he believes in me

I get excited about things. I go all in. But, with a few exceptions, I feel like I’m really not a finisher. I plan and plot and make the first few moves, but in general I feel like my follow through is lacking.

I have started and not finished so many things that one of these times when I tell DanO about something new, I half expect him to laugh and nod and pat my head. Silly little wife and her dreams.

But you guys, he never does. He dreams with me, he supports me, he believes in me.

I have mentioned that we are dramatically changing our money handling here in This O House, and that has included the grocery budget. Starting in October, we cropped $100 off of our budgeted grocery amount and I am working on fitting what we need into that smaller number.

One of the things I have been doing is making our buns, rolls, cookies, and bread from scratch instead of buying them packaged. Sure, you can get a $.99 loaf of bread, but the nutritional value thereof is going to be severely lacking. The bread products we buy tend to be whole grain, often organic, and can be pricey. I checked a few cookbooks out from the library and have been having some great success.

{one pound loaf that we had with dinner yesterday}

Except. Confession time. I have never in my adult life owned or used a mixer of any kind. I feel like most people get their mixers as wedding gifts, but we didn’t register for a stand mixer at our wedding because I thought that those $300 could go elsewhere that would be more needed by us (and at 20 and 21, we needed a lot of more essential things). Why we never picked up a hand mixer in the last few years I’m not sure, but everything I have ever mixed has been by hand with one of our two whisks. Then, with all of this bread business going on, I bent one of the whisks a few weeks ago.

Here’s the other part of this story: Way back in August when I decided to run a half marathon, I set up a reward for myself should I finish. Kind of like some women give themselves “push gifts” – items (purses, shoes, jewelry, etc.) they will get once they are done pushing in labor as a way to be motivated – I planned on getting a “finishing gift”: a nice stand mixer. Keep in mind that this was before our budget lock-down, and even before the bread making. I wanted this mixer because they’re nice and hey – I like to make cookies as much as the next lady.

When October, our budget, and the half marathon came, the mixer was off the table. It just wasn’t feasible anymore, and I was ok with that. I finished the race all the same and the pride in my accomplishment is no less than what it would have been with a new appliance on my counter.

Then yesterday DanO walked in the door from work holding this:


I screamed and giggled and clapped.

Then I cried.

{and made cookies}


To me, the image is painfully beautiful. It’s elaborate love. It’s seeing a desire of his beloved’s and satisfying it. It’s believing that I will follow through and continue to make our own bread to the extent that this will be a worth-while investment. It’s extravagant, sacrificial love.

If you can’t tell, it’s not really about the mixer itself.

It’s the gift of being believed in, of being supported and loved.


And for those of you thinking, ‘But, uh, Allison? Budget? Living like no one else? The whole Dave Ramsey thing?': It was a craigslist STEAL and was purchased with unexpected income.

PS: if you’re wondering that, you missed the point.

It’s a blessing I don’t deserve from a husband I don’t deserve.


{here’s the recipe for the loaf in the picture seen above}

32 Responses to “he believes in me”

  1. Lindsay N.

    That? Is awesome, in every sense of the word. I have to say though, your last sentence, “It’s a blessing I don’t deserve from a husband I don’t deserve” struck a cord with me. It is a blessing that you DO deserve. And it’s from a husband you DO deserve. You work hard for your family, you deserve these and many more blessings. Congratulations on the half-marathon….I myself am struggling with a decision right now to participate in a triathalon (as part of a team to raise money for a friend & her sister’s scholarship fund….). I want to do it so badly, but don’t believe in myself.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. PS, I brought up the idea to my husband of getting the Dave Ramsey book and he said “sure, let’s give it a shot.” Eek!

  2. Allison

    We just started our debt snowball, my husband started reading and then him being the one who is one semester away from his MBA in finance has taken the reigns. It’s going to be hard but oh so freeing in the end. Love your mixer, I actually just dusted mine off the other day only because we are painting our cabinets. Maybe I should try this :)

  3. Laura P

    I was one of those who registered for a stand mixer. I openly admit it. I was blown away when a group of our friends bought it for us. Such a blessing. I think it’s safe to say our mixer gets used on a regular basis.

    I seen this bread recipe on Pinterest yesterday and I cannot wait to make it. (My family too is trying to reduce costs and I want to do the cash system but haven’t been able to get my husband on board with it as of yet.)

  4. Sara

    AHHHHH. I just want to scream in joy with you and hug your husband for you!!!! You deserve everything. I’m glad he believes in you!

  5. Sarah

    He is so so so sweet!!!

    Side note- we got married in April and I didn’t register for china because it was so expensive and I didn’t want anyone to have to pay $89 for one place setting. Plus, we needed other things more. Now 6 months into our marriage I have a sudden desire for china! BUT I decided that any sort of pretty plates will fill the china hole in my heart. All guess all I’m really desiring is something a little more fancy than our regular ol’ dishes.

    There was a point to that story but I forget it now. THAT’S WHAT I GET for reading blogs when I should be reading school. ;)

  6. Christa

    That is great. My in-laws give this mixer as a wedding gift to their children. I admit at first, I thought it was a joke and felt bad I laughed, but 17 years later it is going strong and we have fun getting the attachments. Great gifts for family to give and we have bought one for my mom and also for the kitchen where we did a short term missions and my husband saw how hard the women worked without a mixer. He grew up in a big family and knows the work that goes into preparing food for large groups, and had one taken with a group from our church so we knew it got there safely. That was the big Kitchen Aid as they feed large groups. Enjoy your baking adventures. I made the pumpkin mix for my coffee and it is yummy!

  7. Susan

    Girl… you deserve it. I am much older than you and my husband bought my Kitchen Aide mixer about 6 years ago. Looking back, I can’t imagine my life without it! You will love it! Enjoy! Now I want to make that bread — but my hand like the recipe shows!!

  8. Dawn S

    My husband is exactly the same way — no matter my wild dreams, he supports me…even when I abandon them or stop mid-way-through later! What a blessing indeed!

    And you were the final nail in the coffin for us too — we have not used our credit cards since last week when we saw your video. We were justifying them to “earn the points,” but the points were outweighing the interest (we have a bit of CC debt from losing our life savings when we moved and our old apartment never filled with a sublet, so we had a house and an apartment to pay for for 7 months as well as all the work we had to invest in the house). We are focused on paying down our CC debt ASAP and only having mortgage and car loans (only 1 at a time) from here on out, if any of that. We had been hemming and hawing with “can we do it?” for months and finally decided “we WILL and MUST!” Thanks for that push!

    • AllisonO


      We got to the point, as Dave says, that we were sick and tired of being sick and tired. You SO CAN do it.

  9. anna

    Love it! My husband surprised me with a pink KitchenAid stand mixer for our first anniversary. He also got a steal using gift cards and Kohl’s cash =)

    Such love through the avenue of a kitchen tool… enjoy =)

  10. Megan

    Super sweet. :) I”m glad you are blessed with this kind of hubby. I am too – and I wonder why every day!

  11. Elaine

    It’s gorgeous and you are totally gonna use the heck outta that thing! I lovingly pat mine every time I get her out of the cabinet to make something. :-)

    And yay for Dan O getting it for you. Such a beautiful gesture!

  12. robyn L

    Uh. And now I’m feeling kind of convicted because I got one of those stand mixers as a wedding gift over two years ago, and I’ve used it maybe five times. Maybe. And I’ve been toying with the idea of making our bread. I have all the equipment! But I haven’t made the move to actually do it. I should just do it.

  13. Hannah

    That mixer will last you the rest of your life. I have it and it’s really the best! And so is Craigslist. And so are husbands.
    Use the mixer next time you make mashed potatoes. You will love it even more. :-)

    • Lisa

      Agreed! My mom has her avocado green KitchenAid stand mixer she received as a wedding gift in 1970 – still going strong! I remember learning to bake with it growing up – I bet your boys will have lots of memories of it too. It’s a great investment!

  14. Cat

    I think that’s the abundant life that Jesus loves to lavish on us! Thanks for sharing! :)
    And I got one of those mixers as a wedding gift-we didn’t register for it because I didn’t think it was a big deal. For several years I didn’t use it much because it lived oh-so-far-away-and-hard-to-reach in a cabinet, but now it lives on the kitchen counter and I use it more often! And lo-and-behold it IS useful! :) Ah, the things we learn! :)

  15. Joanne

    Look for a book called, Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes a Day. It seriously is the greatest thing ever, and it is loaded with recipes. :)

  16. Annie

    Your relationship is amazing. Through challenges (of many kinds), you and your husband have the strength and faith to not only survive, but thrive.

    That loaf of bread looks delicious!

  17. Maria

    What a thoughtful and loving gift! Gotta love Godly husbands who believe in us and encourage our wild and crazy dreams! He’s a keeper ;)

  18. Our Large Family Blog

    Wow! This could have been me writing this!! I am exactly the same way. It’s kind of a joke among me, my husband and our close friends. Yet, if I have a “sudden inspiration” to do something, he will buy whatever I need, supporting me the entire time. In fact, I recently went through a phase of wanting to crochet doilies, so he bought me a LOT of crochet thread…yeah, the thread is still in the bag…lol

    I decided a few years ago that I wanted to start making the kids’ birthday cakes myself, and decorating them myself…he bought me a Wilton professional decorating kit. So I know exactly what you’re talking about!!

    We are so lucky to have such great loving husbands who believe in us so much.

  19. bbrunophotography

    This is one of the sweetest, most heartfelt blog posts I’ve read in a long time. You are right. It’s not about the mixer. It’s not about earning a mixer either.
    It’s about a husband who sees your heart and knows what makes you tick.

    Know what I thought of when I read your post? The day my husband walked into my home office and without saying a single word, laid a Peppermint Patty on my desk.
    When I got home, I saw it sitting there and burst into tears. I had lost my mom eight months before, and it was her birthday. Mama and I had a little tradition. Whenever I’d drive to see her, she always had a Peppermint Patty for me. When my parents would head up our way for a visit, she’d bring one for her and one for me. Silly little tradition, but it meant a lot.

    Love is so much more than anyone can define. So glad you shared this.


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