Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year-in-Review.

I held off writing our annual Christmas family update letter until New Year's Eve this year. Okay, I didn't exactly "hold off" like I had a great urge that was hard to restrain or something. It was more like I procrastinated a long as I could and if I don't do it today, it won't get done.

I'm fairly certain all our family and friend's lives would carry on quite smoothly without this annual onslaught of information, and truth be told, I do it for myself as much as anything.  It's sort of a forced inventory checklist in which one can't help but count their blessings. And it's interesting to go back a few years later and read them.

The early part of 2010 felt sort of like a "getting back to normal" period. I was back to work after a number of months off having a hysterectomy, which declared my ovaries cancer free. (Yay God) And Jason, our boarder moved into his own place. This left us once again as cat-free empty nesters. Of course, Jed and his cat are still living in the basement suite, but there is a handy deadbolt at the top of the stairs.

In March we had to say goodbye to Sergeant, our beloved little dog who was just shy of turning 15. She truly was the best little dog ever. A blessing to be counted, for sure.

"Normal" can only last so long, so in April we began another renovation project: turning the small bedroom that backs onto the master bedroom into an ensuite with a walk-in closet. Albert puttered away at this while working his regular job and doing a few side reno/wiring jobs as well.

Meanwhile, my focus was Relay for Life. Our Pink Panters (not to be confused with Panthers) team participates as a crazy, tacky, extremely fun-loving sea of pinkness that managed to raise well over $5000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Yay team. Brandi, Diana, Michaela and my Mom all knocked on my door at midnight as surprise participants! 

The week following Relay for Life in the beginning of May, Jed was quite sick. He'd lost a lot of weight in the previous weeks and he couldn't stop coughing and throwing up. On May 15th I took him to the ER as I was sure he was dehydrated. He was immediately admitted with pneumonia and a collapsed lung. As they hooked him up to his monitors and IVs he turned to me and said, "Mom, I sure hope I don't have lung cancer."

Of course my reaction was to give him the typical eyeball roll and tell him he was a bit over dramatic. Long story short, he ended up in Kelowna having a cancerous tumour removed from his left lung. He was in hospital for a total of 5 1/2 weeks. While he avoided needing chemo or radiation, he will still need to have the lower lobe of his lung removed. The doctors are hoping to give him a year to heal before they go back in, and this will depend on if he can make it through the winter without getting pneumonia. He's been coughing this past week, so I'll continue to monitor that.

This meant my "back to workness", bathroom renovations, and all of life, got put on hold once again.

We had planned a Goldwing trip to Vancouver Island in June. As it turned out, Betty the black bike didn't even venture out of the garage even once this year. We're hopin' 2011 makes up for that.

In August Jed got to go on his 10 day fishing trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands. He had a fantastic time and can't wait to do it again. This was good timing as it meant he, and his one lung, was out of PG during the worst of the provincial fires that had us socked in with smoke.

In September Albert and I got our 2-week vacation on Vancouver Island. It was a fabulous getaway, although too late in the year to take the bike.

Xander has been the light of our lives. We are so enjoying watching him grow and learn and develop his own little personality. We are proud of Ken and Jade's parenting skills and oh so glad they live nearby, allowing us to be so much a part of their lives.

Brandi and Kore were able to spend Christmas with us this year. It was such a blessing to have our family all together - we had so much fun, food and frenzy. They had just gotten back from Mexico and plan to spend February in Thailand. In August, they are buying the denture clinic they work at in Kamloops and know there won't be much time off for a while after that, so are getting in as much travelling as possible while they can.

Albert is currently finishing off the master ensuite, and I must say it's really quite spectacular - worth the wait.

January and February are always slower months at work for me and the store is a bit over staffed this year, so I volunteered to get laid off. I'm looking forward to some down time and will watch Xander a couple of days a week while Jade is at work.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll sit at my keyboard and plunk away at my book that has not been looked at in over a year. It is still my intention to see my name on a cover one day.

Once again as I review the year I can't help but be grateful for the life God has given me. I'm glad I can't see the future and thankful for God's track record that allows me to know that, no matter what 2011 brings, I'll be able to sit here next year and ramble off yet another thousand words of blessings.

Hoping all our family and friends are able to count their blessings of 2010 and are looking forward with eager anticipation to all that 2011 has to offer.

Happy New Year!
Love Albert & Liana

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