Monday, July 12, 2010

Favorite Things

One of my favorite places in the world to be is by a moving body of water surrounded by trees and wildlife, listening to nature's music. This photo was taken in Angeles National Forest in southern California, on a hike to Spritzer Falls. Not far from Los Angeles in distance, it is light years away in peace and quiet. The trees there are not really purple, and the rocks are not really blue, but it is a magical place, all the same, and my digital enhancement to the photograph demonstrates the other-worldliness that I experience when I am lucky enough to visit.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reasons to Celebrate

There are so many things to celebrate in life, and I've just come off several weeks of celebratory occasions. The end of the school year---as many of you no doubt experience yourselves---is as event-filled as the winter holidays. Sometimes I think that it would be nice to have an annual soundtrack for the season, (just as we do in the winter), playing in the background as we shop for and celebrate with our graduates, brides, concert and recital performers, etc, to make it more festive!

This spring-into-summer was especially full of reasons to celebrate. My eldest daughter's 8th grade class, the first of the school's K-8 graduates, enjoyed an amazing class trip to Catalina Island for 5 days, where they learned about marine life, astronomy, each other and themselves!

After spending 9 years in classes together, the students left the island feeling like family.
Soon after, we watched our children perform in their dance recitals and both brought smiles to our faces as our hearts swelled with pride.

While most of the schools in the area were finishing their year weeks earlier than ours, we continued waking up at 6am and making sure homework was completed by bed time, but the desire for the school year to end increased. However, the last week of school was going to be chock full of activity, so there was a smidgeon of anxiety to accompany us.

Finally it arrived and we somehow survived a chorus recital,

an 8th grade graduation ceremony,

a graduation dinner/dance,

a drive to San Francisco to join my family in celebrating my parents' 50th wedding anniversary

(for which I'd spent countless hours creating a DVD of our old 8mm home movies),

the drive home the following day, and my daughter's 14th birthday the next day, on which she also began her drama intensive. The weekend brought her birthday party, which we did at the beach.

One more day of celebrating remained: the 4th of July!

followed by a well-deserved long night of sleep for all of us!

I can honestly say that this has been the most celebration-filled month in my life and I'm ready to slow down and enjoy a little bit of peace and tranquility. (But am not REALLY sure that will be imminent!) I am, however, truly grateful for all I have to celebrate in my life and feel so fortunate that I can share my good fortune with so many!

Wishing you all wonderful reasons to celebrate!