Friday, February 28, 2014

Daphne is in the Air

The sweet, sweet scent of Daphne is in the air, which means that spring is right around the corner. I love Daphne! It's intoxicating fragrance and pretty petals give me a lift and make me excited for my favorite season of the year, which starts in 20 days. But, who's counting?! 

I cut a few blooms from my garden and put them in favorite vessels around my house, like this Pebble vase from Seattle's do-good potter Material Good.

And this 'believe' glassybaby that was a recent gift from a sweet friend after the passing of my dear friend Scott. 

I love being surrounded by nature's perfume. It's free and natural. What's better than that?

Happy weekend friends.



Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweetest Day of the Year


After a week of pretty heavy posts, I'm going to lighten things up today with these sweet photos from Volunteer Park Cafe (above) and our home (below). We LOVE Valentine's Day!


And here's a look back at Sofia's Valentine's story from last year. Too sweet!

Happy Valentine's Day friends!

PS- Don't forget to write the 10 things you love about your Valentine or someone special in your life. I just received a text from a friend with the 10 things she loves about me. It made my day!! So simple, yet so powerful. Spread the love.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Announcing "10 Things I Love About You"

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I want to start a movement to spread more love and to celebrate life every day. So it's a two-post day, leading up to tomorrow, the sweetest day of the year.
Why wait until a diagnosis, tragedy or death to let your loved ones know how much you love them? Do it now! While you can.
10 Things I Love About You is being launched for Valentine’s Day 2014 in memory of Scott Gehring, but it’s an ongoing effort to tell people what you love about them.

Scott lost his battle with cancer on January 30, 2014 in the loving arms of his wife. He was 42 and the father of two young boys. Scott loved life and he lived it fully.
Before he died, I wrote the 10 Things I Love About You, Scott and shared it with him. I'm so glad I did. Although I was holding out hope that he would be healed, I wanted him to know how I felt about him and our 40 years of friendship. I realized that many people wait until it’s too late to share what they love – in obituaries and eulogies. After hearing how much Scott liked what I wrote, the idea to start 10 Things I Love About You was born.
So for Valentine’s Day, how about writing down the 10 things you love about your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, son/daughter, mother/father, grandparent, or a cherished cousin and sharing it with them? Flowers, chocolates and jewelry are awesome. Words from your heart are priceless and will be cherished forever.
Want to spread the love even further? Share this idea with 10 friends. Watch your love multiply. Our collective human spirit will feel the love! It's good for our souls.
Join the 10 Things I Love About You community on Facebook to share inspiration. If you're a friend of Scott's you can post the things you love about him as a continued tribute to his amazing life. Share words, pictures, photos, quotes, song lyrics. Let's keep Scott's memory alive!

A page from Alexandra Stoddard's, Grace Notes.

10 Things I Love About You, Scott

I had the honor of speaking at my friend Scott's memorial service this past weekend in Hood River, OR. It was bittersweet to pay tribute to my lifelong friend of 40 years. It was one of the hardest, yet most special, things I have ever done. Below I share my remarks, which include the 10 things I love about Scott.

Stay tuned for another blog post about a movement I'd like to create to spread more love and celebrate life every day.


Hi, I’m Amy Anderson and this is Thomas Laakso. You might remember us as the best man and best woman from Scott and Heather’s wedding. We are really missing our best friend. It’s hard to imagine life without him, so we’re up here to help each other get through this.

Scott and I have been close friends for 40 years. We met when we were 2 when my family moved across the street from him in Westbrook Park in Olympia. Our moms became acquainted as mothers of young kids do, and the rest is history.

We did everything together: built forts; rode bikes; made BMX trails; visited new home construction sites in our neighborhood; played in the woods behind our house; played on the same soccer team. We even skied together, briefly, before his skills greatly exceeded mine. We went to preschool and kindergarten through high school together. I even followed him to Western for a brief stint! Long enough to make some other lifelong friends like Thomas.

Scott was so much more than a friend... He was a cool older brother to my sister Jill and me. He was as close to the real thing as you can imagine.

After visiting Scott this past MLK weekend, I decided to write down the 10 things I love about him. I was still holding out hope that he would be healed, but I wanted him to know how I felt about him. Heather read these to him and she said he loved it. I'd like to share it today because it really sums up Scott for me.

10 Things I Love About You, Scott

1. Loyalty – We have been friends since we were 2 and your friendship has been unwavering. We’ve never “broken up” or gone very long without contact. You’re like a brother to me but better – we don’t have stressful family dynamics to deal with! And you even let me hang out with you and your friends in high school and college! Thank you.

2. Sense of humor – You definitely got the humor gene from Walt. Your wit is quick and clever and always dry!

3. Sense of adventure – Your first loves were building forts in the woods, skateboarding and riding BMX bikes in the neighborhood, until you discovered skiing and wind surfing and then dirt biking, snowboarding and surfing. You quietly mastered all of these sports and then taught others—teaching windsurfing on Capitol Lake and ski school at Crystal Mountain.  

4. Strength – You’ve always had a calm and quiet confidence and inner strength. You’ve exhibited heroic strength over the last year.

5. Your wife – Heather rocks! She’s an awesome partner for you. She can keep up with you on the mountain and the river. You scored and I feel like I scored too as I consider her a sister.

6. Your boys – Chance and Zane rock too! They are such joyous little boys. It has been awesome to watch you as a father with them. And I know you love them so much.

7. My birthday! – You know how much I love my birthday! And I know how much you like to pretend to forget it every year, but I know you will always call, sometimes even before Thomas!! [Maybe Thomas will call me twice on my birthday this year!]

8. Your eyes – Voted “Prettiest Eyes” Capital High School class of 1989! [I found Scott’s “prettiest eyes” hall of fame picture in the 1989 yearbook and this quote: “It has been said that eye contact is one of the most important aspects of any conversation. If that is the case, Scott Gehring and Angie Grant would surely be easy to talk to.” I think it’s true. In his last few days, Scott and I had a lot of “conversations” just with our eyes. I will remember those moments forever.]

9. Work ethic – From your paper route in Westbrook Park to your cool job at Dakine (and the others in between) you’ve always worked very hard, again, quietly getting results and developing some really cool products. I smile with pride whenever I see the Dakine brand….

10. Party pants! – Need I say more?! You’ve always had a great sense of style! [You can see pictures of Scott's party pants in the slideshow from his service: Password: scott]

And there’s one more! After going through pictures the last few days and remembering Scott, I realized I had forgotten something obvious in my top 10. His awesome smile.  He had THE BEST SMILE!

Chance and Zane – You are awesome!! One of your dad’s greatest joys was being with you – taking you fishing and skiing. I know his courageous spirit and sense of adventure will live on through you. I already see it!

One thing that gives me comfort in all this is the lifelong friendship Chance and my daughter Sofia have forged. They have a head start on Scott and me... They've been friends since they were born. They’re like mini versions of Scott and me and they get along so well! Their interactions remind me so much of Scott and me.

And Heather, dear sweet Heather. You are the strongest person I know. You made Scott so happy and your love and devotion to him are remarkable. Please don’t hesitate to call on me or any of us, day or night, or in the middle of the night. We are here for you. And let’s continue to live by our mantra from the last year from Mark chapter 5 verse 36: “Do not be afraid, only believe.” I love you.

And I love you Scott. Thank you for loving me. Peace be with you my brother.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remembering Scott Gehring

My life forever changed on January 30, 2014 when my oldest friend of 40 years died of cancer. Being with Scott before and after he died is one of the most intensely human experiences I've ever had, besides giving birth to my daughter. It was an honor to be with him in his home along with his family to say "goodbye" and "see you later."
I honestly didn't realize how unique and special our lifelong friendship was until after Scott passed away. Remembering our experiences from childhood until now caused my own life to flash before my eyes as I wrote his obituary, along with his other best friend Thomas; went through hundreds of pictures; and prepared my remarks for his service. 
Below is Scott's full obituary that we wrote. It was edited for the newspapers but I wanted to post the full version here for all to see what a truly amazing guy Scott was. 
Scott Jason Gehring, forever exhibiting grace under pressure and living fearlessly, died in the arms of his loving wife, Heather, at their home in White Salmon, Washington, on January 30, 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 42 years old. Scott was born in Olympia, Washington, to Walt and Marsha Gehring on June 2, 1971.
Saving enough money from his paper route, he took up the sport of windsurfing at an early age and began his first pilgrimage to the Columbia River Gorge when he was 15. From then on his home will always be remembered as the Gorge. Forever “on the search,” chasing wind, waves and snow, and more recently his children, he never surrendered to fear and charged powerfully and gracefully in all that he did.  
He continued that fearless approach living life to its fullest after his cancer diagnosis. In disbelief, his doctors would watch him leave on his own from chemo treatment and head straight to the river to catch the afternoon wind, or administer his chemo to himself while up on the mountain skiing with his children. Solid, loving, straightforward, and honest, Scott charged through life, always understated, and unwavering through the end. 
Attending Capital High School in Olympia, he later graduated from Western Washington University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and more importantly forged lifelong friends who revered him. In 1995, Scott made good on his dreams and moved full-time to the Gorge, one of the most beautiful and majestic places on earth where he could combine his career aspirations with his idyllic playground for windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding, dirt biking and trips to the coast surfing. He met the love of his life, Heather Ferris, at a Halloween Party in 1998 and they were married in 2002. Scott is the father of two wonderful children, Chance (7) and Zane (3). One of Scott’s greatest joys was taking his boys fishing, even during the last year as he battled cancer. Scott's courageous spirit and sense of adventure will live on through his amazing boys.
In Scott’s 14 years working at Dakine he was passionate and highly dedicated to creating the best products possible. Scott was the ultimate “Dakine guy” and his insight into the sports and culture helped make him an essential part of the team.
Scott’s loyalty, calm confidence, quick wit, big smile and twinkling blue eyes will be deeply missed by his wide circle of friends in the Gorge and around the world. In his quiet way, Scott challenged everyone who knew him to be their best.
In addition to his mother, Marsha Gehring, his wife and children, Scott is survived by many cherished family members, including aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws Elden and Margie Ferris, brother- and sister-in-law Darin and Heidi Parr, and nephews, Davis and Evan Parr, who have been a very special part of his life.
A celebration of Scott’s life will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at the Hood River Alliance Church (2650 Montello). Gathering and greeting from 2-3 p.m.; service from 3-4:30 p.m. A reception will follow at The Bingen School Inn.
Scott's ashes will be scattered at a later date in three places he loved to play: Pacific City in Oregon, and Doug’s Beach and Crystal Mountain in Washington.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Scott Gehring Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo for the children’s education.