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because she is awesome

Her name is Megan and she is Sorta Crunchy (in fact, she’s more likely crunchy than not). She did a baby week over on her blog and dedicated an entire post about 4 month old sleep transition to OBaby and me.

I love reading her because she blogs about the important things in life and has a wonderful perspective on parenting. (I also love that blogging has made “reading someone” an acceptable verb phrase.)

Megan has challenged me to be a better blogger. I have never seen a post in which she has not responded to every single comment left by a reader. I always think “I should do that.” I should! You guys are wonderful and I love getting to know you through your comments. I really do! Yet, you wouldn’t know that if you just swung by my blog and browsed around.

So, here’s my resolution of sorts: To respond to your comments. All of them, on every post, from here on out. You honor me with a comment, I honor you with a reply. It’s only fair, right? Plus I like that it opens things up around here for more of a conversation and a community. Ask me a question. Give me advice (on anything. photography, baby sleep, coffee drink recipes. anything). Tell me how gorgeous I look.

So? Let’s hear it. What do you want to ask me? How much do you love Megan? What do you order at Starbucks? How good does my hair look today?

Photo on 2010-12-29 at 12.07 #4

Bring it on, and brace yourself for some feedback.

[Here’s hoping that someone, at least one person, will leave a comment on this post. Otherwise that’s a whole lotta resolution for nothin’.]

65 Responses to “because she is awesome”

  1. Jessy

    I was going to leave a comment on your last post, but since you have made a resolution on this post, I will leave it here. I started reading your blog a little over a month ago and have enjoyed it so much I have even gone back and read some (ok almost all) of your posts. On the last post you said you had shed three tears putting it together, I almost shed some just looking through it. I remember going back through my pregnancy and sons first couple of months, thinking, I can’t believe that we all got through this ok. Now my son is 3 years old, and I am still in awe that we have made it through everything ok, anyway. I have loved getting to know you and the O family through this blog and look forward to many more posts from you.

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      O, 3 years old. I’m so not ready for 3. Heck, I’m not ready for 6 months. I keep telling DanO that I want OBaby to stop growing and he very scientifically responds, “No you don’t. If he stopped growing his internal organs wouldn’t be able to sustain him for longer than…”

      “OK, WHATEVER. You know what I mean.”

      Anyway, welcome, Jessy!

      Reply
      • Jen

        Maybe I should have replied to the 3 year old deal under yours… however, I did it under your message to me.. sorry to confuse! :)

        Reply
  2. Michelle

    You’re hair looks beautiful, but you look terrified! :)

    Question though – would you respond to comments on your blog or on the commentors blog?

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Hey all, Please forgive me as I figure out what this “reply to comment” function does. I pictured it posting right below the comment I’m replying to… but apparently not.

      Michelle,
      Well, I pictured the responses being posted here (which I guess is self-evident at this point?) but I will say that I love your blog! OMW THE CHICKENS. I had told that story to DanO, especially the “next time I will say ‘O look, a camera!’ and not ‘O look, chickens!’.” part. I’ve quoted it a few times around here. “O look, a pottery barn rug!” for example. Thanks for reading, Michelle!

      Reply
      • Michelle

        LOL! The chickens were hilarious while they lasted – but we after one of them died, we decided we were not quite prepared for the chickens! So we gave the other one to a friend who does have chickens. Hopefully, the O look a DSLR trick will work and will last longer then the chickns do!! :) You never know, DanO might just get you that pottery barn rug afterall! Husbands are tricky like that.

        Reply
    • AllisonO

      Wow. Apparently I shouldn’t resolve to respond to comments and then step out of the house for the afternoon. Please allow me to dig out from under the comments one at a time.

      Hi Leslie! Awe, Starbucks, my former love. Really it would still be my current love if there were more drive-thru ones around here, you know, baby and such. Now I find myself in the Caribou Coffee drive-up ordering a small soy light white raspberry (omw I order a 7 syllable drink). In the summer I’m an iced venti soy chai girl and both Caribou and Starbucks.

      Reply
  3. Nichole

    Well then maybe now would be a good time for me to introduce myself! My name is Nichole and I have been reading your blog for a few months. I think O’baby is precious! Your hair looks lovely and I too hate my voice on tape. I always say “do I seriously sound like that?”Also, that post of DanO praying over O’baby lead me to make a big change in my life.

    I hope your well,
    Nichole

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Nichole, I am in awe that my blogging would positively impact someone’s life. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. We find it makes bed time so SO much less stressful if our priority is first and foremost lifting our baby before God. I’m glad you’re here! -AllisonO

      Reply
  4. Shannon

    what kind of stroller do you use? what’s your VERY favorite baby product? and how on earth did you manage to make such a CUUUUTE baby!? ;]

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      We have the Chicco Cortina stroller in green, but ‘use’ is relative. I seriously think I’ve used it less than 10 times. It is an awesome stroller and I have found that a stroller can be necessary at times, but I will STUFF my pockets with my junk in order to leave the stroller in the car and carry OBaby in a sling. Whiiiiiich nicely leads me to my VERY favorite baby product: MY RING SLINGS. I have a linen and a silk one (I prefer silk most days) and I use them for hours everyday. Around the house and out and about. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

      OMW I have no idea how he is so cute. Seriously. Although, after the time I put in when pregnant with ridiculously swollen ankles, I think it’s only fair.

      Reply
  5. Jen

    If we don’t have a blog do you respond to our e-mail address? I absolutly love reading your blog, my youngest is 8 months and I can SO relate to what you are going through and how tough it can be yet how rewarding it can be. You look awesome by the way!

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Awe thanks, Jen. I think it emails you when I click reply? I hope? Will you let me know?

      Tough and rewarding. Amen, sister. Nothing has ever been so daunting, and at the same time nothing has taught me more about love and priorities and my Heavenly Father.

      Reply
      • Jen

        Hey Allison,
        Your responses don’t go to my e-mail. Unless you have been caught by the spam snatcher. :)

        I don’t have a blog however I do have a web page that you can look at if you would like, it is just pictures of my family, husband Darrell, and three girls, Sydney 4,Mia 2, and Reese 8 months now. it is:
        http://picasaweb.google.com/djsmstrunk
        Feel free to check it out if you would like and if you would like to e-mail you can at strunk@mchsi.com

        I always find myself saying “I wish they could be this age forever!” (kinda wish we could skip the 2’s & 3’s though! :) ha.. ha.. Cause whoever made up terrible twos for sure didn’t have a child that had hit 3 yet!!! ha… But no matter the age or the day, when they look at you and smile, it makes all those frustrating moment go away!

        I so wish I was able to stay home with my girls, however I work full time for the State of Iowa. So I miss out on a lot with the girls, especially Reese at that age they do so much and change so fast! She is just learning to pull her self up and “cruise” the furniture… sooo much fun!

        Have a very safe and happy New Year Allison!
        Jen

        Reply
        • Jessy

          I have to laugh at your comment about three year olds. At my son’s 3 year appointment, I told his doctor I was so happy to be over the two year stuff, and he laughed and told me three is the worse year for any child and the told me “good luck” lol It is true though, when he gives me a hug and says “I love you mommy” it makes all the frustrating moments with a three year old worth it.

        • Jen

          It is oh so true isn’t it!? I don’t know what it is, or why I never heard about the “3’s” before I had a 3 year old? Why do people hide this stuff from us mom’s? I want to be prepared for what is to come! You think it is just going to get easier…when little do you know it isn’t. But let me tell you, my four year old (will be 5 in March) she is SUCH a big help and such a good girl!!! I think by 4 they can talk pretty well and tell you what they want/need and that just makes it easier for everyone! At 2-3 I think they get frustrated just as we do cause they can’t express themselves?

          Oh hearing “I wuv you mama” come out of their little mouths is the best!!

          Hope the 3’s don’t give you to much trouble! :)

  6. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life

    This is a wonderful resolution! I am a sometimes-responder. I try to answer any questions for sure, and then just reply to something that catches my attention or makes me laugh. But I love going back to a blog and seeing that the blogger has responded. I also love getting the responses in email form. Either way, I’m a happy camper.

    My question: how did you learn to take such lovely photos? Just jump off the deep end and experiment? Read a book? Seriously. I love your photos. Not to mention their beautiful subjects :)

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Sarah, I am convinced it is the lens. We have a Cannon Rebel xti (they don’t make it anymore, I think the replacement model is Rebel xsi or something?) but the REAL KICKER is the 50mm fixed lens. It was $100 and makes the pictures look $8,000 nicer… if photos were rated monetarily. I have read some tutorials here and there (mostly on Pioneer Woman’s blog) but no in depth studying really. O! And Adobe Lightroom. I LURVE Lightroom. I often warm up photos or white balance them or increase exposure if they are dark. Other than that, I am still learning.

      PS: I think the other 90% of it is OBaby. Let’s be honest.

      Reply
  7. Tara @ This Military Mama

    I love commenters :) That is a goal of mine too, to respond more to my commenters. You can really build friendships that way that you might not have if you didn’t. So I LOVE your goal.

    Since you brought up the Starbucks order…I would really love to know what you order. I used to work at Starbucks and sometimes a drink can really tell you about a person [but only sometimes].

    I have to drink orders [cause I go back and forth]. My simple Grande Carmel Apple Cider. Then my 2nd drink, which took months of perfecting while working there is….*deep breath* a Grande White Mocha, non-fat, 1 1/2 shots, 2 pump almond, with whip cream at 140 degrees. The drink is heaven in a cup.

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Welcome Tara! O goodness that SOUNDS like heaven in a cup. I talked about my iced venti soy chai earlier, but I am also a hugenormous fan of the chai nog around Christmas time. When I need some caffeine in me, I’m partial to a grande dirty chai (with 2 shots). In other words, I think I’m just obsessed with chai.

      Reply
  8. Jenn

    All I have to say is that I love reading your blog…because I think this is likely how my life will be in 2 years, and it’s true; you have a super cute baby! I show my husband your baby pics constantly…I think I’m wearing him down. :) Cheers!

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Jenn – Hey, anything I can do to convince the hubs you let me know. Have camera, will post adorable pictures. I’m glad you’re here and I love your regular comments! Thanks!

      Reply
  9. Tabatha

    I absolutely love your blog! I came across it a couple months ago as my husband & I are planning on trying for a baby in 2010 and I really wanted some insight on everything. Our story is so similar to yours. We met at 18, married & bought a house at 21 & now at 24 we decided next year we would like to try for a baby. I was wondering what brand of camera you are using & how do you take such amazing pictures? Also how do you manage to look great in every picture you take? :) Btw, your son is the cutest baby ever. From his youngest pictures he is just too perfect for words.

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Tabatha – I’m blushing! I love being married young! DanO and I get to figure out life together, supporting each other as we enter the adult world (are we there yet?).

      It’s tricky sometimes to admit that motherhood is hard, but it feels good when you do and I’ve learned that people are so supportive. I hope beyond hope that my deeply honest posts (the good and the bad) have been insightful and in the end, encouraging. More than anything, this job rocks.

      I commented earlier about camera details to Sarah, I hope that helps!

      Reply
  10. Shannon

    *tear* I can’t believe you replied to little old me!! I want the orange Chicco. Well, actually, I want an UPPAbaby, but I can’t have EVERYTHING ;] Some company should contact you and give you a couple free ring slings to give away.. seriously, I think we ALL want to be cute like you!

    Reply
  11. Kelly @ Love Well

    So I’m curious how this will work for you. I’m on Blogger, and I haven’t installed a fancy-shmancy comment system (i.e. Disqus), so while I try to respond to every comment left on my blog, you don’t see that reflected in the comment section (since my response takes the form of an e-mail). Plus, it’s difficult to do even that, because people must have enabled their Blogger ID to accept return e-mails and many haven’t done that.

    Also, I haven’t figured out a way to respond in the comment section without “cluttering up” the comment stream. (Does that even make sense?)

    I like Megan’s system, which might be unique to Typepad, because her response is recorded directly after the original comment.

    Reply
  12. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I’ve been away from my computer today and I am just now seeing this.

    ALLISONO. YOU SWEET THING.

    I am in tears over here, so if “bring Megan to tears” was on your List O’Resolutions for 2010, you can go ahead and mark that one right off the list.

    Wow. Just wow.

    I’m humbled and have to confess I don’t always ALWAYS get around to comment response. Some days are better than others. Anyway. Still just wow.

    By the way – you are gorgeous, your hair is worthy of a shampoo commercial, and I wish you and the O Family the very best year in 2010.

    Hugs and kisses from OK. XOXOXOXO

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Megan, you deserve every accolade (and you’re right : glory to God!). Ever since I sent you an email way to the hey back when about advertising AND YOU REPLIED right away, I’ve felt that you have a really welcoming, open approach to being a blogger. I’d like the bring just a little bit of that to my blog – showing readers that I value them, because I DO!

      A Happy New Year to your crunchy family too, Megan!

      Reply
  13. AllisonO

    Kelly – yeeeea, I kinda pictured my replies working out like Megan’s, but so far no good. I suppose as much as I can reply quickly it will be in the right order, but right now it’s more of a whopping mess of my replies at the end of readers’ comments (aka cluttering up the comment stream). Will you do me a favor and let me know if this sends you an email? Miss you around here!

    Reply
  14. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Well, I do have to say on the commenting thing that Typepad makes it SUPER easy. SUPER. I started out on Blogger and so I could do comment replies either by email or in the comments. Typepad used to be the same way, but now they have a really awesome system set up where I can respond in the comments for other readers to see AND it emails comment responses to the commenter (just in case they never get around to coming back to check). One of the many reasons I adore Typepad.

    You are on WP, right? I know WP has some kind of plug-in that will let you do threaded comments (where your comment will appear right underneath the original comment) because that is what Simple Kids is on and that’s how I do comments there. Anyway. I’m sure you’ll get it worked out!

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Thank you TONS for letting me know it was possible, I just went in and changed the setting to make my comments “discussions”. I like the sound of that. That’s exactly what I’m hoping for on here.

      Reply
  15. Tara @ This Military Mama

    Oh! AllisonO I have one more question for you! How are you liking the gDiapers? Do you use any of the cloth inserts or do you mainly use the disposables?

    We used gDiapers, with the disposables inserts, on my daughter. I LOVED them but Hubby got back from a deployment and had a fit. Plus they did get too expensive for our budget [we get more money when he is deployed so it wasn’t so bad then but when he got home and that went away it became tough]. Hubby also had an issue flushing the poopy ones. He didn’t like having to risk touching the poop. Oddly enough, I’m going to cloth my little one when he [or she] arrives in May.

    So any way, how is it going with the gDiapers?

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      We use the cloth inserts 98% of the time. I bought them right from the gDiapers company (although I know some people sell them on etsy specifically for gDiapers and also cottonwoodbaby.com sells some) and they work like a charm. It would definitely solve the cost problem with the disposables, too.

      Reply
  16. Adventures In Babywearing

    Allison, I happen to think you are pretty awesome!! Megan is, too. :) I have blogger so it’s hard to reply to comments- I just reply to the email if they’ve left their email address usually because I don’t think everyone goes back to my post to see if I’ve replied in the comments (I know I don’t usually return to blog posts I’ve commented on to see if someone replied to me) – might be a good thing to discuss at cupcake ’10!

    Excited to meet you soon!

    Steph

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Awe, you’re awesome too, Steph! I think just the idea of giving a reply is what’s important. I know I personally get lost in a maze of emails, so I like to be able to see it all laid out on here. Cupcake ’10 will be wonderful, thanks if great part to you! Excited to meet you, too!

      Reply
  17. Kelly @ Love Well

    Cool! Look at you! I didn’t get an e-mail from you (not sure why, since my e-mail is enabled in every way I can think of because I’m a big fan of stuff in my In Box), but I LOVE the threaded comments thing.

    Like Steph said, I rarely go back to a comment thread to see if the writer responded to me. But if you can send an e-mail to the commenter AND add your response to the thread for future discussions — that’s perfect.

    Is that what’s happening on WordPress? Because I’m getting ready to make-over my blog. Maybe it’s time to switch platforms.

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      I think I messed up that last reply to you, so maybe this one will email you? And I highly recommend WP. I was on blogger for about a year and then DanO kinda persuaded me to switch because WP is more programmer friendly. I was asking him to make my blog do stuff that you can’t do on blogger. I’ve never looked back.

      Reply
  18. kate

    Oh my goodness. I just discovered your site and all I can say is I am swooning over the year’s photos– the beauty and innocence and anticipation of growing a baby, the falling in love, the making of a family….so very beautiful and blessed!

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Thank you so much, Kate! We feel very beautiful and blessed. God is good! Speaking of beautiful families, I took a peek at your site! I love red headed kiddos! So precious.
      -AllisonO

      Reply
  19. rebecca d

    I have been “reading you” for a litle over a month. I am on the other end of motherhood with both of our girlies in highschool (one about to graduate) and really love remembering through you those beautiful days of parenting in the blizzard. (You now…parenting is like shoveling in a blizzard…you are never done, but you must keep going…) Thank you for letting us in!
    PS. peppermint no-fat mocha w/ whip…all year…even in July…I do love Christmas)

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      I don’t think I knew that they carried peppermint year-round. Now I do!

      Your blizzard analogy is PERFECT. I told it to DanO last night when we were having a tough bedtime and I’m pretty sure we’ll re-use it. “Just keep shoveling.” I said.

      Thanks for coming, Rebecca!
      -AllisonO

      Reply
    • AllisonO

      Hi Lisa! Isn’t she great? And I swear I wasn’t digging for compliments with this whole comment set up… but I’ll take ‘em.
      -AllisonO

      Reply
  20. Elaine

    You are the cutest thing, you know that? And I don’t think you need any photography tips, your photos are wonderful. So… let’s see… how do you like your burgers? just curious… : )

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Elaine,
      First and foremost, grilled by DanO. Then, mushroom swiss or with bleu cheese and spinach. Nummer.

      Reply
  21. laura @ peacoat

    i love megan, too! and she is how i found you. the bloggy world is all one big circle, isn’t it?

    i’m completely changing my blog after the first of the year, and one of my resolutions is to respond to all the comments a la megan. she’s inspiring in so many ways.

    btw, i love the shots of your home. the renovations and just in general. it’s such a window into someone’s personality, don’t you think?

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Laura – I LOVE blog overhauls. Probably too much, actually. It’s like redecorating, but cheaper. And I agree with seeing people’s houses being windows into their personality. Just please don’t judge me by the state of my bedroom right now. ::shudder::

      Reply
    • AllisonO

      Hi Sheila! 2010… I’d like to watch a lot of Olympics, make a smash cake for my ONE YEAR OLD, and maybe hopefully have a good summer vacation as a family, if the Lord allows. I don’t know if those are “big” but that’s what I picture.

      Reply
  22. Kristen

    Hi Allison! I just started reading your blog about 2 months ago, along with MckMama’s and Bring the Rain. I voted for you on the Divine Caroline blog thingie and I was so glad to see you won! That was where I found your blog. Anyway, I digress…

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your family in those two months. I feel a somewhat kindred spirit, at least in two ways. I didn’t get married until I was 28 – but I also married a Dan! I had my first little one 10 days after my 30th birthday – but we also fell in love with the name Micah and kept it a surprise until his heavenly arrival! I could relate to your words and your pictures. Seeing them, especially the birth story posts, made me cry (happy tears, of course) as I re-walked that path of my little guy’s arrival 15 months ago. I love my Dan and Micah so much I could scream, and I’m so glad to have found a friend who does also. :) Thanks for sharing your life.

    On a side note – I would like to start a blog and have no idea where to begin. What platform is yours on and HOW did you get such a cute background?

    Kristen (in Omaha)

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Kristen, Ah yes! I remember your email about YOUR Dan and Micah. What awesome Godly names, huh?

      I use WordPress and have enjoyed it immensely. DanO actually completely designed my blog, with my input of course. I think blogger.com is a little easier for me, the non-programming type [read: computer dumb] , but DanO liked WP’s ‘versitility’ as it were. So here we are, mostly because of his persuading.

      Best of luck with you blog! I love having this record of our family’s beginnings.
      -AllsonO

      Reply
  23. Keiko

    Allison–

    I check in on your blog every once in a while to see how you, dan and baby are doing. Thought I would say hello:] I am so impressed with your beautiful family, home, photos and eloquent posts. Every time I drive by Danada I think of you guys!

    Miss you,
    Keiko K.

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      KEIKO!

      I am so glad to hear from you! How are you, lady? I hope life is going well for you, and every time I think of our term in France I think of you! Thank you for reading, I am honored.

      Reply
  24. Kim

    I love your blog! You are such a good writer, you put into words everything I’m feeling about my two angels. I’m a new mom too: I have a 21 month old and a 7 month old. I just quit my job when “turbo” was born, so I’m adjusting to being a stay home mom, anyways keep up the awesome blogging!
    Oh by the way I have the same play mat as Obaby and it’s a lion not a bear! LOL

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Kim, Thanks so much for coming and reading, I am glad you enjoy it! DanO pointed out that the mat is a bear after I published that post, too (I know exactly what you’re talking about). I dunno why, maybe it’s because it’s yellow and orange, but I always think it’s a lion! Too funny that you caught that too. Happy New Year!

      Reply
  25. Erin

    Nonfat no whip mocha! Or during the holidays, nonfat no whip peppermint mocha. I used to always GET whip, but this small child o’ mine does not like whip with his breast milk, apparently. Good thing he’s cute.

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Ah yes, babies have a say in Mommy’s Starbucks drink. Thus: my soy.

      Maybe some year I will not be nursing/pregnant and I will be in sole control of what I choose to imbibe again.

      Reply
      • Erin

        Having nursed Luke until I was 12 weeks pregnant with Tommy, I can quite honestly say that I’m not sure I remember what it’s like to be in sole control.;)

        Reply
  26. Sarah

    I’ve been wanting to send you an email for the longest time but haven’t worked up the courage yet.Should I do it?? ; )
    Have a wonderful New Year!!!! ♥

    Reply
      • Sarah

        I seem to have received the the gift of courage from the Wizard of Oz(with a little help from you too) so I’m off to write to you(but from a different email address because juno has waaaay better smiley faces then gmail.Aren’t you glad you now know my opinion on the subject?) And you’d better watch out because I just may appear on your front steps some day ringing your doorbell! ;)

        Reply
        • AllisonO

          I got your email, friend! I’ll reply here one of these days/months. :)

  27. Lainers

    LOVE your hair. It is looking exceptinally fantastic at that length and color. Confession: I’m tired of Starbuck’s…my new love is Peet’s. Have those in MN? I’m so happy for you and this fun new blogging world you are exploring…and Micah gets cuter every second. shoot kid! I happened to run into Kels and Paige over the holidays and they immediatedly asked about Micah and gushed about his cuteness. :)

    Reply
    • AllisonO

      Hi Lainers!! No, no Peet’s around here, but we have Dunn Brothers (not to be confused with Dutch Brothers?). I think I’m kind of tired of Starbucks too, 9 times out of 10 I hit up the ‘bou. Yes, Caribou Coffee and I are on a nick-name basis.

      Thanks for the hair love. It feels sorta inbetweeny to me. Not a cute new mom short cut, but not long enough to curl like all them famous people either. Miss you!

      Reply

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