Thursday, July 31, 2008

nothing new

I feel like this story illustrates well what it was like growing up in the Clifford household. You see, Tuesday at Christopher's birthday party my dad told us to follow him outside because he had something for each of us in his car. What could it be?

Oh. Boxes of kind of good cereal (note that Elizabeth and I ended up with double Raisin Brans and the boys with sugary delights).

They were on sale, I totally understand and appreciate it, but it's also kind of funny...just like the faces of each of my siblings here:

I particularly love the itty-bitty Casty McScowlface.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

sound of your voice

Can anyone tell me why the Gerald McBoing Boing shorts are on the Hellboy DVD extras? What a treat though, I love that animation style from the 50s and the opening credits font is fantastic. Plus, it's always fun to learn something new about pop culture.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

baby, I love you

Today on his dad's 25th birthday, Morgan is two weeks old.

Happy day to both those boys I love.

rock paper scissors

I can't remember now which blog I saw this on, but it was likely More Ways To Waste Time or 1Plus1

It's the the Rowan Morrison Found Paper Journal and it's awesome and I have one of my own now.

So if you love paper and have $15 then you should buy one too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

shake it up

I keep forgetting. I don't have a recipe per sae for the breakfast shake/afternoon shake/sometime during the work day shake I do, but here are the components for something that fill a cup this size:

-6 to 8 ice cubes
-a handful of frozen berries (I use the mixed berry mix from Costco)
-a handful or two of baby spinach leaves
-1/2 a frozen banana (it makes it taste creamier since no milk)
-a small handful of don't taste the broccoli really, but you do get little broccoli bits in your mouth so if that texture grosses you out, I'd just omit it entirely.
-1 scoop of protein powder...I use a chocolate flavored soy protein power my friend Big Steve suggested cus he worked at a musclehead store and said it's good for a girl who is looking for protein but not looking to get huge.

After I've put in all those things in the blender I add water until it hits about the berry line and blend. You can add as much or little water as you want, it just needs enough liquid to get all that crap mixed together. Today I added rice milk instead of water, but I didn't taste a difference. It's good, I think I have a bottomless pit of a stomach cus even the massive amount doesn't really ever fill me up. But it's satisfying and a good way to get in some fruit and vegetable servings and a load of protein. Plus it take me like 30 minutes to drink one so that's good.

out on the weekend

Today is day 15 of my 21 day cleanse, so I am just starting my third and final week. Blah, blah, blah, I just have some quick thoughts.

Last week proved to be more difficult than the first, I think in part because the novelty wore off and also because I felt like my body was adjusting or detoxifying or whatever it does and that made me feel not so hot...not terrible, but not awesome. Also last week was emotional for me, which I know increased my irritability about the limitations on my diet. I wanted to eat something comforting, I wanted to eat something normal feeling. But I didn't. I took a day off of work. I did yoga and I got a massage and I fixed a really good dinner for Naomi and Kent. While I think there would have been nothing wrong with going to my mom's house and vegging out or eating a chicken burrito with cheese, I am glad I didn't turn to sugar to fill up feeling sad. It felt great to stay in control and close to my emotions. And even on difficult days with this thing, it has always been a wonderful feeling to go to sleep feeling healthy and happy with my decisions that day.

I did and do feel more confident though, not so nervous walking into a store or restaurant wondering what I can't eat and paying far more attention to what I can eat...and finding it's not a pain so much as just thinking differently. I feel the treats I want are socially driven; dessert after dinner with my family or a walk up the street to Hatch's Chocolate but not so much just candy in the middle of the day. I want vegetables and garbanzo beans, it's fantastic. Friends and family continue to be supportive and ask questions and that's really motivating too.

Plus there was this on Friday night with new friends.

And this is how I woke up on Saturday morning.

And then later I got to see Merianne for the first time in like 5 years,

as well as old friends CB and Dave.

And to top it all off, Alden and Porter were violently opposed to having their pictures taken.

But twin 3 year old boys are so much fun that they make you forget about anything food related and start you thinking about the cost/benefit of getting your single-self pregnant (cost outweigh the benefits people).

Friday, July 25, 2008

wild world

I was just typing 'cat stevens' into the search on YouTube and because I missed the t in stevens, 'cat sexing' came up as a suggestion before I corrected my error.

So I guess there are cat sexing videos on YouTube if you're interested.

take time

So many reasons yesterday was a really comforting day.

Mike and Katie

tinies waving


rodeo beauty queens!

this kind of thing


Kent's parade impression

Mike's favorite float

mormon missionaries IN SPACE!

I wish I could have taken my pants off too

a Tretorn mail surprise! (I still have to buy them even though Katie has a very important Tretorn job)

summer sun and a lot of Logan and Kristen

hammocks in the backyard


The Books videos outside


My only complaints:
-WTF with no David Archuleta anywhere in the parade that had both Murray High School and Murray City participating?!
-I didn't see Morgan at all
-no animal products/sugar/caffeine/gluten on a day invented for Mormons to consume all of those things all day

Thursday, July 24, 2008

on a holiday

It's the 24th of July! A day that means nearly nothing to anyone outside the state of Utah, but if you are here it means parades and fireworks and forgetting about that whole separation of church and state business for a day. It's one of my favorite holidays because it's so unique to this place, such a funny thing we do, but that feels completely normal to us all; the LDS prophet in the parade today right before the governor, floats done by stakes emphasizing pioneer heritage or scriptural stories.

I love that families were camped out on the course last night and that at 11:00pm when we were riding bikes, downtown was awake. I love that today to everywhere else it's just a Thursday, but here most people have the day off and are swimming and having barbeques. I love that it's normal to consistently see and hear fireworks throughout the whole month of July and that Liberty Park will be slam packed full of people tonight for the show. I love that I live here. I love this day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

next to you

Last night I think Logan and Kristen and I were the last three people on the planet to see The Dark Knight. It was brilliant for many many reasons, none of which I will bore you with right now.

When we got out of the movie near midnight it looked and smelled like it had rained outside. For a few days the weather has been threatening a summer rain, once or twice spitting out a bit but nothing really substantial anywhere I've ever been in the valley. But it seemed like it was going to come last night because of that heavy feeling in the air like it wanted to burst, like it needed to burst. I sat on my porch for a while and watched some spectacular lightning and listened to the kind of thunder that scares me. Some huge, thick drops came for a minute but nothing like the downpour I was hoping for. And today there isn't a cloud in the sky I guess I'll have to wait a little longer for it.

But it all felt like this...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

wild flowers

I have to post the wedding flowers even these few days later because I am still really excited with the way it all turned out. This wedding was a delight from start to finish and I was given total creative freedom and trust; I met Melissa and Dave, discussed what I thought would be good ideas, and then they just let me run with it.

I got the job through my friend Ryan who is magic at making everything look beautiful. He was hired as the wedding planner and since we'd worked together on my old roommate Nicole's wedding last year, I guess it seemed like a good fit again. The bride had chosen lime green and orange as her colors and they were having an outdoor ceremony and reception up Parley's Canyon. Ryan and I decided that incorporating actual citrus would be a fun way to play with that and I am a big fan of arrangements and centerpieces that feel really organic, so with those two concepts I picked up all the round, full and color appropriate flowers I could find and Ryan dropped off bags of fruit.

My sister-in-law Kristen stopped by Saturday afternoon and was a HUGE help with the centerpieces...I may have been ambitious thinking I had the time to get everything done by myself.

I loved the way they turned out.

Ryan is awesome because yes, those are oranges and limes and lemons hanging from the tree.

This is the bride bouquet on it's way to the bride.

Outside table

Inside table

Arrangement at the bar

Time kind of got away from me as I was finishing up at my house, so luckily my mom stopped by and helped me with this big guy that ended up on the banquet table.

Ryan and I ran around like crazy people trying to get everything put together in the hour and a half we had to do it all. But because Ryan is magic, the whole place looked fantastic just in time for you

I was beat and hungry and happy which is probably why I left the wedding and went to a raw food restaurant with Kristina and Tracy and paid $8 for a slice of pie that didn't have sugar or gluten or any animal products in it. Awesome!

Monday, July 21, 2008

la manita

Lee instead of pictures how about this?

Jayne says to excuse the baby talk. Plus, I think he's getting darker which is good because nobody wants a white baby.

forget the flowers

I just turned in a really crappy essay about the rapid increase in brain size in the genus Homo roughly 700,000 years ago. Stink, I hate when I do that with an assignment.

I have to go to bed now, but I was just dumping my photos into iPhoto and have to post one of these post-haste because the wedding flowers were a smashing success.

Friday, July 18, 2008

don't stop til you get enough

Today closes the first work week of a cleanse I started on Monday. It's the one outlined in Quantum Wellness and it feels way less like a "cleanse" and more like just a really specific way to eat for three weeks. I know the book was a big deal on Oprah a while ago, but I just recently heard about it and really felt a connection to the way Kathy Freston talks about eating and our eating habits. So for the duration of the cleanse I have not/will not eat any animal products, sugar, caffeine or gluten. It's tough because it involves way more planning and thinking but that is also precisely why it's great too.

Figuring out a healthy food balance has been on my mind lately. I had a class last semester studying the value different cultures place upon food and we read some great articles including a lot of Michael Pollan who is a big advocate of eating natural, organic food for personal, economic and agricultural reasons. I think he's great and like that he looks at food from a global view because the products we choose affect more people than just ourselves.

So generally I try to be aware, try to eat healthy and buy locally but I know I have a nasty sweet tooth and all too often opt for something that will fill me quickly and cheaply rather than fill me properly. Reading Quantum Wellness I just felt a real and true desire to rid myself of bad habits that I so easily fall into and a three week, concentrated attention to my diet felt like a nice fit right now. Luckily, roommate Naomi got on board too, so Monday she loaded up our kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes and we've been rolling vegan style since. Like often is the case, I've found that once I stop and question my motives behind why I do what I do, I have realized a whole slew of things and have felt much more aware of not only food-related decisions, but my motivations behind all kinds of decisions in my life.

So...I am doing flowers for a wedding tomorrow and to pump myself up for a day without my usual flower arranging Sonic 32 ouncer in my hand, a reminder of the progress I've made so far:

1. I avoided the delicious Costco chocolate chip cookies that the receptionist buys every Monday...and avoided them every day since (that one is seriously difficult)
2. Also avoided the fully stocked Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke shelf at work
3. I added broccoli to the spinach/berry/soy protein shake I usually drink every morning and it's surprisingly delicious
4. I didn't buy myself a Sonic Blast or any other sugary treat after Morgan was born
5. I didn't buy myself a treat any other day just because I passed a store/felt like candy/was out with friends/wanted M&Ms for dinner.
6. I am SO glad our good friend Kent is well versed in the world of organic food because he suggested a soy ice cream that has a great sweet taste AND he made us some delicious tofu curry on Wednesday
7. I have felt really pretty great so far even with some heavy sugar cravings and some overall tiredness

But the weekend is before me...a time usually full of magical sugary delights, bread at Sunday dinner and the most delicious, coldest sodas known to man at my mom's house. Please bless I make it to Monday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

little trip to heaven

The very nature of a blog is a little self-indulgent, so I understand that. But still I am wondering how long do you get to go on and on about one particular thing? My Wasatch Back post showed me that people will still get to the end of an entry even with 22 photos so that is really important to know in this world full of important questions.

The birth of Morgan though, might stretch how many consecutive times I can say, "LOOK HOW ADORABLE HE IS!!!!" "HE IS THE FIRST BABY BORN UNTO ANY CLIFFORDS!!!" "ISN'T HE AMAZING?!" before anyone who reads this stops, throws up all over their computer, and is then left with a vomit-keyboard. Yikes! So I don't guarantee I will entirely end my gushing, but I can promise I will slow down. I'm sure I'll have some So You Think You Can Dance thoughts here soon as we approach the top 3 couples and then of course there will need to be pictures of my friends when we do fun activities, so you know...all very important other things.

But our dear family friend Mike took some fantastic newborn photos the day Morgan was born. He sent me a preview yesterday and I have to show them off a bit.

To me, the photos feel the way the room felt as we trickled in post-birth...just the afternoon sun lighting the room through the windows, voices were quiet, my mom and I teared up meeting that tiny person, Tasha was radiant and perfectly content while Christopher seemed a little dazed but oh so happy.

Babies are just amazing...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

the littlest birds

UPDATE: He got a name! It's Morgan William Clifford!

So this is the face of the future, a mere few hours after his 4:00 birth this afternoon.

This is Christopher holding the fruit of his loins (why would I actually say something like that?).

This is the beautiful mama.

This is Larrybird signaling to us that he's in the right family.

This is the Grandma Jaynie Pants and Kristen and Logan.

These are the cute grandpas.

There will be more concerning thoughts this new little person I'm sure...

baby king

I remember in like the 5th grade when my friend Emily's older sister had a baby. My mom and I bought balloons and took them to Emily with a card that I cleverly addressed to 'Auntie Em'.


Larrybird was just born, with no real name yet (though I'm gunning for Larrybird to make the birth certificate somewhere), but he is here finally and he's 7 1/2 pounds and 19 inches long. I'm going to see him now, so unless he's too much like a prune, I will post pictures later. Hooray!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I have more garden photos (exciting!) but I was just cleaning out my text inbox because I stink at getting rid of old ones. I ran across one from Janelle (I promise I have other friends) and it's dated Thursday, August 16th, 9:44am and it says:

Ps, We had so much fun tho

She was referring to the night before when we had gone swimming at the house of some brothers we knew from church. We were new friends with them and a bit nervous because sometimes it's nervous to hang out for the first time with brothers who are all handsome...and it's nervous to be half naked with them when you are used to being church clothed around them. But Liz had a new camera that could take pictures underwater so with the pool slide and the camera and the nighttime, and the handsome brothers being so funny, we had a really delightful time.

But also that day, August 15th, was Jacob's birthday. He lived in the apartment above me and around that time was confusing the crap out of me because we hung out often -like all the time- but usually late at night. And while I thought I felt some vibes from him, there were no moves coming from him. So I had decided I wasn't going to make much of a big deal about his birthday even though I love birthdays and was excited for his particular birthday. Instead I made him a music mix and went about my day. Luckily cute and crafty neighbor Kate had done the cake thing and late when Janelle and Liz and I got back from swimming and stopped over, we found Kate and Jacob and their roommates laying on the floor talking. We joined in and spent the rest of that late summer Wednesday night discussing a million things and staying up way past all of our bedtimes laughing; I remember lots of laughing that night. And it seems kind of silly now maybe but I remember specifically laying there on my stomach, looking at those people and thinking about the fun from earlier, it felt really nice to have not made plans around someone who seemed only interested in me maybe...because I was worth at least a little bit of effort I thought.

I know the text I wrote Janelle was something about how I stopped for a 32 oz Diet Dr. Pepper on my way to work since I was so tired. She had replied with something about the same and then I got the postscript a second later. And she got it just perfectly right; it was a summer night gem, and we did have so much fun.

Oh and then Jacob and I were kissy-face by Labor Day so way to stick to your guns Emily!

Friday, July 11, 2008

robots in the garden

I moved into my apartment 2 years ago and I believe I comment with regularity about how much I love it. Because I do love it. Because it's awesome. It's got hardwood floors and exposed brick and loads of personality...inside. The building itself is great too on the outside, but there are three plots in front that have never been too hot.

Take for example the spot right in front of my door. Blah.

So a few weeks ago I finally talked to my landlords about letting me shape it up. When I told my mother, THE GARDENER EXTRAORDINAIRE, she planned a date for us to get some business done. Last night she brought tools, bought me pair of gardening gloves and even gave me some more varieties of the succulent called Hen and Chicks that I love so much.

After some heavy duty weeding.

This rock was buried in the corner by the driveway and a freakin fir tree was rooted under it. After a few damns and a sonofabitch or two, I muscled both the rock and tree out (mostly) BY MYSELF.

Here is my mom being cute (that is the giant rock by the way).

Then Danny stopped by!

So I made him take a picture of me weeding.

My mom built this dry stream bed.

And we wrangled up all the Gay Feathers that were growing wild and put them in one spot.

It got dark before I took more photos, but I still need to get my mom to tell me again the names of the different plants we planted anyway so I'll do all of that tomorrow.

I just love feeling dirt on my feet and hands and I love the physicality, the smell, the satisfaction of digging around in the earth. I've been a potted plant kind of girl the past few years, so I'm looking forward to this leap to a 12 x 6 feet kind of girl. Thanks mom!