Friday, January 29, 2010

Thank YOU!

Thanks to everyone who prayed for the adoption! God is so faithful and He provided this beautiful daughter, Jolie Cate, for them! As Jon always said in Sunday school class ... "We know God will provide the right baby at the right time!!" Praising God that this was the "right" time!

Mel mentioned last night they hoped to bring Jolie home today assuming her billirubin levels improve this morning! I can't imagine the joy and excitement going through their hearts and heads right now!! Knowing the papers are signed and this baby girls is finally theirs!!

Bringing home your child from the hospital is one of the most exciting, yet scary things in the world! I remember pulling in the driveway on that cold cold New Years Eve afternoon, thinking ... this is it .... it is all up to us now, we are alone and completely responsible for this baby!! A slight bit of panic set in followed by the shear thrill of the adventure about to occur!!

And what an adventure it has been .... I wouldn't give it up for the world!!

I am thrilled that Mel and Jon get to embark on this new adventure together with their little princess!! God has big plans for Jolie's life!! I just know it!

Congrats guys!!! We are SO happy for you!!

PS> Jon, you better keep up on those blog updates for blog stalkers like myself!! HaHa!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Update on the Arvins ....

God continues to be faithful (and why would I doubt Him, isn't He always faithful? It is I that lacks faith at times!)

Jolie Cate Arvin arrived at 6:39am this morning and weighed 6lbs 4oz and was 20 inches long. Mel said they have had her in their room all day (yes, Mel and Jon were also admitted to the mother/baby unit to stay overnight)! The birth mother prefers to wait to see Jolie until she has signed the adoption papers. (Whew, sigh of relief huh?!)

Melanie said, "It has been a great, overwhelming day, and lots of details and pictures can be found on the blog.
God has orchestrated this journey in ways only He can and we give Him all the praise!"

Please click on over to their blog for beautiful pictures and more details!!

We are all thrilled with the good news, but PLEASE keep praying!!! Tomorrow afternoon I imagine everyone will be able to breathe a little easier!!

Praising God for His provision!

Please PRAY!

My heart is very excited, yet very anxious today ... Our friends from church were selected in early January by a birth mother to be adoptive parents. The birth mother gave birth this morning to a baby girl. Our friends are up north at the hospital and (as of 9:30am this morning) are still waiting to see and hold their new daughter. I can't imagine the stress, worry, excitement, joy, and any other emotion you could think of they must be feeling right now! I am calling on all my faithful readers to PRAY for Jon and Mel and baby Jolie Cate.

1. Please pray that the birth mother would hold to her word and continue through with the adoption process.
2. Please pray for Jon and Mel that they would have peace throughout the next 24 hours, as they are the most crucial!
3. Please pray for the birth mother that she would have peace in her decision and be excited about the MOST WONDERFUL life Jolie Cate will have as an "Arvin."
4. Please pray for Jolie that she would continue to be healthy and happy!
5. I know there are many more things to pray about, but bottom line, please PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!! I know they all covet your prayers!!

For updates, please see their blog.

Anxious (but excited) Allyson

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amen sistah!!

We all have something to be thankful for and say AMEN!!!

Here is a clip of Sophia saying her new favorite word: AMEN! When I say, "Sophia, time for bed" she says "Amen!" When I say, "Sophia, time to eat" she says, "AMEN!" It is too funny! Each book she reads she thinks that the last word is "AMEN!"

Oh yeah, and Nate and I are screaming AMEN after that amazing BLUE victory!! AMEN!!

Miami-bound (in spirit of course),

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tickle Me Baby Elmo

One of Sophia's favorite gifts for her birthday was her Tickle Me Baby Elmo. This might be one of the cutest things ever ... although, we constant repetition, it could get a bit annoying!

She loves to dance and sway back and forth when Elmo talks! Too precious!!

Tickles to you and you and you ....

Allyson and Sophia

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Giving of myself ...

Medical mission work has always been of interest to me. I love serving those around me, while utilizing the skills I learned in pharmacy school. 2004 - 2006, I joined a medical team to travel to El Salvador. Those 3 years were extremely meaningful and provided me with an immense amount of memories that I will never forget. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out to go back to El Salvador and that deeply saddens my heart! I long to serve those beautiful people!

Since I made the decision to "stay home" (primarily) with Sophia, I have prayed about opportunities to serve as well as stay connected to the medical community. I love adult interaction! This past month a professor of mine from Butler contacted me about an opportunity in my own community. Needless to say I was thrilled when I received the information! Last night was my first night to volunteer at the Kingsway Community Care Center in Avon. What a great night!! KCCC was founded in 2005 and continues to serve the uninsured of Hendricks County. There are dental and medicals services provided at a minimal charge. Appointments generally are from 6-9pm during the week (although not daily).

The KCCC also shares space with the newly opened Life Center. What a wonderful place to serve those in my community as well as the Lord! You just get this "feeling" deep down when you serve that cannot be replicated by any other action in life and it is amazing!!

You might be thinking, what exactly would I do? I would serve as the pharmacist for the evening. The nurse would bring a patient back to the triage area, perform vitals, compose a med list, and discuss current problems/issues. She/he would take the patient back into a room. The doctor would see the patient and discuss all pertinent issues. When the physican was done with the patient, he would give me the chart notes as well as the scripts, and I would counsel the patient on all medications. Also, if needed, I would discuss healthy eating habits, exercise, diet plans, cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. The patient would then have extra time to ask additional questions they might have. They check-out and are on they merry way. KCCC has a wonderful multi-disciplinary approach to care which totally ROCKS and is very effective.

KCCC is always in need of volunteers!! They need medical and lay persons (work check-in, etc). If this is of any interest to any of my readers, please leave me a comment or send me an email. I would love to touch base with you and tell you more details!!

Praising God for answering my prayers,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cloudy days ...

.... make me really, really, really sleepy!!

Don't you just wanna get back in your pj's and curl up with a good book? Mama and I sure do!!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Sophia's 1st Birthday Party!!

Wow, has it really been a year? This time last year I was learning all about this baby girl, and now I know her like the back of my hand! The love relationship with a child is such a precious gift from above -- A MIRACLE really! I am so grateful!

On Saturday, we hosted a small 1st birthday party for Sophia!! Sophia was so cute eating her cupcake. She first looked at it, not sure what to do with it. She then touched the icing with only her fingertips. She took it really slow, always looking at me for approval to "get messy" (probably b/c I am always on her case about putting her hands in her mouth while I am trying to feed her). She finally grabbed it and started going at it ... but overall she was so "neat and clean" eating her cupcake! Not 1 crumb on the living room carpet, only a few pieces in her seat, and not a speck of icing in her hair! Overall, a great time was had by everyone!! Since Nate is a great photographer, I will use the pictures to tell the story!! Enjoy!!

Crawling around with no knowledge of what is about to happen!

Icing the giant cupcake (pumpkin spice with homemade butter cream icing) -- too bad it doesn't really look like a cupcake once it is iced! Oh well, my first shot at it...

The finished product! Sophia's cupcake is on the lower left corner with the candle!

Sittin' pretty by my presents!! Not so sure what to think about all these people!

Opening a gift from the Bounsall's! Mom loves when I get clothes although I prefer toys!! Ha!

The famous "egg" shaker -- one of her favorite toys! Hopefully she will learn to shake this to a beat while daddy plays guitar!

Conducting "Happy Birthday" while we all sing to her!!

"Hum, not so sure what to do with this..."

"Just a little taste of the icing .... Yummmm"

"Ok, so this is pretty good .... sweetest thing I have had in my entire life."

"Oh yeah, totally enjoying this cake thing ..."

Slowing down a bit ...

"All done and ready to be cleaned up!"

Erin, Laurel, Lauren, Judi, Allyson, Sophia

Sophia and her pal Olivia

A family picture!!

Here's to another GREAT and WONDERFUL year!!


Friday, January 8, 2010

When I grow up I want to become ....

... an OB/GYN.

Today I was cleaning out my file cabinet and came across many papers/honors/awards from my past. I found a copy of a "dream" resume I imagine was a high school writing assignment.

Under the education column I wrote:

College: Indiana University, Indianapolis, In 1998-2002; Indiana University Medical School, 2002-2006, OB/GYN Residency Program, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, 2006-2010.

Job Experience: Emergency Room Technician 1995-1998, OB/GYN Extern 2005-2006.

Wow, isn't that crazy? To think if I would have stuck to my original plan I would have been finishing up my residency THIS year and would be a full-fledged OB/GYN. However, my only experience with this profession include popping a baby out! Oh yeah and the lovely annual exams! Ha!

It is amazing for me to reflect upon these past few years and know I am exactly where I should be in life. God had other plans for me ... Butler University instead of Indiana University. Pharmacy school instead of medical school. 6 years instead of 12. Staying at home and working supplemental with an excellent schedule. A wonderful husband and beautiful daughter! PRICELESS!!! I am glad His plan is always better than mine!

Nevertheless, it still was fun dreaming all those years ago!! Those dreams created the drive to get me going somewhere!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Puffin' the magic dragon?

Since late last week, Sophia has been battling an URI. Thankfully it hasn't affected her sleep or mood! Monday evening Sarah and my parents were up for a quick visit since they hadn't seen Sophia in over a week! She was walking around her Leap Frog Learn and Groove Musical Table (which if you don't have one, you NEED one. It rocks!) and playing all by herself! The room was dead silent as we were all closely watching Sophia play.... Sophia started talking and babbling in a raspy voice .... we all laughed! Nate proceeded to say, "Sophia, have you been smoking?" I kid you not, she looked up and said, "Yeah...." and went back to playing! We all bust out laughing .... we laughed so hard it made Sophia cry!!! Too funny! I know she had no idea what she was saying and she was probably just responding to Nate's voice, but it was HILARIOUS!!

The little things in life sure make you smile, don't they?


Monday, January 4, 2010

Holiday Recap!

We are such a blessed family! 2009 brought hardship for many people, but we were experiencing life to the fullest with a new one!! Yes we had periods of stress and fatigue, but many more of joy, bliss, and gratitude!! Thanks for embarking on our journey alongside of us! We pray 2010 will be as wonderful as 2009!!

And now for the holiday recap:

Christmas Day was pretty uneventful. (Since my mom had to work Christmas Day night, we decided to have the Kiesel Christmas celebration on Saturday.) Thus Nate, Sophia, and I stayed in our PJ's all day long on Christmas Day!! It was so wonderful!! We sang songs, played with toys, ate yummy gingerbread cookies, and napped! Nate and I also celebrated Christmas Day by rearranging our bedroom! We LOVE it!! Don't you just love rearranging rooms in your house? I makes you feel like you have a brand new house!!

Saturday after our Christmas Brunch with friends, we headed down to Greenwood for the Kiesel Family Christmas. Sophia really enjoyed opening her gifts from Grammie, Grampie, Aunt Sarah, and Uncle Brandon. She received many wonderful things! My mom found a glo-worm and she just loves it!! I remember having one when I was a child!! She calls it her "baby!" She also loves talking on her old-school Fisher Price telephone!! She is getting really good at making phone calls -- I should probably be worried! Ha!

"Hello, Santa .... Thanks for stopping my grammie and grampies, however, you must have missed mom and dad's house! Maybe next year?"

Walking behind my new push toy from Grammie and Grampie K!

The week b/w Christmas and New Years was wonderful!! Nate was home all week and we had great time together as a family. I worked two days at Meijer and Sophia even got to have a sleep over at Grammie and Grampie K's house! Nate and I took advantage of our kid-free night and went downtown. We did some shopping at Circle Centre and made it for the 9pm 3D showing of Christmas Carol at the IMAX! It was an awesome movie -- you should totally check it out -- but in 3D!

Tuesday was Sophia's actual first birthday! She had a great time at mom and dad's house! Nate tucked her in since I had to work that night! It was kind of sad not seeing her on her actual birthday, but we made up for it Wed by exchanging lots of hugs and kisses!

Thursday morning we got up early and headed north to Michigan to Nate's sister's house. The weather wasn't too bad -- you never know what you are going to get when you cross the MI border. It usually isn't sun that is for sure!! :) Ha!!

Thursday we celebrated Christmas with the Martoia's (Nate's sister Naomi, husband Mike, kids Tyler and Lexi), Rhoda (Nate's middle sister), and Nate's parents (Delores and Whitney). We had a great time!! Sophia loves her little puzzle and purse!! Of course the favorite thing in her purse is the money! YIKES!! Gotta start training now huh?

Sophia was in bed by 7:30pm New Year's Eve, but Nate and I managed to stay up with the family till the ball dropped! First time in a few years!! We had a great time playing dominoes as a family! Tyler kicked all of our butts! :) After some tasty bubbly, we headed to bed!!

Friday morning most of the fam headed to downtown Lake Orion for a New Years Resolution 5K run. I saw the thermometer that morning and passed! (It was 23 degrees!) Lexi and I stayed home and played with Sophia!! Nate and Tyler both ran the 5K and got great times despite the frigid weather!

Lexi loved feeding Sophia each meal! She did a great job too!

"I sure love when cousin Lexi feeds me my breakfast! YUM!"

"Wearing Lexi's new headband! Do I look like I am ready for Richard Simmon's Sweatin' to the Oldies workout VHS?"

While we were in MI, Sophia developed a strong bond with Tyler. If Tyler was in the room, Sophia had to be in his arms or next to him. She didn't want anyone but Tyler. It was hilarious. He would just look at her and she would cheese up and smile so big!! He would talk to her and it was almost like she was flirting with him!! Oh no, she is already looking at boys!! The picture below captured 1 of Tyler's 100+ hugs from Sophia!!

"Me and my buddy Tyler!"

Friday we celebrated Sophia's birthday with a little family birthday party!! She opened her gifts and had a blast!

"Look at me, I can unwrap my birthday present all by my big self!!"

"Strike a pose -- Modeling my new hat from Aunt Rhoda (mommy LOVES it!)"

"Not so sure what I think of this fairy dress up outfit, but I sure love my other new hat (and Tyler too)! Thanks Rhoda Joy!"

"Crackin' up while people sing to me "Happy Birthday!"

Here is a video of the Long's and Martoia's singing Happy Birthday to me!! I am just eatin' this up!! (PS> I was really bummed when mom didn't give me any of my birthday carrot cake! She told me ice cream and carrot cake are only for "big" people! She told me I could have her homemade pumpkin spice cake for my birthday party! Knowing that, I really enjoyed my mango's instead!)

We had a wonderful holiday season, but it is always fun to start a new year! All the new chances, new possibilities, new starts .... NEW EVERYTHING!!

Looking forward to sharing 2010 with all of you!!

Be Blessed!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

Life is sure different today than it was 1 year ago today!! 2009 totally rocked our world!! Looking forward to the wonderful memories in 2010!!

(PS> A Christmas Post is in the works.... gotta pick out some of the best pictures!)