Thursday, January 31, 2013


I am thinking about doing something crazy for Lent this year.  Today I got an e-mail from Living Water International (a non profit organization that provides clean water to people in need of it).  Living Water is encouraging people to do the H2O Project.  I am thinking about jumping on the bandwagon.  The premise of the project is that you only drink water for a period of time (40 days for Lent) and then you donate the money you save to help people who need clean water.  I don't know if I can truly quantify the money I will save, but I will plan to drink ONLY water for Lent and then donate a sum of money to Living Water on Easter Sunday.  This will be SUPER HARD for me since I typically drink a cup of coffee every morning, a diet soda or two in the afternoon and a beer or wine at dinner.  I am confident that I will have caffeine withdrawals and I am also confident that I will rethink this decision A LOT.  As an adult I have enjoyed the practice of Lent and I truly believe that whatever you do for Lent should be challenging.  This will certainly be a challenge for me.  Keep me in your thoughts and prayers once Lent begins.  I have a feeling I'll be nursing a hangover on Ash Wednesday with no Gatorade or coffee to help me out.

Monday, January 28, 2013


So, I never actually posted any pictures from Christmas.  I won't bore you with too many details.  Basically we celebrated Christmas about a half dozen times between Andrew's family and mine and all of our extended family, but I only got pictures from the celebration we had at our house and then a few on Christmas Day.  I am absolutely horrible at taking pictures.  Maybe I'll get better one of these days.

Andrew and Uncle Dwight trying out Andrew and Luke's latest home brew.

Pops and Lilah
Pops and Snow White (aka Autumn)

Tio doing what he does best.

More of Pops and Snow White.

Autumn and Mommy on Christmas morning. 
Excuse my messy day before smeared makeup.
Opening her stocking.  Santa brought her sour pacifiers (like sour patch kids, but shaped like pacifiers).

Santa brought Autumn a Merida and Belle doll.
Grandma Joy and a fussy Baby O.

Happier Baby O.

On a side note, one of the things Andrew and I have decided we want to do is be very intentional in how we celebrate Christmas and other holidays with the girls.  We want to make sure that they grow up knowing the real meaning of the holiday and not focus so much on the presents.  One of the ways that we're doing this at Christmas is by limiting the number of gifts from us and from Santa.   Mommy and Daddy will only give the girls one bigger present each year to be opened on Christmas Eve.  Mommy and Daddy made a deal with Santa Claus that he will only bring the girls three presents each plus stocking stuffers.  The significance of the number of presents is that is the number of presents Baby Jesus got - gold frankincense and myrrh.  This year the girls each got earrings from Mommy and Daddy since we're planning to get their ears pierced soon.  Autumn got two dolls and a Minnie beauty shop set from Santa.  Olivia got some soft books  and bath books.

Friday, January 25, 2013


On Wednesday our family lost a great man.  "Pops", Harold Allison passed away with his wife (Nana) by his side after a battle with melanoma.  In the last few months we have spent a lot of time with Pops, treasuring what time we had left with him.  We enjoyed taking the girls to visit him as much as we could.  Autumn knew that Pops was sick and she would repeat "Pops sick".  She would also say "Pops sick, happy".  She said this because we told her that she went to visit Pops because she made him happy.  She liked to draw on the white boards in his room and then show her drawings to him.  Pops loved to watch Autumn play and he loved cuddling with Olivia and the twins.  Even Cooper loved Pops.  Every time Pops came over Cooper would get so excited because he knew Pops would give him a treat.  Pops will be missed by us all and I am very sad that my girls will not grow up knowing him better.

Pops, Nana, Olivia and Autumn

Most of the family: (Back Row L to R) Noah, Randy, Melody, Charlotte, Anne. Steve, Bennett, Andrew, Luke, Olivia, Joy, Aislynn, Twyla, (Front Row L to R) Jordan, Noel, Pops, Liliana, Nana, Lilah, Amanda, Autumn (not pictured - Madeleine, Ashley, Dwight, Allison and Sam)

Andrew and Baby O

Nana and Pops - married almost 60 years


Harold Gene Allison, 83, of Sugar Land, Texas, went to be with the Lord Wednesday, January 23 with his wife and friends by his side. He was a beloved Christian husband, father, grandpa (Pops and Papa), uncle, and friend to many. He was born in England, Arkansas to Joe Lafayette Allison and Rosie Etta Thompson Allison and grew up in Scott, Arkansas working the cotton fields with his father and brothers. He was a long time resident of Kansas City, Kansas until moving to Sugar Land, Texas after retirement. He was a Corporal in the United States Army serving in Korea and Japan during the Korean War, a former California State Trooper, a dedicated employee at Western Electric (SW Bell, AT&T), a deacon at Argentine Church of Christ in Kansas City, Kansas, and a member of First Colony Church of Christ in Sugar Land, Texas. He is preceded in death by his parents, a sister and four brothers. He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Joyce Klausen Allison; their children, Steve Allison (Anne) of Abilene, Joy Walker of Sugar Land, Twyla Allison of Arlington, and Dwight Allison of Keller; seven beloved grandchildren, Luke Walker (Aislynn), Andrew Walker (Amanda), Allison Walker Boyle (Sam), Melody Allison Trowell (Randy), Noël Allison Borchardt (Jordan), Ashley Allison, and Madeleine Allison; seven absolutely adored great-grandchildren Liliana and twin Lilah (father Luke), Autumn and sister Olivia (father Andrew), Noah and twin siblings Charlotte and Bennett (mother Melody); grand-dogs and grand-cats; an aunt; sister-in-law; nieces; nephews; cousins; and many dear friends especially JV Weaver and Leonida Timbreza who were right by his side through his fight with cancer. Visitation will be Monday, January 28 from 6:30 pm to 8:00pm at First Colony Church of Christ in Sugar Land, Texas. Funeral services will be Tuesday, January 29 at 1:00 pm at First Colony Church of Christ followed by a graveside service with Military Honors at Davis Greenlawn Memorial Park in Rosenberg, Texas. Flowers may be sent to First Colony Church of Christ on Monday, January 28 or Tuesday, January 29. Memorials may be made to the USO (, MD Anderson Cancer Center Melanoma and Skin Center in Houston, TX, Lifeline Chaplaincy Houston, or First Colony Church of Christ. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” II Timothy 4:7-8

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1 Month & 2 Months

What?  Two blog posts in one day?  What can I say, it's been a productive lunch hour.

Before I forget everything, here is an update on Olivia at 1 and 2 months.

Olivia, your first month flew by.  We had so much fun getting to know you and are loving every day with you.  Here's some highlights from your first month.

  • Height - 20 inches, 20th percentile
  • Weight - 7 lbs 15 oz., 25th percentile
  • Head - 36 cm, 25th percentile
  • Clothes - by the end of your first month you started getting out of newborn clothes and into 0-3 months.  It was so sad to pack up those newborn clothes.  I don't know if our little family will ever use them again.
  • Temperament - You are a super easy baby.  I thought (and still think) that your big sis was easy, but you are even easier.  You eat well and sleep well and you only cry for the obvious reasons (hungry or need to be changed).
  • Development - You are starting to hold your head up better every day.  You don't seem to mind tummy time at all.  In fact you like to fall asleep during tummy time.  It kinda defeats the purpose.
  • Travels - You traveled to DFW when you were just 2 1/2 weeks old to attend cousin Noel's wedding.  Big sister, Autumn, was a flower girl.  You did great travelling.  In fact, you were much easier than big sis.  While in DFW you also got to meet Great Uncle Chuck, Great Aunt Bobbie and cousin Landry.  You also got to see the Christmas lights in the Southlake Town Square.  Right after Thanksgiving we headed north of town to the Renaissance Festival.  It was a fun filled and long day.  You did great.  You pretty much slept in the baby sling the whole time.  Tons of people pointed and looked at you and many wanted to touch you (they didn't have any manners).  We'll go back when you're older so you can truly experience the craziness of the Renaissance Festival.  You also traveled to the Bay house after Thanksgiving for your first trip there.  You did great travelling yet again.  Have I mentioned that you're an easy baby?
  • Nicknames - Mommy calls you Livi, Autumn calls you Baby O or Lilah (she thinks all the babies are Lilah) and Daddy calls you O-liv-ia, emphasis on the O.  Daddy hates that I call you Livi, but I like it, so he is going to have to get over it.  Mommy also calls you Princess and Baby Girl.
  • You developed some baby acne this month, but it started going away in your second month.
  • Autumn seems to really like you, but she also ignores you most of the time.  This is probably for the best.  I'd rather her ignore you than always try to pick you up.  She did hit you twice.  Once after she stole your paci and I gave it back to you and once when I was recounting the paci stealing/baby hitting story.  She thought she needed to demonstrate how she hit you.  You didn't cry much either time and Autumn certainly got a talking to.

Already loving big sis.

"Hey! Let's get this party started!"

"Who you looking at?"

Here are some highlights from your second month:
  • Height - 21 1/4, 10th percentile
  • Weight - 9 lbs 14 oz., 25th percentile
  • Head - 38 cm, 25th percentile
  • Clothes - You fit perfectly in size 0-3 months.
  • Temperament - You are still an easy baby.  You seem happy and content most of the time.
  • Development - You started sleeping through the night at about 6 weeks.  Perfect baby!!  The thought of going back to work was not nearly as scary knowing that you are a good sleeper.  You are still holding your head up well.  You have started smiling at us, but not always consistently.
  • Travels - We didn't really go anywhere in your second month other than around town for Christmas with family.  You got to meet all of my extended family on my Mom's side shortly after Christmas.  You went to your first candlelight service at South Main Baptist downtown. 
  • Nicknames - Still the same as last month.
  • Mommy still says you're a redhead, although your hair color seems darker than big sister's.
  • You had a wonderful first Christmas.
  • Autumn is still very sweet with you.  She loves to give you kisses and she sometimes tries to give you your paci when you cry.

Olivia you are a sweetheart and Mommy, Daddy and Big Sister love you very much! 
You are growing up so fast and we're loving every minute of it.

2013 Goals

So I am still in the process of updating my blog with posts about our Christmas and Olivia's first couple of months, but I also don't want to lose track of things that are happening currently.  I will be mixing up blog posts between updates on the past few months and updates on current events until I get caught up (hopefully by the end of January).  Anyways, I wanted to take a minute to jot down some of my gaols or resolutions for 2013.  Here goes:

Personal Goals:
  1. Workout consistently (3 x per week).  I am planning to discuss workout schedules with Andrew every weekend for the coming week, so that we can plan to succeed in this goal (note Andrew has a similar goal).
  2. Finish losing baby weight and then some.  Goes along with goal #1.  I have done really well with my weight loss this time around, but I still have around 10-12 lbs to lose before I am at my pre-baby weight and then I would like to lose another 5 lbs on top of that.  I am continuing to do Weight Watchers, which has been very successful for me in the past.  I am also planning to do the Lifetime Fitness 90 day challenge.
  3. Track WW points daily and weigh in weekly.
  4. Do a daily devotional.  I need to dig out an old devotional book or buy a new one.  I'm a little behind with this goal this year.  That said I do read the Proverbs 31 devos daily (M-F), so I guess I'm not doing too bad.
  5. Take my prenatal vitamin daily.  I am horrible about remembering to do this.
  6. Limit my Diet Soda intake and drink more water.  I would like to drink at least 50 oz. of water a day.  I'm really bad about remembering to drink water, especially on the weekends.
Work Goals
  1. Start getting into work between 7am and 7:30am.  If I get into work earlier I can leave earlier.  I really want to get on a 7 to 4 schedule, but I have a hard time getting going in the mornings.  I have had a few days where I have gotten in before 8am, but then I've had things come up that have kept me at work past 5pm, so getting in early didn't help on those days.  Olivia has also been sick this last week (she has RSV), so we've been losing a decent amount of sleep, which makes the mornings harder.  I am hoping I can make some progress with this goal next week once O gets on a better sleep schedule.
  2. Complete all account reconciliations by the 15th of every month.  This is not too much of a stretch for me, but it will require me to manage my time a little better in the last few days of month end close.
  3. Be able to complete the Annual Statement by myself for 2013.  We have to file an Annual Statement with the Texas Department of Insurance.  This is a huge form to say the least and it is complex and bureaucratic.  I have learned a lot about it in the past year, but there is still a lot that I need to learn.
Family Goals
  1. Cook at least 3 times a week.  I have started planning out meals on Fridays for the coming week.
  2. Limit grocery store runs.  Planning out my meals helps with this.  I am hoping to limit my grocery store visits to twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays.
  3. Spend more time with Autumn and Olivia.  If I can manage my work goal #1 then this should allow me more time with the girls in the evenings.  Also if I can limit my grocery store visits then I won't be running up there every night to get something I forgot, which will help me to have more time with the girls too.
  4. Teach Autumn more about praying and reading her Bible.  She loves to pray.  It is SO cute.
  5. Pray with Andrew more often.
  6. Plan more family meals with extended family (at least monthly). 
  7. Plan more girls nights.  I used to get together with a group of ladies monthly for a girls night.  That was a few years ago and we've all become much busier.  I would like to get together with some of my closest girlfriends at least once a month for a dinner out or at someones home.
  8. Weekly family meetings.  I would like to sit down with Andrew every weekend to discuss our plans for the week: meals, work schedules, workout plans, etc.  I think this will help keep us more organized and less stressed during the week.
Financial Goals
  1. Keep my spending under a certain dollar amount each month. 
  2. Have monthly meetings with Andrew at the beginning of each month to go over our personal financial statement and our financial plans/goals for the month.
  3. Buy a new house.  Andrew and I looked at a new home a few weekends ago.  It was actually a new old home (built the same year as ours) and after looking at it we decided it wasn't the right fit, but we did start thinking about buying or building a new house.  I am very excited about this idea and am really trying to push Andrew on it.  It seems like every 12-18 months we toy with the idea of a new house, but we always end up staying right where we are.  I like our house, I really do, no matter what Andrew tells you.  But there are two big issues with our house.  1. We have NO storage whatsoever.  We don't have an attic and our only storage is the guest room closet.  I currently have my Christmas decorations stored at my parents house.  2. We don't have a play room.  I realize that a play room is a luxury and one that is totally unnecessary, but it would be really nice to have.  I would like to be able to reclaim our living room as an adult space and banish all of the kids toys to a play room.
This is a very long list of goals and I probably won't keep half of them, but I am going to try.  My approach is to view my goals this year as a process rather than being able to do all of these goals perfectly by January 1st.  Andrew also has some great goals for this year, many of which line up with mine.  Some of his include running the full marathon, riding the MS 150, getting more organized at work and spending more time with the girls.

I think the overriding theme of my goals this year is organization.  I think if I can get more organized that many of these goals can easily become a reality.  If you've read this far then you have a longer attention span than me.  I hope you have a blessed 2013 and are able to accomplish your goals this year as well.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Cookies

During the Christmas season Autumn and I decided to make gingerbread cookies one night.  I had so much fun with the little girl.  I can't wait until she and Olivia are old enough to do a little more hands on cookie baking. 

By the way Daddy went a little overboard on the picture taking, so I apologize for the massive amounts of pictures of us rolling out dough.