Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ghosts of Halloween Past.

Leopard, 198x.
Mary Poppins, 2007.

Madam Librarian, 2009.

Mime, 2009.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Life's a Pizza!

Another National Pizza Month is about to come to a close.

This October did not find me eating pizza every single day (or even every other day) like in October's past. I believe only twice all together, but those two times count for a lot, because each one was shared with good people, and conversations with those good people.

I leave you with this song. (It is quite charming.)

Adieu, and happy pizza!

Monday, October 29, 2012

When the wind is blowing very hard on the East Coast

You think of every single person you love on the East Coast, and hope they are okay.

Please be okay.

(This moving map reminds me of Van Goh's "Starry Night." It is mesmerizing.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spend a lazy Sunday

In my arms.

(I won't take, anything away.)

Also, when you live in Southern California, you can have evening picnics any day in October. And because your husband is with you (when he is spending lots of days and nights and weeks in Utah this autumn), you have them as often as you can. Backyard picnics. Schoolyard picnics. Etc., picnics. They are a delight.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My grandpa died 10 years ago today.

And I still miss him.

Monday, October 22, 2012

And today, I registered to vote.

This video really speaks to me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall is HERE!

(Hear the yell.)

I also love this painting by Brian Kershisnik, titled "Fall Coming Like Three Sisters." It might be because I have three sisters, and I like the idea of anything coming like them. Or maybe it is just because it is beautiful.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brigham Young on Zion.

I have Zion in my view constantly. We are not going to wait for angels, or for Enoch and his company to come and build Zion, but we are going to build it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dear Eunice,

You are the winner.

A sincere congratulations to you, and an equally sincere hope that you will love the Tala Stone Tiny Gold Circle Necklace as much as I. (I really have worn mine happily every day since it arrived.)

And a sincere thank you to all those who participated. I'm sorry that there could only be one winner. xo

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Le petite prince. Le petite fox.

"Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees rightly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." ― The tamed fox. Also, Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, the new C.S. Lewis.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"And in this moment, I swear we were infinite."

I watched the Perks of Being a Wallflower tonight, with a dear friend, a girl, who you might say is a "bosom friend," or "soul friend," if you said such things.

She was a perfect person to watch the film with, because she just finished reading the book (mostly by plane ride) yesterday. And it slayed both of us, in nearly identical ways. When we laughed, we laughed together. When we cried, we cried hard together. When I found myself pressing my hand against my chest, I would peek over in the near dark, and see my friend doing the same.

Again, it slayed us. (Or at least the heart part of us.) I believe in all of the right ways. Because it is a story like that. One that is happy and sad at the same time, and that has a kind of beauty and intensity that is rare. I first read it almost exactly three years ago, for a class, and stayed up approximately the whole night to finish it. Not because of class deadline, but because I couldn't put it down. (Making it one of three books that I have read that voraciously.)

When I did set it down that 5 a.m. morning time, I was a) done reading the last page, and b) laying on my bed sobbing. Which means that I shouldn't have been that surprised that the movie might have that same effect. Of that first read, I also remember that it stayed with me, in my thoughts and feelings, for a long time. I suspect that may repeat again. A last memory is that I had never experienced the things Charlie had, yet never had I felt more understood by, or like a literary character. It was a strange, but healing thing.

I was very pleased with the acting, particularly with Emma Watson's, as she did such a phenomenal job portraying a character very unlike that of Hermione, for whom she has become so well known. Other's acting was similarly strong.

The movie version left some things out (which all movie versions do), and added a few things (which many movie versions do). I felt that the things they took out and added were wise ones. All of the most powerful parts remained. All of my favorite scenes. All of my favorite lines. Especially and including the ones about feeling infinite, and of those, especially and including the first time, when Sam flies, under the tunnel, to the music. It was beautiful to read and picture on my own, but it may have been even more beautiful to watch it displayed, by camera light. (My one regret is that the teacher's character was not quite included as much as I would have preferred.)

My other favorite lines are inevitably about choosing the love we think we deserve, and then the part at Christmas time, when Sam and Charlie are talking about first kisses, and Sam says the kindest thing that anyone has likely ever said to Charlie, before kissing him.

I rode my bike home in the dark, to the music. And I felt infinite.

Friday, October 5, 2012

For the beauty of Tala Stone jewelry: A Giveaway.

There is a woman in my life, who I love, that makes jewelry I also love. Because I love you too, I am introducing both, via a giveaway.

The woman's name is Pegah. She is the mother of these dark haired darlings, and one of my most cherished friends.
© Skye Blu Shoppe

When I finished school in Boston, poor, and heart-bruised, and uncertain of my future, she welcomed me into her home while I tried to figure out my next steps. It was a healing time for me, largely because she and her children are healing. We went on walks together every evening, played in parks, and occasionally got our nails done. When I was sick she shared her juice with me, and bought me sushi. Many days we just talked. The good kind of talks that you don't want to end, that are about things of consequence.

I treasure every moment I have with her. The lasts were during Spencer's dream graduation week, and were perfect. But how could they not have been, filled as they were with "so many bubbles" in the words of her oldest, and cuddle time with her youngest? That littlest's middle name also happens to be part of the inspiration for Pegah's jewelry, which is just as lovely as she is a person.

The middle name is Tala, which means gold in Farci. The shop is Tala Stone, and the necklace up for grabs is the very delicate and classic "Tiny Gold Circle Necklace." I ordered my own earlier this week, and am already dreaming about wearing it every day. (Especially every day I wear a dress.)

She also has a tiny heart necklace that I love. And a little skull one. And some very pretty raw brass, geometric earrings. And etcetera.

To enter, simply leave a comment with your email and a note about your favorite piece from Tala Stone. To enter twice, simply do the first two things, plus share this link on your social media outlet of choice, then let me know that you did. Also, please be a US resident :) (as the giveaway is open to US residents only). The winner will be selected randomly a week from Sunday. Best of luck!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sometimes a gold medalist writes a book and dedicates it to your dad.

The gold medalist is Dan O'Brien, former World Record Holder in the decathlon. The book is Clearing Hurdles: The Quest to be the World's Greatest Athlete. The dad is my dad.

To be fair, the book is dedicated to 31 people, 3 towns, and 2 dogs. My dad's name is listed near the top, and is the very first person under the rubric: "The coaches who made the difference." This is likely because my father, Larry Hunt, was Dan O'Brien's first track coach. Or, because he was the first person to suggest that he could be a great decathlete. That he should even try the decathlon.

Because of this, Dan O'Brien was a part of my childhood. Even a substantial part. He would eat at our house sometimes when I was very small, and when I was a little bit bigger, and he was competing in more world class meets, I would travel with my dad to watch him. Those drives from wherever we were living in Oregon to Eugene, or Sacramento, or etc., gave me some of my most cherished memories with my dad, and those meets gave me some of my most cherished memories in general.

They enabled me to be introduced to many of my childhood heroes, many times, including Carl Lewis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Plus, Dan O'Brien always paid me and my siblings special attention. Once in 1992 after winning his 100 meter dash, he walked over to where my little brother and I were standing and gave each of us one of the rectangular stickers with his lane number on it. I still remember that it was the number 2. And stranger's cameras flashing. And feeling special inside.

The day! The day! (Featuring little Rachel and little Sam
wearing his "Ran with Dan" shirt.)

Earlier that same year, a whole city spent a whole day honoring him. The small city was Klamath Falls, Oregon, the place of my birth and his growing up. The day was dubbed "Dan O'Brien Day," and it began with a mile run. Each participant received a shirt that said, "I ran with Dan" (which shirt I still own). Not every participant was invited to ride with him in his limo to subsequent events. I and some of my siblings were the very lucky few.

Later when I was in high school and participating in track myself, I had a signed poster of him hanging on my bedroom door that read, "To the Hunt kids, don't just do it, do the best!" I read it every single day. He would also call our house sometimes to get ahold of my dad, back when people called houses for such purposes. Whichever kid lucky enough to answer the phone would beam for weeks. (Or at least I would.) One such call came the week or so before my junior year's district track meet. I got wished "Good luck!" by the very best.

My sophomore year I got to accompany my dad to the US Olympic Track and Field Trials in Sacramento (where I would later serve my LDS mission). We had seats right in front of the finish line, on the third row. Dan was past competing by then, but was watching too. He gave me a big hug and kept saying, "You were the littlest Hunt girl! You were the littlest!" More feeling special. More flashes from strangers photographing me with Dan O'Brien. (And thankfully at least one coming from my dad.)

Sixteen in Sacramento!

Great day. Great beard.

Which brings us to this year, when my mom told me about his book and title page. I asked her if my dad had it yet, and, for whatever reason, he didn't. I made her promise that he wouldn't buy it for himself, and ordered a copy right away. I was able to present it to him when he came to California for Spencer's graduation. It was a tender, tender moment. The most tender of all was me asking him if he had seen the title page yet, and him saying that he hadn't, then him turning to it, and seeing his name there for the first time. I think we both might have gotten a tear in our eye, and he certainly made the slight wooshing sound/sigh he is famous for, when experiencing something particularly sweet or holy.

We had a one hour drive before us, just he and I. Just like the old times when we would journey to far away meets. He asked me to read to him from the book, and that was tender too. While standing in my church parking lot he had already discovered at least one story about himself, having to do with him getting to tell Bruce Jenner that he beat the World Record. It was a story I had never heard, but I soon got it from the horses mouth. (He said Dan got some of the details partially wrong.) On our drive, I began at the beginning. It was written remarkably well, and I can't wait to read the rest of it.

Upon being gifted.

Father/daughter/book. As it should be.

The tenderest moment.

The coach who made the difference.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


(Also known as backtracking x 3 weeks.)

The most beautiful part of Spencer's graduation week is that he graduated. The second most beautiful part is that his mom was there, watching him graduate. (It was a true, true miracle.) The third most beautiful part was seeing other lovely lovelies that I don't get to see very often, including my parents, sister, sister-in-law, niece and nephew, and so forth. The last most beautiful part was watching my father open a special book (of which I will write more later).

Pictures pleased:

Southern California Institute of Architecture:
recently named the #1 architecture school in the world.

Dedicated with love.

In the midst of his presentation to a jury of world class
architects. Plus family and friends.


This is how happy we were during S's graduation!

This is S graduating!

Spencer and very supportive sisters. (Plus one more
who is still supportive, but too, too pregnant to attend.) 

Her presence is a treasure. 

The Happiest Place for my mama's birthday bash.

I took the carousel.

All tuckered out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A time to remember.

This post is the post where I record a handful of things I want to remember about Spencer's mamma, mostly for Spencer, and myself, and any children we might have one day, who I will want to help remember this grandma that they didn't get to know here. She will be part of them, as she is most certainly part of Spencer.

  • She was born in Salt Lake City.
  • She lived in Missouri when she was a little girl. 
  • Her family was part of the first LDS branch in Liberty. They met in the (in)famous jail.
  • She also lived in New Zealand when she was a little girl.
  • She loved the culture, and the poi ball dancing, which she apparently had great skill at.
  • She loved Christ, simply and straightforwardly.
  • She had/has a testimony in the atonement, which for her meant that we didn't need to be perfect, we just needed to tap into Christ's grace as perfectly as possible.
  • She met her husband in high school. (They went to rival schools.)
  • When he got home from his mission she asked him when they would get married. When he said, "Oh, about two years," she answered, "Okay, then I think I will go on my own mission."
  • And she did. To Norway.
  • She and her husband were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, by President Thomas S. Monson.
  • (Thomas S. Monson was also influential in her not extending her mission, so she could come home. It is a pretty good story.)
  • She loved her five children dearly, and rumor is that they were her crowning jewels.
  • She also loved her grandchildren dearly. Their laughter and play brought her some of her sweetest moments when she was sick, sick, sick.
  • She had great respect and admiration for other cultures, and tried to learn all that she could.
  • She also welcomed several individuals from other countries to live with her family. I think in part because she wanted her children to have an international perspective. It has rubbed off on S big time.
  • Because of the above at least three women refer to her as their "American mother."
  • She was her mother's favorite child. (Or so says all of her surviving siblings.)
  • She cared deeply about education. It was probably her lifelong mission.
  • She loved her students. And they loved her.
  • She was so proud of Spencer for finishing his (very hard) masters. Everyone thinks the hope of attending his graduation kept her alive.
  • She was a better cook than everyone says.
  • She'd wake people up on their birthdays by singing to them. And she would decorate the table just for them, special. (I think children were allowed to open their gifts in the morning, but I could be mistaken.)
  • She loved Christmas, but she (or her husband) made everyone dress formal. Even for opening presents.
  • They did the Christmas Eve new pajama tradition.
  • Her birthday is my dad's birthday, May 26.
  • She spent her second to last birthday with Spencer and I in LA, helping Spencer with his architecture exhibition, TIMEless. (As I recall she even swept and cleaned the huge exhibition space, cheerfully.)
  • She had a beautiful smile, even when laying in her last bed.
  • When one of her daughters asked her what she wanted to do before she passed, she answered, "Climb a mountain."
  • She did that too. A summit to the top, with help and love from others.
  • More.

(If you are Spencer, or one of his sisters, or his brother-in-laws, or someone else who knew Janice, please write me stories and memories, so I can keep them safe. Thank you in advance.)