Wednesday, July 4, 2007

An evening full of surprises!!

My husband, Bill, insisted we make the trip to Las Vegas. He told me this may be a once in a life time experience. As it turned out, he was so right!! Little did I know as we walked into the banquet room I was in for an evening full of surprises.

The first surprise came as we entered the banquet room and looked for a table. My eyes went to a table toward the back of the room. I was wearing my contacts so things were a little fuzzy around the edges but there was something oddly familiar about one particular person seated. I cocked my head to the side and walked closer. OH MY GOSH!!! It was my daughter, Brittany!! And my son, Justin!! And my son-in-law, Jeremy!! As a grand surprise, Bill had flown our kids in for the weekend too!! It was a good thing I was wearing waterproof mascara!! As it turns out these wouldn't be the last happy tears to fall.

We had a lovely dinner, eating and chatting. It was a very good meal by the way. No rubber chicken here!! As soon as the meal was finished the awards were underway. The DOTY's were presented first, with the TOBY's following. This was a first class presentation, let me tell you. All the nominated pieces were presented on a large screen then the screen would cut to "And the winner is....." and then the winning piece was shown exclusively. I truly wish every nominee could have been there to experience it. Truly, FIRST CLASS!!

I was busy cheering on all the nominees. So many of them I know from the Teddy Talk chat forum I belong to. Each category was presented and a winner announced. Then came my category: Large Artist Bear - Dressed/Costumed. Nominees presented. And the winner is...... And there was a picture of Princess Mirabell and Sophie. What? WHAT? I got up and walked up onto the stage. Mindy Kinsey, the Editor of Teddy Bear and Friends magazine asked if I wanted to say a little something. Me, say something? Intelligent? I think I may have whispered something like, "Oh no, I couldn't possibly." Public speaking? Me? Just get me off this stage!!

Most of the rest of the announced winners were a bit of a blur until the end when the announcement for Best of Show was presented. And the winner is........ Oh my gosh!! There was that picture of Princess Mirabell and Sophie again!!! What? WHAT? My bears? Really? At this point I am really trying to keep my composure. It wasn't working really well. Tears were welling up as I made my way to the stage. There was Mindy again. "This time you have to say something." she said. Here I was, trying to keep from bursting into tears, and I have to say something? Oh goodness. I was so NOT expecting all of this. I had nothing prepared!!! Deep breath. Deep breath. Don't make a fool of yourself and remember to thank everyone. Deep breath....."I'd first like to thank...." Somehow I made it through and made my way off the stage before the tears streamed down my cheeks. A once in a lifetime experience...indeed.

Thank you Teddy Bear and Friends magazine, to all who voted, and to my husband Bill. I am so blessed. It was an incredible evening! One I will never forget.

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta
P.S. A very special thank you to Christine Crocker of Deerfield Farmhouse for creating Sophie for me. Sophie was a collaboration and the inspiration for Princess Mirabell's design and late 1800's costume and accessories.


Lisa of Twin Cubs said...

I am so tickled for you! I thought your bear was gorgeous and your awards were truly deserved. Congratulations!!!

Shel said...

I'm so proud of you, and so,so happy for you, Aleta! Your Princess was divine and deserved every mention, even among a slew of wonderful fellow nominees.

I'm also a little bit in love with your husband, in the most admiring and platonic of ways. What a dear, thoughtful person he is; he must in every way, truly be your best friend and biggest supporter. How wonderful that your children were there to witness your huge wins.

Congratulations to you again, sweet and talented friend. I'm delighted for you!

Samantha said...

Thank you so much for sharing all the pics. Its great to see how the awards are presented. Congratulations again on your awards!!! What an amazing experience it must have been to be there!!

Kingfisher Farm said...

Aleta, this couldnt have happened to a nicer gal!! And what a lovely man you married!!! He certainly pulled it all off!!! How wonderful!!!Happy Congratulations!! Pam and the Kingfisher Farm Bunch!

Marlys said...

Aleta: Your work is absolutely amazing and your Princess Mirabelle and Sophia certainly deserved their win. And what a great husband you have to surprise you with bringing your family. How really thoughtful and sweet that was. You must still be walking on air. Congrats.


Sonya Shaw said...

Aleta, CONGRATULATIONS! I am so so so so proud of you! What a wonderful thing to happen to a very deserving person and fellow bear artist. Having won a TOBY a few years ago and being there at the awards ceremony, I was reliving those moments with your words. Enjoy this and bask in the pure adrenaline of it all. Teddy Hugs

Shantell said...

What an absolutely magical evening for you!!! I've already shared privately how incredibly thrilled I am for you but just wanted to state so publically as well. I have to second Shelli's sentiments regarding your darling husband...what an awesome bestfriend you have in him. I am so glad your children were there to share in your very special moment(s).

Vee said...

What a whirlwind of a time!! BIG congratulations!!

Hahahha that a pic of when they announced you as the winner the second time?...priceless... you are so cute!

What a great family.... what a wonderful time.....

Bonnie said...

Again I say a big CONGRATULATIONS !!! It couldn't have happened to a nicer and very talented person.
And I must say I agree with the other ladies about your wonderful hubby. What a sweetheart~~~
I really enjoyed the photos.


Brenda said...

Hi Aleta,
What a wonderful fairy tale come true! You must feel like a princess and you deserve it! You know how much I adore your bears. That hubby of yours deserves some really special treatment - he really is your prince. How wonderful that he was able to include your children in this magical night! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!



Laura Lynn said...

WOW Aleta!!!! A very deserved Congratulations!!!!! And yep, you have a keeper there for a husband :)


ZanyMayd said...

Congratulations ! ! !

What a Well Deserved Honor for You.... Your Bears are Fabulous ~ What a Sweet Hubby to Surprise you Like that!

Tina Jensen said...

Congratulations Aleta.
It´s so well deserved. Your prinsess Mirabell and Sophia are the must wonderful pair I have ever seen. And thank you so much for sharing the pictures. Tina

Jill said...

Aleta - How wonderful! It is truly deserved, Mirabell is awesome and complements Sophie so well. Or vice versa. How memorable to have your family there to share your accomplishments. Way to go girl, and keep going!!!!! I am so proud to have the bear head on the heart created by you. Jill

Pauline said...

Aww Aleta, I am so thrilled for you, it is well deserved, your bears are truly gorgeous. Well done. Loved all the pictures and story too.

Warm wishes

Folksie Linda said...

Hi Aleta, I couldn't think of anyone more deserving of this than you! Your work is spectacular and I am so proud of you and happy for you! Sounds like you have a wonderful hubby and family too!
Congratulations although I am not a bit surprised.. you know i love your bears and I am so happy that you experienced that wonderful time! Hugs, Folksie Linda

Wendy said...

Congratulations Aleta! Your work is fantastic! Big bear hugs to you --glad you had a great time with your family too.

FrostingsNSparkles said...

Congratulations, Aleta!!! You deserve it :D That is so great that your family was able to suprise you. What a memorable time!!

Aleta said...

Thank you all ever so much. I am truly blessed....and so very busy that I've hardly had time to sit and really soak it all in. Perhaps on Monday when the house is quiet again. However, I have a teddy bear picnic to plan and a garden to finish and bears need faces and airbrushing, and, and......

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Bear Treasures by Melanie Jayne said...

A massive congratulations Aleta for such a beautiful entry and a very well deserved win. Congratulations!!!!!

Lots of love
Melanie Jayne

Debbie said...

I have been wanting to congratulate you on your TOBY award for over four months now. Shame on me! But I was (and am) thrilled for you! Much deserved, darling! You have been duly recognized. I knew you were talented when we met at the little show at the winery in Washington. Here's to you: huzzah!

Big bear hugs from Colorado,