Love Story: Liberty and Jay

by Cat on February 16, 2012

Love week continues…I’m just gushing over this special anniversary note from Designing Mom Liberty to her husband Jay…

from Designing Mom Liberty:

13 years ago today, this beautiful man asked me to marry him. I said yes, but I had no idea how happy he would make me back then. I chose him because of his integrity and sense of humor, but he’s so much more… Jay is the kindest, most patient man I have ever met and my best friend and we have been married now for 11.5 years. I would pick a day with him over a day with anyone in the world. He’s thoughtful and generous, a great dad and so tender and romantic. I’ve also seen a bold and brave side to him as we have had to step into tough situations recently.
We actually marvel at how the past few years have drawn us closer than ever. We have been through things so hard that I never could have imagined them as part of my future… But we have stuck together like crazyglue and this man is (in my humble opinion) the best this world has to offer.
I’m so so so happy you asked me, Jay.


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Story: A Happy Valentine’s to My Wife

by Cat on February 14, 2012

Today’s Valentine’s post is a sweet surprise from my intern Sam’s father to his wife Ollie… I had the chance to meet them when they stopped into the studio one day before setting out for a date night at Beretta and Bar Tartine. Hipster parents no less! Add to it that they are looking fabulous in their mid-sixties, having raised six children and, after over 25 years of marriage, remain absolutely enchanted with one another. From battling a very rare cancer to experiencing the miracles of having children when the odds were against them, their tale is filled with miracles both big and small. Well, if they don’t deserve a Valentine’s toast then I don’t know who would…
from Rich Bassin:
I met Ollie when she and her  ex-husband were looking for a house together – in 1976. She met me when I was beet red, swollen, and balding. I was going through chemotherapy. I didn’t even have eyebrows! So, she may not have fallen in love with me at first sight but I sure did. I put her name in my heart’s file cabinet and opened it years later and there she was…
The secret to our success is sharing the best life has to give with each other. And sheltering each other from life’s torments. Traveling across the country or across the street for a walk or dinner has always been about us being together. I am grateful for all the wonderful things life has granted me but mostly for giving me someone I am still so in love with.
On children we stand by our motto: if one is great, six are better! And all of them did not originate from our 25 year marriage together; we blended in a few from our prior separate and lost years, and then contributed a couple from our own mischievous makings. They have kept us young and tighten our bond; self defense mostly! We get our endorphins now in part just watching them intermingle and astound us with stories they share about their adventures unknown to us heretofore, and best left unrecorded.
Now if they could just create a few of their own children our work would be done; almost done. Okay, so its never done, but it is a goal of ours.
And for those of you who are faced with the prospect of a second marriage, let me tell you I can’t see how it could be any better. Happy Valentines to you and my family, but mostly to my wife Ollie.  I am still mesmerized and smitten by you.


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Thanksgiving Story: My Mom, Jenny Seto

by Cat on November 23, 2011

I’ll be taking a little holiday break for the rest of the week and will be back again Monday with more posts. But before I sign off, I wanted to leave you photos of what I’ll be cherishing over Thanksgiving. If you’ve been following this blog, then you know that it was inspired by my mother and her untimely passing when I was pregnant in my second trimester and my sister in her third…

Needless to say, every Thanksgiving is bittersweet. I have Zilla and my family to be thankful for but there is always the annual reckoning of my mother passing in hospice the day after Thanksgiving. A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with dear ol’ dad and he mentioned a photograph of my mother up on the wall of the ICU unit of the hospital she had worked at. He said it with such nonchalance I almost didn’t catch it. I requested him to take pictures (above and below) and mail them to me. When they arrived I carried them in my bag for three days straight so that I could take them out and and hold them in my hands.

My beautiful mother was a working mom. She was a cardiac nurse and dedicated herself to over thirty eight years on the floor of the ICU wing of St John Macomb Hospital. She was so dedicated she received a little gold pin, or to put it more precisely a “perfect record of distinction” for never missing a shift. Talk about a perfectionist. I grew up knowing she had another world in which she dedicated herself to but was not privy to the details nor the gravity. I only knew that she spent every other Christmas, New Year and Thanksgiving with us…and always requested if we could shift our Graduation dates or birthday parties so that she could make her shifts. We always joked, “all this for a gold pin?!

In truth I never really knew how important her role was at St John. We rarely visited and she rarely divulged any tangible details about work. But the photographs that recently arrived in the mail from my father were more than evident. She is one of two nurses whose picture graces the ICU ward’s entrance. It struck me right then just how amazing a nurse she must have been. It was a swift reminder that she wasn’t just my “mom,” but that she was a great woman who had dedicated herself to her hospital, the doctors, staff and tending to and saving tens of thousands of patients over the years. She will now continue to greet countless patients and families in crisis, hopefully offering them a capable, friendly, assuring face as they pass down the hallways. Perhaps she will inspire the other nurses (new and current) to strive to her standards of work and ethics. Surely I know the hospital treasured her as I do. My mom is my Florence Nightingale, as strong, graceful, and everlasting a woman as I could hope for. I am so, so, so proud of my mom. I hope all of you give your moms a big hug this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
xoxo, Cat.


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Story: My Summer Vacation

by Cat on August 9, 2011

by Designing Mom Heidi of Spitfiregirl Design

Remember back in grade school, when the teacher would ask you to regale the class with your oh-so-exciting summer vacation stories? Well a few weeks ago, the hubbie, Evan (now 16 months) and I headed east to Michigan for a family visit. One of the fun things we did was visit Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. This place is amazing! First of all, it’s enormous…about 180 acres. This place is so full of life and creativity. There’s an outdoor sculpture park, which features some amazing, large scale artwork.

As well a great children’s area and garden, indoor art exhibits and greenhouses. Oh, and the cafeteria has some beautiful Chihuly sculptures. I have to admit…I was never a Chihuly fan until I saw his work up close. Kind of mind blowing actually.

What creative adventures have you guys been up to this summer??

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Story: Lemonade Stands

by Cat on October 25, 2010

I know we’re deep into Fall but there is something about the rainy, overcast summer we had that still makes me want to cling to memories of summer.  So one more post, this one by Designing Ryan on the joys of lemonade stands (and summer days!)…

by Designing Mom Ryan of Tin Parade

Ah Lemonade stands.  An icon of childhood….a good childhood.

At least in my mind that makes sense. When I see children having lemonade stands it makes me feel happy and peaceful and sort of washes away all the crazyness of the day.  I realize that’s a big expectation of a little ol lemonade stand.  But truthfully what it represents is all good.  It started because my son said he wanted to earn money so he could buy something he wanted. …hard work= money…not a bad concept to learn at a young age…saving to buy something you want…again…only a good concept to learn…especially in this day and age.  Add in my Tin Parade partner Kristen Gara’s kids and it becomes a neighborhood entrepreneurial project of the best kind.   The kids excitedly worked together to set up the stand…sell the lemonade (yelling out to passersby “LEMONADE FOR SALE!”.…and even serve the lemonade.   The kids came together for a common purpose.  At the same time, the neighborhood converged on this tree lined street to share in the happiness that a lemonade stand creates…and share a glass of sweetness….visitors stayed and played…and their craziness too was swept away …on a late summers day in these modern times.

The sign was made from a old piece of wood from a fence a neighbor tore down.

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