Category Archives: fantastic mr. tycksen

chalk festival 2012

DSC_8312My handsome husband, the artist!DSC_8370Ben is thinking about doing the festival next year…I think he should. DSC_8390 DSC_8716The kids LOVED going downtown to see Dad draw.DSC_8417Cute little Will was sad to say goodbye for the night.  Clayton stayed all night so he’d have time to complete the project.  I told him not to do anything “too big” because he has a tendency to torture himself, but did he listen? The project was a combination of two separate photos we found.  Clayton couldn’t decide on just one of them, so he put them together in Photoshop prior to the Chalk Festival.DSC_8420 DSC_8439 DSC_8557 I think Hannah should do the Chalk Festival next year too!  DSC_8614 Will thought he was strong enough to push over this tree.  I never laughed so hard! His face!DSC_8617 DSC_8618 DSC_8671 DSC_8694 Afternoon, Day Two. Running on zero sleep. Pure misery.  Although you’d never know it by looking at his drawing, would you?DSC_8790Both sides of our family came to see Clayton draw, as well as lots of friends and neighbors.  The support was so amazing.  Here our dads are admiring the nearly finished piece.DSC_8701  By far the best and most popular piece in the festival this year. DSC_8770  DSC_8794 DSC_8804 Yes, people, that is MY husband!DSC_8835

Be sure to check out the video my husband’s company produced:

30 Hours of Chalk from M4 Creative on Vimeo.

Here is the video featuring Clayton in the 2011 Chalk Festival:

Chalk Art - from Christopher M. Jones on Vimeo.

P.S. Never kneel for 30 straight hours with knee pads strapped on…apparently it causes nerve damage.  We are hoping the nerves in Clayton’s leg will repair over the next couple of years.

chalk it up

{click on the images to see them in a larger format}
The master at work…day one.
The kids got in on the action, and Olivia hoarded the chalk as you can see.
Most of the family came to watch Clayton work his magic.
Even cousin Hagrid paid a visit :)
Can you believe the talent this guy has?  Yes folks, that is MY husband.
The final drawing and the winner of the People’s Choice Award!
They say pictures speak more than words, and that is definitely the case here!  This was back in June when Clayton participated in the Chalk Art Festival at The Gateway.  He did lots of chalk drawing on his mission in Switzerland, but he hadn’t done anything since then.  The night before the Chalk Fest, he said to me, “I hope I can do this.”
I laughed.
Because he can do ANYTHING.
Obviously.
He chose this work by Carl Bloch titled Christ in Gethsemane because it was his favorite when we saw the exhibit at BYU last spring.  I think the subject matter struck a chord with people, and then his talent on top of it made it just amazing.  He won first place in the People Choice Awards.  I’m sad it got washed away in the rain the next day, I was hoping to go and chisel out that concrete and put it somewhere in my house :)
His company, M4, did a film including a time-lapse video that you just have to see.  
{Click here for viewing on Vimeo.}  

birthday date

Clayton took me out tonight for my birthday. I mean, the Pinewood Derby the other night was nice and all, but…
I’d been wanting to go back to the Carl Bloch exhibit at BYU. I went there with my friend Emily in January, but I had all 5 kids with me, so we just kind of blew through it. Tonight we rented the iPad tour and spent some time enjoying all the uplifting and beautiful art of Carl Bloch. If you haven’t had a chance to go, you need to go! It runs through May 7th. These paintings are from different churches all over Sweden and Denmark, and this is the first time they’ve been seen outside of their homes, and all together in one place. It is well worth going. Make your free online reservations before you go.

I had heard this place was really good, so that’s where we had dinner. I love trying new places. Clayton, not so much, but he was a good sport since it was my birthday we were celebrating! The atmosphere was casual and fun, but after we were seated and started looking at the menu, we were like, “Hmm, I feel like an idiot…I don’t know what half of this stuff is…should we sneak out the door and go somewhere else?” But then our waiter arrived, and we all smiled at each other like we were so excited. I guess we’re staying…
You could tell this guy gets a lot of gourmet-challenged customers. He was a pro as he educated us and dumbed down the menu. We had some awesome gnocchi for an appetizer, and then some crazy salad with grapefruit, avocados, and roasted beets that Clayton passed on {fine, more for me!}. The pizza was fired in a big brick oven and was amazing. We both loved it. Our waiter brought a tiny plate with little dried sprigs of oregano and red chiles for crushing onto our pizza. I thought it was fun to go somewhere other than a huge chain restaurant {even though I like those too}. It was kind of an adventure.
The thing about eating out that gets me {no matter how inexpensive or good it is} is when they bring the bill and I feel so ripped off. I think, “Do you know how many groceries I could have bought with that?” Then I get a pit in my stomach. So dumb, I know.
In the end, my favorite part of dinner was the entertainment:

work it baby!



Here’s my cute husband working out on his bike trainer. It allows him to use his actual road bike, and increase and decrease the intensity of the ride. Cycling videos that take virtual tours through Alaska and other nice places help keep it from becoming boring. It’s the next best thing to riding outside during the winter months.

hospital pics


I hate needles! Aren’t you proud of me?

Holding Will for the first time.
I always cry the first time I hear the baby cry, it is so amazing.

Ben is so happy to have a brother…
the look on his face when he came into the delivery room was priceless.

One day old.



Poor little baby! He had a fever and then dropped to 96.5,
so the pediatrician had him on antibiotics through an IV in his tiny hand. So sad!

Cutest dad ever.

Ben was first in line to hold him when they came to visit the next day.

Hannah was so sweet, just kept standing by my bed,
all quiet {totally unlike her}, and smiling at me.

One happy big sister, and officially our middle child.


Olivia wasn’t sure how to react…she’d be laughing and wildly happy one second,
and then pitching a fit the next, completely bipolar! She’s doing a lot better now though.

I’ve been wanting to write all week, but you know…I just had a baby! Up at 1 am, 4 am, then Nina comes in at 6 am {“I’m scared!”}, baby up at 7 am again, then I’m up at 7:30 to get the kids out the door for school. My bedroom is strewn with burp cloths, the bed unmade, tiny diapers spilling out of the garbage can. I love it though. He won’t be a newborn for very long, and despite all the chaos, I’m enjoying it more than ever.
The delivery went great, just took awhile longer than I thought it would since my doctor had to go do an emergency c-section at another hospital. So the nurse slowed down my Pitocin and I had to wait my turn. Then the baby was slower to make his appearance than all my girls…the girls all came in about an hour and a half, and this little guy took about 3 1/2 hours. Can’t complain though! It was still pretty fast.
After he was born, Clayton was ready to take him out into the hallway for my family to see him {Clay’s family were all down at Lake Powell}. “What should I tell them his name is?” Hmmm…yeah, we still hadn’t come to an agreement on that.
“I still like the name James,” I said.
“I still like the name Will,” he said. “James reminds me of an old man. And I don’t want people calling him Jimmy.”
{Yeah, yeah. We’ve had this conversation how many times now?}

“Should we flip a coin?” Clayton asked. Nice! We almost did.
But then after I thought about it for a minute or two, I said, “Okay, well, I did name all the girls and you were always great with what I picked, so….okay, you just go ahead and name him.” After all, “Will” was on my list of boy names too. Just not my top pick.
“Okay, are you sure? You can’t go back on it, you know?” he said.
“It’ll grow on me,” I said.
Clayton was very happy about that. And that’s the story of how William got his name.
{I picked the middle name of Clayton though.}

Since he was born I’ve found out that I have several ancestors from England and Ireland named William, one of which shook hands with the Prophet Joseph Smith. So now I like the name even more.
Can I tell you how much I hate being in the hospital? I know some people love it, but I feel like I’m in prison. And the food…ugh! I wanted to check out of there the day after he was born, especially since we have no insurance and we are paying for it. But since he and I had both had fevers for a short time the doctors wouldn’t sign the discharge papers. My doctor had left on vacation that day so I couldn’t even talk to him, just the on call doctor that I don’t even know. Long story, but we ended up staying another night even though we were both fine that entire 24 hours. Cha-ching! There went another $1000. Do you know that we could stay somewhere pretty darn nice for $1000 a night? That actually would have decent beds and yummy food? I felt so trapped, and Clay had to stay home with the kids that night, so I was all alone. I felt like I would go crazy! So I decided to walk the halls for a bit.
As I was walking the halls, pushing baby Will in his little bassinet, a big old mean nurse pointed down toward the end of the hallway where I was headed. “Don’t go through those double doors down there or your baby’s ankle tag will set off the alarm.” I saw the doors she was pointing to, way down the hall. They were closed.
“Okay, I wasn’t planning on going through the doors, I’m just walking to them and back.” I said.
She put her hands on her hips and glared at me as I walked away from her. Suddenly, “WOO-WOO-WOO!” Horns and whistles shooting off, nurses scurrying around, and mostly glaring at me. I had set off the child abduction alarm by going through the OTHER double doors that were OPEN about 10 feet in front of the nurse’s desk. Thanks a lot, lady! Why didn’t you specify that is was THESE doors, and not THOSE doors down at the end?
Meanwhile, Clayton and the kids were downstairs, coming to see the baby. Apparently, the elevators and all the hospital doors shut down thanks to me. And I just wanted to go for a little walk. So that just added to my frustration that day. It’s pretty funny now, though, isn’t it?
There was one nice nurse who passed by me and said, “Don’t worry, that happens ALL THE TIME.”
So after Clay and the kids came to see the baby and had left, I decided to get the heck out of there for a while, and went by myself to walk outside and see the sunset. It was beautiful and warm outside. I didn’t want to go back into the hospital with all those rude nurses! I can’t even tell you how happy I was to finally come home with my new little baby Will on Wednesday!