I flew out of SLC on Friday and arrived in Oklahoma City for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma Buddy Walk, where my boss gave a quick presentation and scored (should I brag?) some pretty awesome interviews while she was there. I posted all those interviews on our Signing Time blog, which I author most of the time. Anyway, I had a pretty 'righteous' time. (I am bringing that word back).
First, we were upgraded to a pretty remarkable room and decided that we were princesses. Well, I decided that we were. It was pretty nice. I highly recommend becoming some kind of gold card member. I need to look into that. The next morning, Rachel did a phenomenal job during her interview on Channel 9. I was able to meet the family that I had been working with long distance, the Klehm's, who have two cute daughter's, one of whom has Down syndrome. Rebecca (momma Klehm) did awesome during the interview too.
We then grabbed a quick bite and headed over to the Buddy Walk. It was HUGE. I was so completely impressed with the event. We didn't have any glitches. The preparation was flawless, and I couldn't have worked with better people! Rachel's performance was AWESOME! We had participation like crazy. It was cool to see how many children were using their signs and knew the songs by heart. We even had some proud dad's that were asked to help sing the Silly Pizza Song. After the performance, we hung around the Buddy Walk and chatted with other families about their experience using Signing Time with their children who have Down syndrome. We heard some pretty remarkable stories. Then, we hopped on a plane and got home at about 11 p.m.
The next day, I attended my Aunt Cindy's wedding. She was married to Tom in the Greek Orthodox church on Highland. It was beautiful. The whole wedding was incredible. I don't remember the name of the priest, but his voice was beautiful as he sang the marital chants. It was so cool to see and hear the ceremony, as I have never attended a Greek Orthodox religious ceremony. I loved it. It was so cool to see that the whole family was there too. After the ceremony, we boogied it up at the reception. We thought it would be pretty funny to take pictures with Cindy and Tom behind us. Turned out pretty good...
It was fun to relive past memories: like the time that I was my Aunt Cindy's flower girl at her first wedding. She put all my hair up in a braid that acted as a crown on top of my head and then filled it up with baby's breath. As the story goes, my cousin Chris called me a 'shrubbery.' Apparently, I was so angry, that I ended up chucking the flowers in the aisles at people with much force and trepidation. I only recall that my outfit was itchy and we covered all the itchy spots with band-aids, I got to ride in a limo, I wore a ton of band-aids on my heels too because the shoes hurt, I wasn't sure how far or hard to throw the flowers while I walked down the aisle, and my parents forced me to dance with Chris at the reception. BLECH, I hated boys. So, Chris and I re-created that moment with the photographer, just for Cindy.
I was able to show off my Greek dancing skills with my sister and some of the Burton clan. It was fun to be part of a tradition that leaves me exhausted and with a consti-smile. I loved it! After the reception, we went over to my Aunt Kellee and Uncle Mike's house and played Shein Hei...another family tradition full of laughter, fighting, bickering...and non-violent (I use that word loosely) competition. It was fun to see that nothing had really changed. Steve will always pick on Eva, Rick will always take the cards without permission, Diane will always say, "Oh, I wanted that card," my mom will always say, "Wait, what is that?" Jamie will always lay out the cards she wasn't able to lay down after someone had won....ah, the memories. My mom and I were able to play all night, chatting it up like little chipmunks...I miss having her around all the time. It is always good to see her.
Ok, so this next weekend, I am in Salem, OR and Denver, CO...so boys, I'm sorry, but maybe October would be better for me....love ya!