glendale fire house run.

Last Sunday morning we skipped church so C could sleep in a bit and I could play a bit with my camera and photograph the Glendale Fire House Run.  I use my camera so much in the fall to work with my clients that I forget how much fun it is to go to something like this, play with my setting+angles and capture a story.  Here are a few pics I got…

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While I was out shooting I ran into the Kriedlers who were actually going to RUN the five miles! Since they are clients and since their son flicked off my camera at the Halloween mini shoot and since they have the sweetest daughter in the world I told them I would take "before" and "after" shots for them!
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The starting line…
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I love that Paul is giving this little girl a high five at the finish line! So cute!
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Amy is a serious stud!
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Ok seriously? Don't they look just as good at the end as they did at the start?

I have lots more but you get the gist. I had a great time just shooting for the sake of shooting. And moving targets are great practice for all those 2 year olds out there!

Oh! And are you dying to see the bird photo?  Here you go!

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Do you think he was excited to be able to ROAR or was sick of me and my camera? The jury's still out.

have i mentioned how much i love autumn?

doesn't everyone love fall? if you don't love this season with the beautiful colors, the spicy smells, the warm days and cool evenings then there must be something wrong with you! this afternoon grayson was really fussy (he finished his antibiotics but is still sick the poor guy) so I popped him in the sling, grabbed my camera and went for a walk. the weather was so incredible and i'd been cooped up working for a while so it was really nice to get out for a few minutes…

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i was trying desperately to take a photo and both Grayson and I but with my 50mm lens it was impossible, so I got a ton of photos like this one. Oh well, I'm chalking this up to my October self portrait!
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the best I could get of Gray!
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He is such a cutie these days!
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one corner of our porch… i really love pumpkins and am going to be really sad when I have to throw them away!
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Is this not the cutest? I got the idea from HERE and my friend Angie and I made these for the girl's classmates. The sweetest little pumpkins! Bailey will deliver hers tomorrow at her Halloween parade and I will take Parker to Doodlebuggs just to drop hers off. Her little school has been counting candy corn all week so this will be a treat for them! It was super easy too… we took about an 8in square of orange organza, filled it with candy corn and wrapped a clear baby hairband around it. Angie did that part. Then I took them, cut out felt leaves, attached them with a pipe cleaner and WALLA! A pumpkin! Thanks for the idea Christian!

Tomorrow we have lots of Halloween things to do like deliver our treat bags, bake cupcakes, do an art project, etc. Very little work will get done on my end but I am guaranteed to have an amazing day with my kids!

Happy Halloween everyone!

holiday hulabaloo.

I am co-hosting an open house THIS Sunday at my mother-in-law's house! There are TEN vendors coming including some great home party businesses like Arbonne, Usborne Books, Discovery Toys and The Pampered Chef, as well as some amazing artists like the famous Donna who creates the Mental Blocks (my failed attempt at an Etsy store) and others who are selling everything from purses to jewelry to key fobs to baby clothes. It is going to be a GREAT time! So invite your mom and your best friend and your neighbor and come into Kirkwood for some early Christmas shopping!

And just to entice you, here is a sneak peek at how BEAUTIFUL my MIL's house is… yet another reason you should come to the show!

(taken in August… now it's decorated for fall instead of the 4th of July!)
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Her and I both are obsessed with "A"s… I don't have as many as her though or as many cute ones! T… if there is one missing after this weekend don't blame me! :)

So those are just a few details that should make you want to see more of her amazing home!

AND if you are a client I will have some of my favorite photos blown up BIG, or at least semi-big. Like this one:

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And a few others. And then I will have some prints for sale of Kirkwood scenes, like this one:

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Only b/c I know Kirkwood people love all-things Kirkwood. And if they don't sell, no big deal, it just means someone is getting crappy unsold prints for Christmas!

I'll also be selling something I created with this…


and this…

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Have I tempted you to come yet?

Here is the invite for more information… click on it if you need to see it bigger…

Holiday hulabaloo

Seriously. Are you coming?

and her body said stop.

I jokingly told Chris last week that I was going to get sick soon. He asked how I could purposely make myself sick and I told him it wouldn't be on purpose, I just knew my body was hitting it's limit.

I've been pushing myself non-stop for a long time. I could say since Grayson was born in June, or when I started my business last August, or when I was 7 months pregnant with Parker and renovating our house or when I was working+coaching college lacrosse+pregnant with Bailey. I've been going for a long time. And I knew my body was tired.

So yesterday I didn't have my normal morning Mnt. Dew and by 2pm my head hurt so badly I broke down and called Imo's. And by 6pm my head hurt so bad I could barely eat dinner or read books to Bailey at bedtime. And by 7pm as I was feeding Grayson on the couch my head hurt so bad that I could see noises and hear light. I officially was getting a migraine which I confirmed when I stood up and the pain was so intense I almost threw up.

By 7:30pm I was in bed, still feeding Grayson, with all the lights off and the door closed trying not to freak out that his sucking noises were like a jack hammer in my brain. The next thing I knew, it was midnight and I woke up to a hungry baby. Woke. Up.

Aside from a few feedings, I slept for over 10 hours. Which is sometimes how much sleep I get in a week. And this morning I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I needed that. I desperately needed that. And I wouldn't have ever given it to myself without my body literally screaming at me to lay down and sleep.

Thank you body.

And although I still feel tired today I also feel light and rested and good. I don't wake up after 3 hours of sleep feeling good usually.

The bad part? I got no work done last night. But luckily I have amazing clients who understand my place in life and will forgive me if I miss a deadline.

So this morning I have all three kids out and about for 2 hours while I work to make up for my sleep last night. And my BFF Jess is sitting here next to me at Bread Co. And the fountain Mnt. Dew machine is just a few feet away. And my life is so great this morning.

Thank you body.

I needed that.

i heart amy beachy

Oh my gosh. Aren't there just some people out there that you just want to BE? Amy Beachy is that person for me!

She is not only completely gorgeous, she always looks adorable, she cooks, she has a great house (and a husband that can BUILD things!), her kids are always well behaved and nice, she loves the Lord and is so giving.

SO yeah. I would love to be more like that!

This morning when she stopped by to pick up her disk of photos she brought me not only some amazing hand-me-downs (including the cutest red Aster shoes for bailey… I'll have to photograph them b/c they are adorable!) but she baked homemade bread and apple butter! We've all already tasted the bread (SO good!) and parker has been walking around in the shoes (I keep telling her they will fit her someday!). So THANK YOU Amy!

And of course it's always the person that looks good all the time that comes over when you haven't even brushed your teeth yet, you're just wearing a nursing tank and there is snot and spit-up all over you! :)

Here are a few from their session…

Thanks again Amy!

TODAY: The girls have run away with Grandma for the day… just in time before I lost it this morning. Gray is on his second nap which makes sense since he was up all night! Chicken is cooking in the oven b/c I was craving a home cooked smell on this cold day. Chili is on for tonight, one of C's favorite meals, and pumpkin carving is the plan! So excited. I have lots to do today, as always, and WITHOUT a Mnt. Dew in my hand. That means my head is a bit fuzzy and I'm moving a tad slower than usual but if it means sweeter dreams for the Grayman I'm willing to sacrifice. Although if by 3pm you see the Imo's man walking to my door with 2 sodas don't judge me.

Make today worth it!

so many photos. so little time.

Wow. I have so many many photos to share with you all! So what does that mean? Two HUGE photo post today! Then tomorrow I will post the Beachy and Neihaus shoots. I need to get the McQueary sneak peek up too. And the Glendale race. And the KCCI Halloween shots. And so many others! Are you on photo overload yet?

And when all I do is post photos are you wondering how the kids are? Quick update…

BAILEY: We are loving our little 3 year old! Funny things come out of her mouth daily! Tonight as I was trying to get her into jammies I choose she asked why she couldn't wear the strappy nightgown she wanted to wear, when I said it was too cold for that one she said, "oh mom, give me a break." Too funny. A teenager already! And she couldn't be a better big sister. She loves to carry Grayson around, yes, I let her carry him which is funny b/c almost as big as she is! She also loves to kiss him… last night she was kissing him goodnight and he opened his mouth. I told her that means he's kissing her back and before I knew it she stuck her tongue in his mouth! I asked her what in the world she was doing (besides french kissing her brother!) and she said she was licking him back!

PARKER: Man alive. This kid. She has the funniest personality, always trying to make you laugh at something. That is, when she's not trying to push all of your buttons too! She knows just what makes everyone mad and then does it to get a reaction. Her favorite all time game right now is to take Bailey's prized purse (that she takes everywhere) and then run. Bailey is too chicken to chase Parker so she yells for me… the instigating and tattling has begun! She must have Sheep everywhere she goes and it's a nightmare if I forget him. She also is my little artist. I bought an old art table for the kids (I keep meaning to post photos of this awesome table) for the kitchen and I keep their art stuff out all the time now so she can go sit and color whenever she likes.

GRAYSON: 4 months old and growing too fast! He was 17lbs at his 4 month check-up! Beefy! I need to post his 4 month old photos. He loves his mommy that's for sure but is getting better at not screaming his head off when someone else holds him. He's still nursing exclusively and refuses any kind of bottle. I pump occasionally but since he doesn't take it anyway it's pretty much just me and him. And I like that. He's not sleeping through the night yet but it's my fault and I am ok with it. He goes to sleep in his crib and then when he wakes in the night Chris brings him to me in bed, I nurse while sleeping practically and then he and I cuddle until morning. Please don't email me with all the reasons it's bad to sleep with your babies. I don't care, I've slept with all of them and I love it. I'm not going to rush this little guy out of my arms since he's my last, I'm going to enjoy every moment I get his cuddles. He's almost sitting up by himself, loves his toys and is begging us for a Jumperoo! He's basically the love of my life right now!

So that's the kids in a nutshell… but since I have talked about them so rarely lately I could go on and on forever about all the funny things they say or the sweet things they do or the rare and wonderful moments when I am just so so thankful I am allowed to be their mom.

But I'm not here to talk about my kiddos, I'm here to show you some more of my work! :) My other kiddos! Here are the Soulard minis…

I am in love with this shot; the seriousness of his big blue eyes!
And could she get any more beautiful? Seriously!
Still loving the idea of having photos taken with your best friends! Just such a great idea!
And man oh man I love this shot by the car!
How fun is this photo of little CG? And if you look closely you can see how much her momma adores her!
I love how symbolic this photo is… almost like they are walking away from their life of three into their soon-to-be new life of four!
This is our good family friend D whom I just love. We even share a birthday! She has been an incredible support of my work and our life in general… has always been another mom in my life since I've known her forever. I loved that she decided to give herself these photos for her birthday! And can she get any more gorgeous (Bailey's new favorite word)? Really, I just LOVE these photos! She specifically requested photos in front of this wall so we hightailed it down there that day and I'm so glad we did b/c this…
is one of my new all-time favorite photos! I just love it love it love it!
Thanks for letting me share these on here D!
And here is one of my favorite little men! I die every time I see him in this hat! Especially with his fat little feet and rolly polly arms!
Don't you just want to eat him? :)
There are certain shots I always love… baby feet, parents interacting with their kids and a family walking. I'm not sure why, but I love it. Don't you adore her pink dress?

I know it looks like she's licking this rusty gate, and maybe she is, but it still makes for a cute photo!

There are four more families from this day to post but my sleeping man is awake and not loving Daddy right now. SO it's Mommy the Milk Machine to the rescue!

five. wowza.

Do you know what FIVE 32oz fountain mnt dews in one day mean?

They mean that I got FOUR photo shoots COMPLETELY DONE! IN ONE DAY! You have no idea what kind of accomplishment that is! Especially considering I had two shoots today (if I count the race this morning as my own inflicted shoot!)! Neihaus, Beachy, Soulard and Halloween=D.O.N.E.

Nicole you will be done tomorrow with your long overdue wedding photos!

Darrell you will be done by Tuesday!

Mohr, I bet you'll be done by the end of the week!

Do you know what else 5 dews mean? A very spazzed-out-crazy-hyper-over-tired baby. It's 11:15pm and he just fell asleep. Finally.

So did I mention that I finished FOUR shoots WITH that tired baby being passed from me to Daddy all night?

Oh yeah. I'm a rock star.

A very spazzed-out-crazy-hyper-over-tired rock star.

{Halloween minis… you will have your ordering album up by tomorrow and everyone else I will have your disks burned by tomorrow night ready for pick-up or mail on Tuesday… just email me and let me know when you'll come by or if I should mail them! And I will get them all blogged this week!}

Holy Cow Sunday.

This has been a busy day at the Allen house. Man. The girls had a sleep over at my parent's house and then went to church. I felt the need to shoot some moving objects (great practice for shooting toddlers!) so I went to the Glendale Fire House Run and got some GREAT shots (will share tomorrow)! I even saw two of my clients, the Kriedlers who were studs and ran the 5 mile and Eric Schmitt who is running for state Senate right now (love him!). Anyway, so I spent the early morning at the run while Gray and C slept+played. Then we got the girls, had lunch, kids napped, I worked… then we went to my parents for the Kuhn Const. Halloween party (photos tomorrow). I had to leave after just 15 minutes (I was SO sad to leave the fun!) to head to a great shoot down in Lafayette Square. Cute little Jillian couldn't have smiled more! Again, photos tomorrow!

SO. It's been a full day. And have you ever been so far past exhausted that your body is going but your mind is in a constant fog? My eyes burn, my head hurts and my limbs feel like they are filled with lead. That's what I get for working until at least 1am all week, nursing in the night and getting up at 5-6am with the kids. It's been a long week. But good. Life can't be bad when the weather is this beautiful!

I have to share this cool application I found online… unfortunately it's ONLY for MAC users right now but I think they're working to get it to you PCers. Go HERE and look at what you can do with your photos…

How stinkin' cool is that? If you have a MAC go there and download the PolaDroid application! It's AWESOME! You can make polaroids on your computer and print them out, cut them and it looks just like the real thing! It does the cool processing and everything… I didn't change these photos from my originals at all, it does it for you to look authentic! I'm in love! I might just do some for my clients! Watch your next disk for a random polaroid! :)