Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Show Must Go On... AND THANK YOU FED EX!!

This post is a HUGE shout out to some AMAZING workers at FED EX. There are good… no, GREAT people in this world so I’ve got to post about it.

Let me go back a bit… Hart to Hart Digital is Headed to "The Wedding Affair" Bridal Show, January 31st at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. I have been excited ALL month!! This will be a much larger event than my last one and I have pumped up the volume w/ my layout. So, up until about 1pm yesterday I was pumped. Here's what has happened since then:

I designed 3 new albums this month that are HUGE seller pieces. Great display albums are what attract brides and keep them at your table looking and talking. You then have the chance to sell yourself and your personality, which helps them decide to call you back. Anyway, these albums were stunning, show stoppers and were supposed to be arriving sometime during the week. By Wed. I panicked and called my supplier? With promises of returned phone calls, I never heard back. By Thursday I was super nervous about not receiving them in time so I called and requested overnight shipping. I was promised they would be shipped and received by Friday....phew...crisis averted... hundreds of customers no longer lost (hehehe, one can dream right!!!).

So, Friday, when Fed EX arrived, you can image my horror when the albums did NOT arrive in the package. Instead I received a frame order. Long story SHORT, they overnighted the wrong order. Okay… don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world, EXCEPT I really needed those albums and they said they would be here!!!!! When I called my supplier back I got a lame “I’m sorry”… they’ll be there Monday. MONDAY DOES NOT HELP ME!! I HAVE NOT SPENT HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON ALBUMS AND TRADE SHOW ENTRANCE FEES TO HAVE ALBUMS BY MONDAY!!

Calmly I called FED EX b/c something needed to be done!! I was transferred to a call center in India (or somewhere overseas) where I was told there was nothing that could be done. The order shipped “ground” and was in IL as of that morning. I said, “But can’t I upgrade and have it re-shipped overnight… I will pay ANYTHING” ??? Sorry Mam, there is NOTHING we can do, 10 times over.

I have a REALLY hard time taking no for an answer when I need a solution!! I asked to speak to a manager and here’s where my LOVE for FED EX was born.

I was transferred to Dan in Illinois… the nicest most accommodating person I had talked to all day. He heard me out, though my package had just left IL, he agreed to track the package, call the Charlotte hub and make sure someone “trapped” the package so I could pick it up on Sat. Of course with the glooming inclement weather, I shouldn’t get my hopes up, but there was still a good possibility I could pick it up myself on Sat. He told me to call the Charlotte Hub around midnight to see if it the package had been trapped. I WAS SO GRATEFULL that this guy took a few minutes to make some calls and work this out. He even called me back to confirm. WOW! I was impressed.

Around midnight (right when I was about to make my call) I received a call from the Charlotte HUB. They had my package!!! The man was worried about the snow that had started to fall and possible ice on Sat. He was worried about me driving all the way up to North Charlotte so he said he was going to personally deliver the package at 2am during his break!! WHAT… these guys were going ABOVE and BEYOND. I could NOT even express my gratitude. After getting my directions, he realized he had a colleague that lived around my area. They settled on this man personally dropping it on my door stop after his shift at 6am. Again, I was blown away by the customer service.

I woke up this morning to my 3 beautiful albums delivered (sitting in a pile of snow, might I add) on my doorstep. My appreciation is insurmountable. That will make a HUGE difference for me this weekend and despite the snow, the show will go on!! I am so grateful these people took time out of their schedules to go way above and beyond the norm. 3 HUGE CHEERS FOR FED EX and answers to prayers and not taking NO for an answer!!!

Have a great weekend! Mine is looking a lot brighter!!


Well, we went to sleep last night to chilly weather with no signs of snow (at least here in Fort Mill, south of Charlotte). Would the weatherman deliver?!?!

HE DID! We woke up to a winter wonderland... at least for this area. The kids have been playing and faux sledding all morning. I am happy for them... not so happy for me. I have a Bridal Fair in Concord tomorrow and am not too thrilled about driving in all this... but drive I will, because be there I must (I've invested hundreds of non-returnable dollars!!!!)

We were going to drop the kids of with my Sister-in-law's family in Marion!! Since they are snowed in, that is a big NO GO!! Plan B: church is cancelled, so Blake will be watching the kids while I'm gone all day. Okay, so everything is working out! Not ideal, but we'll take it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Former U.S. Marine crossed into Haiti with team to save lives

This one is from Blake:

I have been thinking of ways to help the rescue effort in Haiti. I came across this blog that I used to follow while this guy, Jake Wood was chronicling his tours of duty as a Marine sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is out of the marines now and the day the earthquake happened he pulled together a crew of ex marines, firemen, doctors and nurses to go on their own into the backcountry of Haiti to help.

I have made a donation and I think that if you spend two minutes reading his blog account, you might want to as well. Send this on, as you can be sure that every penny sent will be put to good effort. Other than a donation to the church’s humanitarian aid fund, this is the best bang for your buck as far as charitable giving is concerned.

Just wanted to share!! Thanks -- Blake

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Okay, so I'm a few weeks late, but I truly hope everyone has a wonderful new year!! I am a very happy camper this week thanks to this:

and many more exciting changes coming to Hart to Hart Digital!! My goal for this year is QUALITY VS. QUANTITY. I am updating everything... will keep you posted on the new website and such! Until then, here's to keeping our resolutions going until at least Feb!!

Our 2009 Christmas Adventure Begins!!!

I am so excited to finally be together enough to get all these fun pictures posted. It has literally taken me over a week to recuperate from our amazing Christmas vacation. I am still no where near caught up, but I wanted to get these up before January flies by!!
This year was our "Christmas w/ the Clarks" year (my family) -- a special year b/c EVERYONE was there. It seems like every year for the past several years, someone has been on a mission (5 of us has served, little bro will go in a year), plus Tiff and Dan were coming in from Dubia... it promised to be a year to remember... and it did not disappoint!
I love that my parent's mantra is "making memories"!! They filled our calendar chock full of everyday excitement. The next few posts are a few of my favorite pics:
Dec. 23rd: Big's B's B-DAY!! We celebrated Dad's day w/ a party and friends. And lot's of horsey rides from Uncle Sam!
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Christmas Eve!!

Christmas eve would not be complete without a) matching jammies - for ALL. b) the Nativity re-enactment... usually it's a fight to be Mary, but since Tiff is expecting a babe of her own, we all politely stepped down!! c) a few tears!! The little ones were not too thrilled about posing for pics. We would have offered popcorn a little earlier if only we would've known :)
Christmas Caroling!! Another fun tradition.
And to end the night: A SPECIAL VISIT FROM SANTA (hmmm... he looks so much like Uncle Sam). B&G could not have been happier (I know they look tired, but they were happy!!!) You'll notice the jar full of pom poms in Braden's hand. We worked all month doing good things to fill that jar, with that promise that once full, Santa would come!! Santa delivered. It was so cute. Benton was not too thrilled... he'll come around!!
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Wow, Christmas came so fast this year! I wanted to soak it up and enjoy it b/c 2 & 4 are such fun ages. We had lot's of fun gifts... and even had a few surprises for the boys. Benton and Gav got matching scooters and Bray got a bike that looks like "Papa's Dirt Bike!!!"
Love those matching jammies. Braden & Gavin both have cowboy boots... I can only laugh!!
I am a lucky lady and the proud owner of a bump-it. If you can't see it or haven't heard of it, just google it. It's a little running joke :) Can't wait to bust mine out and use it.
Braden is obsessed w/ Wolverine. Lucky for him he's now got a shirt w/ Wolverine's face and lucky for us he's now got a matching claw. As Tiff said, "you might not want to let him take that in the car anymore... with people..."!! He's a little armed and dangerous these days, but what's a four year-old super hero to do!!

Only second to the bumpit hair booster was a fabulous little "treat" from the hubby. I got to pick it out from a certain store. I love it :)

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Cruisin' to the Bahamas!!

December 26th involved events such as: waking up, driving to Miami, boarding a cruise ship, setting sail to the Bahamas. Just your average every day fair!! Kidding, kidding!! We were all so excited -- my parent's gift to the whole fam this year was a 3 day cruise... nothing too crazy (we had the little ones), but enough time to enjoy ourselves and make a few memories!

The beautiful Atlantis... I love Braden being bombarded by fish!!

The waves were INSANE on the beach we went to. All the boys had a blast, though Blake did have a close encounter with death. He said he was flipped twice under water and disoriented... I kept my bootie on land!!

Pirate night!! Before the show, one of the nights, they marched in all of the sea scurvy and had them perform a little act!! It was soooo funny. Braden is definitely considering growing a mustache/goatee combo... I think it really fits his face :)

Which takes us now to the BEST part of a cruise: the FOOD!! Each night we ate together in the main dinning area and literally ordered one of everything on the menu!! I'm talking 3 appetizers, 4 main dishes, 5 desserts etc... Then pizza at midnight. We also enjoyed the "piano man" bar. Blake sang along w/ every song. And Ash and I had to take a pic w/ our favorite SYTYCD couple: Ashleigh & Ryan. They danced on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships before doing the show! We're fans.

All in all a FANTASTIC time!! Thanks Mom & Dad... You're the best :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If Seaworld gets too crowded, go to Gatorland!!

So, post cruise we had a few more fun plans brewing. We had planned a day at Seaworld until we heard from some friends that it was a crazy, crowded nightmare. NO THANKS!! After a series of votes and ratings (a technical system employed by Mr. Blake Hart) we were finally all able to agree on a quick trip to Gatorland... a Florida Favorite!! We had a blast and were in and out before the crowds hit.

Please note - Blake could not be more excited about rodeo riding that gator!
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Get it... the BRO - LYMPICS!!! Hehehe. We were pretty pumped up for this day of sheer competitive sportsmanship. Dad concocted an obstacle course to end all obstacle courses, which ended w/ a one man canoe trip to the end of the dock and back. Ohhhh, it was funny! If only I could post the video :)
After the obstacle course... took it's course, we continued on to the golf course (so many courses!!). Sam is training to become a golf pro (not a pro-golfer) and gave us some helpful hints. The competition continued...
Of course the girls had to get in on the action... That Ashlee... what a competer! She's so athletic she took it by a landslide :)
And on into the night, with the skeet shooting (are those pistols?!?!) round. We were all a little sore the next day. But hey, we had a LOT to work off after the cruise!
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Fishing Fun...

Last but not least, we can't forget about the fishies!! We fished a little off our neighbor's dock, but had a hard time catching anything (still fun nonetheless)
We went back home to our own dock and guess what Dan caught!! Oh my gosh, that thing was HUGE!! And when we weren't fishing, the little boys were always feeding the fish. My favorite thing was watching Benton run (and he is FAST) down the dock... sometimes in clothes... sometimes not :)

What an amazing trip. It was HARD to leave and hard to come back to reality. Like I said, it's taken me a week to really feel back into the swing of the things! I am, however, very excited for 2010. Lot's of BIG things to look forward to! It's going to be a good year.

2009 Christmas Card

Gearing up for the Holidays

Well, if I wasn't in Holiday mode the 1st half of the month, by week three I came around!! business slowed up a bit and the Holiday activities came on full swing. We had a great Spanish Branch Christmas Party w/ dinner, dancing and a few presentations. I loved Gavin's stage debut during jingle bells... he on the other hand, was not so sure!

We went on a fun neighborhood field trip. Rode the train uptown and visited the Christmas Bears in founders Hall

Christmas came early w/ Nana & Papa! The spent the night w/ us the day before we left. We ate, made a ginger bread house and open lot's of fun presents!

Susan helped me work on the Snuggies for the boys. Don't laugh, but Braden has been obsessing over getting a snuggie. "Mom, it's the Blanket w/ sleeves... I swear he could be the poster child!! Anyway, I thought about buying one until someone told me they were low quality and said I should just make one (thanks for the idea Tammy!!!). I know they are a JOKE, but I thought hey, if Braden wants a snuggie, then a snuggie I will make!! He picked out the fabric and VOILA, I made a few snuggies *photos to come.
As a family, we had a great time selecting and wrapping these SECRET SANTA gifts for a wonderful deserving family!!