Friday, December 5, 2014

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Time for another Kelley ThanksChristmasGiving.  The Kelley side of the family gathers together on Thanksgiving to celebrate the special holiday as well as Christmas.  It's always fun getting together to catch up, laugh, play games, and open gifts!

The youngest family members get gifts from everyone while the adults draw names.  Of course, the kids hit the jackpot with their gifts.

My in-laws also receive gifts from everyone.  We got my mother-in-law a Vera Bradley tote she has been wanting in her favorite pattern.  My father-in-law received a picture of Preston holding a picture of Craig holding a picture Granddad (my father-in-law's nickname).

Craig and I decided to make the gifts we had to give this year.  I drew my sister-in-law's name.  She is a very talented, artistic, and creative person.  So, I wanted to give her something creative that I knew she would appreciate.  My mom had given me a paper bag scrapbook for my birthday that I love.  I knew that was exactly what I wanted to make for my sister-in-law as well.

So, this is a very time consuming project, but well worth the time.  My mom came one weekend and showed me how to get it started.  Lots of tips and tricks!!!  When it is all finished, it's hard to even tell that the book is made from, paper bags, chipboard, and cardstock.  Pictures don't even begin to show all the little flaps, inserts, embellishments, etc.

Craig drew his nephew's name.  His nephew is extremely intelligent.  In fact, he is a rocket scientist.  What do you give to a rocket scientist as a gift?  Well, I will always remember him as my little ring bearer that I threatened to harm if he lost our rings before our wedding ceremony (LOL), so we wanted to stick with something fun.  Thanks to Pinterest, Craig decided to make a chess set for his nephew.

The playing pieces are made from various nuts and bolts.  Half of the pieces were spray painted with a rust color and then acrylic sealer.  Craig cut the squares out of long pieces of wood and stained half of them.  He then used wood glue to attach the wood to a cork board.  It looks fabulous!!!  Everyone loved it, even the rocket scientist!

Despite all the fun times with family, our 11 1/2 yr old sheltie, Princess, was not doing well.  She suffered her first seizure (to our knowledge) late Wed. night.  It was scary to watch, but I just held her and comforted her until it passed.  Then, it was off to the emergency vet clinic at 11 pm that told us she may have a brain tumor (not the most caring or friendliest place).  We were supposed to run a 5K Thanksgiving morning as a family, but we were on seizure watch.

Princess was able to come with us to our brother-in-law's house and spend Thanksgiving Day with us so we could keep a close eye on her.  She just seemed so tired all day.  The next day we took her to the vet and was told she had a severe bladder infection that could have caused the seizure.  Her blood work also showed she had some elevated liver and kidney functions.  After going home with lots of meds and special food, poor Princess was done.  She didn't eat, wouldn't take her meds, and eventually stopped drinking water.  Sunday was obviously the beginning of the end.  Princess was very disoriented and had trouble walking.  I stayed with her all of Sunday night to make sure she would be okay and try to rest and sleep.

Monday morning came and Craig said good bye and then the kids said good bye to her as they headed off to work and school.  Finally, it was off to the vet one more time.  We were given some options to try with her, but there was no guarantee she would get better.  Plus, she was an older dog so there was no telling how much life she really had left in her.  We had to make the dreaded decision.

I can't even begin to describe how hard it has been for us, especially me.  We had Princess before we even had kids.  She was close to Craig, but she was home with me all day.  We would walk out to the mailbox together, take naps together, and I felt safe having her around when I was alone or if Craig had to work late.  Princess will greatly be missed and I will never forget my last few moments with her.

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