Remembering Carter

Last week, one of my favorite 8th graders from my advanced class this year, Mason, lost his 7-year-old brother Carter in a horrible accident. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this tragedy, and how hard this must be on his family and especially on Mason, who was Carter’s whole world (and vice versa).

Today another teacher of Mason’s and I attended Carter’s memorial service together at Rolling Hills church in El Dorado Hills. It was 2 and a half touching and emotional hours of singing, family stories and remembering a sweet little boy. The community outpouring of support was incredible. I only got to meet Carter a couple of times, but I know how important he was to his family and what a light he was in everyone’s lives. It is devastating to see such a senseless loss come to such a good family. I just hope that they find healing and strength through each other and through time, and there was evidence in the service today that they are grateful and lucky to have each other, their faith in God and they are going to move forward to keep Carter’s memory alive with them in a positive way.

There is a website set up to leave messages and donations for the family, it also has some photos and videos of Carter.

http://www.rememberingcarter.com

This is a piece of art that was displayed at the memorial today. Mason and Carter’s uncle is an artist who works with found objects, and he created this portrait of Carter.

Kyle at the World Cup

Our friends Kyle and Stephanie, and Stephanie’s brother Ben are having the experience of a lifetime right now at the World Cup in South Africa! They are about to conclude 20 days in S.A. and have been attending lots of games and representing loads of USA pride, sprinkled with some exploration of Africa and non- soccer related things. I have been reading all about their adventures on his blog @ http://pettyobservations.blogspot.com/

After hearing about the World Cup from everyone and their mom but having previously no interest in watching soccer, I decided to turn on the USA game today to see what all the fuss is about. I got sucked in for a little while, although there were 2 things that were slightly more interesting to me than the soccer game. 1.) The fact that Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger apparently hang out now, in Africa, to watch soccer (????) and 2.) Kyle Petty was on ABC! (looking distressed because, alas, the USA lost.)

Kyle is the guy in the second row up to the far right, crying American flag tears.

Flashback Friday: our wedding day

Monday we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of our June 21st, 2008 summer solstice wedding. We got married at the Coloma Resort campground in Coloma, California on the bank of the American River. The weekend was nothing short of perfect and magical.

60 of our 100 guests camped with us all weekend, and we had an entire weekend of blissfully celebrating love and summer in a beautiful place. Our wedding day was one of the hottest days of the year, okay so maybe that wasn’t so perfect.. but about 10 minutes before the outdoor ceremony by the river the blackest clouds I have ever seen rolled in, ridiculous thunder and lightning began, and the sky opened up and poured rain. Now, your average bride might have freaked out, but I just stood by the window of the yellow house on the hill watching the impending doom below, with my mouth gaping open. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The day had been filled with clear skies, sun and three digit temperatures, why did the sky choose to open up at 4:50 on my wedding day!! I think my next reaction after the speechlessness resided was a combination of nervous laugh and “you’ve got to be (insert expletive here) kidding me.”

Before I even had time to consider what this menacing storm would mean for our completely outdoor reception and lack of a “plan b” as the wedding planner kept insisting we needed, the rain stopped. The brief storm (complete with light show and sound effects!) was gone as quickly as it had begun, leaving the air and the earth cool and smelling fresh, a comfortable and welcome change compared to the sweltering heat of previous hours. As the string quartet version of “All you need is love” began and my dad and I stepped to the grassy aisle in our flip flops to meet my groom, the clouds parted and the sun shone down right on us. LITERALLY right on us. This moment has been cited by some guests as one of the most mystic things they have ever witnessed. The rest of the night the weather was warm but mild, and very sunny, and the riverside merriment went on to till the wee hours of the morning.

Now, I know there is an old wives tale that it is good luck for it to rain on your wedding day. I always wrote this theory off, thinking it was the nicest thing to tell distraught brides who ended up with crappy wedding day weather. On our big day, it was sunny and hot, a random storm (complete with thunder and lightning!) soaks the area of the 10 minutes before the ceremony, and then the clouds part and the sun enters, right in time to light the happy couple… if that isn’t a sign of a blessed and lucky marriage, I don’t know what is! It was amazingly cosmic.

We spent the rest of the longest day of the year having the most special day of our lives. We danced barefoot with all of our favorite people in the hot solstice sun, until it became the full (yes, you heard me) FULL moon. We made s’mores by a campfire, sung songs and “jammed”, and I participated in the largest group hug that I have ever seen. We were so surrounded by love and celebration, it was a blessed union from day 1- and I see proof of that joy in my marriage every day. These 2 years have been the happiest of my life, and I can’t wait to celebrate many many more.