Monday, September 3, 2012

Contrived Scenes - Labor Day

 The Husband and I drove with our progeny down the highway to Orange County, where we visited our dear friends Erika, Phil and Izzy. Phil is the genius who put together the slides for the Extreme Parenting Video Project (that has now had over 4,000 hits thanks to all of you wonderful bloggers who posted it on your blogs!). Erika is the incomparable mother, holding on to her flippin' hat in the video, who can also cook some delicious Hungarian delicacies. Izzy is the hummingbird, their delightful daughter who smiles charmingly at my sons as she kicks her legs and giggles, completely belying the fact that a couple of months ago, she lay in an induced coma fighting for an intact brain and her life.

Here's a shot of what it looks like in Phil, Erika and Izzy's parts:

Here's another one:

Here's the contrived scene from the title. Something about my sons in this little hideaway makes me want to mock them. But I won't:

The children at the top of this grassy hill are sitting on cubes of ice and sliding down the hill. They are contriving to sled (is that grammatically correct?). Only in Southern Cal would you contrive to go sledding when the glorious Pacific crashes onto the sandy beach below, tanned and muscled surfers everywhere you look and bikinied damsels frolicking in end-of-summer waves.

Here's another contrived scene - disregard the blurry photo and Sophie's glittery eyes. I really only made them sit there, together, to get a shot of the fantastic chartreuse couch that Phil picked out. I'm still marveling over that. I mean, The Husband can cook, but pick out a gorgeous, completely hip, chartreuse couch? I had a contrived vision in my head of my beautiful children arrayed on that couch. The colors would pop and it would be worthy of a design blog. Never mind that I only had my Android phone.

We had the most wonderful, relaxing day with our friends and reluctantly left in the late afternoon to drive back to Los Angeles.  It's the last day of summer as school starts for my boys Tuesday morning. Oliver just went to bed in what I think are contrived tears as he earlier stated that he was excited to go back to school.

I could never contrive that light and that sky, the road to our little house just there, on the left, nor my gratitude for all of it.


  1. Beautiful photos, especially on that exquisite couch! S. Jo

  2. Looks like a terrific day, though I'm also puzzled by ice sledding on Labor Day. Hmmm.

    The problem with a chartreuse couch is that it STAYS chartreuse, day in and day out, and I wonder if I'd have the patience for that. Sometimes neutrals are better when you're going to live with something, you know? But it IS a cool color.

    That view of the Pacific is fabulous.

  3. So glad you did this. Wonderful for all of you I am sure. Erik and Phil and Izzy must have loved the company.

    Hope the boys have a wonderful first week and can I say, Henry looks like, I don't know ... a man perhaps. A handsome, growing up before our eyes, young man.

  4. beautiful day with your beautiful family. Thanks for sharing (and making me miss California).

  5. I love the couch, I miss Orange County, I love you wanting to mock your boys, I love Hummingbird and Mermaid, but mostly I love the use of the word contrived as in "they are contriving to sled". That word used that way is one of my favorite word usages ever. I'll always remember Michael Faber writing about his Victorian heroine contriving to step down from a carriage.

  6. I'm so glad you had this lovely day. Contrived, or not.

  7. I think there was perhaps, at least, a small bit of authenticity in this contrived post, my love.

  8. Wonderful to hear that you were able to catch up with Erika and the bean and Phil. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. lovely!! my kids would love that idea of ice sledding!!

  10. So that's what that place called Heaven is like?

  11. The only thing that can make our ludicrously beautiful beach better is having you guys there. We were ecstatic that you spent Labor Day with us.

    Steve, in the hazard zone of cyclical vomiting, epic blow-outs and venting accidents, I hope and pray that our couch STAYS chartreuse :)

  12. Looks like a lovely day.

  13. I find your use of the word contrived to be well, a little contrived. HA!

    Also I realized when I read this that I never shared your lovely video on my blog. I am happy to report that has now been remedied!

    It is a great piece of work. Congratulations to you and Paul and everyone involved.

    Great day. When I'm wishing I was in Orange county you have described a lovely day indeed.

  14. This entire weekend I would muddle through the day and say, "you know what we need? we need to live by the ocean again...then we could get out of the house and he could still just sleep."

    Thank you for the memories of happy times. I think we all miss the ocean dearly!

    P.S., I commented the info on Max's bike on my post.

  15. We used to go ice blocking all the time on the golf course after dark when we were teens. Who knew kids did that in So. Cal? Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos with us and I'm thrilled you had a great day with the Husband. The shot of the boys in the greenery made me think they were up to no good, plotting and planning.

  16. sounds like a wonderful visit with an amazing family!!



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