IT HAD TO BE YOU

IT HAD TO BE YOU

Mary Alex Knight and Carter Mizell Marry In Houston

By Leanne Raesener

Photography by Marco Wang

Native Houstonians, Mary Alex Knight, the daughter of Risse and Kevin Knight, and Carter Mizell, the son of Chris and Mike Mizell, are not only alumni of The University of Texas at Austin and Episcopal High School, but are also pre-school alums as well. It was in their kindergarten class, where Carter first developed deep feelings for Mary Alex. He decided the best way to deliver his sweet thoughts would be to impress her with his literary talents through the gift of a note. To not leave anyone in suspense, the said note, of course, was saved over the years, and printed on the cocktail napkins for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception for guests to enjoy the origins of the couple’s relationship.

 

As they both needed time to mature a bit, they did not rekindle their romance until much later. At which point, the couple then dated for seven years and enjoyed a ten-month-long engagement before family and friends cheerfully gathered to share in their loving, joyous union and celebrate the couple’s life-long adventure together.

The bride was genuinely surprised when Carter proposed. Mary Alex shared that she jogs the Houston Country Club golf course when it’s closed. “Carter asked me if I wanted to run the course with him…on a July day…in blistering Houston heat,” she mused. “I thought it was a terrible idea, yet agreed to go. When we went around one of the tee boxes, there was a bench with flowers and champagne, and that’s where he proposed. It was completely unexpected. Carter had arranged for our families and friends to be waiting back at the clubhouse to celebrate. The next day, both of our families, longtime mutual friends, went to my grandparent’s home in Hunt, Texas, where we continued to celebrate over the weekend.”

 

The wedding, held pre-COVID-19, was a grand celebration that began with an elegant rehearsal dinner at the River Oaks Country Club. The final line of the groom’s toast at the rehearsal dinner was: If you haven’t locked it down in Pre-K, best of luck to you

The next day’s wedding ceremony was held at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham, with a reception following at the Houston Country Club. Our Lady of Walsingham’s choir also performed during the ceremony.

 

Mary Alex’s bridal gown was selected by Joan at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon. The designer, Italian based Le Spose Di Giò, whose dresses are still constructed in authentic creative workshops, designed the exquisitely customized gown. The intricate lace bodice, with off the shoulder sleeves, draped into a flowing floor-length silk organza skirt, secured at the back with an elegant bow and a lovely flower. The French cathedral length veil in a delicate Chantilly lace was by Romona Keveza. The bride’s crystal and mother-of-pearl headpiece was designed by Maria Elena. Like her mother, Mary Alex wore her veil during the reception for her first dance with Carter, the cake cuttings, and the toast. The mother of the bride wore a Monique Lhuiller botanical skirt with a custom organza blouse, and the groom’s mother wore a Catherine Regehr evening gown.

For the ceremony, the stunning bride was accompanied by Meredith Knight and Melanie Knight, her maids of honor, and her bridesmaids were: Lauren Bailey, Neely Brunette, Meg Carrigan, Grace Catherine Cary, Abby Cavender, C.C. Cavender, Reagan Corbett, Mary Curry, Clair Hodges, Julie King, Meagan Meeks, Caroline Mizell, Kendall Oelfke, Paige Rahe, and Allie Walls. Mitchell Austin, his best man, accompanied the groom. The groomsmen attending Carter were: Scott Adair, B-John Ballis, Stewart Cartwright, Luke Cone, Cliff Davis, Drew Galtney, Hunter Halpin, Stephen Herzer, David Hughes, Whit Maddox, Adam McCauley, Cole Miller, Logan Mizell, Jake Molak, Stephen Pitt, and Will Temple. The groom’s three ushers for this special day were Bobby Magness, Keller Towns, and Luke Utley.

 

The couple chose a traditional southern style wedding menu consisting of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean bundles, and seafood gumbo, amongst other delectable choices. The scrumptious buffet was adorned with oversized floral arrangements, tapered candles, and crystal candelabras. The bride and groom toasted with the bride’s paternal grandmother’s sterling silver goblets after cutting their five-tier cake adorned with fresh flowers by Marlene Romero. At the end of the evening, the new couple added to the festivities by celebrating Cinco de Mayo a day early. Mini margaritas, chips and queso, and mini tacos were passed, rounding out a true Texas culinary extravaganza.

Kelly Doonan Events meticulously executed the wedding, and the beautiful floral décor was designed by Susie Miller. The Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra had revelers up and on the dance floor, with photographer Marco Wang not missing a beat capturing and preserving all the magical moments. There was a unique, entertaining photo wall at the reception with rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and reception photos projected for guests to view in real-time. Also, guests were welcomed to take boxed slices home of the bride and groom’s cakes, upon their departure from the reception, to eat with their coffee the following morning.

 

The Mizell’s left the reception, driving a vintage Packard bursting with flowers. They honeymooned for a glorious two weeks in Switzerland and the South of France before returning to Houston, where they will reside. The bride is a teacher at River Oaks Baptist School, and the groom works at Newmark Knight Frank in commercial real estate. The couple resides in Houston.

A LOVE MATCH

A LOVE MATCH

Meredith Bond And Matthew Taylor McCord Wed In Fort Worth

By Natalie Bond Bloomingdale

Photography by Stephen Karlisch

As girls, of course, my sister and I would dream of walking down the aisle in a big white gown, so it was sensational to see my sister’s dreams come true as wedding bells rang for the Vernon girl and her Dallas boy when Meredith Bond became the bride of Matthew Taylor McCord in Fort Worth. The couple has their mothers to thank for their introduction. Pamela Bond, our mother, and Susan McCord, the future groom’s mother, play tennis together in Wichita Falls and were relentless in the set-up. Matt agreed to meet Meredith one morning for breakfast and a tour of Vernon, our hometown,  and then…the rest was like a fairytale. The proposal was also sporting. “After we landed in the Faroe Islands together, the first place I wanted to see was the waterfall at Gasadalur,” said the bride, Meredith McCord. “After taking quite a few photos, it was time to leave as the sun was setting–and Matt seemed in a pensive state. Looking back, I know he was wondering if this was the right spot to propose. I wasn’t expecting it to happen on this trip, so it was a wonderful surprise when he popped the question.”  

Following the engagement and pre-nuptial events all across Texas, including a rehearsal dinner hosted by the McCords for family, friends, and out of town guests at the Clay Pigeon restaurant (the site of one of the couple’s  first dates), the wedding ceremony took place at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth. On the big day, Meredith wore a strapless white silk Mikado dress designed by Nardos Imam, a Dallas-based dressmaker. Attached to her garden-style bouquet of white O’Hara roses, lilac, cream peonies, and white lisianthus was a silver and diamond lavaliere, a family heirloom on our mother’s side. She wore diamond earrings as the something borrowed from me, and for something blue, she carried a small handkerchief with a blue monogram, a gift from our sister-in-law, Meredith Louise Bond. 

The bridesmaids wore formal black gowns, adorned with matching gold and pearl earrings by San Antonio-based jewelry designer Nicola Bathie, a gift from the bride. I served as a matron of honor, of course. Her bridesmaids were: Catherine Elizabeth Almeida of Prosper, Texas, Meredith Louise Bond, sister-in-law of the bride of Dallas, Katie Diane Braddock of Yulee, Florida, Meghan Brooke Goddin of Austin, the sister of the bridegroom, Anna Renee Hoppe of Yukon, Oklahoma, Leigh Dodson King of Fort Worth, and Kristen Payne Polito, of San Antonio. 

Serving as the best man for the ceremony was Byron Parker Chaddick of Midland. The groomsmen were:  Shelby Henry Carter of Aspen, Colorado, Joseph Blake Garret of Huntington Beach, California, Mason Albert Schwarz of Austin, Maddox Morgan Womble of Dallas, and Stephen Tyler Goree, Christian Michel Patry, and Chipman Russell Seale, all of Midland. The ushers for the ceremony were: James Alfred Bloomingdale of Los Angeles, the brother-in-law of the bride, William Blaine Bond of Dallas,, the brother of the bride, Cristopher Holt Conger of San Antonio, Chase Tiernan Conway of Dallas, Chris Hopkins Goddin, of Austin, the brother-in-law of the bridegroom, Thomas Chandler Isbell of Tucson, Arizona, Brandon Stephen McCord of Metairie, Louisiana, a cousin of the bridegroom, Michael Caleb McCrea of Fredericksburg, and Winston Steel Kelly and Blake Winfield Braun, both of Midland.

After the ceremony, the grand reception was held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Guests were greeted by a saxophonist at the entrance, where they were encouraged to sign a large pictorial book of the Faroe Islands. A jazz combo in the Modern Museum of Art Café and Terrace Courtyard serenaded the arriving guests.

Upon the newlywed’s arrival, the guests were ushered into the grand lobby of the museum, where a proliferation of floral décor in neutral hues greeted them for a seated dinner. Then, the white acrylic dance floor was waiting for the guests to continue the merriment with Blind Date of Austin, the band for the affair.  They played Stand by Me as the new couple was introduced and danced their first dance.

After dinner, dancing, and the cutting of the five-tiered candlelight-colored cake, the newlyweds exited the reception in a classic 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan through a line of guests throwing white rose petals and sharing warm wishes for the future. “I was so pleased with the way Gro Designs, our event design and planning team, took my vision and transformed the Modern into such a beautiful space,” said Meredith McCord.

Meredith graduated from Texas Christian University and obtained her master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. She is now a licensed professional counselor. Matt, a cum laude graduate at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, is an oil and gas landman in Midland. The couple’s tropical paradise honeymoon was in the French Polynesian Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Le Taha’a, and Bora Bora. They now reside in Midland.

SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL

SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL

Frances Carolina Roberts And Andrew Jackson “AJ” Lewis IV Wed In San Antonio

By Lance Avery Morgan

Photography by Sarah Kate

When the invitation to the wedding was received by 894 guests, everyone knew they were in for something spectacular. Frances “Carolina” Roberts, the daughter of Elizabeth and Barry Roberts and Andrew Jackson “AJ” Lewis IV, the son of Liza and Jack Lewis, all of San Antonio, enjoyed a two and half-year courtship and a one-year engagement, after initially meeting through the San Antonio German Club, a brahman social club in the city. 

The couple was engaged in a truly fitting Texas-style…on the groom’s family ranch. With a bottle of 1995 Dom Perignon and monogrammed cups by his side, AJ asked Carolina to be his life mate while overlooking the ranch perched on the Pedernales River. “Before I knew it, I turned around and saw AJ on one knee, with a ring in his hand. It turned out our families were all waiting for the green light so they could come and meet us where we were. They came bolting down the hill with bells and whistles,” enthused the bride, Carolina Lewis. 

The evening wedding, which occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic began, took months of planning for the grand weekend to happen in San Antonio. Billinda Wilkinson of Wilkinson Rhodes event production company and her team of international designers creatively directed the event, and Danny Cuellar of Trinity Flowers collaborated to  execute a magnificent design for the church. The wedding weekend’s festivities began with the rehearsal dinner for the family, wedding party, and out of town guests, at the Coates Chapel at the Southwest School of Art. The wedding venue, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, was a magnificent setting with a mix of the bride’s favorite flowers. Under the direction of Wilkinson Rhodes, Danny Cuellar created the bride’s vision for the church including a floral armature specifically designed for St Mark’s Episcopal Church.  

The bride walked down the elongated aisle wearing a dress that was a custom combination creation of Marchesa and Creviax by Javier Castillo. She wore a beaded pearl butterfly brooch, as well as an antique lace train that had been passed down for four McAllen family generations. “One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was when our Reverend Matt Wise asked me and AJ to turn around and look at the audience. He told the audience that the night before (at the rehearsal dinner) he had walked around the room and asked some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, What do you love about Carolina and AJ’s love for each other? He then shared with us, and our guests, many of the sweet thoughts our friends’ had said the night before,” said Carolina Lewis.

The bride selected six flower girls, four ring bearers, and three attendants who were boys over the age of 10, in addition to her bridal party that were: Alicia Urrutia Amberson, Margaret McAllen Amberson, Lillian Foster Calvert, Claudia Luedemann Kiolbassa, Hannah Claire Gibson, Lauren Anne Gray, Carroll McLemore Ison, Meredith Anne Knight, Sallie Wolff Lewis, Felicia Louise Mannix, Diana Lynn Rubin, Fannie Lewis Thomas, and Jane Elizabeth Towns. She chose Josephine Tinsley Simpson as her maid of honor. The groom selected his cousin, Richard Spencer Lewis II, as his best man. The groomsmen who attended AJ were Hunter Hill Comiskey, Robert Menefee Cavender, Jr., Tyler Manning Hays, Dana Gareth Kirk, Jr., Moses McLish Moorman, Stewart Louis Korte, Carlos Federico Longoria, John Argyle McAllen Roberts, George Coates Roberts, Gregory Allen Rubiola, Jr., Charles Clayton Thomas, Jr., John Stuart West, and Burk Ricks Wilson, Jr. The ushers serving him were: Barclay Cunningham Adams, Kenneth Stanley Adams IV, Argyle Christian Amberson, Diego Andrés Guerra, Enrique Eduardo Guerra III, Lorenzo Tomás Guerra, John Luke Mannix, and John Thomas Saunders III.

Immediately after the ceremony, the newly betrothed couple joined the family dinner upstairs at The Argyle, while the wedding reception was in full swing below. “We enjoyed an intimate dinner with our parents before going out to the reception, which gave us a chance to relax, enjoy a cocktail, and sample all the wonderful foods being served at the wedding reception before greeting our guests,” remarked Carolina Lewis. The colors in the elaborately tented reception were hunter green, white, and blush pink, with shades of gold. It was a feast for the guests’ senses as over-scaled floral consisting of over 50,000 hybrid delphinium, hydrangea, larkspur, phalaenopsis, and garden roses arranged in unique floral designs welcomed guests at every turn. Upon entering the dinner, attendees were enveloped by a floral wonderland spanning the length of the tent. The ceiling was filled with over 5,000 stems of cascading flowers and foliage. The bridal party tables featured lush flower runners with arching floral garlands rising above them.

Since the couple had planned a honeymoon to Asia, there was an Asian flair to the buffet dinner with a selection of food stations astutely provided by The Argyle team. There were gorgeous De Gournay-style framed panels around the reception and a beautiful bar created with a series of brightly colored fans mixed with orchids and other tropical flowers. The bridal couple shares a love of food, especially sushi, so it was a treat to have three sushi chefs freshly preparing various rolls, nigiri, and sashimi, along with an incredible noodle bar with ice-cold Asian beer and sake pairings. The fresh seafood bar was topped with an exquisite ice sculpture of two kissing elephants whose trunks formed the shape of a heart.

The specialty cocktails also beautifully represented the couple with “his” and “hers” drinks. The “his” drink was a traditional margarita on the rocks, called a Spanish Spark named after the groom’s favorite drink, the Chispa, served at the famous Soluna Mexican food restaurant in San Antonio. The “her” drink was a twist on a French 75 cocktail called a Purdey Girl (named after the couple’s English cocker spaniel) and consisted of champagne, vodka, cranberry juice, with a large ice cube with small orchid flowers frozen in its center. The bride’s cake, created by Cakes by Cathy Young of San Antonio, was strawberry, with blush pink icing and filling. The groom’s cake was custom made by The Painted Cake. Half of the cake portrayed an African scene with a Baobab tree, elephant, campfire and tent, while the other half was a scene from their Fredericksburg ranch with personal touches to the bride and groom, such as their dog, Purdey. The cake was cut with a ceremonial sword from AJ’s maternal grandfather, Brigadier General James S. Billups, from when he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point. The fun continued in the dance tent, where the bar surrounded a two-story tree filled with over 600 stems of elongated, bright white, dripping phalaenopsis orchids, while the tent poles themselves danced with 25 feet of garlands of silver dollar and seeded eucalyptus and more than a thousand roses of different varieties.

Attendees at the reception enjoyed dancing to the Georgia Bridge Water Orchestra, from Jordan Khan Productions, and were also treated to a performance by Cris Cab, who was a wedding guest. The after-party was in the Coates Garden, the newest addition to The Argyle,  and had guests dancing the night away by music provided by D.J. Rooney G, in from New York.

 

The couple’s Asian honeymoon took them on an extended journey ranging from Bali to Japan, where they look forward to visiting again soon. They reside in San Antonio, where Carolina, a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, has just started her own company with two of her cousins, and AJ, a graduate of Texas Christian University, is an executive at his family’s business, Mission Restaurant Supply. “In our spare time, we love to travel, go to the ranch and beach, cook, play with our dog, play backgammon, and spend time with each other’s families and friends,” said Carolina Lewis.  

LOVE, ACTUALLY

LOVE, ACTUALLY

The Nuptials Of Sarah Elizabeth Requa and Samuel Finley Ewing IV In Carmel

By Lance Avery Morgan

Photography by Liz Banfield

An elaborate engagement proposal would set the stage for the spectacular wedding of Sarah Elizabeth Requa, the daughter of Penny and Paul Loyd, and Jack Requa, and Samuel Finley Ewing IV, the son of Beth and Fin Ewing. The Texans were married at the Redwood Grove at Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel Valley, near a home of the bride’s family. The bride had always dreamt of having her wedding in a ceremony surrounded by family, friends, and sky-high redwood trees. 

 

The bride, from Houston and a graduate of Southern Methodist University, and the groom, from Dallas and a graduate of Texas Tech University, are admittedly opposites that attracted. They have very different preferences in cuisine, entertainment, sports, hobbies, and thermostat settings, according to the bride. “It’s an interesting social experiment at our house, but somehow it just works, and we end up meeting in the middle and enjoying our time together,” mused Sarah Requa Ewing.

When Finley proposed to Sarah, after a courtship of three years, they were visiting her family in Houston. She thought she was getting dressed for a fundraising gala, and as they were about to depart, Finley proposed. A dinner had been planned afterwards with family and friends, who were waiting to celebrate the momentous occasion. “I wanted to make sure that Sarah was completely surprised. I told very few people until just before the big proposal day. Everything worked out better than I could have expected,” shared the groom, Finley Ewing IV. The exquisite wedding, adapted to COVID-19 protocol, was artfully curated by Sarah Fay Egan Events of Dallas, who helmed the nuptial’s logistical and creative planning from near and far. Pastel shades of blue and green, along with the venue’s indigenous Cypress trees, were artfully integrated into the décor. A floral arch, where the bride and groom gathered to exchange their vows, was gorgeously colorful and beamed in the middle of the redwoods’ ambiance, providing the perfect backdrop for the union. The Santa Lucia Preserve is located on 20,000 acres of stunning coastal California landscapes, just a few miles inland from Carmel-by-the-Sea.

The ceremony, officiated by Kit Case, was moving for all who were there to witness it, especially the groom as he saw his future bride for the first time as she walked toward him on the arm of her father, Jack Requa. She was resplendent, wearing an ethereal Monique Lhuillier gown, and a veil adorned with Alençon lace, while carrying a bouquet by Fiona Floral. “I am usually not a crier, but when I saw Sarah come around the corner from behind the giant redwoods, I couldn’t help myself. She looked absolutely stunning, and I felt like the luckiest guy in the world,” said the groom, who wore a custom blue suit. The groom even donned custom made boots by Roma, and also outfitted each of his attendants with custom made boots. 

 

Some of the wedding party were unable to attend due to the pandemic and California’s gathering restrictions, yet they were there in spirit. Jessica Requa Pinnell, the bride’s sister, served as her matron of honor, and the bride was also attended by Christie Loyd, Emma Rose Loyd, Lloyd and Gail Ewing, while Hayden Rome was unable to attend. They wore pale grey dresses and carried bouquets laden with silk ribbon streamers. The best man, Charlie Ewing, the groom’s brother, and groomsman Kelly Loyd were on hand, while the other groomsmen, Harrison Holmes, Matthew Requa, and Dodger Lambourn, were unable to attend. Hudson Pinnell and Parker Pinnell, the bride’s nephews, were the ring bearer. The duo’s dog, Phoebe, was also an attendant, with a specially made floral leash and collar. The couple and their families sent each guest a bottle of champagne and a pair of flutes to toast with them from afar while they watched the wedding ceremony online. 

The weekend’s festivities began with a rehearsal dinner held on the back lawn and poolside of the bride’s parents’ home, with a beautiful view overlooking the Santa Lucia Preserve. Following the ceremony, there was a seated dinner for 24, down from the originally-planned guest count of 350. The theme of nature was effortlessly entwined with the embroidered dinner napkins―female guests had a blue hydrangea, and the mens’ napkins sported a cypress tree design. And, anyone who knows the couple’s families were not surprised to see the groom’s father, Fin Ewing, sing a few songs, while the band, Entourage, provided other entertainment that evening. The bride, who is 25% of Japanese descent, was thrilled that her grandmother (who is Japanese) hand-crafted a thousand origami paper cranes herself that floated above the reception’s dining area, said to represent what the heart desires, offering another unique family tie to the momentous weekend. “This is proof that a small family ceremony can be even more gorgeous than the original plan,” gushed the bride, Sarah Requa Ewing. “We loved how the traditional elements of a large wedding were still perfectly infused into our own version.” 

 

The couple resides in Dallas, where the bride is a freelance artist and the groom is an executive with Ewing Automotive Group. They love to travel together and like to listen to music while playing outside with their dog. Sarah and Finley honeymooned in Cabo San Lucas and plan to visit Italy when international travel resumes. 

HOW OPTIMISM ALWAYS WINS

HOW OPTIMISM ALWAYS WINS

With 2020 now behind us, it’s time to move forward into a new realm of our lives, according to our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, who clarifies the importance of resonating with new opportunities ahead.

RE-EXAMINATION TIME

As I looked at my correspondence from 2020, I realized that spellcheck could not figure out how to spell COVID-19. A year ago, I had no idea what Coronavirus was, let alone COVID-19. Since that time, we have been through so many ups and downs and twists and turns–truly a testament to our resilience as a global community. We are the most adaptable species on the planet, and we have all witnessed the reality of our adaptability in the last year. And adapt, we have. Despite the quixotic lifestyle changes and constant potential for loss of life, we are moving forward…progressing in a herky-jerky, zig-zag trajectory triggering us to stop, look and listen in new ways.

This pandemic compels us to stop and look at our lives–to examine and re-evaluate what is important. Even though it continues to be a huge imposition, the pandemic has enriched us in some interesting ways. Those who are sick or have lost loved ones are probably not having this experience. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you and the heroic healthcare workers taking care of you. 

We who have re-examined our lives are fortunate enough to have stayed safe and healthy are reconsidering what might be loosely considered as the pandemic’s benefits. One of these might be a resurgence of the idea of simplicity. What does this mean, and how does it fit into our lives now? The dictionary defines simplicity as the quality or condition of being plain or natural. Feeling unencumbered comes along with it. The Feng Shui philosophy of spatial organization recommends we keep clutter to a minimum. Simply put, clutter can block the flow of energy in our homes, and therefore, into our lives. 

ARTFUL SIMPLICITY 

In the end, simplicity is an art. It is an act of letting go. When we let go, we make room for fresh experiences. We re-examine what we find valuable and release what is not. Simplicity generally precedes some form of healing. Healing is essential now within our global community, on all levels: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

Another value gleaned from the pandemic looks like something akin to unity. For one thing, it has united us around a common adversary. Although split into two main camps, the unity, even in its present form, demonstrates re-evaluation and learning. Unity follows a certain level of unrest. Among other examples, it may be similar to the upheaval occurring in psychotherapy, which can be followed by systemic healing. 

Healing is most definitely on the mind of the collective consciousness. As we ring in this new year, we are anxiously awaiting the manufacture and distribution of viable vaccines. Gratefully contemplating the prospect of gravitating back to our original lifestyle, a watery impression seems to portend, “It’s probably not going to happen the way you think it is.” Yet, part of what is happening looks like the cultivation of a new optimism–tinged with hope.

Pandemics create a great deal of stress on all levels. This, we now know. As we begin to envision a healed world and examine lessons learned, we may find there remains a real possibility for continued transformation–from a personal perspective and a global one. Awareness of this possibility for ourselves and our loved ones could potentially make this transition smoother and perhaps even a source of joy in this brand new year.