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Vince Guaraldi Trio
Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,
Throughout the last few years I have become a super fan of Modern Family.
Phil Dunphy is my dream husband, Cam is a close second and to say that I wouldn't be Jay's trophy wife if given the chance...well, ok, I wouldn't, but the family itself has been a source of fake comfort for me over the years. The lessons touched upon in each episode, whether it's not using a taser gun until you know you really need to, or making the most out of a bad situation (like when a relative gets arrested and you get excited about the court time because you get waffles out of it), Modern Family is the IT factor show for me these days. And I'm not a huge TV watcher, so this is a stretch and to go above my usual favorite of Glee, says a lot.
Recently I watched again, the episode titled: Express Christmas. This was from the third season and if you have Hulu.com, you can watch the episode too if you go here.
But there is a line at the very end of the show that gets me every time. Yes, I cry. There wouldn't be that emotion though if it didn't have significant meaning to me. Gloria (Played by the classic/timeless latino beauty, Sofia Vergara) narrates the end of the episode with these words:
Family is family...whether it's the one you start out with, the one you end up with...or the family you gain along the way, which makes every day, December 16th.
I do have to admit that you have to watch the episode to get the last few words of her line, but the core of what she says should be taken seriously. This year I have had drama...ok, I lie, over the last decade or so, it seems as though the familial drama has taken its toll on me. And this isn't just the blood relatives. This is the family I've started out with, ended up with and gained along the way. And it seems that if there were ever a better time to apologize for things that happened in the past that cloud the future, to say those wonderful words: I Love You or to say, thanks for the memories, I'm sorry there weren't more of them...this time would be it.
So listen to this tune and please, read what I've written. This is my Christmas Card to you. Yes...you. All of you.
For the Family I started out with:
***Pics are in no particular order***
|Mom and her Boss holding the Olympic torch|
|Dad and his Natty.|
|Margo and My Uncle Leon. Crazy man, but adorable.|
Noodle. My favoritest cousin.
|Wanted fugitives/Sostheim Men|
Of course, this group of miscreants multiplied throughout the years. I'm an only child and my cousin Niki, although she had three brothers that are awesome, is still my best friend and closest confidant most days. We've had very good times, horridly bad times and many memories between us. Wouldn't take back or say I regret one minute of time with her.
The Family I Ended Up With and Gained
through the years:
|Natty's proud daddy and her half-sisters, Evie and Hope.|
These girls are such a huge part of my heart.
|Nat's Papa and Gram and Aunt Sherie. These folks have kept Nat going|
when her father and I could not. So very thankful!
|Heather. She lives downstairs from me|
and is always willing to help and show love.
Her daughter and Natty Poo get along amazingly well!
|Brent, Blaise and Miles. Meditation|
on the fly!
|Incredibly talented, Signe Pike and I|
after climbing Red Rocks last spring.
|Sax player Chris Ward and I in NYC, Jan 2010.|
Great listener, friend and amazing, amazing talented soul.
|Sweaty, shiny, Cicily and Sean. Sean is the trumpet player|
that creates my absolute favorite go-to music. My ears and
soul wouldn't be the same without him.
|My first mentor in the agenting world, Scott Hoffman|
Along side one of my secret writing crushes, Andy Mele. But no worries, I have
a crush on his wife, Lisa, too.
|Nick Belardes, aka Bakersballs, and I have been|
talking online for years now. Finally met this fall. Was
a pure joy and gift to get to spend time with him.
|Bonita and C at the retreat house. Giggling|
like school girls. She's one of the best people
you'll ever meet. Her soul walks with God and
her words inspire.
|The Toxic Avenger at the retreat house...AGAIN!|
If there is anyone who knows how life can
grab you by the balls until you do something
to change it, it's Phyllis.
|Celia and my twins. She helped me out as a babysitter,|
grew into one of the best gal pals I've ever had.
|Crazy Becki and I posing with|
the rest of our friends.
|Dubious Chris Lemig. We were at Catamount|
Reserves on Pikes Peak. This is his
best Catalog Modeling imitation. He has
taught me to laugh in the face of adversity
and stick with those that love you at all times.
|McEachern High School Seniors, '95.|
Without these folks, I would have never known
what real friends did and still do for you
and I never stop thinking of them.
|Doug Crandall and Me. He's the only|
person that got me to spit BBQ sauce
up my nose during an interview.
|Best two girls in the world, Ella and Margo.|
My 10 yr old twins...
|Jake or the other Jake and my nephew, Cole|
|Another sister from another mister. Sarah Crisman.|
She's been there for me through the good, bad, ugly
and through each Snickers and Vodka binge.
|My first big band director and life coach: Wayne Goins.|
This was taken in my kitchen after our interview. MISS YOU WAYNE!
Kathy Barker and Wes Barker.
Kathy started out as a "friend" of my folks and became
a mom to me.
|Brandee Younger. Long distance dear, dear|
bestie friend & harpist.
|Ted, Suellen, Jamie and Ned.|
They're nuts. All of them. But they're the best kinds of nuts
you'll ever meet.
|Can anyone say, Anne Rasmussen and Cicily|
haven't missed a beat in each other's
lives for over ten years now...
|Travis and Me at a writing conference.|
He's the hairiest man I've met to date...but by far,
he is also one of the most dedicated
friends I have.
|Sometimes family come in funny|
shapes, colors and sizes, like Tim Lefevbre.
He's one of the best souls alive.
|And you thought I was crazy.|
Heather, Shanti and Daniel and
I can talk about ducks, sex and ape babies
and still keep up and understand eachother.
|Sorche, Justin, Alex, Jason|
and Robin. Retreat offenders, restless writers and
rocky mountain climbers.
|Rob and Kaylee.|
Does anyone else see the family resemblance?
|Ned. Enough Sed.|
Without him, The New Face of Jazz
Would just be the New Jazz...lousy title,
lousy author, and especially I would lack my appreciation
for nice clothes and good makeup. ;)
|Marcus. He is just an awesome soul that I love.|
|My berry cool friends that have become family. |
This is for Elizabeth Kinsey, Nick Belardes,
Becki Davis, Karen DeGroot Carter and Paotie Dawson
(who slept through the whole thing)
|Jaijai Jackson. Bibi introduced us two years ago. Her and I are kindred spirits.|
This picture makes my heart smile.
|Bibi Green and I, August 2011. Without her|
Her words of encouragement & her dedication
to our friendship, I think I would have imploded by now.
|Michal Garcia a.k.a. biting boy|
and I on our usual Skype calls.
|Who are these people? Oh wait.|
They're AWESOME! LeeAnn, Lisa, Sue, Russ...
the original retreat brat pack.
|This is an old pic, but so glad I found it. My sister from another mister and|
caregiver with the biggest heart in the world, Karen DeGroot Carter and her lovely daughters
Lauren and Sarah. These women astound me.
|Margo and Ella front and center,|
Brent, Heather, Alexa and all the other
usual suspects in my building.
Love these folks
|Typical family photo. And extended family...|
well, can't speak for their involvement. Pete probably
|Noodle and her hubby, Jim along with their son, Cole.|
|Carly is such a beautiful soul. And a saint|
for taking the Joey on.
|Me, Margo, Ella and Nat-nat at the girls winter band concert , 2011|
|The original recipe Jim and the special recipe Jamie.|
Two of my most favorite men on the planet.
|Shanna (my gorgeous stylist and BFF) and Sue helping me before|
a 2011 retreat. These women are amazing.
|Scott Faithful and I in NYC. His poetry and friendship|
have carried me through a lot. this is right before seeing Chicago on Broadway.
|Heather and Kaylee. This roll|
of pics is soooo like them.
Each and every one of you has touched me in such a way that I couldn't find the words that mean much more than love. And if love is life, then I've got centuries to go on. I love you for who you are and don't ever let anyone change you. You're you for a reason. And the real you is what makes me beam whenever you're around me.
So, today, I leave you with a few words from the late but great George Bernard Shaw: "If you can not get rid of the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance."
Yours in Merry Christmas', Making the Most out of My Tears and Moving on to the Next Big Year,