23 December 2009

An exciting change

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I desperately wanted to work part time so I could get the best of both worlds -- spending a few days each week at home with the baby while still having a separate life away from the baby. I casually looked for a part-time job, but it was hard to find something that fit my personal criteria for the ideal job. So recently when my closest friend, Marena, told me about a potential part-time position that would be available in January in her office, I was intrigued. I sent my resume as she requested, but I didn't think much of it. In my past experience, "January" could really mean "April" or "May." But only a few days later, the grand recorder (the head honcho at the office) requested a phone interview with me then an in-person interview later that week where he officially offered me the position. And I happily accepted his offer! So I'll start my new job on Jan. 4 at Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional fraternity for chemists. I'll be working in member communications, especially the Web site, newsletters and coordinating tasks with the member chapters. I'll work 20 hours a week, which I probably will break up into two days one week and three days the following week. After I learn everything about the position, I'll also have the opportunity to work from home occasionally. I'm so excited to still work in writing and communications, which are my greatest passions, but in a different industry. And I'm looking forward to working outside of health care since that's all I've known for the past 10 years! I've truly enjoyed the past six and a half years that I've served in my current job at St. Francis, especially all the great people I've met. But now is the time to get a fresh start at a new company. Health care marketing is an extremely competitive field, especially in the Indianapolis market. And lately I've really felt the pressures of working in this industry. I even was beginning to wonder if I was cut out for this cutthroat and stressful business. But then this amazing opportunity came along, and now I know I've made the right decision for me and our family. It's amazing how God works in the lives of His children and blesses our obedience. For more than a year, I've been praying not only for the right part-time position to be available at the right time but also for patience, joy and peace throughout the entire situation. He's given me all of that and more! I'm thrilled at how He's provided an extremely flexible job in a low-stress office with a small staff of people with whom I think I'll enjoy working. Plus I get to work with my best friend! I clearly see God's hand moving in this situation. I plan to really relax and enjoy the next 10 days before I start my new job. What great timing to be able to spend the holidays not worrying about work! The Clark household has yet another reason to praise God during this special Christmas season!

21 December 2009

Family game night

I forgot that I had these photos from a recent family game night with my parents and sister. The game of choice this night was Pictionary.
We usually play guys versus girls, even though the guys are slightly outnumbered. But they don't seem to mind. In fact, I think my dad really appreciates having a boy around after spending so many years alone with three girls! And it seems that Dad and Chris think an awful lot alike because they usually don't have any problems beating us.
Except this word was a little difficult. Dad was pretty excited when Chris finally figured it out. Too bad the timer buzzed just as Chris gave his answer.
And I guess Dad's guesses were completely off base on this one!

13 December 2009

02 December 2009

Avery meets Santa

Tonight we decided to brave the rainy weather and the mall crowds to take Avery for her first photo with Santa. Luckily, the rain kept people away from the mall, so we didn't have to wait in line at all. Avery, donned in her new dress that was handmade by Grandma Hromada, didn't mind meeting jolly Saint Nick. But we couldn't coax a smile out of her. At least she didn't scream or cry! And thank goodness we didn't have to worry about her asking for a Red Ryder B B gun!

01 December 2009

Houston, we have a tooth!

Little Miss Avery's first tooth popped through her bottom gum on Sunday. Too bad it didn't arrive in time for Thanksgiving turkey! While I love her toothless grin, I have to admit that one tiny tooth is pretty cute. And it's a sharp little bugger, too! Yes, we'll try to get a picture of it. But you know how difficult that will be, right?

28 November 2009

The last milestone of the weekend

The end of November usually signals the beginning of Chris' basketball season. In the past, I've tried to go to as many games as possible, even traveling across the state with Chris. But I think that might be a little more difficult this year with Miss Avery tagging along. I was feeling brave today, so Avery and I went to Daddy's afternoon game, which thank goodness was very close to home. It helped to have four grandparents and one great-aunt helping me carry Avery and all of her accessories and keep her entertained!
She really enjoyed herself and actually watched some of the game.
In fact, the action on the court temporarily distracted her from eating her delicious puffs.
Avery noticed Daddy on the court and waved at him. Unfortunately, he couldn't wave back! :o)
Oh, yeah...and Chris was at the game, too!

27 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Maybe it's because my birthday is always around Thanksgiving and each year as we sit down to enjoy our turkey dinner, my family reminds me how my birth interrupted their Thanksgiving meal so many years ago. Maybe it's the special memories Chris and I have already created together after only eight years. Or maybe it's simply all the food, fun and family crammed into one or two days of celebrating. Whatever it is that makes Thanksgiving so great, we had a wonderful time watching Avery experience her first Turkey Day. Since Thanksgiving is all about the food, we let Avery taste her first table foods at our two Thanksgiving meals. Besides the traditional mashed potatoes and applesauce, we also gave her some of Mommaw Clark's homemade chicken and noodles, a tradition started by her mother, Fern. Avery wasn't too sure about the slippery texture of the noodles, but she ate them. We'll try them again at Christmas. Any family gathering on my side always includes a game or two. This year's game was Apples to Apples. I really like this game filled with nouns and verbs. Plus there aren't any hard and fast rules, which is a good thing for my family members who like to argue about the rules! So here comes the busy holiday season! This year is sure to be extra special now that we have a sweet little girl to share it with!

25 November 2009

Avery's first trip to The Children's Museum

Our city is home to the world's greatest children's museum. As lifelong residents of central Indiana, Chris and I have been to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis many times. So we knew Avery would have a good time at her first visit, even though she's pretty young compared to many of the other museum attendees. Our first stop was the Indy 500 race car. I had my picture taken in a similar car when I was about 8 years old. Look at her grab the steering wheel! She knows just what to do. Playscape is a special place for the youngest children. There are lots of activities that the younger kiddos can participate in without competing with the older kids. Once Avery is crawling, we think she'll enjoy Playscape even more. Avery loves turning the lights off at home, so she had to play with this light switch in Playscape, too. A maze of mirrors is on the fourth floor. Avery loves mirrors. She especially loves to kiss the baby in the mirror! What's a trip to The Children's Museum without riding on the carousel? Avery loved the music, the lights and the people on the carousel. And being the mushy, emotional mom that I am, I teared up a little bit because I got to see how delighted she was as she enjoyed her first carousel ride. After Avery turns 2, we'll probably buy a family membership to the museum because we're certain that we'd get our money's worth out of it. But until then, we'll enjoy a few more trips to the museum while Avery gets free admittance!

22 November 2009

Celebrating a milestone birthday

Last Saturday, we celebrated Chris' dad's 60th birthday at a special surprise party. Not only was the party a surprise for Mike, many of the guests were a surprise, too. Out-of-state guests included Mike's two living brothers, Larry (and wife, Jerri) from Alabama and Charlie from California, as well as niece Kelley and great-niece Tyla from Florida. I still don't know how everyone was able to sneak into town without Mike finding out!

Surprising the guest of honor

Time to eat!
This picture was featured on the invitation and inspired the music-themed party. This is Mike during his radio days in the Air Force. Can you recognize him with all that hair? :o)
Singing to the birthday boy
On Sunday, the party continued when we spent the afternoon with extended family.
Chris, Avery and Uncle Charlie
Avery was not shy about giving lots of smiles to everyone
All of the living Clark siblings: Judi, Charlie, Mike and Larry
Aunt Jerri with Avery

19 November 2009

Presidential congratulations

We are the farthest thing from Obama fans. But after Avery was born, I couldn't help but submit a request for a greeting card from President Obama. (We also received one from President Bush when we were married.) I think it will be a neat memento for Avery to look at in the future. The note says: Welcome to the world! Your arrival is a cause for great celebration for your proud family. We wish you a long and happy life filled with chances to learn, ideas to explore, people to love, and dreams to fulfill. I'll keep my political comments to myself. :o)

17 November 2009

A taste of the sweet stuff

Last week, Avery tried fruits for the first time. Daddy selected her first taste: strawberry-apple-banana. He said that if she didn't like it, he'd eat all of it! She seemed to like the fruits as much as she likes the veggies. I wonder if that will continue when she gets older!