Sunday, January 1, 2012

Things I have learned in 2011

2011 began as as the new year always does. There was the closing of one door, the opening of another, and of course, the celebration of my birth.

Then, our world came crashing down with the sudden loss of my mom. We knew that we were fighting a losing battle with her diagnosis of acute leukemia, but certainly weren't prepared to lose her the way we did. Almost a year later, I can still remember sobbing as I waited for the valet to bring my van around so that I could make the drive home from the hospital, alone for the first time in two years.

It's funny how experiencing something so devastating can open your eyes, heart, and mind to new moments of learning opportunities. Some of them might be meaningful or life changing, and others? Well, they just might make you laugh and fill your heart with light and love, which is exactly what you need when your heart is filled with sadness.

So, without further ado, please allow me to share some of those things with you!

I have learned that flowers from friends really can brighten a cloudy day.

Splurging on a tasty lunch for the birthday boy is worth having to eat grilled chicken for the rest of the week.

When your kiddo says that she wants to attend something called 'Momocon', you read up on it, and figure out a way to make a last minute costume out of sheets of foam and purple hairspray.

There really are quiet places to rest in Walt Disney World.

Ed truly is Superman!

You are never to old for a little game of Follow the Leader.

Life, in itself, is always an adventure. Those who travel along with us make it even richer!

Butterbeer is as delicious as everyone always promises.

There is nothing that a gihugic turkey leg won't make better!

Gifts are often more about the love you share.

You can never put enough Kahlua in a Tiramisu birthday cake for a friend who has a daughter in college!

Sharing the Disney magic with friends you haven't seen for more than 10 years is a gift to yourself.

Husbands who happily play dress up in front of masses of people are super sexy!


you just can't...

get them to...


to pose for a serious photo!

12th birthdays are especially joyous when surprised with giant sombreros and spent with amazing friends!


it takes more than one time to learn...

that it's just easier to join in the fun!

Family isn't always about blood.

You are never fully dressed without a moustache!

It is as wonderful to get a surprise as it is to give one.

20 years later and I love him even more.

Surround yourself with those who make your heart happy.

Those who leave this earth are always with us; if you look close enough, you will see the hints they leave for us.

Gifts aren't always of the material sense.

A memorial garden which blooms in the winter can lift one's spirit to the clouds!

Some people, and friendships, never change.

It is quite possible to love someone more than life itself.

Driving to Philly and surprising your parents will be their best Christmas gift. Ever.

Driving to New York so that your daughter can surprise her best friend by picking her up early from school is what smiles are made of.

Making new Christmas memories with dear friends is very healing to the soul.

Being included in their holiday traditions is even better!

Santa and the Pajama Fairy really CAN find you, no matter where you are on Christmas Eve.

If you can't be with your friends on New Year's Eve, Skype is the next best thing.

Some traditions never change, and never should.

Birthday morning breakfasts are perfection when nestled in a recycled, plastic Mickey dish, served up with love by your sweetie.

And just to remind me to always keep my eyes, ears and heart open, when I walked out our front door this morning, I saw this.

Right next to it, I saw this.

Daffodils and hyacinths in January? Popping up out of the ground right next to this special stone Mom and I found after my sister died? An extremely strong message to me, I'm sure.

One day at a time, indeed.

Perhaps that shall be what carries me into and through 2012. Bring on the New Year!


Christa said...

Sniff. The year seemed to have flown by until I relived it through your pictures. So many milestones. Every year brings us to a new path, but sometimes it's hard to take that first step.

Tink *~*~* said...

I think you got yourself a couple of genuine Memos there, young lady :)

Happy New Year - I mean it, be happy in the new year.

xoxoxo <3 <3 <3


DeeNAndy said...

okay i am sitting here crying - this is the most moving and joyous thing I've read. you are an amazing person and bring joy to others and in turn receive it - anyone who knows you and is in your life is blessed! Dee ooooo

BSwann said...

Very touching year in review. Here's to a happy new year in 2012

Christa said...

PS - what does it say when my items are both cake?? LOL

Mare said...

Christa, I think it means that cake is good for the soul and it makes those first steps easier!

Tink, when I saw those Memos, your lovely face immediately popped into my head. That was, in itself, a Memo, too! ;)

Dee, your message made me tear up, too! It's so sad that we were in opposite places this Christmas and our paths didn't cross.

Brian, thank you! One of our highlights this year was having the chance to meet you and your lovely family in person. What a joy you all are!

Snowbird said...

One word--Beautiful!