home sweet home.

Abbie, Chris and Sam are officially home!  My parents and Chris’s dad are there cooking a good dinner for them and celebrating being home.  I’m stuck in the hotel again as I went to urgent care today and was deemed contagious.  I’m hoping that one more night of good sleep will make me feel better tomorrow b/c I haven’t felt this bad in years.  I could be there with them and not holding the baby, but the last thing Abbie needs is to have a chance of catching what I have.  I can’t imagine feeling like this and dealing with a new baby.  So the quarantine continues!

The hardest thing for me, aside from not being able to be there to help Abbie, is missing the girls.  I hate that I’m not there to hold them while they’re sick and I feel bad that Chris is doing it alone.  I really hate missing them on Easter the most.  Bailey told me to come home again today and it just breaks my heart.



*photos taken by grandma, edited by me. :)

room service for one.

Well this wonderful and amazing trip has turned into me, by myself, in the hotel, sick as a dog.  I think I have a fever, my head hurts, my nose is a faucet, my cough of two weeks is just making me mad now and I look+feel like death warmed over.

Of course I’m not visiting the baby tonight b/c I would never forgive myself if my doctor is wrong and I am contagious. Not to mention getting out of bed makes me want to cry.

I actually did cry a little while ago when calling home and Bailey said, "Mommy, come home!"  I told her I would be home soon but the tears were flowing as I hung up the phone.  Aside from the occasional night spent at Grandma’s, I’ve never left either of the girls for this many days/nights.  I always said it wouldn’t be hard to leave them, and I bet it wouldn’t be as hard if I wasn’t laying here wanting to die, but right now I miss the girls.  And I am starting to feel so bad for Chris.  This is his spring break and he’s starting it with a feverish Parker and nose running Bailey all by himself.  Sick kids is hard when we’re both there, I know he’s exhausted and frustrated but he’s being a trooper and I love him for that.

So Chris, if you are reading this, thank you.  I love you for making me feel better by telling me that everything is great each time I call rather than complain about how hard it is. 

Ok, was that enough of a pity party? Please pray that my antibiotics (I’m on day two of taking them) kick in and I feel better tomorrow. I will feel worse if I came all the way up here to be of no help to my sister and not get to spend time with Samantha.  So I’m thinking positive and know tomorrow will be better, but prayers always help!

AND, thanks for all the comments for Ab today!  We kept the report going all day telling her about how many of you commented.  She’s excited to get home tomorrow and read them all!  Isn’t it stupid that not all hospitals have wireless internet?  I mean come on!  This makes me want to check out if the hospital I’m delivering at has wireless b/c if I can’t blog/check email/read blogs when I have Grayson I’ll be so mad!  Anyway, I need to close my eyes again….

let the spoiling commence; I AM AN AUNT!

Can you believe it?  Samantha Jane Enlund popped into the world today at 2:02pm in Stevens Point, WI and officially gave me a new title; Aunt Jodie!

SO excited!

Here are her stats:

day: 3.20.08

time: 2:02pm

weight: 7lbs 2oz

length: 20 inches

*do you think her lucky number is TWO?  :)

It’s almost midnight so I will tell the whole story tomorrow, but basically we got the call around 7:30am that Abbie was in labor and mom and I immediately started packing. By 10am she was 8 cm dilated so we knew we wouldn’t make the birth (it’s an 8+ hour drive). So I kept my OB apt (good thing b/c I have bronchitis and got some prescription meds…don’t worry, I’m not contagious!) and we waited for my dad to caravan with him.

By noon I had sitters at my house with the girls and we were all on the road.  At 9:30pm we met little Sam!

She’s adorable and tiny and squishy and soft and perfect.  The instant love I felt for my new niece was mind blowing!  Oh, and they asked me if I would be her God-Mother! So Chris and I are God Parents for the first time too!  Can I use more exclamation points?!?  :)

Anyway, Abbie is exhausted but good, Chris is stuck sleeping on a much too small bed tonight in her room, the baby is snoozing in the nursery for a little while, mom, dad and I are at the hotel and I’m posting the much awaited photos of little Sam!  BTW, can I mention that I was almost equally as excited about my own hotel room+quiet+uninterrupted nights sleep I’m about to have as I was to meet Sam?  Sad huh?  :)

Here she is!  Meet Samantha Jane:






PawPaw showing how much hair she has!


I love this one of my dad just looking at her.



Momma and baby.

So there you go, my beautiful niece!

We’re here for a few days (poor Chris is stuck at home with two sick girls and I have a hotel room to myself… I’m going to owe him when I get home!) so look for thousands more photos dedicated to this little lady!


ps…my sister reads this blog religiously and loves reading the comments other people leave, so leave HER some love people!  And I mean EVERYONE! Family, friends, strangers, lurkers! Everyone can tell her what a beautiful baby girl she has!  Bring on the love my loyal blog readers! *just click below this post on "comments" to leave one! Thanks!

st. pats

i always forget this holiday. it’s never been a big deal in our family and wasn’t in C’s either so it just sort of gets skipped over in this house. but with the whole 365 thing i decided to throw a hat on the girls heads and take a few photos. when i came back with the camera this is what i found and i almost died! too funny!


mom advice please.

Any moms out there have suggestions on how to teach a one year old and mainly a two year old how to blow their noses?

We all have coughs, stuffy noses, etc which matches this gloomy rainy chilly day.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

it’s ok to be proud right?

Chris was quoted in an article in the Webster/Kirkwood Times:

Webster Groves (8-11-1, 3-4)

With 11 seniors gone to graduation, there will be a youth movement along with a new coach at Webster Groves. Chris Allen takes over the Stateswomen program, but he is a familiar face. The Kirkwood native coached the JV squad last year. There are 11 sophomores on the varsity roster, including several who will get plenty of playing time. "We’re
young, but we have more talent than last year as far as ball skill
goes," Allen said. "We’d like to be in contention for the conference
title. I don’t know right now if that is realistic, but I think the
talent and attitude are there." Allen has a returning veteran in
senior Beth Henry. Henry, a senior, looks to be the Stateswomen’s top
scoring threat this spring. Joining Henry up top will be sophomore Taylor Chapman. The
midfield is where there will be plenty of youngsters. Sophomore Julia
McIntosh brings a lot of talent to the table and classmate Jayne Butler
will be out on the wing. Annie Paloucek is a dynamite newcomer.
The freshman is already turning heads. Paloucek has come up through the
club system and is expected to contribute immediately, attacking from
the center-mid position.  "Usually, that type of player goes to
Nerinx (Hall)," Allen said. "We expect some bright things from her for
the next four years."  Stabilizing the middle will be junior Asher Kerr and sophomore Anna Aitken.  Senior
Bridget Henry is a tough marking back and sophomore sweeper Sydney
Dygard has the potential to be one of the top defenders in the area. In
goal, senior Kelsey Maginn is coming off the basketball floor to soccer
and sophomore Cara Hargate will also be looking for some playing time. Enthusiasm
is at a high for the Stateswomen. They kicked off the season with a
Morning Madness workout, a nod to the Midnight Madness practices that
start many a college basketball season. Except at Webster, all 58 girls
on the soccer team arrived at 4:30 a.m. for a two-hour workout. "It
was really something to see 58 girls out there pushing themselves like
that," Allen said. "We had some of the pep club guys out there with air
horns. It was really neat. The commitment level has been raised."

{here are a few pics from Morning Madness}





there are lots of others i should post one day… but not tonight… too much work to do and already two long posts tonight!

a few quick photos.


my grandpa.


love this photo we found… notice the cigarette in my grandpa’s hand right next to his two young sons! my dad, rick, is the smaller one.


he graduated from the school Chris teaches at… love that.


me and grandpa; 1979


the ultimate tourist! cigarette in hand!


On another note:

My poor mom has the flu. Like the full-blown, on medication, high fever, feels like death, flu. I’m praying this house doesn’t get it as we’ve been with her non-stop for the last week or so! I have a horrible cold, on week two of miserable coughing, so I’m hoping that’s it for me.  I do NOT need the flu right now!

And another:

I got three invites done this week so far…




One more invite and a few other big projects going around here this week… hoping to get them all done before the weekend!

*Just a reminder… I can create invites/cards/announcements for anyone!  Even if you don’t live near me I can take your photos and create what you need! Just shoot me an email if you ever need anything!

Ok, onto my other projects and praying the rain stops soon! Until next time…

nothing to say.

Two things.


In the midst of losing my Grandpa two weeks ago I completely missed the year anniversary of my blog! if you are not a blogger you can’t understand at all what an amazing accomplishment this is. For me at least.

I was looking back at the first posts, when Parker was 4 months old, I was overwhelmed and just looking for an outlet. In one of the first posts I wrote I talked about "someday making money to help our family by taking photos."  Reading that made this year jump into perspective. I not only had two babies under two for the better part of the year, I got pregnant again and started my own business, fulfilling a huge dream of mine. When you are living day to day and just trying to survive the sleeplessness it seems like little happens on a daily basis, but somehow in the midst of all of that nothingness, I did a lot. 

And keeping up with a blog for a year just makes me so proud. I did something. For an entire year. And I’ve gotten better at it. And it means different things to me now than it did back then, but it still is an important part of my everyday life. And I love that.

For those of you that have read this crazy thing from the beginning, thanks. Thanks for sticking with me all this time. And for those new here, stick around… this could be an exciting year too!


I said this a week or so ago, but music always hits me at the exact right moment. I don’t know why and I can’t explain it except that music is in my soul somewhere and when the story of my life is written it will be in thousands of songs and photos, very little words.

So of course there is no exception now. On Saturday C’s soccer team went on a retreat for the day about an hour and a half outside of St. Louis. I drove down by myself to take some photos of the girls and grabbed my old CD case as I was walking out the door. Listening to old mix CDs made the drive so fast and made me SO happy!  There were some from college, one from high school and others that just brought back millions of memories with Chris and old friends.  One song I came across hit me and I listened to it a few times during the trip, always coming back to it. Then today, after yesterday, I knew God had given it to me.

"Nothing to Say" by Andrew Peterson.

I know everyone has lost someone close to them. And if I am completely honest, although I loved my Grandparents very much, I would not call them close to me. I never really shared a special one-on-one moment with either of them or had any amazing conversations. But they were my grandparents, and were at all the important events, and as they deteriorated I tried to be there as much as possible for them. I loved them.

Anyway, what I can’t get over is that for the first time, and now twice so close together, I actually watched someone die. I won’t go into the graphic details, but sitting with someone as they take their last breath isn’t always as calm and peaceful as movies portray. It’s sad, it’s painful to watch, and although I’m so glad I was able to be there with them, praying for them as they passed into heaven, it was the hardest thing I have ever been a part of.

And all day today, at the most random times, their faces, the sounds and the moments of their deaths kept popping into my brain. I can’t get them out of my head. Last night I had dreams about it. And in the midst of all of these thoughts, I still can’t find words to describe what I’m feeling. I literally have a millions things in my head and just nothing to say.  So of course, when I picked to listen to this song this morning (at 6am when me and the girls were already on the way to the grocery store) it hit me.

It’s ok to not have anything to say.

The song is more about his wonderment at God’s amazing creation and how speechless he is in it’s presence, and although it’s different, I feel the same way. I feel like I witnessed God working and I just have no words. But it’s ok.  And even as I write this I can’t explain exactly why this song even hit me so hard.  Literally speechless.

If you are interested, listen to the song. It’s beautiful even if it doesn’t hit you the same way it hits me.

14 days. 30 minutes.

My grandpa died 2 weeks ago today.  My grandma died today, exactly 2 weeks and 30 minutes after my Grandpa.

No one even told her about his passing b/c she had alzheimers and no one wanted to give her undue grief. But somehow she knew. We don’t know how, but her sudden passing today had to have something to do with Grandpa.

It’s just amazing to me how God works. And also how little we can understand about things like life and death.  All I know is that within two weeks I sat in a hospital room and watched both my grandparents take their last breath. And that is not easy.

Ginny was actually my step-grandma. My dad lost his mom to cancer at the incredibly young age of 47. Can you imagine this: my parents were married and pretty immediately got pregnant with me. Just 3 months after having their first baby and within one month of each other, my mom lost her dad and my dad lost his mom. An infant and the death of two parents. I can’t even imagine. My Grandpa and Ginny were married (I think) about 15 years ago but dated long before that, so she’s the only Grandma I’ve ever known on that side of the family.

The most interesting part of welcoming her to our family all those years ago was that my mom’s mom, my Grandma Georgia, was the ultimate Betty Crocker Grandma.  She cooked and baked and painted and crafted and loved cleaning her house and made quilts and was just the all-around traditional Grandma.  She was also a lot older than most other Grandmas b/c she was 40 years old when she had my mom, so as a little kid she was already in her 70′s.  Anyway, so picture Mrs. Claus and you have an image of my Grandma. Then there was Ginny who couldn’t have been more different!  She was not that much younger, but MAN was she more lively!  Her and my Grandpa traveled all over the world, they gambled in Vegas almost monthly at times, they bowled in multiple leagues (she and her first husband opened and owned Shrewsbury Bowling Lanes for years), they played cards with friends, they never cooked and ate out 3 meals a day, she cursed and had a very quick wit.  I couldn’t have had two more different Grandma’s. 

The best part of Ginny is that I knew her as an adult. My Grandma died when I was 17 and a stupid high school kid.  Ginny and Pop (as people called my Grandpa) ate at the same restaurant every Wed night and since we moved home we tried to go as often as possible to eat with them, at least twice a month.  So we saw them on a very regular basis, they watched our girls grow and were an important part of our life.  I was able to appreciate her more in the end, I think, than I ever was my Grandma.  When you are a selfish teenager you are only thinking of yourself and how people effect YOUR life. As an adult I’ve been able to realize what a blessing family is and how important it is to have your Grandparents be a part of your life.

I think the hardest part of losing them both so close together is that in an instant I have lost all of my Grandparents.  It’s strange to think that my parents are the oldest generation now. And sad that there can be no more 4 generation photos, which I was looking forward to with Grayson, me, my Dad and Grandpa.

Anyway. So another hard week ahead. Which may mean less blogging. I just don’t know what this week will look like.  I’m sure you will all give me a break though right?  And today, I will admit, is the first day I did NOT take a photo.  There is just nothing I can think of to photograph that would capture this day. Oh well, it was bound to happen one day.