Friday, June 28, 2013

Rites of Passage

This spring we were loaded with celebrations.  Of course there were the usual birthdays and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Easter and a wedding or two.  But there were 2 VIP Birthdays as the newest grandgirlies turned one, and then two VIP graduations for a son and a daughter.

In February, Tillie turned one year old.  Her folks had an “Alice in ONEderland” party with all the trimmings of a tea party. The invitation in the mail came in the form of a teabag complete with tag.

Here is Tillie dressed as Alice held by her Great Grandma:


The food was delicious and went with the theme.


The cupcake labels were edible, made with fondant I think.




One idea I really loved was having a ‘clothesline’ of her month-by-month progress through the first year:


Momma was the Queen of Hearts, Daddy was the Mad Hatter:



and a very interested group of young tea partiers:



A tired Alice Tillie rests in her new recliner at party’s end.  (Here she is wearing a dress that was her Mommy’s at this age, coincidentally quite like Alice’s also.)


In March, Margaret turned one.  The theme of her party was “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” based on Eric Carle’s book. A caterpillar made from Japanese lanterns hung between the living and dining room:


Margaret’s month-by-month development was displayed like this:


Her personal birthday cake was teeny tiny cupcakes disguised as that very hungry caterpillar.


And the menu was planned according to what that hungry caterpillar ate—and he was VERY hungry!


The birthday girl with her Momma:



There were games and crafts and friends and cousins and presents everywhere!




And a tired but happy girl at day’s end!


In between these two birthdays, Ron’s brother passed away and we had quite a bit of family time as the siblings gathered to be near him in his illness and then to make arrangements for the memorial service and burial.  This is also a rite of passage, but a much more sobering one. We also had a wedding in the family—a cousin—and that is a joyful statement of love and hope for the future as they enter into this new commitment. 

Then in May our daughter Amanda graduated with her Master’s in Teaching (MAT)and we had a happy celebration with her reaching that goal. She worked as a Resident Director for several colleges before following this career path.  We wonder where this training will lead her and are excited for her with all the possibilities ahead and the special gifts she has to bring to them.

Here we are at a pre-grad dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory:




Her friends gave her a lovely afternoon party filled with all of her favorite things.




Also in May our son Brett graduated from the Firefighters Academy, a rigorous program to complete and a hard one to get into. This has been a goal of his for several years, and along the way he trained as a paramedic, worked as an ER tech, worked for an ambulance service, and kept his eye on his ultimate goal. We are so happy for him to have reached this goal and are very proud of the man he has become!

The cadre he trained with developed very close ties:


He spoke (among others) in a video during the program:


Taking the oath:



Receiving his badge, pinned by his wife, Nichole. (Two years ago he had pinned her at her RN pinning ceremony):






And the next rite of passage that we know about will be the birth of Brett and Nichole’s son in the Fall!

Two days after this graduation we went to a wedding which I wrote about here.  And so it goes, one life celebration after another.  How good it is!


Gilly said...

Oh MY! What a First Birthday Party! And who made all that delicious food, did all the decorations and generally organised it? I bet it was Tillie's Mum!

And I am pleased to see that celebrations include food together - I think it really make an occasion if there is the sharing of a meal.

But please, how long do you train to be a Firefighter? Does that make them special Firefighters? Are they different from the men who man the fire engines? We don't seem to have the equivalent in the UK, in fact, I think training to be a paramedic (the highly trained sort) is harder and longer than learning how to fight fires. But I might be wrong!

ellen b. said...

Love the creativity of those birthday parties. What fun! You really have been celebrating. Congratulations to the graduates! Love the firefighters ceremony with the pinning and all!

Connie said...

What a wonderful compilation of celebrations. Several have been VERY creative. Congrats to all the scholars and their achievements.

Life is mixed with the sadness of those who leave us. Am glad that you were able to celebrate their life.

May the rest of your summer be wonderful and full of events for you to enjoy.