I Like Eich by Aaron Eskridge

A couple of years ago Aaron painted a painting inspired by his love of Joseph Eichler’s architectural style. He took it to Just Modern in Palm Springs, the store there that carries his art, even though there were no Eichlers in Palm Springs.
Since Palm Springs is such a bastion for mid century modern design, Aaron’s hope was that an owner of an Eichler might make thier way into Just Modern, see his painting, and put it in their house.
Turns out, something even better happened.

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Just this month, KUD Properties finished the very first Eichler built in 40 years.
In Palm Spring!
And working with Just Modern, they hung Aaron’s painting inside!
It was a dream come true for Aaron.

To make things more exciting, the house sold right away and has been receiving all sorts of great press.
The above photo, by Marc Baldwin, is from an article in Curbed National.
The house was in the LA Times over the weekend.
(Lots of great pictures of the house in both articles)
And pictures of it are buzzing around all over the world wide webs.
In all of them, Aaron’s I Like Eich is featured prominently.
Its just been a dream!

This weekend while we were in Palm Springs we had the privilege of meeting the owners of KUD properties, Troy and Amy.
They invited us to the Desert Eichler and we got to see it ourselves for the first time.
Aaron felt right at home.

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The builders of the house, Shields Residential, were there too.
It was great to meet Steven and Lauren, and their cute kids, who have been playing at the job site with their Daddy for the past 5 months.
We also met blogger Kelly Go Lightly and Fred Moser Photography, whose beautiful photos grace the home of the Desert Eicher. (and the New York Times!)
It was a great night of making new friends and feeling the energy of so many creative people in one place.

This has been a great month for Aaron.
First 2 of his paintings were in Dwell Magazine. (read article here.  Aaron’s paintings are #8 in the slide show.)
And as if Dwell wasn’t enough, now we have all of this.
Aaron has always held to the philosophy of painting the things that he loves.
Whether its a big, cut out swordfish in our living room, a vintage trailer, or a giant painting inspired by the Wonder Bread logo, he paints the things that inspire him and make him happy.
It is so gratifying to see that his work is making other people happy too.

So many thanks to Chris Mobley of Just Modern for representing Aaron’s work, and to KUD Properties for putting I Like Eich in your beautiful home.
It’s just so fun to see Aaron’s dreams become reality.

For those of you that have asked and are interested, Aaron is beginning work on more Eichler inspired paintings, as well as developing prints.
You can contact Just Modern for more info, as well as to learn more about Aaron’s other work.
You can also check back here for more info as it comes up.
And for even more frequent updates on Aaron’s work, follow along on my Instagram account.
I am @maandpamodern.
I’ll see you there!

Best,
Greta
First time visiting?  Learn more about Ma and Pa Modern right here!

Easy and Delicious Tomatillo Salsa

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As promised, I have a fabulous salsa recipe for you.
It’s Tomatillo Salsa Verde from the July issue of Bon Appetit.
It’s quick, easy, and super fresh.
I’ve made it twice now with some variations and I’m sold.
It will be in my fridge from now on.

But is it really worth making your own?
Let me put it this way: making your own salad dressing will revolutionize your salad–it tastes so much better than anything you get in a jar.
The same goes for salsa.

There just isn’t any comparison between the fresh stuff and the jarred stuff.
And this took me less than 10 minutes to make, so it’s not like you are slaving away for hours when you could have just run to the store.
In fact, it will take you less time to make this salsa then it will to run to the store to buy salsa.
Its cheaper too.
Have I sold you yet?

The recipe calls for all the ingredients to be fresh.
But the first time I decided to try roasting everything just because I had never made oven roasted salsa before.
I roasted the tomatillos, onion, and the chili in the oven.
The salsa was delicious, rich, and flavorful.
And since it was my first time cooking with tomatillos, I was even more happy with how well it turned out.

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When I made it the second time, I followed the recipe, throwing all the ingredients into the food processor raw.
The only variation I made from the original recipe was to use a jalapeño instead of a serrano chili because that was all I had on hand.
I loved the raw version!
It tasted so fresh and tangy–absolutely perfect for summer.

In the end, I really loved both the roasted and raw version of this salsa, and I”ll continue to make them both.
But I’ll make the lighter, fresher, version for summer, and the roasted one in winter months when I want a richer flavor for chills, stews, and dishes like enchiladas.

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The salsa, of course, tastes delicious with tortilla chips, because, well, tortilla chips are delicious.
But I also loved it on top of my pinto beans, and on my eggs this morning.
And because we made it at home, and they helped, all my kids tried it.
(they are much more open to trying new things when its homemade because they think everything I make is good–so sweet– or if they help make it themselves)
Two of my kids loved it, one said it was too tangy for him, and the 3 year old said it was gross.
Around here, its pretty good when half the kids like something new.

So if you see some tomatillos at the farmers market, or if your kids ask you, “what are those?” when they see them at the grocery store, you now have a recipe to use them in.
Im so sold on tomatillos now that they’re going in our garden next year.
I can’t wait!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Ingredients:
1 lb husked, quartered, and rinsed tomatillos
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 smashed garlic clove
1 coarsely chopped serrano chili (seeds and veins removed to lessen heat if desired)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
To Make:
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor (I prefer a food processor)
and puree.
Check for desired constancy and if salsa is too thick, add a bit of water.
Salt to taste
That’s it!!

For the roasted version, simply roast the husked and rinsed whole tomatillos, the whole onion and the whole chili in a 350 degree oven until everything is soft.
Then follow the directions for making the salsa.
Easy as pie.
Mmmm now I want pie.  Without the salsa of course.
Happy making!
Greta

That Day We Almost Lost Davy

In almost 10 years of parenting, I can only think of 3 times when I have been truly terrified for my children’s safety.
Today makes it 4.

I was making lunch today and it was unusually quiet.
“Can someone find David?” I called.
Lilly and William went in search calling, “Davy! Daaaavvy!” as they walked around the house.
They went into the backyard and a minute later called, “he’s not out here Mom!”
Trying to quell the nervousness that was rising in my breast, James and I joined the search, calling Davy’s name.
I looked in every room, the closets, the bathtub, under the beds, and on the top bunks.
I looked in the garage, the playhouse and Aaron’s studio.
Nothing.
The kids were doing the same thing, all of us calling his name as our search grew more frantic.

I am a bit OCD about keeping our back gate closed.
I am always on the kids to make sure the gate is shut and check it multiple times a day.
None of my kids have ever wandered off.
But the gardeners were here today, and even though we all stay inside when they are here, and they are very careful to close the gate , I thought they must have left it open at some point, and Davy slipped out with no one knowing,
I don’t panic often, but I started to panic.

The big kids were still searching, yelling Davy’s name, and calling out to me, “I’m praying right now, Mommy!”
I could hear William crying
I ran across the street to my neighbor’s.
He was standing outside with his son and a Triple A mechanic.
“My 2 year old is gone ,” I almost sobbed,
All 3 Looked at me, utter expletives that were perfectly fitting for the situation, and started to run to their cars.
“What’s he wearing?” they asked as they were all climbing in.
A diaper. Just a diaper.

As I was calling 911, all I could think of was that I was a terrible mother.
How could I let this happen?
I hated myself.
Would the police declare me an unfit mother because I let my 2 year old wander away in a diaper?
Would I still be allowed to home school?
How would we live without Davy?
It is amazing how slow time moves in an emergency, even though everything is really happening at   the same pace as usual.
I felt like I was underwater, and drowning.

Before the 911 operator even picked up, my boys called from across the street, “we found him! We found him !”
“Thank God! Where is he?” I almost screamed back.
“In your bed, under the covers!”
“But I looked in there! I called his name !”
“He’s asleep Mommy! He’s ok!”
I waved my neighbors back and told them we found David.
And I walked back into my house, fell onto the floor, and just sobbed.
There are few things in this world more horrible than not knowing where your child is.

The big kids gathered around me and we prayed a prayer
of thankfulness to Jesus.
And then, through my tears, I praised them.
For not panicking.
For praying while they were scared.
For continuing to look for Davy even though we had looked everywhere.
And for finding him.

It shook us all up.
It was a good reminder to us all how precious we are to one another.
Sometimes we get frustrated and annoyed at each other, but how much more do we love each other!
I am not much of a drinker, but man oh man could I go for a stiff one right now!
And holy cow can David ever sleep!
Sheesh.
This parenting thing is not for wimps, is it?
I’ve never been so glad for happy endings.
Greta
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Ma and Pa Modern Cook: BBQ Pizzas

Today has been quite a day.
After being up almost the whole night with a sick kid, I still had a full day of caring for him, every one else, teaching school, trying to clean up the house (not happening) and all the other stuff we have to do when we have kids.
You know the drill.
At dinner time, after making sure we had the appropriate barf-in-the-car supplies, just in case, we dropped my oldest off at his baseball game.
I really wanted to stop at In and Out on the way home and get myself a cheeseburger and fries.
We don’t eat any fast food except In and Out.
And, sometimes, it is totally worth the calorie splurge.
But I knew the kids didn’t need In and Out, and neither did I.
We needed something more wholesome.
So I made pizza!

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If you are going to make pizza, these are really the way to go.
Especially once the weather warms up and you don’t want to turn on your oven.
That’s happening right now where we live, but it’s been a weird winter here this year.
These pizzas are a breeze to make, and they’re delicious.
You really can’t ask for more.
Plus they are just as easy to make a bunch for a crowd or just one for yourself.
Perfection!

You’ll want to make these at some point, so I’m going to tell you how.
Ingredients:
Olive Oil (for this I like the kind in a spray can from Trader Joe’s)
Pita Bread ( I like the whole wheat kind from Trader Joe’s)
Spaghetti sauce (homemade if you have a little extra time, from a jar if you are in a hurry–I do both)
Grated Cheese (But fresh mozzarella is a revelation)
Toppings of choice–our favorites include: salami, pepperoni, sliced, pre-cooked sausages, sliced squash and zucchini, cherry tomatoes, sliced scallions, greek olives, grilled eggplant–the options are really endless.
And very important, fresh Arugula for when the pizza is finished cooking (don’t leave it out!)

Once you’ve gotten your ingredients ready, you can make your pizza.
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your grill to medium high
Spray or brush the bottom side of your pita bread with olive oil.
Cover the top side with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce
Sprinkle on a thin layer of cheese
Arrange toppings of your choice on top of cheese
Carefully place the pizza directly on the grill
Remove when the cheese is melted and the bottom of the pizza is getting crispy
This will only take a few minutes, so don’t leave it on the grill for too long
After you take your pizza off the grill, cover it generously with fresh arugula.
Trust me.
Add some fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt and you’ll have a great, wholesome pizza on your plate.
It’s seriously delicious.
Your welcome.

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I’m hopeful tomorrow is at least a little better than today.
It won’t take much, so I think my odds are good.
And if its not, I have more BBQ pizza ingredients.
I’ll be fine.

All the best,
Greta

Tears, Loss, and Daffodils

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It’s daffodil season.
Every time I see that first bunch of them in the market, I catch my breath, and feel the tears filling my eyes.
4 years ago when we lost our 4th baby, I was given many beautiful bouquets of daffodils.
And so they became my baby’s flower.
They are a sweet reminder of the care I received at time when I was broken hearted.
But they are also a reminder of the little person that I never got to know.
4 years later, I still cry for that baby.
Those yellow blossoms are heavy with feeling, sorrow and joy mingled together.

I’m still surprised at the sometimes intensity of my grief.
In the beginning, when I could finally get through a day without dwelling on the loss constantly, I felt guilty.
How could I live my life normally after losing a baby?
And then, years later, when I suddenly find myself sobbing about a long past miscarriage, I feel guilty about that.
Should I still feel the hurt like this?
Is it right for me to feel this way when there is so much goodness in my life?
And besides, other people have losses much greater than mine.
It seems no matter what I feel, I struggle with finding an explanation for it, a justification.
As if I need one.

After we lost our baby, well meaning people assured me there’d be more babies.
And then, after Davy was born, other well meaning people said we could be glad because we never would have had Davy if it weren’t for the baby we had lost.
I understand what they were trying to say.
And I wouldn’t trade my wild Davy boy for the world.
But please, please, understand something, the gain of one wonderful thing does not erase the loss of another.

Oh I know we should count our blessings.
And I know we should be grateful for the way God brings goodness out of brokenness.
That is redemption, and redemption is the most beautiful thing in this broken world.
But don’t you think God cries over the brokenness too?
I do.
He was with me in my tears.
He still is.
And it’s OK to cry.
Even when we reach that point where we can say, “I’m am so sad about that, but I am so glad for this.  This goodness which has come after such sorrow.”
Even then, in our gladness, we are allowed to acknowledge the loss that is still there.

I have been a crier my whole life.
I cry because of beautiful things.
I cry over broken ones.
I cry when I look at my husband and children because I love them so much.
I cry when I am sad, happy, mad, when I’m reading a good book, or when I know a friend, or a stranger, is hurting.
I used to be ashamed of my tears.
I was embarrassed.
But I’m not any more.
My tears don’t mean I am weak.
They mean I feel deeply all the goodness and the hurting this life holds.

I still miss my baby.
I think I always will.
And that is how it should be.
I will never forget a friend who told me, with tears in her eyes, that she still felt the pain of a baby lost 20 years ago.
What a gift she gave me.
She gave me the freedom to cry for as long as I need to.

Four years later, I am learning that I don’t have to explain away this sadness I still feel.
I can walk through the days of spring with joy in my heart because life is beautiful and full of much goodness.
My eyes can fill with tears of happiness when I spend a beautiful day in the sun with my 4 sweet babies.
But I can also sit still in the waves of sadness that wash over me at this time of year.
I don’t have to fix it, pretend it isn’t there, or wonder what is wrong with me.
I can cry tears over a love lost.
I will wipe them away, but I won’t stop them from coming.

I love the poem, On Another’s Sorrow, by William Blake.
It talks of how we should be with one another in our pain–that we should sorrow with one another.
Like the friend who came to me with arms full of daffodils, and a candle.
She sat next to me on the couch and cried with me.
She was with me in the hurting.
But the poem speaks also of Another who is with us in our sorrow.
In those times when no one is there to see us cry.
When everyone else has forgotten, or we just can’t share the hurt.
When we’re crying over a lost baby, aging parents, a failing marriage, financial woes, loneliness, a child with special needs, or feelings of desperation, He is there, crying with us.
You aren’t alone.

The last stanza of the poem really speaks to me.
O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.”
To you who are hurting, may you find joy.
And until then, may you make peace with your sorrow, and know you are not alone in it.

All the best,
Greta

*The beautifully illustrated quote is by the amazing artist, Lisa Congdon.
*And if you are interested, here is the full poem by William Blake:
On Another’s Sorrow

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear -

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.
Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear -

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

 

Back In the Saddle Again

I went horseback riding today with the ladies in my book club.
After I got the hang of what I was doing, I had an hour to sit on my horse, watch the world go by, and think.
Here’s what came to mind as I sat atop my horsey, Trigger.

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When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

There were 2 girls in our group today who had never ridden a horse .
And most of the rest of us hadn’t ridden since we were kids.
It was a little bit scary.
As we lined up to get on our horses, there were nervous giggles, talk of upset tummies, of courage draining by the minute, and a couple, “why did I say I’d do this ?”
Once we started off, I alternated between, i love this! and , this is going to be the longest hour of my life!
I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.
But after a while, it was really, really fun.
For all of us.

Trying new things is so important.
It’s important for me as a person.
Amongst other things, it makes me more interesting, and helps me grow.
But right now, I think it is most important for me as a mother.

A while back, when I was trying to find the kind of exercise that I enjoyed doing, I took some aerobics classes.
My performance was laughable.
And what I mean is, the instructor laughed at me because I was so bad.
I just could not get it.
It was really hard for me.
And sometimes frustrating, and sometimes embarrassing.
At the same time, I was trying to teach my son to read.
He was struggling.
There were times when I wanted to throw the books across the room and give up.
I wanted him to just get it, because it surely could’t be this hard.
Sometimes I wondered if he was really trying.
One night in aerobics class, as I went the wrong way, again, I suddenly understood how my son felt.
And I had so much compassion for him it brought tears to my eyes.
He was trying.
But it was hard.
And that was OK.
It was going to take a while.
And that was OK too.

We expect a lot from our kids:
Stand in front of that hard ball, that’s coming at you really fast and hit it with this little stick.
Don’t be scared!
And if it hits you, don’t cry!
Go into that group where you don’t know a soul, and talk to people and make friends, and I’ll pick you up in an hour.
Don’t be clingy!
Sound out these letters into words, and read them quickly, out loud, and in front of people.
And you better do it before you are 6.
Don’t mess up!
And don’t get frustrated!

Of course it’s imperative for us to encourage our kids to try new things, to meet new people , and to learn new skills.
But we also need to show them kindness and gentleness during the process.
We need to give them grace when it’s hard.
We need to hug them and say, “it’s OK to be scared.”
And we need to know where they are coming from.
Like Atticus Finch said, “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

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So go for it.
Be the new kid.
Be a beginner.
Be not good at something.
Struggle.
Be scared.
It will help you love them better.
And after a little while, you might even start having fun.
(or you might stop doing aerobics forever and do boot camp instead.  and that’s ok)

All the best,
Greta

Your Daily Vintage : How and Why Wonder Books

Hi there!
I’m back with another Your Daily Vintage.
This time I’m sharing one of my favorite vintage book series, the How and Why Wonder Books.photo 1I found my first How and Why Wonder Book at a used book sale, and was instantly in love.
Since then I’ve continued to add to my collection whenever I stumble across them, usually finding 1 or 2 at a time.
Last week, though, I found my biggest haul yet: 6 books in all!
They were 75 cents each.
I tried not to squeal with excitement.photo 4Besides being fun for my kids to read, and crammed full of interesting information, I think the illustration and design work of these books are fantastic.
From the front cover to the back, to the end papers in between, it’s all just so well done.
Take a look at the logo on the front of each book.
The color blocking of those stripes, with the bold, clean type of the “How And Why”–genius!
Then there are the end pages.
I’d like to blow this up and paper a wall with it.photo 1-1All those little illustrations, the fab turquoise color, and the way each rectangle is a little off set so it isn’t sterile and boring–genius again!
The front covers are to die for.
I’d like to blow them up and turn them into posters.
This is one of the favorites in my collection.photo 2I like this one too.
Here are a few others that I don’t have (yet) and just love their cover art:
Sound, Planets and Interplanetary Travel, Insects, and one of my most favorites, Rocks and Minerals.
You can find more covers on my vintage children’s books board on Pinterest.photo 5Even the back covers of the book are well designed.photo 3-1photo 2-1How and Why books were published in the 1960s and 70s.
There wer 74 books published in all.
They are all still available, and can be found easily on line, or with more work, at used book stores and sales.
Each book is full of of full color and black and white illustrations.
Some of the information is out dated (interplanetary travel anyone?) but most of it is still accurate.
As I said, my kids love to look through them.
I keep them out on the coffee table for them to pick up and browse whenever they like.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to collect all 74, I’m at 15 now, but I’m sure going to have fun trying!

Remember to check out my Instagram feed and the hashtag #yourdailyvintage for lots more posts like this.
Cheers to vintage!
Greta

Your Daily Vintage: Wayfarer’s Chapel

I’ve started a new feature on my Instagram acoount. (@maandpamodern)
It’s called My Daily Vintage, and it’s a place for me to share my love of vintage everyday.
Sometimes it’s just items from our home–since it’s full of vintage–but it is also vintage signs, architecture, design, and whatever else strikes my fancy.
Besides sharing the image, I might share a story, interesting facts, or some of the history related to it.
I throughly enjoy learning more about the vintage I love, and this seems like a fun way to share it with the, hopefully more than a few, of you who enjoy it too.
If nothing else, it is a way to entertain myself and grow my mind.
That can’t be a bad thing.

I’ve been encouraged to come back to blogging (thank you kind friends who have encouraged me!) and not simply “micro blog” on Instagram.
Apparently not everyone is on IG.
Really?
Oh yeah, I wasn’t on there just 6 months ago.
So, I’ve decided to start up with this feature here on the blog too.
Sometimes it will just be the same content that was on the Instagram post (which probably violates some kind of blogging protocol, but I don’t really care) but other times it will contain expanded information, like this post does.
All this is to say, here’s the new feature on IG and here on the blog, I hope you like it, and I hope you’ll follow along!
Now, here we go.

Today’s Your Daily Vintage was inspired by this photo:photoMy good friend Rachel, sent it to me in a little care package, knowing I would love it and be entranced by the history behind it.
She was right.
It’s a photo from the building of Wayfarer’s Chapel on Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Wayfarers Chape was the dream of a Mrs. Schellenburg.
She “dreamed of a little chapel on a hillside above the Pacific ocean, where wayfarers could stop to rest, meditate and give thanks to God for the wonder and beauty of creation.”
I like her.
The chapel was designed by Lloyd Wright, son of the famous Frank.
Mr. Wright’s design was inspired by a Northern California trip to the redwoods.
Looking up at the beautiful, arching branches above his head, he was reminded of a cathedral.
His design also reflects one of the mid century modern design elements I love best: letting light and nature in.
The chapel is constructed largely of glass, directing eyes to the sky overhead, as well as to the branches of the redwood trees that now tower above it.
It is awash in light, and is peaceful and utterly beautiful.

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One of my favorite parts about home schooling is all the “extras” I get to add into my kids’ education.
Not surprisingly, I add in a lot of the liberal arts: art history, literature, architecture, poetry, and design, to name a few.
That’s why we stopped to visit Wayfarer’s Chapel yesterday, when we were right near it to go tide pooling.
Our favorite tide pooling spot, Abalone Cove, is right down the hill from the Chapel, and every time we’re at the cove, I long to visit the chapel.
We managed to have enough time yesterday for a quick visit, and a brief talk about mid century modern architecture, design, and one of America’s most famous architects.
It was a beautiful addition to our day.
photo 1Here they are, getting their first glimpse of the chapel.
True to form, William and Lilly are speechless and just taking it in.
James on the other hand, is taking it in by telling me about everything he’s seeing.
They were all taken in by the architecture–unlike any building they’d been in before.photo 3We weren’t in there for a terribly long time, but long enough to admire, appreciate, discuss, and spend a lot of time looking up.
I felt very comfortable taking my 4 kids inside to look around.
They were respectful and quiet of course, but I’ve been to places where I’m still made to feel less than welcome with 4 young kids.
It was nice that this wasn’t the case at Wayfarers Chapel.
photo 2After taking in the chapel, we explored the grounds.
The views beg to be enjoyed.
The chapel sits in a beautiful spot.
If you aren’t there with 4 little ones, there are lots of benches scattered about for spending time in quiet reflection, reading, or just basking in the glorious ocean views.
Just like Mrs. Schellenberg dreamed it would be.photo-8photo 2There were a few other visitors at the chapel besides us.
None of them seemed bothered by us.
In fact, one elderly couple smiled at us all as we trooped past them.
The gentleman stopped me for a moment and said, “my, aren’t you the lucky one!”photo 1Yes, I am.
Lucky I get to share my love for beautiful things and places with these little people, lucky to be their teacher, lucky that they are always up for an adventure, and luckiest of all to be their Mama.
I don’t take it for granted.
I’m so grateful.
I think that’s just how Mrs. Schellenburg would have wanted me to feel.photo 3

If you are anywhere near Palos Verdes, this place warrants a visit.
It doesn’t have to be a long stop, but even a short stop will be worth it.
Wayfarers Chapel Info:
5755 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Open daily 9-5
For more info, visit the website here

And after you visit the chapel, you can head down to Abalone Cove for great tide pooling and a beautiful beach.
Pictures of our time there up next.

Cheers to vintage!
Greta

 

 

 

 

 

Ma and Pa Modern’s House Tour

Our home was recently featured on the HOUZZ website as one of their home tours.
It was a lot of fun to go through our house, room by room, and think about the furniture, knick knacks, and art in there, and the stories behind them all.
We have a few decorating philosophies, and one of them is that our home, and the things in it, should tell a story.
photo-8
After our home tour was published, there were many warm and kind comments made about our home and decorating style.
But you can’t please everyone, and this was the case in our home tour.
The one thing that really bothered people was the deer head.
Boy of boy, did some people dislike our dear deer.
Apparently, it freaked them out.
It did make me laugh because they don’t know that we didn’t hunt our deer–he isn’t our trophy.
Instead, we got him because we think he is beautiful, and we wanted to admire him, like we do the other taxidermy in the Natural History Museum.
Plus, we’re big Wes Anderson fans and this just seems to be in line with his aesthetic.
Imagine what they’d say if they knew I want a moose head next…….
Besides, we don’t really worry too much about what everyone else thinks when it comes to our home.
We have turquoise countertops, a cutout swordfish in the living room, and paintings of trailers on the walls.
That is another one of our decorating philosophies, we only fill our house with things we love.

trailer

Anyway, I’m not new to people being unhappy about something in our home.
A few years ago, our kids’ bedroom was featured on Apartment Therapy.
We had the 3 big kids in one room, and as soon as Davy was a bit older, we planned to put him in there too.
There were some people up in arms that we had 3, and soon to be 4, kids in 1 room!
I laughed it off, because I think kids sharing a room is one of the best ideas around.
But that’s a post for another day.
(You can find the room tour here if you are interested)

If you missed our home tour, go ahead and check it out on HOUZZ right here.
And you don’t even have to pretend to like the deer head if you don’t want to.
We can take it.
All the best,
Ma and Pa

Love In the Hard Places

I share this to encourage and exhort you.
I want to encourage you if you feel alone in your hurting marriage.
You aren’t.
And I want to exhort you to not become complacent in your marriage.
Don’t be lazy.
Most of all, where ever you are at in your marriage, I hope you will adopt this posture toward your spouse.
In the everyday, in the little things, in the big things, in the dry spells, and the wonderful spells:
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
It will be hard, it will challenge you, sometimes it won’t be fair, but it can change everything.

I wrote this piece about 2 and a half years ago.
Aaron and I were coming out of the most devastating time in our lives.
In the course of a year we had lost a baby and nearly lost our marriage.
By the grace of God, with gut wrenching hard work, and more tears than I ever care to cry again, we came out on the other side.
Miraculously, I got pregnant again with our 5th baby, and that pregnancy served as a daily reminder that real love, God’s love, is stronger than anything else in this world.
And while I would never have asked to walk through those trials, I can say now that they taught me the most important lessons I have ever learned.
In the darkest and loneliest of times, I found the love of a Heavenly Father who didn’t abandon me,  and in fact, loved me in a way more deep and true than I have ever known.
I found that real love is still there in the hard places.
That is where it matures, and becomes more beautiful.
That is where it is refined.
That is where it becomes real.

 

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Yellow ranunculus always make me think about when I fell in love.

They were the first flowers Aaron ever brought me.
He was romantic from the very beginning.
He planned us picnics, surprised me with things like a train trip to visit the San Juan Mission and wrote me lots and lots of love letters.
He knew how to woo me.

ranucs-2

We’ve been together now for almost 17 years.
Married for almost 13.
He still brings me flowers and writes me love letters.
And after taking a sabbatical from date planning, he’s back at it, and better than ever.
But truthfully, the way romance looks in our relationship has changed.
And I think it’s better now.
Because it is real.

Having a baby changes things.
It forces you to reveal your true self to your husband in a way you may never have before.
You get fat.
You get stretch marks.
You cry a lot and eat ice cream in bed.
You aren’t the girl he fell in love with, always wanting to hold hands and snuggle on the couch.
The 2 of you can’t even fit on the couch together anymore.
And then the baby comes and life changes even more.
Your man isn’t first in your life anymore; someone else has replaced him utterly.
And if he’s lucky, he might get some of the leftovers of you at the end of the day, but you will probably smell like spit up, and have greasy hair, and won’t want to be touched because you’ve had baby sucking on you all day long.

There was a moment I’ll never forget, when our first was a newborn, with his first ear infection.
I was a weeping, tired, and distraught new mommy.
Aaron did something far more romantic for me than bring home flowers.
He met me where I was and loved me.
As I sat on the couch, nursing James in the middle of the night for what seemed like the thousandth time, Aaron came in to the living room and asked if he could help.
Of course he couldn’t help!
Could he nurse the baby?
It was all on me.
I had to do everything.
By. My. Self.
Forever.
And we were all going to suffer while it happened.
Aaron didn’t say, “fine!” and go back to bed.
Instead he sat down at my feet, picked them up and began to rub them.
The tears came instantly, and I sat on the couch, weeping, because I knew I wasn’t alone.
And he loved me when I least deserved it.
Real love is patient.
Real love is kind.

After William, our second, was born, I was in the hospital recovering from a c-section.
Aaron stayed with me the whole time and got to be a part of it all.
Even the parts that I never thought I’d let him be a part of.
After a c-section, you have to have a bowel movement before you can go home.
It’s a big deal.
I know, so romantic.
So, there I was, having my big moment, and Aaron was practically in the bathroom with me.
There was no hiding what was going on.
“Way to go babe!” he cheered for me from the adjoining room.
“How embarrassing,” I thought.
Later on, I had to ask him to come in the bathroom and change my pad because I couldn’t bend over.
Really. Really embarrassing.
Actually, I was mortified.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t need to be.
Because it was real.
Real life and real love are not always pretty.
Real love is caring for one another even when it’s gross, ugly, or you really don’t want to.
Real love is not self seeking.

 

Real love is holding your wife in the shower while the tears course down her cheeks and the blood courses down her legs, and you are losing your baby.
It is loving your husband even when you hate him.
Real love is hanging on, saying “I’m sorry”, saying “I forgive you”, and meaning it.
Real love perseveres.

I think about couples who have been married for 40 or 50 years.
I think of the good and bad they have experienced together.
I think of the ugly times and the beautiful times.
I see them together at the store sometimes, walking slowly, helping each other get the shopping done.
I saw them in my grandparents.
My grandma cared for my grandpa so lovingly when he could hardly hear anymore, or get out much.
She helped him to the bathroom and made him the meals he loved to eat.
She did it every day because she loved him.
Real love protects.

I am just beginning to really learn what that kind of love is.
And it is my greatest hope that someday Aaron and I will be walking slowly through the grocery store together, still holding hands, and still in love.
Real love.

ranucs-4

Sometimes love is a choice more than a feeling.
But even when it’s the hardest choice you’ll ever make, it is worth it.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13

All the best,

Greta