Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I will always remember 2009 as a period of rest. Not physical rest, but emotional rest. No more new babies. No more adjusting to having five children. No more adjusting to having Christopher frequently gone teaching, writing, directing, or acting. No more expecting help from "someone." No more expectations that this was all temporary and that life would eventually settle down. Those difficult adjustments had been made, in all their blaze and glory, in 2008. 2009 was about no new shocks, no new projects, no more satisfying the pride in my heart that I could do and be it all to everyone. 2009 had no frills, few expectations, a lot of time at home, and a quiet resolve to be and, it seems in my mind anyway, to recover.

Despite my desire to cut out the deadwood and nonessential, 2009 was still very busy, but strangely calm. The days blend by, and things came my way: murals to paint, ideas to write about, lessons to grade, quick lunches with friends, late night dates with Topher, rooms to be picked up, lessons to prepare, children to listen to, meals to make, Target trips to stock up the house, shoes and socks to buy and buy, swimming, soccer, piano, and other lessons to coordinate, children to read to, to organize, to frame their day, to pick up books for, to teach the gospel to, to teach everything to, at different times, at the same time. Plenty to do, all at once and usually several at a time. I found that trying to control my schedule on what I wanted always left me frustrated, and giving myself generous timeframes in which to accomplish a few things left me feeling more productive.

This is the year that I will remember trying to see the world as an improvised play: to accept everything that comes at the moment it comes, and add to it. Add to not have preconceived notions of what I will do or say, but simply be over prepared with purpose and intent, with an open mind and an open heart and be brave enough to play a supporting role. I learned that the most rewarding, satisfying roles are the character roles we all play, not that boring leading lady or ingenue. This proved to be more difficult than I originally thought it was going to be, and I am now resolved that it will take longer to really improve this theory.

This is the year I discovered how important good manners, simple acts of kindness, and generosity in listening are to me.

This year marks the year I have consciously resolved not to take my children growing up as a tragedy or personal insult directed toward me, but rather as an opportunity to grow, personally, and to have more fun with my growing kids.

2009 will be the year that Miles started babysitting and, as a result, gave me a great gift of feeling like there was a little more room to breathe, and a little less cause to feel so helpless and overwhelmed. A new stage in our family. A stage that involves me going to Days Market without little ones, and a few more movies with Topher at night. Which, apparently, is all I needed to feel more like myself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Season's Change

It was Fall. . .

. . . and now it's Winter.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

What You Will

March was a little crazy, but when is it not? Topher is busy directing, but when is he not? Everyone's crazy and busy, so just add the Clark's to that list. There's nothing that bothers me (and Topher especially) more than people complaining about how busy they are because everyone's definition of that is different, but everyone is. . . or not but think they are. Who cares?! Some days I think I'm not so busy, I just want a good excuse to just sit down and watch tv with a big bowl of ice cream. So, I guess I just contradicted myself. I'm so complex and intriguing!

I used to be so good at writing down the funny and interesting things my kids would say and do, but as expected, that has drifted away a little, so I will try and update here. Miles and Owen love to read about the funny things they used to say and do and I don't want little Margaret, the youngest, to turn out like "8 Is Enough!" 's little brother, Nicholas, who as the youngest of eight didn't even have a baby book! Oh, the horror! Here's my attempt to add a little something interesting for the history books. You know, the one about the Clarks.

Phoebe has an interest in fashion. In particular, she wants to experiment with fashion. On this particular day she wanted to wear all blue. She has tried all pink, and is sensitive about not dressing too much like "a baby" because she is, after all, six years old. If I had to anticipate where her fashion trends will take her, I would put my money on a little 70's punk mixed with a 20's flapper chic. But, then again, it's too early to put this baby in a (fashion) corner.

Owen's cool. Everything about him is cool. He recently told "Mom, I'm an extreme kid. I'm extreme." He likes to do crazy stunts on his scooter which all end in him flying through the air and crashing in a new way. Miles wants to film these stunts and put them on kidtube.

Christopher has won some awards this year. His brothers Jesse and Matt came to one of his award luncheons when he received UVU's Faculty Scholar of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Wolverine Talent Award and the Wolverine Faculty of the Year. And won the Dean's Award of Excellence. I'm really proud of him. He works so hard to give the students a positive experience and it's nice that he's been recognized for that. We don't want him to get too out of control, though, so I'll remind him here, publicly, that he still needs to finish that dissertation. Heaven help us all.

Margaret's awesome, thanks for asking. She's in a new phase of life. She has a new set of teeth, she sings (which, honestly, is the cutest thing in the whole world--better than bunnies and baby chicks holding hands and sliding down a rainbow, hands down), and she climbs everywhere: stairs, chairs, etc. After 15 months of Hugh being, literally, in her face 100 times a day, yesterday she clocked him on the head with a spoon and made him cry. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are entering a new phase of rule. The tyranny of Hugh of Demands-a-Lot is nearing its end.

Miles and his bff Nick earned their Webelos. I don't fully understand Scouts, but I read the manual and try to figure it out (thank goodness for that English degree!). My boys both really like it so it's great that they have good leaders to get them through it all in a fun way. I admit it: I don't "get" scouts. I think it's a great thing, but, much like sewing and accounting, I admire people who can do it, but I have not even a little bit of desire to do it. Miles and Nick might go to Space Camp again this year together, so, look forward to pictures of that!

Hugh turned four and got "Spider-Pup" who now goes everywhere with us. I made him some cupcakes that were yellow for the Wizard of Oz's yellow brick road. I won't post pictures of the cupcakes, they were just good enough for the four year olds. Hugh continues to subsist on air and cereal, and manages to still have the energy to go all day. (seriously, don't all kids like chicken nuggets. . .or pizza. . . or pb and j sandwiches, mac and cheese? Not Hugh.) He really should be studied by Science. Or scientific minds. Or something.

This is me looking carefree. "Whatever" you guys!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dear Auntie Pandy,

Aunty Pandy, here's what we've been doing:

Margaret has bangs. We hope that now that she can see, she'll be interested in learning to walk. So far, she's just interested in puppies and opening cabinet doors. These are her passions.

Hugh is the same. He knows who he is and what he wants. He is funny and wants plain tortilla chips.

We are still very religious and enjoy fake live wax museums, as you would expect. Owen chose "Joseph Smith" as his "Great American" project. He got his first choice. He wrote the speech and made the poster himself. Then he made a button on his hand and stood perfectly still until you pressed it, then he recited his memorized speech and when he was done, froze again. Owen is still really good looking. . .

. . . and so is Topher. Hugh and Margaret are getting used to going to Edgemont for this and that.

We saw James at a corporate gig and made up alternative lyrics back stage in true Valentine fashion. Speaking of Valentine fashion, we missed you.

I wasn't kidding about going over to Edgemont a lot. Here we are at the science fair. Miles determined that everyone has a blind spot (except octopuses--and don't say octupie, I already made that mistake.) I don't think Batman is convinced, do you?

Sometimes to wind down we all play the piano. Margaret isn't very good (but it's okay because she's pretty.)

These are my little Valentine's at (shocker) the Edgemont Valentine's Party. Hugh ate his weight in conversation hearts.

Love you! Write Back! You're cute and sweet!
xo Lisa

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Nine is great--it brings us Lego cake!

Remember how this is becoming my Thrillionaire photo blog? To capture the memories, people, to capture the moments. . .

During these long winter months I have to have concrete things to look forward to. One of those things is performing with the Thrillionaires, and the other is mixin' it up with the family. Ah, yah.

Hailey and me dressed for our "Oscar Wilde-style" show with Kirby Heyborne.



Kirby and Matt (Jake wasn't at the show because his baby was busy being born! Yeah Franklin!)

My attempt, at Owen's request, at "Lego cake." Scattered around the cake is Lego candy you can buy in bulk at Macey's. You can really build stuff with them, it's cool. And this is also a picture of what Hugh ate for dinner on Sunday night.

Owen turned 9 this past weekend. I still remember his birth vividly (ironically my most reverent and calm birth) and so we celebrated with all things Legos. Hugh kept stealing them from the birthday boy, and magically disappear. Owen would find him moments later hiding under his bed with a sweaty palm full of lego-guys, and grab them back, and they'd both cry. We played that game several times this past weekend. For the record, somewhere in my house are over 40 Lego guys.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mormon Artist

My talented husband, Mr. Christopher Clark, is featured in this month's Mormon Artist magazine! In fact, HE'S ON THE COVER! (I've always wanted to be married to a man whose on the cover of a magazine, I guess I can cross that off my bucket list now. . .) Among the topics: What projects he has worked on, What he's learned, What it's like being so awesome. . .

Read all about it HERE!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Post Holiday Festivities

I wanted to start off the year by going back in time to recap what the post-holiday weeks have been like. As soon as we take down our tree, I'm busy putting up "Happy Birthday" banners and making cake. And blogging.

Owen's third grade class displayed their art at a local gallery. I will from now on refer to it as his debut gallery opening. His subject? "The jaguar: king of the underworld." (I know, right?)

I lunched with incredibly smart, funny, caring friends (who all blog--imagine that!)

What says "the holidays" better than a dance off, or two?

My little sister and brother came into town which is always a treat. We rarely see them, which makes us all sad. When we do see them, we are reminded of how thin and tan they are, which makes us feel so pasty and pudgy--but in a middle-America kind of way.

There were balloons.

Phoebe had a birthday and Auntie Pandy and my mom bedazzled tote bags (saying "tote" is spritely) for little girls.

Margaret had a birthday. She's one now. I'm dealing with it, but I'm still not "in favor" of my kids getting older. It's something I have to deal with. I get it. Get off my back (Gina).