School Picture Day

Today was everyone’s favorite: School Picture Day. Or, the parent preferred: Fashion Battle [insert year here] and Hair Style Throw Down [insert year here]. Or…maybe that’s just the Clark parent’s preferred nomenclature. I suspect not, but maybe it’s just us.

We were on such a good path leading up to pictures this year. Grace asked to pick out a dress in late August. Done.  And, although rather last minute, Gavin asked to wear khakis and a dress shirt a mere 14 hours before smile time. The only issue was that he’s 10, soon to be 11, which means he lives in Nike gear. And, we never really do anything fancy, so we typically only buy one pair of khakis and one collared shirt a year. But…since he’s 10, soon to be 11, he’s growing at a fairly rapid pace and his latest set of “dress clothes” was a bit short and a bit snug. I was so giddy that the sucker asked to wear khakis and a dress shirt, I pulled out all the stops last night to make it happen. (Which basically means I went to Target on a school night between soccer taxi duties #bignightout #workingmomgoals). I know I am not alone in my joyousness over seeing my kids all spiffed up, so hoping many of you would have done the same?! Haha.

So, after ordering a dress for Grace in August, and then squeezing in a just-in-time Target run, combing through the racks (which was hilarious in and of itself), making a $40 investment in some new duds, doing an extra load of laundry and breaking out the the iron (!!!), I present to you our super stylish, amazing 2017 School Picture outfits.




Mhmmm, your eyes are seeing properly. Grace is not in a dress. Gavin’s not in khakis or a collared shirt. This might as well be any other Tuesday, except that Grace’s hair is down.

I mean, Gavin’s collared shirt IS balled up in his school bag so he can throw it on right before he cheeses, so I guess that’s something. Ironically, this ended up actually kinda saving us because my iron broke in the middle of ironing…probably from severe under use over the years. (Side note – that may be a world record winner for the number of “iron”s in one sentence, yea?)

What the hell happened? Well, they both realized this morning that they had P.E. before their pictures, so their chosen outfits weren’t the best choice. (Why is this a thing on picture day? I guess I am old-fashioned. Or scarred by my own Picture Day experiences? I mean, they do allow the kids to change, but what kid wants to do that? Apparently not mine.) It wasn’t worth the battle this morning. So we let it go, and put all our bets on the real money-makers…those smiles. Hahaha.

A few closing thoughts:

  1. Jekyl says: It’s business on the top, party on the bottom. They are fine. (Wrinkled collared shirts aside.)
  2. Hyde says: There better be some damn good smiles in those pictures.
  3. I say: Thank God they offer the re-take day – just in case.

A Moving Post

Phew. This summer was a WHIRLWIND. A blur. A streak of lightning. Oh, and hot. So very hot. (Side note: Apparently, Portland summers ARE getting hotter. Yaaaaay. Nope.).

Somewhere in early June we decided to move. In typical Clark fashion, we made a decision and jumped right in. (Long-time readers will remember this from about …oh, six years ago when we decided to move across the country. Haha.) Can’t overthink these things. Well, we can’t because shizz would never get done.

Obviously, this cause added to our summer-at-the-speed-of-light phenomenon. Or maybe it was the actual cause. No matter – the end result is the same: we started our next Portland chapter. Much like leaving our Philadelphia nest – our birthplace, where we were born and raised, where everything was familiar,  where we first met, where we got married, where we planted our roots as a young family – our Portland move leaves a similar hole in our heart.

Yea, yea. We only moved half a mile away and can still walk to our old neighborhood. But a move is a move. (And, for the record, I don’t recommend moving to anyone. Ever. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog or 10…Basically: I am writing this blog so I can 100% ignore the mountain of unpacked boxes surrounding me.)

While not a great distance, it’s impactful because we’ve moved just far enough away from so much of what makes Oregon ‘home’ for us: our first house out here, our kids’ first friends out here, our first (and now some of our closest) friends out here. So despite the fact that our roots are unfurling only about a half mile down the road, this move is the very definition of bittersweet.

Six years ago, when we were winding down what was until that point, a lifetime in Philadelphia for us all, we didn’t really know what to expect out here in Portland. Thankfully, we were lucky enough to move to a neighborhood that is exactly like you picture your neighborhood will be when you grow up and settle down. Kids everywhere. Dogs, too. Everyone’s your friend, or, at the very least, friendly. Everyone’s hanging out together with a refreshing beverage on warm days…or, in the case of this past winter, snow days. You carpool to sports and on bad weather days. You leave your kids with a neighbor to run a quick errand, and they do the same. You hire the older kids to watch your younger kids. You look after each other’s kids as if they were your own. I could go on and on, but you see what I mean.

When we first moved out here, I blogged fairly often about how hard it is to make new friends at my age. Today, I am happy to say that friendship still works how I remember it. 😉 I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to make my first Portland friends in my neighborhood. They made my transition here easier. They helped me look forward to heading ‘home’ to Oregon after time away. They make me laugh. They make me happy. They make my every day experience out here – so many miles away from parents and siblings and lifelong friends – that much easier…and that much better. And I know Kenny, Gavin and Grace feel the same.

We’re excited for our new house. And grateful for our first Portland neighborhood, and first Portland friends. Incredible grateful. Thanks for making Portland home for us. Xoxo.