My year in review

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 was a tough year, I won't lie.

I lost my dad.  

Jason Andrews was brilliant, funny, caring and a true "outdoorsman". He would spend every waking second in his garden, walking, hiking, biking--even mountain climbing. He was also stubborn...VERY stubborn. He did everything the hard way. He mowed the lawn with a rotary mower, shoveled snow (no snowblower for him!), and cut down tree branches with an old fashioned hand-saw. He used to say "hard work is good for you"--of course this was not what I wanted to hear as a kid!

Dad taught English for 40 years and after retirement he substitute taught. He was a dedicated teacher who made a positive impact on so many people--students and colleagues included.

Dad was fun and silly. He'd make us laugh with his stupid jokes and crazy made-up poems. He was lovable and one-of-a-kind.

Dad lost his fight with male breast cancer at 83 this past April 1st. Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I've ever experienced in my life. I miss him terribly and I think about him every single day. 

Dad dancing at my daughter's wedding in October 2012. Although he was in the midst of cancer treatments, he literally boogied the night away!

 Playing the Easter Bunny. Was he cute or what?

My dad was not the only one who dealt with cancer this year. One of my close friends got diagnosed with breast cancer (that makes 12 friends in all now--what???) and two friends lost their mothers from the disease. One of my beautiful clients lost her battle with breast cancer this past fall. She was only in her 50's, way too young.

Kathy McNally was beautiful inside and out.

Now I don't want to sound like all doom and gloom here...there were a lot of good things that happened this year too.

My son Neal was all over the news and was named "Innovator of the Week" by New Hampshire Business Finance Authority.  His video game  Bacon Man will be out on X-box and PC's this spring. He also co-founded a gaming co-working space in New Hampshire called Game Assembly...oh and he's a college professor too! Proud mom here!


My daughter Alyssa left her position as a hotel manager to pursue a career in the non-profit world..something she's always been passionate about.  She also broke her silence about dealing with depression and started a blog that is touching people all over the world.

And as for me, The Midlife Fashionista took off like a rocket this year, mostly due to my best friend/photographer Cathy (you'll learn more about Cathy in a future post). We have way too much fun on our shoots and the best part is that I get to see Cathy more often now because of the blog! The Midlife Fashionista has become a gift in so many ways and I'm grateful to you for following along on my "style escapades".

Playing photographer and model in our 50's...and why not?

This past November, I took a family trip to Charleston, SC with my brother, sister and mom.  It was the first time the four of us had gone away together and we built some pretty special memories.

Enjoying gospel brunch at Hall's Chophouse.
From left to right, my sister Pam, me, my brother Bill and our Mom.

And last but not least, my dad's brother (Uncle Norm) turned 90 this year. A big party was thrown in his honor complete with ballroom dancing!

Can you believe this handsome guy is 90? I'm truly blessed to have him in my life.

Wishing you the happiest New Year ever filled with love, health and happiness.
"Now get to work" as my dad would say!

XO  Susan




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10 comments

  1. I wish you a better 2016. May it be healthy, peaceful and productive!

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    1. Thank you so much Nina. Life is sure full of ups and downs. The best we can do is to enjoy each day to its fullest. Happy New Year! XO

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  2. Thinking of you! You bring such care and confidence to each of your clients; it is most appreciated!

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    1. So sweet....thank you Deb! Happy New Year to you and your family! XO

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  3. So sorry to hear about your father's death... Wondered if he was tested for a BRCA gene mutation, which can lead to a higher risk of male breast cancer (particularly BRCA2 mutations, which we have in my family) as well as breast and ovarian cancer in women. If not, it might be a good idea for you to talk with a genetic counselor to discuss whether you or others in your family should be tested. All the best.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Linda...I really appreciate the concern. Yes, he was tested and thank goodness everything came out negative. It was a big relief! There's just too much breast cancer (and cancer in general) these days--it's become an epidemic. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2016.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, Susan. I'm glad that there was also a lot to be thankful for in your life this year.

    Wishing you a healthy & happy 2016!

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    1. Thank you Andrea...and yes, you are so right XO

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  5. Thank you Sue and Cathy for all that you do to make the world a better place via your mudlifefashionista blog and in your everyday lives as well. Sue, your Dad was such a cutie-pie and a man of great heart and true character. His engaging smile could light up a room - just like yours! Wishing you both a happy and healthy 2016:).

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    1. Erin you are such a wonderful person and I'm lucky to know you. Thank you for the kind words. Happy New Year to you too! XO

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