Friday, February 27, 2015

Winter Break

This is us on vacation.  Seriously.

Because when we're not in a hurry (and we're ALWAYS in a hurry), we end up doing  ridiculous stuff.  Like posing on random, red balls while Mom takes pictures and Bubbs cries because he can't get up.

And then there was this shot. 

This is Mom's favorite spot in San Diego - the Mormon Battalion.  She and those rocking chairs are like magnets.  And there is no moving her for several precious minutes - regardless of the mayhem the kids are creating.

This is Dad's favorite spot along with his favorite food.  If you've never visited a Jersey Mike's - you're missing out.  Sandwiches are essential, along with our baseball mitts in the main square of Old Town. 

More great representation.  Bubbs struggling ahead while pulling up his pants.  So typical.  Mom walks too fast and Dad walks too slow.  Somehow we manage to cage all the kids between us (and keep their clothes on at the same time).

Sunrise is ideal for hiking.  It's spectacular!  And every morning Our Sweetie wanted to go with me.  One morning we even walked almost 3 miles to a local doughnut spot and ate the spoils. 

This is the dark chocolate awesomeness I found in my bag from a sweet husband who didn't forget that it was Valentines Day over our vacation. 

But the BIGGEST highlight was the cousins - overlapping with my brother's family for 4 days.  Which meant every spare moment was cousins, cousins, cousins... (along with pool time, museums, and the grandsons helping Grandpa plant some trees). 

They also saw a lizard who lost his tail to escape.  Gross.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

That Trip To Las Vegas

In retrospect, my favorite comment regarding my quick jaunt to Las Vegas came from my sweet mother-in-law who took Greg aside during the family Super Bowl party and shockingly exclaimed, "You let her go to Las Vegas alone!!?"

It does sound kind of shady.  Three girlfriends in Las Vegas  No children and no husbands. 

Except these girlfriends are all cycling buddies.  Which means the weekend was nothing short of exceptional!

This is my version of Las Vegas.  Forget everything about the strip - except it was very convenient that Laura knew her was around the city like a native.  I'll take this view.  And these wheels.  And this company.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015


I think I'm biased in my artistic review.  It could be because of my relationship with the artist.  Could be the generous brown and purple hair.  Or the subject matter.  Though I tend to be my worst critic.   

Strictly speaking, I'd say it's the best representation of myself ever.  And for the record, I'M not tickly.  But I know another little guy who is.     

This gorgeous piece is now hanging in my office.  NOT FOR SALE.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Day

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

I don't love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom but carries   
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself...   

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,   
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don't know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

-Pablo Neruda-

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Dining Room

Once upon a time...

My beautiful Grandma Hazel James Carver had a dining table set.

I have lovely memories of this dining room.  In fact, I have very tender feelings towards their entire home.  I adored my grandparents home in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Every time I walked into the door I felt peace - even as a little girl.  I knew I was somewhere that transcended my burdensome worries and feelings of inadequacy.  Here was a small bit of heaven.  Here was where Miranda Lambert's lyrics about "the house that built me" became personal.

Crazy me sitting in the dinning room.  Circa 1980

Dad & Spencer - scanning genealogy records in the dining room.  2002

So many late nights arriving at that house with my Dad and brother - after driving for hours from Washington, or coming up from Utah.  My Dad would sometimes carry me in his arms because I was half asleep.  And without fail, my grandparents would meet us at the door.  Always happy.  Always thrilled to see us.  Always patient when my obnoxious self would go running through their house the next morning in delight, testing the resiliency of my Grandma Carver's nerves.

Even in graduate school.  I spent my Thanksgiving break of my first year catching up with my grandfather (and sleep) at this house.  I've never felt more relaxed.  And just being in that environment again - even for a few days - helped me return to attack the finals that awaited me.  Strength always seemed to come easy after a visit there.  

(Top Row) Max Carver, Mom, Hazel James Carver
(Bottom Row) Spencer, Me.  Plain City, 1981.

Grace (2nd wife), Max Carver, me & our Big Guy.  Circa 2004

I miss my Carver grandparents terribly.

But back to the dining room.

When the estate was divided, I got my grandmother's hutch.  My brother got the dining room table and buffet.  Sadly, the table and chairs are not in great shape.  They've seen their day - long before the set was passed down to us.  My very talented sister-in-law will have her hands full restoring the fabric and cushions.  Part of the chair frames are definitely unsalvageable.

For the past five years, we've been "holding" the table and chairs for my brother because of his lack of space.  But last month he finally redeemed his table and in one long Saturday afternoon, my grandmother's table left and our new one was brought in.

I love my new table, chairs and buffet!  The set came from a family in Cottonwood Heights - the aging parents are in a care facility and the two daughters were liquidating the estate.  When I texted the daughter a picture of the final layout in our house, she told me it made her cry.  She was so thrilled that it was going to a family who would cherish it.  

And surprisingly, I've been feeling my grandmother Hazel smiling over my shoulder whenever I use the new table - more so then when we had hers.  This one is my own.  My legacy.  And my lovely family is using it for tea parties, projects and dinners.

Can't wait to see where it takes us...