Wednesday, July 16, 2014

let it shine

Hot summer sweat trickles down the back of my legs. A perfect evening of memories collected and stored up in my head as this week's happy. 

Tonight I was so tired and all I wanted to do was lay in bed and read. At 7pm I was ready to put on my jammies and call it a night. "Do you want to go to the Farmer's Market?" Michael asked, referring to the weekly event that occurs a few miles from our house which is usually my favorite (next to smiling- smiling is my favorite) (And name that movie). 

Ughhh...nothing sounded worse- leaving the house in NOT pajamas, finding a parking place, chasing the boys through the 100 degree heat. So I even surprised myself when I responded with a "sure".

As soon as we arrived a sea of black shirts poured in. I saw a sign that the Fresno County Youth Choir was going to perform and as they lined up my excitement grew.

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Greyson can not speak in words, but he can hear in music. He lets the symphony of sounds overtake him and it's powerful to watch him. "Grey- MUSIC!" I exclaimed and pointed, practically jumping and flapping myself.  I couldn't wait for his excitement, because he always shares it with me and everyone around.  The director announced the first song- This Little Light of Mine. The tears rushed up my head and were ready to pour out my eyes before the singing even began. Because that's how I always think of my boys- a light that I want to shine. And I want to share their light because it makes the whole world brighter. I felt like God wanted me to be here to let this music fill my ears and break the heat/life/tired funk I felt all day today. 

Ahhh, you should have heard them sing. It was like a great episode of GLEE times infinity. The music vibrated and shook the world and filled the outside, swirling instantly to all the sad parts and making it better. Music has the ability to take people everywhere all at once.

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Grey inched his way into the choir, mesmerized.

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Sometimes he stood and watched, still and quietly fascinated just soaking it in to his core...

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And then you could see his unfiltered joy bubbling and building up...

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And then he would just kind of explode into a million pieces of happy that scattered all around.

Which I'm now quite certain is exactly how we should do music. And life.

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Grey jumped

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photo by michael gutierrez

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And Parker watched and even clapped- which is something that he's worked really hard in Behavior Therapy to learn how to do. Because they have autism, they have to be taught how to do almost every single little thing in life. Sometimes it's sad, but mostly it's inspiring and amazing. 

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photo by michael gutierrez

It was the perfect Summer night.

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We ate ice cream

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And deeet-sa (pizza)- in that order.

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And got filthy and made wishes and stayed up way past our bed time, because that's what Summer is for. That's what childhood is for. Sometimes that's even what adulting is for too.

The perfect Summer night and the whole thing almost didn't happen. Sometimes it's good to stay in bed and read- but sometimes it's even better to say "sure" to Life. God may be somewhere waiting with a present he created just for you. His fingers are crossed that you are going to come open it.

And I just want to remind you (and me) that we all have our very own personal light to shine. Gifts that we need to give and others need to receive. Every one of us is really darn good at something- something unique, something special, something good. Yes, even you- maybe you just haven't found it yet. Stop looking so hard and say "sure" to life a little more.

So Much Love,


A very special thank you to Fresno County Youth Choir for sharing your gift and your light.


  1. Oh, I loved this post. And the pictures...Grey and the music, Parker and the fountain...beautiful. Magical. Perfect. Thank you. I needed that.

  2. How fun - wish I'd gone - great photos!

  3. Beautiful, good for you. High five to Michael and Greyson for leading the way.

  4. buddy the elf, what's your favorite color?

  5. Loved this post. Greyson does music perfectly. Its how it should be done!
    Absolutely beautiful pictures


  6. Thanks I needed to hear this today. I work so hard taking my kids everywhere in hopes they will find the magic moment. It's tough because it's not always the typical kids things that my son loves. It takes so much energy to chase them around and half the time I get absolutely no reaction. It's easier just to give up and stay in sometimes, but you just reminded me when we do find something that my son loves it's absolutely magical. It makes the hours spent getting ready to leave the house and all of the sweat from the summer heat worth it. Thanks for the reminder. My son loves music too!!

  7. Love, love love !! Music is soul soothing <3

  8. Elf !! My finger has a heartbeat... and Chrissy has an amazing heart ♥

  9. Elf! Spaghetti & maple syrup, anyone? Love this blog post, my friend. You seized the day and got to witness your boys find joy. What a gift of a Tuesday. xoxo

  10. Thank you for supporting us last night :) we are glad that we put a smile on you and your family's faces :) please join is this Saturday, July 19, at 7:00pm for our last concert of the year. It will be held at Fresno City College in the Old Administration Building. We would love it for you and your family to come :) and please let Grey know that he put a smile on my face whenever he came up to dance in front of us :)

    1. THIS comment is making me choke up and smile all at the same time.
      Beautiful people with beautiful hearts all around :-)
      Wish I lived out that way to hear you all sing Amy.
      Glad you all had such a nice time out Chrissy.

    2. Awh thank you :) our goal as the Fresno County Youth Choir is create multicultural diversity through music that fills the heart, lifts the soul, and changes lives :) we know that we can't change everyone's lives, but to hear that we changed theirs and put a smile on theirs is definitely the most important thing to me. This is my first year in the group, and it has just been a life changing experience. You can follow us on Facebook under Fresno County Youth Choir and follow our upcoming events every summer :)

  11. Chills reading this. So much good stuff!

  12. Your boys were a delight to watch as they danced to the music. My daughter is one of the choir members. She was very touched by your kind words this morning. My son also has autism. So glad that the choir sang to your hearts.

  13. I.Loved.Reading.Every.Single.Word.Here.

    Thank you for teaching me this lesson {again}.

    With big love all the way from Cape Town, South Africa.

  14. My friend Aaron Bryan is the director of the Fresno County Youth Choir. He's amazing and so are all of the choirs he directs. I'm so very grateful that the music he has devoted his life to was able to touch your beautiful family. :)

  15. Love it! I can feel the joy!

  16. Love it!!! Your boys are so inspiring. God couldn't have given them a better mom, I hope you see that within yourself!