Eleven + West


mothers day

Mother's Day Workshop

letteringGina PaulsonComment

I'm BACK! Trying to be back at least. After a month of wedding festivities and a honeymoon, I'm ready to share some crafty things on here again! I have a TON to share on here, it's a bit overwhelming and parts of me aren't even sure where to begin. But the first thing I wanted to get on here was this workshop I hosted! Back in May.... Yes, it's August. I know. So bad. 

But for those who were following along back then, I hosted a sweet little Mom & Me Calligraphy workshop. We really lucked out on the weather and were able to have the whole thing outdoor right by the lake. It was awesome. It was SO fun to see mom-daughter duos tackling this new activity together. We had light snacks and refreshments and were even joined by the cutest bernie puppy you'll ever see- seriously, her name is Elaine and I want to steal her. I like to end these workshops with a craft- sort of a way to actually apply what you've learned to use. So in leu of Mother's Day we calligraphed Mother's Day cards. It was such a good time and I can't wait for the next workshop! If you're interested in taking a workshop with me, don't forget to sign up HERE to get notified when the next workshop is announced! 


C H E E R S ! 

My Mother's Day Gift : Acknowledgement

personal, lifestyleGina PaulsonComment

Happy Mothers Day. 

I'm currently sitting in a coffee shop, in southeast portland, in between photo shoots, on the morning of mother's day. In a few hours, I'm going to be driving north to be reunited with this beautiful woman you see below. My darling parents are in the "special" time in their lives where both of their adult children (and adult children's fiancés and pets) have decided to temporarily move back in and live with them. I'm saying temporarily though neither of us have provided an exact check out date yet... bless their souls. I've picked up a few items over the past couple of weeks as gifts for her but nothing that can measure up to the true "thank you" and "I love you" that I genuinely owe her. I've been trying to come up with some ideas of things I could pick up on my way home to add to my pile of inadequate gifts but there is just no way to give her some of the things I know she truly wants (and deserves), so I'm going to list them here. Yes.... this year I am going with the gift of acknowledgement. I'm going to acknowledge that she needs these things and clearly state that although I can't give most of them to her, I know she could use them, and I find her truly amazing for being as magnificent as she is even without these things... Here it goes: 

1. A One Button Animal Hair Sucking Vacuum

Because when your grown children move back in with you with their newly acquired pets, and add to the previously acquired childhood pets that you as a mom never really pushed for in the first place, nothing goes uncovered in pet hair. I know my cat has destroyed your furniture, I know the litterbox is awful, and I know that when I'm out of town she comes in and sleeps on your face. Thank you. 

2. The Magically Load + Unload Dishwasher 

How one family can use so many dishes and silverware from the time you leave the house in the morning to the time you return home at night, you'll never know.  And I know you make the effort to run dishwasher before bed and it somehow doesn't manage to get unloaded until you get home the next day. It's not fair, and when they develop one of these dishwashers, its yours. I promise. Until then, I'll make an attempt to help unload the dishwasher while living with you. 

3. Your Daughter To Get Off Your Ass 

Literally. Because jesus, if you want to come home and have a treat on the rare occasions it happens, you'd prefer to enjoy it and do it in peace; and not be reminded of the calories in it or be scolded on healthy eating. I love your motivation to stay active and healthy. And every now and then you do deserve a treat, and even though they haven't developed fat burning cake (which I almost added to this list because why the hell not and who wouldn't want that!?) I'll make an effort to allow you to enjoy just normal cake (or a cookie, or a pumpkin bar) without the judgement, scolding or need to remind you exactly what you're eating. 

4. Your Son To Get Off Your Ass 

Also literally. Because sometimes around the house, you just want to wear those yoga pants that hit you awkwardly between the shin and ankle without being asked if a flood is coming to town. They're freaking comfortable, I get it. And if they so happen to ride up your butt or force your daughter to explain to you what a "camel toe" is- SO BE IT. You should be able to wear whatever you find comfortable when in your own home without all the jokes. Additionally, if a flood was coming to town you'd be the first to know about it anyways because no one watches more news than you. So yoga pant on, girlfriend. 

5. Grandchildren Before You're in Diapers

No comment. No promises. And it might be fun to be diaper buddies, right? 

6. Dinner Cooked For You. In Someone Else's Kitchen.

Because refer to #2, dinner prepared for you in your own kitchen would just lead to a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded. And likely sticky counters, dirty floors, and unwiped stovetops. Maybe we could even eat the dinner in someone else's dining room? Because your daughter has hung her calligraphed wedding invitations to dry all over your dining room table. Again, sorry. Again, this is temporary? Again, that's debatable. 

6. An All Inclusive Instant Anytime Access Magical Spa Getaway Membership 

Like, at any given time, you can just vanish to the spa. No questions asked. We won't even be allowed to text you and ask where you went. You'll just close your eyes, and blink or click your heels or something like that- and when you open them you'll be in a white robe somewhere in a half-lit room that smells like eucalyptus, listening to a gong, awaiting your chosen spa treatment. For that Tuesday evening when you come home and realize the dishwasher still hasn't been unloaded- cue heel clicking. For that Thursday morning when you wake up to dog poop in the hallway- cue white robe. For that Saturday when your daughter forces you to go to crossfit with her- cue eucalyptus scents. For those moments when you just think to yourself "I'm just freaking tired of this"- cue the gong. Until then, there are some men in the middle of the mall who will rub your scalp for 10 minutes for $5, it's on me. 

7. A REAL present. Like a tangible, expensively purchased, physical object. 

Yeah. I know. And I get it. A new kitchen-aid mixer would be SWEET. Or a freaking new regular vacuum since the animals have destroyed the one you currently own. That Marc Jacobs Handbag in that spring color that you can only carry 3 months of the year but it's so freaking expensive you'd never dream of buying it. Your own lululemon Yoga Mat. A new suitcase (plane ticket optional but encouraged). A bed and bedding set straight out of a luxury hotel. Just something that comes with a gift receipt. The thought can only count for so long, right? 

8. A Freaking Thank You

You do a lot for your family. Usually more than we ask for but we appreciate it. We'd be lost without you sometimes. And most of the time you receive sarcastic comments or zero acknowledgement in return. For all of the grocery shopping, laundry folding, broccoli cooking,  window wiping, cat litter scooping, moody daughter bearing, emergency text answering, wedding planning, and just down right ridiculous mom moments you are put through on a day to day basis- holy cow, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, for the rest of my life. 

Happy Mother's Day, mom. I love you more than all the gifts in the world and think you are amazing.