Wednesday, December 31, 2008

so long, OLD year!

As far as years go, I have to say that 2008 hasn't ranked very high on my list. If you want to consider those non-material things like learning life's lessons and that sort, then it's probably right up there for me, but if you look at overall happiness and contentment I'd have to say it's right near the bottom. Of course, it ranks highly in the "stress" ratings, too. And forced humility.

Anyways, it suffices to say that I'm not sad to close the door on this year. I don't know what the new year has in store, but I'm hopeful and determined to do what I can to make it a good one. I'm not exactly sure how to approach my resolutions for the year, either. Last year I did monthly ones, which I really liked until life kind of took a nosedive in May and I lost momentum. I do know that I want to continue to build my photography business, continue to improve our homeschooling, and also get back into "running condition" this spring and summer after the baby is born. My biggest wish for the year is a job for David that he will enjoy, that will make good use of his talents and skills and that will provide enough for us to stay in this home comfortably. Though if we can find a job that meets the first two criteria, I'd be willing to relocate and find a new place to call home. As much as I love this house, the trials this year have taught me that it wouldn't be the end of the world to have to leave.

So, here's to a new year! May we all start it on the right foot!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Maybe I'm a bad mom, but I didn't take very many pictures on Christmas this year. I've found in the past that I take too many and never look at them again, so I only took a few. Here are the kids modeling their homemade jammies on Christmas Eve, and then with their homemade monsters on Christmas Day. They both loved their PJs and their monsters, which made me happy. Spud got more LEGOS, some Transformers, and Magformers. Noodle got Littlest Pet Shop toys, A Build-A-Bear, and a Care Bear. The kids also got this awesome "Shakespeare for Kids" set from their Aunt Jenn (which I am probably more excited about than they are, at least for now! I know they'll enjoy them, too.) They also got some other fun books. From Santa they each got a little Littlest Pet Shop toy, a beanie bird, a flashlight and some treats. It was a good amount of things. Our budget was tight so we were careful not to overspend, and I don't think anyone felt deprived.

I made a bunch of monsters for other people's gifts, too. (My nieces and nephews, my SIL, a friend and her son.) I forgot to take pictures, so they'll be emailing me some and I'll post them, too. I'm certainly biased, but I think they are pretty dang cute. :o) I'm trying to come up with new ideas, too, so if you have any fun ideas, let me know.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Clivemas!

Okay, I know I call him Spud here on the blog, but "Merry Spudmas" just doesn't quite have the same effect.

My little guy turns four today! (Tonight at 11:14 p.m., if you want to be precise.) And I have to say that even though I'm VERY pregnant right now, I'm quite happy that this baby isn't going to be born for another 5-6 weeks. One holiday birth/baby is enough for me.

We had his friend party (his first one) on the 13th. He had a few friends over and they painted wooden toy cars, played "Pin the Wheel on Lighting McQueen," decorated those scratchy color-under-black things, raced cars down ramps, and had cake and ice cream. David designed and made both the cake and the poster for the game. (He's really good at using a grid to size things appropriately.) Today David's family came over for a little celebration.

Here's to another year, little guy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, friends, another year and I didn't get the cards out. Between tight finances and little free time, I just didn't get it done. Next year I'll start in October. I really wanted to get them out this year, too, because I love getting cards & pictures in the mail from friends. So,

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

not a very "good mom" day

We stayed at David's folks house WAY too late last night, so Spud was a bit off his game most of today. And I wasn't very patient. And totally lost it once. ::sigh:: I wish I would be a bit more patient and understanding and remember that they're just little. I get so caught up in the emotion of the moment and can't behave rationally.

Tomorrow's a new day, though, I suppose. Hopefully we can both do better.

Friday, December 19, 2008

i am my mother's daughter

I needed elastic to finish up Noodle's pajama pants for Christmas, so I went to JoAnns Fabrics today. We thought it would be quick, so I just ran in while David and the kids waited in the car. They were COMPLETELY out of pre-cut elastic, but fortunately had some that you can get cut at the cutting table. Unfortunately, you have to take a number and wait in line. My number was 25 and they were on 19, so I had a few minutes to kill. (Oh, I failed to share the story of how I took the kids to JoAnns on Black Friday. My number was 68, I think, and they were in the 30s. Only a bit later I found out they were on H30-something, and I was I-68. We were there for three hours! To keep the kids happy, we hid things among the fabric and had "treasure hunts," and also wadded up ads and played basketball with a shopping basket. I was amazed that we made it through with our sanity relatively intact. And all for super cheap flannel.) Anyways, I decided to spent my time waiting today looking at the remnants bin, and what do you know, they were 75% off the regular price. Normally remnants are 50% off the "standard" price, so they were an additional half off of that low price. Yippee!! I couldn't resist and bought three different pieces. One for a Christmas gift for my SIL, one for a superhero cape for Spud, and one for some future cool craft. All that, plus the elastic for less than $7. Yay!

So, yeah, I don't know what it says about me that my favorite places to shop lately are JoAnns, Savers & D.I. I guess it's just a different manifestation of my mom's love of garage sale-ing. (Which I do love, too, but it's harder to get out and do with the kids.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

what a difference . . .

a day makes.

Isn't it funny that sometimes even though nothing has changed, sometimes it feels like something has? Thanks to some prayers (by me & others, I'm sure) and some hugs and kind words from good friends, and David feeling more hopeful about work and things, today seems much brighter and tolerable than yesterday.

So, keep praying for us. I think they're helping. :o)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


There has hardly been ANY work for me to do this week. Normally by the end of Wednesday I have 14-17 hours done. This week I've only been able to get 8. I've been working 30 hours whenever possible these past few weeks, but it's looking doubtful that there will be that much available this week. And then I can't help feeling a bit nervous that it might be drying up, when we really need the money (still).


And it doesn't help that they changed the calling setup at David's work last week and it really threw a wrench in his ability to make sales. So we're trying to explore our options, again. 34 weeks pregnant and at Christmas is not really ideal timing for this sort of stuff, but I suppose there never is ideal timing for hardship and trials. I've been doing remarkably well (especially considering me being me, and all) staying hopeful and relatively upbeat the past few months, but I feel like I'm wavering. Something has got to give.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

bit of excitement

I got my studio light set in the mail last week, and on Saturday I had a chance to test it out. You can see more from the shoot here. I was absolutely delighted with how they turned out, and it helped to have such cute kids to shoot.

Is it silly to be really excited that I took these in my living room? Even if it is, I can't help it.

a rare event

This morning I ironed three shirts. Granted, they were Spud's shirts so they were small, but still, it's a rare event around here when I iron anything.

Monday, December 08, 2008

a very belated tagging....

Oh crikey, it was nearly a month ago! (Sorry Jen!) And I'm afraid I'm going to have to break the tag chain, as I don't want to put unnecessary pressure on anyone during this busy month. (Please tag yourself if you wish!)

8 habits/facts about me

1. David and I had our first kiss on the Amazon River.

2. When standing barefoot, I frequently put my right foot on top of my left foot. I think I cover that foot when I'm reclined on the sofa, too. Quite a few years ago I noticed my mom doing the same thing, so perhaps it's genetic.

3. I love shopping at secondhand/thrift stores, like D.I. and Savers. Sometimes when I feel that uncontrollable urge to spend money, I satisfy it by "blowing" ten bucks there.

4. I don't like to own matching sets of dishes. (Cool dishes are one of my favorite things to buy at abovementioned stores.) I don't mind having four or so of a single style, but more than that--no thank you! I love selecting my current favorite bowl or mug that is just perfect for whatever food/drink I'm consuming. Granted, non-matching dishes take up more room both in the cupboard and the dishwasher, but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

5. I love Scrabble. And Boggle. And other word games. David does not love them so much, and whatever love he does have is likely diminished by the fact that I always beat him so soundly. But he still plays with me on occasion. That's real love, isn't it?

6. I like scary movies. I don't like horror or blood'n'guts, but I do like scary movies. I'm a big fan of X-Files and that sort of thing.

7. I'm a bit freaked out by the reality of having three kids. I don't remember feeling like this with the other two, but I think it's because when Spud was born, Noodle was still so little that she didn't seem like such a PERSON. Now both of the kids are full-on PEOPLE and I'm nervous about bringing another person into the world. It was easier when I thought babies were blank slates, open to programming. Kid 1 and Kid 2 have definitely taught me otherwise.

8. When I was a kid and would use the bathroom in the laundry area, I'd entertain myself by making new words out of existing words/phrases on the laundry soap containers. (I guess this likely ties in with #5.)

So, yup. Hopefully there are more interesting things about me, though I think I covered some of those with the last time I was tagged.

TAG! You're it! (But only if you want to be!)

Monday, December 01, 2008

at the zoo

The last Wednesdays of the month, November through February, are free at Hogle Zoo. Normally the end of November would not be ideal for a zoo visit, but we've had such nice weather that last Wednesday actually was pretty nice. Chilly but not terrible. We were all okay with jackets on and occasionally warming up inside buildings. I'd originally tried to see if any of my in-laws wanted to come with us, but they had plans already. I then thought about calling a friend with kids to join us, but in the end decided the kids and I could use some relaxing, "quality time" together without the distraction of other people. I'm really glad we went alone. It was nice to just go where they chose and not feel constrained by what other kids wanted to see. We meandered through the zoo happily for about three hours and the kids did great. A new addition since our last visit was the Conservation Carousel. It was $2/kid, but since we hadn't paid admission, I figured we could splurge. (I even got to ride free because I was accompanying a kid!) Seriously the most BEAUTIFUL carousel I've ever seen. What a fabulous addition. They were playing Christmas music and it seemed that all we needed was a light snow falling to make it movie-worthy. I had a wonderful time with my two little kids.

(There are many more pictures of Noodle than Spud because she was in a more cooperative mood. The weird blue picture turned out oddly anyways, so I thought adding a blue cast to it was appropriate.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

one perk

of my job is having to watch (& rate) videos.

I still like Green Day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I took some individual portraits of some siblings a while back and the mom finally got back to me which proofs she wanted enhanced. I'm really pleased with how they came out.
Click on "Kelly's Kids".

hee hee

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i don't get it...

What are they, a bunch of babies?

"Well, we don't have a clue how to solve our own problems, and we won't accept other people's advice."

Hmph. I wonder how big of a wall we would have to build...

(Kidding, kidding.)

(Kind of.)

photoshop fun

So I got up at 6 this morning (went to bed to late to get up at five!) but there wasn't any google work to do. So I decided to spend my early morning hours improving photography/photoshop skills.

I thought these turned out fun:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

yay for me!

I had a goal to get in 30 hours of work this week (the maximum allowed) so I could feel justified in buying a couple of things I want for our homeschooling. And I DID IT! I got up at 5:00 three times to get it done (and one of those times there wasn't any work that morning) and didn't have a lot of free time and also fell a bit behind on the housework, but I did it. And I also made a photo book for Noodle for Christmas (that's what I did with my non-working early morning) because I got a free one from my photography website affiliation. I am eligible for a free one from another company, too, so that's tomorrow's project for Spud's Christmas.

ALSO, I put together and distributed all the photo packages for the preschoolers. Out of about 75 packages, I only had two mistakes--I ordered one extra class picture for one class and one short for another class. I thought that was pretty good. Assembling the packages took longer than I expected (about 3.5 or so hours with David helping insert receipts and such) but I did it while watching TV so it wasn't overly tedious.

Besides that, I also attended a homeschool lecture that was quite good and inspiring. I had had a complete meltdown with the kids (yelling, tears & all that) late in the afternoon so I was contemplating not going, but I'm glad I pulled us all together and went. It was worth the time and effort involved. (Thanks Nickie!) Plus, there was really yummy food which was nice after our spartan dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup (David was working late).

I also made Visting Teaching (church related stuff) appointments and while one cancelled, we did get to visit the other person and are doing the third on Sunday.

AND even with all of this, I was able to do some fairly good school stuff with the kids and yesterday we even did an outing! We went to BYU to look at the fish in the tanks (to round off our fish unit) and we also went to the Eyring Science Center to look at the stuff there, then to the CougarEat for lunch. I really felt like we needed to get out and do something FUN together, but I had so much to get done that I almost decided not to. I'm glad I went ahead with it.

Anyways, I am not really a fan of tooting my own horn, but I've been feeling kind of glum and discouraged this week, so it's somewhat uplifting to look at all I was able to accomplish this week. Now next week I just need to get the scripture/gospel study fit in, too. That will probably help with my discouragement as much, if not more, than all my hard work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

tuesday tunes

Regina Spektor - Fidelity

Andrea, this first one reminds me of you. I think if you were a musician, you'd sing and make videos like this. What do you think?

Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK

I need to get some iTunes dollars to spend on these songs!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

the new face of the White House doggy?

Could be. I guess they are looking for something hypoallergenic and from a rescue/shelter. That's my Daisy. (But they can't have her.) A quote from the article:
"For a family," says handler Doug Becker, a captain (who trains volunteers) at a shelter in Manhattan, "a Bichon is the best dog you could own, because it does well with kids and with a lot of people in the household."

A Bichon is also free from causing the allergy problem. "Like with a poodle, you can even pick one up while you're wearing a dark sweater and there will be no dander whatsoever," says Becker.

Further extolling the breed's virtues as far as the Obamas would be concerned, Becker said, "Bichons are also loyal and intelligent. The only downside: They must be groomed weekly, because their hair just keeps growing."

Not that it is important in the least, but it'd be kind of fun to see a fellow fluff in the White House. White House. White Dog. Black First Family. Seems like a natural fit, right?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the pendulum swings...

...or why I'm glad Obama won the presidency.

I voted for Obama, but it wasn't because of some fervor or super passionate feeling that he was, far and away, the best person for the job. I tried to get myself to a point where I could feel even neutral about McCain, but I never could (though I did like his spots on SNL last week and a few months ago). For me, it came down to a feeling that you can take a good man and make him a great leader, and I felt like Obama was a good man. Looking at the issues, there were a lot of similarities, actually, and nothing stood out to me. Despite my pro-life views, I don't choose candidates based on their abortion views, as I don't think abortion will go away. (Yes, there is much we can do to minimize it, but outlawing it isn't the solution.) Both McCain and Obama promoted health care plans that I don't think really get to the root of the problem. Additionally, health care isn't something the president will solve in a vacuum--he has to get the Congress on board with him. I don't like some of what I know about what Obama has said about selecting Supreme Court justices--I want people who understand the Constitution inside and out, not "somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old — and that’s the criteria by which I’ll be selecting my judges." (How un-liberal of me, I know.)

But to my point. Unfortunately, neither of the two candidates share my view of where I think the country should be headed. (I think we are probably way beyond where I think we should have tried to make a U turn in many areas.) But I do think the American political system is largely about swings of the pendulum. I don't like the direction Bush has taken the country and I feel like the pendulum is at its maximum extension on one side. I think it's time for it to swing the other way. I think both McCain and Obama would cause this to happen, but McCain would meet much more resistance if only because of his party ties and having to buck his fellow GOP good ol' boys.

I have to chuckle at some of my conservative friends' comments via their Facebook status. Some are in jest, but some are very serious. Comments about stockpiling food and ammunition, getting used to saying "Comrade," and feeling "sick that americans care more about themselves than about the greater good." I remember (though I was only 14) when Bill Clinton got elected. Due to swimming in fairly conservative ponds up to that point in my life, I was certain that the world would end because he was elected. Guess what? It didn't. It was actually a pretty good run of 8 years. I was never a Clinton fan and was delighted when his second term ended (by then I could vote), but Bush has made me appreciate the good that Clinton accomplished and the type of leader he was, even if I still wouldn't want to spend any time with the guy. My hope is that Obama is as good a man as he seems to be and that he'll surround himself with capable and intelligent staff.

Oh, and one other factor in my decision was the fact that McCain is 72. I feel like that generation had their chance to lead, and now it's time to move forward. My dad is 72, and while I love him tremendously and think he has a lot of wisdom and experience, I don't want his generation in charge of the country anymore.

Well, that's sufficient ramblings. It was more coherent before I sat down to type, but constant interruptions by the kiddos will do that to a person.

Monday, November 03, 2008


The squiddos (as I like to call them...sometimes they are squid 1 and squid 2) picked their own characters for halloween this year. Peter Pan (because he has a sword!) and a nice witch. I was happy that we were able to get them outfitted with minimal effort on my part. A bit of hemming on the sleeves of Noodle's dress (it's actually a nice, velour type Sunday dress that we got at Savers for $4), some cutting of Spud's green tee shirt ($2.50 at Michaels Crafts), and I had to sew the Peter Pan hat (about $1 for the felt). Yippee! They had a fun time trick or treating and then we came home and watched The Secret of Nimh.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


This year we have actually had a Fall to enjoy. I've determined that one criteria for fall for me is "crunchy leaf days." If it rains or snows before you have crunchy leaves on the ground, you haven't had a real fall. Soggy, moldy slushy leaves just aren't the same. And this year we have had a WONDERFUL Fall. It helps me gear up for enduring a long winter. I was so glad to have the chance to go scout out some photo locations on Friday. The kids came with me in the morning and David & Daisy joined us in the afternoon. It was a lot of fun. I forget sometimes how much I like just going out with the family and doing mostly nothing.

So it may not be New England in the Fall, but I think we have our share of beautiful places right here in town: