Monday, June 22, 2015

Fenton's Creamery...

Oh nothin'...just eating ice cream.

After Stake conference tradition dictates eating Fenton's ice cream in Oakland.
The only time it doesn't is when Nicholas is in town.
Just kidding Nick I think you have officially earned it back...

The back story:
K when Nicholas was a teen probably in the ninth grade or so we went to stake conference.  After the meeting everyone assumed, and nobody more so than Nick, that we would go to Fenton's.  After loading everyone in the car, we informed the kiddos that Benjamin had a soccer game and that we weren't going to have ice cream.
Now you have probably heard that teens resort back to toddlerhood but unless you have a teen you have never seen a temper tantrum quite like it.  
He kicked and flaled his big arms and yelled that we were the worst parents in the history of ever.

The same punishment goes for teens as toddlers so I said, "As long as you are on the planet I will never buy you Fenton's again."
Harsh? Maybe.. but c'mon I love the guy but I was ticked.
That was somewhere around 6- 7 years ago and I have not once bought him ice cream at Fenton's.

When he saw the pictures he wondered if he was out of the dog house yet or if I was still going to hold strong.
The answer is holy cow yes you are.
I think I got my point across sufficiently and that kid has certainly earned Fenton's back.
Come home...when are we going?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Changed Forever...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by John McCrae, May 1915
My mom read us poetry quite a bit when I was growing up.  I thought she was a little coocoo at the time but I have to admit the poetry she read to us really has made a difference in my life.  

First off I love poetry. 
Second off on certain occasions or holidays, I have the urge to read the same poems she read to us year after year. 
For example it just wouldn't be right if I didn't read 
Flanders Fields on Memorial Day. 

So I did.
That's right I had a poetry reading at City Park in downtown
and I was the star of the show only participant and I have absolutely no doubt that the listeners (my family) thought I was coocoo.
I might not have read anything had we showed up on time for the 11:00 memorial service they were having in the park.  It only took us like an hour to get out the door and walk downtown, which is a world record for us, but alas that still just was not quick enough.
We really did try.
So since the red, white and blue wreath flowers were still there and they were just taking down the chairs we had our own little impromptu service initiated by my Honey.
We told our own stories.
Maggie just watched "Saving Private Ryan"
Tom's dad served in the Korean War.
Ann's dad served in WW2
and my Grandpa served in WW1
My dad was in the military and stationed in France and I
read my poem.

But it felt good.
 I felt like we were honoring the soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in our teeny tiny but very grateful way.
I know I have mentioned it before but traveling to Normandy in France changed me forever.
I am just so grateful...
grateful that I get to worship the way I want to,
grateful that my children get to go to school,
grateful my husband get's to work at whatever job he wants to,
grateful that we get to travel,
grateful for a country that puts our freedoms first and that soldiers are fighting for that freedom right now.
Grateful for those couple minutes in the park, with my family that I was able to say thank you to so many in my own way... even if my poetry reading was a little coocoo. ;)

After we had our impromptu memorial service and a picnic we headed back to the beach for my perfect day.

 Ella and her new surf buddy...her Aunt Ann!

 My favorite memory of the day was after everyone went back to the house to get warmed up.  Trevor and Rachel and I sat in front of this fire with a slight drizzle and a sunset.  We just talked.  I love Rachel so much and we had so much to get caught up on since she was married last August.  Did I mention how much I loved it?  We finally pulled ourselves away at about 9:00.
It's moments like happy.  

Our Morning run with Maggie.  I am so mad she wasn't in the picture.  She showed us these trails and it was right along the coast.
Is this my real life?

My little travelers.
This was actually on the way down there.  We hit traffic and instead of it taking 2 hours it took 3 hours and 40 minutes.  It was the worst until my best friend corrected and said no... the worst is if you died in a car accident 1/2 an hour before getting there.
See why I love her?
She's right who cares if we were in traffic.  We got there safe.  I just love this picture because we drive soooo much and this is Ella and Charlie always. We didn't leave Carmel until 10:00 at night on Memorial day so the kids just slept on the way home.
Tuesday morning school was horrifying.

I am just so grateful for all of it.

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...


Photo bombing by Charles

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

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
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.

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