Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Trip recap

Amazing. Emotional. Once-in-a lifetime. A truly unique experience. This was our trip to San Francisco!

From flying on the airplane and Parker expressing his interest to "hold the ocean" to the bright lights and the click of the camera...we had a BLAST! Our days were filled with amazing things from start to finish.

The day of the fitting was a peek into the world of fashion. When we entered the room at the studio, the people from Gap turned their heads and said "oohs" and "aahs" over Parker :) There were racks of clothes, tables of shoes, an on-set hairdresser, and a room of seamstresses. His clothes fit just right - with not an inch to move or give. When the Converse sneakers went onto Parker's feet he told me "those too tight, mama". And, underneath the 3 shirts they layered on him was still that boy I love and adore...

The dinner at Gap headquarters was a true "wine and dine" event - with a kid twist! They thought of everything - tables filled with crayons, slinkies, sticky slime to throw on the walls, and macaroni and cheese that even the grown-ups loved! We got to meet some of the key faces behind the design, purchasing, marketing, and publishing decisions at Gap. Wow.

And then the photo shoot. I talked with Parker and told him that he was going to have to wear the shoes "that were too tight" for just a little bit while he had his picture taken. I asked myself how to prepare for this day, and couldn't anticipate how it would turn out. I reminded him that if he was a good boy that his Papa would reward him with a ride on the backhoe. Hmm... he had to think about this for a bit. We were in the dressing room getting things in just the right place when Parker decided that he didn't want a thing to do with wearing the clothes that were snug, the shoes too small, bright lights, and the unfamiliar people telling him what to do (do you blame him?). It was at that moment that the British woman (her name was Yett), turned to me and said "Well, mum, what'll it be?" I politely asked if she could locate Kenadi (Parker's new best friend that we met on the first day) and asked for her presence to help persuade Parker to take his photos. Yett piped up, and exclaimed "Well then, Kenadi it is - on we go...OOOOHHH, Kenadi darling, come hither, I need you!" Yett quickly returned with Kenadi and plopped her on the lap of the photographer. At that moment the thoughts running through my head were that this was either the make or break moment for Parker's photo opportunity.

Stefano Azario was so polished, skilled, and centered his energy into every click (that Kenadi assisted him with) and immediately transformed Parker into the radiant, shining, brilliant little boy that he is! With Kenadi on his lap, he moved the camera into place and captured Parker at his finest. It was at that very moment that I realized how rewarding this experience truly was. This phenomenal man behind the lens did not let the temper tantrum of a 2 year old get in the way of turning my boy into a work of art. There were so many positive comments coming from the Gap people behind the screens on set that included lines of: "he's animated" "those eyes!" "captivating" "we've got it".

And so, Kenadi saved the day! It was to her cooperation and Parker's instant liking the day we arrived that contributed to priceless photographs. I stood on set with tears of joy and pride. This, I will never forget.

We had a safe flight home, managed to get caught up on laundry, and stepped back in to our "real" life here at home in St. Cloud. When I reflect on the pictures of our trip, and the video of the things we did, I still take a step back in awe and wonderment. These 5 days in California have been life-changing.

Now...it's up to you! It all comes down to the votes. There will be 4 winners selected - one from each category: baby boy, baby girl, kid boy, and kid girl. And the even better news is that Parker has a 1 in 5 chance of winning in his category (baby Boy)!!! It's up to America to select their favorites :) You are welcome to vote for one child per day in each category, every day. Please select only 1 primary email address to use in the voting process, as multiple addresses will disqualify your voting entries (or so I've been told).

Visit this link to cast your vote:

Please share this with others to increase Parkers chances of becoming one of the new faces at Gap! The polls will be open from Tuesday, November 20th - Saturday, December 15th. Enjoy the attached photos from our trip...go Parker! Get voting ;)

Beaming with excitement of Parker,

p.s. I'm also encouraging votes for Kenadi in the baby girl category - what a sweetheart! She and Parker make a cute pair :)


Jessie said...

I just got an email forwarded to me from a coworker whose sister works at Merrill and it's about your ADORABLE son Parker and the GAP contest - I'll be sure to vote! Then I checked out your blog for fun and couldn't help but see that you too are a scrapbooking junkie...with links to Elsie and Ali I knew instantly! How fun. Good luck with the contest!

The Kuehl's said...

So happy you had a great trip! We will be casting our vote for Parker everyday!!! We love you!!!

Insider Clip

Parker's GAP video

San Fwancysco

The color quality isn't the greatest on this - but turn up the volume and listen to the excitement in Parker's voice about our trip next week!!!