I think I’ll take a moment and celebrate my age, the ending of an era, the turning of a page… Tim McGraw

Dear Blog World or as I like to call you, Jodie’s fake friends,

Let me start out by saying that I’m not a huge fan of the blog. It has nothing to do with my wife’s website or anything like that, but more of my own silent rebellion against the new age, self-fullfilling means of communication that is widespread on the internet (such as blogs, twittering, facebook, etc.). In addition, I also have issue with the level of personal information that is often shared across cyberspace free for anyone who cares to look. As a high school teacher and coach myself, there are just certain things that I don’t want my students and players knowing about me or my family. Knowing these concerns, Jodie has respected my wishes and pretty much kept me off the blog except to mention my name in passing. Well, that is all about to change!

Jodie, asked for just one gift for her 30th birthday. You can now imagine what that gift was. She wanted me to write one blog entry that would allow her readers to know me on a deeper level, and not just as the sperm donor of the beautiful children that are often featured running around our house. So, I have obliged.

I was given no parameters, no restrictions, nor any advice on what to write by Jodie. I think that an important quality of any writer is to know their target audience. I don’t quite know who that is in this case, but by reading comments left on the blog, I can only assume that the readers of Jodie’s thoughts are people who care for her, are inspired by her creativity and work, appreciate her photos, or simply other moms who are sharing in the daily highs and lows of motherhood. Either way, I wanted to craft a behind the scenes look at the events and individuals that helped to shape a person that we have all come to love and admire. So without further adu, here it is: my first and last blog ever…written in three parts.

I hope you enjoy the ride.

The Jodified Journey (a three part series)

Editor’s note: If it helps, imagine some of these stages set to music as they do in the movies. I will even provide the song for you.

Stage: The Fanny Pack Era

Insight: A look into Jodie’s family (Rick, MJ and Abbie)

Song: We are Family by Sister Sledge

The Highlights:

– Perhaps the greatest influence on any individual comes from their family, the people that they have spent the most amount of time with during the crucial stages of growing up. Obviously, Jodie’s family had a profound impact on the person that she is today. If I had to describe their family in one word, I would use the word welcoming. Most of the year, their house resembles a motel (particularly during the holiday season) as they attempt to house the wide variety of family and friends that venture into St. Louis. There always seems to be a social gathering that starts innocently enough with appetizers and cocktails on the deck, but by the end of the night it has turned into a minor block party. A party with Rick on the grill, MJ whipping something up in the kitchen, and ends with a fire on the deck closing down the night while they wonder where all the vodka and wine went. These are people who love to invite others in, and I will let you draw the parallels between Jodie’s parents and her work with the blog.

– Engraved in our respective wedding bands are the words “The Scenic Route”. This is a thought, or rather a philosophy that stems directly from the influences that Jodie’s parents had on their children. Whenever they went on a trip as a family, they were guided by Rick’s sense of intellectual pursuit of the most random and irrelevant points of interest in that area of the country. For instance, on the drive to Williamsburg, VA, Rick hot on the trail of another State Historical Marker, took the family on a two hour detour to eventually find out that the Draper House in Fairfax may or may not have been Dr. Samuel Drapers office. We can all rest easier now. On Jodie and Abbie’s first road trip by themselves to Kansas City, they were stunned when they made it there in approximately four hours, and thought that may have traveled to the wrong Kansas City. In all of their time traveling to Kansas City with their family they had never made it in under seven hours due to all the stops and side-roads they had to investigate. While we can laugh at their antics, in this day and age where everyone is in such a hurry, it’s quite refreshing to find people who are more concerned about having a good time, rather than making good time when traveling.

– Last, but not least, I would be remiss if I did not mention the numerous appearances of the family fanny pack that continued to pop up in my research for this blog entry. There appeared to be a three year span where these fanny packs went with all members of the Kuhn family wherever they went. Disneyworld, a walk to the park, even the beach. And it’s not just that they wore them (because every generation has its own fashion faux paus), but the size of these are appalling. Jodie has some mild back problems currently and I now know why. I mean, what are they holding in there? Poor Rick, it looks as if he is carrying a small child in his! And they seem so happy too! Like they didn’t realize that everyone was laughing and taking pictures of them. I guess the lesson from this is that the Allen family members will never wear one standard accessory no matter how much it makes sense at the time.

fanny packs

florida fanny pack

shackled fanny pack

All joking aside though, this is a family that taught Jodie to follow her passion and gave her the necessary freedom to make those choices. Without her parents and her loving younger sister Abbie, she is not the person she is today.

me and abbie


Happy Birthday Jod!

to be continued…