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ZIA Baby Name gift

Ten fingers, Ten toes
She’s laughter and teardrops
So small and brand new
And amazingly angelic
She’s sent to bless you
She’s one special Baby
The best of life’s treasure
And will grant and bless you
Many hours of great pleasure.
Author Unknown

Today is a special celebration for us as our first grandchild, Maggie, passes a milestone and becomes a teenager.  She has had a challenging couple of years, surviving what should have been a fatal head injury just a few days after her eleventh birthday two years ago.  If you are unfamiliar, the story is here.  There has been a lot of healing for all of us this year, but especially for Maggie.  I began speaking on behalf of victim families for a local program called Sudden Impact sponsored by Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and the LA State Police.  Maggie agreed to an interview for the Children’s Hospital magazine as part of a much smaller article on the Sudden Impact program and is featured in the Spring 2012 edition of Wee Believe Magazine.  She was then invited to dance at a Children’s Hospital Fundraiser where she met one of our local legends, Coach Les Miles of the LSU Fighting Tigers football team.  The two hit it off when she challenged him to a “split off” and she recently met up with him at the season opener radio program.  The next thing we knew, she was invited to practice with the LSU Golden Girls (her goal is to make that elite team in college) and the Tiger Band before the Washington game – all this on the weekend of her 13th birthday.  They surprised her with a birthday card, signed poster, and a special Golden Girl shirt they had made for her.  The Girls then took her over to the Pep Rally at the P-Mac where Mike the Tiger bowed and gave her a kiss on the hand.  Her day wasn’t over yet, they surprised her with an invitation to march down the Indian Mound on campus in the pre-game parade to the stadium with them.  Can I just say, this little girl was over the moon happy as she shared every second with me late last night.  Once again, she was touched by angels – this time wearing purple and gold.  I can’t thank Coach Miles, the LSU Golden Girls, the Tiger Band, the LSU Cheerleaders, and Mike enough for giving Maggie the gift of new and happy memories for a time of year that can be challenging.  They truly do Love Purple, LIVE Gold!

The ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) I have posted today is for another special little girl, the baby of a friend of our youngest daughter and his wife.  She got a tough start, but has proven to be a strong little fighter from the beginning and a blessing for her parents and family.  I have held back on posting as I wanted her parents to be the first to see it.  The piece was framed and delivered to the proud parents today.  I love doing these as few decisions get more thought or are more meaningful than choosing the perfect name for a new baby.  Best wishes to little Jensen and her very lucky parents.

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Bridal portrait taken just after the thunderstorm at Houmas House Plantation

“Recalling days of sadness, memories haunt me.  Recalling days of happiness, I haunt my memories.”  ~Robert Brault

My goodness!  Where has the time gone?  It has been too long since I last shared anything with my virtual friends.  I’ve been a very busy girl as we move into 2012.  Teaching, speaking, working, remembering and being interviewed today.

I am coming to the end of a series of workshops this weekend.  It has been wonderful to introduce newbies to Zentangle and we’ll explore color and drawing on canvas this weekend.  My husband and I celebrated after my most recent class with dinner out and have plans to do the same this weekend.

I served as “wingwoman” for my 10-year old grandson on Valentine’s Day.  He wanted to make some good memories for his mom by surprising her for dinner that night.  I picked him up from school and we got busy.  We bought roses (yellow was his choice), a musical card, a stuffed monkey and candy.  Card selection was an experience as I steered him away from “You Sexy Thing” and assorted other inappropriate choices aided by two men in their work clothes looking for the right card for their ladies.  He got all spiffed up, put the cash to pay for dinner in his pocket and was his mom’s surprise blind date.  She told me later he was the best date she ever had – with amazing manners.  Plus, he tactfully scolded the man on his phone at the next table: “You really should put your phone away,  This is supposed to be all about her tonight.”   The man laughed, agreed with him and turned off his phone.  Ah, the boy remembered his coaching and those etiquette lessons from good old Kacki.

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Mother and son on their Valentine's Day date.

In late February, I was approached by the hospital where my family was treated after their accident to speak for their Sudden Impact program. “High school sophomores get a chance to hear from troopers, trauma nurses and victims impacted by unsafe driving. The goal is to prevent kids from driving distracted, impaired or driving without a seat belt”  My story resonated because they all lived because of their seat belts and also illustrates that you can do everything right but still be affected by another’s poor choice.  I have spoken twice with several more dates leading up to prom season.  This was so much more difficult than I anticipated, but worth it if even one kid makes the right choice when faced with a decision.  This has led to my interview today for the hospital’s Wee Believe Magazine.  One more piece of the silver lining from that black cloud in September 2010.  You can read more about that story here.

Finally, last September and October, I promised to share bridal portraits in a Plantation, Pictures and Puddles and Wedding Day dawns.  My friends, I finally have official photos to share.  AND. drumroll please, an incredible teaser for the wedding video. I hope you enjoy sharing a few of our happy memories.

I want to acknowledge the wonderful professionals who helped me pull off a truly perfect wedding day for my daughter and her new husband:

Photography: Chris Genovese Photography

Video: CV Films

Flowers: Fred Heroman (Katrina’s was one of his last weddings, he retired the next week)

Rehearsal Dinner and Reception: Boudreaux’s (Jeanne was a joy to work with)

Groom’s Cake: Amazing Cakes

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