Monday, May 30, 2011

A Gig, a Dance and a Griz

As The Teenager began showing serious interest in guitar last summer, he set a note-worthy goal that would take great ambition. He wanted to audition and then play in the year end talent assembly at his middle school.

Ugh, I had to use a flash in these photos...and you know how I hate a flash!

The rock stars as the curtain opened.
While you might think Chet has a frightened expression, he is actually just trying to be COOL...this lasted a few seconds and then broke into his casual smile.

Once their inclusion in the assembly had been announced, the boys arranged practice schedules and worked all on their own to perfect their performance.

The rock stars played a song called "So Cold" by Breaking Benjamin. It was not a simple song to learn and play for a first gig, but the song does has some pretty sweet solos.

Celebrating...after the performance. 

With barely time to shop, shower and splash on some cologne...the Teenager is "handsomed" up for the last dance of middle school. The report from the evening...apparently the DJ didn't play enough slow songs. However, the Teenager danced every one except for the first one. Because no one dances on the first slow dance...that's just uncool!

The thoughtful pose.
Three years ago he unassumingly entered middle school. Ten years old and fresh from the tragedy of losing his sister, life had changed in an it did for all of us. A childhood that would be defined by this one event.

With confidence, ease and a bunch of new friends... high school begins in the Fall. The Teenager remains a source of my strength and my hero. Logan High...say hello to your newest Grizz!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Graduating Girls

With numerous differences and just as many similarities, I consider these exquisite girls part of the family. A couple are tall, a couple are...not so tall. Sometimes they call me Mama G. 

They have shiny blond hair, dark brunette hair, sassy short hair and silky long hair...but not one has red hair. 

The red-head is missing, and the giant hole her absence leaves in their hearts would be one of their similarities. They are graduating from high school and each stepping out on their own new path. Graduation is causing us each to pause, reflect, grieve, ache and look to each other for comfort and reassurance.

Sid...she may not be tall, but her giant sense of humor takes you off guard on most occasions. She makes me giggle, a lot!

Madi...with genuine sweetness, she wraps herself around everything surrounding her. Madi would be the first one to text Jocie if she didn't get on the bus to school.

Autumn...She and Jocie have known each other since the day they were born. Autumn along with Sid were singing 99 Red Balloons with Jocie, being the last ones to see her as they skied off the lift together that day in March. Autumn is just like her name, deep and rich with a colorful personality.

Camber...What she lacks in height she more than makes up for in heart. Jocie and Camber's relationship was dear and special. I always loved seeing the two of them skiing together. In keeping with Garlick tradition, Jocie nicknamed Camber "K-Dawg" and Camber's dad "Papa Smurf"!

Maren...It seems almost overnight, she's become a beautiful young lady with fabulous style. They met in 3rd grade and were instant friends. She once re-organized Jocie's entire closet and room, because that's who she is. As you can imagine, it was quite a job!

Lindsay...With her gentle spirit and genuine soul, she loved Jocie completely. Lindsay and Jocie were two peas in a pod and spent nearly every waking moment together. They loved designer clothes, boys, making harmless mischief, and each other.

As Dean sat down to have lunch with all of us, I'm sure he felt slightly out of place...for about 2 seconds. He loves these girls as his own. They are a stark reminder of what he's lost and yet a constant vision of hope for the future.

Congratulations to our graduating girls...we genuinely love everything about you and wish you all the best in the years ahead! We know you will always be a constant source of joy and hope.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Saturday

Sometimes on a Saturday...

We cheer for The Teenager #18 as he plays his final regular season lacrosse game. With great pride they creamed the cross town rivalry team with an 8-2 victory.

Then we take pictures of a jubilant team. The teenager is cheering in the back row...the boys had just declared him to be the one with the most girlfriends.

And sometimes on a Saturday we take the chickens outside for a recess in the back yard. I'm holding Friggie, a silky grey bantam named after Frigalment a famous chicken contracts law case. We will credit Lawyer Girl and her fellow law school buddies for the name.

Say hello to penguin, a brahma bantam who we really hope does not turn out to be a rooster. It's very difficult to know which ones are roosters until they are older. Bantams have a 50% chance of being a rooster while the other chickens are much less, about 10%.

Sometimes on a Saturday the hubby works diligently on the coop while the chicks dig around in the dirt for the very first time. You may notice that the number of chickens at our house has increased since the last time I posted. Because, if 4 chickens are good then 7 are even better...right?

In the past few months I have somehow started shopping at IFA instead of you think I could convince Nordies to start carrying chick feed along with their Jimmy Choos? Mother Clucker now weighs a whopping 630 grams or 1.4 pounds.

She has gained 14 times her weight in the past 6 weeks. In comparison, baby Henry who is now 8 weeks old would weigh well over 100 pounds if he were growing at the same rate. Amazing isn't it?

 Watch who you're calling chubby!

Red, Gizzard (hiding in the back), General Chow and Nuggett are discovering tiny prizes hidden in the tall grass. They grow tired of living in the condo in the basement...and look forward to their daily road trips into the great outdoors.

And most of the time on a Saturday we try very hard not to make fun of Friggie...please don't use words like homely, or awkward. She's working very hard on overcoming this stage.

And sometimes on a Saturday, Nuggett tries out the new nesting area where she will soon be laying eggs. Hurry up and finish...cluck, cluck!

And finally on a Saturday, amidst all the chicken recesses, coop building, lacrosse games, herb and tomato planting we managed to soak up a tiny bit of much sought after warm sunshine. With another difficult and yet rewarding milestone ahead of us this week, we can use the warm dose to our spirits.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blessings Times Two

It was something incredible to witness and be a part of...

a name and a blessing...make that two! 

"And they are not even twins" was remarked through the audience, as every heart was enveloped by this moment.

"The name given of Olivia Jocelyn Fawson...with a blessing to help Olivia recognize and understand the significance of her name."

"Olivia...which will always connect her with the people who love her. The name that was chosen for her by her birth mother together with her parents."

 "And Jocelyn for her Aunt Jocelyn...whose spirit and personality she exhibits."

 And then this one..."The name given of Henry Carter Fawson with his sweet and peaceful disposition."

"Bless him that he will continue to be a peacemaker and use every opportunity to help others maintain perspective in life according to the unique gifts that have been given him."

The babies were perfect on their special day...simply perfect! When a baby is involved anything can go awry...when two babies are involved everything can go amuck! But not this day...simply perfect!

The support of family was touching, as Bob's Uncle Dave flew in just for the occasion.

And there was an abundance of support received from dear friends.

As tradition dictates a feast was indulged by all.

Cass said to me later "Your family rocks mom!" Every single member who lived within driving distance was there.

From the wacky ones...

to the adorable blue-eyed princess ones...

to the intelligent ones!

Is there anything more sweet than my ginger brother wrapping his giant arms around my own babes!

Uncle Carter whose name Henry will be privileged to carry with him.

Uncles...each will each spend their entire lives trying to convince Henry that they are the favorite one.

But don't kid yourself...Grant just came for the iPad.

My heart is dripping with goodness from the blessings of these two miracle babies. Can you believe that just a short year ago, their parents had no idea the abundance of joy that was about to be delivered!

And Papa is pretty proud himself!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Retreat For The Soul

Once a year I allow myself a little get-away. I don't go very far at the big city for a quilting retreat with international quilt instructor Sue Spargo.

Sue was born in Zambia and raised in South Africa...her creativity is inspired by the energy and color of traditional African designs.

But it is that glorious British accent and gentle soul that speaks to me. The reason I return year after year.

Early childhood experiences form Sue's love of primitive... and specifically folk-art. Her workshop is filled with eye-candy as far as you can see. Here she displays hand-dyed wools and scrumptious soft velvets.

And then there are the chenille threads and the silken pearl exquisite!

Italian wool thread in EVERY color of the rainbow.

Patient and persistent, Sue eagerly shares all her knowledge and stitching tips she has accumulated through the years. 

A detailed shot of her leaf sampler reveals Sue's understanding of texture, dimension and color.

And you meet the most wonderful people at Sue's retreats. This is Jane, who is originally from England. Her accent is so adorable. Today she informed us she felt like "Taking a walk in the woods!" I'd like to wrap her up and take her home with me...maybe just sit her on the counter and have her speak to me in that sweet accent all day. 

A welcome break from the daily routine...I suggest you each schedule a retreat to escape to! It's great for your soul.

And don't worry...reality will still be there when you return home!