comfort food.

I wouldn’t call myself an emotional eater, until today. When I had a huge Chipolte burrito for lunch, multiple fountain sodas and just made my favorite dinner. Which is so gross it’s awesome. One big bowl. A box of Mac n’ Cheese, a bag of frozen broccoli, a can of sliced black olives and a few chicken strips. ALL MIXED TOGETHER. With a few sprinkles of salt and so much food it’s dinner and lunch the next day.

It was a gray+rainy day today. Which was perfect weather for my mood.

I’m stressed out about this house in Webster we kind of fell in love with. A TINY speck of a house that could be all ours and wouldn’t break the bank. A barn red one story house I want to lovingly recreate and make cute. And I swore I wouldn’t dream of houses while we are in this place of life. But now I am. And so is Chris. Hard core. And although we have a rockin’ down payment (a gift from family) and can more than afford the monthly payments, our credit sucks ass and is like trying to drive over an elephant. Major road block. Which is SO frustrating because we just have never had a ton of money, so we rob peter to pay paul. We pay each bill when we can, what we can and there were months and years things were constantly late. BUT WE ALWAYS PAID THEM OFF, it just took some time. We are good people, we work incredibly hard, we pay off our debts and yet we can’t buy a house. It’s stressing me out. Chris is talking to everyone he knows to see if there is any possible way to buy this little house right now. He wants this so badly. Prayers for us would be awesome… we’d love God to open this door for our family!

I also had to take Gray to the doctor today… sinus infection… no big deal. But while there I mentioned that I’ve been looking into nutrition as a way to help Parker. I told her what supplements I’ve started the kids on and asked about a possible food allergy… like dairy or gluten or something totally random. Because it hit me on her fourth birthday last week that I couldn’t come up with the last day she wasn’t coughing or had a runny nose or tummy ache. It’s constant. And I’m so sick of worrying about Parker I could scream. And she’s such a cool kid but she ALWAYS feels bad. SO I lay in bed at night and just wonder what she’d be like if she felt good. GREAT even. And she never does. So I’m telling our doc this and she says a food allergy is a real possibility that just takes a simple blood test but then she pauses and asks if she ever has diarrhea. I tell her ALL THE TIME. As inĀ  she’s 4 and we don’t let her wipe herself yet because most of her poops are so messy and loose. As if you wanted to know that. So she asks me about the poops and when I tell her that YES she has diarrhea she tells me she’d like to rule out CF. I’m certain she doesn’t have it and really only has a few of the symptoms but the doc mentioned that she diagnosed a 16 year old a while back so it’s possible. Awesome. Her sweat test is tomorrow as is the blood work, so I’m taking off work to take her to the hospital. To rule out or diagnose… either way I just want to figure out something to make my kid feel better.

So I’m eating today. And I realized I just want my tummy full so I can drown out the thoughts swirling around in my head. Because they are driving me mad. The what ifs and dreams and nightmares all moving together in one big swirl… kind of like my dinner! HA!

Sorry. I just needed to DUMP tonight. I want to own a home. A tiny little red home in the perfect area. I want Parker to be healthy. I want Chris to be happy. I want our life to get to a place of normalcy and happiness. And I don’t think Santa can bring any of that… even though of course I have the end of Miracle on 34th street (the original) running through my head… you know where they get a house for Christmas? Because our little red house would look super cute with a big red bow on it this year!

Let’s end this rant with my new favorite shots of PJ…all taken yesterday morning while we skipped church and hung out one last lazy morning before school+work started again…

I got out our sweet wood Nativity set and Parker was in love! And as I was heading upstairs to get dressed I laughed out loud when I saw how she put it away…

Notice anyone that stole a place in the stable for the night? HA!


Oh Thanksgiving. It was a good day even though two of my kids were getting over the stomach flu, croup has hit Parker hard, Bailey was up all night with a fever and my sister has pink eye! Avery is getting over an ear infection and Sam refused to eat because we think she had a stomach ache, although who can tell with a two year old? My dad has the nasty cold all the kids have but you’d think he was dying or something. Let’s just say he doesn’t handle being sick well! My mom was the rock making sure all the food was done on time and it was SO good. Although with six adults and five kids ages five and under… we could barely get a word in with all the kids chattering and fussing and whining around us! Definitely not a quiet day but so so fun, even with all the sickness! And even though when we got home Bailey had some kind of strange reaction to something which made her eyes swell up sending me flying to Walgreens for Benedryl! Nothing like ending the day with a little drama!


I love watching the kids play together and get to know each other again after not seeing each other for a few months. I love hanging with my sister and joking with my BIL and sneaking hugs with C in the kitchen when no one’s around. I love watching my mom in the kitchen and love when my dad plays on the floor with the kids. I love a fire in the fireplace and the smell of pies baking. I love football on the tv and afternoon naps. I love the ease with which we all laugh and cook and play and interact. It’s always fun to see cousins and extended family but this year I feel blessed it was so simple.

And our biggest surprise of the day?


I can’t think of the last time it snowed on Thanksgiving and although it wasn’t much and by morning it will be gone… it just made the day perfect!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Too tired to post photos so I’m giving you links instead!

1. Of course we have NO idea where we’ll live but of course I’m already dreaming about the spaces! And THIS would be my dream sleeping room for my three kids!

2. If you want a cool Christmasy computer or iPhone wall paper check THIS out! It’s free!

3. THIS is always a great reminder and something I plan on doing tomorrow… capturing our everyday. The kids are off school and aside from a playdate in the morning we have NOTHING to do. Which is the perfect time for me to crawl out of my camera hole. Since moving in with the Allen’s I’ve kept my camera away. I feel like this transition period shouldn’t be captured. So the kids never have to know what we went through to buy our first house. But then it hit me. They SHOULD know what we went through to buy our first house. And they are growing+changing every day. By keeping my camera tucked away except for work it’s like I’m ashamed, and I’m not. I own where our life is right now. And I don’t want these in-between days to be a secret. I want the kids to know and remember the love they felt in this house. To remember what it felt like to live with their grandparents. I want them to remember what the house looked like and smelled like and WAS like. I can’t capture smells but I sure as hell can capture images of our life here. Starting tomorrow the camera is going back to being attached to my hip. I will go back to capturing our everyday. Because it’s the everyday that’s so fucking important to me. And what I want to look back on one day.

PS… she is one of my absolute favorite bloggers. The first thing I read every day usually!

4. If you haven’t read Lyndsay’s new blog HERE you should. She is making our family healthy one post at a time!

5. I love tuna. Which is strange b/c I am SO picky you’d think I’d hate that stinky food but I love it. And THIS looks awesome!

6. The kids and I are making a trip to Trader Joes tomorrow just for THIS. My friend Missy is one of the best cooks I know… read her blog to see the awesome things she feeds her family!!! I’d pay her for the leftovers to feed my own kids!

7. Kim and I don’t consider ourselves wedding photographers but we are booking more and more it seems! And I loved THIS post!

8. If you’ve ever heard a whiny kid you know you’d do just about anything to make them be quiet! And I love my kids, but together they can be a loud mess of whining when they want to be! Add in my two nieces a few months ago and I got desperate at one meal… hence THIS post by my sister! I saved it because it totally cracks me up and totally calls me out on being a bad aunt/mom! Although I will say my kids eat a dollop of peanut butter and apples/pears/crackers at least a few times a week!

9. I am obsessed with details. If we weren’t SAVING money right now I would be having a huge party for Parker this weekend with killer details! And if I had any kind of time I would already be working on ideas for our “someday” home that I have floating in my head! Anyway, THIS event had some of the best details I’ve ever seen!

10. Last but not least (and I could seriously go on forever I save so many links!) is THIS. We still have ONE MORE LOAD at our old house to get and when we take it I have to somehow get the kid’s heights off the wall of their room! Trust me that tears will be FLOWING when I do that! I’ve been searching for something to make in the meantime while we’re homeless (not really but you know!) and I just loved this idea!

Parker’s birthday was awesome today! Full of fun surprises and sweet gifts. But tomorrow is what I’m just oozing with excitement about! A day at HOME. With my kids. And my camera. And good friends. And a trip to Trader Joes. And a night without Daddy which means chicken strips and mac n cheese it is! It’s going to be a good day! And I can’t wait!

Parker Jane | The big four year old.

This photo was in the trash pile because it’s totally blown out… but then it spoke to me b/c this is SO PJ right now!

Happy Birthday Sweet girl!

I have lots more to share later… right now I’m going to grab Bailey out of school and get PJ to meet the family for a birthday lunch! Even Daddy might make a surprise drive-by!

the cold is here.

Cold in temperature and the winter cold. I don’t know about you but my kids have had a snotty runny nose for a week! Whooping cough or Pertusis has been diagnosed in the Webster school district and now I feel like I hear kids coughing non-stop… with our health record one of my kids will end up with it probably! I’m knocking on wood b/c I seriously can’t deal with another sucktastic winter health-wise. It might do me in.

Really, I’m just chilly sitting here at my desk and thought I’d pop on here to post a couple pics of my freezing kids at Bailey’s last soccer game last weekend…

We started with a quilt I had in the car but then Angie took pity on my poor under-dressed children and found hats in her van for them!

And a chocolate covered pretzel doesn’t hurt either!

Add in a few more kids and a few more pretzels and you’re good!

Notice the only kid paying any attention or SMILING at me is the non-photographer’s kid! I love that Kelsey!

More photos from her last game soon… just wanted to pop on and say hi. And no I’m NOT AT ALL procrastinating actual work!

GoGo made her a skirt so she wanted to pose.

I saw THIS idea and passed it on to my mother-in-law b/c I suck at sewing. Actually, I will say, I don’t suck at sewing, I just hate it. And she’s awesome at it so passing the idea on to her was an easy choice!

It was a while ago though that I showed it to her so it surprised me when she gave the skirts to the girls last night before bed because I had forgotten all about it… and of course they wanted to wear them this morning!

After naps this afternoon Parker was being so silly that I grabbed my camera… it was the first time she really was in to having her photo taken and came up with a bunch of poses all on her own! HA!

She’s so dang cute! Love this crazy kid!


I got an email today from Bailey’s teacher telling me that when she asked her to dust the shelves during clean-up time Bailey started singing “it’s a hard knock life for us…”

Grayson has taken to calling me Jodie. His current favorite and most used daily phrases are: “I love you Jodie”, “Hello Jodie” and “Thank you Jodie”.

Parker has started waking up at some point in the night and crawling in bed with us. Most nights I wake up at some point, realize she’s next to me and have NO idea how she got there. And then, like this morning, at 3am, with her, Chris and I all crammed into our double bed I knew I should take her back to her bed but it was cold outside the covers and so I didn’t. Which means today I have a crick in my neck from sleeping funny. If it happens again tonight I’m totally waking Chris up and making him take her back to bed!

Today is my best friend’s birthday. Ahem. Her FORTIETH birthday. And she’s not handling it well. So I have another friend who already turned 40 write me a letter all about OWNING IT. I will post it soon. Because dude. I live with my in-laws, work two jobs, have three young kids and I AM OWNING IT. It’s life you know? YOUR life. LIFE. We only get one chance at this crazy life and I’m OWNING it all. It’s my life and I love it. I hope Ang can hop on board because DUDE she has a great life! More on this soon.

So I’ve mentioned a few times that we’re looking at a house. By house I mean three walls and some super cute details I can’t stop dreaming about. It’s 115 year old, three stories tall and has six bedrooms. It also has all the original transoms, woodwork, light fixtures, etc. Seriously people, what I could do with this house would be amazing. However. To get it to the amazing shell I think it could be we have to… in this exact order… put on a new roof, new flashings, new gutters, gut the inside completely of all plaster walls and lath (full of mold), tear down the back masonry wall that’s falling off the house, jack up the house 3 inches, put the back wall back up, install new heating+cooling, new electric and new plumbing to finish with new drywall walls+ceilings. Piece of cake.

Kim and I are also in the process of creating our new studio which will reside in my in-laws partially finished basement. Well, currently it’s completely unfinished but with some drywall, paint, electric, plumbing… it’s going to be rad! And it has it’s own entrance plus TONS of space so eventually it’s going to be awesome. Now it’s a crap load of boxes from our move, some dead ladybugs and a dream.

Do you see how I sound like I have TONS of time to be working on two MASSIVE renovation projects? Yeah.

I’m tired again. Tired like I have a one year old, a two year old and a nursing infant. Except I don’t, anymore. I have a two, three and five year old plus two jobs. And a huge volunteer project I’m in the middle of for my church. And with this new exhaustion comes some cynicism which is typically unlike me. And sarcasm. And a GET OUT OF MY WAY I’M TIRED look to my face that probably scares my children.

Does anyone else go to bed so late they are just praying they can sleep more on the weekend?

Basketball season has started which might be adding to my mood. And truly, I’m so freaking proud of Chris for all that he does. He literally changes lives. But when he’s gone all the time I get insanely selfish and rather than changing lives I want him home doing baths. It’s crazy and I’m working on it. By his 20th year coaching I hope I have the happy coaches wife act down pat.

It is stressful living with family. In the sense that I feel guilty a LOT. Like when I leave breakfast dishes in the sink b/c I ran out of time or when the kids have crap everywhere and I’m too tired to care or when I have MY crap everywhere… we disrupt the Allen’s life and although I know they are ok with it, it still eats me alive. BUT. Can I tell you something? NOT having to worry about money right now is so amazing it outweighs all the hard parts of living in a house that’s not yours. The weight I used to carry on my shoulders was so great I think I seriously lost like 10lbs. I feel lighter. It’s amazing.

I was just thinking that I had no idea what to do for dinner tonight and I just remembered that I bought a chicken yesterday at Sams. THANK YOU yesterday Jodie for knowing that today’s Jodie wouldn’t have her shit together at all!

Happy Thursday people! I swear, I will post photos of my kids on this blog one day soon. I have tons. They just need editing in Lightroom and then editing in PS and then to be resized and uploaded here and well, that’s too much freaking work right now!

my husband, the meth addict.

OMG I’m kidding. But seriously, read the first sentence in THIS article from our city’s largest newspaper and tell me what you think!

Thursday afternoon on the 10th floor of the federal courthouse in St. Louis, Christopher Allen, a husband, a father of three and a meth addict of long standing, pleaded guilty to possession of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

When a friend showed us this Halloween night we were DYING laughing! Can you even believe this?