Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday morning disaster

On Sunday mornings my family goes to church. We do this every week so you would think that we would have a routine down pretty well at this point.

My husband is an assistant to the bishop (ward clerk, for my LDS readers) so he spends his Sunday mornings in meetings at the church, so that usually leaves me to get myself and the kids ready to go by myself. We wear dresses and suits and ties to church and try to look our best, so it's more than just throwing on school clothes. It's usually fine, my big kids take care of themselves so it's mostly just Clarissa. Sunday mornings are a little hectic but manageable.

Then this morning happened, lol. I woke up earlier than usual and had a little more time to spare so I decided to paint my nails. I don't usually paint my nails on Sunday morning. I don't usually paint my nails when I have somewhere I need to be because it takes a while to paint them and make them look good and then I also have to wait for them to dry. But this morning I had time as long as there were no major complications.

There were major complications.

I got out my nail polish cases to decide on a color. I decided I wanted to go with a fallish orangy/red. I have two colors that are similar so I opened them both to decide which one. I painted one nail with one color and then placed the brush back in the bottle so I could try the other color and compare. I always close the bottles when I'm not using them. Always, except for today. I decided on the second color and got up to go paint my nails, no realizing that I didn't close the first bottle and at some point while I was moving to go paint my nails I knocked it over into our brand new carpet.

Not realizing I had done it I painted my nails, cleaned them up so they looked nice, all while red nail polish was continuing to drain out onto my carpet.

I got my nails done, waited a few minutes for them to be somewhat dry and got up to go get ready for church and saw a puddle of red nail polish in the carpet.

Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap craaaaaaap.

I panicked. How do you clean a puddle of nail polish out of your carpet? I had no idea. I tried to scoop off as much as I could without making the circle bigger. I got some of it up that way. I tried to gently rub it with nail polish remover and it basically just made the red spot bigger. And bigger. And then the red spot was really big and I was in serious panic mode. Shawn wasn't home, I needed to get the kids and myself ready for church and my new carpet now had a big bright red stain in it. Craaaaaaap.

I just kept putting nail polish remover on it. I broke out the big guns and got out the 100% acetone. I tested a spot and it didn't seem to hurt the carpet so I poured it on. I have no idea if that was a good idea, but it started getting the stain up. I poured and scrubbed and poured and scrubbed. I probably got cancer from the acetone fumes,  but I kept pouring and rubbing. Scrubbing the carpet with acetone ruined the nail polish I had just applied to my fingers, so I ended up having to take off he polish I had just applied.

Eventually the stain pretty much disappeared. There may be an extremely light pink hue in one spot that you would never notice unless you were looking for it, but basically I got it all out. I'm officially impressed with our new carpet. It handled a major stain like a champ.

By then there was no way we were going to make it to church on time. I texted Shawn and told him to pick us up late because we weren't going to make it.

I rushed to get everyone ready and we did eventually make it to church. Extremely late, but we made it. Although when I got to church I realized that in the chaos I had forgotten an important agenda paper that I needed for the youth class I help with that was sitting at home on my printer. I had to wing it. I survived.

I got home, took off my dress, put on my jammies and I'm going to sit and do nothing for the rest of the day. I need a nap.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I got a haircut. It needed a photoshoot.

I'm not going to lie. I am ridiculously entertained by the iPhone remote capabilities on my new camera.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gone Girl

Holy crap, I just finished reading the book. NOW I know why people always have such a strong reaction when that book is mentioned!

That was one of the craziest books I have ever read. I really liked it, but it was just....crazy! Oh, the plot twists. And the end! And the plot twists. And the craziness. And the PLOT TWISTS!

I don't want to give away the crazy plot twists, so all I will say is that if you haven't read it, you totally should. It's intense.

Except you, Karen. You should definitely not read it. :)


I feel like I should update my blog but I don't have a whole lot to say. We're settled down into our school year routine now and life is busy but not all that blog worthy. Nothing too special or exciting going on right now.

We're headed into fall though and I am excited about that. I love fall, it's my favorite time of the year. It was SO hot this summer that we really ended up spending far too much of it indoors. I can't enjoy being outside when it's 108 degrees. But it's finally cooling off and I'm looking forward to the leaves changing and the pumpkin patches and Halloween and all the fun fall things.

We looked at Shawn's vacation hours at work and discovered that he still has a decent amount of vacation time left that he has to use by the end of the year, so he's planning to take a few days off in October and hopefully we'll find something fun and fallish to do. He also has enough vacation left to take two full weeks off at Christmas. He always tries to save some vacation time for Christmas and I look forward to it all year. I love having a week or two where the whole family is home and it's one big celebration.

So we do have some fun things to look forward to, but right now there just isn't much happening. Shawn is working today and the kids are happily entertained so I've been doing some reading. I'm reading Gone Girl, which I've heard a lot about. Everyone seems to have a really strong reaction when that book is mentioned and I have to know why! Don't tell me, I'm still in the middle of it.

OH! Here's something! Josh officially finished the couch to 5K program yesterday. I'm incredibly proud of him, and impressed, because I've attempted it multiple times and have yet to complete it. He did a great job.

So that's pretty much it from our house. We're all happy and healthy and just chugging along with life! :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just one of those days

So I just had one of those mornings where I really just want to go back to bed and wake up again and start over on reset. And since I have some luxurious free time for a little bit, I thought I would blog about it.

Today was Clarissa's first real day of preschool for the year. I say real day because she actually went on Tuesday but it was a shortened meet the teacher kind of event, not a normal preschool day. Today is the first regular day. She's been super excited about it all week. Heck, she's been excited about it all summer. She loves preschool.

But this morning just started off bad for some reason. Josh got off to school, Matthew has a field trip with the gifted program to study salmon today so we were making sure he had everything he needed for that and I was tying to get Clarissa ready for preschool.

And then Clarissa had what can only be described as Meltdownfest 2013. Seriously, I need to get myself a t-shirt to commemorate the occasion. I think it was the meltdown heard 'round the world. Did you hear screaming this morning? It was coming from my house. You're welcome.

Clarissa is generally a very even tempered kid. She can be a bit dramatic but now that we're long past the terrible two's she's really not a big tantrum thrower. She has her moments, heck *I* have my moments, but mostly she's not a difficult child at all.

So what happened today was just unexpected. First she cried because her nose was running a little and that bugs her. Then she was crying because she couldn't get her jeans snapped. Then the crying made her feel like she was going to throw up so she cried about that. Then all the crying made her nose run worse so she cried about that. Like a total on the floor in the fetal position meltdown. I told her to get up and finished getting dressed. In very dramatic fashion she told me her legs didn't work. Really, princess? In the words of Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for that.

I was trying to get Matthew out the door for the bus in the midst of this. He has a super crappy bus stop so I drive him to his stop every morning. But in order to take Matthew to the bus, Clarissa has to come along, and that was just not happening this morning. So I ended up making Matthew walk, which I feel terrible about and I feel the judgement of everyone who saw him waking this morning and wondered what kind of mother would make their child walk to the crappy bust stop alone. This mother, apparently.

So Matthew left and I was able to deal with Meltdownfest 2013. Clarissa cried, and she cried some more, and then she dry heaved for a while because of all the drama. All while I stood there and said "seriously, we have to go to preschool in 20 minutes. We can't go while you're crying." "Do you want to go to preschool? Because we have eighteen minutes and you're still crying." "Ok, we have to walk out the door in sixteen minutes. Get up so I can do your hair." "Clarissa. Sweetie. We have 14 minutes before we're going to be late. What can I do to help you stop crying? Do you need a hug?" "WE HAVE TWELVE MINUTES BEFORE WE HAVE TO BE THERE! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, STOP CRYING!"

Yeah, it sort of went like that. I think she laid there and went through all the stages of grief in very dramatic fashion. Meanwhile I was somehow trying to get myself ready to leave the house while doing all the song and dance I could muster to get her to cooperate. It failed.

Here's the thing. If it had been any other day besides the first day of preschool, I would have just said screw it and we would have put our pajamas back on and had a stay home day. Some days you just can't get it together. I get it. I can roll with that. But today was the first real day of preschool and all I really wanted was to be there with all the other moms, waving goodbye to my smiling child as she happily skipped off to a glorious morning of learning and friendship while I enjoy my three hours of peace and quiet. Is that too much to ask?! Moms, you're with me on this, right?!

Maybe she was just overwhelmed about it being the first day of preschool. Maybe she just woke up on the wrong side of the princess bed. Maybe she just felt like today would be the perfect day to mess with mommy's head. I don't know what her deal was, all I knew was that the minutes were ticking down and we still weren't in the car on the way to preschool.

Finally I told her that fine, we would just stay home today. No preschool. That just made her cry harder and beg me to let her go. I said fine, then stop crying! She would stop for a minute. And then start again. And the minutes ticked by. And I was wearing yoga pants, a wrinkled t-shirt and sloppy pony tail because that's what moms look like on the mornings when their child cries for an hour and all order and schedule screeches to a halt.

As I stood there I was having an internal argument with myself. Do I take her or not? I don't want her to miss the first day and set the precedent as being THAT mom. But I also can't take her to preschool a crying mess. I knows she WANTS to go and will feel bad if she misses it. But she has to stop crying. So do I take her, or not? Yes, or no? Get in the car or screw the while thing and eat chocolate for breakfast? I was seriously considering the chocolate idea.

Finally, ten minutes late for school, she decided to calm down and go. She put her shoes on, got her bag, let me fix her hair and we got in the car. We had a talk about not crying and I told her that if the crying started back up again we were going to have to turn around and go back home because that is not acceptable preschool behavior.

So we rolled up to preschool way late and now I'm THAT mom. You know, the one who shows up late in yoga pants, a wrinkled t-shirt and sloppy hair because she can't get her act together and get her little angel to school on time. Yeah, that's the impression I was hoping to make on the first day. We had to interrupt circle time and everything while I explained to the teacher that we had kind of a rough morning and I was worried about leaving Clarissa there if she was going to cry and the teacher, who could not possibly be nicer, by the way, looked at me like "ooh, one of those moms. Got it."

Here's the thing. This is our NINTH year of preschool. Nine years I've been dropping children off at that preschool. Six in a row between the boys and then a thee year break and now this is our third and final year with Clarissa. After this year I will have officially graduated from being a preschool mom. And I am cool with that because after nine years of preschool, I'm a little over it. I'm not a young first time mom dropping my sweet baby off for the first time. Nope. I've been there and done that so many times I could write a book about it. Last year on the first day the teacher handed out Kleenex and chocolate to all the moms who needed to cry in the car after dropping their babies off. That's adorable. I was tossing Kleenex out the window and shoving chocolate in my mouth as my minivan screeched out of the parking lot. See ya suckers, I'm on year eight of this. I have no more tears.

Ok, it wasn't exactly like that. I didn't throw the Kleenex out the window.

So today I think I must have looked to her new teacher like an overprotective mother who was nervous about leaving her sweet baby for the first time. Not the case. I'm cool. This meltdown was not normal. I was not worried about sending my sweet angel to preschool, I was worried about her continuing Meltdownfest 2013 in the middle of the room. That would not be awesome.

But the teacher assured me that everything was fine and they would call me if they needed me. Also, I think she probably wanted to go borrow some Kleenex and chocolate from last years teacher to give to the poor disheveled mom who was interrupting circle time with tales of a morning meltdown.

The last time I saw Clarissa she was happily sitting in circle time making a friend, so I high tailed it out of there. See ya suckers, I'm on year nine of this. Is it Kindergarten yet?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Photos

I'm itching to get out with my new camera and take pictures of something but I've been busy and haven't had a chance yet. Finally this afternoon I decided to just take Clarissa in the backyard and play around with it for a few minutes.

So far I am loving the camera! I don't think you can necessarily tell that much difference in photo quality when they're small on my blog, but I can tell a big difference in how easy I'm getting the photos and I can tell a difference in photo quality when I look at them straight out of the camera in Photoshop. Plus the shutter on my other camera has been failing for a while and I've been having focus issues, so being able to just snap away again without having to fight my camera for every shot feels absolutely luxurious!

So here are two cute photos of my sweet Clarissa. I love that kid. She's been a good sport with all the photos lately!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My new best friend

My camera arrived today and I think we're going to be great friends! :) The wi-fi is blowing my freakin' mind. I can put the camera on a tripod and wirelessly operate it with my iPhone. I can see a live view and change the settings from my phone. Do you know what this means?! I can do our family photos and not have to run back and forth to the camera sixty thousand times. We can sit ourselves down, I can configure everything from my phone and just click away with the timer or with my hand and the phone strategically hidden and then I can look at my phone to make sure the shots worked. Amazing. I can also set up complicated shots at weird angles that are hard to see through the view finder and not have to contort my body to get it done. So cool.

I'm still getting used to it and playing around with it. I could practically operate my old camera with my eyes closed and this new one has buttons in different places and different options that are going to take some time to get used to, so it will take me a bit before I start running around taking pictures of everything in sight. I generally only shoot in manual, so getting used to adjusting all the settings with all the buttons in different places is going to be a bit frustrating at first. My fingers automatically keep going to where the old buttons were and they aren't there anymore. I'll get used to it.

But so far I'm loving it. I don't have any photos to share yet. I've taken some test shots, but they're of stupid things. I have some lovely shots of my knee and a few of the TV. I've only had it for a few hours, so I'm still getting it set up. I'll have photos to share in a few days when I figure it all out!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Camera update

I decided I couldn't wait any longer. I just ordered a new camera from Amazon. It will be here tomorrow. I've been waiting for the Canon 70D to come out (my current camera is a 40d) and it came out a week or so ago. I thought I'd wait until Christmas but my current camera isn't going to make it that long and I just can't wait another minute. The new camera has so much that my old one didn't have, including an HD video camera, which I'm really excited about! It also has ISO capabilities that blow my mind and it's got wi-fi capabilities that can be operated with my iPhone. For a gadget geek like me, you have no idea how much that thrills me.

I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight waiting for my new camera to arrive. On the inside I'm feeling like Clarissa in her dramatic ballerina photo from yesterday. :) So much excitement that I just can't contain it!!!

Updates to follow when my new baby arrives tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Strike a pose

 Remember the other day I said that I almost never manage to capture Clarissa's real personality on camera? Well today was that day, lol.

Clarissa started a ballet class today. Every Tuesday afternoon for 45 minutes at the house of an adorable teenage girl down the street. Super cute. 

I made the mistake of telling Clarissa first thing this morning that today was dance class, so I endured "is it time to go to dance class yet?" Every 5 minutes for the whole day. Plus I made the mistake of telling her that UPS would be dropping off her new dance outfit today, so she staked out the front porch from 9am to 4pm. It was a long day, lol. 

Anyway, the clothes finally arrived and dance class time was upon us. Clarissa was so excited she could hardly contain herself. She put on her dance outfit and also I put a sock bun in her hair, which after being such a failure in my hair of course looked fabulous on her because Clarissa has amazing hair that I'm officially jealous of. 

We got ready to walk down the street to take Clarissa to class and I decided to take a photo of her in her cute dance clothes to text to Shawn at work. It's Shawn's birthday today, by the way. Woohoo, happy birthday Shawn! 

So I told Clarissa to stand there and smile while I took her picture. I thought I was going to be lucky if I got one look-at-the-camera-and-smile photo out of her because that kid is like a celebrity with the paparazzi. No photos please. 

So she stood there with her arms by her side and the stone face I usually get when I tell her to look at the camera and smile, I raised the camera, went to hit the button...and this happened.

And. It. Was. Fabulous. Lol! It was like she had waited her whole life to put on ballerina clothes and strike that pose. I have been looking at that photo for hours now and I still haven't stopped laughing. Now THAT is a real Clarissa photo. I have a million look-at-the-camera-and-smile photos where I had to beg and bribe her to cooperate, but this is the realist photo of Clarissa that has ever existed. It is so cheesy and overdramatic and awesome, lol. I love that kid. I love every single ounce of the glittery princess/dramatic ballerina inside of her that sometimes just can't contain itself. :) 

Oh, also, sock bun. Cute, right? And when she took it out she had fabulous waves, just like Pinterest promised. Lucky duck. 



Sunday, September 1, 2013


I was just getting ready to go to bed and took one more look at the photos I took today. Suddenly it reminded me of another photo I took of Clarissa standing in front of her windows a really long time ago. I dug it up so I could compare it to the one I took today. It's so fun to see how much she has changed! Look at those smooshy cheeks!!

Portrait of a princess

I miss photography. A few years ago my camera was my constant companion. I could spend hours and hours with it, taking photos of everything I could think of. Then I guess I just got busy being the mom and just haven't had time for it. I still use it for photo shoots with my kids, and of course the ever important nail polish photography, but now, sadly, my camera is on its last leg. I've taken thousands and thousands of photos with it over the past several years and it has finally stopped being reliable. I'm having weird focus issues with it, I'm getting error messages on it and the shutter is having issues. So these days taking photos is kind of a chore and I usually end up wanting to chuck it out the window.

But this afternoon Clarissa came into my bedroom dressed in her too-small plastic princess shoes, striped leggings, bright pink tutu, the My Little Pony t-shirt that she would live in 24/7 if I didn't insist that she occasionally pick something else, and her princess tiara. Don't try to call it a crown. It's a TIARA. I made that mistake. She set me straight.

That outfit is both hilarious and 100% Clarissa. That little girl is a bonafide glittery princess through and through. She looked so cute and so...CLARISSA that I had to take her picture before the moment passed.

So I grabbed my ailing camera and we did our best. Clarissa loves being a princess but does not really love getting her picture taken. I'm often sad that her real personality rarely comes out in photos. She's such a ham and has so much personality in real life and the camera goes on and she gets stone faced. Clarissa is a child who is best enjoyed in person. Preferably during a tea party or a princess parade. :)

So between a child who doesn't really enjoy getting her picture taken and a camera with an attitude problem, they aren't award winning photos, but I kind of love them anyway. They make me smile and they make me remember why I love both Clarissa and photography so much. Sitting on her bedroom floor talking about princesses and tiaras while trying to capture the lighting through her windows and those classic Clarissa expressions made me happy.

When I was finished I decided to play with them in Photoshop for a while, which I also used to love. Back when I was really into photography there was nothing that I loved more than loading a new set of photos into Photoshop and letting my creative juices flow. I don't usually do this type of editing with portraits, I usually save it for art photography, but today that old familiar excitement hit me when I loaded up Photoshop and I decided it was time to play around again. I'm surprised that I still remember how to do some of the grunge techniques I haven't done in so long.

I'm grateful for an afternoon of feeling inspired by a four year old in a bright pink tutu and plastic princess shoes. I'm saving up for a new camera to replace my faithful old friend who is ready to retire. In the meantime, here are a few of the last photos I have managed to coax out of it. :)