Saturday, April 6, 2019

Birthday Ballerina

It's been a lovely week here. A week of vacation for Scott and me, precious time that we've spent together and with family. Also, we have had the joy of seeing our beautiful granddaughter perform with Peoria Ballet in their production of Alice in Wonderland. Gabby was able to celebrate her twelfth birthday doing the thing she loves most in the world - ballet
Her birthday was on Friday, April 5th. We went along with Chelsea to take her to lunch after the ballet held a morning performance for the area schools. Gabby loves Mexican food and La Fiesta, here in Morton, is a family favorite. They sang happy birthday to Gabby when they brought out her dessert. Besides doing Alice in Wonderland, the show also included the beautiful Spanish ballet Paquita. As they were singing to Gabby, they saw this on her T-shirt and sang happy birthday to Paquita instead of Gabby. We all got a kick out of that!
Peoria Ballet's rendition of Alice in Wonderland was absolutely stunning. It was full of adorable woodland creatures. Gabby was part of the Cheshire Cat as well as a Deer. The make up you see on her face at lunch is part of her deer costume. Chelsea is a makeup artist and her expertise is invaluable during Gabby's ballet performances.
All of the costumes, props, and makeup are done by volunteers. 
The mom's and dad's of the dancers work hard behind the scenes
to make everything come together. They have amazing talents and dedication.
This is a backstage glimpse of Gabby and the young man who played The Mad Hatter. Todd is originally from Morton and grew up with my oldest daughter, Hilary. He has spent the last several years performing and teaching dance and fitness in New York City. He was phenomenal as The Mad Hatter! 
This is Gabby and me after last nights performance. She's actually taller than my 5'3". I'm wearing heels there and she is wearing flat shoes. The lighting and background aren't the most flattering. But at these events, we have to take what we can get in order to capture the moment. 
In the twelve years, since this lovely creature entered the world, my life has been enriched in countless ways. Yes, she was the first to usher me into the newness of grandparenting. But there's so much more than that alone. Gabriella - that's the long version of her name. It's meaning is, a woman of God, God is my strength or messenger of God. Day by day I see her growing into the fullness of this name. She has definitely been God's messenger to me. He uses her to teach me. Through her eyes, the world is a gentle and kinder place. She loves all people without reservation or judgment. Her nature is soft and sweet, as she literally floats through this life. Observing her is like witnessing poetry in motion, and that's even when she's not dancing. She is the rare, physical embodiment of what God calls the pure in heart. I am so thankful that God chose this humble family to drop such an ethereal beam of starlight into. She already, at such a tender age, has a strong sense of who she is. What a powerful thing this is to see. It's what we want for our future generation. I recognize a whole mind, body and spirit connection in total sink within her. To have internal direction and be at peace with oneself, at any age, but especially at such a young one, is of great gain.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Matthew 5:8

"Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


  1. Isn't she just stunning. I imagine she is as stunning inside as she is on the outside and so talented. Wow!

    1. Thank you Meredith! God has done a great thing with this one. We are so thankful, every single day. Grandchildren are most definitely a blessing from the Lord.

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