Folena Family 2014

First of all we would like to wish everyone a very happy and joyous holiday season. 2014 was a very memorable year for our family as it saw the birth of our granddaughter Felicity and Robbie’s wedding to Desta. As most of you know, this yearly correspondence normally follows a time sequence from the start of the year through the end. Not this year …

Felicity Grace Karr entered our lives the morning of May 13th at 2:52 AM. She was born 6 pounds, 11.2 ounces (2772.4 gm) and 19.5 inches (49.530 cm) long. Amanda had a prolonged and difficult labor and eventually gave birth to Felicity. Justin was by her side the entire time and through mutual perseverance and support they endured and gave us the greatest gift ever – grandparenthood!

Felicity is pure joy in a bundle. She is a happy baby due in part that her parents tend to her every need, in most cases before she needs it. Both Amanda and Justin work very hard and need some help – this is where we come in. Paul tries to babysit one to two days a week, facilitated by the fact that he works a part time schedule, and I try to do it at least once a week. So between the two of us we cover enough to allow Amanda and Justin to get what they need done.

Felicity was not quite one month old before we packed up and headed to Denver for Robbie’s wedding. She turned out to be very easy to travel with: very little fuss as long as she was kept clean, dry and fed. We rented a house about 10 minutes from the downtown area in a nice neighborhood within walking distance of Sloan’s Lake Park. The near proximity to downtown was a big benefit as we prepared for the rehearsal dinner at Fogo De Chão – a Brazilian restaurant. The rehearsal dinner itself was an emotional event as Paul and I shared our thoughts and wishes for the new couple, as well as many of their friends. Many tears of joy were shed that night.

Robbie’s wedding on Saturday, June 14th, was nothing short of spectacular. It was held at the Four Seasons in Denver. The wedding was held outdoors and there was a bit of anxiety as it poured rain all morning, but the clouds parted and the sun glowed by “I Do” time. The ceremony was performed by the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, who is a family friend of the Asfaws, Desta’s family. Desta was just radiant and I think Robbie was a little nervous (hands in the pockets all the time) but the ceremony was beautiful. Amanda and Justin spoke at the wedding, and even Felicity looked down from their hotel room which overlooked the wedding venue while our friend Charlotte Miller took care of her.

The wedding reception included some Ethiopian dancers performing their cultural dances and Robbie and Desta being introduced in Ethiopian traditional garb as Prince and Princess for the day. The band that performed was top notch as they played non-stop for the duration. Everyone had a wonderful time. My Aunt Delores was able to make the trip from Iowa and that was very special.

So everything else that happened this year pales in comparison to these two very significant events. In brief … Amanda’s theatre company, Broadway By The Bay, won multiple Theatre Bay Area awards as their season was critically acclaimed. Among the many awards they received, they won Best Musical for In The Heights of which Amanda was most proud.

… Robbie and Desta bought a new home in the Northfield Stapleton area of Denver. This is a completely new community including schools, parks and shopping all conveniently located in walking distance. We took a quick trip to see them in December and we had a great time – Felicity came along too to visit her Uncle and Aunt.

… We rented a nice home in Santa Cruz in September for a vacation. Felicity, Amanda and Justin came with us and the Finnegans stopped by for a night as well – Jim, Joanie and Shannon. The rental home was adjacent to the harbor and within walking distance of the beach and boardwalk. We had a few days of good food and good company. Nothing better!

In 2014 we gained a new daughter and granddaughter. Stars abound and shine!

We look forward to the New Year as we wish you all a safe, healthy and prosperous 2015.

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