Monthly Archives: April 2009

Yanni Voices

glamour MaliaThanks to One2One Network, I got to attend the Nashville performance of the Yanni Voices tour last Wednesday night! I was very excited about this concert because Nashville’s own Leslie Mills (who, you’ll remember, came to my house last month and performed for a group of bloggers) is one of the Voices on this tour. All four Voices are wonderfully talented and the show boasted an amazing group of musicians. From the “Voices” and the musicians to Yanni himself, the amount of talent in that room was mind boggling!


I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I’m not very familiar with Yanni or his music but if you had asked me to describe it before Wednesday night I would have said, “kinda like elevator music?” But now? No way. I now have a whole new appreciation for his music. It rocked and it moved me.

The show was high energy, sensual and compelling. I was never bored because each set just got better and better.

Yanni’s “Voices” all have been inspired to put lyrics to his music. My favorite, and yes I’m a bit biased but, was Leslie’s song, “Before the Night Ends”.

If you are in one of their tour cities, you should consider attending the concert, you won’t be disappointed!


Picture set on Flickr


Filed under by Malia, Nashville life

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich

PhotobucketI’ve been a little absent from Mouthwatering Mondays. Sorry. My cooking has been hit and miss lately and I’ve been relying on several old standbys. It’s challenging to cook for my family right now. JBelle is being a rather picky vegetarian and GMan is just being plain old picky. I like trying new things but there’s not much that has been acceptable to their palates. Today’s recipe is no exception which is why I made it just for myself!

The fabulous Rachel inspired me with her grilled cheese post today. In fact, I have put the ingredients for her sandwich on my grocery list because that is one good looking grilled cheese sandwich! Grilled cheese is my all time favorite kind of sandwich. Most of the time, around here, it’s just regular grilled cheese. But every now and then, I have ingredients on hand for something a little more special. I love using sourdough or rye or pumpernickel or a really hearty/nutty bread. I like using a variety of cheeses, my favorites being Munster, pepperjack and Havarti.

Today, I had at my disposal, sharp cheddar & monterey jack cheese. I also had some pimentos. So I whipped up a small batch of pimento cheese, spread it on my regular, 100% whole wheat sandwich bread and had a grilled pimento cheese sandwich for lunch! Delicious!

There’s really no hard and fast recipe for the pimento cheese. I just grated enough cheddar & monterey jack for one sandwich, added some mayo and pimentos to taste. I wanted my sandwich to have a bit of a kick to it so I added a few dashes of Texas Pete hot sauce and some fresh cracked pepper.

Just enough to make one sandwich

Just enough to make one sandwich

Pimento cheesy goodness!

Pimento cheesy goodness!

My mouth was certainly watering as I waited for it to cool down enough to inhale it in about 4 bites!


Filed under by Malia, life as a domestic goddess

The Five Percent Rule

glamour MaliaI published an article from a guest author this week on Wedded Bliss that I just keep thinking about. The author, Wendy Strgar, is the founder of a company called Good Clean Love. Her company makes intimacy enhancing products that are also “green” or eco-friendly. I found out about her company from the blog, The Fun Times Guide to Living Green, which is written by Nashville resident, Jeffrey Davis. When I read about Wendy and her company, I became an instant fan! And then when I contacted her and she sent me some articles she’s written, well, I was practically smitten!

happy-marriages-5-percentBut back to the article. Wendy writes about what she calls, “the five percent rule”.

Someone told me a long time ago that if you can change any area of your life by a consistent five percent, the effects will be remarkable. … This 5% rule applies to our personal ecosystems as well. The smallest of changes in how we communicate in, show up for, and think about our relationship can and does alter its course.

So often we think that we have to make big changes in our lives to see a difference. But really, it’s the little changes that can make a large impact. Getting up a few minutes early each day, taking a little extra time to set aside items for recycling rather than putting them in the trash, cutting out one unhealthy item from your diet each day, drinking one more glass of water, planting an extra kiss on your husband before he walks out the door for work, sticking one little note into your child’s lunchbox, smiling at your neighbor. It takes just a little bit more time but each of those makes a difference either in your life, your family’s life or the world around you.

Please be sure to read the whole article. It really spoke to me this week, I think it will bless you, too!

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Filed under Blissfully Domestic, by Malia, love & marriage

Depends on what your definition of whining is.

img_3047GMan was recently whining one morning about something, I wasn’t even sure what it was he was whining about so I said, “What are you whining about?” He stopped, sighed and said, “Nothing.”

Ah! So he admits it!

Then he immediately followed that up with, “That’s not whining, that just me trying to wake up!”

I think this one may turn out to be a politician!

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Filed under by Malia, The GMan

My Lent: Epilogue

glamour MaliaWell, I did it. I went 40 39 days without eating sugary foods like brownies, cookies, cake, pie, candy, donuts, cokes, sweet tea, lattes, milkshakes, etc, etc. No, it was not easy. No, I really didn’t feel better while I was “fasting”. I did lose a few pounds, that was nice. Yes, I craved it every. single. day. Yes, it did get a bit easier after awhile but it was never easy and never very far from my consciousness.


This week I’ve been enjoying many of the things I had abstained from. I had brownies for breakfast on Sunday morning, oh yes I did! I’ve had real coca-cola, a Rolover (chocolate & caramel latte) and a cookie from Fido, Samoas (Girl Scout cookies), sweet tea and “taxes” from the kids’ Easter baskets.

I was told by born & raised Catholics that my choice of Lent abstinence was rather ambitious. I agree. But I gained some insights from it.

  1. It’s encouraging to know that I can do it. I don’t have to eat sweet things, I can say no.
  2. The profound never occurs the way we think it will.
  3. Next year will be different! For one, I’ll pick a singular something to abstain from, not an entire category! I think I’ll also try some of the traditional observance like abstaining from meat.

Thanks for following me through this exercise of faith. I hope in some small way, it was helpful for you, too.

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Filed under by Malia, religion

Madeline Alice Spohr



Nashville Team Maddie walks this Sunday, April 19th!

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Filed under by Malia

My Lent: Part Four

glamour MaliaExistential crisis. In my life I’ve never really questioned the existence of God or the truth of Jesus or the workings of the Holy Spirit or the mystery of all three. There have been many times when I doubted my own place in this world. Times when I struggled mightily with sin, it’s consequences and the truths that come to light because of it. I’ve been confused and angry with God but I never doubted him.

Until Maddie died.

Life is such a strange thing. Why the death of a child whom I don’t know would affect me so profoundly is unexplainable. I just know that by the time I got to church on Wednesday night for Vespers, I doubted God for the first time in my life. And I was sure that I was done with him and his church.

I sat in the semi-dark, candlelit room and cried. I was so sad for Heather and Mike. So worried about another family I know who’s 3 month old son is in a hospital struggling for his life. So done with believing in a God that let bad things happen.

Then our speaker for the evening got up to talk. Now, I’ve had the experience of hearing a sermon or reading a blog post or talking to a friend that seemed to be directed straight at me. Words I needed to hear, ideas I needed to ponder, comfort I needed to accept. But Wednesday night was the most profound and powerful experience of that I’ve ever had. That Vespers talk was for me. I know it was.

He spoke of his own existential crises, of a time when he declared he was done with God and the revelation he found from it. He spoke of a deeply rooted faith, of mystery and of accepting that there are no answers to many of our hardest questions. I wish I was talented enough to describe to you what happened to me as I sat there listening to him and crying. The realization of my own deeply rooted faith that would never, ever be able to give up on God came with a keen physical sensation. I think it could be called relief.

You see, in all my darkest times in life, I’ve never felt like God has left me. I’ve always felt his presence with me. Even on Wednesday. But there I was telling God I was done, I was leaving, no more, good-bye. And the irony of it is actually quite comical. It was like standing in front of tree and declaring to the tree that you don’t believe it’s there and then sitting down underneath it, resting against it’s trunk and taking comfort in it’s shade. The tree isn’t going to leave me and I can’t leave the tree.

I’m still very sad. In fact, this week has been marked with much death, destruction and despair. I’m really tired of hearing bad news. I’m grateful for the little bits of good news sprinkled in, like the birth of another little girl. One life ended, another began. And so it goes.

I was looking for something profound during this Lenten season. I don’t know what exactly I expected but I know it wasn’t this. I guess when it comes to faith, we never quite get what we expect from God, we get what we need.


Maddie’s parents, Heather and Mike Spohr, requested in lieu of flowers for Maddie that donations be made to the March of Dimes. Several of us bloggers around the country who knew or knew of Heather and Maddie have formed walk teams for the annual March of Dimes fundraising walks. I’m walking for Maddie on Sunday, April 19th. If you are so inclined, I’d be humbled and delighted if you sponsored me for this walk.


Filed under by Malia, religion

Good-bye Maddie

maddieI don’t even know how to write this post. I’m crying over the loss of a little girl I’ve never met. In fact, I’ve only known about her for a very short time.

Maddie’s mom is Heather. Heather was one of the two other brave souls, along with me,  to host real life ultimate blog parties in her home. She had the honor of being the first one. I sat in on a Skype meeting with Heather and Barbara Jones and others from 5 Minutes for Mom before and during Heather’s party.

I’d never read Heather blog before then or followed her on Twitter, but I have been for the last few weeks.

The first thing you notice on Heather’s blog is a very cute picture of her daughter Maddie in a March of Dimes widget. Heather’s pregnancy was complicated and Maddie’s birth was extraordinary. She wasn’t really expected to live…but she did! She had some health problems but she was thriving child.

And now she’s gone.

I noticed a couple days ago on Twitter some tweets about Maddie being sick and in the hospital. There was a picture of her hooked up to tubes and monitors. I kept thinking that everything would be OK. She’d pull through whatever it was that made her sick. And then the work got around last night that she did not pull through.

I’m not sure why this has affected me so profoundly. Maybe it’s just my current mental state, coming through a round of seasonal depression, feeling so hopeful and then hearing gut wrenching, awful news like that. Maybe it’s something else entirely.

All I know is there is a mother and father this morning without the child they that fought so hard for to bring into this world.

My heart screams “WHY?” and “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!”

My soul is at least a bit comforted by the response I’ve seen to this horrible loss. People everywhere offering condolences and donating to the March of Dimes per Maddie’s parent’s request.

Rest in peace, sweet Maddie. You’ll be missed more than you could possibly ever know.

Update: This post from Tanis (Redneck Mommy) is the most beautiful, heartbreaking thing I’ve read. I just had to share it with you.


Filed under by Malia, parenting