« September 2011 | Main | December 2011 »

November 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Today and everyday I am thankful for my grandparents.

{Joseph (JAY) Winters Jones & Mary Joyce (BOOTSY) Jones}

I spent a great deal of time with these 2 growing up. I was the first grandchild and was the only one for over 4 years! We always lived close to my grandparents, and for several years we lived in the same neighborhood. I rode the bus to their house after school, I would pogo, roller skate, or ride my bike all they way around the block to their house. When I would "run-away" that's where I would go. I would pretend to be asleep when my parents would pick me up in hopes they'd just let me stay the night... When I was sick - guess where I went. In the summers during high school, when I had dance practice at 6:00 AM every morning - guess who I lived with because their house was closer...

They took such good care of me and I'm so thankful for the love, care and I'm sure much prayer that was poured over me as a kid. They gave me a life foundation that I wasn't truly aware of until I was an adult and a parent myself. They cared, but they were firm. They were Christians and let their choices reflect that. 

I have a few things around the house that remind me of life at their home:
my grandfather's bible, a cross that says "as for me and my house - we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15," some of my grandmother's dining room set, dishes, pitchers and her measuring spoons.

When I see or use these things it reminds me to put the love, care and prayer into my family that they put into me. They were married for over 40 years and I hope I can be just like them when I grow up :)

Thankful and blessed,


 Look how cute they are:) - I wish I knew the story behind this image!Grandmama 021

Comments: 4

ashley (11-28-2011 at 12:08pm):

for some reason I want to say they were at a dance while they were dating ... I'll go look and see if I can find anything written down.

Andews Hayes (01-18-2012 at 4:22pm):

Where did you get this memento? It's so vintage! They look good together. Caring for your grandparents proves your love of them.

Cara Larose (05-05-2012 at 11:38am):

LOL @ pretending to be asleep. I used to act the same thing when I was young - grandparents are more like their children's protectors. Anyway, as grandchildren, it's a must to express gratitude to our grandparents that have unconditional love for us. How does it feel to be the first grandchild in the family, Allison?:)

Dollie Meder (10-30-2012 at 1:47pm):

Your grandparents look good together even in their youth. I'm glad you still kept this picture, Allison. :) Most people say that the first grandchild of the family is spoiled. Is this true?


Today I am so thankful for books like ENTRELEADERSHIP by Dave Ramsey

Why? Well, owning a business is hard.

Knowing how to handle every situation is humanly impossible.

Dave Ramsey in his candid tone relays real life lessons in this book on how to be a better ENTRELEADER. I love small businesses, I love having one, I love helping others with theirs! There has not been one sentence in this book that has not resonated with me. I want to be a great business owner, entrepreneur, and leader. I would LOVE to go to his ENTERLEADER Master Series for 7 days - oh my goodness that would be AWESOME!!!!!!! 

I am as I've said before a Small Business junkie... it's what I love to talk about - just ask some of my close friends that more than likely wish I would be quiet... especially the ones with small businesses - ha!

Here is a link to the ENTRELEADERSHIP site - check it out - get the book. I promise it will change your view on a thing or two :)


I'll leave you with a few words on dreaming from the book:

"Dreaming is a sign you have hope. Dreaming is a sign you still think you can win. Dreaming keeps you young. EntreLeaders are always dreaming about what can be and what is yet to come."

I've always been a big dreamer:)

Dreaming big and being thankful,



Comments: 0


Today I am thankful for the family keepsakes that I get to pull out this time of year.

As my family has grown in number and age, I've become very nostalgic during the holiday season. I love pulling out things that were on my tree when I was little, on Jeff's tree, decorations from my grandparent's house, ornaments from his grandparent's tree etc. Each and every piece has its own set of memories. Decorating with these precious things and telling our girls the stories we know about them let us create our own memories about them. Fable and Ever love this - in fact they've started to steal some of their favorite ornaments and decorations for their rooms. 

Some of the most special things we have are pieces that were hand-made. This year I want to make sure I add to that collection. A few of my favorites are the ornaments my mom made when I was a baby - I treasure them. I want our girls to have that feeling too! Not sure what I'm going to make this year, but I WILL do something. I'll post about it when I do! 

My challenge to you: creating something that your kids and grandkids will love to decorate with this time of year.

Thankful and enjoying the season!




Comments: 0

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today I am thankful for family & new memories.

Today we will spend our time with family and friends that are just like family. I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day about how as we get older the holidays change. How you made memories 5 years ago might be totally different than how you make memories this year. Maybe you've lost family members, marriages have changed, relationships have changed, new family members have been added etc etc etc. The thing to remember is that we are family and ALL FAMILIES are a little crazy... Try to embrace the change/the new, push past the sad memories, get excited about the happy crazy moments, and MAKE NEW MEMORIES. If you have kids, then today is what they will remember when they are your age. When Fable and Ever are 38, and they have kids, I want them to remember the fun memories we making right now!

So as you are making memories - take pictures!!!

As promised here are a few photo tips :


- get the kids in a group and let them be comfortable

- when the grown ups back up to take the shot - Let one person be in charge
(if this can't happen then you need to take turns when you are photographing a group)

- if too many people are talking trying to get the attention of all of the little ones - then they do not know who to look at and honestly it can become very confusing for them.

- if you want to get natural expressions then get their attention and ask them a silly question (be ready to shoot when they laugh)

- if you are going for a Christmas card photo - go outside if you can - and shoot close - it doesn't have to be a full body shot.

- whatever you do - DO NOT let it get chaotic... "smile at your mother right now or you can't go see the Muppets today!"  BOO that's no fun...

Yes, you are taking a planned photo, but as I always say at ARP - kids have to be distracted and forget what we're doing to an extent (that goes for grown ups too...) Talk to them, make them look at you, get them to giggle, let them have fun. Do not make this become a forced moment.

It doesn't have to be a perfect picture - just make sure you take it!!!

Happy Thanksgiving





Comments: 0


Today I am thankful that over the next few days we'll be able to take a very needed rest.

This is such a busy time of year and so many people actually work on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I am so thankful that the next few days will be restful for our family. One of our old ARPcrew staffers will be getting married this weekend - so we do have a big wedding to shoot on Saturday, but other than that we'll be hanging out together with family and friends to relax.

Take some time for yourself this weekend - slow down and enjoy the holiday.

And don't forget to take lots of pictures :)





Comments: 0