Monday, August 31, 2009

The Republicans Send me a Letter...

A couple of weeks ago, I got a surprising piece of mail – it was officially titled ‘Republican Senate Leadership Survey.’ It was addressed to me – well sort of “Sabrena Mangum.” (Am I mistaken in assuming the Republicans don’t really go for hyphenated females? Is this part of their platform? I know my church had a hard time understanding it…)

So they send me this letter, and among other things it says:

“…The only truly effective way for our Party to regain the ability to shape the policies coming out of Washington is to elect more Republicans to the U.S. Senate in 2010.

That’s why I MUST find out – as soon as possible – where loyal grassroots Republicans like you stand on the most important issues facing our nation today.”

Oh goodie! Someone’s asking for my opinions!?!?!


So the accompanying survey? It has all these great questions like:

“In general, are you pleased with the direction of our nation?”
“Do you believe public schools k-12, should be funded by the federal government?”
“Are you in favor of creation of a new federal government bureaucracy to oversee and administer healthcare insurance, set prices for health services and act as the ‘single payer’ of all healthcare expenses?”

Um… Sure!

Ok, I actually responded ‘yes’ but I was hoping they’d let me add comments. I mean no one’s happy about the Great Recession, job loss, global warming, etc… but as far as the DIRECTION of our Nation? Well, I feel like we’ve take a u-turn from the Bush Administration, and that direction change I am definitely happy about.)

They continue with questions that ask me to grade the importance of issues like:
- “Stopping the expansion of federal welfare programs”
- “Scrutinizing Obama’s Judicial nominees”
- “Stopping Passage of amnesty for illegal immigrants”

All to which I responded ‘not important.’

I actually had a blast filling this thing out. I even made Danny answer it not knowing how I responded just to see how we line up … pretty equally yoked I’d say. (We only had three different answers – but the same ideology governed our choice.)

So then they asked me what other issues I thought were important – running the gamut from Economic Agenda, Retirement Security, Homeland Security, Foreign Policy, Family Agenda, Social Issues, and the Future of the Republican Party.

So I put ’Universal Single Payer Public Health Care’ (Universal and Public are much more pleasant words than ‘government bureaucracy’ eh?) and of course “the environment and fighting global warming.” How surprised was I to find no questions asking about ‘happy feet’ and the polar ice caps?!?!?

I get it that Republicans and Conservatives love this country just as much as their Blue-counterparts across the line… But when they asked:
“Will you help build a strong foundations of Republican grassroots support to ensure the future of the Republican Party and the conservative principles that we champion?”

I looked to Nancy Regan and her ‘war on drugs’ in the 80s so I could ‘JUST SAY NO.”

By the way, I just picked up the day’s USPS and “MS. SABRENA MANGUM” has received more mail! This one is titled the “STOP OBAMA SURVEY.” Man I love giving feedback – especially about politics. Is it Christmas time already?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer of Love - Updates

So I finally downloaded our August escapades.

New Pics of Holden (HERE)...Mostly just him eating solids, but it's been a fun summer. Don't blink or you'll miss him smiling - and the entire clip!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What I Like About You

I heart Amanda Bynes.

Call me insane, but I think she's got great got comedic timing... and while her movies may not be shows that come with much depth, I never feel worse for watching them. And I think (What I Like About You), that was the name of her TV show...with Kelly from the Old School 90210;but that's not what this is about.

Mr. Holden, What I like about you at 6 months is an entirely different story (figured I ought to get this down since you turn 7 months in about a week.) We just returned home from an INTENSE trip to Bear lake. I say intense because anytime we do anything with your cousins (the Smith's) life takes on an even more grueling pace.

Prior to hanging out with your Aunt Sassa, I felt I had some semblance of being fairly accomplished and busy until you put me up against Cassandra (older sister for those of you just joining our blog-fam)... her pace is like the P-Diddy of Moms. She's driven, fit and she's ALWAYS busy. . .And always finding some way to work-out. Eeek!)

So Mr. Holden, my point is, I can't keep up with her at 31, as a 6 month old -- I think you did splendidly. 4 -6 hours a day on the boat (no beach time for heaven's sake... we're burnin' daylight!) You loved putting your feet in the water, and even though infant life vests seemed to be specifically designed to make you feel uncomfortable, you did fine.

I am grateful Auntie Cassandra suggested bringing your car seat onboard though -- turned out to be the only way you'd sleep (and sleep you did!) I'm still fascinated you could sleep aboard with the soundtrack to HSM3 blaring and the jolt and start-stop of a jimmy-jammer. (PS. Your cousin Tatum can ride that thing for like 45 minutes. Is that normal for 6 years old?!?!?)

So back to the original point at hand: What I Like About You Mr. Holden?

I really think my favorite thing is...
Besides that you smile when I sing the first three letters of the Alphabet song?
Or that you are a rolling fool?
Or that You Mona Lisa Smile when I sing the Lullaby Song to you for sleep time?

Or that You don't seem to like organic carrots but seem to enjoy lemons and tart plums?
Or that you are starting to push up to all fours in a wanna-be down dog?
Or that you can giggle-squeal-laugh pretty much on demand now?

Or that random strangers at restaurants make comments about your good-natured disposition?
Or that while few-and-far between, you are finding a voice to cry when something really isn't right?
Or that you have a love of cell phones and all things 'electronic device?'
Or that you love paper (especially at the doctor's office) and plastic (such that everyday I say to you smiling in
motherease 'Paper is not a toy, remember?')
Or that you love to rock it in high chairs when we go out to eat? (I wipe EVERYTHING down of course.)

Or that you're sitting up on your own -- with or without a Boppy?
Or that honeydo pureed and frozen served to you in a clean sock is one of your favorite treats?

I'm sad that you don't snuggle as much to eat anymore... but I understand, there's a whole world to see and the bottom of my chin is probably getting old after 1/2 a year.

I can't believe you're over 18 lbs. Everyone told me you'd grow fast, and it's already happening -- that brings a little wet in my eyes.

What I like about you, Mr. Holden, is that everyday you teach me something new about patience, about the incredible capacity of the heart to expand beyond comprehension and I am so blessed as to be called your mother...

PS. Also, no offense, but I don't really 'heart' the new solid food diapers...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When It's Easy being Green - Episode 1

So as of late, I've been thinking about how there are sooooo many more things I could be doing to better respect God's Creation (i.e. Be Green!)

I blame/attribute this to Holden. I want him to grow up strong, healthy and be able to enjoy the the simple beauties life has to offer -- mountains, lakes, streams, sun rises and sunsets... I want him to have clean drinking water and freh air to breathe. I want him to know what a real tomato tastes like; and understand that 'juice' is not made from a can/package... but God created the best variety, just grab an orange and squeeze.

Like the majority of middle america, is experiencing the Recession Squeeze. So I thought I would take a moment and start with the 'green options' at a cost effective price point. Because in my studies, and reading, etc; it's pretty obvious to me that green living shouldn't cost more... it should SAVE you money.

So today's featured go-go green:

Canvas Bags
at the grocery store/Costco/etc...

"If just 5% of the population purchased a set of reusable bags, and used them exclusively, we could save 5.5 billion paper and plastic bags his year and in turn save 700,000 trees and 600,000 barrels of oil." -From

This is such an easy one, assuming you remember to bring them in. When I have small purchases, since I'm usually 'wearing' Holden at the grocery store anyway, I don't even have to mess with a cart. The groceries can go right in the bags (and I get a nice little forearm/bi-cep workout)... another bonus, most grocery stores offer a discount for bringing your own bags AND they are so much easier to carry. (Plus they hold more with out ripping/tearing, meaning less 'trips' to unload the car when you return home.)

Besides, who knew they were so cache?

Holden and I head to BEar lake this morning - hoping the weather is nice for the weekend so Danny joins us. I'm sure I'll send a 'tweet' or two...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Randoms, Again

So I should either be:

a) 'pumping' (sorry for the details)
b) painting my cabinets (I decided yesterday I wanted my kitchen cabinets white)
c) sleeping (no explanation needed, I'm a mom)
d) all of the above, none of which include blogging.

We returned from Lagoon (it's what fun is) a couple of hours ago. For the record, it is not the most desirable place to take a 6 month old who ONLY rides in a stroller about once a month. (Did Dr. Sears write a book on 'attachment parenting for amusement parks?!?!?)

I brought the sling -- just in case -- and was very grateful I had it (and that after 3 - 4 hours my mom somehow got Holden to fall asleep in the 'baby pusher.')

Plus it was blazin' hot... and even with a mister (i.e. spray bottle) and "momsicles" (ask Wikky H(2), wink wink), I still couldn't get his cheeks to turn anything but a flushed pinkish red.

The poor guy couldn't get comfortable... was tired, hot and the flower beds smelled oddly like manure. I am happy to report only one mullet sighting for the day; and I didn't see one couple sporting the 'I'm with Stupid' shirt! I'm thinking Lagoon's target audience/demographic has changed. (Any fellow Utahns care to weigh in?)

So yeah, I really should be painting my cabinets. I decided yesterday I wanted them white, so Danny came home to the beginning stage of my 'project' that probably has another 24 hours to go. (I am thankful for 'Fresh Aire' paint -- no icky smell, no harm to Holden/the world -- but doesn't anyone make a NO VOC primer too? The stuff takes a few more coats, if you know what I mean.)

Danny returns from Scout Camp/Jackson Hole tomorrow. We miss him.

Good Night all...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

'Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle'

In Junior High many moons ago, in a nondescript corner of the east side of Salt Lake City, a junior high english teacher introduced a book of poems to a bunch of pimply-faced and angst ridden youth: “Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle.”

I don’t remember much about the book, though I think there was a poem inside with the same title.

But at the time, watermelon pickle sounded delightful. To me, it wouldn’t be sour or have that pungent vinegar taste--like cucumber pickles or pickled beets. In my mind, it would be sweet: almost as if you could pickle something with a simple syrup … pure sugar delight. To me, it was going to taste like the love-child of watermelon bubblicious and fresh cotton candy.

So I asked my Grandma if she had ever made watermelon pickle. I don’t remember how the conversation went, but I’m sure I got her all excited about the project; and as a result we agreed it would be a delightful undertaking for both of us.

So, she went to work. She bought the watermelon, but I was too busy to join her for the beginning stages. And then she cut the watermelon, and prepped the watermelon, and fixed the rinds, and eventually pickled the watermelon… without me. Not that I hadn’t been invited for each step of the process.Oh the invitation was there. But I was too busy (or so I thought).

Sometimes I picture her in the basement of our house (her home at the time)…in the kitchen where her canning and bottling and mending took place – slaving away over watermelon pickle her ungrateful, punk-of-a-teenage-granddaughter thought would be such a fun experiment. (I’m not proud of it – quite embarrassed actually...but blogging can be a great catharsis.)

It breaks my heart to see her in my mind's eye: prepping and working, delaying each step so I can be a part of the process... but I never showed.

Oh Grandma, I am so, so sorry. I was young, and stupid, and didn’t realize that someday you’d be gone.

After she had completed “our” project, she served the watermelon pickle for dinner on a special occasion following… it was probably a birthday dinner she had prepared for me or something.

I thought the watermelon pickle was actually pretty gross.
It wasn’t the candied delight I had pictured in my mind. It was sour, and intense and tasted very ‘pickled.’ But fortunately, she gave me another jar. And to my knowledge, it hasn't been opened; and I'm not interested in tasting it again. The lessons that jar provide have nothing to do with taste. I reflect on my gift of watermelon pickle, hope that Grandma has forgiven me, and remember that life is too precious not to cherish the time we have with those we love while they’re here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Stroller Debate

Happiness is wearing your baby and being a co-sleeping hippie.

Talk amongst yourselves...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help (for your hair) in the Recession -OR- FREE HAIR CUTS! (plus tip)

So I heard on (NPR's) Diane Rehm the other day that the political heads-and-such are referring to our current economic trauma as 'The Great Recession.' (As opposed to the Great Depression, which I was convinced I had a case of apres college: turns out I was just recovering from living in Happy Valley and as a consequence ended up listening to Elliott Smith too much...)

Any-who: Feel like the economy's got you cutting back on everything?

Call Kerri! 801.859.5542

Well my pretties, just because the money tree isn't growing this season, it does not mean your hair needs to suffer. (I should talk, I finally got mine trimmed for the first time postpartum.)


Call Kerri! 801.859.5542

Ever heard me talk about Logan?

Here we are at cutting a rug at my wedding reception...
I found Logan less than two months after Danny and I started dating; and he's been a staple in my life ever since:
  • sleek blowouts
  • bridals (not "up-do's" pray-tell... just lush locks")
  • my wedding & reception
  • cuts
  • and of course, 'girl talk' (aka stylist-client-chat)
Call Kerri! 801.859.5542
In fact, he took me from here:
(these pics are repeats)

To here:

Locks of Love was, needless to say, loving it...

So, what does this have to do with the recession?

Call Kerri! 801.859.5642

Well lovelies, Logan's got himself an apprentice. Say it with me - "HUZZAH!"

"Kerri" is in her seventh month of apprenticeship and is currently offering FREE cuts, blowouts and the like (you just pay tip)... PLUS, color? Well, you just cover the cost of the color, but her time, attention and creative process are FREE (again, just a nice tip so you're not being tacky, dear).

So, she's only got this offer for a couple of months so CALL HER! She gave me her private cell to book appointments 801.859.5542. (I told her I was going tell all my SL friends; and she's thrilled to get your call.)

She'll do your hair at the Sugarhouse Landis Aveda locale (swanky, swanky!) And if you're the least bit worried about her not being ABSOLUTELY FAB-U-LOUS, Logan endorses her... and that's enough for me.

He actually told me, when I asked if he'd 'fix things' if it didn't work out, he just smiled (looking at me with a "crazy child" grin), laughed softly and said, "I won't need to, I mean 'sure.' But I won't need to. She's more type A than I am."


The Fine Print
*Offer good in Salt Lake only and for a limited time. Out-of-towners will need to fly in to visit me and take advantage of this 'friends of Sabrena' discount!

Reception Perfection

So along with 3 years of marriage, also comes the anniversary of our reception.

Yes, we were married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 1st... part two of the day's events included a lovely dinner and program at the Salt Lake Country Club with about 100 of our closest friends and family.

It was a day of perfection -- spiritual, intimate and lovely.

That night we drove to Park City and spent the next 48 hours or so getting to know each other (absolutely in the Biblical sense!)

Then August 4th, we hosted (what I thought was) the best party of my life. More than 500 people joined us in down town Salt Lake: wish us well, laugh, smile...

... eat (still wishing I had had one of those tarts! You never really get a chance to taste the food at your own reception, eh?)..

...Enjoy an otter pop (it was August, for heaven's sake!)...

The Parker Childs
...enjoy some cotton candy...
The Chad Ingebretsen

..or take home a parting gift (Danny's favorite).

We were intent on trying to steer clear of a 'typical' Mormon reception. I think we pulled it off. My only regrets are not dancing with my father -- I didn;t think he wanted to, but later found out he'd have been more than willing, and that I failed to get real-time video...but the 300 pictures tell a pretty good story.

For those who haven't seen them on facebook:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

For My Husband (huzzah for 3 years!)

My friends often tease me about referring to Danny as 'my husband.' When we were engaged, I took every opportunity to call him 'my fiance' and took great delight (pre-engagement) to referring to him as 'my boyfriend.' Now I mostly refer to him as 'my baby's daddy.'

But seriously, it's been 3 years of marriage -- to date -- with this incredible man, and I figure it's about time to remind him of why and how much I love him. (as any wife, or husband with a baby in the home knows, your dynamic shifts... and Danny's been a trooper as I have been figuring out how to make both of the males in my life know they are #1... though truthfully, Danny's been getting the shaft lately.)

So sweetie, here goes:

**Note to readers not named Daniel G. Mangum, some of these are obviously inside jokes
  • "I love you like I love blueberry pancackes."
  • I'm so glad you chose me.
  • Thanks for airport pick-ups with Figi Water and Signage.
  • Thanks for the BEST ENGAGEMENT ever... even with a 4-hour airport/airplane delay.
  • I love that you got me back into snow skiing (and that you find a way to enjoy it with me even though you're so good and I am....well, not so good).
  • Thanks for your patience -- I know I'm crazy, and so does everyone else.
  • You make the best fajitas.
  • Here's to feather dusters and galoshes.
  • Thanks for the GINORMOUS (non-IKEA) mirror (I especially loved it in our downtown apartment.)
  • You're a good little yogi - even if you don't like it -- thanks for letting me try it on for size.
  • Thanks for giving me Holden.
  • I heart your yogi toes.
  • I love that when I started dating you (and even on our wedding day) you looked like a teenager... (not in a creepy way, but back then you were soooo young.) 22 and me 28?!?? What were we thinking... it's waaaaay different now, eh?
  • Here's to Sun Valley, progressive politics and our dream for Universal Health Care!!!
  • Falling in love with you was the EASIEST thing I've ever done.
  • You're the BEST travel partner in the world: Eden, California, Denver, Florida, Paris, Switzerland, St. George, Powell... wherever you are, I want to be.
  • It's awesome that no matter how fat I get, you find the positive (i.e. "hmm, bigger chest? Sweet."
  • Thank you for telling me I'm beautiful even when I don't believe it and am convinced you need your eyes checked.
  • You're an incredible athlete... sorry I'm such an idiot on the tennis court.
  • Thanks for being an active participant in the raising of OUR child. I love that there is nothing I do for Holden that you can't/won't do...
  • Thanks for our home, and for cheerfully enduring my 'stuff.'
I love you babe. Happy Anniversary.