This is a hard post to write. Not because it’s sad or speaks of any difficulty. The opposite actually. It’s going to be a very brag-y post and smacks a little of “Christmas Newsletter”. “We’re doing great! Our kids are awesome! Bet we have more exciting news than you do!” Not really my style. It’s a big reason I’ve been in a three month writer’s slump. I find I’m inspired more to write when things are hard because I generally have more to say about those situations. Plus, when things are great I can get a little boring.
Case in point (rabbit trail alert), I have become the Chess Advisor for the kids’ school and I LOVE IT. Now, I could go on and on and on about the wonders of creating a custom logo for our team and getting the kids excited about tournaments and new ways to teach the kids during the hour I have all 50 of them to myself for an hour each week. I’ve already made my closest friends and some colleagues want to run from the room when I bring it up for the forty eleventh time this week so why would I also subject my blog readers to that? Because it’s a part of my life? Because it’s a good thing? Yeah. There is a reason happy people don’t write memoirs. So all that to say, the past several months have been very exciting and very good and I refuse to make this place the one where people are all, “Oh God. She’s bragging again.” Click.
But! I have to take this one post to brag. And I mean really, really BRAG!
As you recall, we left off with me fretting about whether I was a little to pageant mom-ish getting Rachael ready for her catalog shoot. We walked in the door and this is the first thing they said: “There’s our cover.”
This is what they call the “Preview Catalog”. She is holding her original painting here and let me tell you, it didn’t hurt sales! We were so excited and we knew the full length version was coming out and we also knew there were other children photographed so it was met with no small amount of excitement when we saw this a few weeks later:
I adore this picture of her! And those soft curls? JUST REMEMBER WHAT WE WENT THROUGH TO GET THEM! THEN! The THIRD catalog comes out!
If you click on this link HERE you can peruse the entire catalog! You’ll find a picture of Rachael and Marc together (Page 3) that was used in all three catalogs, her card (Page 25) and the collection of items from Children’s Art Project, including the 2012 Calendar (Page 53) with Rachael’s picture on the cover! Her art was not included inside the calendar but it’s her lovely little face that represents the kids of MD Anderson.
Also, in many stores across Texas and even a few other States, you can find this retail display!
I’ve had more than one person send me a picture of this display with something to the effect of, “HEY! I KNOW HER!!” Also, it’s like a fun treasure hunt when we go into stores we know support CAP, look for their display and then casually mention that THAT’S MY DAUGHTER!! A little surreal actually.
Last week Rachael had her three-month check-up. Everything is just fine with no worries and so when we left we stopped by the CAP headquarters. We got to meet the design team and even see the archive library where they keep all the original artwork. They encouraged Rachael to continue to make art and send it in and I am positive that she will contribute again but I told them that I don’t think anything will top this first year. It has been very special and such an honor. And as she gets older, she’s understanding more how lucky she is and how she can help other kids. When she drew her “Happy Angel” she was only five and in the midst of treatment. She forgets how hard that time was for her but I’ve asked her to reflect on it a little and realize that this… THIS is how she gives back. She makes art, she smiles for the camera. She acts as a representative for all those kids who are going through treatment. And the money generated through sales goes to college scholarships and camps and she’s a part of that!
You can be part of it too by ordering from the catalog or if you live in a state that supports CAP, look for a display and purchase products designed by Rachael or other kids.
Now for a little Christmas surprise! I would like to give one of you a 2012 Calendar from Children’s Art Project with Rachael on the cover! To enter, just leave a comment and on Christmas I will draw a name and send the winner a calendar!