Friday, December 31, 2010


*** Warning*** Extremely honest post

It's that time of year again....I almost started out with the typical, "I can't believe it's already been a year", but let's be honest.... I can. So much has happened this year, that New Year's last year seems so very long ago.

I can't believe that this time last year:
* I had a newborn
* Addison was barely talking, which had me worried
* we were just getting settled into our new house
* had no plans to move from said house
* wondered if we would be in Houston for the rest of our lives.
* weighed the same I do now (except keep in mind I had just given birth to that newborn)

On the eve of 2011...
* I have 2 rambunctious toddlers
* Addison cracks me up and drives me crazy at the same time with everything that comes out of her mouth
* I am sitting in a different "new" house and missing .... everything back home.
* wondering what the future holds for us (doesn't everybody)
* still weigh what I did last year, but have no excuse of baby weight.

Knowing that, here are my resolutions for 2011. I'm writing them here so that I have accountability...not just with everyone who reads this, but so that when this blog post winds up in our 2010 book I have the words staring me up in the face.

To Lose 20 pounds

I know losing weight is a typical resolution, but I tend to work well with a fresh start. I discovered this year that I am a stress eater. Let me rephrase that. I didn't discover this. I've known this. I just stressed ate way too much this year. I remember being on the phone with one of our realtors back in October, near tears and shoveling M&Ms into my mouth at the same time.
I have been successful at this resolution once before when I moved home after college. Not wanting to be stuck at home with the folks, missing my friends from school, and hating my new job, I threw myself into dieting and working out. I was crazy and it worked.
I'm wanting that same thing this time....except we have no gym and I have two kids. The odds are against me. =) But.... I am missing my friends like crazy, so I have one of those factors going for me.

In all seriousness, my type A mentality has kicked in and I've planned out meals, made grocery lists, dug out the old workout DVD's, and have lots of motivation. Like a whole closet of clothes that don't fit anymore. So I vow this year to put on work out clothes to actually work out and not just because they are the only thing that fits. Andy is going to help keep me accountable, and I want this for me. I'm going to be blogging about it a little bit too, so I will let you know how it goes....

To get Addison potty trained

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was numb with excitement. It was surreal. I was thrilled to think of holding that little one for the first time, and then panic set in. Not about taking care of a newborn, or all of the other, natural fears that come with that news, but....
OH. MY. GOODNESS. I am going to have to potty train this kid.

I have dreaded this day. And I say "this day" with much meaning because this day is today. We started it today. And. It sucks. I am doing the much followed, "Three Day Potty Training" method. She's had a few typical accidents, and actually gone IN the potty once ( I think also by accident), but I am counting down until bedtime right now.

I took a three hour nap today while she was napping and am still exhausted. Having to be right by her side every second of the day and CONSTANTLY saying, "Addison make sure you tell mommy when you need to use the potty" like 520 times already. "Is Tinkerbell dry?" I'm so glad that my new ways of eating don't start until Monday because the bottle of wine is about to be cracked and will probably be finished tonight. Except that I've got to drink just the right amount....enough to relax and enjoy New Year's Eve on the couch in the same pajamas I woke up in, but not too much so that I can wake up and do this ALL DAY AGAIN.

I'm hoping that this goal is achieved much quicker than my weight loss. Because remember, I am a stress eater.

Living in the Moment (A.K.A. Enjoying California)

When Andy first told me that he was being offered a transfer by Shell to one of my favorite places ever, I was scared and thrilled at the same time. Four months of working out the details, selling a buying houses, tying up lose ends provided plenty of distraction for what I would inevitably have to leave behind. I wasn't naive to it, I just didn't want to think about it and absorb it because it was too hard.

I'm not trying to sound dramatic, but it's the truth. I have lived within a 20 mile radius my whole life, minus college, which was still an easy car ride away. My dearest friends have been part of my life for years. When you think back on who your closest friends are, chances are they were made during monumental times in your life. (i.e. college, married life, having babies, etc.) Those are things that bond you for a lifetime and don't get replaced.

I have met wonderful people here in a short amount of time. They are people whom I really can see myself getting to know and building great friendships with, but that doesn't come easy or quickly. Thank goodness for things like facebook, text messaging, etc.....but I feel like I've even failed in that department. Our lives are so busy with little ones.

So my resolution is to 1. make it more of a priority to keep up with old friends. and 2. enjoy this time that we've been given here. Live more in the now and not four years from now.
This is so hard though when everything feels so foreign. I miss our church and even Addison's pre-school SOOO much more than I even expected to. Routine is comfortable, albeit, sometimes boring. But right now I miss boring.

I am thankful for this opportunity we have been given though. God has a plan and has blessed us so much already. I need to focus more on him, and be present in the moments that are happening now.

And ...the wine is cracked....and almost gone. Addison has now peed 3 times in the potty. And I am enjoying the last of the cakeballs before Monday brings the beginning of Operation Take Back My Closet.

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ra bu bum bum....

Addison has been singing her favorite Christmas song for 2 weeks now. It's mine too, and it's known to most people as, "Little Drummer Boy", but all the girl knows it "ra bu bum bum", which she repeats over and over and over again.

My parents just left today after staying with us for 8 days. We had so much fun. When you live close to family, it's great because you can see them often, BUT there is never really a reason to spend the night with them. Now that we're a plane ride away, we have plenty of reason. I think everyone had a great time, and the house seems super quiet now, with just the 4 of us after non-stop company the last month.

So you know what happens when you don't blog in almost 2 weeks? You get a bunch of random pictures and not enough energy to write something witty to go with it. So instead, .....

Here's our week of fun in a quick photo summary.....without the wit.

This picture cracks me up. Look at the expression on Graham's face. I think Santa was creeping him out a little bit.
Addison was just glad to have a candy cane.

Graham couldn't get enough of his Poppy. He wanted to be wherever he was.

We did a little shopping after seeing Santa
and then we headed to the Del Hotel on Coronado Island for lunch. Their decorations are amazing. They said that this one tree took a staff of 10 two days to put up.

Back at our house, Addison took the tree decorating into her own hands. Every day she would take her necklaces out of the dress up drawer and "decorate" the tree. It was so cute.

Addison enjoyed the petting zoo at the Childrens' Christmas Eve service. We enjoyed the sunshine after 7 days of non-stop rain. Where do we live again?
You could have fooled me.
Christmas morning!! The kids were thrilled with what Santa had brought them.
Addison has pretty much not left her dollhouse's side since Saturday....except to eat and sleep. I would say it was a hit, Santa.
Our little ham has started to do jazz hands while yelling, "Money!!" whenever her picture is being taken. She was cracking us up.
and this little guy is just still pure cuteness. Although stubborn. Since taking his first steps about a month ago, he still prefers crawling or being held to get where he needs to go.
Love this one.

This is the girl that used to hate the camera.
Graham is loving all of Addison's new Christmas presents.

and some cute random pictures with Poppy..
jazz hands


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from The Parsons! We hope that you are having a wonderful 2010! It’s hard to believe that 2011 is right around the corner. So much has changed for us since this time last year, but God continues to faithfully bless and guide our family.

After settling into our new house last year, we decided that moving is so much fun…we would do it again; just across the county this time instead of across the street. Andy and I have always talked about how we would be open to a transfer through Shell. It’s something that’s fun to talk about, and then a little scary when opportunity actually comes knocking.

Opportunity knocked in July, and we accepted a transfer to San Diego. We went house hunting in August, said goodbye to Andy in September, and finally joined him in October in our new house in Carlsbad, CA. We absolutely love the beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery and our house, but greatly miss our friends and family back home in Houston, as well as the cost of living! =)

Graham just celebrated his first birthday! He is not quite walking, but getting close. He loves playing with his sister, whether they are “cooking” in the kitchen, reading books, watching shows, or even playing dress up. He maintains his “manhood” by enjoying his trucks and loves any ball he can get his hands on as well! His favorite thing is probably playing in the sand at the beach. He is such a happy guy, always laughing and smiling.

Addison is full of personality! She is 2 ½ going on 12. She is quite the girly girl, loving her accessories, and often insists on wearing sunglasses, headbands, and her sparkly shoes to breakfast, while still in her pajamas. She enjoys making her brother laugh, playing dress up, doing puzzles and loves that we’re five minutes from the beach. Her daddy delights in the fact she would love nothing more than to watch a “football show” with him. Addison also demands the spotlight. While feeding both Graham and Addison a snack, I asked Addison if she would like a graham cracker. Her response: “I don’t want a Graham cracker, I want an Addison cracker!!”

Andy is settling into his new role of Finance Manager with Shell Trading on the West Coast. He is enjoying a shorter commute, and we love the extra time with him! He is looking forward to introducing our visitors to the many beautiful golf courses around here.

I am enjoying exploring all of our new surroundings and meeting new people. I have joined a mom’s group in our area, which provides play dates for both the kids and me! I am so thankful for the new friendships I’m building with these girls. I still love taking pictures and share it through our family blog,

If you are looking for some sunshine, please come visit us! We welcome visitors as long as they stash away Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno to bring with them. We wish you and your family a wonderful year ahead filled with love and God’s blessings. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With love,

Andy, Melissa, Addison & Graham


Friday, December 17, 2010

Around Here...

we're gearing up for Christmas!

and eating more sweets than we can handle...
making Christmas cards....

enjoying visitors!!!!
still pretending we're tourists

getting our money's worth at Sea World...

taking way too many pictures of Shamu
but the show was so cool, you kind of had to

and making cake pops like crazy..'s a little obsessive at this point
Bakerella is my hero
and they are clearly a hit with this guy


Friday, December 10, 2010

Dear California,

I wanted to take a minute to discuss some things with you. First off, let me thank you for the wonderful weather and beautiful scenery. They don't make it quite like that back home in Houston. HOWEVER.

You know that whole $1,200.00 car registration fee? Or that $450 red light camera fiasco fine that my husband (who claims is was yellow) will now have to use his fantasy football win money on. Not acceptable.

Nor is the fact that one of your employees reduced me to tears this morning at the DMV while trying to register that vehicle, follow your rules, and pay that ridiculous state deficit exorbitant fee. Instead of filling out the , "Let us know how we're doing" postcard that I know will never get read, I decided to write you this personal letter.

Let's discuss this morning's events.

I, being a responsible resident spent two hours last night on the computer, filling out the correct forms and gathering all necessary paperwork, as stated on your website. I also spent 45 minutes choking on that little fee we discussed earlier that was spit out by the the convenient fee calculator. Thank you for that.

After waking up at 6:30am, arranging for childcare for my two children so they would not also be subjected to the fun the DMV seems to always provide, I drove the 20 miles to your closest office and proceeded to wait another 30 minutes outside with my fellow residents before letting inside to wait some more. Thank you again, because even wait time at the DMV can seem like a "getaway" with no kids.

Well, one of your finest employees called my number, and I rose with my accordion file of necessary paperwork and greeted her with a smile. The following is a summary of what followed.

California's finest employee: Where is your registration and contract of sale?
Me: The registration is right there and I don't have the contract of sale.

California's finest employee: Well, this isn't getting done today.
Me: Why?

California's finest employee: Maam, you're getting attitude with me, and I will not take it.
Me: What? I'm just asking wasn't one of the forms listed online.

California's finest employee: No, you are giving me attitude, and I will not listen to it.
Me: Taking a deep breath, and speaking in the slowest, calmest way possible..... "I am trying to stay calm, but I worked for two hours last night following the directions to a T, got a babysitter for my two small children so they would not have to wait the last two hours I just did and come up to your window where you tell me I need an additional form and need to go home. (breathing).......why (breathing).......I'm slightly frustrated.

California's finest employee: No, you are taking your frustrations out on me, and I won't respond to that.
Me: (Looking around incrediously to see if anyone else is hearing what I am).......(not saying anything, didn't say a word.....because if I did, I might have jumped over the counter.)

California's finest employee: See, you're getting attitude!!!!!
Me: I'm not saying a damn thing!!!!! (And I admit it California, I did say the word was most called for at this point.)

California's finest employee: Maam, DO NOT USE THAT KIND OF PROFANITY WITH ME!

Well California, this is when my fellow DMV customers stepped up to the plate.

A lady interrupted this conversation and told me loudly, "I think you're being VERY nice, and so does everyone else standing in this line with me."

Well, that pretty much made me start crying. I know, I don't why I did either. Like crying, the ugly cry.

Me: I'm done talking to you. I want to speak to somebody else.
California's finest employee: Sure, I'll give you to my supervisor, pointing to the lady in the booth next to her (I'm sure her lunch buddy). Go have a seat.

So I proceeded to go sit down and wait....again for another fine employee. It was then that I was doing the ugly, I can't breathe cry. Again, I don't know why. Maybe it's the build up of stress from the move, leaving friends & family, missing everything Texas, but especially the $55 vehicle registration fee that could be completed at Kroger.

I was then called by a MUCH NICER employee who kindly explained to me that the auto dealer I purchased the vehicle from in Texas had given me the wrong piece of paperwork. She had obviously been trained in NICE and UNDERSTANDING, and quite possibly had a certification in "Throw the hyperventilating lady a tissue".

I will be seeing her and her fellow employees again when I return with the correct paperwork sometime next month.

So in conclusion California, that "Let us know how we're doing" comment card nice lady passed my way just wasn't going to cut it. I wasn't able to adequately explain the situation in the four lines provided.

I hope this letter finds you well California. Our state income tax, $1700 in vehicle fees will be sent your way. Spend it wisely. And please keep up the beautiful weather and breathtaking scenery. I feel I deserve it.

Disgruntled new resident

P.S. Your quality of food doesn't hold a candle to Texas. And please don't continue to falsely advertise, "mexican food".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't Mind if I do

A few weeks back my neighbor, Audra, asked me if I'd like to join her for a massage and lunch at La Costa Resort and Spa. She had had a gift card that was given to her almost a year ago and it needed to be used. That's discipline if I've ever heard of it. If someone gave me a gift card to this place....
it would most certainly be gone yesterday.
I thought about it for a nano second before practically shouting into the phone...
"Yes, oh my gosh, yes...that would be so awesome!"

So we spent yesterday morning here.
Oh, and where were the kids?
Well, they were with grandma and papa and dad....and thank God there were three of them because they had the responsibility of taking them to the pediatrician, filling out new paperwork for two, getting diagnosed with two parasites (seriously) and Graham fighting a fever and sore throat to boot.

So yes, I felt a smidge guilty for going here

while the rest of my family was dealing with total crap. But, as I tried to explain to Andy, this would be like if someone invited him to play golf at Torrey Pines....for could not be passed up.

So we were spoiled rotten with robes, citrus and rosemary water, warm towels, incredible massages, bellinis, lunch, and three hours with no kids! It was amazing. Thank you, thank you Audra!!

Later that afternoon, back with the fam, we decided to play tourists and go explore the La Jolla area with Andy's parents. Andy had heard about this scenic drive up Mount Soledad, so we decided to see what it was about.

The view most certainly did not suck.

Family photo op
Grandma and Papa
Addison was having a ball

graham was looking a little pathetic and still not feeling all that great, but took in the view of the seals with Papa
gorgeous sunset in La Jolla Cove

It was a wonderful day
and Graham finally started to perk up