Monday, April 25, 2011

The Graduates

The newlyweds have graduated from Brigham Young University!
Last week Rachel received her Master of Music degree in Flute Performance and David received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude).
Commencement exercises took place in the Marriott Center following the Academic Processional that even Cosmo (BYU's mascot) was a part of.
The Marriott Center is huge, but thanks to Rachel's pink hood we were able to spot her in the crowd of graduates. She wasn't too far away.
Here she is in the middle of the photo standing beside the white-haired usher.
David was clear across the arena. I zoomed in as far as possible to get this shot. He is the one standing, waving his program, and talking to his mom on the cell phone. Thank goodness for cell phones otherwise we would have never located him in the sea of graduates.
Brian was not too difficult to spot with my telephoto lens since he was seated with the other faculty on the floor.
Brian is in the middle of this photo (actually facing the camera). From the woman with the flaming red hair count down the row 7 people and there he is.
Rachel's hair was exceptionally red that day, and yes, it is her natural color.
It was a great day despite the fact that Rachel pulled an all-nighter! She had a big research paper and another flute project due the day of Commencement. She had been awake at least 36 hours without ANY sleep--a symbolic way to end HER academic career, I suppose.
David, Rachel, and Brian
Rachel, David, and Layne (David's mom).
I couldn't resist taking a picture of Rachel and her daddy in their robes.
David and Rachel are heading to Atlanta, Georgia this summer where David will pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. 
Rachel is so relieved and happy to be done with school. She is now "free" and enjoying every minute of it. She is, however, looking forward to having her own flute studio after they move.
Rachel and I
It is such an exciting time for these two. I am almost jealous of their new adventure.

I am especially proud of Rachel for working so very very hard and never giving up despite a tough tough road.

Congratulations you two!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Antique Window

My mantel provides a decorating dilemma--at least for me, the design challenged. I know what I like when I see it, but I rarely know how to get there. A touch of Spring and Easter was needed in this room. Here is my attempt:
With family portraits flanking both sides of the fireplace I didn't want to put a picture on the mantel as well. I like simplicity and contrast so I figured some type of architectural piece would do the trick.
I really wanted an antique window, and I had searched unsuccessfully for months.

Finally, on the way home from a basketball game this Winter I spied several old windows for sale in the front yard of an American Fork home. I passed them at first, but my curiosity and longing took hold. My son groaned in the front seat as I maneuvered a U-turn, but when I promised him a fast food dinner he sighed and reclined his seat.
This old window was salvaged from a cabin. It is beat-up and heavy with peeling old paint and caulk. Nevertheless, I love its lines and nontraditional window panes.
My husband thinks it looks silly resting there on the mantel. In his mind windows belong where windows belong.


Nevertheless, I've paired it with Suzanne's April plaque attack,
Easter eggs my girls wish were real,
and blooms from my neighbor's tree.
I do love the window even though its current weathered state is a bit too distressed for my taste. Eventually I would like to turn it to the other side (where all the wood is still in tact), sand it down and paint it--white, of course (the color of the trim in my home.)

I can see its potential to be transformed with every season and holiday. I just wish I knew how to do it.

What do you think? I'm open to constructive criticism, and I'll try to be thick skinned.  :)

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Beehives are prolific in the State of Utah. They are the state's emblem symbolizing "industry" which of course, is Utah's official state motto. A honeybee is even the state insect.
I am NOT feeling productive or industrious as of late--many reasons, I suppose. So in an attempt at obvious subliminal messaging (yes I am aware that is an oxymoron) I am filling my mind and eyes with symbols of what I am not.
At a recent Spring break family excursion to the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City Abby and I decided to hunt for as many beehives as we possibly could. This is what we found:
Isn't she the bees knees?
I'm not sure this exercise has turned today's attitude into a hive of industry, but at least it has my mind racing with bee cliches.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Linus and Lucy

It's Wordless Wednesday.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Red Stool

This stool wasn't always red, and it didn't always reside in my home. It has a history. For years it was stored away in my mother-in-law's garage. It was almost tossed during her last move, but I snatched it up--loving its petite shape and lines.

It used to have scaly white paint (yellowed with age) that dropped to the ground with the slightest touch. The dirty peeling paint relegated it to MY garage. I had hopes of refinishing it myself, but in reality I had no clue how to do it and no real desire to learn. So, when we remodeled a year and a half ago I had Telisa do the job.

I love this stool's present, but I also love its past.
Hazel and Clementina
Memories of this stool began in the 1930s when Clementina (my mother-in-law) was a little girl. Her mother, Hazel, kept it in the bathroom of the Wilmington, NC home that they shared with another family. The house was on Front Street and backed up to the Cape Fear River.
Here is the home in 2002. It was white when Clementina and her family lived there.
Like every dutiful mother, Hazel supervised the bathing of her children. Here she would sit and scrub and scrub. This stool, in particular, is associated with scrubbing behind the ears. For some reason, this hygiene act was most important to Hazel. As they got older and did their own bathing, her children would always be confronted with the question of, "Did you scrub behind your ears?" If their response and inspection proved unsatisfactory, they would be marched back to the tub and receive a thorough behind-the-ears scouring. My mother-in-law is certain that she and her brother had the cleanest ears in town.
Clementina and her brother, Marty
I really do love this stool and not just for it's aesthetic. It's at least 80 years old with a slightly whimsical past. It has traveled far, and I'm so glad it's found a home with me.
(I wonder how well my kids clean behind their ears.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Robin

The robin has returned.
I awake each morning to her song.
Such hope she brings of REAL Spring.