Monday, November 29, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Twenty-Nine

An open letter to the toddler residing in my home that may or may-not be named Holden:

Dear Sir,

Please forgive the ridiculous behavior of yours truly today. It really is inexcusable; that someone as old as me could have a fuse so short. What separates me from the animals? Apparently nothing. You deserve better.

I fail you so often.

Fortunately for both of us, I once read that long term memory doesn't set in until closer to three. Hopefully, I'll have things better figured out by then. But chances are - not really.

It's not that I forget that you're (not yet) two. It's just that I haven't spent a great deal of time detailing exactly how 22-month olds (give or take 2 days?) act/react. So I expect too much. I expect rationale and reasoning and you to not hit people or things when you need attention. I expect you to communicate mild mannerly (assuming you have inherited this genetic predisposition from your father, because it certainly doesn't come from me.)

I expect you...

To enjoy getting your hair cut?
To walk next to me a the grocery store (seriously, even for a gallon of milk, why didn't I just put you in the cart?)
To completely ignore the stack of blocks on the side of the room at yoga that beg for destruction?
To leave the instructor's bag alone when beanie babies are falling out of the top?
To not want marshmallows? (I'm still upset with your grandpa for introducing you to those food-like monstrosities.)
To not be upset when you're nap has obviously been cut short and the only thing you ate for lunch was noodles?
To want to wear mittens because it's 'better' for you?


What's wrong with me?
Why am I not more patient?
Why am I not better?

How can I feel like I have failed you so early when our journey has barely begun?

Please forgive me.
Please be patient with me.

I promise to do better.

I am so thankful for you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Twenty-Eight

OK, the path of not-so-dedicated posting has continued... can I make them up for extra credit? Is later better than never. Do posts filled with more than one piece of gratitude make up for the lack of days? Is it more important to keep the number of posts consistent or is it more about my conscience saying "you said you would post every day" that is really the issue?

Only time will tell.

Right now I am in the play room with my toddler who is sporting his red "Utes" sweatshirt and holding onto his Ute football, rolling around the ground pretending to recover a fumble (our Friendters' bedroom is directly below. I bet they are thrilled with this at 7 am on a Sunday morning. But like Q said, "He's so cute he can get away with a lot more." (So true.)

Let me get right to the point on this snowy Sunday morning in the S-L-C. (Since I've been babbling for the past 3 paragraphs).

After Saturday Night's Game. The girl taking the picture was so cold and excited she couldn't stop shaking; so this is the best photo-op we got. :)

(Of course) I 'm grateful the Utes won.
I'm thankful I got to spend the game in the company of my husband.
I'm thankful for the 7th-row 50-yard line seat hook-up from my old man.
I'm grateful for the two zoobie fans sitting next to us that were civil and good-natured.
(Danny and I are ALWAYS next to someone from that team down south when we go to the Holy War Game...doesn't matter if it's the muss or crimson club 50-yard line. How does that happen?)
I'm grateful for those handwarmers that I stuck in the bottom of my boots so my piggie-toes didn't get frost bite.
I'm grateful for hot chocolate (really the only thing worth consuming at a ball game..I tried the pizza, gag!)
And I'm thankful for Brandon Burton.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving- soft star

(This was supposed to be posted on Tues; but I never got to it...)

I love Soft Star Shoes. And yes, I love Robeez too. But I feel like Soft Star are the greatest parts of Robeez , but functionally superior.

Check out these. Who wouldn't want these delicious boots for their toddler to use in inclement weather. (Right now, Holden's sporting a pair of galoshes he can hardly walk in.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Twenty-Two

Thankful for Liberty Heights Fresh...because this is the place making it possible for our free-range LOCAL turkey this year for Thanksgiving! We pre-ordered last month; and I am stoked about it. They come from White Farms in Perry, Utah. Michael Pollan wold be so proud.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Twenty-One

Thankful for the first 'real snow.' Holden was so bummed the first time Danny went out to shovel walks and clear the driveway. We made sure he had a chance to try out winter's frosting for himself.

He likes how it tastes.
He hated coming back inside.
We need to rethink his hand-wear.

(Sorry, the pictures aren't very good. But you get the idea.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Twenty

It's late; and I can't really focus on one singular thing right now... so I'll just say the gratitude list goes something like this:

  • A busy Saturday with my guys
  • A morning my workout is in before 10
  • Moisture (in the air, on my body, and so forth)
  • Harry Potter
  • How adorable Holden looks in a Ute Baseball cap
  • The beginnings of a playroom
  • Water
  • Pumpkin bowling in my living room (no just kidding, I really can't stand this...but Holden sure enjoys it. My centerpiece and 'mantle' decorations suffer because of it though)
  • A Ute football win
  • Contacts
  • My parents in town.
  • Toe stand in yoga
  • Food co-ops
  • Pasta Salad
  • A new FIVE GUYS down the street (this could be bad though)
  • A chivalrous husband
  • Holden's trusting demeanor with strangers (could be a bad thing too; but I love it when I'm around)
  • Holden on the Utah Basketball jumbotron for the "Boogie Cam"
  • Liberty Heights Fresh (hmm, I think this one deserves it's own post. More on that later)
  • Blackberry Jam
  • Only 10 days left of mandatory daily blogging!

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Nineteen (Seriously, it's the 19th?!?!?)

So I've said it before, but I'll say it again.

I'm grateful for these two books. They have changed my life, (not mention my waistline). At the beginning of the year, I was weighing in around 160-something pounds. That's more than 10 lbs over the BMI for my height: well in the 'overweight' category.

Sure there was baby-weight; but even before Holden was born, I vacillated between 150 and 155 lbs from 'happy-married' weight. Waaaaaaay too much for my 5' 5" frame.

It's not like I was carrying the muscle mass I did as I collegiate athlete.

But then I found running (well, a way to run without getting injured); and a sustainable way of eating...for betterment of my body and the environment. (Thankfully, I never really went on 'a diet". Maybe that's the difference.... because of course I needed room for cupcakes occasionally.)

I am happy to report as part of this journey (sustainable eating, running and a lot of yoga) I am weighing in at 137 (well, that's what I was today)... of course it fluctuates a pound or two either way.

I am still hoping to lose more; and would like to continue to tone up before I get pregnant again. But I feel like these two books have played such an incredible role in my path to health and wellness.

Yoga has been a part of journey for a long time -- that will continue.
But these two pieces seem to be the missing puzzle pieces. If you haven't read them, I give them Sabrena Suite-Mangum-two-thumbs-up-stamp-of-approval.

**Oh, and if you want to cliff notes on eating, just shoot for "Pollan's: Food Rules." It's like the pocket guide for change when it comes to overall healthy eating for a better you and a better planet. Seriously, it will take you less than 45 minutes from cover to cover...and that's if you're a slow reader. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Eighteen

Do I really need to explain what I'm grateful for?
After all, a picture's worth 1000 words.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Seventeen (Better late than never...)

I recognize this is going up a little later in the day than most of the others (oh by about 12-14 hours) but I never promised WHAT time I would post.

Anyway, this probably should've been yesterday's entry... but I am grateful for two awesome Brothers-In-Law... erm, Brother-In Laws... um, guys that my sister's married that are legally my brothers... You know what I mean.

Yesterday, it was not only David Cain's birthday...

This is him, in 2006 at our wedding reception

But it was also The Smith's Anniversary (Lucky 13, I think? Maybe 12...)

Also at the Reception, with their two kiddos

Here's a close-up of Wade-Man, since his eyes kind of looked closed with his bride in the other picture.

I have watched both of my sisters over the years, and especially when I was single, I wondered if I would ever find a 'fit' as amazing as their guys. Lucky for me, Danny was still single.

But I just want to say that in the course of the past year or so, and even more recently, I have come to admire these two gentlemen on a level that I really ought not explain on a blog.

But for now, I would like to thank them publicly for loving my sisters, for being a perfect part of our family and for putting up with the Suite-girls.

We are a lot to handle... often times, way to much.

Thank you for loving us (my sisters) and the entire dysfunctional lot known as the Suite Family tree.

Your fortitude and patience are a welcome and needed gift.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Sixteen

So this summer marked my first attempt using Mother Nature's bleach & dryer... that's right, I made my own clothes line (but just for Holden's diapers).

I was (and am) thankful for the energy it saves, that it's a pretty easy GREEN thing to do, AND it really helps keep the diapers smelling fresher and is great for taking out stains. The sun works miracles.

But sadly, our lawn no longer looks this green (most of that is wild mint growing amidst the blades of grass. It's our first year trying out an eco-friendly lawn! No Round-up or anything of the sort.) Anyway, it's already snowed a few times, so the clothes line will have to move indoors again. This is from last year after our dryer broke.

It's functional but a little ghetto.

Holden is getting closer to being Diaper Free with his potty training. And with this winter-diaper-wonderland fast approaching again, I'm REALLY looking forward to it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Fifteen

Ugh! This is getting hard... not because I can't think of a million things I'm grateful for, but because I hate the process of downloading pictures to go with a post. And once my friend Amiee Hef talked about how you should always post with a picture... and I kind of think there's something to that.

Just to prove how thankful I am, here's a random list of things that just come to mind that i am thankful for in no particular order ("don't you judge me Earl"):

Sea turtles horses (Holden loves them!) ball point pens Laundromats that give you credit for recycled hangars when it's Danny's turn to put Holden to bed when it's my turn to put Holden to bed and Danny does it anyway naptime NyQuill pictures fruit tarts cupcakes running yoga kalari friends fat pants skinny jeans vertical stripes a forgiving scale free range chicken local food wellness real cranberry sauce nieces and nephews Primiary Program for Sacrament MeetingPbooks Danny & Holden (of course) Edward Cullen Harry Potter cupcakes (oh wait, I said that already) A good potty training day Laundry finished massage a clean home or I'd settle for a straightened home drapes dinner parties NYC cooking for loved ones being tan without really trying...

Is that enough? But what to post for the picture....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Fourteen

I'm not grateful for my iPhone...
probably because I don't have one.

But I am grateful for technology (yes, in a Napoleon Dynamite-Kip kind of way), and beyond. Though I'm more grateful for people who practice good manners and politeness with their mobiles. I started a "no technology" rule at our dinner table because I want to make sure down the road we don't have teenagers (or 5 year olds) bringing iPods or mobiles and texting at the dinner the table. If I'm going to take the time to cook from scratch, the family can have the courtesy to eat it and have a conversation. (Sometimes I have to remind Danny of the 'no technology' rule... he does have an iPhone, lucky guy.) Oh and with rare exception the TV is OFF at meals (unless we're watching the Utes...which would usually mean pizza --take out-- that I have obviously not slaved over. :)

I read these in Kate Spade's "Manners" book (which is basically Emily Post's stuff jazzed up.) But you may find them as delightful and encouraging as I did:

  • For economy and convenience.
  • When you're on the go and need to confirm or change appointments, reservations, film schedules.
  • Keep the conversation friendly.
  • When you enter a restaurant, a shop, or a museum, set your phone to vibrate; better still if it's not essential, turn it off.
  • Children and Babysitters--Being reachable is a worthy use of a cell phone.
  • For an emergency--This goes without saying.
  • Don't use a cell phone as a panacea for boredom.
  • Don't us a cell phone to talk in public about personal or professional problems, financial woes, health worries.
  • Don't swear or conduct an argument on a cell phone in public. Nothing excuses such behavior.
  • Don't assume it's okay to speak loudly because you think what you're saying is impressive to those around you. Keep your voice low at all times.
  • Don't assume it's ok to speak at length while on a train or airplane.

I would add, ditch the texting at the table and in the car (obviously). And if you feel like you absolutely HAVE to respond to a text or phone call, it's always nice to ask permission of those around you, or excuse yourself politely to do it... the fact that this sounds crazy to so many of us, is exactly why we need to do it.

Here's to civility!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Thirteen

Thankful for this guy! Because even when the Utes break my heart because they are playing soooooo terrible, I've got this perfect little man to cheer me up.

Have you ever seen a cuter Ute fan?
Don't answer that unless you agree...
it will shatter my perceptions.

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Twelve

Wish I had more time to write, but we've kind of been busy lovin' up on this VOC-FREE variety in "Naturalist Gray." I forgot to take "before" pics of our living and dining room, but you can bet they'll be "afters" coming sooner than later.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 days of Thanksgiving: Eleven

After calming down a little from Utah's pummeling by the Horned Frogs AND the loss of the House in a political-beat-down last week on a not-so-super Tuesday; it made me think about how grateful I am that Danny's a Democrat.

And while there are many reasons I am glad he's 'blue' when it comes to politics, the main reason I'm especially grateful today is that is gives us something not to fight about (not that Danny fights about anything). But (surprise, surprise) I can get so worked up about politics... and the last thing I want to do in the home is waste my time trying to debunk the horrific myth that Supply Side Economics is a good thing, that government is a bad thing, et cetera, et cetera.

I just don't want to waste energy 'discussing' that with my husband.

Let's focus on dealing with the normal marital issues: sex, money and eating sustainable local food so that the environmental impact is lessened for our children. Oh, and who's changing Holden's pants.

Love you darling.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving:Ten

Remember "The Skort:"
Skirt in the front, shorts in the back; it's like a mullet for your butt.

Actually, today I'm grateful for Facebook, because my friend Crisie from highschool posted this the other day and I almost woke Holden up from nap time I was laughing so hard.

And you thought social media was just people posting random stuff about nothing.

And yes, I totally rocked skorts back in the day...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving:Nine

New experiences. That's what I'm thankful for...

Yesterday was my debut at Kalari (martial arts yoga). Just call me Ralph Macchio.
I am already sore (and feeling GREAT about it!). The teacher (Andrejas), who had a delightful accent --from I don't know where-- suggested I rub sesame oil all over my body before a warm bath Monday night. I did as he recommended. If it works as well as Advil, I'm game. Only time will tell.

I did, however, spend most of Monday night smelling like toasted sesame.

Also it was the first "yoga" class I had ever been to where the men outnumbered the women three to one. And I would've been the lone Y chromosome, except I begged my guru to come join us. So the count? Six dudes and two goddesses (of course, I felt a whole lot more 'goddess-like' before I smelled of Asian Chicken Salad. I think you can order me on the Applebee's 2 for 20 menu?)

But back to the Kalari.

I'd try to explain it...but I'm at a loss for words. The best I can do is say it's raw, erotic precision with a lot of "grrrrr" and grace.

I have a lot to learn, and so far to go...but I'm grateful for Monday night's class and saying "Cheers to New Experiences." Weird smells and all... and I'll take Sesame oil over Bikram's sweaty carpet any day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Eight

This may sound crazy, but I am grateful for my body. And that's saying a lot coming from me... I've spent more than my share of 'therapy sessions' talking about my body issues over the years. Most of my life has been tarnished by the false belief that life would be soooo much better if I were just thin.

I had pretty much resolved myself to being the fun-fat kid.

But today, I'm telling you - it's time to be grateful for this skin. And not because I'm a size 4 or anything of the sort (because I'm not. Not even close!) But because of what this body can do:

This body was a highschool athlete.
This body played college volleyball.
This body did a sprint triathalon.
This body yogas a go-go.
This body birthed a baby.
This body was a human dairy farm.
This body ran 26.2 miles.

I'm not even sure what this body is capable of....isn't that freakishly fabulous?!?!?

After my finish at the Park City Pink Half-Marathon - mid october
Holden wasn't stoked to see me; he wanted to play in the hottub at the hotel

See, I don't want to miss an opportunity to appreciate what I've got now. Because I look back of pictures of me in highschool, from my swim-team days when you could practically stick a can of coke on my bubble-but looked like a genetic cross between J.Lo and Kim K...ghetto booty! But I was frustrated because my body made it hard to find prom dresses. I was strong and athletic...though all I saw was B-I-G.

Fast forward, the summer after college graduation...My first 'sprint triathlon.' I actually won my division. But I was far from content when I looked in the mirror.

And in a year from now (or whenever it is after we get pregs), when the baby's out and my uterus is making it's way back to a normal size, and my breasts look like two giant watermelons attached to my post-preggers-plump body, I WILL BE JEALOUS of what I look like today...

And I will long to fit into a single-digit dress size, let alone a pair of *my skinny jeans.
And I will be tempted to say "Why didn't I appreciate what I looked like then?!?!"

But I won't have to say that, now will I? Because I am thankful for what I have today...

PS. Special thanks to the Hammer Sisters for forwarding this awesome article my way that inspired today's post. You should definitely check it out.

*One woman's skinny jeans is another woman's maternity pant.... I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Seven

Grateful for?

An extra hour of sleep; and the toddler even cooperated and slept in too.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Six

Pumpkin Centerpieces at Dinner Parties.

I love dinner parties.
I love plum chutney made from fruit trees my grandparents planted and Holden helped pick; tomatoes for caprese that Little Bits help cultivate in our planter boxes that Danny built and centerpieces from gourds we grew in the backyard. (No seriously, we grew ALL of those pumpkins!!!)

I love napkin rings, pressed linens, whipped honey butter and Lavender Artisan bread (yep, also made from scratch).

Mostly I love the people around the table.

To me, cooking is art.
And I never feel more artistic than when I cook for loved ones from scratch.

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Five

Land Lines.
No seriously, I am so thankful we have a land line in addition to our mobile phone service at the Mangum-Suite-Mangum casa.

Danny keeps threatening to 'pull the plug' on our service, but then how does he expect me to find my cell phone {in the middle of the day when he's at work} if I can't call it from our land line?

What am I supposed to do walk to the neighbors and ask to borrow their smartphone?

Speaking of smartphones, maybe Danny's iPhone can receive a telepathic message that my Razor has mysteriously disappeared (when it's really just hidden in the depths of a diaper bag loaded with BumGenius & wipes)?

I bet there's an Ap for that.


Maybe, but I'd rather just ditch the cable TV.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Four

Today I am especially grateful for yoga.

I had a really challenging Bikram practice on Tuesday night (I kept feeling like I was going to pass out.) And not just because the room was more than 105 degrees. And not because it's supposed to be kept at 40% humidity but was WELL past that mark. And not because I was dripping sweat from every pore and my body was detoxing from some Halloween splurges (like an entire Snickers Bar! And that is not the full extent of the damage UGH!)... and taking a week off from being a little under the weather (read: 5th chakra blockage = sore throat turns into FULL BLOWN COLD!)

Actually, I was dehydrated before we started; and I kind of neglected eating a bit (not that my body couldn't use a bit more of those). But the vessel was just telling me I was being stupid and I need to take care of myself if I'm going to subject it to such extremities.

However, it was still a good practice. Because amidst the smelly carpet, drenched bodies and frustrations surfacing from deep inside me like the Hulk (that make their way out in class at the oddest times!); I walk away a better person.

Unfortunately, the only pictures of me I have practicing yoga are when I was preggers with Holden. While I love these pictures, they are also kind of funny to me. Take this one for example...

Let's play 'guess where Holden's back side is.' Ha!

I had such an easy pregnancy with Holden (sure Labor & Delivery were a different story.) But I credit my yoga practice for keeping the morning sickness away, my blood pressure down, my mind centered (ok well, as centered as a crazed hormonal pregnant woman can be) and bringing an enjoyment to the experience of being a pregnant goddess (as all pregnant women are; whether they know it or not).

My yoga journey has taken many twists and turns...classes ranging from Flow & Hatha, to chanting, meditation, Bhakti, Bikram and Mommy & Me with Holdencito. It's all beautiful and perfect in it's own right.

As we get closer to the "Eggo gettin' Preggo" time (whenever that may be), I'm just glad I have this slice of splendor to help me through... on and off the mat.

PS. I'm teaching a "Yoga for Diabetics" class and lecturing for the Diabetic Educators of Utah conference (or something like that) tomorrow morning. Positive Chi appreciated!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Three

Totally thankful for the UTES! Between a husband who LOVES college football and is a huge Utah fan; and me attending a college with NO pigskin team to cheer for, I have adopted them as my own.

Plus, I went to pre-school there when I was 2 1/2; so it's practically my Alma Mater.

At this year's San Jose State Game

Danny and I have some great Ute Football memories. Just one of which being their win over BYU (in 2005 I think?)... he called me from Provo to celebrate even though he couldn't hear a thing. We became an official couple that's pretty much been true love ever since.

And then there was the Undefeated Season with the win again 'Bama in the 2008 Sugar Bowl. And now we're 5th in the BCS standings?!?!? Crazy days!

Good luck this weekend verses TCU Boys. We need the football gods smiling on our side.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Two

It's may be a "Super Tuesday" for some; but I'm kind of in a pre-empitve mourning politically; so I'm going to chose a different route for today's post.

Normally, Tuesdays in Holden-land (if we're not at our play group)mean hitting up the Library for Book Babies! Holden's favorite song is definitely "The Wheels on the Bus," with a close second being "Baby Bop." Sometimes he wakes up in the morning doing the actions.

Wheels on the Bus has become so popular with my little guy that I checked out a CD at the library... the problem was, it's hard to 'look for media' when you're little guy is almost 2; because they are not very stationary. So I had to hurry. Which meant the only one I could find (and believe me, I looked) was a Barney album.

That's right, that annoying purple dinosaur.

But Holden loves it (wheels on the Bus, thankfully he has no idea who Barney is). And sometimes he still lets me listen to NPR, Feist or Zeppelin (we take turns) so it's all fair.

Speaking of dinosaurs... the video is of a special "Book Babies Dinosaur Week!" Which actually meant no 'wheels on the bus' so it wasn't our favorite. But my Mom came, so I got to catch a little of Holden in action on camera.

I love PUBLIC LIBRARIES (see, government isn't all bad.)


Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving: One

Totally thankful for quiet moments that are not
"brought to you in part by..." anyone:
Just books, a lovey and a comfortable place to read.

So grateful my little guy's a bibliophile like me.