My Relay for Life 2011

First of all, I just wanted to (again) thank every single reader who donated money to the Relay for Life team that I created to honor my mom who passed away in February.  Every single penny counted and (as you’ll see later) it helped the team do amazingly well.

All in all, it was an amazing experience.  The problem was that I was just so darned focused on making everything turn out “perfect” that I forgot to allow myself the opportunity to have fun and take in everything.

I got there and immediately felt overwhelmed.  I felt as if I was the one that had to make sure our team was going to have a great night. The first step was the tent…which wasn’t working out very well. The first tent was a bust and was practically guaranteed to blow away.

Thankfully, my cousin’s husband offered up use of his, so at least we had a tent for the evening.

I ended up making three trips back and forth to the campsite and my dad’s house. I made other trips to other spots and yet I STILL found a way to forget a TON of things. Looking back, it was simply a lesson learned but at the time it only added to my stress levels.

I could go on and on, but let’s just say the first 5 hours of this thing was NOT fun for me for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, I ended up snapping out of it and making the most of the situation.

So here is the rest of my Relay for Life experience in pictures…

I was fortunate enough to be one of two people asked to light honorary luminaries on this night. A friend of mine was asked to light the "hope" luminary as she was a cancer survivor. I was asked to light the "remember" luminary in honor of my mom. My father, my brother, and Ankle Biter all joined me as we lit this luminary.
Even though I was stressed to the nines (I ** WON'T ** be nearly as stressed next year), I did my best to have as much fun as I could.
One of the kids' balloon animals burst in a very odd way. Of course, Sunshine simply HAD to have a bit of fun with it.YOU make the call on what she was thinking...
The kids were absolutely WOUND on this day. It's a good thing, too, because they didn't get to bed until WAY past their bedtime. Once the luminary ceremony finished, my dad took them home while Sunshine and I stayed the night.
We ended up receiving a "Rising Star" award because our team raised over $3,000. I couldn't have been more proud of the team's efforts because this was our first year participating and there were only six of us. So yeah...awesome results!!
This was the start/finish line for the Relay. We walked around a baseball field and luminaries almost covered every square foot of the track. It really was quite the sight to behold.
Just before midnight, Sunshine was on a mission...a mission to warm-up and get some dang coffee into her system!!
This was the view of the Relay from our campsite just after midnight. There were over 30 groups participating, which is considered pretty good for a town of 9,000.
Well now...what can I tell you about the Steve Butler Show that would do it justice? This guy has been DJ'ing and hosting local events for years. What makes what he does a "show" is that he lip-syncs along with the songs and (to Sunshine's dismay) constantly talks throughout every single song ("C'mon now!", "Here we go!", "Sing it!"). She wanted to call it the "Steve Butler Experience" because let me tell you...once you see him lip-syncing to "Wake me up before you go-go", you'll truly have experienced something else.

And no word of lie, he ended the night with these three songs:

Everybody by the Backstreet Boys.

Mambo #5 by Lou Bega.

Cotton eyed Joe by Rednex.


I initially was going to participate in the Zumba class, but after watching these people go absolutely NUTS at 2:30am I quickly realized that I was WAAAAY out of my league.
This was the theme for the evening. They converted the ballfield sign into a pretty special glowing sign of "hope"...which helped inspire those of us who were walking all night.
It was around 4:15am and we were tearing down our campsite before breakfast was to be served. We had an inflatable air mattress for inside our tent and laying face-down on top of it seemed to be the quickest way to deflate it. worked, didn't it?
So at around 4:30am they served up breakfast...pancakes & sausage!! Needless to say, both Sunshine and I were quite happy to not only be fed but to enjoy HOT food.

So at the end of the night it had been freezing cold, wet, and generally miserable conditions most of the time.  But you know what?  It was absolutely a learning experience and one I’ll never, ever forget.

And I can’t wait to do it all again in 2012.


5 thoughts on “My Relay for Life 2011

  1. I’m glad you had a good time – eventually. I do the same thing! Get stressed trying to make everything perfect. Finally, this year, I asked for help and it made all the difference in the world. (After 4 Relays of being stressed every time!)

    Every Relay is a learning experience as to what to bring and how to do it! Every year we find a better way! It gets easier.

    I loved reading about your experience and seeing the photos.


  2. T said what I was thinking. Your mom was smiling, CaNook. As she should have been, having a son like you. 🙂

  3. That is AWESOME. Despite the stress, it looks like you guys rocked it as much as you possibly could. I love the pictures and I love that you got a rising star!! go you!! Your mom is very proud. She raised a wonderful son 🙂

  4. glad the walk was such a success. the energy and enthusiasm at those things are amazing. sorry about your mom.

    great blog, can’t wait to read more!

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