why my mother never bought the "A" package

after posting about school pictures last week, i though it only fair that i posted the very reason why lana did NOT buy the "A" package:

wait for it...

first, i would like to say that not EVERYONE in 1981 could get their bangs to lay across their forehead like that, so give a girl a little credit. b, i'd like to bit#& slap the photographer for telling an insecure 11-year old girl who changed her outfit 5 times that morning to "look really serious" for the camera. could there be any photo out there, ANY, that could compare to this level of badness? i think not.

(on second thought, this one comes close. but still, not even still in the same ballpark.)

so, now that i have fully and completely humiliated myself by posting that total mother of all trainwrecks, i thought i would post my favorite--1st grade mindi:

can you tell that one of the volunteer moms was right there with the comb before this photo? usually they liked to only take the photos right after we came in from recess, all sweaty and flushed from the million degree st. george heat--and then there was always somebody there to jack up your hair by combing it the wrong way. ahhhh, memories.

where the hell is the cordless phone?

we have a cordless phone system that has 4 phones attached--one in the master bedroom, one in chandi's bedroom, one in the kitchen, and one in the laundry room. right now we have ONE friggin' phone floating around the house and usually it's missing in action.

now, granted, one of the phones is out of commission due to an unfortunate laundering incident. which i claim NO responsibility for. except for the fact that i loaded the washer. and turned it on.

so that still leaves THREE phones, but where are they? why is it that there is NEVER a cordless phone when i need one? or when the phone rings, and so then someone has to bust a move down to the laundry room to pick up the fax phone? which i hate to use because it doesn't show caller id, so it's totally kickin' it old school, with "surprise caller" on the phone. yeah, mindi is NOT a fan.

i wonder if this is how it is at other people's house? do they lose their phones as well? are they all in the same little hideaway that mia has stashed them in? along with my cell phone and first wedding ring?

three phones should NOT be that hard to locate.
but i can't find them.

i am seriously considering getting one of the old, wall-mounted phones like i had growing up in my morningside house. that cord must have been 20 feet long--all i know is that it was long enough to stretch down the stairs where i liked to lay on the landing and talk about REALLY important things, like tommy howell and my next 40 minute (those were the days!) tanning booth appointment at kay's kut and kurl.

is there such a thing as a gps system for the cordless phone? i would pay mad cheddar for such a thing. and then i'd install it on my cell phone.

fyi: 20 dollar reward to any of my children (or not my children) to find all 3 phones and have them in my hand by 5pm!~ desperate times call for desperate measures.
and bribery.

russ clove decorates the clove house for halloween or our very own holiday outdoor decor enthusiast

i think it would be an extreme understatement to say that we are obsessed with our halloween decorations here at the clove casa.

russ clove has a secret or not so secret love of decorating the outside of the house for the holidays and i absolutely adore that about him.  we all anticipate this time of the year at the clove house because people drive up our street from near and far to look at our skeleton head.  we all love it, of course. we might be secret or not so secret holiday outdoor decor enthusiasts.

clove girls school photos 2008 and omg they are adorable




when i was in grade school all i wanted was the "A" photo package--you know, the one with the 8x10, 2 5x7's, 4 4x5's, 12 wallets, and 36 bajillion 2x3's? and every year my mom would scan down the list until she found the VERY CHEAPEST option--generally somewhere in the vicinity of package s or t--only one up from the "single class photo" option which was the kiss of death.

i used to take a bit of offense--didn't lana want my 8x10 photo hanging on the wood-paneled wall going up the stairway in "steps" along with the other school framed photos? did she love me less because she didn't want a large quantity of mindi images to have and to hold?

then i became a mom and suddenly the light bulb clicked over my head. i love my kids. TONS. and happen to think that they could quite possibly be the most beautiful children around. but this year i got the cheapest package in the whole deal. NO airbrushing, re-touching, or cute captions.

and it STILL cost me $17.00 per child.

my love affair with the skaggs perfume aisle or i know i smell good but is that vain to say out loud


when i was in 10th grade, i got really into perfume--i loved smelling good and i decided that my mom's ginormous bottle of "luv's baby soft" or her little tester vials of avon's- perfume- of -the month was not gonna cut it any more.

what i desperately wanted was a bottle of beauiful by estee lauder.  they sold it at the cute clothing store next to liberty lounge (chantilly shop? no.  crap.) where shannon frei worked after school.  but it was $50 plus tax and no way could i afford that on my pizza hut part part time waitress gig tips. so i decided to get on board with what WAS in my price range.  and that was the perfume aisle at skaggs.

while perusing the perfumes in my price range which was ten dollars or less, i came across a couple of secret surprises that i relied on until i got rich and could afford the good stuff. i was always pleasantly surprised at the cheap options i could get here
#1: coty wild musk patchouli blend.

this red bottle was my ace in the hole--it smelled like a giorgio knock-off (which was HUGE) and i don't even think they meant to do that as it was just about 6 months ahead of designer impostors. either way, i smelled it, bought it, and wore it with pride. i like to consider myself somewhat of a pioneer in the designer imposter field (unbeknownst to myself at the time, naturally, as i was really just "bottom feeding" in the perfume world's pond.)

#2: coty wild musk

every day when i wore this exoctic fragrance named after the scent an aniamal puts out to attract mates (nice.) i always got a compliment. i loved it when a boy would say i smelled good, and i doused generously with this daily.

i moved on to "beautiful" when i was a junior and santa claus gave me a small bottle that i worshiped. then "eternity" came onto the scene late my senior year and stole my heart, and i've hopped from fragrance to fragrance ever since: escape, lauren, tommy girl, ralph lauren blue, ralph lauren hot, ralph lauren rocks, be delicious dkny, and now a little trendy thing by ed hardy that i wasn't gonna get on principal alone, but it just smelled so dang good that i ignored the fact that it's called hearts and daggers and bought it despite that unfortunate fact.  ive always been a sucker for something that smells intoxicating and this is currently working for russ. so WIN/WIN.

mia and bunny play dress-up

i am thankful for little girls and their penchant for dress-ups.

international male

christmas morning again when i got to my mailbox (or MALEBOX, if you will...) and found my new international male catalogue. (btw: they are really called undergear now, but i can't seem to get on board with that one. it doesn't have the same panache.)

so, for you males of discriminating taste out there, we've selected a few goodies--hope you've got a good bail bondsman on retainer, because it would be a crime to pass up these items imo.

have you always wanted to experience the exciting job opportunities in the male escort industry, but your family therapist/pastor/stake president always prevented you from doing so? well, our victorian shirt and martello leather shoe will make you feel like you are right on the front escorting lines WITOUT losing your church membership! try it! you'll like it!

if you find yourself wanting to onesie then look no further than our ug striped step-in--so comfy and functional--who says having something that snaps in your crotch can't be fun? certainly NOT us... (and definitely not him.)

our tactic sport cargo short and sleeveless hoodie is what you'll be sure to wear if you want the adult male equivalent of your lunch money taken from you. after that you can be shoved into one of the gym's lockers just for old time's sake while you cry for your mother.

feel bad that you didn't get to wrestle and wear one of those dreaded wrestling singlets in high school? our sports wrestler in canary yellow will make all of your sports fantasies come true--organize a neighborhood grappling party and be the envy of all when you wear this spectacular wardrobe essential. TRUST US when we say this outfit is a bonafied chick-magnet.

if you've been wanting to drop a cool fifty bucks on some undies that look strangely female, than the ed hardy love kills slowly trunk should be just what you're looking for. they are "snug fit", so be sure to go up a size. or four. also it's best to try to avoid replicating the front pouch skull and heart placement--it has been known to end in tears.

in order to get ahead in this world, you have to dress for success--nothing says "capable, trustworthy male" like our leather weston pant in butterscotch. pair it with our floral button-down and you'll forget that you are wearing pants that require a 2-step process that involves baby powder and wesson oil (helloooooo ross geller) and involves the term "butterscotch".

nothing exudes pure sizzzzzzzle like the intoxicating combo of  "man-pris" and camouflage--our evolution tank and brandon capri allow you to showcase your fun-loving side as you fill your 64-ounce mug with mountain dew at maverick while your baby is out in the car in the carseat with the engine running.  

the biscayne blazer and antonio zengara rainbow boot are the items to have when you are really ready to "take it up a notch"--could your woman possibly resist a boot with shimmer in it? oh, that's right--SHE CAN'T. be a winner. be a MAN. wear the floral.

if you've missed our other international male postings, then we feel sorry for you--

(check them HERE. and HERE. and HERE. oh, and HERE.

mia loves mexican cereal

you know how i feel about mexican cereal .......

turns out mia has a fondness for it as well:

that's mom's girl. i couldn't love hers more.  

our mom made us cry or guess who's coming to dinner?

one sunday morning when i was about 5 years old and my sister, loni, was 8, my mother came into our bedroom and woke us up with some exciting news: somebody IMPORTANT was coming to sunday dinner!

we were immediately hooked--who was it? we asked. was it somebody we knew? or was it somebody we always wanted to know? my mother just smiled and said that it would be a surprise, but that we had a lot of getting ready to do for our v.i.p. guest. she was preparing a very special meal and we got to attend!

my mom told us to get dressed in our sunday best and make sure that our shoes were shined and that our teeth were brushed (a stretch in those days--yikes.) and that we had our room cleaned and bed made.

when we were done she had us come into the kitchen and get out our best china and our REAL silverware--you remember that kind, don't you? the set that was in the fancy box lined with velvet. the kind you had to wash by hand because you couldn't put it in the dishwasher, thus creating the ILLUSION that it was even that much more special than the lowly everyday
silverware? yup, we brought them out, along with our crystal goblets and a centerpiece for the middle of the table fashioned from paper and glue and lots and lots of love, desperation and anticipation.

mom announced at 9:00 a.m. that our v.i.p. guest was supposed to arrive at 12:00 noon. by 11:00 a.m. we were sitting on top of the couch facing the big front window, watching in anticipation--who could it be? by this point we had narrowed it down to just two likely candidates (and this is no lie): jimmy carter, the president of the united states, or spencer w kimball, the president of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. we were convinced that a motorcade was about to descend upon our tiny rogers circle home complete with limos bedecked with flags. and ticker tape.

i remember my mom trying to calm us down as our neighbor, cherrie wittwer, came to our door to borrow something--when we told her that jimmy carter was coming for lunch i remember that she looked quizzically at my mother and then they moved off into the kitchen to speak in hushed voices.

by the time the clock reached 12:10 p.m. we were worried that perhaps their cars had taken a wrong turn? my mom told us that we should go in and sit at the table and get ready. we could hardly tear ourselves away from the window, fearful we would miss the procession, but mom insisted.

we sat down at the table and noticed that mom had her big easel out next to the table with posters on it. she turned to us and told us that, indeed, somebody VERY IMPORTANT was at the dinner table today. somebody who was more important to her and dad than anyone (and you can see where this is going)  and then she flipped over the poster board with a flourish and it read: "that somebody important is YOU!!!"
WE WERE THE V.I.P.??? loni and i sat there in stunned silence. we looked from our dad. to our mom. back to our dad again, who was laughing and that is when the tears came. we cried and cried and CRIED, while my dad and mom laughed and laughed and tried to comfort us. my mother explained that we were such an important part of our family that we were always considered "v.i.p.'s".....we we pretty sure that we weren't buying it.

this story has been lovingly told and retold in our family's history. it made an impression and it was a lesson we didn't forget--we WERE the important guests at my parent's dinner table, and we were (eventually) grateful for it.

even if it meant that we didn't get to dine with jimmy.

but if you knew how i feel about my parents then you'll know that dining with my parents was WAY better.  truly.

beautiful people

i thought this was veerrrrrrrryyy interesting:

"Miami has the most attractive people in the U.S. according to a new survey published by Travel + Leisure magazine. It seems warm climates draw beautiful people. San Diego, Los Angeles, and Honolulu were also in the top ten. Philadelphia came in last for the second year in a row. Here is the list of the top ten cities with the most attractive people. "

1. Miami
2. San Diego
3. Austin
4. Charleston
5. Honolulu
6. Los Angeles
7. San Francisco
8. Minneapolis/St. Paul
9. New York
10. Denver

now, i know that some of my bestest blogging bff's live in some of these cities--so, yay for them.....but i'm seriously hurt. HURT, I SAY!! i can't believe that god's own chosen city, ST. GEORGE,UTAH, wasn't on the list. don't they know the fine beautiful people specimens we produce??

HELLO?! i give you example number one:

and example 1.5:

example 2: (okay, technically not a resident, but he did live here for three weeks--those are OUR red rocks behind mr. efron)

i demand a second opinion!!

btw, i did find a photo of a person from philadelphia--the LEAST attractive u.s. city.
photo not suitable for young children or pets:

my barbie suitcase

if there's one thing i'm good at, it's OVER-packing for trips. i love to do it. and i'll do it every time, without fail. i get all anxiety-ridden and break out into giant hives if i have less than 3 choices in shoes. it's completely ridiculous and i know it but that doesn't seem to stop me.

but russ just bought me but this new small pink suitcase and it's helping me change that.  i love it and i love that russ would surprise me with it.  he is the best gift-giver that i know. 

thankful thursday

things i am thankful for this week:

1. these boots that rbc bought me at target to keep my piggies warm at the foo in denver--just like uggs, but only $150.00 cheaper!! (but first i had to get over my fear of wearing non-cute shoes. such a 'tard)

2. for the corn and tomatoes that my gracious father-in-law brings us from his garden. nothing like not having to work for your home-grown veggies and having them delivered to your doorstep.....i love my life. AND my father in law.

3. for my niece, kari, and her hubby robert who watched my rug rats when we were gone and held the fort down like pros--the only problem is that it was an effective birth control tool. our bad.

4. for just a HINT (and only the barest of bare, but still.....) of fall in the air. could it possibly be?

5. for grandma larkin who spent all day tuesday having "mia" time--she even got her to take a short "rest"--NOT a nap, mia informed her, but just a rest. ummm, there's aBIG difference, you know?

russ and mindi see the foo fighters at red rocks september 2008

i've dreamed of going to a concert at red rocks ever since i was a 14 year old girl and saw bono marching with a white flag in THIS awesomest video-- i watched it out of the one eye that i had a contact in. i even tried to convince my parents to let me drive there while on a family vacay in steamboat springs when i was 16 years old to see the go go's. they said no.

russ and i got to experience this breath-taking venue for the foo fighters concert and it was stunning.

we were graciously welcomed into a row just 5 or 6 rows from the front--these ga people had been here since opening 5 hours earlier and we had no clue that we were to arrive early to save our spot.  they were around our same age and i think they understood that the struggle as older people is real.  it was an incredible concert that russ and i won't ever forget.  or the trip to mcdonald's afterward that was a disaster.......

but i digress.

the amphitheater was even more breathtaking in real life--it was a cool evening, but the cloud cover overhead kept us warm and made the sky look UNREAL. i would go back in a heartbeat to that beautiful spot--

all of our bff's waiting for the show to start:

dave and company rockin' it out:

sometimes we do cool things.  this is one of those times.