Wednesday, May 20, 2015

White to Black to White...

Isn't funny how our tastes change.
I used to love Chinese food and now I hate it.
Wait this wasn't going to be a food post but it always seems to start there...ummm dangit.
I was actually talking about the subtleties in our designing.

Basically through the years my design hasn't changed that much.  

Well that's not totally true because now I don't put battenburg lace doilies and runners under everything I own and come to think of it I don't wear it either.  Other differences too but we will get into them later.
But I have always loved vintage and antiques and white.

I have always loved white...
until I loved black.

That hit around 2005 and right when I was moving into Pear Cottage.
Soooo I painted all my cabinets black.
Black bathroom cabinets,
black on the laundry room cabinets.
I painted my huge desk in my family room black.
Double Dang...
Thank goodness my kitchen stayed white so don't get too scared.  But still a lot of black.

 That was 10 years ago and I am sooo done with black and right back on white or at least a version of white.
I got rid of the black cabinets in my bathroom first.  Hooray!

Now I don't work in any kind of order.  We just redo whatever bugs me the most and when Tom has an urge to do something.  It is getting farther and farther apart these days.  Again... dang.

Well my family room desk was really bugging me.  I have wanted it a lighter color for a while now. So when my honey asked if there was just a little house project I knew immediately what needed to be done.

Now this is one big desk so it took a spell.  I used chalk paint so we wouldn't have to sand and I love how it turned out.  More updates on our family room to follow but the next update was sooooo not my idea.  And just for a little teaser it was not painting something white like I wanted.
To be continued...

Before...

Photo bombing by Charles



 After...
So much better. :)










Friday, May 15, 2015

Everlasting House Love...


I love chocolate covered almonds and Safeway's Greek mango yogurt and plantains from Trader Joes and lemon ginger tea.  

All of that will change within the next month or two and I will have a new list of things I love. 
Then there are things that I L.O.V.E today and tomorrow and next year.  
That list is crazy long like picnics (well mostly it is about the picnic baskets), listening to the rain on a roof, cuddled inside and under a blanket reading a book (which I happened to be doing right before I wrote this) and houses.  

Yes houses. 

I love them.  Inside and out.  
When I was in college I fell in love with a little adorable cape cod and I stalked it like you would a boyfriend.  I would do drive by's with my head outside the window like a puppy or sometimes when time allowed I would just park across the street and stare at it's perfect little dormer windows with it's perfect blue door.  Well not much has changed in those 20+ years.  I still do drive by's on all my favorites in my neighborhood.   It's easy in California where there is no shortage of amazing architecture and a perfect growing season for the yards.  Thank goodness my honey loves it too and we explore endlessly.  And even though my little adorable town has some amazing houses, I am pretty sure that nothing and I mean nothing in this great country of ours has an entire town of houses like... 

Carmel, California

OMG
The entire town is out of a storybook.
I know I have talked about it before because it has always been my favorite seaside town. 
But now that we spend so much time there I really get to appreciate it all the time and I have come to love this place (which I did not think was possible) even more.
Here are some of my favorites from last week end.  

Are you kidding me on this one?  
I see her all the time because we pass her to get to our families house but I can't take each and every time.  Who lives there? Are they human or are they like a family of rabbits or raccoons?  I am going to have to stalk this adorable little thing.


Again...holy cow and on the beach



Now this one I just can't understand...I can't.  
It's on the beach and we walk by it because my families house is just up the street.
Why oh why is it abandoned?
Is it haunted?
I would gladly reside with ghosts if I got to live there.
I just don't understand and that is all I have to say about that.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My New/Old Best Friend...

 I said goodbye to Nicholas in the parking lot of a Thai food restaurant...again.  
We were leaving to spend the week end in Carmel and he was leaving the next morning for Idaho to go back to college.

I was crying looking out the window missing him already.
We hung out a lot when he was home because the other kiddos were in school.  
So we would head up in the hills and go for our hikes each day.
I was thinking about how fun it is to spend time together and how much I enjoy talking to him.
He is wise and smart and is such a great listener.  I just talk and talk and he patiently listens to my sometimes never ending stories.
He offers such insight and great perspective and he is sooooo funny.

Those lines between parent child that were so cut and dry for so many years, 
were suddenly blurry.

John, hearing me sniffling in the backseat, asked if I was OK and I told him that it was just hard to say goodbye to one of my best friends.

So that is what happens.
You raise these people and it's hard and sometimes never ending. 
Days last forever but the years are flying by.
And then you are done.
And I realized that night, 
looking out that car window, 
with tears streaming down my face, that one of my biggest life wishes came true...
my son is my best friend.




Wednesday, May 6, 2015

18 Short Years...Happy Mother's Day

You know what's strange?
Tom and I talk about it all the time...
how much of an impact our Mother's have on us and we are only with them for 18 years.  

The bulk of a mother's job is done whether we are living at home or not by 18 years of age.  




I think about my mom a lot.

She was an incredible Mom and I owe her everything...truly.
My mom was always there for me and I knew how much she always loved me. 
Mom was always the first word I yelled when I walked in my home.
She was kind and made me feel special.



I remember every Mother's day making her a card and cutting lilacs from my neighbor's yard. She would smell the fragrant lilacs, read my card and cry.
She made me feel like it was the best Mother's day gift in the entire world. a. She would wrap her arms around me and make feel like the most important girl in the entire world.  

I would always study my mom's hands.  
She had beautiful hands with perfectly manicured finger nails and beautiful jewelry but you could see her veins.  I would hold her hands and rub at her veins.
I look at my own hands now and I have her hands.  Well without the manicured nails and jewelry but they remind me of my mom's hands.  I thought my mom was so old but she was so young.. .. In her forties when I was in my teen years. 

My mom was on the phone a lot. 
 I loved my mom's voice and it was soothing to have her gabbing and laughing all the time up in our kitchen.  She was so much more social than I am. My mom loved talking and being around other people.  She had a ton of friends and was going to parties or playing tennis or going to lunch.  My mom was definitely an extrovert.


She was just so beautiful...I'm talking movie star beautiful.  
In fact I was always so proud of how stylish and beautiful my mom was.  I was never embarrassed of her...not even one time. She looked stunning every time she left the house. She would never go to the store in an apron and slippers like I do. :) Everybody loved her and told me how gorgeous and wonderful she was. I would constantly run into people and they would say, "Your mom is Gay Cederlof? She is the most beautiful person I ever met."
 I thought she was too. 
My parents were like a glamour couple off of the pages of a magazine.  My stunning mother and my 6 foot tall dad with his dark hair and his dark commanding business suits driving around in their BMW or convertible Jaguar. 
The golden couple of Salt Lake during the 60's and 70's.



My mom wasn't a strict mom. 
I never remember a ton of rules, I didn't even have a curfew in high school, but we had chores that we were expected to do. We always had a cleaning lady so the chores were always in our 2 acre yard somewhere.  I hated doing yard work and sometimes I think she just made up stuff for us kids to do. "Pull those weeds in between the brick cracks," She would say or "Move those rocks from one side of the hill to the other," It made zero sense to me and I think it was the only time my mom would get mad at me.  I just couldn't help myself from endlessly complaining.  It all just seemed like such a waste of time.
My mom was always busy doing something, although I couldn't tell you what.

My mom had a serious temper...she would get ticked.
We have story after story of her freaking out and trying to get at one of us 5 kids.  We knew the drill and we would  take off running full speed and she would accidentally whack a neighbor kid.  I am sorry to report that sometimes pitchforks were involved but have no fear as soon as she realized it wasn't her child she would instantly calm down. (These were different times millennial children... my mom was never even sued.) 
She could really scream too... but it wasn't ever really me that was on the receiving end of her anger.
I was the fourth child out of five, passive and hated confrontation.  I deliberately made choices to not get in trouble. Annabelle, my little sister, and I got lost in the shuffle and played in our own little made up world of dolls and pet rocks.  Even as a teenager I just never got in trouble.  I am not saying I didn't do mischievous things, it's just that I flew under the radar because I wasn't testing the boundaries too much.  I have always been a pleaser and like I said I never wanted my parents mad at me.  I loved my mom and dad so much and I never wanted to disappoint them.

I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, I sluffed school with a bunch of other kids.  There were 10 of us in all and we stuffed ourselves in a little, teeny, tiny car.  I was stacked on two other people with my cheek smashed against the window.  We thought we were so funny until we got pulled over by a truancy officer and all of us got suspended from school.  I had to call my mom from the principal's office and tell her what I had done.  I was bawling and could hardly get my horrible story out.  She just listened and by the time I got home she wrapped me up in one of her huge hugs and said, "I am actually glad you got in trouble, now let's go shopping and celebrate."

My mom loved dancing...especially ballet.
I know that is where my passion comes from.  We would get dressed up, drive to capital theater in downtown Salt Lake and watch ballet West.  They are still some of my favorite memories.  By the time I was in 6th grade I was dancing a couple of hours a day.  By the time I was in the 9th grade I was dancing 6 hours a day.  I can't express the love I have for ballet and the sheer joy I felt when I was dancing.  I didn't end up dancing forever like I thought I would but it gave a me a lifelong love of ballet and the symphony. In fact on Wednesday I am going to see "Romeo and Juliet" in San Francisco at the War Memorial Opera house with my sister in law, Ann.  I will get goose bumps and I will cry happy tears when the symphony starts and the curtain goes up....
just like my mom.

My mom loves cute things.
Cute clothes, cute jewelry, cute furniture, cute houses, cute gardens and cute people.  
She was the ultimate consumer and luckily my dad didn't mind funding it.  Or at least he never protested enough to make a difference.  She dressed to the nines and had an amazing sense of style.  She and my dad loved all things English and the house they built in the 70's had as much English charm as any I have ever seen.  Probably 25 % of my furniture was in my parents house and let me tell you my pieces are stunning. English antique cabinets and tables... I should do a post on my furniture alone. I know I get so much decorating style from my mom.  We love the same things from old dishes to old quilts. I just love cute things too.  She completely passed that on.  I joke with Tom...when it comes to decorating "cute before function." I know I said cute a lot here but it is the only adjective that is appropriate.  It is how we describe everything in my family.

I feel like I had a pretty idealistic childhood.
Growing up in the 70's and 80'sIt was a simpler time. It was a time when all the dad's worked and all the mom's stayed home.  Mom's socialized and the kids played outside all day. The only time we watched tv was after school  (Brady bunch and Gilligan's island in the 70's and Happy Days in the 80's) and on Saturday night. (Love Boat and Fantasy Island) I never watched anything else...ever.
We came in after we played outside, ate dinner, that my mom had made, read stories and got tucked into bed.



During it all my mom was there....
I love her for it.
She gave up everything for her 5 children.
She was far from perfect but there isn't a mother in the world that is.
She absolutely did the best she could.

My mom is 78 years old.

She lives in a beautiful assisted living center.
She stays busy with the activities there but longs to be anywhere else.
Her little brain is slipping. 
She forgets things. 
She is old and frail.
She still loves cute things.  
She is the best dressed old lady you have ever seen and she lives in the cutest apartment in all of assisted living centers.
When I can't answer the phone she leaves me messages on my phone telling me how much she loves me and how proud she is of
 me.  
She tells me how glad she is that I am her daughter and that she misses me. 
 I miss those first 18 years of my life and I miss that mom...I always will.

She won't read this.
She wouldn't know a computer from a toaster.
But I have been thinking of her all week.
I am so glad she was my mom and I love her so much.
So I am giving her some imaginary lilacs from 2 sates away..
She is who I celebrate on Mother's day.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Falling in love...


I was reading an article yesterday on Flipboard. 
The author said that there is a huge reason for so many marriages failing and yet nobody mentions it or even talks about it.

Expectation.

We watch the movies and read the books and everything is so dang adorable and we think that is how marriage is going to be. 
Adorable... 
and we are going to have these darling children and we will love each other so much and nothing can be hard when we are so in love.

See Expectation.

I remember my dad telling me when I was younger a true story about when he was a bishop of a young married congregation.  Everybody that went to his church was just married or newlyweds.  He told me that these young marrieds were coming to his office in droves.  A huge majority of them having marriage problems all ready.
So my dad would inevitably ask what the problem was.
9 out of 10 times they would say, 
"I don't know, but marriage isn't what I thought it was going to be."

Darn they had an expectation.

Maybe it's true.  
I don't have an explanation of what happens in other peoples lives and why so many families are falling apart. I do think that the way love is portrayed now a days does skew our minds, but there have been love stories since the beginning of time.
I have always LOVED a good romance novel or movie.  Oh my goodness a good 17th or18th century English novel is always my favorite go to genre.  I have loved Jane Austen since high school and don't even get me started on the Bronte sisters. 
I can't remember if I had an expectation going into marriage or not.  
It was almost 25 years ago.  
I was 21 years old and so in love I couldn't see straight.  Maybe Tom is such a good husband that even if I had expectations he was continually exceeding them.
 I guess in the end I just like my life more then any book or movie I have seen because it's mine. 

I am the heroin in my own life.
(Stole this from the Holiday... clearly) 
The learning, the mistakes. the triumphs, they are all mine.
Tom and I are far from perfect (and who is?) but our love story truly is my favorite one.
It's uniquely us and I really, really love us.

And I can tell you this... when I watch him love and play with our kids... 
I fall completely head over heals, crazy over the top, in love with him over and over again.











Wednesday, April 22, 2015

She is still mine...
And I thank my lucky stars.

She's strong and walks with confidence.
She is poised and articulate but has a shy streak. 

She loves her brothers but she is sensitive and they can hurt her with one look.
She is smart. 
She's has a heart of gold and is kind but don't tick her off.

She has one best friend and they laugh and giggle together endlessly.
She has zero girl drama and she doesn't care a wit about any of it.
She doesn't care about fashion or primping. 

She has a wildness and a love of life.
She loves the water and plays in the freezing ocean for hours.
She's athletic and fast.
She's competitive and wants to win.
She loves animals.

She is still a little girl but in a young women's body.
She sleeps every night holding on tight to her teddy bear.

And every night when a tuck her in 
I thank my lucky stars
She is mine...



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Break...

Things have been stressful lately...
No need to go into detail on my "online private journal" haha but I don't write anywhere else so here it is.  
Life is not all rainbows and kitty cats as much as I would like it to be and believe me I seriously try and make it just that. 
I actually deleted all my social media because when life throws you curve balls and you are reading and looking at peoples pictures and they are spending spring break in Hawaii and Paris and the Bahamas and their life looks so perfect and you forget that maybe their life isn't so perfect.
And even though I know this when I see all the pictures of people seemingly living their perfect lives it makes me not count my many blessings and makes me wonder, "Why am I not in Paris for spring break? Why does my husband have to work all week?  Things like that and suddenly I am having a pity party for one serving myself a healthy dose of sadness to go with it. 

So for me I have to step back and remove it all and start at the basics.  We are healthy, I live with the man of my dreams and he gave me these people who I love more than anything and I get to share this crazy life with them and yes things are hard right now but these people are all healthy and happy and suddenly you stop having that little pity party. I just have to focus right now on helping my family the best way I know how.  
What's the saying? 
If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  
Truer words have never been spoken.
So I keep putting on my oxygen mask first so I can help my kiddos and my sweet man. If I can't breathe then I certainly can't help them breathe.

In the meantime spring break turned out to be a blast and boy I was not expecting that.  
Monday I allowed myself to be in just a rotten mood.  Sometimes you have to work through stuff and I did. 

I woke up on Tuesday ready to make the best of it all so little Charles and I headed to the Oakland zoo.  Ella was with her girlfriend and since Charlie being the fourth child and all, probably didn't even know that a zoo exists, it was the perfect place for our date.
So hand in hand doing just what he wanted... we saw it all.
I honestly have never loved the zoo more.
It was all through Charlie's 8 year old eyes...



This is the part where the zoo worker scolded me for letting him sit on the fence.  C'mon it's not like I was dangling him above the lions...it was a little harmless monkey.  See him looking at us?

Wednesday was a total success at Six Flags.  
I am still amusement parked out from last spring break when we had our fun at Magic Mountain but the kiddos love it and I am such a roller coaster junkie at heart it didn't take much convincing.  So we met the Doxey's and Ellie came with Ella and again it exceeded all my expectations.  
Maybe that is the key don't have any expectations and then nothing is a disappointment...right?  Truthfully though I think it is because we talked Charles into riding Medusa and he loved it.  His height barely squeaked the line but the worker probably had pity on us after she over heard me talk to Charlie for 30 minutes straight how much he was going to love it.
Heading up the first hill I had my doubts. 
The poor kid was a light green color... but luckily to my roller coaster loving heart when I heard him say, "That is my favorite ride ever!"
 Well it was one of the happiest moments of my life.
We went on it 3 more times back to back and I mean we ran fast and I felt like a kid again and I was laughing and panting and laughing some more until Ellie threw up because apparently she does not have the roller coaster stomach stamina that Call's are naturally born with.
Oops sorry Ellie..
Things weren't quite as funny for a moment there...



Ellie looks a little pale still  ;)

This is where it gets good and I mean really good like as in great.  
Like as in the ocean seems to calm my restless soul instantly.
Growing up I didn't know I needed the ocean.  Land locked in Utah I just didn't know.
Now I need it's healing presence like I need air.
We stayed in Carmel Thursday and we drove home late Sunday night.
4 days on the beach and all was right with my world.
The first couple of days it was just me, Ella and Charles plus
Doxey's and Ann.

Nicholas flew in late Friday and he, Ben,Tom and John drove down to meet us.

I can't express how much fun these couple of days were.
Bonfires on the beach, runs along the ocean, bike rides into town and hours playing in the ocean.
I needed that.
I can't express how much I needed that.

















This is an important picture.
This is Paris bakery and when I am here I sing to myself, "Who needs Paris anyway?" Sung in Elsa's voice to the tune of frozen, "The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway."  Seriously those songs have ruined me forever.
As I was saying the best pastry on the planet lives here and it is an almond croissant and you might be thinking that that doesn't sound very good because I would of, but it happens to be the best thing that has ever happened to our planet and the best thing that has ever happened to me while I am eating it and I was sharing it for the first time with Nicholas and I was just so very happy.

Siblings together again...

Things like this happen here.  
Usually I have to beg, borrow, plead and bribe to get them to let me take their picture.  My generally nice people turn nasty mean when they see a camera and make ugly faces on purpose, but when we are in Carmel Charlie looks at me and says, 
"Take a picture of me running fast."  
I smile and I do.


My boys are competitive about everything...


When Nicholas saw this picture he thought he looked buff and so I put it here to remember how much my boys like to look buff.

I love that they love the ocean...

but no one more than my Ella



He still loves his kite...

But not his burn because he was a ding dong and would not listen to his Mama.
I begged him...I really did.  
But noooo he wanted to be bronze for the ladies.


The kids went back to school on Monday and I was grateful for every minute with them and I got Nicholas for a whole week almost to myself while they were in school...
to be continued...

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