Sunday, December 24, 2006

Oh Holly Night...

We took this one just a few minutes ago.
Yes, that's snow in LA...fake snow, that is!

Isn't Santa handsome?

We want to wish you the merriest and happiest of Christmas Eves and a wonderful Christmas day tomorrow. May you always be surrounded by light, love, and family and may the new year make all your wishes come true.

Bon Natale!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays to You!

Only one short day left to Christmas Eve! What a wonderful time of the year this is. Everything seems happier and shinier. I just love it.

We could argue about each person's religious beliefs until we're blue in the face. We could discuss the "war on Christmas" and the lack of "Merry Christmas" wishes and the abundance of the PC greeting of "Happy Holidays". We could have a contest of the differing holidays... Chanukah's the one, no it's Christmas, and what about Kwanzaa? We could keep telling each other how different we are and drive a wedge between ourselves by one upping each other's holidays and religions. But, what does that accomplish?

Why not look at this time of the year and see it for what is: the time for us all to fulfill our need to believe in something unseen, in miracles, in magic, in beauty and in humanity? Does a Jew not see how beautiful the Christmas tree is? What problem could a Moslem have with lighting candles, gathering by friends and family and giving gifts out of love? Why can't we stop pointing to our differences and see, really see, that we're all basically the same? What can't we see that we all love our families and friends, that we yearn to believe in a higher power, that we love and look for beauty, that we want to celebrate life and that we all want to believe in magic, no matter how old we are, where we come from and what our gender is?

Christmas is a gorgeous holiday, and so is Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. They're all different ways of reaching the same goals: family, love, comfort, spirituality and thankfulness.

So, no matter what you believe and celebrate in your homes, we wish you bright days, happy nights and a season filled with love and happiness.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Present & Christmas Past

Scott wearing his favorite seasonal accessory at a party in 2004.
This house is in our neighborhood. It is adorn year-round by a whole lotta naked David statues and it's appropriately called the "Youngwood Estate" Ho! Ho! Ho!
Nearby Grove Shopping Center is all decked out. It boasts the tallest Christmas tree in the country. Even taller than the Rockefeller Center tree. Take that, NYC!
Our cute and tiny Christmas tree this year with a starfish as it's tree topper.

Here are some more photos from our Christmas times past and present. Enjoy!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Such a Great Time of the Year

We bought and decorated our tree last Saturday. It's beautiful, even though a bit too short as far as I'm concerned. But, it's our first tree in a few years and I love it!!!! I'll post photos soon.

Merry Christmas!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I must make a confession: I hate the winter. I hate the cold, I hate the bareness of nature and I especially hate the snow. That’s why LA w/ its year-round 70-degree-weather is perfect for me. I spent three miserable cold years in Lansing, Michigan while attending law school and if I never see snow again, it would be too soon.

Despite my dislike for winter, Christmas time is one of favorite times of the year. No matter where I’ve lived and no matter what my life’s situation has been, I have always found Christmas to be magical and amazing.

I had my first Christmas tree was when I was in first grade in Iran. My half-brother, whom I didn’t even know about until then, had returned from Italy after many years and my dad wanted to make him feel welcome and bring us all together. I will never forget that tree. I even still remember all ornaments in detail. As a non-Christian living in a Moslem country, I had only seen Christmas trees in American movies and on TV. It was such an amazing adventure for me to go along for picking the tree, buying ornaments and decorating it with my new found brother. My dad told me stories of faraway lands and a sister I had never met. He, my half-brother and my half-sister had spent Christmases past in Rome and my dad was full of funny stories of those times. I was mesmerized by it all.

A few years later, when I was in fifth grade, my family and I found ourselves living a completely different life. Gone were the days of comfort and prosperity; gone were the glorious carefree days of the past; and gone were all our American and European friends and my “foreign” brother. We were abandoned by friends and family. It was just the three of us against a cold and harsh new world. Iran was now an “Islamic Republic”, whatever that meant. My father had lost his job and we were forced to move to a one-bedroom apartment in order to make ends meet. Times were grave and scary and virtually everything I knew life to be had been wiped off the face of the earth.

That winter, my father found me devastated and “homesick” for my old life. I wanted my Christmas tree. I wanted lights and ornaments, happy faces and parties. He knew that we could not have a Christmas tree and that having one might lead to big trouble for the entire family. Times were different now. We had religious zealots running the country and they would not take kindly to a “Moslem” girl decorating Christmas trees and singing Jingle Bells. But, I was only ten years old and could not comprehend how deeply the course of our lives had changed. I just knew that I wanted things to be the way they used to be.

So, my dad dug up a tiny old plastic tree we had and told me to string all my beads on a long strand. We decorated that sad tiny tree with my beads and ornaments he made out of cardboard and glue. Even in the depth of loss and despair, my dad made me feel happy and fortunate that year. I remember my parents warning me of the consequences of telling my classmates about my tree. They scared the hell out of me. I didn’t care. I felt like a super special secret princess with my very own secret magic Christmas tree. In a way, that little sad tree was and will always be the most beautiful tree to me.

Years later still, we finally settled and tried to grow roots in a brand new country and a brand new culture. After many years of harshness, uncertainty and instability we relocated to Texas and began to put our broken lives together again. We finally were able to celebrate Christmas again without fear, without being controlled and without being hesitant. As years went by, Christmas became bigger and brighter and happier in our home once more.

In the recent years, and for various reasons, that tradition has faded again. My family was plagued with illness and sadness and emptiness and Christmas got pushed back and ignored. I can’t even remember the last year I had a tree.

But, this year is different. This is the first Christmas since my dad died. After so many years of uncertainty, doubt, loss and unhappiness, this Christmas also marks my first one with my new husband. I face my future no longer alone and as I bid goodbye to my loving dad and all my fond memories of our Christmases past, I embrace my new family and look forward to Christmases with my own children. I can’t wait to string beads and make ornaments out of cardboard with them in honor of their Granddad.

So, for the rest of days of 2006, I am going to share pictures of past celebrations and Christmases. I wish I could show you my first Christmas tree or the one my dad and I made out of insignificant things, so you would know how fortunate I once was to be the daughter of such an amazing father. But, those images only exist in my mind and my heart along side the memories of my sweet and kind dad, whom I love and miss more than I can express.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2007 to everyone!

Emmett is One Month Old!!

I'm sure he's singing opera to his mommy here!

Happy Birthday, Little One!!

As I do most mornings, the first thing I did this Monday morning was to check my email. Usually, I only have bills, political emails, and spam. Nothing too terribly exciting or wonderful. Today was the exception and not the rule. This morning, I received an email from my wonderful friend, Jane. Today her little star, Emmett, turned a whole months!! The fabulous email led me to Emmett's very own website. I just had to share of some of his little photos with everyone. Is he not the cutest thing??? HAPPY ONE MONTH BIRTHDAY, EMMETT!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

La La Land, Here We Come

Well, our wonderful trip is over and we're back in LA again. This was such a great trip and I FINALLY had a chance to actually see some of New York City, which has always been a dream for me. We're going back in spring, and I'm already making a list of all I still wanna do. I'll post some more photos from our excellent adventure a bit later. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Greetings from the Big Apple

Exterior of St. Patrick's Cathedral

Sack's Christmas window display

This was taken by a couple who had just gotten engaged

As you see, at the Rockefeller Center

In the library of our cute hotel, the Mansfield

We've been in NY for three days now. It's been a fabulous trip-everything I always wanted out of a NY trip. Here are some photos from our excellent adventure so far.

Wish you were here!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Turkey Day

This year's Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2004 Right After We Got Engaged

With less than 12 hours to go, we're fast at work getting ready for Thanksgiving. It's a special day for us for many reasons. Thanksgiving is Scott's favorite holiday. When we were in law school, Scott used to do a Thanksgiving dinner and invite all our friends. He would get up at the crack of dawn and cook all day. He took a lot of joy and pride in his turkey. Since we moved to LA, we've begun a new tradition. Every year, we gather at Scott's second cousin, Lynne's house and share Thanksgiving with her and other family and friends. It was during this gathering two years ago when Scott proposed to me. So, this Thanksgiving, we look forward to seeing our dear friends and family and to celebrating the anniversary of our engagement and to giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives. We hope you have a blessed day filled with happiness, love, laughter and lots of delicious food. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Welcome to the World

Little Emmett Augusten Mayer was born to our wonderful new friends, Jane and Brian Mayer yesterday morning. Momma, Papa and the little superstar are all doing wonderfully. Although just arrived, little Emmett has been with us through some very happy events. As a matter of fact, unbeknownst to us, Emmett was there and helped his mommy when she presided over our gorgeous wedding ceremony in April. So, his arrival is extra special to us for many reasons. We send all our warmest wishes and congratulations to the Mayer family and welcome little Emmett to the world!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ok, enough political stuff. Back to A&S

"You can now kiss the bride"

One of our gorgeous egagement photos

At my shower with our moms

Still on Cloud Nine from last week's victory, but this blog is not a political one. Back to us and our married bliss. Here are some more photos from our engagement and wedding.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


It's a great day!!! The Dems have taken the House back and the Senate might shorty follow. It's a proud day for me. This was my fist winning election. I became a citizen in 2000 and every election has been heart breaking. It feels so wonderful to finally see the people of this country wake up, vote their conscience and take our country back. It's a fabulous day!! Ok, Now I'll go to hear MY President speak. Oh, and the reports say Rumsfeld is stepping down!!! Wooooohoooo!!! It's a FABULOUS DAY!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote 2006

In Paris during our honeymoon.
What do the French know? One could say a lot.

Please make sure you vote tomorrow. It's such an important election and so much is riding on it. This country must find its intellect, its vitality, its diversity and its honor again. Our country was built based on differing opinions, fresh modern ideas, ethical thinking and freedom. And yet these are the very values obliterated in the recent years. They have been obliterated by a one-party, monarchy-style government, dirty politics, an immoral occupation, failing foreign policies and the systematic destruction of our constitutional and civil rights for the sake of tricking the nation into feeling safe.

Now dissent is no longer viewed as an exercise of our cherished right to free speech. If you raise your voice in dissent, you are considered unpatriotic. Now we cannot rest assured that we have constitutionally protected rights and are entitled to the due process of law and that no one can take these rights away from us. Our homes can be searched without our knowledge and warrants; our library records are a sign of our intentions and therefore no longer private; our citizenships can be stripped on the basis of so little; our freedoms can be taken away without due process or access to habeas corpus; and we can be maltreated and harmed, as long as our president deems the treatment as "non-torture".

This country has become unrecognizable to its citizens who love it from the bottoms of their hearts. Sometimes, it looks and feels like the restrictive, backward, religious dictatorship my family and I escaped from. And this fact hurts my heart. You see, I am in love with my country. I think it's an amazing place born out of some amazing ideals. These ideals must be protected and defended when attacked, as they have been in the recent years.

For the love of God, if you're a citizen of this country, give damn and vote tomorrow.
God bless everyone in the world, as well as America

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Those are feather lashes, just in case you were wondering. They're Fabulous.

Scott's sign says: Young Republican in Training, Adopt a Jailbird.

Happy Halloween! This is my favorite holiday!!! It's the one time in the year where you can be as flamboyant as you want without people passing judgement. I can't wait for when we have kids. I'll get to do all the things I didn't when I was a kid: carving pumpkins, trick or treating and all other Halloween traditions.

This year, we were invited to a great Halloween party in Long Beach. It was so great and very fun. They even had a Halloween hunted house set up, but I was too scared to go through it. Scott went as a young Republican on his way to the county jail. Quite appropriate for these times. I went as the angel of death. There's a Republican-related joke in there somewhere.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Our New (Temporary) Baby

In the bath tub where Giggio lives

Is Giggio not the cutest thing ever??

Thursday we found little chinchilla running around our garage on Thursday. We were afraid it would get run over by the cars and didn't know what to do with it. Finally, Scott captured it and brought it upstairs and we've have been taking care of it since then. It's made a home for itself in our spare bath tub upstairs.

Poor little thing was so scared a first day or two. The funny thing is that we (really me) were afraid of it, too. But, we all have gotten used to each other little by little. I picked it up and held it today for the first time. It is the cutest little thing and so soft!! It's a cross between a cute mouse and a bunny rabbit. It's really cute, as you see from the photos. I've even named it: Topo Giggio, which is the name of an Italian cartoon character. It's similar to Mickey Mouse, especially since the word "Topo" means mouse.

Despite signs around the building and the manager's phone calls to the tenants, no one has yet come to claim the little guy. We will not be keeping it though. If no one in the building claims it, we're giving it to Scott's assistant, Lisa and her daughter Hanna.

Everybody say Ciao, Topo Giggio!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy Shadduchus

We were invited to some friends' house two Saturdays ago. They are news friends and this was our first time over. We were married by Jane, the lady of the house, who will have their first baby in five weeks. She and her husband, Brian are such a great couple.

The invitation, which came in the form of an evite about a month ago, said we were going to celebrating the "Shadduchus" holiday. Neither one of us had ever hear of this holiday. I assumed it was a Jewish holiday, since there are a lot of them I still know nothing about. The evite offered some information about the holiday. Shadduchus is normally celebrated in the first weekd of December (they were celebrating early this year since their hands will be full with their brand new baby in December). Shadduchus is celebrated by eating only sweets and desserts and nothing else from noon until bedtime, and its official colors are green and purple! We asked around to find out whether this was a really fun Jewish holiday we somehow had managed to miss all these days, but to no avail.

No one seemed to have EVER hear of Shadduchus.

Finally, I asked the hosts. It turned out that Shudduchus is completely, totally, and 100% made- up!! Jane and Brian are from very diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, and they wanted to have a day of celebration separate from each of their cultures and backgrounds. They also wanted it to be hassle free and without any cooking, so they decided to have the guests brings desserts and sweets to the party. The green and purple came about because the first year they had a Shudduchus party, the paper plates that happened to be on sale were green and purple!!

What fun! We loved the idea so much. And the party was totally fun. People came dressed in green and purple w/ platters of candy apples, brownies, choccolate chip cookies, cupcakes and other fun goodies to eat. The hosts provided real hot choccolates (made from choccolate bars) w/ marshmellows and other no alcoholic drinks. The other thing that was required was that each guest bring $5-$10 and the name of their favorite charity. The money went into a bowl and the names of charities were written down on small pieces of papers and put into another bowl. At some point our hosts pulled a name out and the entire money collected went to that charity.
Is that a great idea or what????

So, the two of us, also of such different backgrounds, countries and cultures are fast at work brainstorming for a made-up holiday of our very own. We're toying with the idea of having our own Shadduchus holiday and interpret it as we wish, but nothing's been decided yet.
Do you have any idea? If so, please write and let us know. We want something fun, hassel-free, different and CLEAN, so get your minds out of the gutter, put your thinking caps on and let us know what type of made-up holiday you would have!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Belated Happy Sweetest Day

With Karen & Robert
On Sweetest Day at the restaurant

Sweetest Day is like Valentine's Day. It's a Hallmark holiday, if you will. It's not well-known anywhere but the in the middle America. It is always celebrated on the 3rd Saturday in Ocotber. Scott and I learned about it while we were in law school. It became our tradition that while Scott plans for Valentine's Day, I would plan out and take Scott out on Sweetest Day. So, every year, I search high and low for a new place to take Scott for Sweetest Day dinner. This can be a very anxious time for me, as Scott is an uber "FOODIE". This year, we went to Cafe Pacific at the Trump National Golf Course. Such a lovely location, right on the bluff overlooking the ocean.

To my sweetest, I love you.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Friendship (Part 2)

Julie, here with Scott
Brent, (Center) Julie's Husband
Jenny and I
With Dundee, My Friend with the Point
With Allisson, Who Recently Became a Bride Herself
We've dedicated a lot of blog entries to our friends in the past. The other day, I spoke to an old dear friend from law school. She and her husband could not make it out to the Left Coast for the wedding, even though they tried really hard and truly wanted to be here for it. Her point was that the blog did not mention those in their situation: those who are so dear to us and who really wanted to be with, but were unable to make it. To her and other good friends who were not at the wedding, I send all our love and say, "we know we're loved by you and although disappointed that you missed the wedding, we felt you there with us in spirit."