Category Archives: Natural Hair

Zola’s Exquisite Journey as a Classical Double Bassist


10462429_10204318052215420_906693918121963652_o ZOLA SMI 2014

NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra

“The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute is a four-week festival of orchestral and chamber music for young people ages 14-21 at the Kennedy Center. Musicians from around the country participate in the Institute, which consists of orchestral and chamber music coached by NSO musicians, conducting and master classes, private lessons with NSO musicians, and additional enrichment sessions. Several of the local students are graduates or current participants of the NSO Youth Fellowship Program, an orchestral training program for talented young musicians. Also included are students participating in the Young Artists’ of Color national training initiative of the Kennedy Center.”   – NSO – SMI website.

My daughter, Zola, a classical double bassist, had the distinct honor and pleasure of performing with the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra the past two years.  What an amazing experience and opportunity!  If you have any young musicians in your life, encourage them to apply for the NSO Youth Fellowship.  It includes housing, a stipend, and intense training and performance experiences!

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the final performance of the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra which was held in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.  Simply PHENOMENAL!  It is always a WONDER for me to sit in front of the Double Bass Section and watch my daughter transform right in front of my eyes.  She fully immerses her soul and her being into this gift that she has been given.  I am thankful for the doors that have been opened for her through her dedication, hard work and talent.  May Zola continue to inspire others along her Exquisite Journey!

Enjoy  last night’s performance!



The MOST Exquisite Moment: Seeing My Billboard Ad in New York City!


From the first Facebook post from my college friend to the 2:44 a.m. text on Sunday morning from a high school friend telling me that they saw my face on a billboard in NYC,  I knew I would  go completely BONKERS if I did not have a chance to see the billboard for myself!  I mean it is not every day that a mom of five meets a photographer, poses for some shots for an ad campaign and then ends up in the featured photo of a New York Times article that highlights the campaign and the billboard with her image on it!  WHEW!  Talk about a series of EXQUISITE MOMENTS!

In comes the most generous and thoughtful exquisite gesture – an offer to fund my trip to NYC so that I can see the billboard for myself!  I have tears in my eyes just thinking about the magnitude of this gesture in my heart.  So off I go – on a day trip to see myself on 42nd Street in NYC!  I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.  I got three hours of sleep before I had to ride to the bus station which thankfully was only 10 minutes away.  I thought I would get some sleep on the bus – but NO!  I was just to exited about the whole entire trip because this was my first time going to New York City and I was so looking forward to the adventure!IMG_8676

The bus arrived in the city at 12 noon.  It was the perfect day to walk the city!  With so much to see but first things first, I have to make my way to the Pfizer Building.  GPS in hand in Walking Mode of Transport here I go.  I will confess I got turned around for a minute but I finally found my footing and was on my way!


As I was taking in all of the sights I realized I was almost there!  The address f the Pfizer Building is 235 E. 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues!


Then there it was!!!  It is REALLY BIG!!!  LOL!  But I was so happy to finally be able to see it in real life!  As Exquisite Moments would have it, an employee recognized me as I was getting my photo taken in front of the billboard.  She was so excited to see one of the models live, that she rushed me into the lobby and ran upstairs to grab one of the executives in charge of the campaign.  Lo and behold, it was one of the executives that was there at the photo shoot!

As you can see I am quite happy that I finally had a chance to see the billboard live and in person!

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ICYMI: There’s a NEW face on 42nd Street – MINE!


When I did my first photo shoot last month, I never thought my face would end up on a huge ad banner on 42nd Street, or featured in the New York Times. Perhaps you saw the article about the launch of Pfizer’s “Fear of Getting Old” (#FOGO) campaign?  With a social media campaign emphasis, the article is going viral.


Pfizer’s new campaign is an effort to refocus on an initiative carrying the theme “Get old.” Credit Wendy Barrows


It’s a bit of a fairy tale story – local mom from Fairfax County, VA meets photographer, poses for corporate ad and her image is chosen as one of the faces of a splashy new campaign.

Who knows what’s next??!!!

The #FOGO Girl ~ Michelle Lynn Thompson


Fear of Getting Old (#FOGO)


How do we debunk myths and fears?  By having open and honest conversations and gathering factual information so that we can move through the fears and keep them in the proper perspective.  Pfizer conducted a recent survey and reported that over 87% of Americans have a Fear of Getting Old – hence the new Pfizer hashtag #FOGO.  I wasn’t one of the people polled, but I can certainly relate.  As I interact with individuals older than me, I hear some of their daily challenges as they try to plan financially for their extended lives and the different needs that they have during this season of their journey.  It gives me pause and reminds me that I have to be proactive about planning for the quality of life that I want to live as I age.  A lot of that has to do with how I feel about getting older and how I choose to embrace change.

How do you feel about getting old?  Visit the GET OLD website and take the #FOGO Quiz!  I took the quiz and I am the Chairwoman of the Board!  One of my #FOGO is the fear of losing my physical mobility and independence.   After you take the quiz, leave a comment with your results and share a few #FOGOs of your own.  Let’s start and continue a conversation and move forward on this journey so that we can “Fear Less. Live Longer.”

Join the Get Old Community on Facebook and Twitter!

To read more about the launch of this re-focused campaign read the New York Times article by Stuart Elliott.  Make sure you take a peak at the featured photo for the article!  Yes, that’s me – one of the #FOGO Girls!  I had an Exquisite Modeling Opportunity working on the campaign with the digital advertising team from Huge and photographer GOKATESHOOT.  The experience was a BLAST!  The article in the New York Times with the featured photo that included one of my images was the icing on the cake!  I am so excited about engaging in these conversations!










Summer Solstice Serendipity




Christina being her spontaneous, carefree self splashing through the Georgetown Waterfront Fountain.  I just loved that she ran through without a care in the world!  This is the free spirit of what it means to be a child.  As parents we have to remember to say YES more often because children know the secret to understanding how to embrace the simple exquisite pleasures of life!  A simple YES created a moment of JOY and a lifetime memory.  Who cares that you didn’t have any clothes to change into.  “I’ll just walk around and dry off!”  ~ Christina



It is a happy talent to know how to play.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Always jump in the puddles! Always skip alongside the flowers. The only fights worth fighting are the pillow and food varieties. ~Terri Guillemets


 Whoever wants to understand much must play much.  ~Gottfried Benn



Sunshine Hugs

Like the touch of love

Wrapping its warmth around me

I love sunshine hugs!

by Michelle Lynn Thompson

August 18, 2012

Exquisite Haiku: Sunshine Hugs