Just wanted to tell you that I updated the album “Latest Favorites” if you want to check out some new photos. Some you’ve seen. Although one of my new favorites is from today… on the way home from church they fell asleep, both of them (which never happens), and I luckily had my parents camera with me to capture the moment. My favorite shots to take and then of course scrap, are the ones that tell a story. This one definitely does that!

[once you're in the album, you can click on a photo and it will become bigger and show you the description]

The summer is over for the Allen family as C has to be at Webster either working on classes or coaching every day from here on out. We’ll still have some afternoon pool time together, and weekends (besides Sat practice), but essentially he’s back to work and I’m in the midst of coming up with our new schedule. Trying to balance my work, baby sitting for the girls so I can work, being a mom, keeping a nice house, clean clothes, etc. is hard for me most of the time. So this fall I’m working on a very strict schedule for us three Allen girls to follow, which will hopefully allow me to accomplish everything that’s on my never ending TODO list. I’ll let you know how it goes! :)

Time to get moving onto my next task. Army Wives tonight (Abbie are you watching or did you Tivo it?)! Get ready for Monday!

my beautiful sister.

My beautiful sister doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty while cleaning the caked on grime off the high chair.

She offers to take my kids for the night so for the first time Chris and I can sleep through the night.

She plays with my girls on their level and they love every minute of it.

She listens to my husband and understands his love of teaching.

She is amazing in every single way and I am so incredibly thankful for her my heart aches with fullness.

Thanks, Abbie, for being my beautiful sister.


waiting for fall.


hit up the Hobby Lobby fall decor sale with mom, abbie and the girls… love that it’s july and they have the autumn things on sale to make way for christmas (which is already out). buying things in orange, yellow and green made me crave fall. can’t wait to take my girls to the pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, take millions of photos with pumpkins, etc. i can’t wait for wghs football, taking the girls to daddy’s soccer games, raking leaves to jump in, cool nights and warm days, sweatshirts, etc. can you tell the heat and humidity is getting to me?

took aunt abbie and uncle chris to tot time at the pool but it was sort of a failure… big slide closed, clouds and COLD water. we’re going tomorrow so i hope it will be better!

CHRIS IS FINISHED WITH SCHOOL! he had his last class today and aside from some homework due next week he’s done! i am beyond proud of him for completing this horrible schedule. now it’s straight into wesbter to work on curriculum for this year and into soccer which starts in a week! our life never slows down.

parker is eating REAL food. last night she ate mac n cheese and green beans with bailey. most went on the floor i think, but she swallowed some hopefully. here ya go:



I am inspired by a million and one things on a daily basis, and a lot of what inspires me I find on the internet, so I thought I would share…

1. just found this 15 year old scrapper and am AMAZED!

2. As soon as I have extra money I am buying these…love the idea!

3. This artist is not a scrapbooker which is why I love her stuff… it makes me think outside the box.

4. When I have extra time I am starting a whole mini album with THIS as the inspiration.

5. Love her… what I used to imagine Abbie would turn out like!


So last night I didn’t have my camera but I had my parents point-and-shoot digital. I was taking photos b/c Bailey was being cute (she took her chair under the easel after bathtime and was reading books!)


and funny when she begged for the camera.


She always wants to hold mine, but it’s too big and heavy for her. Because my parents is small and light, I gave her a chance. I showed her where the button was and how she could look at the back to see what was in front of her. Anyway, I will admit I edited the photos (meaning I may have cropped a little, adjusted the light or turned it b/w), but she still got amazing shots and I have to share them! She will be famous one day! :)


this one is my favorite:


her thumb!

Wasn’t that amazing? I mean seriously. So proud.

Flipped our mattress today and changed all the linens, can’t wait to go to bed! Off to finish chores so that bed can happen soon. Until later…

a perfect mess.

Today was not unlike any other day really, except for some reason the messes were just simply driving me crazy. I can be sort of a neat freak about some things (like moping and vacuuming once or twice a day) and so on a daily basis I have to give myself a break when it comes to dealing with two little girls who create huge messes. But then there are days that I just can’t cope with all the mess and quietly berate myself for having a messy house. On those days I slowly but diliberately get more and more depressed about the state my house is in until I just want to lie down and ignore all of it. Today however, I realized something.

This morning Bailey accidently dumped an entire cup of yogurt on the floor (mop), then while I was getting dressed she had a poopy diaper that she decided to put her hands in while playing with her kitchen (scrub Bailey and soak every plastic kitchen toy in bleach), and to top off the day she knocked her entire plate of dinner on the floor (mop again). By that point I had had it and threw them both in the tub (I did make her a new dinner first!). As I was on my hands and knees cleaning up the dinner mess I kept my eye on the girls in the tub and as I watched them, tears sprung to my eyes and I was ovecome with emotion.

There, in the tub, Bailey was “swimming” back and forth and every time she came close to Parker she kissed her. Parker sat there expectantly and “kissed” her right back. It was the sweetest, most amazing display of sisterly love that I have ever witnessed and it brought me to tears.

It was that moment that I realized that life is just messy. But in the midst of the mess you can raise beautiful and loving children. Bailey didn’t care that I was on my hands and kness scouring the kitchen floor and Parker could care less how many times a day I do the dishes or laundry. Not that I will let my house become a pigsty (and not that I’m saying my house is perfect by ANY means), but I will try from now on to make a conscious choice between cleaning and spending time with my girls. Tonight I put down the mop and picked up my kids.

I encourage you to do the same. Lay down the chore and lift up your loved ones.


[photo taken tonight after bath]

and on that note, good night.

love this

Just had to share this new and very fun photo collage…



Isn’t that awesome?

TODAY: working on my OTHER blog that will be posted soon, cleaning house, laundry, I need to squeeze a shower in there somewhere, and resisting the urge to just LAY down.

Last night was my first USBORNE HOME SHOW! My mom (thanks mom!) hosted for me and I think it went really great! She already has earned $180 in free books! Isn’t that amazing?!? SO HOST A SHOW FOR ME! Just kidding. Sort of. The way my business grows is for people to host shows for me, but what I love is that I am able to give my hostesses such huge amounts of books. FOR FREE! Again, check out the website if you are interested in hosting or buying books! CLICK HERE!

Ok, back to my real work…

jodified photos

In an effort to make Jess happy :)

No, really in an effort to remember that this blog needs to also be about my business, I’ve created a photo album that I will post photos of all things JODIFIED. Meaning, right now it is photos from the party I did last weekend, but it will change occasionally as I get more jobs and can post more photos. I may even post old photos I haven’t shared.

My banner will change at some point too, but right now (and even though I’m the only one) I really love that photo, so I’m sticking with this one for a little while!

being mom.

Chris and I are in a constant competition of who works harder. Not in a mean or malicious way, just in the sense that we both work really hard and always want the other one to not only understand, but also appreciate what we’re doing for this family.

With him in school all day this week and camp or tournaments every night, I’m here being mom 14 hours a day. From the time they wake up, until the time they go to bed. So today, they were up at 5am (not normal and not welcome!) and went to bed at 7pm (we’re starting to try to push bedtime an hour). That’s 14 long hours of constant care.

It’s days like this that I have to work really REALLY hard to appreciate all the little things. And what I love, is that I am able to. As a mom, who is constantly exhausted and who also does a lot of work outside the home, I am always moving at warp speed. This week Chris is gone, like I said, I have my first book party, I have KCCI work to get done, my house is a mess from a busy weekend, I have the scrapbook from the Kemper Party to finish, my sister gets in town, Bailey has a doctors appt, and the list goes on. So when I am home there are so many other things on my mind than just my kids, as much as I hate to admit that.

Today Parker decided to skip her morning nap and cry instead, I hadn’t showered in two days, Bailey was tired and crabby from being up so early and so rather than lose my patience and temper and mind, I loaded them in the car at 10am and we just drove around. I got a few errands done, but it was really just to get out of the house and give us a change of scenery. That simple move changed the tune for the rest of the day. This afternoon I was able to appreciate Bailey singing the same made-up song over and over instead of it grating on my nerves, I was able to lay on the floor with her and just color, and I was able to overlook the fact that in the 3 minutes Parker was naked and NOT in the tub she managed to poop on the floor! :)

I think as a mom I have to make the decision every day whether it’s going to be a good day that I look back on with a smile, or one I just have to endure. Today started out with pure endurance, and ended in true and simply wonderful smiles.

And just in case you are dying to hear Bailey’s song she sang all day, here you go!

Download voice_11.mov

AND, just b/c I need NEED people to understand why I am preoccupied at times with “potty” talk… listen as I tried to get Bailey to sing her ABC’s… it’s not too long but you have to listen until the very end to catch what I’m talking about!

Download voice_12.mov

Did you hear it? I mean seriously!

And in case you aren’t a parent, or you are a better parent than me and don’t ever have days that you just endure… here is a moment my mom caught while we were in Kansas City and Bailey was sick, Parker wasn’t sleeping and I just was done. So tired and done. (My poor Aunt Ouisie had a million fun things planned and we came in with the stomach flu! Sorry again A. O.!!!)


i don’t know.

Have you ever seen Bill Cosby’s comedy routine? Bill Cosby Himself is what it’s called I think. Anyway, C and I used to watch it every day at his house during senior year lunch in high school. By the end of that year we had it memorized and ever since then, certain lines from that show have been inside jokes between us. We quote different parts on a regular basis. I’ve never had any part of that show play out in my real life as perfect as it did just now however.

I was in here checking email, Bailey and Parker were playing in the living room (Bailey has become re-obsessed with her flash cards and as a proud mom will tell you that she knows “rectangle” and “octagon”) and C was in the kitchen. I heard Bailey say “apple” but figured it was on her cards. 5 minutes or so later I go in there and she is eating a BROWN half-eaten apple. C walked in at the same time and I asked him where he got an apple from b/c I knew we were out of them. He said he didn’t give it to her. Of course I looked at him like he was crazy b/c I knew I didn’t give it to her either. He said it more emphatically and so I turned to her and asked, “Bailey, where did you get the apple from?” She looked at me with wide innocent eyes, then looked down and said, “I don’t know.”

Now if you have never seen Bill Cosby Himself this will mean nothing to you, but there is a part in there when his son has a backwards mowhawk and he asks him why he got his hair cut. His son answers, “I don’t know.” It goes on and on and ends with Bill asking him, “Son, was your head with you all day today?”

I asked her 3 times where the apple came from and each time she answered with “I don’t know”.

She has never lied to me before! She is officially a kid and it scares me! Although I have to say that with her second “I don’t know”, C had me cracking up b/c he was quoting Cosby.

“Bailey, was your head with you all day today?”

NOTE: Bailey had an apple last night on a walk and we figure she stashed it and found it today. Gross, yes. I don’t think it will kill her though.