oh those damn chickens.

It’s snowing and it’s beautiful. Chris is praying for a snow day tomorrow but we’ll see. St. Louis never gets the snow they predict, for his sake I hope the weather guy is right this time though.

A lot of you know we lived in Spokane, WA for a couple of years and I talked to my friend, Kate, up there today to check in and make sure they were ok… b/c have you heard about their snow? Crazy snow. Like on day four of snow day snow! Chris is so jealous!

So with the snow headed here the girls and I hit Target and Sams for some staples in case the snow actually came and I didn’t feel like running out for milk for a few days. At Sams, on hour 2 of shopping, they were being adorable in the cart together (I love that Sams has two seats for kids in the front of the cart. Love that!). Parker kept leaning into Bails and then Bailey would hug her. Over and over and over again. Luckily I had my camera in my bag and captured one of the hugs! Note to ALL, carry those cameras! You never know when a moment will happen you want to capture!


(*emily aren’t i getting better at indoors???)

So we now have a few extra gallons of milk, some fun new toys, good snacks and some easy dinners. Just. In. Case. Of. Snow.

The bad bad bad news of the day is that during bath tonight i noticed some red bumps on Bailey’s arms/belly/chest/back/bottom.  They were little red bumps and some had whitish centers and some looked fluid filled (like I wanted to POP them!). They are tiny but noticeable. I called our pediatrician’s after hours hot line, talked to a nurse who said they sounded like CHICKEN POX! Holy crap.

I’m calling our ped in the morning to find out what they think or if I need to bring her in for them to see her. I’m just praying it’s a fluke and turns out to be nothing b/c whether C has a snow day tomorrow or not I wanted to take the girls out to play and POX seem like things that should stay inside. Not to mention we have Mardi Gras plans Sat night that we’ll have to cancel b/c I wouldn’t bring a baby sitter into the contagious zone (the nurse said if it is chicken pox she is contagious for 5-7 days).

So anyway, snow and pox. All in one day. It was a busy day.

OH, and I want you to know I updated the baby name list over on the side… we’re up to 120 names! I could write a top 100 names article or something!  Way to go you guys! Chris and I have several that we’re talking about and I promise as soon as we decide you will be the first to know! And if you still have suggestions I haven’t stopped accepting entries so keep them coming!

Pray for a snow day tomorrow!

a mommy shower + alone with markers = mess!


1. Spent most of the morning yesterday marching and dancing around the house with the girls… I got about 45 minutes of really good cardio! Besides a few tutus, sun glasses and necklaces we don’t have many dress-ups so I got out C’s ties and let the girls wear those! It was adorable!




2. Love all the comments!  Love getting the email updates all day and love that people who read this are finally stopping to say hello! ALSO really really love all the NAMES!  There are a few that are right at the TOP of our list!  I think it’s funny that not many of the traditional names have been mentioned… like John or Michael or Tomas. We’re not opposed to traditional names even though the girls aren’t so traditional… although I have to say I am in love with some of the suggestions! Thanks!

3. Working 20 hours a week for Kuhn Const. and at least 30 hours a week for Jodified plus two toddlers, a house, a husband, a life, etc. is causing me to be truly and completely exhausted. My mom mentioned I looked pale today and I think she’s right, I just look ragged. I need more sleep but how in the world do you work part-time to make extra money, raise good kids, keep a nice home and grow your passion/business all in 24 hours a day?  You just can’t. My main issue is balancing all of that with my health and the health of this little boy in my tummy.  My only solution at this point is to just keep trudging…

4. Bailey looked at me this morning while we played Wow Wow Wubsy on www.noggin.com (it’s like a crazy version of the old school Mario Bros. and I’m more addicted than she is!) and said, "that is incredible!"  It was the cutest thing in the world!

5. Parker finally has decided to join the rest of us and TALK! Words so far this week: Mama, Dada, PawPaw, Ball, Baby, Bye Bye, All Done, and Baa Baa (what a sheep says). Very exciting! Bailey’s new favorite game is "Parker say _______"

6. Parker is giving up her morning nap (AHHHHHHH!) and so I’ve lost my safe shower time. I still take a shower every most mornings but now I just never know what I will walk out to:


I couldn’t figure out at first what happened to make that big of a mess (thank goodness she was naked!) and then rolling on the floor I found these:


Notice the tips? GONE. Chewed right off.  Thank goodness Crayola makes non-toxic (and washable!) markers!

7. I’m now offering Coffee Table Books on my Jodified site… go check them out!

8. Our Valentine’s Day cards are printed and ready for addressing! If you are interested in SEEING a sample of my work with your own eyes, I printed a few extras, so email me your address and I will send you one! A great way to check out the stock I use, the printing, etc. And if you are family/friends watch for them in the mail next week!


9. In an attempt to get to bed earlier tonight I am signing off! Thanks again for all the comments! Can’t wait to announce who’s won (when we finally decide)!

*NOTE: the contest is NOT over, we have NOT picked a name yet! Keep those names coming!

blog contest!

*NOTE* this post will stay at the top for a few days and newer posts will be below…

Lately I’ve been getting anywhere from 70-140 hits a day on this blog and I’ve wanted to do some kind of contest for a while but couldn’t figure out what to do… today I figured it out! 



We are STUCK on boy names! Nothing seems to fit and we’re having a really hard time even coming up with a list of ones we kind of like.  We have a few middle names in mind so we’re only looking for a first name.  Here is the deal:

Leave a comment on the blog (emails don’t count!) with your suggestion and if we end up choosing YOUR name you will receive a FREE photo session from yours truly (worth $250).  You can use the shoot for yourself or give it as a gift, it’s yours to do what you like! And you will have one year from the time I announce the winner to use the session gift certificate (which I will mail you once you have won). If you live out of town and a photo shoot in St. Louis is out of the question then you will receive $100 towards any custom Jodified design (invitations, Christmas cards, etc.).

Please take into account that our daughter’s names are Bailey Smith Allen and Parker Jane Allen!

NOW, there is a chance there won’t be a winner if C and I come up with a name we like that wasn’t on the blog created list… but I’m also not limiting the entries, so if you have a list of 20 names, leave them all! That’s just 20 more chances to win and gives us 20 more names to consider!  If a name is doubled and ends up being chosen, the award will go to the first person who suggested it.

Does that make sense?

Let the games begin!

*if 70-140 people stop by here on a daily basis, please leave a comment and just say hi! Even if I don’t know you I would love to "meet" you!*

sunday stroll.

The weather finally perked up this weekend and we were blessed with temps above freezing. Yesterday was pretty busy and we never made it outside so we were determined to go on a family walk today… and of course I took photos! 








The kids are outside with daddy, I’m hopping in the shower and then we’re taking a family trip to the grocery store… can’t get more "Sunday" than that!  Hope you had a great weekend!

daily photos

What I’ve been loving the most about my Photo 365 project is that it’s forcing me to photograph the everyday. The not so glamorous, not great lighting, not great composition shots… but the ones that someday will mean the most. For one year (and maybe this project will just keep going) I will have captured random little tidbits of our everyday life. And the idea Donna Downey had about writing on each photo was genius, b/c now there will be a memory or explanation with each photo. This morning while spending my 30 minutes blog hopping I came across a link to a flickr group I have now fallen in love with. And pushing my time to 45 minutes, I finally forced myself to move away from the computer. Go check this out… Mom’s World.  (click on the link I provided and then click on his album "mom’s world")

I love that this woman spent her life capturing the tiny moments and then went back and wrote about each photo for her son. He posted the entire album (I guess) and it’s amazing how perfectly she captured the 1950′s. Please take a minute and go there today… totally inspirational for me today!

And now we’re off to KCCI for a full day of work for me and a full day of Grandma spoiling for the girls!

the things they say.

I was holding Bails this morning, just in that early morning cuddle mode and she was playing with the straps on my tank top.  She asked, "what these?" So I told her they were my shirt straps and she said, "Oh, seat belts!"

At first I laughed and then thought how true that was! They are the only thing holding anything up this morning! Seat belts for my chest. How right she is!


*taken last night as she was truly enjoying the cupcake my once cyber friend now real-life friend, Emily, made for us!

boy oh boy a BOY!

So can you believe it? I mean seriously? I will admit that I wanted a girl, simply b/c I know girls, we have everything pink so it’d be cheaper than starting over, and I just KNOW girls. And I like girls! I actually like playing kitchen and make-up table and dress-ups and ponies and dolls.  I’m not a huge fan of trucks and cars and mud and balls. Well, lacrosse balls and maybe soccer balls, but you know what I mean.  PLUS, this pregnancy is really nothing different than my other two so I really FELT like it was another girl. And Chris was convinced it was going to be a girl too.

But it’s not. It’s a BOY.

And when the ultra-sound tech told me it was a boy I actually cried I was so happy. Happy b/c mainly I knew that Chris would be so happy and happy also b/c for the first time ever I knew our family was complete.

It’s one thing to know you’re done having children b/c three in three years is enough or you can’t afford any more or whatever other reasons you might have, but FEELING it is a completely different thing. Every family is perfect for them, and this is just perfect for US! I’m so glad that we had sweet sweet Bailey first b/c she is the most amazing big sister I could ever have dreamed of. And when we got pregnant after her I prayed and prayed for God to give her a sister. Along came little miss Parker. She is our challenge but her and Bails get along so well 99% of the time! They are just the best of friends. But what is sinking in more and more is how much I love the idea of them both having a little brother to bug them! Someone to mess up their dolls and chase them around and just get into everything! And at the same time I love that this little man will have two amazing big sisters to paint his nails, put ponytails in his hair, stick up for him and smother him in love. And they are all so close together they will grow up in one little group!

Yesterday I just kept thinking "Holy cow, I’m having a boy…wow"  And today I can’t quit feeling my belly and knowing that my SON is in there just waiting to join our family. My son. I have a son. It’s something I just never dreamed would happen in my life. I’m so thankful to the Lord for knowing what I needed before I could ever imagine it. 

I wanted another little girl and they say unanswered prayers are best!

Thanks to everyone who emailed or commented about our news, it really means so much to have family, friends and blogland supporting us!

Now just a second of details:

I’m 18.5 weeks along, due date of June 20th, he is 8oz and 8.5 inches long now, I gained one pound this month which puts me back to my starting weight (I’m not thin by any means though!) and the most fun thing about yesterday (aside from watching my mom see her first ever ultra-sound… she was SO excited it just added to the excitement!) was that the tech gave us a 4D ultrasound for FREE! She just flipped a switch and we got to see him in 3D, something I’ve never seen before. That’s when I lost it and cried a little, it was just so magical! Here are two of the photos from that part of the ultrasound… kind of scary b/c there’s no fat on his bones yet, but look at the first one… he has both hands raised over his head and I swear he’s saying, "DAD! I’M A BOY!!!"  Either that or, "GOAL!" 


*click on the image to make it bigger.

And last thing tonight, we are excepting ANY and ALL boy things that anyone wants to donate to us! We don’t borrow items b/c things get stained or broken and then we would feel bad, but if you are done having kids or done with boys or anything, we’ll take it! As long as it’s not PINK we’ll take it!  :)   Begging isn’t nice, but hey, we have all girl things! 

Oh and I finally updated the Photo 365 album last night.

Thanks again for your comments… so appreciated!