Friday, March 14, 2008

A Birthday Weekend and Gratitude

Happy Birthday Izzy!
Happy Birthday Griffin!
Happy Birthday Rich!
Zounds! that's a lot of cake!

2... Well, almost 2 in this picture, which was taken at the end of January. To hear her speak and see her get around and do her stuff, you might take her for like 2 and a half year old... really, she's that sophisticated. Maria loves her cousin Izzy, we all do, but the girl cousins share a special toddler bond.

6 tomorrow. Griffy is having a party... Star Wars theme? I remember his "Cars" cake from last year, and I am hoping we'll get to see some pictures from tomorrow's festivities. I also look forward to hearing frequent updates about Griffin, who is bright and curious. I love his sweet enthusiasm, his energy.

It has been about a year since I started embracing the quilting, knitting, crafty, artistic, farmy blogs. I feel like I have discovered a wonderful world both familiar and exotic, inspiring. You may have noticed a lot of the links in my sidebar are to creative women; they are talented and generous, and surprisingly thoughtful. Not that I am surprised about their thoughtfulness... what I mean to say is that in their thoughtfulness they do things to surprise me and others. Things like sending condolence cards, doll quilts, chicken aprons, and even nominating me for awards like the "Beautiful Newborn Baby Pepper Award."

These kind acts, and generous gestures never cease to amaze me and when we came home from our latest adventure we were met with one more surprise. It is a quilt from Mamaspark's World. Pam was hinting about a blue quilt, showing peeks and promising a story to go with it! And I remember smiling to myself, because it made me happy to think of all the nice things Pam does for others, the amazing quilts she makes and gives away. Someone is in for a real treat, I thought to myself, thinking of "Spicy Chicken," the doll quilt she and her quilting accomplice, Liz, sent me last Summer.

I had no idea I was the one in for a special treat. This is the quilted lei and message of "Aloha" stitched in the border. Pam did all of the planning and piece work and Liz worked her quilting magic, and together they finished a beautiful and heart touching quilt that is already a family treasure. It comes with so much love and tender regard for us at this difficult time. Geoff was stunned at the sight of it, to hear the letter Pam enclosed, the description of this quilt's journey to our home. Every gift has a story, but this one is exceptional and dear... Geoff said it "renewed his faith in humanity."

Sometimes (most times?) I can be really horrible about getting back to people, whether in emails or phone calls. Too often I am distracted and wait too long for the right time. Happily, when Pam emailed me with some casual inquiries, some innocent questions about leis, I made the effort to respond right away. As I recall we exchanged a few detailed discussions about lei colors, flower types etc... And I was really enjoying the research and realizing how significant and beautiful leis are, how meaningful they have become to me. The whole conversation inspired me to work on a post all about leis. I felt like she had given me a gift by leading me to discover a topic to appreciate and learn more about. Little did I know she wasn't through with her gift to me.

"Blue Aloha" is so pretty and dear, and I am tearful and comforted by its significance and by the kindness of it. Thank you Pamela. Thank you Liz. Pam made a post explaining this quilt, and how it came to life, read about it at her inspiring blog, "Mamaspark's World."

Blue water, blue skies, an abundance of flowers and cheerful dolphins, pieced together with care and purpose... it is so much like Hawaii, so much like Aloha.


campbellgirl said...

Oh Natalie, what a wonderful and beautiful quilt! I've been reading mamasparks blog and admiring her work and productivity, and I'm so glad she sent this treasure to you: it's just perfect. What amazing women there are in the world, I'm proud to 'know' some of you.

Aloha, D.

Tarie said...

Wow, so many birthdays to celebrate! Cooool. I love birthdays. :o) And that quilt is so pretty! The story behind it renews my faith in humanity, too.

*big hugs for you Natalie*

Tarie said...

P.S. Izzy and Griffin are so cute!

Mama Spark said...

Hi Natalie! I am so glad that you and your family love "Blue Aloha"! It just makes my heart happy that you are so appreciative. I am surprised that the family covers up with it, must only cover the boys toes, right? I was so anxious for you to get home and discover it and so was Liz! Once I realized this quilt was for you I couldn't make it fast enough! Enjoy my friend.

Jennifer said...

So many wonderful, well-deserved things happening for you all....

Julie said...

What a beautiful and precious gift.

Em said...

Wow, what a wonderful gift. It's beautiful!