Monday, April 8, 2013

The one time of the year I eat meat

Some of you may remember this post, where I briefly explained my path to vegetarian/flexitarian-ism. And while it's safe to say that I am now a wholly-committed vegetarian, there is still one time a year wherein I partake of a minuscule amount of meat. In my case, meatballs. (And only three.)

Said day is my family's Easter (or, in this case, week after Easter) feast, in which my aunt makes all of my great-grandmother's Italian recipes. None of which are even remotely vegetarian. Thus, while my husband and daughter thoroughly enjoyed their sauceless homemade pasta, I partook of the sauce that is marinated with meat and my three meatballs (while abstaining from the ravioli), partially to ensure that the ghost of my great-grandma Rose would not haunt me what forever and ever amen, and partially because I still want to participate in my family's Easter ritual.

Behold, the holy feast.
Which all gave pause to some serious introspection about the cultural/emotional value that we all assign to food, but since I want to keep this light, I won't go into it. Though let it be said that this whole inner conflict would not exist if my aunt didn't make some damn good meatballs.

And somewhere, Rose (with a picture of Karl Malone clasped in her hand) is smiling.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An ode to all of my daughter's awkward sleeping positions

There's something about a sleeping baby. Especially if said baby has the propensity to sometimes "raise a little hell" whilst awake. My little one oft times loves to nap with an entourage of stuffed animals... and always manages to sleep in interesting contortions. So, without further ado, I present some of my favorite nap time photos:

Also, this post-nap shot...
I mean... I totally love this kid.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The one where I write about the Cocomotion

A lot of things (moving! holidays! weddings!) have been going on lately, some of which I may end up documenting at a later date. In the meantime, here is my ode to the one, the only, Cocomotion. Because most some days I need a little chocolate pick-me-up and a lot of warm beveragey goodness. 

[I mean, 7 degrees is on another level of coldness... especially when the only insulation in your roof is saw dust and you have no weather stripping on your front door. And yes, I guess saw dust is actually considered to be insulation in some delusional circles.]

Anyway, here is my step-by-step process of how to make "Cocomotion," which is called such because it is so highly superior to its "hot chocolate" counterparts that it deserves its own classification. 

Step One: Assemble your ingredients 
Skim milk (preferably from happy, non hormone-riddled cows) | Personalized mug (optional) | Cocomotion (duh) | High-quality cocoa powder | Nutella (mainly because it's awesome, and also because it's super fattening, thereby thoroughly delicious)

Step Two: Pour one (or more) mugful(s) of milk into the Cocomotion
"I'm extra frothy because I'm from a happy(ish) cow," said the milk.
Step Three: Add four tablespoons of cocoa powder/per mugful of milk to the Cocomotion
It's not a secret that I like my chocolate dark. Real dark.
Step Four: Add a heaping (and I do mean heaping) spoon of Nutella to the milk/cocoa powder mixture
 Happiness in a spoon. 

 Step Five: Push the "on" button and watch the Cocomotion in action
In a matter of minutes, it goes from swirly... 
to serious. 

Step Six: When the Cocomotion stops, pour contents into mug, and pause to admire the frothiness  
... which may or may not be amplified by a personalized mug. 

 Step Seven: Enjoy standing at your kitchen counter, accompanied by a fancy lunch
The remnants of last week's arugula in the original package, tossed in a delicate infusion of olive oil and balsamic  vinegar. Delicious and, I would argue, fancy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The move.

The sum of my experiences had led me to the belief that the notion of "home" is a feeling rather than a place. Because the memories, emotions and changes that occur during any given point of our lives are too vast to be enclosed in one tiny and finite space. That said, I find that I too often become attached to the space, to the memories. Not remembering that they will travel with me. That, regardless of the space I inhabit, I am grounded by the people who I love.

Right now, I'm looking out the east-facing window of our apartment, which has a lovely view of the mountains. This place has been home for over three years. It's the place where Greg left for his first day of law school, where we both started new jobs, where I took a pregnancy test and saw two lines, where  we brought Sofia after her birth. Oh how my little Sofia loves this place. She has her little corner, and her cupboard in the kitchen. She loves helping me with laundry in our tiny, front-loading washer, that is just at her level. She loves to look out the east-facing window and see her dad coming home from work.

It's become time to leave this place, and its proximity to urbanity, for a more suburban setting. And while this change is warranted and wanted, there is this part of me that still clings to this place.

I know that our new home will eventually feel like it. That the peaceful calm of suburban living (and having an actual yard, apple trees and a garden) will begin to outweigh the proximity to our favorite eateries and grocery stores. In the mean time, I'm taking this all in a bit pensively. Hoping that the new home that we create will be even more wonderful than the one we've been inhabiting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The time I went to that vampire movie all by myself

breaking dawn part 2
Just waiting for the movie to begin

I had this epiphany one day. I thought, you know what would be totally (as my mom would say) bitchin'? Going to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Firstly, because I didn't want to have to drag my poor husband to the movie, and secondly, because I didn't want to wait for the rest of my typical Twilight  viewing group (i.e. mom, aunt, sister and future SIL) due to an irrational fear of all types of spoilers. And it was kind of totally perfect that on opening night there was literally ONE seat on in the very middle-est part of the theater that happened to still be available. I was experiencing Edward and Bella-type fate here, and who was I to mess with that? 

So off to the theater I went, during the height of date night movie time, wondering who I'd have the pleasure of sitting next to. On my right were the, "Our moms dropped us off at the theater... well actually our moms are sitting a few rows back after pretending to drop us off at the theater" group, and to the left the, "We're going to cheer when the new Hunger Games preview comes on, when we see Jacob's abs, when we see Bella et. al. crack a smile... and we're all over 30" group. Harmless enough, I wagered. Though cheering in a movie really works its way into my last nerve. Most of the time. Especially when a certain breed of cougars are involved. (But that's a separate post for another day.)

All was warm and fuzzy until the faint whining of a newborn began to reverberate in the hallowed pantheon of vampirism. That's when things got a little cray cray. Choruses of, "Oh my [insert your favorite expletive here], take that baby out already!" began peppering the theater, which was followed by the, "Why don't you come up here and tell me that to my face!" retort, all of which served to startle the baby further and caused it to begin wailing. Which made my tender mother heart all sorts of sad. I wanted to take that baby home and put it to bed. Because that's where it should have been in the first place. In my opinion. Though I couldn't dwell on that thought too much, because the "ladies" to my left were among the hecklers. And I did not want to get in the middle of a girl fight. Thankfully, it didn't come to that.

The movie itself was entertaining. Decapitations! Bad wigs! Vampire Bella! Sparklegasms! And overall (in spite of all the cheering) I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The end. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thoughts on a wintry morning

There's something so serene about snowfall. When it seems to float and hover delicately in the air. For a brief moment, everything pauses and collectively exhales. It's equal parts quiet and powerful.

Lately, I've been feeling the opposite of this. And just, well, weary. There are a lot of things that I have been processing and struggling with internally that I'm not even going to begin to expound upon. (Mostly because I'm pretty damn tired of the backlash that all of my recent opinions have unwelcomely elicited.)

So I leave you with a few quotes from others that say what I wish I could, were I more eloquent (please also see this post, because it's pretty amazing)...

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 
- Oscar Wilde

"It is the mark of an intelligent mind to be able to 
entertain a thought without accepting it." 
- Aristotle 

"You will find it necessary to let things go; 
simply for the reason they are heavy." 
- C Joybell C

"Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't 
have to do what everyone else is doing." 
- Unknown

"The first to apologize is the bravest. 
The first to forgive is the strongest. 
And the first to forget is the happiest." 
- Unknown

"After a long campaign, this is now a time for Americans 
to come together... We invite Americans everywhere, 
whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the 
President, for his administration and the new Congress 
as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times." 
- The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Let's "agree to disagree," and call it a day, mmk?

This has nothing to do with the post below; I just think it's pretty.

"Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?" - Confucius 

Four years ago, I decided to use this forum to be vocal about my thoughts and opinions about the political issues of the day, primarily the presidential election. This backfired, and I received some pretty acerbic (not to mention anonymous) comments that didn't just attack my personal beliefs, they attacked me as a person. 

Because of this, I opted to stay pretty silent about my opinions this time around... at least here on the blog. But I kind of sort of really got sucked into sharing my opinions on Facebook. (Oh Facebook, you dirty temptress, you.) Foolishly, I thought that by doing so in a respectful manner (i.e. posting things on my feed that are important to me, without going on the offensive and attacking or insulting others who feel contrary), I would then be afforded the same courtesy. Especially since you can't really pursue the whole "anonymous" route in this forum. (Plus, you always have the option of "unsubscribing" to someone's feed. Just saying.) However, again, I was disappointed.

I suppose I just don't understand why something like politics has to be so divisive and polarizing all the time. I don't understand why you can't have a meaningful conversation about issues (even if they are negative) without engaging in personal attacks. (Perhaps those sentiments are overly-naive or idealistic, but it's truly how I feel.) While I certainly have strong opinions that I have developed based upon intensive study, that doesn't mean that I will discount another's equally fervent convictions if they are dissimilar to mine. I like surrounding myself with a diversity of thoughts, ideas and beliefs, because I feel that doing so enriches my life.

I mainly just think it's important to vote because it's a right that so few people in the world have. And I don't think that there's such a thing as a perfect candidate, either. You just have to weigh all of the issues and choose the person whose platform more closely aligns with your personal convictions and beliefs. It's really that simple.

So, to those who might feel that it's incumbent to insult, belittle or deride someone who believes differently than you do, I would (nicely) implore you to stop. Because you're better than that. Leave it at, "let's agree to disagree," and call it a day.

And that's all I'm going to say about that. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Miles to go before I sleep

Today, I decide to peruse the blog archives and comb over the various drafts that pepper the published posts. I deleted a few, and came across the following below, written back in March of this year...

This morning, I woke up before the sun (which is really not that early these days, but doesn't it feel like it anyway?) to get ready for a meeting. In said meeting, I managed to slice open my palm with the enormous chuck of loose papers that are currently residing in my pad-folio, so part of the next two minutes involved my clandestine attempt to curb the bleeding whilst still writing notes. I came home, changed out of my business clothes and began my day of working and mom-ing with my thoroughly adorable, but teething, daughter. Daughter decides to claw my face, and so now my chin and my hand have similar-looking cuts. Who knew working and mom-ing could be so violent?

I have a point, btw.

Lately, I have never felt so tired and so fragmented. I'm not complaining, mind you, since I am really blessed to have a beautiful child, a wonderful husband and a fantastic job. However, all of the wonderfulness is kind of pretty much completely exhausting. I find my mental acuity waning and my emotions waxing. I've developed what I call a "tender mother heart" which means I apparently can cry about anything terrible, precious or terribly precious. I've also developed what I call a "contiguous brain fart." (Hey, those two things I just mentioned rhymed. Unintentionally, might I add.)

I wanted to publish this, not only to remind myself why I made the choice I made (especially on the days where I really miss my amazing job), but to also remind myself that life will always be filled with a juxtaposition of emotions and events.

Plus, it helped stave my craving to post about something political. Because we all know how well that turned out four years ago. Ahem.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The notion of sleep

Ah, sleep. Who knew you'd be so elusive? After incubating a child, and then birthing said child, and then waking up every two-to-three hours to feed the aforementioned child, I naively thought that my body would be thoroughly apt to fall asleep easier and earlier once her sleep patterns became established.

I guess it wasn't meant to be.

There was that one time, back when I was pre-maritally dating my husband, where he had somewhere to be where I didn't also have to be. Which meant my head hit the pillow at nine p.m. sharp. And my eyes closed and my REM cycle began and all was right with the world. You know, the one time that actually happened to me? 

I think my main issue is genetics. It's a God-given Lalli family trait to suffer from insomnia, and my hairy legs, et al. will attest that I'm pretty much all Lalli. So hooray for random maladies such as poor sleeping habits and poor circulation in my hands and feet. And maybe also my temper? Is that stretching it a bit too far? 

Sleep-aids are out... mainly because of that unfortunate, Ambien-induced hallucinogenic experience that occurred at Heathrow Airport back in '06. Not my finest moment. But then again, I don't really remember it. Except that do I remember really, REALLY wanting a blueberry muffin from Starbucks. Also, I couldn't figure out how to email my parents because the coin slot to the computer machine kept moving. Um, yeah.

So here I sit, at the computer, knowing full well that tomorrow I'm going to feel this. And that there's no  guarantee that once I do get into bed that these guys won't keep me up anyway. Shrug.