The Allen Family

I want to capture a forever memory of the landscape of Colorado – where we have had the pleasure of living for the past 2.5 years. We will move this summer and I want to have something that I can look at forever that will bring back memories of these years. Plus, we haven’t had family pictures done in 3 years!! Yikes! The kids have grown miles since the last ones and have changed so much.

There are 4 of us humans and 1 furry family member – Andy, Stephanie, Olivia (7), Carter (5), and Daisy (2).

Andy grew up in NC and I grew up in IN. We met when he was in pilot training for the Air Force – my sister and brother-in-law actually introduced us – and the rest is history.. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this past May and love living all over the country with Andy’s job in the Air Force. Carter loves to be rough, talks to most anyone, and loves to make others laugh! He is loving and tender on the inside, yet rough and adventurous on the outside. He is quick to give hugs and an “I love you”, but will then the next second jump off the couch in attempt to land on the table 5 feet across the room. He is very into space, dinosaurs, super heroes, and race cars. His mind thinks in patterns and he loves to build and complete puzzles. Olivia is 7 and is just like her daddy in personality! She is shy to strangers, doesn’t like attention, and like things to be just-so in life (aka, perfectionist! hah). She is athletic, loves to read and play the piano, and her American Girl dolls. She has a heart for helping others and makes us proud with her kind choices day in and day out.

We met when Andy was in pilot training in Columbus, MS. I was in graduate school at Indiana University and we dated long distance for nearly a year. Upon graduation, I moved to his first base in Charleston, SC. We dated another 8 months and were married the following summer. A whirlwind romance with many big life changes (graduation, first job, move across the country!). Andy flew the C-17 and was gone more than he was home for the 6 years we lived there. We welcomed Olivia in 2009 and then Carter in 2011(while stationed in Oklahoma).

My education is in speech pathology, but I run a virtual skincare company from home to have total flexibility with my time for the kids! I love being a professional and working towards big goals, but being in a traditional job wasn’t working for our family. Now I have the best of both worlds. Andy is a pilot and officer in the Air Force. He flew the C-17 the first 9 years of his career and is now in the T-53 here at the Academy, in addition to his duties as an AOC for Cadet Squadron 10.

Please share something that could inspire, motivate or encourage others – if you have a story to share about an obstacle or challenge in your life, feel free to share!
Everyone told us our time here in Colorado would be amazing and that Andy would have super-simple job! hah. That hasn’t been our experience and we’ve had an adjustment as a family to cope with Andy’s long work hours and time apart. It has been a season of growing in our marriage – me learning to support and encourage him while putting aside frustration that his job has been so consuming. To be honest, it was a rough time last year, but as always our love for each other always wins. Focusing on our family and the joy we can have when we are together – whether that is only a handful of times a week or every night for dinner – keeps us grounded that no matter what life throws at us, we are better together than we are apart. The kids are amazing models of resilience and blind faith and we learn so much from them as their parents!

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40. This verse is in our home and we talk about it often. Life can be scary and uncertain, but our job is to believe in the One who has the power. Often our family can get caught up in earthly things and we like to reference this verse to remind ourselves where our belief and hope come from.

Thank you, Allen Family, for the opportunity to capture your family in this season of life! It is truly an honor. Best wishes as you embark on your next Air Force assignment – hopefully we’ll cross paths again!

xo Melissa


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