I stink at doing January

I love February.

January is hard for me because as much as I want to do all of the goal setting and planning that everyone else does, I just am never able to make it happen. I try - I buy the planner, the sheets - all the things, but somewhere between taking a breath from my Christmas Rush and just needing a moment to take a personal pause - I fall off the plan. I have a love hate relationship with rules… example : I love to cook, but I can’t bake (too many rules) I think I have a subconscious thing in me that says do the opposite of everyone else - stubborn maybe?

If you are falling into the “I stink at doing January” then join me and let February be your month.

Sit down and take a moment to think about what brings you joy. Long list or short list - it doesn’t matter - just make the list. Think about what life looks like this time next year. What will you want to reflect on and be proud that you changed, or accomplished. The rule lover in me is going to say - this is about YOU, not your partner, not your kids, not your (fill in the blank) Yes, we all have a million things we’d like to change about our daily life / family / home. We’re not talking about those changes - we’re talking about the YOU changes. 

Do you want to learn to sew, play the piano, paint, run marathons, cook, exercise, write, do pottery, get your degree, become a yoga instructor, choose a new profession, start a business, create a non-profit, do volunteer work? — I think YOU forget just how amazing you are and what you are capable of.  In fact, you are probably the only thing that is holding YOU back. When I do business coaching I’m always amazed at the talent my people have. And I’m always saying “Oh my goodness you can totally do this - just get yourself out of the way - stop thinking small and go for it!” Maybe you need to say this to yourself. I know I need to say it to myself - daily.

Today is January 27th - February starts in 5 days. This weekend I’m going to look back on all the things I wrote down at the beginning of January - all the goals that I wrote and forgot about. And I’m going to revisit what my 2017 looks like and then I’m going to let February be MY month.

Will you?



The day she stopped believing in fairies...

Ever ~ 10

Ever ~ 10

Last Wednesday night was a big night in our house.

For days and days possibly weeks Ever had been struggling with a loose tooth - a molar. You know the ones — they hurt worse when when they are loose then when they actually come out. Finally - Ever was the one that successfully pulled the tooth with the help of some dental floss. Cheers were heard all around the world!

She took the tooth and put it in her Tooth Fairy pillow when it was time to go to bed with hopes of a visit. Just before Jeff went to bed he walked into her room to place the Tooth Fairy’s reward in its proper place. Little did he know Ever had just gotten up to change PJs (she often does - because she can’t stand to be hot when she sleeps) and she was awake…

As soon as Jeff came to bed Ever stormed into our bedroom. “I SAW YOU! I SAW YOU! I SAW YOU PUT THAT MONEY UNDER MY PILLOW!” “No you didn’t, I just came into to kiss you goodnight.” “YOU DIDN’T KISS ME!”

Tears, and tears followed. Ever was beyond mad to say the least. All of the emotions of what potentially is make believe filled her sweet mind. It was a moment. One of those moments that not only defines childhood but parenthood. It’s when some of the “wonder” of being a child is kinda crushed by reality. It was so sad. They both were so devastated.

It was like we jumped straight into the next phase of parenting. Like we ripped a bandaid off and said - “Ok, so some things in life aren't as rosy colored as you’d hoped. You’re eyes are open now lets grow up.” A sense of play ended so quickly.

The next morning she woke up so sad. Sad to step into her day with a different view. She said “I feel so stupid that I believed fairies are real” I said “baby, you can believe that fairies are real. I love to think about our backyard and imagine that fairies live out there - it’s kinda the most perfect place for that. It’s ok to imagine and dream.”

Now - we have to make sure that she finds the WONDER in everyday life. Not the make believe wonder but the real life wonder. The wonder in who she is, who God created her to be and the all of the amazing things she was made to accomplish. We have to help her become fascinated.

As grown ups I think we all lose that child like fascination with life, and we shouldn’t. Just like Ever, we are created to create, dream, do, bless and change the world purely by our fascination of what’s possible. Yes, today she feels like her rainbow has been crushed a little, but that means it’s our job to put a little fairy dust on it, and help her see just how amazing life is even without all the make believe.


CODY & CASEY : ARPlovestory

Well, this Mississippi girl sure loves a southern wedding!
It's not everyday a groomsman stops you in the middle of the shoot to ask if you'd like some water.
I truly loved being part of Casey and Cody's big day. First off - I love Casey's family. They've been with ARP since Casey's senior session and it was so fun to join them on this sweet occasion. And Cody... well what do I say about you Mr. Johnson - you clearly adore your bride and your love for life just makes all of us smile. What a fun day! 

Thank you Casey and Cody for choosing us to tell your story. We loved every second of it!

Allison & The ARPcrew




JOE & DANIELLE : ARPlovestory

What a beautiful day!!!
I'm so thankful that Joe and Danielle joined our ARPfamily. I have had so much fun getting to know them over the past year, and walking with them through engagement images, wedding planning and all of the exciting things that go along with such an important day. Not only was their wedding beautiful, but it also had the right mix of friends, family and lots of fun. 

Joe and Danielle - thank you for choosing us to tell your story. Being part of your special day was such an honor. You two are adorable!!!

love - Allison & The ARPcrew

Your intentional calendar — FALL 2016

It’s the beginning of October, and we're all on the verge of the busiest season of life. I can hear it in the voices of my ARPmoms already--that tension of there’s so much on the calendar already, and they feel they can’t blink because if they do, it will be January.

I feel it too--in my business life and my family life. Here at ARP we’ve decided how many Sessions we’ll shoot and what days and times of the week they will fall on.  When we are booked up, we will just know that’s enough. There is a limit on the amount of "busy" that people can handle before something else suffers.

Whether it’s your job or your family, balance is hard, especially this time of year. So over the next few days don’t look at the calendar with your stressed-out face… Look at it with excitement about what events you are intentionally giving your time to.

For our family life we’re going to be making a list of all the things we want to do in October, November, and December. Things like carving pumpkins, having a Halloween party, making the clove and orange craft we do in November, building gingerbread houses, riding bikes to Shelby Farms for a picnic. If we don't make time for these memories, they just won't happen. There’s always something “important” to get done in order to keep up with the rest of the world.

For our ARPlife we just know that we do a better job when we slow down and really take care of our ARPfamilies. You guys are family to us, and we so enjoy being a part of your story.  We’ve been going over our list of clients, brainstorming our ideas for the sessions we’ll be shooting, and planning the gifts we’ll be creating and the cards I’ll be designing. This season in a business owner's life can be so hard. I remember years ago I dreaded the “Christmas Rush”. With each new season as I decide to slow it down just a little more, the more rewarding it becomes. I have time to know my ARPkids and my ARPfamilies better which is truly one of the best parts of my job!

So take a minute to just pause and think about January. Think about sitting down after the holiday season is over and being able to look back and say “that was fun” not “well that was a blur.”

Do the things you love with the people you love and intentionally make plans. Those plans are what create the memories your kids will look back on when it’s their turn to intentionally fill their calendars.

For all of my ARPfamilies--we’ve reserved sessions for you. You’ll be hearing from us over the next few days. 

If you are new to ARP and would love to join our family or if you just haven't seen us in a while, we’d love to hear from you. There won't be a huge number of open spots, and we expect them to be gone very soon.  So if we make your wish list, contact us very soon! 


Happy October & here we go!

Allison & The ARPcrew