Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lowe's and Labor- A winning Combination

So yesterday my BFF from SG (Brandi Honey) drove down (over, across?) from spending the Christmas Holiday in Kamas with family… it was awesome! She is such a good a friend; she did not even comment on my sausage fingers (actually she did, but she just said she didn’t really think I looked bloated).

Which was great because I spent some time on Saturday and earlier Monday morning at Yoga; and I have also given up eating my weight in Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake for the past few days… and I think it’s really made a difference with the whole “bloating” factor. Eeek! What a horrible word – bloat. It’s almost as bad as “moist” – but for entirely different reasons.

Anyway, I digress.

We had lunch at Porcupine (“Chicken Soup for the Skiers Soul”) and she almost went into cardiac arrest when a neighboring table was brought out the ½ order of nachos… (yes, the ½ order is larger than your head).

Then we went to Lowe’s to “Build Something Together.”

"The Danny" and I have been in need of a new dishwasher since we moved into this place… but to invest in the dishwasher (because of the 12 layers of linoleum and sub-floor below) means new flooring; and countertops… and why get new countertops if we’re not going to get new cabinets? And wouldn’t it be great to knock out a wall or two to “open the space up”… you know how it is.

Brandi's husband is a big-time painter in SG and does Parade of Homes houses; and she LOVES that kind of stuff so I knew her opinions would be fabulous to have...

So yesterday we priced out things we can’t afford that would be perfect; and things we can afford that aren’t worth it. It was a great afternoon!

Last thoughts – Yesterday when I walked past a table at Porcupine that had ordered a FULL-ORDER of nachos (2 adults and one child?!?!? Come on! That’s like eating 2 Thanksgiving Dinners each!) I found myself self-narrating their experience:

“Oh my gosh, I just walked past a table with a full plate of nachos and it put me into pre-mature labor.”

Here are some others that may or may not equal the dramatics:

• “I totally tried to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans and the pressure on my lower abdomen totally put me into premature labor.”

• “That man’s Christmas sweater was so over the top, the shock put me into premature labor.”

• “Edward Cullen is so hot, he totally puts me into premature labor.”

• “I just saw [So-and-so] from high school; and they totally got skinny. The stand-by jealousy put me into premature labor.”

Feel free to add your own… As of Friday, I’ll be considered “Full-Term” (ok, 37 weeks); so hopefully these things will just “put me into labor.” I’ve also heard that Raspberry leaf tea works…Care to share what puts you into labor? ;)

Friday, December 26, 2008

When Will Holden Get Here?

First there was Indecision 2004 (thank you Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert). Then there was Indecision 2008 (are you sensing a pattern?) 

Now there's Decision 2009!!!  (Click on the link! You won't regret it!!!) 

Baby Names - BabyNamey.com Name Badge Ticker
Holden should be here in less than a month (officially due January 23rd, whatever that means). We're totally ready (I mean, I am "SuperMommy" afterall)...All I need is a place for him to sleep, and a car seat, and diapers and a breast pump, to set up the nursery and to get started on his announcements... um, yeah; a bunch of other stuff too... but I'm sure those are just ancillary details.* As of today, I'm going to adopt a Beatles philosophy for child rearing (no, not staying naked protesting in bed for days like John and Yoko) ... but maybe "Love is All You Need?" Although, I think Holden would really appreciate a crib so we're working on that.  (I shouldn't be so dramatic... we got loads of stuff for Holden for Christmas - and some serious cash to put towards his every little need... but you never feel ready do you?)

So we're diligently preparing for his arrival...But the arrival date? Aye, there's the rub. 

You can take a stab at our "Holden Comes to Town" guessing game. 

Please register and cast your vote... I am a woman who has suddenly (over the course of 36 weeks) become very large in statue (well, more width-wise than height)... and your validation may be the only "Balm of Gilead" to easy my puffy sausage fingers. ;)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

12th Day of Christmas - round up and farewell

On the 12th day of Christmas SuiteSpots gave to me,
confessions and some thoughts on Christmas outside the nativity.

So here's the "randoms" from Christmas before I settle down for a long winter's nap... or just before going to bed.

  • After 36 weeks and FINALLY making it to the 9th month (or 10th lunar month to give credit where credit is due); I am not a great sleeper anymore... it's not the bathroom thing, or that I'm uncomfortable... it's just that I literally CAN'T stay asleep. Weird. The other day I got up at 5 and had cooked breakfast, packed Danny a lunch and gone to the grocery store and back all before 7:30. (Is this my brand of "nesting?"
  • My feet feel like nubbins when I get up in the morning... I feel like I'm kinda (absolutely) puffy now... I mean, my piggy toes and fingers look like mini sausages. It's a good thing we're not big pork eaters in this family, or Danny might mistake my phalanges for Jimmy Dean sausages.
  • Christmas was great... but how is it that Holden can have SOOOO many presents when he is not even out of the womb yet?!?! He's well loved and well "showered' with gifts.
  • Danny got me a gorgeous swarovski (sp?) crystal necklace - totally love it; AND a GPS... because let's be honest, the only time I know I'm heading East is when I'm going "up" the mountain... so when I get to the avenues I'm all sorts of turned around.
  • Heart burn hit... silly me to think I could escape it.
  • I cry at least once a day... can you say "emotional basket case?"
  • Last night's Christmas Eve dinner went off great... really cool feelings in the house, dinner was nice and I have a new appreciation for my mom and ANYONE who plays point on hosting a holiday dinner (How have our mother's and grandmothers done it all these years?!?!). The only real problemo was that my Dad was the last one we remember having the remote to the TV and it has been MIA since...
Merry Christmas... I almost made it 12 straight blogging days... it's exhausting, but a good exercise nonetheless. Please do not EVER expect me to EVER keep up this pace again....


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

11th Day of Christmas

I soooo do not have time to blog... I swear I've been cooking and getting reading for Christmas Eve dinner for the better part of 2 days -- maybe with the exception of that hiatus last night to watch the Poinsettia Bowl (see below for details on that and my husband's "mustard ring" ... no, it's not a medical condition, surprisingly.)

I wish you all a very merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza... hope you had a energy revitalizing Solstice and that Hanukah treats you right...


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

10th Day of Christmas - Let the Mustard Ring Reign!

On the 10th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Role reversal from the kitchen to sports and TV!
But before we get to that, just a couple of key points:
  • Kat our midwife said today that Holden has (FINALLY!) move to the appropriate position, head down and all… which is great news for more than one reason (I guess I don’t have to do the acupuncture thing now).
  • In case you missed it, Cicely had her baby on Monday and for most accounts baby Faye and mother are doing well. I think they’re keeping them at the hospital to watch Faye’s temperature and Cicely’s blood levels or something for another night or two.
  • Thanks to everyone for their suggestions for Christmas Eve dinner. I’ve spent most of the day preparing and am looking forward to pretending to be an adult tomorrow.
  • Also, we’re at the 35 ½ week mark – Holden’s due a month from today. So a week and a ½ left an apparently if the kid comes early he’ll still be considered “full term.” Huzzah! Hope his new cousin beating him down here doesn’t rush him too much.

OK, back to the role reversal:

That’s right people, I am on the couch, in front of the tube while my hubby is in the next room – even the kitchen!— cooking up a *mustard ring for Christmas Eve dinner whilst I watch the TCU/Boise State Poinsettia Bowl. (When exactly did I begin to care about this game? It was probably about the same time I started liking Danny’s dog… love a man, love his dog, eh?)

Anyway, I adore Boise State… first of all, their colors are my two favorite chakras! The second chakra -- just below the naval at the “creative center” represented by ORANGE; and the throat chakra, represented by Blue (5th Chakra I believe?)

And their win over Oklahoma as a BCS Buster two years ago is going to make a Disney Movie possibly as fun to watch as the High School Musical Trilogy! Isn’t Troy Bolton sooooo dreamy?!?! (I crack myself up).

I should also mention, that the Frog’s are Purple, which of course is the Young Women Value for “Integrity” … so, obviously this is a tough decision. I feel so polarized. ;)

Actually, I am totally cheering for the Horned Frogs… even though I’m a huge fan of the Smurf Turf (ask your husband if you don’t get the reference), I need someone in the Mountain West Conference to pull a win after that Team Down South’s ridiculous performance Saturday night.

Someone help clarify why everyone’s jumping ship from the Max Hall Bandwagon? I mean sure the interception/turnover thing… but find a new scapegoat. Easy target? Sure. But why isn’t anyone calling for Bronco’s head? I mean, two of (if not) THE most important games of the year – the Utes and BYU’s bowl game and the team loses miserably? I say the “quest for perfection” was seriously affected by “the pride cycle.” There’s no “Max Hall” in team…at least there isn’t really anymore apparently. Too bad for the Zoobies.

I’m hoping the Utes can “Hang” with Bama when it’s our turn. I’m not ridiculous enough to believe that we should be favored in this game… but I want Johnson to play consistent, for our defense to NEVER run a “prevent,” Kruger to throw down (whatever that means) and King Louie to reign supreme like he has his entire tenure. I love that guy. I kept telling my sister in law she should date him, but I really like her boyfriend so I gave up on it and just decided to share in my husband’s crush of the guy (yeah, Danny’s way comfortable with his sexuality.)
Long Live King Louie!

Oh my gosh,
the smells from the kitchen are nauseating… Mustard Ring requires Apple Cider Vinegar… it smells like we’re dying easter eggs or something. My eyes are watering… I’m starting to lose consciousness…. Computer screen getting fuzzy…Not sure if I can continue…

If I pass out mid sentence typing, you’ll understand why.

Let’s just close with the quote of the night from my husband, who I told to use the Organic Sugar Cane to make his creation:

“There’s nothing organic about mustard ring.”


*Danny and I do not actually like mustard ring… it looks like congealed mustard jell-O and smells about as good. His family makes it for special occasions whenever they serve ham. We were telling my parents about it and they couldn’t believe such a concoction existed (it also calls for 4 eggs, which with my mom’s allergies would never make it remotely close to my parents kitchen). I hope someone is actually brave enough to try out Danny’s masterpiece tomorrow. It is a time-honored Mangum tradition… we’ll see if the chef is brave enough to try his own creation.

Monday, December 22, 2008

9th Day of Christmas - YEP CICELY HAD HER BABY!

On the 9th Day of Christmas SuiteSpots gave to Me,
A tribute to my younger sister Cicely (and some other stuff she’s inspired).

She just had her baby this morning at 4:30 am!!!! … which totally makes sense of last night’s most wretched sleep ever. I think Holden was anxious about saying goodbye to his cousin and consequently had hiccups and restlessness for the majority of the night.

Cicely’s going to name her baby Faye Suite Cain… so no more Fetus Cain, but the acronym is the same. ;)

I’m sure she’ll announce something publicly as soon as she can walk again… ;)

Cicely ended up having her baby au-natural… pretty cool. I’m proud of her and am anxious to hear more about her process. I mean, she did not decide on an unmedicated birth until like a week ago, so I would say that’s pretty ballsy (also, my dad says I use the word “balls” too much). But it’s Christmas, and "Bulbs" doesn’t have the same effect now does it?

When we were living together (us renting the basement and the Cains upstairs where we occupy now); she was way into this “FlyLady” thing… it’s a website dedicated to gaining self-confidence in your homemaking by keeping your kitchen sink shined or something. So I told Danny I was going to start the program today so instead of beating myself up for only getting 4 or 5 things crossed off my list of 40, I can feel like I’ve actually accomplished something.

So one of the first things they have you do is watch this video that’s supposed to be inspirational showing you clean and shiny sinks and sounds like Janice Kapp Perry wrote the music and lyrics. Now I’m a month away from giving birth – an EMOTIONAL LAND MINE – and I couldn’t stop laughing… You should check it out…

It doesn’t mean I’m not going to do the program… it’s just that I can’t imagine being soooo overwhelmed that watching a slide show of dirty kitchens brings you to tears. (Wait, I've cried over less than that in the past 35-plus weeks), but I am still flummoxed by the whole thing. But Cicely was swearing by the program… and I need to be in good habits before the baby gets here.

Thankfully, since we’ve got a little more space, there’s not as much clutter in our pad--unless you count the Christmas decorations… and GOOD NEWS people! I found the missing Christmas decorations… did I already tell you my Chrismukkah CD showed up? And our Christmas stockings and a couple of other things… so all is well in Zion.

PS. Thanks to those of you who have emailed me recipes, posted here (Al) or sent a message via Facebook…keep them coming! I may just have to do them all and keep ‘em on hand through New years!

Oh and Katie, I’m happy to report the sty is in check… thanks for your advice!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

8th Day of Christmas: A Request for the HomeMakers

On the 8th Day of Christmas, SuiteSpots ASKED from me,
opinions for appetizers or great Holiday recipes…
(skip to the end of the post for details!)

* * *
OK friends, we passed the half-way mark (of the 12 Days from Suite Spots) and I figured I could still make it with the 12th Day actually falling on Christmas(who knows the crazy things I'll be able to blog about then?!?!?!) So thanks for the break yesterday –blogging 7 days straight is exhausting.

I need an appetizer recipe.

Anyway, we're changing things up this year at the (Suite) Mangum home... every year Danny and I spend a THXgiving Day alternating with our two families to be blessed with our presence. And then the other family "gets" us for Christmas Eve. (Christmas Day we kind of just run around and go where the food and the party is at any given time... but we try to keep it to visits to NO MORE than 3 homes... total, between the two sides)

I actually need more than one appetizer recipe.

Anyway, it's a game-plan we actually started during courtship (pre-marriage) and it's worked nicely. The in-laws on both sides don't have false hopes about where we'll be, and we don’t feel guilty for choosing one over the other – the schedule has already identified where we’ll be.

I need a dessert recipe too.

My sisters have kind of adopted a similar deal (to some degree); but Cicely and Cassandra (my sisters) are both living out of state this year… and we spent Thanksgiving with Danny’s family so that means Christmas Eve with my family… which means Danny, moi (and Holden en tote), my parents and Celeste. Just five of us… not Max, Tatum and Miles to help create the Christmas story… we barely have enough for the key players and wise (wo)men…

I need a dessert recipe that doesn’t require eggs.

Christmas Eve tradition -- when we were younger --would mean Christmas-Eve Dinner on my mom’s china, new p.j.’s as our present to open, my Grandpa reading the Christmas story (or reciting it from memory), watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol or the original version and my Dad reading the Polar Express.

Can you send me a recipe?

Cassandra and I would stay up playing Monopoly; and I would lose ridiculously because my only goal would be to get my hands on Boardwalk and Parkplace (even if I had to sell 6 properties for one). I think I’ve adopted a similar philosophy in my current spending habits…but that’s for another day’s discussion.

I would really appreciate it if you would share your Holiday goods.

The point is, Christmas Eve has always been spent at my parents (or if it’s Danny’s fam year, up in Bountiful with 4 generations playing harmonicas and doing talents shows… again, another post, for another day…)

Recipes to share… now that’s the Christmas spirit.

But the thing is, my parents are heading back out the Erie to be with Cicely, Dave, Miles and Fetus Cain (due any day now) on Christmas Day. So Christmas-Eve dinner is not the best idea. So I talked it over with Danny and we suggested hosting Christmas Eve this year… and they ACTUALLY SAID YES! Which I’m so excited about.


So here’s where you come in… my dad bought a ham for dinner, and what goes better with ham than the fat-filled buttery & sour cream goodness of funeral potatoes? My mom’s bringing home made rolls, and wanted to do a salad… so my mom is basically bringing everything anyway… but I need to figure out a side (a vegetable that will work nicely with ham and cheesy potatoes), a dessert and of course two or three appetizers.

Did I mention I need your help?

I’ll break out the Martinelli’s, and I thought Wassil and hot chocolate would be nice for after dinner, but the other pieces are a little fuzzy.

Also, here’s a caveat… my mom is allergic to eggs so NO MAYO or recipes that require egg whites or multiple eggs to work out.

Can you help me out?

You can post your suggestions in the “comments” section or email me directly at ssuitemangum@gmail.com. But we need to act fast! I would like to get the shopping done (AT THE LATELST TUESDAY NIGHT).. but I can still get some things on Wed.

Thanks friends...

Friday, December 19, 2008

7th Day of Christmas: 7 Songs for 7 Brides and 7 Brothers

On the 7th Day of Christmas Sabrena gave to me,

Not really... but I did think I would give you a run down of 7 songs to hear before the New Year.

Just Like Christmas by Low – I was first introduced to this song from Chris Higdon of “Elliott” fame… the band (Elliott, though now defunct) played a key role in shaping my musical interests through the later part of the 90s and the beginning years of y2k. As far as Low is concerned, Higdon couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of them since two of Low’s members “Sparhawk and Parker” are LDS (and practicing members apparently). The song was also featured on “Music From the O.C. Mix 3: Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah” back in 2004. More band info here.

Hallelujah by Rufus Wainright / Leonard Cohen or Jeff Buckley – You can hear a couple of them at NPR’s website by clicking here. Cohen’s version is almost creepy – like I don’t think we’re going to be hearing that version on “Delilah” anytime soon. But kind of a break from the saccharine-sweet pop songs amongst the airwaves today.

12 Days of Christmas/We Wish You a Merry Christmas by John Denver and the Muppets: A standard at the Suites for years (the whole album is worth a listen really). Between this and Chipmunk’s Christmas (checkout “Christmas Time is Here Again” to hear Alvin spouting off about that dang hula-hoop); we had the makings for tree decorating and holiday cheer. When Piggy exclaims her disgust with “Piggy Pudding” in response to Gonzo’s “figgy pudding” cry, it’s only ½ as funny as his retort “Yeah, it’s made with figs – and bacon!” Here's the 12 Days for your viewing pleasure.

It Happened in Sun Valley by Mel Torme: Berfore there was Harry Connick Jr there was Mel. And this delightful version of the theme song from Sun Valley Serenade can be found on his Mel Torme Christmas Songs album. This song is always better if sung with Jazz Hands.

Baby It’s Cold Outside by Dean Martin – Even though I think he sounds like a total sexist in the song, and it’s obvious he's objectifying women and pretty much speaking down to his ‘catch,’ I can’t get enough of this song. It makes me want to dress up in fancy sleek powder blue suits suits with old-school hats and white gloves, heels (maybe even panty hose?) to go to the grocery store and always make sure my lip gloss is freshly applied… well, it makes me think about living that life. And then I stick on yoga pants with a cup of wassil and check out how many friends I have on Facebook. Both lifestyles are gratifying in different ways I guess.

Santa Baby THE Eartha Kitt version. Don’t settle for anything less. You can find it a few different places, but a year or so ago I bought the Louis Armstrong & Friends Album which also includes “Christmas Time in Harlem” which is fun for everyone. One almost forgets she redefined “cougar” with Eddie Murphy in Boomerang back in the 90s.

Technically I’ve given you seven songs already (if you count the Chipmunks bit); but in case you feel cheated, I’ll add ANY version of ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Especially for those of Churchill Junior High Girl’s Choir fame. I think the lyrics went something like this for us:

They’ll be pah-ties for hosting,
mahsh-mallows for toasting and caroling out in the snooooowwwww,
They’ll be scally ghost stolies,
and tales of the glolies of Christmases long long ago…

DROP YOUR JAAAAWWWWWW; and have a vely, melly Christmas…

Bless your heart Ms. Taggart*.

*Sorry to throw and inside joke out there, but for my fellow singers from back in the day… it was too easy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

6th Day of Christmas - My Letter to Santa

On the 6th Day of Christmas Suitespots gave to me
My Christmas list for Santa – baby!

Dear Santa,

I know you’re most likely expecting me to ask for something all philanthropic-ish like World Peace or solving global hunger… and of course those are at the top of my list… but I was thinking that there would be an easier way for me to be an “instrument” in the hands of the divine. I’ve prayed about this (ok, for this is more like it… but you know what I mean), so here it is:

I think you should Make Me Famous.

Ever since I was a little girl and Jaime Lynch and I decided in 3rd grade that we would still be friends “no matter which of us wins Ms. America” I have known FAME is my DESTINY.

Think of all the cool things I could do, I mean Ways I could SERVE, if I were famous…Here’s a few of the great ideas I had:

  • Outfit the less fortunate with a Burberry handbag (if you make me famous enough I’d do Prada, but that seems a little excessive don’t you think?)
  • Buy everyone a hybrid… the really good kind, without the carbon footprint issues.
  • Get iPods with pre-loaded podcasts of upbeat affirmations and positive thinking meditations
  • Yoga for the masses! This would not only help with the growing obesity rates in our country but help to get us "centered" as well.
  • My own radio/TV program! Because what better way to serve than for yours truly to share the happiness that comes from fame?
Obviously it’s a short list right now… I’ve got lots more to add.

And I mean, this isn’t just about me serving… I’m of course aware of how this will affect Holden once he’s out of the womb. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be as cute as any of the Jolie-Pitt kiddos… and aren’t people tired of reading about that “Suri” chick by now anyway? I thought we were boycotting Tom Cruise after all those wretched things he said about Brooke Shields?

Obviously the details can be worked out. In the meantime, if you can’t deliver by Christmas, New Years or Holden’s Birthing Date (January 23rd, give or take a few days) will also work great!

Love you Santa. Thanks in advance for giving a gift the whole universe is surely to prosper from,

Your Biggest Fan

PS. I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but has Ms. Claus got you on some sort of Healthy Life-style regimen yet? I just don’t know if we’re sending our youth the right message with your “weight issue.” Is it stress? Genetic? Hundreds of years of conditioning? You know, I’m a registered Yoga teacher now… I’m happy to help set a course for overall spiritual and physical clarity for you… (and I’ve got some great RATES for the Holidaze!!!) This is the year for you to remake yourself into something a little more “with the times.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5th Day of Christmas -- The Saga Continues

On the 5th day of Christmas the universe gave to me,
A sty from not seeing things clearly…

Seriously, I have a sty in my right eye… it could be from wearing fake eyelashes for two days in a row in an attempt to look hot (yes, I’m obviously overcompensating for my Santa Claus sized mid-section)… but I’m more apt to think it’s caused by something psychological (which is usually my first inclination when anything ails me physically.)

So of course I consulted my Louise L. Hay “You Can Heal Your Life Book,” which I think is pretty much the self-help new age equivalent to Gray’s Anatomy (“Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body,” not so much the TV series with Patrick "Mc.Dreamy" Dempsy.)

It said that eyes represent “the capacity to see clearly – past, present, and future.” And sties and eye problems are “not liking what you see in your own life” or more specifically “looking at life through angry eyes” or being “angry at someone.”


Who knew I had so much anger in my life?!?!? It’s obviously that, because I think I actually really LIKE my life… and I think I have a pretty cool gig right now. But I can see that there maybe some frustrations with a few people in my life that are causing me to look like an ogre (aka “the sty.”)

Fortunately, Ms. Hay does not leave us to venture into the world without some advice for action… her’s comes in the variety of positive thinking. So here are my new affirmations (you can even recite them in the voice of Stuart Smalley if you so desire):
  • I choose to see everyone and everything with joy and love.
  • I see with love and joy.
  • I now create a life I love to look at.
Don’t you feel warm and fuzzy already?

On a separate but similar note, for our male readers having problems with impotence: Ms. Hay also believes the probable cause is any of the following-- sexual pressure, tension, guilt; social beliefs; spite against a previous mate; fear of mother. Try this on for size (pun intended?):
  • I now allow the full power of my sexual principle to operate with ease and joy.
"Sexual principle"...Hmmm, so that’s what the kids are callin’ it these days?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

4th Day of Christmas

On the 4th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
A chance to get caught up on days one through three. ;)

Catch you up tomorrow!
Love - ssm

Due to peer pressure (my sister said the above was the lamest post ever), I've decided to update.Danny officially started a blog... the name is uncanny:

The Rebuttal as in "The Rebuttal to SuiteSpots."

You should check it out... there's a horrible David Hasslehof (sp?) video that for some reason he and all his work cronies find hilarious. I don't get it...

Monday, December 15, 2008

3rd Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me;
A website making fun of my personality.

So my true love didn’t actually turn me onto this website, but my cousins did – and they love me, so it’s kind of appropriate.

Stuff White People Like

I’m sure most of you have already heard about it… but the latest entry is full of Holiday fun. Ever been to an ugly sweater party? Yeah, the response is not so much a yes/no… but more like, how many you’ve been too...

The only thing better would be if there was a Mormon version attached to this entry… because for Mormons, Sweater-Noggers are not about avoiding “religiosity” , it’s about being ironic… which in the end, is the exact point these bloggers make.

Just a sampling of why this site speaks to me… and why it’s so embarrassing that so much of it is true. ;)

The list:
  • #94 Free Healthcare – um hello?!? Basically the #1 reason I was a supporter of Hillary in the primary.
  • #92 Book Deals – what can I say? I dream of one!
  • #91 San Francisco – One of the first “trips” Danny and I took together (after I had been in wine country – Sonoma county)
    (That's Alcatraz behind us... so romantic!)
  • #90 Dinner Parties – I love these so much. I would have one every other week if I had the energy and resources. I (not so) secretly hope they’ll turn out like Catherine Zeta-Jones character in High Fidelity

    Dinner party with friends Alyssa and Christianne -- this was a while ago.

  • #87 Outdoor Performance Clothes – My husband is way more guilty of this one that moi, but it’s totally worth a read… especially in Utah.
  • #82 Hating Corporations – So easy to do philosophically; so much harder when you’re actually the spokesperson for one…
  • #75 Threatening to Move to Canada – Only Danny and I were a little more set on France than Up North if McCain won. ;)
See, we totally look great in paris! (Us in front of the Louvre).

  • #67 Standing Still at Concerts – I’m not much of a concert goer these days… but in my pre-Danny life it was pretty much at staple when I was living at Kilby Court.
  • #63 Expensive Sandwiches – This one is hard, because I also think white people love to hate carbs (or at least pretend like they do)… so there’s a total conflict of interest with this one.
  • #62 Knowing What’s Best for Poor People – Just try not to smile while reading their take.
  • #57 Juno – hello halloween costumes?!?!
  • #48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops – The best line: "White people need organic food to survive."
  • #44 Public Radio – "why [would] people who can afford TVs and have access to Youtube...spend hours listening to the opinions of overeducated arts majors." I'm a junkie for NPR. Danny says I blast it in my car like most people do for hip-hop/rap.
  • #42 Sushi – My 5-year old niece told her pre-school teacher her favourite food was sushi. Apparently hipsters come in all shapes and sizes.
  • #41 Indie Music – Wow, guilty as charged… though ever since I got married and quit my Spin and Rolling Stone Mag subscriptions, it’s hard to keep up.
  • Some others that make the list: Arrested Development, Daily Show/Colbert Report, David Seadris (just saw him in concert), Yoga (of course) Wes Anderson Movies (Danny hated Royal Tennenbaums… I love it!), and to round off the list there’s: Barack Obama,
    Organic Food & Farmer’s Markets and Film festivals (we felt so swanky when we say "Thank you for Smoking" at Sundance with our fancy tickets and rock star parking).

    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    2nd Day of Christmas:Oh Tannenbaum!

    On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
    A real - NOT AN ARTIFICAL - tree (well, he actually got it for me earlier this week).

    This year, the real Holiday dilemma was the Christmas Tree. Last year we had kind of made the decision it was our last time to cut down mother earth for our own Holiday joy. (Do you think sap is like, tears of joy or sadness?)

    So I was on the search for a fake tree. (I wasn’t very motivated.) Fake trees are expensive – even at Costco! And they don’t smell good; and where am I going to store the thing I use one month out of the year? And they’re “all”…. Well fake! I spent enough of my teenage years being fake – I don’t need anymore superficial things in my life. I’ve been trying to feng shui in my thirties.

    By the way, the other Christmas ornaments (outside of those for decorating our tree) have disappeared. That’s right -- stockings, our Christmas CD's and the little silver Santa and snowman we’d place on the mantle to hang said stockings – AWOL. I find that a little odd. But back to the tree dilemma.

    So I’m at the Yoga studio on Monday, and Marta -- the front desk gal -- asks me if we’ve got our tree yet. And I tell her how I’m dragging my feet because we’re trying to be eco-conscious (Suite family tradition is usually to get the tree on the Friday after THXgiving and decorate all day Saturday while listening to the Muppets & John Denver Christmas)…and I haven’t really found a tree that we like, and they’re so expensive, and I want pine needles, but it’s a no-go. . . blah, blah, blah, blah.

    And so she gets totally excited and tells me about how it’s actually more green to get a tree from a TREE FARM than a fake one because of the PVC’s and carcinogens.

    “…fake trees are made with polyvinyl chloride (or PVC, otherwise known as vinyl), one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic.” --From ask.com

    And then there’s the lead concerns, the production in China, etc, etc. Apparently a lot more people knew this than moi… Even our renters knew about this – and they’re Republicans! ;) What can I say? I’m a late bloomer on the issue. But enlightenment is a process, eh? ☺

    Oh and btw, if you have an artificial tree, this is absolutely not a judgment…merely a statement that my personal desire for an evergreen in my living room is a Christmas dream come true (sans the guilt!!!). And in the interest of full disclosure, if we were super-hippie tree huggers, than we’d buy one that’s still planted with roots, keep it for just 4 – 10 days (because that’s about as long as they last indoors apparently) and then replant outside in our yard. Apparently that’s the greenest thing to do… but we’re not quite there yet…

    Happy Holidays.. Here's a shot of Danny and I taken after the Zions National Real Estate Christmas Party Friday night.

    And here's me infront of our "Christmas Village." It's actually Danny's. He said his grandma gave it to him for Christmas when he was like 10 or something.

    For more info on the great Christmas Tree debate, here are some world-wide-intraweb sites to check-out:

    Oregon Live
    Cool Blogger from Oregon


    Christmas Countdown: 1st Day of Christmas

    On the First day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
    A session with Shiva at Flow Yoga S-L-C.

    That’s right, Shiva Rea, Shakti goddess and master teacher graced Salt Lake with her presence this weekend, and I was there to receive! She’s doing classes all weekend, but one 3-hr session was a perfect dose for this yoga mama.

    (I want you to know it took some serious cojones to share this with you… but as part of my spiritual awakening and getting comfortable with my new size, I figure baring the belly is the best way to do it! Besides, I originally took the photos to find something for the Make and Takes article I’m writing.)

    Anyway, back to Shiva.

    She’s such an insightful and spiritually sound teacher. In yoga, lineage is a big deal… and so my teacher, Jami Larson at Flow, has received a lot of her teachings from Shiva (Rea, though the Hindu god has also played a key role for anyone involved in the practice). So I guess you could say she’s my teacher’s teacher.

    Shiva created Trance Dance (check it out on her website). And before you just jump to the conclusion that she adopted the name Shiva as some sort of awakening once she “found” yoga, she was actually given her Indian name by her surfer father. That led to the beginning of her lifelong study of yoga at a young age.

    I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to receive from her today. Like I mentioned, class was about 3 hours and I had to make a lot of adjustments in the practice, but it was totally worth it. This woman travels all over the world sharing her truth and teachings… she gave me some great advice about pregnancy/birthing. During class, she kept referring to me as Pregnant Goddess which does wonders for the self esteem… and after class she even rubbed and blessed my belly/baby.

    The "Bhagavad Gita," in explaining the process of birth/reincarnation* says:
    Reaching the heaven of righteous
    after uncountable years
    that man will be born again
    to parents who are upright and wealthy.

    He may even
    be born to parents
    who have practiced yoga
    and are wise,
    a birth as fortunate as this
    is more difficult to obtain
    [6.41 - 6.42]

    Namaste yogis. Holden will be blessed.

    *This is not an endorsement of reincarnation from me. But I do believe that we have always existed in some form, and that what we do in each stage of our being determines where we will be in the “next round.”

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    TFO – Is that txt-speak for TOTALLY FREAKING OUT?

    If not, it should be. For those of you NOT ridden with angst, I’ve compiled a list of things that are making my blood pressure rise… as documented at my Midwife appointment yesterday (feel free to skip around to a header that interests you if you don’t have the time to entertain ALL my ramblings… hmm, as if you needed my permission to do so).

    The Freaking Snow – I don’t know when I stopped loving the snow. There are pics galore of me as a child playing in it. But I think my distaste mostly happened in college when I had to drive long stretches in it, and someone hit me in it (or I hit them… details are a little fuzzy still from my freshman year). Maybe it was driving from SLC to SGU coming home from THXgiving a few years ago… it took 8 hours for that trip. True, Danny helped me appreciate the white stuff when he got me into skiing again, but I mostly enjoy the “idea” of a ski va-cay. (He says I judge a ski resort by it’s Lodge/food. Is that a problem?) Besides, I’m not super fantastic at skiing, and even when I started getting decent last season from that “Zen Ski and Yoga Camp” last year, my progress has been significantly halted this year by the bun in the oven. (Obviously I’d rather not ski than take a risk with Holden). So my neighborhood looks like a winter wonderland after yesterday’s DUMP, and I mostly think it’s frightful… not so much delightful.

    Freaking Technology (mainly that I don’t/won’t have it anymore)…Goodbye Berry – that’s right, I’m turning my CrackBerry back into SkyWest while on this hiatus/break/interregnum (call it what you will… although, I think “interregnum” sounds a little PG-13ish.) I’m swapping out for a cheap mobile phone from days past that I.T. has left over… because let’s face it… I can’t really afford to keep fancy technology around when we’re living on one income. Dreams of an iPhone would take a Christmas miracle… and let’s be honest here people, I’m actually in more of a need for a crib for Holden than a 3G in life…right? (So the only “3G” world I’m living is paying off the $3K’s we spent on Christmas last year! Which brings me to….)

    Living on One Freaking Income – (Enter Expletives Here!) It totally sounded possible in theory. But then I actually looked at what the theory’s “numbers” were, and was thinking… hmm, I’m going to have to give up more than facials and designer handbags. Maybe even Aveda shampoo?!?!? (Well, let’s not do anything drastic, just yet.) Yep, kinda freaking out a little bit. At least gas prices are down… so that’ll help a little. I really need to find some writing jobs again on the side, or something to supplement the household income. Don’t get me wrong, Danny’s got a great set up at Zions… and we’re totally thankful for it, and I’m super proud of him for finding and working a grown-up job… but we’ve been spoiled. Soooo, no more shopping sprees, spa days, and we certainly won’t be eating out 5 times or more a week. I might actually have to cook.

    • O.M.G. (gosh, obviously). I am going to have to start cooking again?!?! It’s definitely time to start working a little more on those “deep breathing and relaxation techniques.” I am obviously going to need them for more than childbirth.

    Saturday, December 6, 2008

    M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-u-s-e!

    So friends, we have returned from Orlando.  I FINALLY got some sun... and Danny said, (and I think it's pretty hilarious), he said, "I think the sun will be good for your face." Turns out, I'm not the only one that's noticed that the bottom part of my face looks like I have two chins (one of them is apparently just an acne tumor.)  I make Danny sound way worse than the comment actually was, but it still sounded hilarious. 

    OK, so some pics... We hit up Florida for a week, flew first class compliments of American Express points traded for SkyMiles (thank you SkyWest Airlines Expense reports!) Cassandra (my older sister) and her family met us there, and even my parents joined us for a few days. Here are some of the highlights. 

    Below: Tatum Suite Smith gettin' stoked for "Small World"... 
    the tune is still playing in my head. 
    Max Davis Smith... blue tongue at one of the Magic Kingdom restaurants... I can't remember what it's from (oh, blue sprinkles in his ice cream, perhaps?), but he was pretty proud of it.
    Danny -- double-fisting the churros. 
    He also got Max hooked on the things. 
    Here Max is getting one from his Dad.  He will get another from Danny in about 2 hours, and then ask for one again about an hour later. 
    The only thing better than deep fried goodness?  
    Oh yeah, GIANT hats!

    Man, Donald may have a speech impediment... 
    but he sure is cuddly. 
    I kept asking Danny to be in the pictures with the theme park personalities... he said, "I didn't take pictures with them when I was a kid.  Why would I do it now?" But some how I talked him into posing with the gang. 

    And this is how we all felt at the day's end... but Max felt this way by lunch time (he's actually sleeping on the table).  
    Yeah, he conked out and we couldn't resist the photo-op. 
    Movie Madness: The first is the production of Beauty and the Beast. Tatum (Cassandra's daughter, my niece) and I went and got in line early while the rest of the crowd hit up Rockin' Rollercoaster with Fast Passes.  Tatum was chosen to be a special "princess" at the end of the show.  She was presented a rose from the cast... The last time being front-row-joe paid off this much was attendting the Kenny Loggins concert in Mesquite... talk about craziness. ;)

    Next is pool time fun with Danny and the Kids... He's got to be the coolest uncle in the world. 

    And now, it's Tatum's turn....