Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On cupcakes, grandmas, and architecture.

Approximately six years ago, I drafted this post. I am publishing it now, on my grandma's 99th(!) birthday. This is still the way I remember her best.


Approximately one year ago I wrote about an architectural exhibition I helped with, called TIMEless. It was primarily Spencer's project, though it took a lot of work, and effort, and talent from numerous, numerous people. One of these talented people was Spencer's friend Taylor. She is an extraordinary event planner from Salt Lake City who came to LA for the week to help.

While there, Taylor and I baked 300+ cupcakes for the opening night of the exhibition, at my grandma's house, ten miles south of Los Angeles. (This is the grandma I lived with while attending Claremont, not the granny whose dress I wore.) Every 11 minutes or so, the buzzer would ring, signaling that the latest cupcakes were finished. And every 11 minutes or so, my grandma would jump, being startled: "What was that?!" Taylor would want to answer, but never did, "Just our 23rd batch of cupcakes!" It was pretty funny.

Sometime during the baking process Taylor and I had talked about childhood and how we loved to lick the beater. My grandma wasn't there for this part of the conversation, but brought up the same theme later when Taylor was getting ready, and after all of the cupcakes were finished. She asked if I had licked spoons and beaters when I was a child. "Yes, we had just been talking about that!" In her grandmotherly wisdom, she replied, "And not just for little children!" About this time, I walked out of the kitchen. Thankfully for me, I turned back in time to catch the most beautiful sight I may have ever seen: my 92 year old grandmother, 4'11" in height, picking up the wooden spoon, and then the giant bowl, to lick them both clean. When she finished, she looked up and grinned: "That was a pleasure, takes me back."

When it is her time to depart this life, that will be how I remember her, standing in her kitchen, licking that spoon and bowl, and smiling so big.

That night she was able to attend Spencer's show in Beverly Hills at the Pacific Design Center. Over 500 people came, making it much more successful than even I gave it credit for, though I saw all of the hard work and planning that went into it. Every cupcake got eaten, so I felt proud. I also got to see my grandma revel in Spencer's accomplishment: "He's so successful!"

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cora held a snake today

She wasn't scared until I was scared.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Spencer to Cora, part IV.

"How much is learned and how much is built in you?"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Birth stories.

My little babe is in between three months and four, and the other week I recorded her birth story, that is also my birth story.

What I didn't say, but could have is this:

+The week before C was born, we got to spend time with best friends.
+The eve before she was born, we got to eat Indian food with another.
+Another pregnant woman was present.
+Many jokes were made about the spicy food sending us into labor.
+It seems to have worked.
+But, it could have also been a storm.
+A very few contractions woke me up at night, but were gone in the morning.
+They came back when I ate my leftovers.
+Spencer ate indian food when he came home, but it no longer smelled good to me, and I asked him to stop. He didn't. (To his credit, he was also in for a long night, and he did brush his teeth afterward.)
+At one point, "Call the midwife!" was actually uttered.
+There were moments when I felt really alone.
+One of these was when I really was alone.
+Others were when I thought my midwives would be with me.
+That they didn't understand how fast I was progressing disappointed and saddened me.
+But I am still glad C was born at home.
+I would not have had that part any differently.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spencer (presumably) to me.

"Cora demands pizza. Cora demands pizza. Cora demands pizza."

Maybe pizza milk?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Are you afraid of the dark?

Sometimes during the first month of Cora's life, I felt scared when it was nighttime. Not because I am scared of the dark, but because I didn't know how many times she would wake up.

It is better now, but I felt it again, just now, when I heard her start to stir from her napping place.

Baby Love-In

1) All seven of these babes were born in their respective homes.
2) All babies do not feel the same, when held.
3) Babies holding hands is the most darling.

(None of the babies are actually holding hands here, but they were. And it was darling.)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spencer to Cora, III.

"Say 'Mama. Mama.' Do you know who mama is? She's the one who gives you the milk."

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cora has a lot of resolutions.

Roll over.

It is going to be a momentous year for her.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Spencer to Cora, II

"Your hugs mean so much more to me when you're in this pink bear costume."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Spencer to Cora

"Are you okay? You do nothing but cry these days."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cora Baby, Week 1

Solly Baby
Eating time
Playtime with daddy

Sleeping anywhere that isn't mama's chest

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Unto us a child was born.

Unto us a daughter was given. And her name shall be called:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Now I know

My babe is not a September baby, but an October one.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A first.

Today I attended a lovely, and deeply meaningful conference on faith and doubt in Mormonism. I may write more about this later, but for now I will say that I met a woman afterward who asked me what I study at my school. I told her, "Kierkegaard, and Levinas, and Heavenly Mother." At the last one her eyes lit up. She excitedly said, "I have to email you something on Heavenly Mother a friend shared with me two days ago! You will love it!" I felt a little silly saying it, but said anyway, "I might have written it." She opened her friend's email on her cellular telephone, and sure enough I had.

It might be the Exponent post that I am most proud of, because it is the post that I have wanted to write for five years.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

There are three things I would really like to do in life.

(You know, aside from being a mom.)

One is finish my PhD. Two is write philosophy children's books (and possibly one theology children's book, on Heavenly Mother). Three is ride around on a bicycle and make crepes for people, a la the amazing "pancake bikes" in Denmark.

(They looked a tiny bit like this.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When I Was Pregnant With You

+I slept on an air mattress for approximately five months.
+I biked to school multiple times a week during that same approximate five months.
+I took three classes for my PhD: How Not To Talk About God; Levinas; and Ricouer and Memory.
+I read aloud to you from philosophy books and children's books.
+I sang and sang to you.
+I teared up when I first heard your heartbeat.
+I teared up when I first learned you were a girl. (The ultrasound technician kept saying, "So cute! So cute!")
+I threw up exactly six times.
+I felt nauseous many more times.
+I celebrated my 29th birthday and my 2 year anniversary.
+I spoke at five conferences in four states (California, Washington, Minnesota, and Utah). My presentations were on Habermas; Heavenly Mother; Levinas, Derrida, and sister missionaries; and Kierkegaard on (true) love.
+I took two road trips to Arizona, one to view the Grand Canyon for the first time, and another for Easter and sisterly reasons.
+I biked sixteen miles on the California coast, from Santa Barbara to a town whose name I can't remember.
+I flew six times (between LA and Seattle, New York and Minneapolis, and New York and Salt Lake).
+I took sewing lessons from a dear friend.
+I was asked to co-edit a book with a woman I greatly admire. I said yes.
+I started editing that book.
+I packed up all of my belongings and drove across the entire country, from Los Angeles to New York City, where I then unpacked all of my belongings.
+I hiked in Zions for the very first time.
+I hiked on the Appalachian Trail for the very first time.
+I attended Girl's Camp, where I got stung by a bee for the first time since I was five.
+I swam in two pools, one lazy river, one lake, and one ocean.
+I took two ferries.
+On Pioneer Day, I traded in my Utah driver's license for my new New York.
+I ate a Philly cheese steak in Philadelphia and delicious pizza in Pittsburgh.
+I toured Frank Loyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater.
+I toured downtown Chicago, with my personal architectural tour guide.
+I spent a night in 11 states (California, Arizona, Washington, Minnesota, Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania).
+I drank 6+ boxes of raspberry leaf tea.
+I took a handful of vitamins most days.
+I watched my belly button turn from innie to outie.
+I taught my Relief Society sisters about our history of healing blessings, midwifery, and priestesshood.
+I taught my Relief Society sisters about Heavenly Mother and my Mormon feminist blogging.
+I was interviewed by two separate members of the press, in the same week.
+I biked at 37 weeks and at 39 weeks. Once to Prospect Park, and twice to my church building.
+I went camping at 38 weeks (at the same upstate locale as Girl's Camp).
+I met with one California OB, and two lovely New York midwives.
+I consumed an impressive amount of popsicles.

(This list is inspired by two dear friends who once moved near one another, and a tender little blog they created called "When I am Neighbors With You." Maybe I want to turn my own list into a tiny child's book for my babe and myself.)