A beautiful start to the new year

The new year has been fantastic, from spending New Year's Eve with Rachel, Alicia, and all the husbands, to being with so many friends this weekend. Let me try to summarize, beginning with Friday, the day of the Water Paper Paint show opening.

outside the gallery looking in

While I was teaching that morning a beautiful bouquet from Shari was delivered to the classroom. It was so adorable as all the children clapped and when I saw Shari sent them to Rachel and I, my eyes welled up. And the flowers of blue and white, with roses, lilies and blue hydrangea look beautiful in the gallery.

the reception was so fun

So many friends from Lawrence were there, Aimee, Christy, Amanda, Robin, Kristin, Josie and Eric, Ginevra and Matthew, Daniel, Darin and Shannon, Alica, Jessica, the Thomases, Julie, all the teachers I work with, Margie Kuhn whose work is in the Gallery section of the book, and many more friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. It was so great to see each and every one of them.
Then, not only were Alicia and Rachel at the reception with their husbands, and sweet Chris, but Erin, Emily, and Martha traveled to attend! We had all been looking forward to seeing Erin and Emily with much anticipation, yet they all kept Martha's visit a complete surprise. I was so floored when she stepped out of the car with them, and while I knew it was Martha standing there smiling her dimpled smile, I couldn't imagine how it was happening. Then the whole evening at the reception and dinner afterward were so fun. I didn't get many photos because I was floating around but thankfully everyone else did.

at the Bloch

Saturday we went to the Nelson Atkins Museum so Martha could see the Bloch building. Each of us walked around with at least two cameras, taking photos of each other taking photos. We ate lunch together before everyone had to travel back. While saying goodbye wasn't easy I do feel we'll meet up again. Being together was a special occurrence and yet it also seemed like something we do all the time. I loved it.
Anyway, all of this is to say it has been an amazing past few days, one in which I am recalling moments, images, voices, laughter, hugs, tears and am joyful. I am really grateful for all these fantastic people and am realizing the year is off to a beautiful beginning.