Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lindsay Guynn + Nate Jackson

My cousin's in-laws were in a bind a week before their daughter's wedding.  There were some bumps in the road in the floral and executing the bride's wishes.  My part in this event was to design all the floral that was going to be on display around the buffet, gift, guest book and cake tables.  I was to arrange all the buffet tables and direct any other design work at the event.  I hand-lettered food signs and added some of my own linens, ribbon and floral vessels to make it all work.  There were many friends and family assigned to different areas, so I didn't have to do it all, just orchestrate the evening.  It was a lot of work last minute, but actually a lot of fun.  The Guynn family was phenomenal to work with and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  So folks, if you want to design most of your wedding and don't necessarily want a wedding coordinator, I can make sure it happens on your night with just a little extra design assistance from me.  It's a win-win, I promise. 
Lindsay's colors were eggplant, navy, gold, and sage green, it's tough to find floral that is exact to that palette, but I think I made it work.

The desserts were so good, most were from the Corner Cafe & Bakery in Salt Lake City, don't mind the cheesecake that had a transfer malfunction.

Her cake was a gold dust buttercream, you should have seen the shimmer, g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s!

Live canaries were a sweet attraction for the little children.

Each table had a cluster of vintage bottles Lindsay had been collecting for weeks, filled with lavender, sage or rosemary sprigs and a single yellow ranunculus.  Perfect vintage touch for the Kimball House at the This is the Place Monument Old Deseret Village.

The bonus was that they sent me home with all the floral from my candy jars and the bottle clusters.  I enjoyed them for a good week in my dining room.

 The exquisite layers of petals in a ranunculus bouquet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beautifulness from My Belated Birthday

The Meyer's dish & hand soap is so fragrant, I don't know if I can ever go back to Palmolive.  Jennie picked the Geranium scent for me.  Mmmmmmm, I need any excuse to do my dishes.

And that little orange colander is the perfect size, I've used everyday since.  

An exquisite ranunculus in full bloom from the weekend's wedding.

Thank you girlfriends for brightening my kitchen.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rotary Dial and Heavy Metal Keys

I asked my dad if he could find me an old telephone and typewriter like the ones our family had when I was a child.  He travels all over, and can locate just about anything you can imagine.  A few weeks ago, he paid a visit and brought me this old telephone (I think he found it in Uruguay) and a Royal typewriter.  It came from his good friend, Dr. Blair, who passed away a few years ago.  He told me Dr. Blair purchased this typewriter after his service in the war.  He used it throughout his schooling and even wrote a book with it.  

I remember our family had a telephone like this one.  The earpiece was very heavy, and there was all this waiting in between dials.  We are much too impatient in this age to make a call like we used to do.  The dial had to make it's complete rotation before you could dial the next number.  Imagine the frustration when trying to be caller number one for a radio station contest.  
My parents had a typewriter similar to this one that my mom used to type up her college papers.  We had her typewriter in the family room of my childhood home for a number of years, until one day my parents sold it.  All those great times of playing office were now just memories.  My sister and I struck the keys to fill out pretend office forms and then pushed the carriage return to make that zip sound with the little bell; it was true entertainment for two little girls.  Some things are just so easy now that technology has changed, and yet I feel this nostalgia.  I think I miss the slower processes.

I have this phone displayed in my family room and have set the old telephone ringtone to my iPhone.  I'm sort of caught half way between craving the past and yet still wanting the convenience of the present.  I ask how I got along without my mac or iPhone?  It's inconceivable.  But 10 years ago I was much more present in a conversation during an outing with Matt and friends or with my kids.  Maybe the present isn't all that enhanced with these modern conveniences.  Maybe we just have created more pressure for ourselves.  I appreciate the ease of finding information and communicating, and then at times, I feel these modern day conveniences have become a burden in my life.
Aren't they just cute?
But in any case, these old reminders of our history are curiously beautiful.  And well, June, she couldn't be more entertained by these old additions to our home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ragnar: San Francisco to Napa with Flip Flop Runner

A week ago today, I, along with my two sisters, cousin Garrett, brother-in-law Tim, nephew Parker and others on my team I didn't know before, participated in the nearly 200 mile running relay race that began just below the Golden Gate Bridge.  Below, see our team's first runner, Garrett Hill (A.K.A. Flip Flop Runner and my cousin that is more like my brother) twittering before the gun goes off.  He ran in swim trunks, no shirt, new sunglasses (well ... they looked new because he leaves price tags and stickers on everything, and I'm pretty sure they were cheap or free), and the neon yellow safety vest Ragnar requires of it's participants between the hours of 6:30 pm and 7 am.  I could write a book on Garrett.  He is a fascinating guy, and he finds joy and fun in just about any circumstance.  He believes everything happens for a reason and that we are given many "signs" that have specific meanings.  After spending the weekend with him, I actually agree.
Garrett twittering 2 minutes before the race
Garrett STILL twittering 10 seconds before the race.
Because of bridge construction, runners could only run halfway across the bridge and then the van picks them up and the team drives to the next exchange, where Garrett passed the slap band to me for my first leg of the race.  I ran to Sausalito, another one of my favorite towns, purely romantic at night with a great little handmade card shop I discovered over 15 years ago store called Pinestreet Papery.  I didn't have the chance to see if it was still there.  I literally ran right out of town.

Emily after her first leg of her first big race, she did awesome!  She made some major milestones this trip, way to go Em! 
Garrett got Ragnar's email that everyone was required to have a safety vest.  So he went right to eBay and purchased the below cutie for around $3 with no shipping charges.  It was all about finances, and less about style.  But if you could only see how the LED's light up and blink while screaming "Vegas!", you would see how function turned to fashion and then strategy.  With a sheriff on the run, everyone always slows down to stay behind him, right?  It seemed to be the best winning strategy for our team at this point.   
Em, in the coveted vest of the team.
 Below Garrett taking off for his 2nd leg of the race.  Now I need to mention that he was injured through over training and running races in flip flops for reasons you must go to his facebook page or website to understand, but in a nutshell he is raising money on behalf of a charity organization that benefits children and women in Zambia, a Southern African country plagued by disease and poverty, by running over 1000 miles in flip flops on the street or barefoot on the beach).  He was barely walking 2 weeks before this relay race.  He nearly pulled out of the race altogether, but stuck it out for his team.  At one point in the race, we passed him in the van, and he was limping like a bird with a broken wing, and yet still passing runners on his path.  It was amazing,  he seemed to be keeping his 7 minute mile pace, maybe it was faster.
Go Garrett!
Garrett was the highlight of my people experience this trip.  He made it all so fantastic.  As I was struggling to find rest at 3 am in our cold van with no blankets or pillows in the Sonoma high school parking lot, Garrett jumps in the van and after his muffled low and airy laugh he comments on the school gym scene he just left.  He spoke with such animation in his voice about how amazing it was in there.

"There are people just standing in lines for the bathrooms", (which I later discovered may or may not be stocked with toilet paper.)  

"And,"  he continues, "there is this concession stand with locals selling a bunch of stuff."  

He described bodies, pillows and sleeping bags that were strewn across the gymnasium floor, where some participants were trying to catch a few moments of sleep before their next leg begins, and others were just playing cards and talking shop.  I was confused by his captivating dialogue of this comfortless camp.  So I paid a visit to the gym to see all the excitement he described with my own eyes.  For the next half hour, I waited in line to use the bathroom, and contemplated on what could possibly be so much fun about this part of the Ragnar experience to cause such laughter from Garrett.  But the guy just makes every experience fun in his head.  Truly.  He is the male cast of Pollyanna.  I love this about Garrett.

Garrett's last run started at the van exchange in the Sonoma High School parking lot, he gets to the start line to wait for Trevor to pass the band to him.  We know he's coming, there have been calls made to Joel already that Trevor will be running in very shortly.  I'm freezing and still trying to catch some shut eye in the van.  Garrett runs back to the van and announces he has had a thought and has ultimately opted for a costume change. Emily and I sit there trying to figure out why a "costume change" at this late moment was a priority, this IS a race.  He quickly zipped this hoody over his lower body so as to discreetly change his bottoms.  He took off his board shorts to replace with his grey underwear.  I'm not talking boxer shorts either, I'm talking, tight, knee-length underwear.  He's shivering and chuckling the whole time he's changing.  I think to myself, "It's freezing out there, he's got no shirt on and now he's going to wear his underwear, soley his underwear?  He's gonna die."

He makes the change.  I yell,  "Okay now, go!"  

But he claims the outfit still isn't complete.  He then throws on the Sheriff's vest to his bare chest, and lights it up like Christmas before running into the sunrise.
Garrett, minus his underwear costume change.  He tweets that morning, "Flip Flop Runner shoots the sheriff and  all he got was this awesome (pic)"
Just a little house in Napa that I loved.  I texted Matt a picture and told him it was for sale.  I never heard back from him, I guess he figured it was out of our price range.
Living on borrowed grapes.
My nephew.  What a cool kid, 15 years old and running in the middle of the night, in the heat of the day, and picking up an extra 7 mile leg because 2 teammates had to bail two nights before the race.
Van 1, done! 
You can't see, but below is an outdoor communal dining establishment entitled "Farm to Table" in Napa Valley.  There were long wooden farm tables of people eating outdoors under massive shade trees.  It looked like a family reunion.  The place even had a tire swing in front.  I wanted to just pull over, grab a bite to eat with them and gab in the shade with a tall glass of cold lemonade.  In Napa, I bet they weren't serving lemonade though.  The whole drive along the main highway was peppered with these cute little places.  The architecture was exquisite, but an iPhone camera couldn't possibly do the scenic views justice.  I'm not a wine lover, but I am definitely a lover of this wine country.

32 something hours later, a severe Cliff bar overdose, heat exhaustion, muscle fatigue, physically spent, this race was all that and more.
Some of my teammates and one of the only pictures I got after the race of the Ragnar sign. 
Garrett receiving his Ragnar medal.
Garrett and I made a huge effort to get to church the next day.  We found out the meeting schedule online.  We ran to the Bart station from the hotel in 8 minutes with all our belongings in hand.  Garrett had stuff spilling over his Trader Joe's reusable shopping bag:  His free food in plastic containers, flip flops (of course), balls of clothes, and lots of other ... well ... I just don't know what to call it other than, "crap".  About 100 yards from the Bart station, his backpack's zipper gave way.  I couldn't help but laugh as belongings scattered on the sidewalk and asphalt.  You just had to be there to witness this Garrett moment to fully appreciate the humor.  We rode Bart from Pleasanton to the Fruitvale stop.  Then we transferred to the 54 bus.  We waited along with another gentleman that was anticipating to sing rap at his church off 35th street in Oakland that morning.  Our driver was unfortunately late, and we were all a little put out by it.

I was dressed for church already.  Garrett would dress on the bus, he assured me I wasn't to worry.  He had a system down, he just puts everything on over his existing attire.  Ingenious.  He unrolled this wrinkled, white button down oxford shirt from the front pocket of his backpack and found pants that looked between beach trunks and warm up pants for the gym.  But it was all good, because there was a floral red and blue tie nestled in this teeny, tiny pocket.  I reluctantly told him he should remove the price tag and sizing stickers off the pants so no one at church thinks he just stole them off the rack an hour ago.  I don't know if he had to really consider it, or if he was planning on removing them, but they were all discarded when we got off the bus.  I realized looking at the pictures below, he decided against the tie.  Maybe the flowers clashed with the lifeguard numbers on his pants, I don't know what helps him make his decisions, but for one reason or another, it didn't work in his mind.  And there would need to be a reason, believe me, because he does not make random choices from my observations.  Everything has meaning to what Garrett does.

According to my iPhone GPS, we walked a mile uphill to get to church.  I like to call this part of my trip, the last real leg of the Relay.  It was hot and my glutes felt every foot of the hike towards heaven.  But when we got to the top ... it was all worth it.

Me and my cousin, Garrett going to church at the top of Oakland, we called it the Mountain of the Lord.  And I say that with all the reverence in me.
The Church meetinghouse is right next to the L.D.S. Oakland Temple.  What beautiful grounds to visit.  To the right of the temple is the most spectacular view of the entire city and the neighboring cities.  It was a perfectly clear day, so we saw all the bridges and buildings you would want to see.  
 We went in to the meeting house to discover that an earlier special conference had already taken place that morning.  Garrett rearranged his "crap" in his bags, we took several photos, talked to a few of the locals and visitors, then turned around and got back on the bus with our transfer ticket to the Bart station.  We missed church.  But we felt the spirit of the Sabbath day, our efforts granted us at least that.   

And all I brought home to show my kids was this amazing medal.
Whoever designed this thing has got it down.  I love it.