Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sometimes LIFE can be a Whirlwind!

I have spent the last month (February) in Salt Lake City mostly with my mom.  I flew out for a week in January and then back to SLC on February 1st.  She had a fall in October that left her in need of hospitalization then rehab and has now transitioned to an assisted living center.  More about that later.  Before I completely forget what happened in 2011 I need to capture some of the events of the end of the year in writing.
October:  Chase Jeremy Crowley was born in Fresno, CA.  He is such an adorable little guy and yes, Grandma Crowley flew to Fresno to help welcome the newest Crowley to the world. 

I stayed for a week with the Fresnos as we call them.  What a fun family they are and very busy.  Tanner, Carsen, and Emery were so tickled with their new brother.  With three older siblings he will be trying to catch up all the time.  Shelly and Jeremy take such good care of their little brood and are such good parents.

                                We walked the entire neighborhood for Halloween
Two Harry Potters and Rapunzel

Grammy Crowley with Emery

November:  Andrew and Rich both had surgery in November.  Andrew was diagnosed with  cancer followed by surgery and chemo.  He had some pretty challenging ups and downs, but is  doing well.  Rich and I kept Audrey and Jocelyn  for a couple of days to help with the recovery.   Andrew felt well enough to come to Thanksgiving and was able to join the family at Uncle Ken's lake house.

                  We worked Andrew's birthday in somewhere along the line.

Then Rich had a week of surgeries to remove two melanomas from his jaw and neck.  What an ordeal to go through.  When he came out with such a large bandage from his ear to his Adams apple on the second day of surgery, I thought they had taken half of his neck away.  When the plastic surgeon finished with him on the third day of surgery, he had about a seven inch scar from his jaw down his neck.  Now in February, it looks great.  They originally told him he would need a skin graft to cover the baseball sized removal, but the plastic surgeon said he had enough 67 year old skin on his neck to do the job without a graft.  Now he has one young side and and one old side.  He is a trooper and he is doing very well also.  He's one of the toughest guys I know.  He did have to grow a very gray beard for a few months to avoid cutting the scar.  He looked like a montain man.

Thanksgiving with the Crowley Family at Uncle Ken's Lake House was a wonderful feast, good conversation and check out the bowl of Idaho potatoes.  What a great day.

                                      Ken, Andrew, Matt, Tricia, Melanie and Jocelyn

                      Jordan, Tricia, Ken and Shannon getting everything on the table.

Rich and I then flew to Fresno for Carsen's baptism and Chase's blessing after Thanksgiving.  What a wonderful little eight year old our Carsen is.  He had asked me to speak at the baptism and I was thrilled to be there for him.  On the morning of the baptism he awakened and started throwing up.  He was in a miserable state he couldn't be baptized on Saturdayi, but recoved by the next day.  I gave the baptism talk on Saturday for all the other boys and girls and then to Carsen on Sunday.  We celebrated Carsen and Tanner's birthdays while we were there and then had our own preChristmas celebration before we left.  What fun!

                                     Grandpa and Chase
                                     Christmas tree decorators going up in the background.

                           Blessing day for Chase

Carsen just before he was baptized

 Proud Grandma and Grandpa

Tanner (10) Emery (3) Carsen (8) Chase (almost 2 months)

After Carsen's baptism Shelly's family hosted a wonderful dinner at
Grandma and Grandpa Bacigalupe's.

We had a great time decorating the tree and getting the other doc orations up for the holiday season.  We had our own mini Christmas gift exchange on Monday.  December 5th. 

The next day was Tanner's birthday.  He turned the big 10 -- now in double digits.  We are so proud of all the grand kids especially our 10 yr old grandson. 

We flew home the next day on Wednesday and on Friday Matt had surgery on his leg to remove a vein that was giving him problems.  He had  a vein pop out in high school and suddenly started getting blood clots.  So out it had to come.  He was supposed to get 5 cuts, but it took 11 or so.  The surgery was long and went well, but the anesthesia caused no end of problems for him.  But the recovery is over and he is doing very well.  We kept Lottie and Nathan for a couple of days to help with the recovery.         
We made it to Christmas and I will post this one adorable picture of the Crowley kids in Virgina on our back stairs.  They are all trying to make the good list for   Christmas.  I think this is Christmas Eve.       

                                              Oops!  Where's Audrey?
There's our Audrey.  See how good these kids are waiting on the  stairs for surprises.  So we have Jocelyn, Nathan, Lottie and Audrey

So you see our last three months of the year were a whirlwind of activity.  It left us pretty much in need of some down time.  I spent the rest of December admiring the new patio that Rich got us for Christmas.  It is beautiful!  Our mild December allowed the workers to get it done before Christmas.  So Goodbye 2011...................................................on to the next year.