Saturday, January 15, 2011

2010 as represented by adjectives beginning with the first letter of the month

Hello, friends! I began drafting this post way before the end of the year, but as usual, life got in the way of its completion. I don't think it's ever too late for a recap of the year's events, do you? As long as you are cool with that (and the very long title of this post!), then please feel free to read along!

2010 was quite the year in the land of the Badelves. There was a mix of joy, laughter, and even some tears. But through it all, it was shared with special friends, and each other. And so it began, in....

Joyous January

January began, as it always does, with the ringing in of the new year and my birthday. It is both a joy and a curse to be born on New Year's Day, depending on how you look at things! This year, though, I had my own little cake baker who created for me, not only a big cake, but a mini one, too!

Mom (whose head was still naked under that chef's hat from her numerous rounds of chemo) encouraged me to join her in her favorite 'Wilson pose'. I love this photo more than anything!

Fabulous February

This had to have been one of the coldest winters we'd experienced since we'd moved down south. We spent a great deal of time teasing Mark about moving us to where it was 'warm'!

We celebrated Mark's *cough, cough* 47th birthday on the 13th. His day was filled with love and a huge, make your own ice cream sundae; what more could a man ask for?

Flowers? No, not for Mark. This lovely bouquet was sent to Miss Renee by our dear friends, the McCann clan. They sure do know a way to a girl's heart on Valentine's Day!

Marvelous March

To the gardening girls in the family, March has become the month when we wait for spring to arrive. This year was no different, but the weather just wasn't cooperating. Thank goodness we had the opportunity to see our sweet friend, Danny, perform with Lord of the Dance when his tour stopped in Atlanta for the night. Of course, this meant a dress-up evening for all of us, and there was a certain little girl who was totally in her element. Take a peek....

Although Miss Renee is all about getting her hands dirty, she is sure turning into quite the lovely lady! Here she is with 'her' Danny. She just adores him!

Awesome April

Remember what I mentioned earlier about someone liking to get their hands dirty? Well, Easter was a perfect excuse for that, especially when there were eggs to be dyed!

The Easter Bunny stopped by, and this year, he left detailed instructions about his Easter egg hunt. You might also notice that he ate all the yummies she had left for him in that now empty, Mickey plate. Who knew he was all about the fatty goodness of Peeps?

The best part of an Easter egg hunt? Opening up those eggs to see what is inside!

Meaningful May

May began with a bit of news we were sort of expecting, but not really wanting to hear. After numerous tests, they found that although Mom's chemo was keeping her lymphoma somewhat under control, it really wasn't putting her into remission. We all decided to take a 'wait and watch' approach to give her body a break from the poisons they had been pumping into her.

We had a trip to Walt Disney World planned for quite awhile and really wanted to bring Mom with us, but after months on the road back and forth to hospitals and cancer centers, she just wanted to rest at home. Although we were sad that she wouldn't be joining us, who could really blame her for her choice?

Our trip began with some fun at Epcot...

And became even better when the McCann clan showed up! There is nothing better than sharing the magic with our friends.

Then, we all met up with the McAuleys as well, and enjoyed celebrating the birthdays of two very special young men.

Before we headed back home, we were also able to meet up with our friends, Keri and Kara, who work at Disneyland Paris. They call Renee their Lil Sis, and that's just fine with us!

Who else but big sisters would be crazy enough to join her in going along with Aladdin's idea to jump in the air like this?

After a wonderful trip with amazing friends, we returned home and celebrated not only Mother's Day, but Mom's 70th birthday. She is not a fan of having her photo taken (hence the Wilson poses!), but she obliged this year. She had to; she was finally growing some hair on her noggin!

Jazzy June

We were so happy to see June arrive! Things were somewhat quiet with Mom, so it allowed us to take a few local day trips. We spent one Saturday at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, just enjoying the scenery, listening to some jazz musicians, and spending time together.

Another weekend, we stopped by the (FREE!) Fernbank Science Center. They have many things to peruse inside, but outside, there are amazing, wooded, paved pathways to wander through. Of course, hijacks ensued as usual!

June also began my battle with tomato horn worms in our container gardens. Although it was suggested to me that I should take them out back and beat them with a brick, at that time, I just chose to take them deep into the woods and chuck them. As time went on, I learned that was a pretty stupid idea, and I should have listened to Erin! Our poor tomato plants were never the same after that.

Juicy July

If we thought this year's winter was cold, we learned that its summer would be just as hot! Sweaty, sticky, fry an egg on the driveway hot. It looked like even the butterflies were having a rough time with the weather.

The hummingbirds, on the other hand, were staying hydrated by clearing out the feeder almost every other day. It was humorous to watch them fighting for ownership of this glass vessel, so I was surprised to find these two sitting peacefully sipping nectar together!

Amazing August

August was just as hot, and we were doing all we could to stay cool. That meant we didn't go outside unless we had to. I didn't want to miss out on all the beauty, so I was thankful for our kitchen window. It made it easier to see lovely sights like this...

Later on that month, I got a message from my friend, Sandra (my sister from another mister!), who we met while living in New York. She wanted to know if Miss Renee and I could come down and stay with her and her daughter, Christina, for a girl's week at Disney. Ummmm, yes!

They are DVC owners too, so Renee and I encouraged them come along with us for their first ever Welcome Home Wednesday. What could be better than seeing the always hysterical Deevy See? Renee is her biggest fan, and couldn't wait to introduce Sandra and Christina to her!

We also stopped by to visit our friends, Lynne and Lisa, who perform with the World Showcase Players at Epcot. Love these ladies!

Later in the week, 'Uncle' Nick came by to visit. He created the most amazing head wrap for Renee!

Amy and Danny came along, too! We were so happy to see them!

The day that we were supposed to head for home, our friend Kara (from France) and her Mom (from the UK) met up with us at the Studios. It was a perfect end to a perfect trip!

Sad September

September arrived with wild turkeys in our yard...

Tree frogs outside our bedroom window...

And news we didn't want to hear. All on the same day, we learned that some moles I had biopsied were cancerous, and that Mom's freaky blood disorder had morphed into acute leukemia. It wasn't a good day to say the least, but immediately, we put things into gear for treatment mode.

Mom started on a five day, once a month infusion plan. It was a lot different than her chemo for her lymphoma which was only given for one day, once a month. It made it even harder when I had to have surgery on the same day as she needed to be up at Emory for her infusions!

My first surgery was to remove the melanoma from my thigh. I will not be posting a photo of that, thankyouverymuch! What I will share, though, is that my leg is now known as 'Franken-thigh'; nothing like a little humor to make things easier!

I will also not be posting a photo of the next surgery, a removal of a basal cell from my chest. If I thought recovery from these was hard, they would be nothing compared to the ones on my!

Optimistic October

Luckily, Renee's 11th birthday was a wonderful diversion from the past month. Although we were only able to sneak away for a long weekend (due to Mom's treatment schedule and my dermatologist's desire to get that cancer removed from my body!), we were so happy to be able to follow our tradition to celebrate Renee's birthday at Walt Disney World.

It was a whirlwind weekend, but some of our favorite moments were an amazing card made for Renee by the Citizens of Hollywood and presented by the always classy, Dara Vamp...

Being chosen to participate in the last show ever of HSM3...

Hugs, kisses, and birthday spoiling by our sweet friend, Angela...

A little self reflection...

And giving her Mama a preview (Eeeek!) of what will be happening 5 to 6 years from now!

When we returned home, it was back to treatment for Mom, and back to the dermatologist for me. My third surgery to remove a squamous cell from my upper lip left me looking like a lip job gone!

Then, after much thought, Miss Renee decided that it was time to have her ears pierced! It surely took my mind off my blown-up lip. We were so proud of her; she was so brave, and looked so grown-up!

My fourth and last surgery was to remove a basal cell from my forehead. I figured this would be the easy one, but I was sadly mistaken. I won't go into detail, but I will say that I will never willingly have plastic surgery done. Ouch!

After posting those photos, I would like to share that, first, I can't believe I really posted those photos of myself, and second, I did it to remind everyone to put their sunscreen on. No soapbox here, just frightening photos of me as a!

Oh, and if I hear that you aren't applying your sunscreen, I will pull out those 'Franken-thigh' photos, people. Don't make me do it!

Nourishing November

November was a time to nourish not only our bodies, but our hearts, and our minds. We were invited to an 'After Halloween' gathering, and Renee decided on a new costume. Our girlie just loves her cats!

Throughout the month, we continued with Mom's treatment, and things seemed to be going well. The hardest part was the neutropenia, which put Mom on house arrest unless we were going to have blood drawn or chemicals infused into her body. We kept her laughing and surrounded by love, so that helped a bunch. She also felt well enough one weekend to come outside and help me attempt to finish staining the deck before the cold weather arrived. I'm sure it was her help that gave us this lovely result!

Thanksgiving came much faster than we expected, but even with my last minute shopping and cooking, it was delicious. Most important was the fact that we were together as a family!

I'm sure that Mom is going to kill me for posting a 'Non-Wilson' photo, but I will endure her wrath. This photo makes my heart smile.

Deserving December

Earlier in the year, we had made plans to meet up again with the McCann clan at WDW after Thanksgiving. With everything that had gone on with Mom and me, we weren't sure if this trip would happen at all for us. I guess we were deserving of it, because all the planets aligned perfectly!

We had a fantastic time together, enjoying Disney all dressed up in its Christmas best. And although our trip was cut short due to Mom's treatment schedule, Renee was able to have a turkey leg before we headed for home. She was a happy camper!

Christmas came, and as always, it was about family more than anything.

But sometimes, there is a special gift you are just dying to receive.

And it's even better when it's your Grammy who surprises you with it!

That last photo speaks a thousand words to me. It is love, and family, and joy.

And although I've shared many other things with you in this recap, that is what 2010 was really about.


Christa said...

Love you guys, and tell Grammy that we are happy to see the whole package! Juicy July was also all about blueberries! And tie-dye! =) I'm sorry I caused you to be all scarred up, but I'm sure glad that they got all those nasty cells outta there!

Mare said...

Christa, scars or not, I will be forever thankful to you, my friend! And yes, July was about blueberries and tie-dye! What is so funny is how this post morphed from one photo each month to a post out of control. I had to stop myself!

Tink *~*~* said...

You're making me scared to go to my dermatologist appointment (first evah) next week! I think I'd rather face the tomato horn worms...


Mare said...

Tink, I guess I shouldn't tell you then that all that mess was found on my first visit! No matter what I went through, I am happy that Christa (the big meanie-lol!), pushed me to go. My doctor did say that they usually don't find that many at once, and maybe, I'll be lucky and have filled my lifetime quota all at once. That's what I am hoping for, and if not, at least I will be monitored closely from now on. Sending good vibes for you, my friend!

Christa said...

Tink, don't make me call you and give you the speech! It's a doozie if it got Mare to go to the doctor! Ha! I don't want to lose any of my friends to skin cancer! You don't want to hear the speech I give my SIL about avoiding her yearly checkups with a regular doc. She sees her oncologist, but he's not a gyn!