Monday, July 23, 2012

Lets Kick Some Cancer Butt!

This past weekend the boys and I made the trek back to Martin County for the annual Relay for Life walk we do each year. It's a cause near and dear to our hearts because the nasty disease has attacked a lot of our family and friends. Thanks to my wonderful husband for being my official fundraiser, and thanks to those of you who donated money!

Homecoming 1998.
This year was especially emotional. It was the first year without Annie. My childhood best friend lost the battle with cancer last October. Last week was also her birthday. She would have been 30. It was definitely a hard week, to say the least. A lot of hugs and tears were shared on Saturday in memory of our friend, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt and mother. The last title was especially hard to swallow. I definitely wasn't prepared to see Annie's son, Jack. What a hard life that kid has lived in his short five years, but it doesn't show on his smiling face.

Prom 1999.
Ash participating in the luminary decorating.
The boys and I prepared for our weekend earlier in the week by decorating luminary bags in honor of our loved ones. Spenc covered every inch of the white bag in Aunt Velda's honor. Both Spencer and Ashton stamped their hand prints onto the bag for Grandma Faye. Then I took a while contemplating how to decorate Annie's. I finally settled on butterflies on the front side and a letter to her on the back. I suffered a bit of a panic attack on Saturday when Annie's luminary went missing, and quite a few members of the Swenson Steppers team helped me search for it. It was very fitting that Annie's mom took the bag home with her at the end of the night.

I was a little apprehensive heading into the cancer walk with an almost three-year-old and a baby, but the day went really well. Both boys enjoyed fishing at our team's site, some snacks, playing with cousins, and a buggy ride lead by a horse. Once bedtime came and passed and my boys were still hanging in there, I was quite impressed. I pushed the double stroller through the aisle of beautifully lit luminaries for over an hour in hopes my kids would fall asleep. Ashton only survived a few minutes of the walk before he was out, but Spencer put up the good fight. He was still awake at 11:00 when we left, the longest he has ever stayed awake, I believe.
Cooling down with an icee.
Cuddling with Sydney.

Buggy ride.

Getting some lovin' from Grandma Keeha.
Hanging with the cousins.
Great Grandma Faye.
Making a bracelet.
Making our rounds around the track.
My sister Sheila made this quilt and donated it to the silent auction. Annie's sister Trisha won the bidding war at $80!

Our luminaries lit up at night.

We crashed at my sister's house for the night before making the long drive back home. Spencer slept for most of the ride. Fighting cancer is exhausting!
Aunt Hopey washing all the dirt off Spencer's feet before bed.
Helping Aunt Hopey make muffins. Since Hope was "inappropriate" she didn't want her picture taken.

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