Coming Clean. It can happen to anyone. Don’t be silent.

(I have only ever shared this story with my husband…and no one else…but in light of this article, I feel the need to share.)

It was a chilly evening in October 1997. I was a freshman at BSU and had just started dating a boy we will call JS. He was also a freshman and a friend of my new roommate. We had only been dating a couple weeks as the school year had just begun a couple months earlier. He was a HS school football star (totally not my type but alas it was college and I was willing to give it a shot) and was rushing a frat. He often brought me over to the frat house to hang out with the guys and, looking back, probably to give him credit as ‘frat guy’ material for “getting the girl”. Even though I was not the frat house type, I enjoyed my time at the house. The guys all knew me and liked me and I felt safe knowing they all had my back.

On this particular evening, we had been hanging out in one of the common rooms drinking whatever cheap beer they had available (probably Natty Light…ewww!). I had only had a beer or two over the course of the evening because, well, it was a weekday and I had class in the morning. JS was asked to go with a Brother to help move a couch into another room. Being that the rooms were small and there wasn’t a ton of room, I agreed to stay in the common room and hang out while he helped. It would only be a minute or two and again…I knew I was safe here.

Shortly after JS left the room, a guy I had never seen before approached me and started talking. He introduced himself as D and told me that he was a junior and fellow Brother. He seemed harmless so I stood and chatted for a bit. We talked about JS and his rushing status at the house. He asked about my major and wanted to know about my art. After a couple minutes, the music got louder in the room so he suggested we move out to the hall. We walked out to the hall which was crowded with others standing around talking, drinking, what have you…so he lead me into a darkened room off the hall. We sat on the lone couch in the large darkened room and I quickly realized he was no longer interested in a friendly chat about school. He leaned in to kiss me and I could smell the whiskey on his breath. I lightly pushed him away, turned my head and reminded him JS was my boyfriend and would return in a few. He didn’t take no for an answer. He pushed me down on the couch and whispered in my ear, “It will be okay because all Brothers share everything and if JS wants to be a Brother, he will have to learn to share!”. I tried to push him off me as he tugged on my shirt. I deflected his hands from my shirt as he reached down for my waistband. He was much bigger than me and being as drunk as he was, he was pretty much dead weight. I screamed for help as the tears rolled down my cheeks.

A moment later, the door (which I didn’t realize he had shut and locked) flung open and three Brothers burst through the door. One grabbed D off me and immediately punched him in the face several times. The other two guys grabbed me, hugged me and asked if I was okay while yelling for JS. D screamed that I “was asking for it” through the bloody nose and bruised face. Two of the Brothers dragged him out the door and told him he was never allowed in the house again. They informed me that he was, in fact not a Brother, and that a Brother would NEVER violate a girl like that…ever.

JS and two of the Brothers walked me home to my dorm that night and I never mentioned the incident. I never reported him to police or campus authorities. I never spoke a word of it to my roommate or friends. JS and I never mentioned it again. We broke up shortly after that night and I continued to date other guys (although never another frat guy interestingly). Less than a year after that, I met Alex. We fell in love and got married. I did tell Alex briefly about the night but not in detail and honestly, have never even thought about the night until today.

When I read an article stating that college campus rapes are on the rise and that some believe it to be because sexual assault is becoming a “coveted status”, all these details and memories came flooding in my mind. I could remember the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions. I am thankful for those Brothers who stormed in to save me. I am thankful that it did not go any further than it did. BUT I am NOT thankful it happened or glad I could be a part of that “coveted status”. That thought is absurd. I hid what happened to me. I didn’t speak a word because I was worried. I was ashamed even though I did nothing but trust a “nice guy”. I was afraid of what people would say about me or what he would do.

I hid my story for 17 years. My hope is that other girls in similar situations aren’t afraid. I hope they don’t feel they have to hide. It is not your fault.

The new {ipad and mobile friendly} website is LIVE and ready to go!! www.amyclarkstudios.com {Columbus Ohio Photography Studio}

We are so excited to announce the launch of our new {ipad and mobile} friendly website…complete with separate portrait and wedding sites! There are tons of new, bigger, beautiful photos to view. The pricing and session fees are clearly spelled out. The site itself is clean and streamlined. We have been working for months on getting it up and ready so please, take a moment to check out the new site! 

http://www.amyclarkstudios.com/ 

#columbusphotographer #columbus #ohio #photography#photographystudios #amyclarkstudios#weddingphotographer #newbornphotographer#familyphotographer #boudoirphotographer

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{i tried it} NYC New York Color: Liquid Lipshine in Nude York City

 

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 1.30.02 PM

Another product that I am loving from my Influenster Holiday Vox Box is this new lipgloss from NYC New York Color. The color I got was Nude York City…this fabulously shiny nude color that works perfectly with my skin tone! The gloss itself is a little sticky for my liking (even though the bottle clearly states ‘not sticky’) but the super shine of it trumps the stickiness in my opinion. (My husband will likely say otherwise, though!) The wand is a fuzzy spatula type thing that I am not in love with as I think it makes it a little hard to apply but overall, I am loving this lipshine!

NYC New York Color (http://bit.ly/ZmNfMI) website

Liquid Lipshine product page (http://bit.ly/10cwV7v)

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{i tried it} Kiss Nail Dress – nail decals

Another product I was excited to receive in my Holiday Vox Box from Influenster was the Kiss Nail Dress nail decals. I have tried the Sally Hanson nail decals in the past and really liked the concept of them but they were a little difficult to put on by myself…so I was curious to see how these worked.

I got the fun sparkly leopard print version in my Holiday Vox Box and couldn’t wait to try them. They were super easy to put on…way easier than the Sally Hanson ones! There were no backings to peel off, no way for them to rip, no cutting necessary. The decals themselves are on a clear plastic sheet so you can hold them above your nail to see which one will fit making it almost impossible to screw it up. You simply select the size, peel it off, stick it to you nail, smooth it down, and then file off the extra off the tip. Easy peasy!

Mine lasted for about a week before I needed to remove them. They did being chipping a bit before that but being that the base color on them was nude, it wasn’t easy to tell. I could see how they may not last as long if you were to have a bright or dark solid color, though. Removal is super easy. You simply peel them off. That’s it. NOTHING ELSE!!

I loved them so much that I went out and bought 2 new packs this past weekend.

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{i tried it} Goody QuikStyle Brush

 

I recently joined Influenster and was thrilled when I qualified to receive the Holiday Vox Box full of all kinds of goodies to try out and review! When I saw that the Goody QuikStyle Brush was included as one of the items, I was thrilled!! The brush sparked my interest when I saw it in my Lucky Magazine a couple weeks ago but wasn’t sure if it would be worth the money.

I have medium length, naturally wavy, THICK hair. Straightening it takes a lot of time so the idea of a brush with tiny little microfiber towels in between the bristles was intriguing. I was excited to use my new brush so I rushed off to wash my hair (which if you know me…you will know isn’t something I do often!) and give myself a blow out. The brush itself had a bit of a chemical smell to it which was a little strange and seemed to get more intense as the heat from the blow dryer warmed it up. (The smell was weird but did seem to go away after the second use.)

My hair did seem to dry a little faster and was relatively frizz free which is hard to come by for me. The thickness of the brush made it a little hard to get the brush under to the roots but other than that, I loved it!! Who doesn’t want to save a bit of time while blow drying their hair?!?

You can check out all the details on the Goody website here: http://bit.ly/REp8ue 

Here is a link to the Goody Product Page on Influenster so you can check out other reviews of this fun new brush: http://bit.ly/Sis8Oi

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Your Time Will Come: Children’s book illustrated by my husband, Alex Clark {Children’s Book}

My amazingly talented husband, Alex Clark, just had his SECOND children’s book published and I wanted to share it will all of you!
Alex is the illustrator for the book Your Time Will Come and let me tell you…it is gorgeous!! The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble but we have copies available here as well so he is offering them as a signed copy as well as a signed copy with a custom sketch…and who doesn’t want that?!?! Talk about an amazing Christmas gift! Click the photo below to visit his blog and purchase your copy and we will get it sent out to you ASAP! Thanks so much for your support!

Your Time Will Come

The new Children’s Book by Dave Hammer and Alex Clark. A wonderfully motivational tale about a father and son and the love of Baseball!

If you are purchasing a sketch version of the book, please include what you would like your sketch to be (ie Caricature of family member, Favorite Fictional Character, Character from Book, etc)
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{i watched it} Rock of Ages the Movie

ImageI was lucky enough to get screening passes for the Rock of Ages movie and despite never seeing the previews (and having no idea of the storyline), I was really excited to see the movie based on the soundtrack alone. I am an 80s/90s rock girl and was brought up on all the great rock music of the time. I am a fan of musicals for the most part (although, not a fan of the Original Broadway Soundtrack as it felt way to “broadway” for me), however, I loathe Glee so I was a bit concerned that this movie would follow the Glee recipe (bad acting, decent singing, great songs being butchered). I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

As everyone has said, Tom Cruise does an amazing job playing the part of a wasted, sex-crazed, losing his mind, big name Rock God. I was a huge Cruise fan up until a few years ago when he fell of my radar and started to show his age. I am now eating my words as he looks AMAZING! Cruise…in leather pants…tons of tattoos…YES PLEASE! A side note, he can sing! I had no idea.

The two younger actors in the cast, Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta, fell a little short of hitting the amazing mark. Both are great singers but just lacked in the acting and chemistry part. Hough is GORGEOUS and that girl can sing but the acting just seemed so forced. Boneta definitely has a great voice and isn’t hard on the eyes, but again…he could use a little acting work.

Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin were hilarious! I honestly was laughing so hard at times that I had tears streaming down my cheeks. The chemistry between these two was amazing…with a twist at the end.

I love Malin Akerman in just about everything she is in and Rock of Ages did not disappoint. Akerman has amazing comedic timing and her love scenes with Cruise left everyone in the theater laughing out loud. The chemistry may have been missing between Hough and Boneta but it was definitely there for Akerman and Cruise!!

The music in Rock of Ages was great…not too over the top “broadway” as it can sometimes get in musicals. The dancing was so over the top that it was hilarious. The wardrobe team did a great job of taking the hideous looks of the 80s and making them look current so as to not feel like a joke.

Overall…I LOVED the movie. If you love musicals, SEE IT. If you are indifferent about musicals, SEE IT. If you hate musicals, you will probably want to skip it…but come on…you will be missing a great movie.

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{People I Love} My best friend, Jackie! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

When I first interviewed Jac for a nanny position for my boys back in Feb of 2008, I never could have imagined how much this girl would change my life. I was looking for a reliable nanny…and I got that, but I got so much more as well. She is my best friend. My seamstress. My photography assistant. My hair colorist. My shopping partner. My shoulder to cry on. My sounding board for just about anything. My partner in crime when it comes to anything girlie.

Not only is she my best friend and my assistant, but she has become part of our family. The boys have grown up with her by their side and will never forget all the things she has taught them (good or bad!). She has introduced me to country music…and made me a fan. She has expanded my horizons in many aspects. She is always there for me regardless of what time it is or what she is doing. I can’t even image my life without her.

So on this your 29th birthday, I would like to remind you of some of our fondest memories…(okay, some may not be that fond.)

  • Park Street Fest in the POURING rain
  • peeking through the windows of our hotel room at PIB
  • Malibu and orange slices
  • 3:00 giggle hour
  • British-turned-Southern-turned-German accents
  • Zac Brown Band concert while I was on pain meds
  • celeb trivia while driving through the night to Florida
  • dragging you onto roller coasters when you were scared
  • the Sky-Flyer ride at King’s Island
  • Lynard Skynard concert
  • standing in the rain for Kate Voegle
  • you getting carded over and over again at Disney
  • all the many hair disasters over the years
  • you claiming you saw the Pilsburry Dough Boy in the second story window
  • “You don’t belong here, girls” gas stations
  • all the times I have had to pee…over and over again
  • midnight showing of Paranormal 3
  • blaring “Party in the USA” in my car and all singing as loud as we could
  • brainwashing my child to love COWIES!
  • fun behind the turkey shed (oh wait…you weren’t really there!) ;-)
  • lots and lots of BUD LIGHTS
  • randomly wearing matching outfits…on accident
  • getting lost in the bar district after visiting House of Blues
  • every Dots concert
  • long conversations trying to understand why certain people are the way they are
  • “OMG…did you SEE her outfit?!?!” “What was she thinking?”
  • that time when you gave Kyan pistachios and honey nut cheerios…and we discovered he was allergic LOL!
  • learning to sign…and then having complete conversations in sign language
  • margaritas at La Fogata
  • tear filled texts during One Tree Hill
  • “Thats cute!” “So cute!” “oh, so cute!” Cute!” “Look how cute!”

Okay, I could really go on and on but I will stop now! I hope you have an amazing 29th birthday, love!

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{People I Love Right Now} Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today my post goes out to my amazing mom, Carol, on her 60th birthday!! I have a really hard time believing that she is actually 60 years old today because to me, she just seems so much younger! This weekend we surprised her at their house with a party…including my family and my sister flown in all the way from Portland. To say she was surprised would be an understatement. She was floored…tears, laughter, more tears, shock, and more tears!

My mom is an amazing woman, wife, mother, and grandmother. To me she is much more than those things…she is also one of my best friends. I always know that I can call her with any problem and she will help me sort through it…whether it is how to make cheesy potatoes, Dr. Mom advice when the kids are sick, marriage advice when things get a little rocky…I know she will always be there for me.

My mom (and my dad but it is not his day, yet) has always been ready to drop everything and drive through the night to be by my side if needed…in college when I thought my life was coming to an end (thanks to a jerk of a boyfriend), when BOTH my children were born, when I win awards, when my youngest was admitted to the hospital in the middle of the night…she is always there.

So Mom, on this, your 60th birthday…I wish you the best of days and many, many more amazing memories to come! We love you!!

 

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{Ramblings} Saturday morning…

Coffee: I love coffee {probably not as much as my hubby} but I love it! I never thought I would be a big coffee drinker but somehow over my years I have gone from drinking a cup of the java filled with about a quarter cup of sugar and tons of cream…to enjoying it almost black. I have realized that I love coffee no matter how it is prepared. Yes, I do love my grande half caf skinny no whip caramel maciatto…but I also love just a cup of black coffee with a hint of cream. It’s all yummy!

One Tree Hill: This is by far the best show in the world. I am so sad that the Series is over and there will never be another episode. I will admit I wasn’t on the One Tree Hill bandwagon from the beginning…it wasn’t until Jac convinced me to start watching the first couple seasons on SoapNet that I gave it a shot and was hooked! This show makes me laugh {and cry} more than an other show I have ever seen. I love that the series is on SoapNet and Netflix…which means I can continue watching at my leisure. And get my Lucas {Chad Michael Murray} fix whenever I want.

Fifty Shades of Grey: I gave in to all the hype and picked up the trilogy this past week and I honestly can’t put it down. This book is hot racy amazing! {this novel is not for the faint of heart…or the prude…so tread lightly!} I just started the book on Tuesday and I am already over halfway through with the first one. 500+ pages in each book is a lot of…juicy reading!

Cold: I am over it. Today I was awoken by the sounds of sleet and hail hitting the bedroom window. Sleet and hail?! In the end of April? Seriously? Alex is out for the Ride4Autism this morning…30 miles of riding…in the freezing cold! he is a stronger person than I am. Anyway…I am over the cold. It needs to get warm again and be all spring like. I am not enjoying the winter weather…after the 80 degree temps in Feb!!

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