Monthly Archives: April 2010

Prayers for Parker

I have so many blog posts that I want to write but I can’t stop thinking about Parker Allen. Her mom is Jodie Allen from Fresh Art Photography. I’ve only met Jodie once, but I’ve been following her and her blog (Jodified) for a long time. I love her work and always enjoy reading stories about her family.

On facebook this weekend her business partner and friend Kim said that Jodie and family needed prayers. Parker was having seizures and was headed to the ER. Very scary. So I said a little prayer, I’m not much of a prayer person, but when it’s needed I will. The diagnosis just keeps getting more complicated for this little girl and the tests keep coming. I can’t stop thinking about her and her family.

Saturday she had a little fever and now the poor thing is in the hospital being prodded and poked. I won’t begin to tell you all that’s going on with her, because I don’t want to mix my facts or spread false information but if you would like to pray along with the rest of us you can read all about what’s going on on Jodie’s blog, Jodified.

I guess what’s thrown me the most is that they are a normal family doing normal family stuff (much like us) and you never know when life will send you into full tilt. So if you’re a praying person, the Allen family could use some prayers. That’s as much as I can do for them since I don’t know them that well, so I’m asking my readers to pass on their prayers…. for Parker.



April is a month of birthdays in this family. Not only do I have two aunts, a cousin, a cousin’s son and two friends but we also have L’s birthday and my birthday. So because I still try to use this blog to document our lives I will finally blog about my daughter’s birthday. I would blog about mine too but #1 there are no pictures because I didn’t do anything exciting on my birthday and #2 who cares!! I’m another year older… SO!!!

FYI – Even though I call myself a photographer these photos will not showcase those skills. I’m not in an editing mood. I’m in a documenting for posterity sake, mood. 🙂

Picture heavy post!!!!!

On Sunday, April 11th we had a party at the Painted Zebra for L and her cousins/friends. I made rainbow cupcakes and L picked out her Princess Tiana plates and other party accessories. It was really nice and low key. They painted little heart boxes and tooth fairy boxes. I think they had a lot of fun.

making cupcakes

the painted zebra party

Then that night we hung out with Uncle Na, Aunt Carrie (we can officially call her that now, more on that later) and GeGe. We had a small party in the backyard. Oh and sparkler candles… SUCK!!! Just an FYI 🙂

Her birthday was on a Monday so that meant we still had to do the school thing but she was able to bring something for snack that day. Plus JT and I were able to decorate her room and get everything perfect for when she came home. J decided at the last second too that he had to go get L a new hu-loop since she loves to hu-loop. Too cute.

J got a few gifts too, it’s a tradition in our family that the other kid gets a gift or two on the other one’s birthday.

For her birthday dinner she wanted Milk N Shakes (um that’s Steak N Shake to everyone else) so my mom came over and joined us for dinner and brought her presents over.

Whew!!! Lots and lots of pictures. Looking back though we had a great celebration for our baby big girl.

April Madness

It’s the last week of April and I have never been so happy to have a month over. In the month of April we had…

  • A Grandparents/Easter party
  • Easter
  • Another Easter party
  • A bridal shower
  • 3 birthday parties for a little 6 year old
  • A Zoo field trip
  • A butterfly house field trip
  • A trike-a-thon
  • A bashment party
  • My birthday
  • 2 baby showers
  • My brother left for Jamaica to get married
  • book club
  • Mary Kay shoot
  • second shooter at a rehearsal dinner
  • and a daisy meeting

I’m worn out!!! We had something every Saturday and Sunday. Something every day of the week and a million errands to run. Wow I think it was the busiest April on record ever. I enjoyed a lot of the things on that list but I am really tired. I recall only feeling this tired two other times in my life. When I had newborns.

Add to all that… I decided to hand make a couple of the gifts. A post on all that is coming soon.

I’m also really emotionally drained. I didn’t do so well on one of my shoots and that makes you feel like a failure, plus some other stuff that has just had me down lately. What I need is some serious recoup time but who has that time… May is around the corner and it’s not as busy but it’s getting there. So far in May we have….

  • A baptism shoot (should be fun, it’s for a good friend)
  • First dentist appts for both kids (not looking forward to)
  • Camp field trip for L that both JT and I are trying to go to but don’t have a sitter for poor J, cause he’s not invited. As I was rudely told. Do you know how much stress that adds to us moms when one child isn’t invited but yet they want both parents at an event
  • An engagement shoot (very excited about)
  • Last day of school party
  • Preschool end of year program and Kindergarten Graduation on the same day/night
  • Book club (always a good time)
  • A charity walk… Strides for Sids (in honor of a friends baby, we have a team if your interested in walking with us)
  • A trip to Chicago
  • and at some point, unscheduled… a family shoot for some of our family members
  • Oh and maybe a new baby this month for our good friends.

I enjoy being with my family, my friends and I enjoy working. I just have to get back into the right frame of mind. But now you know why you haven’t heard from me or seen me this month.

My new favorite accessory

If you know me you know that I hardly ever wear jewelry. In fact I usually just wear a watch, my wedding ring and a super small pair of hoop earrings. That’s it. I just recently have started buying myself more “accessories”. I purchased a large pair of hoop earrings, love them and then my friend from high school, Cori, sent me some of her bangle bracelets. They are fantastic. She is so talented and makes a ton of them. She sells them at craft fairs and a few stores around St. Louis BUT she also sells them on her website. Wanna see how cute they are? Of course you do.

Here is an example of the elastic bangle, in brown. Love. It goes with everything.

Here is a double. Very classy and dresses up all my outfits.

Here is a Mother-Daughter set. L loves hers. It fits her perfectly and she wears it all the time. I love that we have something matching to wear together. I love that they are extremely durable too, I don’t have to worry that L might break hers.

What’s really cool is the story behind her business. She started her craftiness when she was 17. She was a senior in high school and belonged to the choir and that choir had the opportunity to take a cruise to the Bahamas. She knew her parents would struggle with the cost of sending her so she started making items to sell at craft fairs. In 1994 she started making jewelry which led to eventually turning out these beautiful bracelets and anklets. In 2002 her company started using different materials and the elastic bangle was born. They are so unique and comfortable. They just seem to fit your wrist perfectly. I love them. Wanna read the rest, visit her website here.

Her prices are beyond amazing so I insist you check them out and buy at least 12 (then you get a discount) no worries the shipping is free. 😉 A great gift for the woman in your life. Especially with Mother’s Day right around the corner.

You can become a fan of hers on facebook here.

Wright on Time Book Series Review

I was recently sent two books to review from the Wright on Time series. The books follow a homeschooling family as they RV across all 50 states, I guess technically they are roadschooling. The family consists of Nadia, age 11; Aidan, age 7 and their parents, Stephanie and Harrison. I was sent Book 1 – Arizona and Book 2 – Utah.

In book 1 the Wright’s homeschooling RV adventure begins. They are off to explore a cave. In this story Nadia is excited to find gemstones and Aidan can’t wait to see and learn about bats. As you read the story you are right there along side them taking everything in. Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley does a fantastic job of describing things the characters see and the way they are feeling. On the second page there is a great description of the desert setting and when she described the warm breeze as relaxing I knew exactly what she meant. This book leaves you hanging. What is the mysterious thing that the Wright family discovers? Well you have to read the second book to find out, and read it I did.

In book 2 the Wright’s move onto Utah where Aidan can’t wait to uncover some dinosaur bones at an Allosaurus dinosaur dig. Nadia can’t wait to uncover clues that will decipher the symbols on the mysterious device.

These are great books. A couple things I loved about them were

  • The glossary of terms in the back
  • The more facts about the state page. Love that you can learn all these things about a state, like state neckware or state amphibian.
  • The map illustration at the beginning of the book

Things I wasn’t crazy about

  • When I was first contacted to review the books they informed me that they would be perfect for people with kids ages 5 to 12. Well L wasn’t all that interested so I ended up reading them by myself. So I think it’s a little over her head.
  • Calling the parents by their first names, it was a little confusing at times. Plus I think Mom and Dad would have been just fine.

I can really see how these books would be extremely helpful to homeschooling moms and dads. Heck I think they’ll be useful to L when she’s in first or second grade. Or even for a student that’s doing a report on one of our 50 states. I know I can’t wait to read the Missouri one. Learning more about our country is a good thing.

FYI Book 3 is coming out in 2010 and will be all about Wyoming.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did, now I’m off to talk to JT about renting an RV for our own adventures 😉

My Baby is 6!!!

L turned 6 yesterday and it was so bittersweet. You want them to grow and learn. But at the same time you get sad that they aren’t your babies anymore. She had a great weekend. Sunday we had a birthday party at The Painted Zebra with her girlfriends. It was quick. A lot quicker than I thought it would be.  I took a whole bunch of pictures because, well this is me we’re talking about 😉 but I’m not going to show those in this post. I want to show the fun pics I took while playing outside yesterday. I’ll show the party pictures in another post.

My beautiful baby girl. 6 years flew by. I’m not prepared for the next 6 to fly by. I love you L so very much, you definitely fill me with happiness and love everyday.

Easter 2010

This year we knew we wanted to do a brunch and we always enjoy Chaumette winery. We had gone three years ago and had Easter brunch there but this year they had some activities for the kids. They had Easter egg hunts broken down by age and also real bunnies you could hold and pet.

We of course did an Easter egg hunt here at the house first. We bought those silly eggs that talk this year from Target, those are a little annoying. Cute but annoying. Anyway on to the pics.

The kids waiting for the egg hunt to start

Posing with their baskets

Mom and the kids at brunch

Orange juice tastes so much better when in a wine glass

We had a cute yet really feisty bunny. It kept trying to get away from Nate

JT, L, J and Carrie on the hunt

In all our Easter finery.

A quick sidenote: it was a beautiful day. Warm and breezy… no worries. Right? Right? Yeah, my mind wasn’t completely wrapped around the fact that we’d be outside for most of the day and there is no shade out there. Do you get where I’m going with this?! My olive skinned husband and daughter were fine but poor J and I were roasty after our day out. Luckily J had on long sleeves because otherwise it would’ve been bad for him.

I love this picture of L and my mom running and having fun.

My handsome guy

and my beautiful little girl

Walking up the hill to see the chapel

Helping Nate and Carrie practice walking down the aisle

JT and kids singing hymns

Nate and Carrie

L and J

and our family

The best Easter. It was so relaxing and besides the sunburn it was a fabulous day.

Carrie B Loves Nate

So many things going on this month but the most important… my brother is getting married. In 7 days!!! We are so excited for them. They are headed to Jamaica. Negril to be exact. They are staying/getting married at Sunset At The Palms in these incredible tree-house bungalows.

Well that’s an awful lot to celebrate and since they are running off to Jamaica on their own we decided to shower them. My mother, cousin and I hosted a shower on March 27th. We had a lot of fun.

L loves her Aunt Carrie so I didn’t have the heart not to include her in the festivities.

Nate showed up later to help Carrie open their presents. My family went with the asian theme. It was easy for us 🙂

L also loves her Uncle Na too

The cake, drinks and favors (tiny flower plates with tea lights, flower seeds and flower clips for their hair)

The table scape… our theme was flowers

All the ladies in attendance

Nate and Carrie with their mommas

oh and then there was one with L

A fantastic time!!!

Things I Know For Sure

Never ever watch Marley & Me so close to losing your best dog friend. It’s makes the pain fresh. Doggy cancer sucks!!

Kids, even ones with a fever, feel the need to practice for Easter. My daughter is running around hiding Easter eggs for her brother to find.

Fresh air and warm temperatures do a body good.

A brand new bouncy ball and a hyperactive dog are not a good mix.

Windows open and a nice breeze make for perfect napping weather.

Cooped up children will drive you nuts, it’s best to get them outside.

An alarm on my phone for an important appointment is necessary.

I sure am excited about our Easter plans this year. We are going to Chaumette Winery for brunch, where we will be a part of an Easter egg hunt, petting live bunnies and the Easter eggs even have adult prizes. Like a free stay at their cottages. Get ready for some elbowing.

I love my hard working husband very much and love it when he takes an afternoon off to be with us.