressure off of me and she said I took things way too far and didn't need to do so; she never would have figured it out (different wrapping paper, writing on gift tags with my other hand, setting my alarm to get up in the middle of the night, watching Santa's path on the website, etc., etc.). While she was at school one day I wrapped the presents and put them all under the tree. I had never done that before and it was wonderful not to be sitting on the bathroom floor where I always wrapped the presents late at night! This was way too easy, ahhhh!) Speaking of sweet and easy, we didn't make any cookies/treats for Santa and I actually took her shopping with her awesome cousin to pick out some of her own gifts. As soon as she wakes up this morning, we'll see if she's surprised with her new clothes she picked out last week - wink!

The icy morning we took off to go to church and visit grandma and didn't make it, I said to Shayne and Shayla, "I just wonder if we missed the last time we will ever visit grandma at her home," due to her age - she's in her 90s. Well, little did I know.

Last Friday night was graduation at BGSU and I can't even explain what an amazing feeling it was to be sitting with faculty. I had to brush away tears a couple of times as I reflected back to how I sat in the student section just 12 months ago. I've truly had the best year of my life; I can't believe I'm a faculty member at BG and I am so blessed. After graduation, I took off to pick Shayla up from a friend's home and a call came in my car. It was from my sister. "Did anyone call you yet?" Oh, now that made my heart fall. I just knew something had happened to grandma. She told me grandma fell. Our aunt found her and an ambulance had transported her to the hospital. Thank God she was ok; however, what we had been talking about happened. She was put in 24 hour care. Perhaps because she's my only grandparent left and my only connection to my deceased father, I've taken this pretty hard and keep having bad dreams. I know it's the best place for her safety, yet it breaks my heart knowing what's ahead. Shayla and I visited with her this week. I had to blink away tears as I "played" ball with her (with a balloon) during a therapy session, thinking back to days when I was younger. (Grandma and Grandpa were our neighbors so I walked to and from their home countless times.)

On Wednesday of that week, the monument company emailed me a picture of what they designed for Christi's grave marker. I'm typically the "open up an email the moment it pops into my Blackberry" type of gal, but instead I finished some work, ran some errands and then emailed with a friend - a friend we never would have met had Christi's body not been filled with cancer; strange isn't it?! What a blessing friends are sticking with us, getting us through what continue to be some days very difficult ones. Finally, I clicked it open. I LOVED the lettering, absolutely gorgeous, then I scrolled down and did not like any of the rest. I kept thinking, "I don't know what I don't like about it, but I don't." Truly, it's not the fact that I don't like what it is, I will know what I like when I see it and this just wasn't it. I waited until Shayla went to bed and then showed it to Shayne. He didn't really care for it either - but he thought Christi would have thought the " going the wrong directions was hilarious! I just couldn't quite find the humor. The next day I contacted the company with our suggestions for improvements and asked for it to be redone. (I just don't think the ballet slippers should be bigger than her face, right?! Smile.)

It was an incredibly busy for me. I got all of my online course components set up and running for spring semester which begins Jan. 10th. I emailed all of my students so that they could obtain their books and materials. Revised my syllabus for spring semester and I prepared for some professional development sessions I will be conducting for some middle and high school staffs in January. I love it, but it takes a very long time to get everying all set up exactly the way I want it. Additionally, I submitted a manuscript for publication. I'm very pleased with it; however, I just don't know if it's good enough. Fingers crossed! Of course it really hasn't been "all work and no play" this week; I've gotten in a lot of great reading and I rented five "new release" movies (a splurge for me) and watched them all in a week - ahhhh!

We were able to spend last weekend at my sister's home. It was great! We are thrilled they are coming to spend this weekend with us! Shayne went to the Bengals/Browns game and we had "girls time"! Check out the movie, "The Tourist" if you can. I want to see it again!

We were also able to all see Shelby earn her yellow belt, very cool! (Of course, we asked if she was getting shoes and a purse to match her new yellow belt, but she said she's not. - hee hee!) We also got to watch Will's basketball game!

We went to "midnight" mass at 10:00pm last night. (Shayla thought that was pretty funny, midnight mass at ten!) The decorations were gorgeous and Shayla squeezed my hand and told me, "I love you so much, mom," three times. What did I do to deserve this wonderful child?! Absolutely nothing; I don't deserve her. She's such a gift! Thank you, dear Lord!!

(Check out the orb! The only orb of the evening's pictures!)I thought since she now knows the reality of "Santa" we started a new tradition. "Now that she knows" she can open one gift on Christmas Eve. She thought the new tradntion was a fabulous idea! After our steak dinner (Shayne grilled outside, brrrr! So sweet!) Shayla carefully went through each and every package under the tree and picked one. I was really disappointed with her selection, but let it go. She proceeded to open up a box of beef jerky - BEEF JERKY! She liked it, but I couldn't help but think, "Out of all of the amazing gifts under the tree, she opened THAT one!" Oh, Christi was probably giggling her beautiful little angel face off over that one.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours! I will update after our celebration here!


At 26/12/10 8:29 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Merry Christmas to your family too! I hope you had a great one.

At 27/12/10 1:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shayla actually looks like Taylor Swift when she was young.


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