at 5:30am we hear this:

parter…

parter…

parter…

PARTER WATE UP!

Parter?

HI Parter! Dood Morning!

(you can hear Parker sort of moaning as if to say, "shut up you stupid kid and go back to sleep!")

Then, I kid you not, for the next TEN minutes while we laid there moaning ourselves, Bailey said over and over and over and OVER again:

"I SO glad you wate up!"

It was cute the first couple of times. By the end of the 10 minutes when I was basically booting C out of bed to go get them it was like nails on a chalk board. A broken record.  But a broken record that I would have recorded if I’d been more awake b/c  this stage of loving sisters may not last all too long! Melts my heart how much they love each other.

I got to sleep in this morning (thank you Chris!!!) and C took the girls to the park (at 6:30am) and then out to breakfast. He even brought me home an order of french toast! So nice.

We hit the pool (third day in a row), had lunch and now everyone is snoozing while I pretend to work.

The best part of this day? 

SEX AND THE CITY TONIGHT!

YAHOO!

I’ve been waiting for this since the moment it went off the air and I cried for a week! It’s going to be like watching a 2 hour episode I haven’t already seen 16 times! And I’m going with my good friend Angie who is obsessed with the ladies as much as I am!  This is not a movie you can go see with just anyone in my opinion. You have to be a die hard fan who has seen each and every episode enough times to know all the tiny details and nuances of Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda b/c if I went with someone who leaned over and said, "who’s Mr. Big?", I would have to drown them in their soda and stuff the body under the seat. Seriously.

So I’m sitting here just counting the minutes until the previews start and the popcorn is in my lap!

Hallelujah it’s Saturday!

nice surprises.

I love nice surprises. Who doesn’t really?

I had the nicest surprise from one of my clients yesterday that was so over the top thoughtful it brought tears to my eyes.

When picking up her disk of photos from my front porch she left a bag of frozen dinners for when Grayson comes and a sweet thank you card.  Pasta and stir-fry and chicken and lasagna, all things my family loves, all things easy to throw together after a long day with three kids and all so incredibly thoughtful.

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This business I have created, at a time in my life that couldn’t be more hectic, and one I have doubted a million times, has brought me more blessings in my life than almost anything else. I wonder, often, why God gave me the desire to start Jodified last summer right before getting pregnant with Grayson. A completely impossible time to start my own business when during my busy fall time I was overcome with anxiety about this baby and queasiness/exhaustion from the first trimester. And during my busy spring time I am turning clients away due to the size of my belly and the impossibility to get into the positions it takes to get the good shots!  But then I look back at the amazing women (and kids/husbands) I’ve met and gotten to know. I see how working late at night has kept me sane some weeks b/c I always have something for myself at the end of the day that has nothing to do with being a wife or mother.  I see how I have consistently been learning and growing in my photography and design which excites me for the future. And I see how the extra money I make has helped my family scoot past some tight times this year.

The blessings are so amazing that I am constantly in awe of how God’s timing is always perfect, no matter how bad it might feel sometimes.

Thank you to all the people I’ve had the pleasure of working for this year. Thank you to all the women I’ve been able to connect with and have ultimately become more than just clients. Thank you to all of you that read this blog, comment here and make me feel like I’m just not so alone in my feelings/thoughts/life.

And thank you, Sarah, for the bag of food. It meant the world to me.

art is art is art

One of my favorite things about being a mom is allowing my kids to get messy and creative. I love paint and chalk and pastels and everything art related a kid can make a mess with. Oh and glue, love glue.

So today, before the rain hit, AGAIN, I stripped down the girls and let them paint on the patio. Usually when we paint inside on paper I use just plain old acrylic paint from Michaels. You know, classic craft paint. It’s cheap, washable (off hands not clothes) and easy. But if I allow them to really get messy I use powdered tempera kid paint I bought online at Oriental Trading Company (you can get it anywhere though). I love the powdered paint b/c 1. it lasts forever and 2. it can be so watered down it ends up looking more like watercolors.

I know a lot of moms that do not let their kids paint b/c they hate the mess. THIS IS A CHALLENGE! Let your kids PAINT! Let them get messy. Embrace the mess! Embrace the fact that you are feeding their little creative souls and what could be more important than that?

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I love the progression of the mess!  And nothing a good hose-down can’t take care of!

So take the challenge! Get messy with your kids or at least let them get messy!

my friend erin.

Remember her ::

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or this may be better…

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Erin Duggin. One of the club members (we still don’t have a name) and a very talented artist.

Rather than go on and on about her, which I easily could, you HAVE to go check out her brand new website! It’s amazing!

Although I will say, as much as I love her, I hope I don’t push all of MY potential clients her way since we both do photography in St. Louis!  :)   The best part of Erin is that she’s so multi-talented. Anyway, go check out Just The Thing!

it’s not just a bump anymore, it’s a shelf.

That’s right. At 36.5 weeks my belly is officially bigger than it has been with any other pregnancy! It’s the perfect size for a Parker seat which is why I swear she wants to be held all day long.

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Here are the very uninteresting stats:

36.5 weeks | 2 cm dilated | lost 1 lb this week which puts my total gain at 9lbs (which is incredible considering yesterday alone I ate a chocolate long john donut, funnel cake, french fries and ice cream) | measuring 35 weeks | constant and annoying contractions that my OB has assured me is only b/c 1. it’s my third and 2. because my kids are all so close together and DOESN’T mean I will go into labor any earlier. I even had a big one while she was measuring my belly and she said, "wow, that was a big one!"  Whatever lady, just get this kid out!

Anyway, I have given in to the fact that I will just suffer through these contractions a couple more weeks and am planning things that I can look forward to, like a night out with a friend to see Sex in the City this weekend! So excited about that!

I actually have more to post tonight so I will be back later with photos from our art project today!

done.

This is my last baby. My last time to be pregnant. To feel the little kicks and hiccups. To watch my belly slowly grow round. This is my last time to have the anticipation of labor, the counting of contractions and wondering if my water will break. It’s my last time to feel labor pains and rush to the hospital. To have family on alert for the "it’s time" call. My last time to push a baby out of my body through sheer strength and determination. It’s my last time to hear that first cry. My last time to hold my new baby and feel a love you can never experience until you become a parent, no matter how many times over.

This is my last baby and I am trying desperately to savor each tiny detail so that I truly remember it all. This is my last baby and I am both relieved and completely heart broken all at the same time.

This is my last baby b/c I am getting my tubes tied while in the hospital with Grayson. So yes my doubting family, this IS my last baby.

I have to say that over and over to myself every day now or I would go crazy with these constant, yet going nowhere contractions. I say it to remind myself that this pain in my ribs will soon be gone. I say it so that the insomnia doesn’t seem so impossible to deal with. I say it b/c I have to make my heart ok with this decision. I say it to remind myself that this is right for our family. I say it to make it real.

But why in the world is everything so mixed up, backwards, and hard?

Why do I want this pregnancy to be over so desperately all the while savoring each moment I have left just being pregnant?  Why do I know in my head that no more kids is the exact right decision but I know that every time I see an infant my heart will ache?  Why could I cry each night as I lay here wanting this baby out b/c of the false labor pain but also cry b/c the end is near and I don’t want to know I’ll never experience this again? How can there be tears for both sides of the coin?

I wish I knew the answers.  I take solace in knowing that God has the answers so I shouldn’t worry.  Although most days I still wish I had the answers.  I guess right now I need to grieve the loss of knowing it’s my last while joyfully anticipating the birth of our son. I can do both right?

Did anyone else feel this way with their last?  Is this just hormones or is ok to be sad?

As you can see, the plan of "walking the baby out" didn’t work today and instead I am exhausted and sore (with a couple good treasures) and left with these thoughts still in my head. 

patton family

I’ve been timing contractions since 5pm and it’s driving me crazy.  For an hour or so they will be 5 minutes apart, then they will slow down but get more intense. I am so SICK of this false labor I could scream! Part of me just wants to go make them induce me so I can stop feeling like this.

Anyway, in the midst of counting these freaking contractions I got the Patton family shoot finished. They were so much fun to work with b/c 1. I fell in love with the mom, which is something that happens on almost every single shoot b/c it’s so much fun to bond with other women and make new friends 2. the boys were adorable with the most beautiful blue eyes and 3. I love love loved their house! 

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The first time we tried to get the photos done it just didn’t work. The weather was cooler than the cute outfits they had chosen, the baby didn’t nap, etc.  So we did the reshoot at their house and it went so much smoother!

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This was one of my favorite shots b/c I didn’t take it!  Their son who was not really in the mood for photos "helped" me and got this shot! I let him play with the camera to get him interested in what I was doing and it worked wonders… not to mention he did a great job!

Check out their album for more on this cute family!

And pray that maybe, just maybe, tomorrow you will be reading about Grayson being here!

a bit of randomness.

Enjoying this long weekend, although last night and today I have been feeling dizzy and a little queasy. What’s strange is that I don’t actually feel sick though. I’m wondering if this is my body’s way of telling me it’s almost time? Has this happened to anyone else?

My in-laws took the girls for dinner and a sleepover so that I can rest, which is amazing, so right now I’m laying on the couch about to edit some photos and thought I would post a few random photos/items.

1. Popsicles

I bought one of those make-your-own Popsicle things at Target last week and filled it with apple juice… it’s now exactly how we spend every night after dinner! Sitting on the front porch, watching the girls suck away at their frozen apple juice and loving every second of it!

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*do you love the head band? C’s soccer team gave the girls sunglasses and headbands last week and Bailey has yet to take it off… and insists on wearing it like a disco queen!
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2. GoGo

I talk about my MIL occasionally but never have photos of her. I got ONE so I thought I would post it.

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This was very voyeuristic of me b/c I knew that if the girls saw the camera the moment would be over. So no flash, low light and very grainy… but a moment of playtime with their GoGo.

3. Grayson’s Room

I think I mentioned that last Monday my mom and Terri (MIL) came over all day and helped me decorate the nursery. His room is connected and open to our bedroom, the walls were already painted and the curtains were already up, all coordinated with our bedroom. So it was tough to figure out how to make his room work with our bedroom decor and still look like a nursery.  The colors are pale blue (walls) with red/white accents.  I think it turned out amazing and I am in love with it!

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*kind of hard to see, but the bedding (made by Terri) is retro cowboy for the dust ruffle and outside of the bumper.  the inside of the bumper is solid red with his monogram at the head and foot of the crib. the sheets are blue/white gingham from Pottery Barn Baby.
*the suitcase you see is an antique one from my Grandpa and hides our modem and wireless router b/c it’s the only place we can have it plugged in.
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*the wardrobe was hand made by my dad’s great grandpa. i will take more photos of it later b/c even the inside is cute!
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*the quilt was made by one of my grandma’s best friends, Opal, and I love it. The dresser will be the changing table for a while.
*his room is basically a hallway with our room behind where I was standing to take the photo, the door to the hallway on the left and the door to the bathroom straight ahead.  when you are out of room you do what you can with what you have!
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*felt banner made by Terri.

**More detailed photos to come as I get the decorations up, the carpet in, etc.

4. Pinch Me Designs

My MIL is an amazing decorator. Her home is really beautiful and she’s worked for friends and family for years without getting paid. Just this year she finally launched her own business and has been successful by just word of mouth. She decided that she was finally ready for a logo, business cards, invoices, etc. and asked me to design something for her. Here is what her business card will look like…

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Isn’t it cute? :)

So I think that’s it. Just a bit of randomness on this Saturday afternoon!  Hope you’re enjoying your long weekend!

no boys allowed should be our first rule.

A while back I stole an idea from an amazing photographer, Melissa Jill, to start a club of sorts.  Through blogging Melissa had "made friends" with a bunch of other women photographers from all over the country and they all ended up going to the Outer Banks for a week of girl bonding, photography and sharing business ideas.  I loved reading about her adventure there and all the amazing ideas she had after that week and it made me want to have something like that here too.

Luckily, I have two amazing photographer friends and I emailed both of them a couple of months ago with the idea to start getting together once a month or so for dinner/photography/chatting.  They loved the idea and a few weeks ago we had our first meeting!  I haven’t blogged about it b/c 1. we don’t have a name and I feel like our little club needs a name and 2. I was brain dead that night and didn’t take many photos so I was waiting to get my hands on the ones they took.

Anyway, what I love about this whole idea is what it can do for each of us.  We are all young moms and balance raising our kids and running our own businesses with other work (I work part-time at KCCI and Emily is a teacher), our homes, husbands, etc.  Running your own business with very small children is a gigantic challenge and it’s nice to know other women in your same situation to learn from, vent to, steal ideas from, etc.  All three of us have slightly different styles of photography, different levels of knowledge, are good at different aspects of running a business and basically have so much to learn from one another.

The first night was so great and I can’t wait to meet again!  Oh, and I guess I should mention the lovely ladies in the club!

Emily Southerland:  I "met" her through blogland, and after commenting on each other’s blogs for a while we realized we both lived in St. Louis.  We emailed and talked on the phone then got together for the first time a few months ago when her son was just a wee little thing!  We became friends immediately. She’s been taking photos for a long time and has amazing knowledge of her camera, but is just now starting her own business. HERE is her personal blog and HERE is her website. Check her out!

Erin Duggin:  Erin and I actually went to middle school, high school and college together. We were friends but are closer now as adults then we were back then and I am truly blessed to have her in my life. She started her business about 5 years ago I think, so she’s definitely the veteran in the group. She has amazing photography skills (she did our wedding and does all of our family photos… she took the ones of the girls on my banner) but is also a very talented fine artist! She does all sorts of wonderful things and although she’s about to launch her new website, go check out her current one to get an idea of how talented she is!  HERE it is. Oh and soon she will have a blog also so we can all start stalking her!

So I will eventually have an album up of our night together, but here are the few I got…

Emily ::

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Erin ::
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So as you can see, I took a lot of photos of them taking photos… mainly b/c do you see the position Erin is in above? Yeah, that’s really hard for me to do right now. And really, I was just not feeling the camera mojo that night.  When I get the photos they took I will put up an album b/c I’ve seen Erin’s and they are really great!

TODAY :: Picking up my car from getting an over-haul, picking up our new cell phones, working for KCCI, trying to find time to watch the TWO HOUR SEASON FINALE of GREY’S ANATOMY online that I missed last night, laundry and playing. Hoping to snag a shower in there somewhere. Would love a nap, but that’s a stretch isn’t it?

Happy Friday before a long and wonderful weekend!