Monthly Archive for December, 2009

All of the above!

This is a copy of our 2009 Holiday Letter!  (…that was mailed out on December 1st.)  Enjoy!

We hope this greeting finds you and yours to be healthy and happy this holiday season! Instead of a typical holiday letter, we’ve decided to give you a Pop Quiz. Good Luck!

While fulfilling her duties as a Domestic Diva Handler, JoAnn is also:
a)  The Assistant Editor at Mile High Mamas, The Denver Post’s parenting website.
b)  The President of the local MOMS Club chapter.
c)  Focusing on her writing projects at her personal website, The Casual Perfectionist.
d)  All of the above

When he isn’t working, skiing, hiking or biking, [Daddy] is:
a)  Digging rocks in the backyard for various landscaping projects.
b)  Admiring his refinished flagstone patio & planning the refinishing of the 3-tiered deck.
c)  Caring for the beautiful flagstone path along the side of the house.
d)  All of the above

In addition to impersonating a 4-year old Princess, Claire’s favorite thing to do is:
a)  Dance at her new Ballet Classes at the [Ballet School].
b)  Learn new things at her Preschool Classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
c)  Read books to Merlin & Jasper (who turned 8-years old this year, by the way!)
d)  All of the above

Photos! We love photos! The photos on the accompanying Holiday Card are:
a)  JoAnn & [Daddy] at a fun 1950s-style party at a benefit in Denver.
b)  Claire’s very first official preschool photo.
c)  A shadow portrait we took of the three of us standing at the edge of The Grand Canyon.
d)  All of the above

We’ve had a fun and exciting year! A highlight of 2009 was:
a)  A 12-day Road Trip in May, which included a stay at a Hot Springs in southern Colorado, camping at The Grand Canyon, frolicking on the beaches of California, and exploring LegoLand, Flagstaff & Santa Fe.
b)  Watching Claire dance down the aisle as a Flower Girl in [her aunt & uncle’s] wedding celebration in July.
c)  Visiting with our friends & relatives, whether they were here or there, or near and far.
d)  All of the above

All of the answers? All of the above!

As 2009 comes to an end, we wish you a Happy New Year.
We’d love to hear from you!

[Our contact information was included, but you’re welcome to contact us by clicking here.]

As 2009 comes to and end, we wish you a . . .

Happy Holidays 2009 Blog

Happy New Year!

One more week of Winter Break Bliss

No, I’m not being facetious with that title. We really have one more week of Winter Break around here, and it really is blissful. My husband has another week of work off, and we have nothing of consequence scheduled for this week. It’s going to be just as wonderful as we can imagine.

After all the excitement we’ve had over the last [week] [month] year, a nice quietness is appreciated. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year! 2010 is already proving to be an exciting year, and it’s not even here yet!

This last week of the year isn’t completely devoid of excitement. There are a couple of things scheduled this week: Our visitors are leaving us, and we have Claire’s 6-month Dentist Appointment.

We’re hoping Claire handles the Grandparents’ departure well this year. It’s sad saying good-bye, especially when you live in the moment and aren’t old enough to see into the future to the next visit.  Luckily, and oddly enough, the Dentist Appointment will act to cheer her up after the Grandparents leave. Yes, she loves the Dentist that much.

No, I’m not kidding.

Maybe I should have that as the title of this blog post.  Then again, “No, I’m not kidding,” seems to be a common theme around here with most things.


Worth the wait

Not only will the holidays be merry and light, so will the posting here at The Casual Perfectionist, while we spend it entertaining loved ones. I’ll be using this time to showcase some photos I’ve entered in the Cute Kids Contest at The Denver Post.

…and today’s photo is of Claire waiting for Daddy.  This was taken two years ago!

Click here to see it at The Denver Post.

Click here to see it at The Denver Post.

We hope you & yours have a wonderful holiday, and may whatever you’ve been waiting for…I hope it was worth it!

Can’t I open just one?

Not only will the holidays be merry and light, so will the posting here at The Casual Perfectionist, while we spend it entertaining loved ones. I’ll be using this time to showcase some photos I’ve entered in the Cute Kids Contest at The Denver Post.

…and today’s photo is a precursor to the one I shared last week.

Click here to see it at The Denver Post.

Click here to see it at The Denver Post.

As all the gifts start to pile up under the tree, I think the Baby Claire in this photo is verbalizing a sentiment on all our minds. 😉

I’m featured on Indie Ink today!


Click here to check it out!

My Favorite Winter Picture

Not only will the holidays be merry and light, so will the posting here at The Casual Perfectionist, while we spend it entertaining loved ones.  I’ll be using this time to showcase some photos I’ve entered in the Cute Kids Contest at The Denver Post.

…and today is the first day of Winter! Happy Solstice! In honor of the Solstice, I thought I’d share one of my favorite winter shots of Claire.

Click here to see it in the Cute Kids Contest at The Denver Post.

Click here to see it at The Denver Post.

This was taken on New Years Day in 2008. It hasn’t been doctored in any way (except to add the water-mark). I love it!

So, Happy Solstice, everyone!  May your Winter be filled with just the right amount of snow.  😉

It has been ages since I threatened to ship her anywhere in a box.

As I was looking over some things I’ve written in the past, I stumbled upon this gem that I wrote on December 13, 2007:

An Imaginary Conversation

An imaginary conversation I had in my head today while waiting in line to ship a package:

“How much will it cost to ship this?” I said, struggling not to drop my packages, my purse, Kitty, Puppy, a pair of small sunglasses and a hand-knitted winter hat. “This small box and this big package…not all this other stuff. And, you can box up the larger package for me, right?”

“The small box is no problem, but I’m sorry, Ma’am,” the clerk in the purple and black shirt said. “If the bigger package won’t sit still long enough to be measured, we can’t ship it from here.”

“But, I’ll pay extra,” I said, tapping my credit card on the counter.

“…and there will be an extra surcharge for all the noise. Is there anyway you can tape the on/off switch to off?”

“You can still hear that? All that screaming isn’t just in my head?” I asked. “Believe me, I’ve tried. I can’t seem to find the switch. I even took out the batteries,” I explained.

“…and there’s some rule about not being able to ship humans…” the clerk continued.

“Prove to me she’s human right now, and I won’t ship her anywhere.”

This post still makes me laugh, and it got me thinking. I remember that day as though it were yesterday. Claire’s 2nd Year wasn’t as terrible as some warned, but it wasn’t without its challenges. That day was one of the tougher ones. Honestly, three was a bigger challenge for me, but I still wouldn’t change anything. (I can say that because we both escaped Year Three relatively unscathed.)

She’s four now, and it is rare that I threaten to ship her anywhere in a box.

So far?
So far, I love four.

Opening Presents is Exhausting Work

Today, I was looking through some old photos for a photo contest we have running at Mile High Mamas, and I found this. As soon as I heard about this contest, this particular photo popped into my head, and I couldn’t wait to see it again. It is one of my all-time favorite photos.

It may or may not be the wallpaper on my computer monitor as we speak.

Opening Presents is Exhausting Work

Click here to see it on The Denver Post.

Can you believe that was four years ago??

Square Holes

After trying all day to pound square pegs into round holes, I became exhausted. My arms were starting to tire. Why won’t these pegs go in?? Just because they’re not exactly the right shape, shouldn’t be the only determining factor. I *want* them to go in. I am strong. I have the resources! I mean, this mallet is a good quality mallet, and it wasn’t cheap. I’m determined to get my money’s worth.

I can do anything! What I’m asking is not unreasonable!

But, I was losing steam. I decided to stop pounding for just a minute to regain my composure, re-evaluate the situation. I’d been pounding for what seemed like weeks, and the old quote kept popping into my head.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

It was easier to hear the voice of reason when there was a lull in the pounding.

As I’m sitting there, sweat dripping from my brow, the mallet heavy in my weary hand, I looked around with new eyes. Right over there, was a hole I hadn’t seen. For reasons that were good at the time, I’d chosen to overlook it. I’d been so focused on pounding that I didn’t think it really mattered in the grand scheme of things.

It was square. The hole I’d neglected to see was square.

I looked at all the square pegs in my hand. I looked at the square peg jammed into the round hole in front of me. It was all crooked, mocking me.

Could it really be this easy?

I yanked on that square peg and took it over to the square hole. I didn’t even have to force it. It slipped right in, dropping right into place. I didn’t even need to use the mallet.

Why had I used my time and energy banging on square pegs in round holes? Why hadn’t it even occurred to me to use my energy finding square holes?

I set down my mallet and grabbed a flashlight. Let’s see how many more square holes I can find.

Do you notice anything different?

When Claire was not even a month old, one of my sisters crocheted a cute little outfit for her.

Claire in the same outfit

Claire was so cute in it, and kept trying to eat the tasty flower bow throughout the whole photoshoot.

When she grew out of it, I tucked it away in her closet for safe-keeping.  It was much too special to put in the donation/sell bin.

Well, now that Baby Rose has come to live with us, I got out the outfit for her to use. Here is a photo I took of Claire and Baby Rose this morning.  You’ll notice the same outfit, but do you notice anything different, other than the fact that four years has somehow zipped by in the blink of an eye?  Do you notice anything different about Claire?

Baby Rose and Claire

She has granted me permission to post this photo. In it is something that she is so excited about…a special milestone that I’ll talk about soon…

…a milestone other than the fact that I’ve become a Grandmother much earlier than I anticipated. 😉