love at home

I don't cry often at sentimental things. I do cry, mostly over frustration or anger or times I can't pull the words into my mind to express my feelings. My tears are mostly jumbled words that melt into salt water and escape out my eyes when I am wishing they could shoot fiery darts.

Today a package was dropped at the front door. I was bummed to see it was addressed to my husband. Ultimately bored, I decided to open it and see what book he ordered himself. I was perplexed when I noticed it was from Deseret Publishers (a church-owned bookstore). He doesn't read churchy books.

I became more confused as I opened the box to see the inside package read Willow Something with the word sculpture. Must have been sent by mistake or a free gift, I even laughed out loud at the thought he would accidentally get a churchy statue. Perhaps a bust of Joseph Smith he could keep on his desk?

I peeled the tape from the styrofoam padding and pulled away packing materials to gaze at the prize. My heart sank into my feet. I held in my hands a hand-carved figure of a mother holding her boy the way I often hold Zane, while looking into his eyes. She even has brown hair and a pony tail. My eyes filled with tears. All I could think was that I am the luckiest mommy/ wife in the world.

It's such a simple image of the present time, where I am in my relationship with my little boy. I am barely able to hold him in my arms anymore due to his weight and my belly. I know in a matter of time he will no longer allow such tender moments. The moments that have truly been my favorite parts of being a mother and often forget. In the whirlwind of To Do lists and decisions to be made in our family, this little sculpture brings it all home: just keep loving and holding on tight to each other. Those are the best parts of life we get to taste no matter where we end up or what we are doing. My heart softens every time I look at it while it reminds me I am doing some of the important things pretty right.

What an amazingly unique gift; I really love it.

p.s. I just hope Mike wasn't planning to mail it to his mom.


That's totally not going to be his name. In fact, we have no boy names on the list at all this time- completely drawing a blank. Feel free to offer up some suggestions, but keep in mind we like unique names- thus being the problem. Vance comes and goes, depending on my mood.

Sesame Street used to be all fun and games until the end. When the letter of the day was never my letter (L or even E would work!). And the number of the day- forgetaboudit. It's alright, though, cos I got to live the joy of Z being picked once for my son when he was almost one. He wasn't old enough to appreciate it, but I took on the double happy for a day to cover that. I just hope the letter Z will one day be chosen again when he is old enough so he can live a life of fulfillment.


my womanhood evolution

I am going to be brave (or is it irresponsible?) enough to write about boobs thanks to cjane's recent post. A topic people don't really talk a lot about because, well, bodies changing over time is so personal and different for everyone. Who cares about the evolution of my boobs through my life? Probably only me, but perhaps someone will be able to read this and relate- feel less isolated about such changes and feelings.

So here we go.....

7th grade: This was the first age I gave my chest a second thought. I was athletic, sporty, a tomboy and mostly won first place in any distance races for PE and track. I did not wear, nor need a bra. I didn't want one, I thought being able to run was pretty cool and boobs were not part of that equation. Cool, that is, until the boys started calling me late bloomer ("LB") after they had their Boys Only Sex Ed talk in the library. That was the beginning of Jr. High officially sucking for me regardless of how well I could race.

9th grade: For some reason my mom sent me to Dillard's with my step dad to purchase my first bra (?!). I stood bashfully in the midst of a bunch of strappy things that were not going to fit, it was torture. I hated that day more than any other up to that point in my life. I grabbed the first thing I saw hanging on the rack near the register. He said "don't you need more than one?" I grabbed another and it was over, never even tried it on. It became known in my family as The Nuclear Bra because it was constructed with so much material and padding it could withstand a nuclear war.

*magical summer*

10th grade: I was treated like a princess for at least a month. The boys that teased me were the first to ask for my number. Even girls in PE would ask me how my chest grew so big so fast. I passed up some of the more busty girls I had learned to envy. I bloomed, but it negatively affected my running. I secretly hated these things I had literally prayed for every night. Puberty kills a part of the athletic girl in a very distinct way.

college: I learned to work the wardrobe just right so I could catch the attention of my someday husband each time I walked by. Worked like a charm- he was hook, line and sinker. And he thinks he tricked me into the marriage.

newlywed: GOOD LORD they need to put a bigger warning label on birth control pills to prepare you for the enlargedness of the breasteses! I won't get into size letters here, but they were probably the best wedding present a woman could give a man.

pregnancy: pretty much double the newlywed joy.

milk comes in for nursing: Um. Hrm. Porn Star is the only thing that comes to mind.

post-nursing mommy bosoms: As the momentum was going at such an exciting rate, you can see only disappointment and depression could be experienced when it came to such a change. They left as quickly as they arrived in 10th grade. It's confusing to me how attached I was to my shape and how I related that to my level of attractiveness. It was a deflated adjustment I was not prepared for, like having Mylar helium balloons one day and water balloons the next.

So what do I think about breast augmentation? I don't have an opinion about what other people decide to do with their own bodies.

I am curious and fascinated and interested. I also have my children to respond to when I try to teach them about loving the bodies they have been blessed with, not sure how I feel about that lesson if I surgically altered my own. That is the hang-up I personally have when it comes to thinking about such a decision for my own body. I am officially on the fence.


of a pink Christmas

bronxville, ny
I admit there are some winter days in New York I will miss. Those mornings you wake up with nothing to do and you look out the window to see clouds of white powder falling, leaving a blanket of white on everything. Even the rusty old truck the grumpy Italian man with one tooth never drove, it was beautiful that morning! I grew up in the desert; snow falling and covering the earth will always be magical to me.

I can't say there will ever be a replacement for those mornings,
but if there is
we have found it.

Last week we looked out the window to find our back fence covered in little pink roses! They are climbing up a giant tree and heading for the sky. The best part is we have never tended to anything back there, so it was quite the surprise to behold.

This last shot is looking straight up into a giant pine tree.


Moose Munch Bar

Let's zero-in on this Harry & David Moose Munch Bar I sent in cjane's package.

It's a delightful treat I cannot resist with each trip to Target, as it is conveniently placed near the checkout.

The packaging keeps it intact, never a broken or crushed bar yet. It's tall and hearty in size, just how a candy bar should be.

The outside is a dark chocolate (milk chocolate is also an option) coating that allows your teeth to sink in, genuinely rich and luscious chocolate; not waxy. The inside chocolate is even better (so rare!) with a creamy smoothness perfect for smuggling almonds, cashews, and toffee bits. It is not as gooey as a truffle, but not as hard as a typical candy bar. I love it even better than a bag of their Moose Munch popcorn mix.
There is nothing to compare it to, it is in a category all its own. And it's perfect.


speaking of boxes...

So I got my sonthese awesome Vans
The slip-ons are still too hard for his wide feet to get into and velcro is totally in right now in my house.
Anyway, they came in this box that I filled with cute stuff

and sent to cjane. She was much obliged.
Most importantly, there was a box of Hello Kitty Band-Aids to ensure her spot as favorite aunt among her little nieces.

Let's play again. Send someone a thoughtful box during the month of May.
Tell me about it~ happy sending.


While I do not enjoy cooking, nor is it a talent I possess, it is still a part of my every day life I cannot ignore. Being married to a man who cannot tolerate gluten initially complicated this aspect of my life further, but it could also not be ignored.
I have become more and more interested in cooking a wider variety of meals for my family since his diagnosis. I have also leaned heavily on his sister, Melanie, who is also a celiac and a good cook.
Together her and I have started a gluten-free recipe blog called kill.the.gluten.
The photos will not be stellar. The recipes will not be gourmet. The website design will not be fancy.
It will be meals or products we declare easy and yummy.


The Fratellis

I promise you are going to start hearing these guys all over the place.

Which is great, cos I am getting sick of my weepy, somber, sad music. Time to pack up my Bright Eyes, Death Cab, and Interpol. I need some more fresh, lively musical inspiration. These guys fill that void.

Good news, they are on tour right in time for me to hit The Fillmore on May 9th.

IMF had a cute little interview with them and hey, bonus, they have darling personalities and are so charismatic! Perhaps it's cos they are still the little band, but I would like to think for once good music isn't coming from total @ssholes.
*not my photo
**that guy in the middle reminds me of the roommate in Notting Hill
"I knew a girl named Pandora, but I never got to see her box"


the joy of embarrassment

This morning I did a fast clean-up of items around the house as the pest control man would be paying us a visit. It's hard to put 'visitor' goggles on when going through rooms normally not visited by others.

The bedroom is especially challenging to straighten up. Bras, undergarments (clean and waiting to be folded on the bed), overflowing wastebasket, etc. I was glad today I did a double-take of the bedroom as I overlooked the beloved book The Joy of Sex laying on the floor next to the bed.

It reminded me of all the times our heat went out while we lived in New York. The same plumber would be in and out all the time to the extent I stopped picking up the main living area. Dirty dishes, piles of unfolded laundry in the living room, unswept floor, scattered mail and packages on the counter- all things I only cared about the first time he came to fix the heat.

I recall one occasion he was in and out a lot, I didn't give a moment's thought about how the home was in disarray. He kept looking at the counter and peering into the open, overflowing box and other items from the mail scattered around it. I thought it odd his eyes were so drawn to my clutter this time around, normally he didn't give anything a second glance except my nursing jugs.

Once he left with the heat finally working I began to see how cluttered our home must have appeared and began to tidy up. You can imagine the shades of red I turned when I realized the package that was open on the counter contained many, many condoms wrapped in foreign packaging along with multiple varieties of lubrication my husband had ordered on-line. The hundreds of creative condoms didn't do it, it was the giant bottle of lub with a freaking PUMP dispenser sticking out the top of it that made me believe this man must have had all sorts of crazy images of what exactly we do behind closed doors and curious of the number of parties involved.

Future plumbing problems resulted in me not being able to look him in the eye, wearing layers upon layers of clothing, and turning Sesame Street on super loud.


curse of the rabbit

I wrote this post right after Easter, but didn't think of posting it until I saw a photo on MSNBC of a man in a rabbit suit passing someone dressed as Jesus with a large cross on his shoulders. The two images in the photo immediately confirmed my feelings of confusion as to how I want to teach my son about such an important holiday.

When each holiday arrives with a toddler aged kid I have to take pause and think about what I want to tell him about it, what traditions to carry forth or reinvent. I didn't really give tons of thought the first time around cos he was a baby and didn't talk, so in my mind he didn't know what was going on anyway; nor would he remember.

During these times of pause I immediately draw upon my source of experience: my own childhood. Peeps are out, hollow bunny is a must, what's a toy I wanted to pick up for him at Target this week anyway. That pretty much wraps it up. Oh, I guess I am supposed to stop and explain all of this to him, get him amped for my lies.

The Hallmark traditions of each of these holidays throw me for a loop. I spend each and every day trying to explain things to my son in a way he will understand. Little details in his world that are important. We always hold hands crossing the street because cars cannot see your tiny body and could cause major ouchies! Some less important details. Yes, it's a spider, but next time you see one please don't poke it- run fast and get Mommy cos sometimes they bite.

I teach him about social behaviors that will allow him to, hopefully, function well in society.
I just really struggle opening my mouth, looking him in the eye, and blatently telling him a lie about fictional characters that leave him random things. I keep asking myself why I do this and all I can come up with is that I don't want him to be the only kid in his class growing up, that weird kid, who is the only one not in on the story. To not be part of the make-believe experience could be like removing him from the fairy tale and robbing him of a childhood experience that, in my opinion, holds zero value.

Beyond the lack of reasoning behind this tradition, I imagine it will be complicated enough to teach him about The Savior and the importance of his birth and essentially His death and resurrection. A jolly man in red and a fluffy bunny blur the importance of two highly relevant days for adults and children alike, so why do we do it?


quick to comment

I often speak before thinking. I don't always stop to think about how it's going to sound to the ears listening, how the words coming out will be pieced together until they are hanging in the air.

I have the same problem commenting on blogs. I type the thought that pops into my head, along with a healthy dose of typos.

I have been addicted to this celebrity cosmetic surgery blog for some time now- not quite sure how I found it. Of course, on a whim I left a comment without thinking many people will really read it. The topic was breast augmentation and I was just curious if it's true you have to replace them often.

Last week he posted the stat that he has reached one million readers.

While I know not ALL people read comments, I have a feeling someone I know will read that and connect dots that don't exist.....and it sort of makes me laugh.

*photo from his site


Did You?

...remember to collect, send and tell me about your thoughtful package?

Here is a little teaser, mine went into the mail today for one lucky lady.

*email me a photo of the goods and tell me who you sent them to!


Reese's & KitKat Variations

I found these guys hanging out and had to try them.
Let's start with the Kit Kat Caramel.
It was one giant Kit Kat stick, which I wasn't expecting. It was good, but not satisfying enough to crave it another time.
While the taste and texture of the creamy caramel was prefect,
the was overpowered with too many stacks of wafer.
Next is the Reese's Crispy Crunchy Bar.

I love the flakey, loose layers in the middle. They are much like thin layers of a Buttefinger. The chocolate coating is perfect, just as sweet and smooth as the chocolate in a PB cup. The fact that it is rolled in crushed peanuts is the only thing wrong with this candybar. It's basically what happens if you marry a Butterfinger and a Payday. If I could change it I would make it longer and taller, remove the outer layer of peanuts and increase the amount of chocolate on the outside.

I have been a repeat eater of this one, might even put it towards the top of my candybar list.


...so yeah, some subtle things change the larger this belly becomes. The nights I put Zane to bed, it's getting to be a challenge. The poor kid has to do a backbend when he sits in my lap for stories.

And clothes, I finally put an end to the attempt at wearing regular shirts. Especially to the gym, I was starting to look like Barney Gumble once I completed a session on the treadmill.

I am officially, fully into maternity clothing. I am all for avoiding the kangaroo pouch, but why do these pants with thick elastic bands make me look like I have elephantitis of the balls? Less fabric folks. Less puffy in the one area I actually don't gain weight in, please!


breaking up is hard to do

Okay, so I quit this "band" deal a little bit ago and have really missed it. Short end of it is I am super tired by 5pm that lugging my whole kit into Oakland and back to play for 3 hours was wearing on my pregnant little soul.

I will find another group to play in again once my life can handle that sort of 'me' time and freedom. But I know it won't be the same, I gained some cool friends. I will always remember how each week I learned a little more about how to play in a band; to be a better drummer.

Here's a brief part of a note from Nigel when I asked him if they have been playing lately:

No, we haven't been playing each week. Our last drummer went and got pregnant (bitch) and do you have any idea how hard it is to find a drummer? We are actually playing with some guy on Monday, so I'm quite excited about that. First time since a week or two after you pissed off. Need to do some practice!

I miss those guys.
I miss my weekly hobby time.
I miss rockin out.
I miss my weekly dose of british humor.


it is i that wanted space

I regret my lack of awareness in the music scene and how delayed I am with new, good music. It's a passion of mine I have been too lazy to keep up with at the rate I would prefer.

I don't have the same down time to immerse myself inside the details of a new album like I used to. I really should put more effort into the piles of new CDs that haven't had much air time around here.

That being said, I can't help but admit this (probably top 40) song really strikes me as amazing. I know it's been out for a long time and it's not normally the type of band I would be fond of. But I can't think straight when I hear Hate Me by Blue October. I have to stop what I am doing and let it carry me like a leaf floating in a stream. It is incredibly moving. The singer has a magnetic voice with tremendous power and gut-twisting emotion. He is backed by a band that works so well together as a perfect orchestra would, obviously much different instruments. They blend well making sounds that are moving in a way I have not felt since the first All American Rejects album.

The song Hate Me by Blue October
and youtube.
*Last post for a few days. We're going on a trip.

Aunt Liz

If I was boy I think I would totally fall in love with this girl (random photo I found on google). I wish that was me sitting in the tub of Cheetos right now, only I would probably change the red streaks to blue and have about 10 puffs crammed into my mouth. You could call it a craving.

I love that I am an aunt. One of my fondest memories of becoming an aunt was eating Cheetos with my niece, Lindsey. It was her favorite snack at about age 2 and I taught her how to scrape the thick remainder of cheese off her fingers when the bowl became empty. Something only an auntie can teach.
It's funny to hear me referred to as Aunt Liz. I immediately feel inadequate to hold such an honorable title. I imagine with this title I should be a thicker woman with a really cute apron on rushing to assist and spoil. I should have big, curly hair and blue eye shadow on with a permanent smile. Oh, and that red apron has lace on the edges and a little pocket that always has the best butterscotch candies in it to sneak into little hands.
I love to read that one extra story at bedtime before the mom and dad tuck them in. I love to help them sneakily eat their dinners off their plates, to make sure they always get dessert when I am around! I love to be on 'their' side and I hope to exchange secrets the older they get and be the one they talk to on a hard day. Not to replace the parents, of course, but to know that they can come to me for anything and always have my honest, loving opinion with their best interest in mind.
Those bonds are not so strong now because I live so far away from each of them. But someday I will get to see all my adorable nieces and nephews often and teach them card tricks and how to win the student council elections in elementary school, some to skateboard, and how to break up with a pesky boyfriend or girlfriend. And when at an age they can appreciate it, I want to be the Cool Aunt Liz who always gets them awesome shoes for their birthday. Take them to their first concert and lets them borrow my Land Cruiser (you know, cos I will totally have one someday).


nervous habits

I loved interviewing people when I worked in HR, mostly because of the odd nervous habits people had. It was my comic relief on busy days. There was always the pen wiggler/ tapper. And the "um' guy that can't pull together a sentence without, uh, several, er, filler {cough} words.

It became less entertaining as the positions became more senior. Except for the occasional obligatory interview of an executive's friend or relative. You never knew what to expect with those, sometimes top notch stars and other times, well, thoroughly pitiful.

One was a large, sweaty man who vigorously rubbed his hands over his immense thighs forward and back, forward and back. My hands began to sweat just thinking of the carpet burn he was developing on his palms.

My nervous habit is cracking my knuckles. It is a problem I have had to work really hard at curbing, especially in Corporate America. It wasn't until I got my very own office that I fell off the wagon; I began cracking on the clock again. I did it while checking messages, with my door shut. I did it in elevators. I did it in the restroom and cafeteria. I couldn't stop.

My boss had the privilege of leading a national HR call one morning. I took that call from my office so I could multi-task during the call while on muted speaker phone. He was running through the agenda as I sat back and began with knuckle number one. I slowly moved on to knuckles two and three, stopping only to sip my beverage. There was a moment of silence on the call, I wondered if my phone got disconnected.

He began speaking again. I completed that hand moved onto the next. Another pause on the call, more silence. I wondered if he lost track of where he was on the agenda. I snacked on some chips and the cracking proceeded. With the tenth knuckle and another long pause on the NATIONAL conference call, I realized I had forgotten to mute the freaking phone. People across the country patiently listened to me crack every single knuckle over the course of about 10 minutes.

His office was directly across the hall from mine. I hope he never peeked around his computer to see it was me.


Junior Caramels

I consider myself a bit of an expert on the chocolate and caramel front, 29 years of experience seeking the best. I saw these on the shelves for quite some time and finally decided to try them out.

The chocolate coating was too hard, too waxy. Each bite was like breaking into a shell, there was no melting of the chocolate in the mouth.
The caramel was not gooey, as a good caramel candy should be. It was like a mass of brown sugar, somehow held together and less crumbly.

My instinct was to compare it to the pleasure of eating Milk Duds, an obvious competitor. I would have to say this one fails to catch my interest; I am sticking with Milk Duds.

snips and snails, and puppy dog tails

Violet will have to wait.

We are having a

(I was secretly really, really hoping this one would be a boy)


water works

I admit it, I have been hyper sensitive this month over everything and nothing.

1) Watching the movie Father of the Bride as an adult left me a puddle of tears. Somehow watching the phase of life when a beloved child transitions into adulthood/ marriage was such an overwhelming sensation of loss. Like many stages of my son's life, I can't imagine our family getting to that point. Isn't he just going to be 2 forever, jumping off chairs or climbing on my back; always an arm's length away?

2) General Conference always holds some important treasures I need to hear. As Charles W. Dahlquist began to speak, I took note of how quickly he spoke. Initially, I did not find deep interest in the topics or style in which he delivered his messages. His target audience seemed to be our youth and the challenges that face them in this day in age. But then he began to talk about a personal slice of his adolescent life; his teenage routine upon arriving home from dates. He would always knock on his parent's door, open it, and tell them he was home.

Holding back his tears and with a lump in his throat, he spoke of one evening he opened the door to find his mother kneeling at her bed, praying.

He knew who she was praying for. He never forgot that image. I hope there are many moments in my life as a mother that I can set silent examples that words could not replace.