Normally one waits until the end of the year to divulge all the going-ons, but why wait?! I don’t want to wait. I’m not good at waiting.

When I say this year has been a blur, I really mean it! While I can’t give you all of the details at this moment in time, I can share with you a small glimpse into my crazy life.

I’ll try to keep it brief… famous last words!

January: We started the year off in BC. We’d spent Christmas with my family, the first time since 2002. Dave managed to celebrate his birthday by taking Q skiing to Whistler. That was a highlight for both of them and I’m glad they were able to get away.

February: I managed to put together an incredible, exclusive Ladies retreat in the Muskokas. I had so many fabulous sponsors donate items that made this weekend a special one. My father-in-law’s health started to take a turn for the worse shortly after his 79th birthday. (Important to remember he & his wife lived in our home.) He was put on oxygen 24/7 and things started getting awkward with his wife of nearly 4 years.

March: Our church bought a new, bigger building and we moved in the middle of winter. Our youth went to the Muskokas for a retreat and I preached my first sermon of 2011. I had props – the teacher in me does best with visuals! I started to attend more social media events, going to Kraft headquarters via a Limo in a snowstorm was fabulous, it really was a FUN day!!

April: Things were getting worse with my father-in-law’s wife, her behaviour was becoming more and more erratic. Outbursts and jabs about his lack of money and having to look after him as his health was failing increased. This month I was invited to Kids CBC  for a tweet-up with some of my favourite people! On Easter Sunday we surprised our kids with the news that we were taking them to DisneyWorld at the end of May!

May: We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary! YAY!! We tried to celebrate it anyways… this is the night where all hell broke loose in our home in regards to my father-in-law’s wife. She’d gone off the deep end in our estimation, name-calling, mocking us and belittling Dad. Going as far as calling me “Jezebel” and telling me that Dave’s elderly Aunt, who’d been over for dinner the Friday before, had choked on her meal because I cursed her to die, since I didn’t get invited for dinner. All I could muster was, “Who are you?!” over and over again. The month wasn’t a total bummer. A friend from Australia, who’d I never met in real life, came with her hubby and 3 kids to stay with us for a weekend! That and a trip to Maple Leaf Foods for a day of Tenderflake baking helped me forget the drama that was unfolding within my own home.

And there was of course… our FANTABULOUS and much needed trip to DisneyWorld! {my sister in law came to stay in our house to keep an eye on Dad}

June: The tension and crazy increased to an all time high in our house. Dad’s health was getting worse. He was fully reliant on a wheelchair, oxygen and needed more care than ever. Due to the continued lack of care his wife was providing, we had to step in and help out more than ever. Diabetes, scleroderma and other issues from a heart attack he’d had in 2002 were stealing his life in front of our eyes. Eventually his wife started disappearing for days at a time, not telling him where she’d gone. For someone who’s wheelchair bound and a diabetic…

July: After calling the Elder Abuse hotline with what had been going on between Dad and his wife {she not feeding him, mocking him, making him cry, etc}, the police got involved. Needless to say, she left. For the first time in a long time, there was peace in our house! We had an incredible Canada Day weekend with Dad, the first in a very long time. This was a busy month for us… we’d sent Q to Peru on a 2 week mission’s trip. During this time, Dad had a stroke. The doctors told us he would not survive. He beat the odds and came home a few days later. Q returned from Peru and the next day he and I flew out to BC for a family wedding. At this wedding is where I discovered my love for Photo Booths!

August: Dave took Q and some other friends canoeing and the youth camping, Dave’s nephew moved into our house and Dad passed away in my husband’s arms. The turmoil that his wife put him through in his final days caused his care-nurse to cry. Before you think she may be an elderly, feeble woman to give her a reason as to why she stopped caring for Dad… she’s 13 years his junior & in great physical health. We took our kids and went camping for a week at our favourite place in the Muskokas to escape and to recoup.

September: The kids went back to school; Q in grade 8, Em in grade 6, Liam in grade 4 and Jake was in full time in grade 1. I buried myself in my job as Community Manager with BlissDom Canada. I was more than happy to tweet and talk about the community that I cherish so much. It was a well needed distraction from the crazy that IS still going on with Dad’s wife. I attended my first #140Conference and won an iPad2 the day before my birthday and went to a church conference in Indiana. It’s conference season!

October: My favourite month of this year so far. I attended She’s Connected as speaker on the “Rising Stars…” panel and T-Shirt hander-outer volunteer. It was a great way to see meet everyone as they picked up their Ford Twitter-T! In reading about my year, now you know why I lived in the McDonald’s drive-thru… 2 weeks later BlissDom Canada was back in Toronto. Many of you may only remember me as the one hurrying around with the iPad stuck in my hands! I loved every moment! From the CBC red carpet opening event to singing Karaoke with Jordan Knight (NKOTB} on the last night! I didn’t want to leave the Bliss bubble!!

November: Getting ready for Christmas is hard work. I have a church to ready and our home and we’re still dealing with crazy crap from Dad’s ex {Dad’s estate is pretty much non-existent so she’s coming after us for money}. Our nephew’s girlfriend moved into our house so she wouldn’t have to go to a shelter & two weeks later, Dave’s sister and her hubby moved into our basement. There are 11 of us here now. Just wait until all the family arrives for the holidays! We do love a full house.

They really should make a show about our life… 🙂


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. My goodness…this seems like more than a years worth.

    May you and your family experience much joy and many blessings in the coming year!!

  2. No wonder you couldn't wait to off-load that burden. Take a very deep breath, and just keep on breathing. I am sending prayers for peace in your home and hearts. At least you have lots of company to face it all with. (Is that a good thing????) I remember you on the red carpet with the Ipad, and at breakfast with the ipad while we sang happy birthday to your son. love apples.

  3. Wow Shan, what a year. Tons of ups and downs. I can't believe there's 11 people in your home right now!

  4. Wow, it has been a big year for you. I'm sorry to hear about your loss and the sad circumstances around it. I'm glad I got to meet you this year, and hopefully we will meet again!

  5. You've obviously been waiting to unload some of this turmoil of a year– 2012 is sure to hold better and brighter times for you and yours.

    That said, there was also lots of excitement for you this year too!

    Keep smiling- never lose that and never let that be taken from you. It is one of the BEST things (and most rememberable) about you!

  6. You are a saint. May God bless you with a calmer, happier year. You have weathered the worst of it very well, Shannon. I send you well wishes for the holidays and many prayers of strength, love and happiness for 2012.

  7. It has been quite the year of both up and downs.

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