faith in mankind

Well folks, my faith in mankind has been renewed and I feel wonderful. I’m not sure if I ever actually LOST my faith in mankind, but it’d be easy to do when by the end of the day you can count the times you’ve been cut-off, been rude to, talked back to, or my personal favorite is when someone sees me coming in a store with a toddler by the hand and a heavy car seat in the other hand (holding the world’s heaviest baby!) and they CHOSE NOT TO HOLD OPEN THE DOOR FOR ME. I love that.

So anyway, yesterday I took a few minutes and left C with the girls so I could have a break from the sick house. I ran to Red Lead to get some supplies for an invite I have to create for Abbie. Red Lead is the most amazing and inspirational store around… filled with fun things to create with in every nook and cranny. It’s owned by two sisters! How amazing would it be to run an ART store with your sister? Dream come true, that is if Abbie and I weren’t so completely different! :) Anyway, I’ve shopped there for years and love it. So I take my time picking out my papers and some fun little extras and when I’ve decided Chris is probably at his breaking point I head up to pay. Well, I was short. Not too much, but enough that I told the owner to go ahead and take that amount of stuff out and I would come back another day to get it. This is what she said, “Go ahead and take it, you can owe me.”

Say what?

That’s right. She let me leave her store on the faith that I would come back some day and repay her the money owed. I seriously couldn’t believe it. And even though I KNEW I would go back and pay her, I insisted that she just take out the merchandise b/c I didn’t want any part of her thinking I would never come back. I didn’t want to be to her, like the person that doesn’t hold the door for me. But she insisted harder, and b/c I really was excited to play last night, I gave her what I had and left.

I went back tonight and gave them the money, of course, by the way. But the point is that she trusted me. Like seriously trusted me. A stranger. Maybe a face she recognized from shopping there from time to time, but for all intents and purposes, a complete stranger. It filled my heart. The way she treated me is how I’d like to think I treat people. Giving them the benefit of the doubt and offering my kindness. At least I strive to be like that. I may not hit it every day, but I will tell you one thing, I’m going to try harder now. That was one of those life moments that you walk away from knowing that you are forever changed.

When I went back she wasn’t working, her sister was, and I was sad b/c I wanted to hug her. Hug her and bring her home for a turkey dinner with all the fixings. Ok, whatever, Imo’s. But you understand. I wanted to thank her and let her know how much she touched my heart. I gave her a note that said basically that, minus the stalker turkey dinner part.

So my faith has returned, or maybe I should say it’s just strengthened. Go to Red Lead. Shop their store. Put money in a place that actually deserves it!

And on a quick side note, Bailey is sick. Have I mentioned that this week yet? She’s had a fever since Sunday and a high fever since Monday night. I haven’t gone to bed yet from yesterday b/c last night her fever spiked at 104.5 and she threw-up (in our bed which was nice). So needless to say I’m tired and fairly cranky after being stuck home all day with Bails who felt terrible and Parker who was ready to party. God knew that I needed such amazing kindness yesterday to keep me smiling today. I love it when He totally knows what I need to keep going. Please pray that she sleeps tonight and the fever stays down.

And go to Red Lead.

back to bed

It’s 6:45am and I’m already heading back to bed. Bailey, we think, is getting her 2 year old molars and was up all night with a fever over 103. I got in bed at 10:30pm, she woke up at 11pm just burning hot. Finally at 1am she was asleep and we put her back upstairs, only to have her wake up again at 4am hot with fever again. She ate a little breakfast and now both girls are down for a morning nap, so I’m headed that way too. I feel bad for C today b/c he has finals at school so the kids will be nuts and he’s on no sleep also. Any advice on toddler teething???


Don’t you love those moments when your kids are trying something for the first time? The first time they color, their first steps, or the first time they sit on the potty. What’s so great about “first moments” is that they always make for great photos!

Tonight Bailey ate watermelon slices for the first time. She’s had it cut-up before, but never (that I can remember) as a whole slice, and of course it was adorable!


See? I told you she loved it! And I also told you it made for cute photos!

My favorite? That you can totally see that her eyes are different colors… left=blue, right=hazel. Love that.


She even shared with Daddy!


And of course I couldn’t forget Parker, who was a mess herself after dinner!

In other news I finally made myself sit down and just scrap tonight. The last few weeks I’ve been so tired I haven’t done much in the way of scrapbooking, for myself at least. So tonight it felt amazing to get a page done, and even more amazing is that I’m really happy with it. I found the quote and it was just SO Bailey.


I hope that you all had great Memorial Day weekends!


Don’t you love Saturday’s? There’s just something about them that makes it ok to stay in your pjs all day and just play. And at the end of the day when you’ve gotten little done in the productive department, it just doesn’t matter b/c it’s Saturday and you can always get it done tomorrow. We had a good day doing not much of anything. Chris took Bailey and went running this morning while Parker and I tackled some laundry. The only bad part of today was the lack of napping that went on, causing one little 22 month old to be very crabby this afternoon, but even that didn’t bother me too much b/c it’s Saturday! Tonight we had my parents over for dinner… they were working in the yard all day and didn’t want to cook, and we needed food to cook! So we used their food and did the cooking for all of us. It’s getting harder to figure out what to cook with no stove or oven (it’s still sparking and we need to get it fixed), so we had burgers on the grill, grilled potatoes (so good!), corn on the cob in the microwave and watermelon. It was great and our first official night to eat on the porch!

Wanted to include a few photos from today, just b/c I can.


Bailey has decided that climbing on mommy is really really fun. I have bruises on my legs from both of them, but we were having fun just wrestling around! Actually, Bailey was dancing with Parker to one of her shows!


I love my girls so much!

So in that last photo, look at Parker’s hair line… see how blond it is? She is totally losing her dark hair and I’m fairly certain she’s going blond. Can you imagine those big blue eyes and blond hair? Too cute.

I finished those 400 cards and will post photos tomorrow. Until then, good night!


Just sitting here procrastinating.

It’s Saturday so there is laundry, dishes, cleaning to do as always, but I’ve also volunteered to make 400 note cards for church tomorrow, which is what I’m really procrastinating.

Last night I acutally got pretty far on them but now it’s time to hole punch each card and the thought of punching 400 is not appealing right now. When the project is done I’ll post photos b/c I think it’ll be pretty cute.

Anyway, I should get off my butt and do something. Hope you’re having a good Saturday with your family!

I feel like I write these super dramatic, sleep deprived posts and then don’t follow up right away to tell you everything’s ok. So in case you are wondering, everything is ok.

Last night Parker AND Bailey slept throught the night with Parker only calling out for a paci fix only a couple of times. And yours truly went to bed at 8:30pm! So minus a few small intrusions, I slept for 9 hours! Simply amazing and truly wonderful. I needed that, my body needed that and my soul needed that sleep.

Quick side note: I haven’t watched LOST this season b/c it was too intense and involved for me, but Wed night there was nothing else on so I watched the whole three hours of it. Getting caught up the 1 hour and then the 2 hour season finale. Anyway, it was good I thought! It made me want to rent the DVD when it comes out! Does anyone watch that show?

So this week we had family in town, my Godparents and two of their three sons. It has been so great to hang out with them the last few days! Yesterday we all went to Grant’s Farm and it couldn’t have been more perfect!
The whole gang: David, Daniel, Me, Bailey, Mom, Aunt Ouisie, Parker, Aunt Vera

Bailey and Daniel feeding the baby goats… notice that she’s crying and has a death grip on his arm while her mom ignores her and keeps taking photos! Don’t worry, I picked her up right after a few shots and proceeded to have the end of one of my shoe laces eaten off! Those goats will eat anything!

Parker had a blast just watching everything from the stroller!

Bailey and I got to pet the camels… for some reason I thought that was really cool

Right now I’m obsessed with “walking away” photos. They are so real and so now to me. Her chubby little legs, holding on for support, walking away from mom and into the world by herself… it’s Bailey NOW, and I love it.

The night before Grant’s Farm we had dinner with everyone at my parents and while mom was cooking up a storm, some of us walked across the street to feed the ducks.

I love this photo b/c David AND Daniel had to grab Bailey as she tried to touch the baby geese! I love it when people parent my child while I’m busy with the camera! :)

Doesn’t this just scream LOVE? I love love LOVE this photo!

And then to round out my excitng life that I know you are all dying to hear every detail about, last night we had C’s JV soccer team over for dinner. Yes, that’s right. In one day we went to Grant’s Farm and had 20 girls over for dinner! Thank goodness the oven broke so we had to order pizza. Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t have cooked anyway! :)

Aren’t they cute?

I love girls. I thought of this photo idea, suggested it, and they were ALL up for it! Bailey cried b/c I think she thought I was trapped as I laid on the ground beneath all the girls, but I got the shot and that’s what counts right? Are we noticing a theme in my life? Ignore child, take photo. I swear I’m a good mom. I swear!

Ok, just had to end with what I just heard. Sesame Street was ending and as Elmo’s world was singing it’s goodbye song I heard Bailey say, “bye bye, I love you (i wuv wu)” It made me smile and laugh inside. She has such a sweet little heart. If I had time I would sit down right now and 1. journal about that moment and 2. scrapbook it. But alas, Parker is stirring upstairs from her nap and I hear Bailey changing the channels.

Have a great Friday everybody!

we are living a nightmare

I swear that I’m in the middle of a nightmare. A nightmare that is loud, exhausting and never-ending.

Parker slept through the night 3 nights in a row. Awesome. Then she had her 6 month shots yesterday and b/c she always has a horrible reaction to them, when she woke up screaming at 11:30pm I immediately brought her down, gave her Tylenol and a bottle and then she went right back to bed. Well not tonight.

Tonight it was the OTHER one who decided sleep was over-rated. Bailey woke up at 11pm and has been crying ever since. Parker started in about midnight. It’s now 12:37am. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time, but to listen to constant crying for that long is horrible. Especially when you are exhausted, frustrated and generally pissed off.

After trying a few times to get Bailey to calm down we finally just let her cry. That led to Parker waking up. After trying a few things (besides giving her the bottle) to get Parker to calm down, I finally gave up and came down here. I figure that they’re fine, just tired (or whatever) and will eventually cry themselves back to sleep. I’m giving them 30 minutes before I go up again. 1. because I’m absolutely SICK AND TIRED of climbing those damn stairs and 2. b/c I think they expect me to come back up asap. They’re not getting the best of me this time.

Why oh why is life so hard sometimes? Yesterday I had a horrible tear-filled day due to money issues, today was slightly better on that front but then I’m greeted at the end of another long day with this mess. WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG WORLD?

On another note, and b/c I still have 19 minutes until I can go back up, I will write about something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now.

The Allen Family Update:

CHRIS: Almost finished with school for the summer, Webster gets out at the end of next week, closing out a great first year of teaching. For most teachers summer means a welcome break, for him it is the begining of hell. Well, maybe not hell, but close to it. This summer he will be running 5 soccer camps, two for Webster High School and three for Webster Soccer Club (youth camps). He’ll be home with the girls 2-3 days a week while I continue to work and 2 days a week he’ll be working for my dad. Then for 3 weeks in July he will be taking 3 classes. One class a week which will give him 9 credit hours towards finishing his teaching certificate program. These are going to be so hard for him b/c the classes are SO intense. Good news for next year, Webster gave him some classes so he will be teaching a couple biology classes and some health classes. He still won’t be considered full time, although he actually will be teaching more classes than the “normal” teacher, but there is a pay raise involved which will help us out a lot. Please keep him in your prayers as he has a lot to do this summer. We also just found out that he has to take two classes at UMSL this fall. That means a full teaching load (with new classes to prepare for), coaching boys soccer and taking two night classes. AHHH! We’ll never see him, but I know he can do it.

JODIE: Nothing new really. Still working at Llywelyn’s office one day a week and trying to work as much as I can for my parents. I’ve been doing more and more work from home lately which has been nice b/c I’ve gotten to spend more time with the girls and have actually had a chance to get more practice in on Illustrator than I was when my work computer was at my parents house. This summer I will still be working and trying to support C with his classes. My dream is still to get Jodified Designs going, and although I would love it to happen sooner rather than later, I think we have enough going on with C’s schedule for now.

BAILEY: What is she NOT doing? She’s 22 1/2 months (23 months on June 8th) and very VERY active. She can say her whole alphabet and can count to 13 on her own (I don’t know why she stops there!) and lately her favorite thing is to sing! She sings “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “The ABC’S”. She loves Parker and always has to know what she’s doing or where she is. She has the best heart I’ve ever seen, she’s just so sweet with her sister. I know I was NEVER that nice or loving towards Abbie! Anyway, she’s talking a mile a minute and you can understand most things! :) We’re looking forward to some days at the pool this summer as she LOVES to swim and can’t wait for her 2nd birthday!

PARKER: I guess I won’t start with the fact that she hates to see us sleep at night! :) Just kidding. She is 6 months old and in the 100% in height and 90% in weight! She’s HUGE! But although she is a chunk and a half, she is rolling over from her back to her tummy and her tummy to her back, sitting up and starting to crawl. She only goes backwards, and it’s more of a scoot than a crawl, but she’s close! She loves watching her sister and laughs belly laughs at her constantly. She’s still mainly a momma’s girl, but she’s getting better with other people. As soon as we get this nighttime nightmare under control she’ll be the perfect baby!

Ok, they’ve been quiet for 8 minutes now… could my cry it out together scheme have worked??? We can only hope. So that’s what’s going on around here. Obviously I will still be blogging, just thought I would update officially.


she’s home!

Bailey came home in rare form tonight! She got home around 4:30pm and after being in the car all day, our normally very active child was just crazy! She ran and ran and ran for about 30 minutes, then insisted on waking Parker up for kisses, had an explosive poop (that got on the couch and the carpet!), ate dinner, took a bath, and then refused to put clothes on. She was just so funny! She sang the ABC’s over and over while running around the house, she climbed on the back of the couch (something she never did before going to Aunt Abbie’s!), and was naked the entire time! Anyway, I got a few photos b/c she was making us laugh so hard. They are classic and will definitely be saved for future viewing at her wedding!

Going “pee pee” (which has never actually happened) while playing with her new yard sale toy I bought her on Saturday

Don’t you wish you could just take your potty with you?

I mean seriously.

And also I told you I would share the 1+one+1 book when I finished it. So here it is:


I had so much fun creating this. I really encourage you to do this too. In case you need a reminder, go to LOVE LIFE and read more about it.

Our lives are back to normal now that our naked daughter is home with us. We missed her so much! I’m excited to spend the day with my girls tomorrow. I hope you had a good Monday!

1 + one + 1

There is a blog I read every once in a while and when I went there the other day I became haunted. She is an amazing artist and I am always inspired by her work, but this time I was more than inspired, I was challenged. And for once I took the challenge.

Before I go on, go HERE and read the challenge. It’s too amazing and too long to put on here, so go THERE and read it in her own words. Then come back and see how I responded.

Ok, so if you did what I told you to do then you are (most importantly) inspired and understand that the challenge was to write a letter to yourself dated ONE year ONE month and ONE day from today. You are to write as if it IS that day in the future and talk about where you are “NOW” and what the last year has been like. Isn’t that awesome?

I think we had to do something like this at 6th grade camp, but we wrote to ourselves in the future, not speaking from the future, and I’m not sure I kept that letter. Not to mention it was 6th grade. But thinking about where I will be in a year really truly inspired me and got me thinking. Could this coming year be as crazy and filled with life as this year? Or last year? I mean, first of all, there WILL NOT be another baby coming, so that in and of itself will settle things down some! But it made me think not of where we WILL be, but where I WANT to be. And that, my friends, is the key.

So I wrote the letter, and then I made something to put the letter in. And now I will stick it on my shelf and forget about it until next year when I reopen that letter and see if I made it. I have to say that it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t exactly hard, but it certainly wasn’t easy. But what would a challenge be if it was easy? The hardest part was the dream. I had to keep stopping myself from writing realistic things and write the unexpected. To write the deep down dreams that no one knows about. The secret dreams that are so big it’s hard to admit we dream them in the first place.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t write about winning the lottery or anything crazy, but I did write about starting my own business. Anyway, I’m telling you about this b/c I challenge you. I think this is an amazing gift that Kal Barteski gave me, and I want to give it to you.

I challenge Angie.

I challenge Tracy.

I challenge Abbie.

I challenge mom.

I challenge my husband.

I challenge YOU.

Do this. It may change your way of thinking. And if nothing else, it will force you to create something just for you and no one else, which is a wonderful way to create sometimes.

Now, I’m going to show you my creation and how I did it, just b/c I don’t put enough of my art on this blog.

This is a book my Uncle Wayne left at my parents house a few years ago that I found today in a drawer and stole. Actually I called and asked my mom who said I could have it. Sorry Uncle Wayne if this is something you needed! Anyway, for some reason I saw it and knew instantly what I wanted to do with it.

The book is filled with blank pages of grids.

The cover. I totally copied the idea of painting the stickers one color from Kal. I love that effect. I used a book binders glue to stick the paper to the cover. I painted a paper brown, then stuck down the foam stickers, and then painted them brown also. Glued that to the cover with the same glue.

This is the first page of the book. I did nothing to change it but write on it.

Here’s why I was inspired by this blank book. I glued all the pages together except the first two. Then I used an exacto knife and cut out a square in the middle. I painted it all with brown paint and then stuck in a piece of teal paper to create a pocket for the letter to slide into.

Just a peek at the letter.

Tomorrow I will finish the book, I really just got it started, now I want to add the details, but i couldn’t wait to share this idea with you. When I finish the book I will of course share it with you.

Anyway, you don’t have to make a book or a scrapbook page or anything, but I do challenge you to write the letter at least. And if you’re feeling creative then make something to hold it! Let me know if you take the challenge, I would love to see what you created!

we did it!

Or Parker did it, or I’m sort of convinced Llywelyn’s did it.

Last night Parker slept from 8pm – 7am!!! YAHOO! Now of course I didn’t go to sleep until 12:30am trying to stay awake for that middle of the night wake up. She did fuss around 1:30am but a paci did the trick and that was all we heard until 7am. I can’t believe it. And she took a great morning nap! She’s sleeping now also, but I think this is just a quick nap, although who knows.

So I don’t know what was different except that we went to dinner with the Smith’s (great new friends!) and stayed at Llywelyn’s longer than expected so we didn’t get home until 7:40pm. Then after a bottle and jammies, she didn’t go down until about 8pm. So that’s about an hour and a half later than normal, but she did fall asleep for a little while at the restaurant. I don’t know what it is about that place, but it put me into labor with her and now it’s taught her to sleep. From now on when we’re having trouble with her we’re heading straight to the calming booth at Llywelyn’s!

She also FINALLY cut her first tooth! YAHOO again! It’s her bottom left and the right one is so close. So many great changes over night!

Bailey gets home tomorrow and I miss her SO much! I miss her little voice and the sound of her feet running constantly around the house. Her hugs and putting her to bed too. All of her really.

C’s doing an amazing job in the yard today and I’m tackling inside projects. So I’d better get back to our productive Sunday, just had to share the news that our lives have potentially changed! I won’t count it as changed officially until she’s sleeping every night like that, but one down is a huge deal! Thanks for all your prayers, I know they helped too… it couldn’t have been ALL Llylwelyn’s! :)