Friday, October 31, 2008

Flashback Friday

Nothing says white trash like family pictures at Lagoon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today me and Tyke and Frankles went to the park to run off a little steam. Ok, Tyke was the one with excess steam. There's a park by my old work with a HUGE grassy area, we're talking at least 2 football fields of open space. And in the city, that's a lot. So I usually trick him into running up and down the massive hill a few times and that's about all he needs. It's also a very popular spot for dogs so if he can sniff a few butts while he's at it I get mega dog-kudos.

But anyways, I layed FB out on the blanket and decided to take some pics. When out of the corner of my eye I see a young boy walking towards us. Suddenly his hand flies to his gaping mouth and a look of alarm spreads over his face. I turned to see what his amazement was about but there was nothing but open space behind us. I started thinking is there a bug in my hair?

And then he said: "Oh my Gosh! That is THE CUTEST baby I have ever seen! What's his name?"

OMG ROFL LOL! It was probably the sweetest thing that's happened to me all week. He then said that he and his mom LOVE babies. Ha ha ha! It was so stinking cute. And lets face it? The kid is pretty friggin adorable.

Furniture rehab #2

Our renters moved out last week and I found this little treasure hiding under the stairs. Zach said it's been there since we originally bought the place but I guess I just wasn't into this kind of thing 3 years ago.

Anyways, what do you think I should do with it?

I was thinking maybe I would paint it black and distress the edges. Then it would go in my living room. But I think it needs some type of decoration. Any other ideas?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


One word description of this week: Woot-woot!

(okay, technically that's two words, but if you're too busy to ready my entire workout you can stop reading now and go away with the general gist)

I feel a difference this time starting my new lifestyle as a fit person and I think it has to do with accountability. When you've got people reading your fitness blog you're constantly thinking about it during your workouts or when you're considering skipping a workout. You don't want everyone to know you're a procrastinator who gets off on doing as little as possible to get what you want! And lets face it: getting in shape doesn't work that way. It's all about consistency. So here's a synopsis of my workouts this week:

Method of torture: running
Distance: at least a mile
Music of choice: Miranda Lambert - Kerosene ***

My first workout of my new life as a fit person was pretty easy. But my first day of exercise has always been smooth sailing. It's the 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th and so on that are hard. So anyways, like I said in my earlier post, I ran to the elementary school and ran around the track 4 times which I'm told is a mile. So probably ran about 1.5 miles. Miranda Lambert was an okay music choice I gave her a 3 out of 5 possible stars for overall hype-up ability, for that is why I need music while I run: so I can get pumped up. Some of her songs are a little slow for a workout album but her voice is so soothing to my ears that I gave her 3 stars.

(was my freebie day)

Method of torture: running
Distance: at least a mile
Music of choice: Cake - Fashion Nugget ****

First of all, Cake was an excellent choice of music. Most of the songs had a really good running beat and kept me pushing hard. I ran to the elementary school again and did 4 laps. About 1/2 of the track runs along surface streets so when I'm running by all the cars at stop lights I try not to look like I'm about to die. I focus on my posture and picking my feet up and even run a little faster. But when I'm not running by any cars I tend to just let my body flop at will. But at least I'm still running! Goal for next week: try not to look like a goober even when no one's looking. Another thing that was really helpful was concentrating on what Tyke was doing during my runs which was easy because he acts like such a goofball. When I get to the school I let him off the leash and he practically runs circles around me the whole time. I think he imagines I'm chasing him. And heaven help the kick ball that the kids leave out on the field. I know I shouldn't let him but his love of balls runs deep. And usually he gets it before I can stop him.

Method of torture: water aerobics
Time: 1 hour
Music of choice: oldies (to me)

My friend Lisa, my adorable little pregnant friend, asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would want to do water aerobics with her and her friend. We finally went on Thursday and it was SO FUN! It was just me, my pregnant friend and a bunch of old ladies. Okay, they weren't ALL old but they were all older than me and you could tell they were diggin the music. I had heard all of the songs before but they were definitely catering to an older audience. I did get a good workout though. The next day my arms were killing me and I was a little sore everywhere else. I'll for sure go again.

Method of torture: hiking
Music: none, unless you could dogs barking

For this workout I strapped the baby on and took Tyke to the dog park. This particular dog park is actually a nature preserve with trails and a stream where your dogs can run around off leash. Tyke had a ball and I got a pretty good little workout. He also got super muddy. It takes about an hour to hike to the end of the trail and back. And there's a big hill at the entrance that you have to climb to get out. By the time I got to the hill I was pretty sweaty and Tyke was BEAT from running around and sniffing everyone's behinds. I was practically dragging him out of there which I felt pretty awesome about since he's a really buff puppy.


Okay, I didn't technically work out on Saturday. BUT I did help Zach clean up the yard and I moved a bunch of furniture so I could dust, sweet and mop my house. I also went to Marshall's football game and walking around yelling he whole time. So I'm counting that.

Stay tuned for more of my getting in shape!

love, aloicious

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jesus post

All you Christian internet junkies have probably already seen this but I thought it was pretty tender. This little kid is calling into a Christian radio station he listens to:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flashback Friday

That's me and my baby sister back when yellowed floral couches were still all the rage. I went through this really weird stage right after I got the chicken pox where I picked my face and my teeth and wore overalls with no shirt underneath. Okay, maybe I'm still going through that stage but Packy thinks all that picking and shirless overall wearing is kind of sexy.

Love, aloicious

Spin Cycle: Tricks

It's that time again: SPIN CYCLE TIME! Thanks again Sprite's Keeper. The subject of this spin cycle is "Trick or Treat".

I can't think about all the tricks I've played without thinking of my dear friend Danielle. She is the queen of prank calls. I've stayed up many a night with her calling random numbers out of the phone book. This was before the invention of caller ID and before Mario Party. We were on a SERIOUS Mario Party kick for a while.

Anyways, she was a master at voices. On one particular occasion she made up a character she called Karen. Karen was a telemarketer who worked for many organizations. She did survey's for Smiths Food and Drug, asking people how much toilet paper they purchased and what types of pastries they preferred. She also verified orders from a site that's not very family friendly. Lets just say the recipient of that particular call had to verify a color and a length. NAUGHTY. Who knew this girl would soon be preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in a far away land... Okay, Texas is not THAT far. But she might as well be in China.

My favorite prank call by "Karen" was when she called from Here's an idea of how the call would go:

Jo Shmo: Hello?

Karen: Hello, is this Jo?

Jo Shmo: Yes, who is this?

Karen: Oh hi Jo! This is Karen from I'm just calling to let you know that you've been selected as our Grasshopper of the Month. We'd like to send you a free chocolate bar as a gift and sign you up for the releasing of the butterflys this weekend. How many guests will you be bringing?

Jo: Um... I think you've got the wrong number.

Karen: Oh? Is this Jo Shmo?

Jo: Yes, but I've never even heard of

Karen: But sir, we have all your infomation right here. You live on such and such street. You're screenname is SexyBugLover123. It's all here sir.

Jo: No that's not me, there's been some mistake.

Karen: Well, Jo, we'd really like to send you a free chocolate bar and invite you to the releasing of the butterflys anyway.

Jo: Is this a joke?

Karen: NO SIR, we don't joke about the releasing of the butterflys.

At about this point they'd either get mad or be laughing and hang up on us. We'd all be rolling on the floor, stifling giggles, while she worked her magic. And she never broke character, no matter what the person on the other end of the line did. Oh how I miss that silly girl...

Love, ali

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Puppy love

I love the way my puppy smells behind his ears. Actually he smells that way all over. And sometimes it is a little overwhelming and he gets a bath. But it's still one of my favorite smells ever. It reminds me of just how much the little guy loves me. And I'd like to think it's not just because I feed him and let him live in my house.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beginning stats and first workout

Weight: 165 lbs

Left to loose: 25 lbs

Okay, so after my appointment at the doc's yesterday, I came home and said to Packman: "honey, watch the child. I'm going for a run."

And I thought, well now that I've said it, I might as well do it. So I did. I got my trusty dog attached to his trusty leash and put some trusty poo-bags in my trusty pocket. And off we went!

At first I could really feel the fa a-jiggling. But after a few minutes I couldn't feel it anymore. I'd like to think that at that point the fats decided to hold on for dear life and tightened right up (maybe this is what toning is). Yeah, my fats were toning. Or maybe my body just wouldn't allow me to feel the actually jiggling because it would be too much to handle. Like when your arm is severed off and you go into shock. Maybe my body was in fat-shock.

Regardless of what actually happened I started to feel really good. I don't know how far I ran but I made it to the school and did 4 laps around the track. I figured a mile was either 2 or 3 or 4 laps around so I did 4 just to be safe. Then I ran back home.

And afterward I felt REALLY good. Like I always do after a run. And it wasn't particularly hard either. But your first day back is always WAY easier than your 2nd day back or your 3rd or your 4th. I don't know when it starts to get easy again because I usually don't get that far. But I'll let you know when it does.

love, aloicious

Club 1/2 As Small As You

Yesterday was my 6-week post partum checkup with Dr. Terry, my OB. I don't own a scale. Not on purpose, just by accident. So my visit to Dr. Terry's office was the first time I've seen my weight since FB was born.

Now I must preface the following admission with the fact that when I went into labor and delivery 6 weeks ago I was up 60 lbs from my starting weight when I got pregnant. I kid you not.

So before I got on the scale I guessed I'd have about 10-15 lbs left to loose because I'm no longer a house. But I got a little surprise when the scale said I was still up 25 lbs.

Good gosh!! (as my new SIL JoAnna would say) I was not expecting that at all.

So I've decided to join all the peeps over at Club Half As Small As You for some moral support and chronicle my journey from fat to fabulous here at the Aloicious blog.

1. What motivates you and why do you want to do this challenge?

I want to do this challenge so I can have another baby. While I am in NO hurry to get pregnant again, I know I must loose this weight before the next one comes for several reasons. Firstly, I know I am young so working it off now as opposed to 10 years from now is going to be much eaiser. Secondly, I'm just going to keep gaining a mizillion pounds every time I get pregnant so I'd rather start with 25 to loose then 75. Thirdly, I've seen what happens to those moms who never worked off the baby weight and I promised myself I'd never let myself become one of those moms.

I will be motivated by my desire to set a good example to my kids in the hope that they never have to battle the bulge. I will be motivated by the cute clothes sitting in a tote in my basement labeled "Ali's skinny clothes." And maybe, just maybe if I get confident enough to wear a bikini next summer my hubby will take me on a cruise... PLEASE???

2. What is your long term goal?

My long-term goal is to fit into all my "skinny" clothes. I also want to run a 1/2 marathon this summer which I will talk about in a later post...

3. What is your long term weight loss goal?

To weigh 25 lbs less than I weigh now.

4. What tools are available to you?

I've got a rack of weights and a treadmill in my basement. I've got a great pilates routine which helped me get to my skinniest point a few summers ago. I've got a more-than-willing dog to run with me at nights or early mornings and a supportive husband.

5. How often can you exercise?

I can exercise 6 days a week but I'm only going to plan on working out 5 days. Something is bound to come up at least once a week so 5 days a week is my goal.

6. What do you plan on doing?

The only thing I'm not going to do is diet. I feel like I eat really healthy right now especially since I'm not getting free soda at work anymore. I just need to workout. This could include running, walking long distances, lifting weights, doing my pilates DVD I've yet to open, etc.

7. What has worked for you in the past?

The only time I've really thought I had a rockin bod was the summer before I started nail school. I didn't have a six-pack but I had definition in my stomach and was wearing a size 8. At that point I was going to a pilates class at the gym with an instructor who totally kicked my butt twice a week. And working SO hard in class helped me stay motivated to eat less and eat better. I don't have a gym membership anymore but with the help of my hubby and the lack of a full-time desk job I think I can do it.

Stay tuned for my updates...

love, aloicious

Monday, October 20, 2008

I love me some Lollicups

Lollicup. The asian man's Jamba Juice.

Okay, it's nothing like Jamba Juice. It's actually more like Starbucks. Although I'm sure they have those in asia. They've got teas and coffees and slushes and snows. They've got it all.

There are many things I love about Lollicup. First and foremost is the way they put the lid on the cup. It goes through this little machine that stretches a layer of plastic over the top and seals in the delicious goodness and to allow for portability.

Another great thing about the Lollicups is the boba. They are these little ball thingies they can add to any drink. You can't really describe the boba without making it sound totally sick (NOT sick as in awesome). You have to experience it for yourself. You can also get the lychee jellies which are great in the fruity drinks.

And don't forget about the fat straws. They have to be big so the boba can fit up the straw. They come in all sorts of colors and patterns. I always feel special when I get a pink one with stripes. They're my favorite. The Lollicup Gods did not smile down on me during this particular visit and the lady at the counter gave me plain green. BOO!

So all you gotta do is shake up your drink while the lid is still intact in order to distribute your boba evenly. Then you just stab your straw into the top and, voila! Piercing the lid with the straw is possibly my favorite part of the whole experience.

Except for this part:

In the words of Homer Simpson: "Mmmmmmm, Lollicup ***drooooooool***."

love, ali

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grandma's Pancakes

When I was little my grandparents lived in St. George, Utah. During that time the majority of the residents were retirees like my grandparents. There was lots of golf and shopping and swimming to be had. Some of my earliest memories are going to visit them. Me and my sister would rush in and give them a hug. Then it was off to the Barbie drawer - a huge bottom drawer in the hallway where they kept tons of Barbies and Barbie paraphernalia for us to play with.

Another thing I loved about visiting Grandma and Grandpa in St. George was that they had cable! I watched my first episode of Gummy Bears and my first episode of Johnny Quest at the bar in the kitchen.

But this post is not about the superficial childhood memories I have of Grandma and Grandpa's house.

My Grandma passed away a couple of years ago from Alzheimers. If you've never known someone who has been ravaged by this horrible disease, consider yourself and your loved ones lucky. I have very few memories of my Grandma before this monster illness ravaged her mind. But I do have a vivid memory of having breakfast with my grandma. I would sit at the bar and watch cartoons on the tiny kitchen TV. She would still be in her robe and thick glasses, reading the paper. And she would always have whole wheat pancakes with peaches.

So here's the recipe, my friends. I actually never really tried these until a couple of weeks ago, healthy breakfasts never appealed to me as a child. But I am now hooked. I'll always eat them and think of her and the gentle kindness she brought to our family.

Grandma’s Whole Wheat Pancakes with Peaches

3 C + 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
½ C sugar
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2 C milk
1 can sliced peaches

Pour all ingredients (except the peaches) into a bowl and beat until smooth. Cook on medium heat until browned on both sides. They are thick so make sure they're cooked in the center. Then drain the peaches really well. Puree until slightly chunky. Serve with pancakes. Makes about 12-13 large pancakes. YUM!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Spin Cycle: Gripped by fear

Okay, I'm SUPER late in posting this but I just had to participate in the Spin Cycle, brought to you by Sprite's Keeper. You can read all about it here.

The topic for this Spin Cycle is FEAR.

I can be a VERY PARANOID PERSON. Sometimes I lay in bed for hours imagining every little noise is someone breaking into our house. When I'm home alone I run over scenerios of rapists and murderers getting in and how I will escape. In fact, one of the reasons I insisted on getting Tyke the night before we moved to Salt Lake City was partially for security reasons. And also he's ADORABLE and SNUGGLY!

I wasn't always this way. I mean, I've always been a little freaky but that's the product of watching too many 48 Hours Mysteries. It really turned into a debilitating fear a couple of months after we moved into our apartment.

It was a holiday for me and I had slept in. Zach was already at work. I was in the bathroom flat ironing my hair when I heard the neighbors dogs on the other side of the duplex go NUTSO. I didn't think much of it because they pretty much rock the casbah whenever someone passes the house.

Suddenly, I heard a sound like a rabid squirrel protecting his nuts. I swung around and realized that the sound was coming from my sweet boxer puppy dog. And he was pissed. And he was facing the back door. I knew someone was there. It wasn't a question. My instincts told me as well as the ferocious growl coming from my dog who simply adores people. Someone evil was behind my side door. And I was terrified.

I started down the hall when "Who's there??" escaped my lips. It didn't sound like me. It sounded like a terrified 9-year-old version of myself. And the sound of the terror in my own voice sent me deeper into a panic. As I rounded the corner and peeked out the window, I beheld a horrible sight. It was indeed an unknown male, standing at my door. In a ski mask. Holding a shot gun. GULP.

I started screaming. I don't know how long I stood there screaming. After a while I dashed down the hall to my phone but it wasn't in my bedroom! I ran back to the living room and dared a glance out the window. The creep was not there but it didn't mean he was gone. I was barely breathing and tripping over my feet. I finally spotted my phone and clumsily dialed 9-1-1.

The operator answered: 9-1-1

Me: Help! There's a man outside my house with a gun!

I couldn't breathe. I was hyperventilating. The operator begged me to calm down and give them my address. A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. Who was this masked assailant? What did he want? Was it the creepy guy that lives on the corner? What would have happened if my beautiful, heroic dog had not alerted me to his presence?

And finally I heard the words I'd been wanting to hear: "Okay, they have him." Then I really started crying. I had barely escaped a horrible death, but I was going to be alright.

After what seemed like an eternity there was a knock at the door. My 9-1-1 operator assured me it was the police. My hand was shaking violently as I opened the door. The look on the female officer's face was one of pitty.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"Yeah, I think so," I managed. "Where is he?"

"Well, we found him walking down the street about a block away. And the thing is... well... it was just the meter reader for the power company. And the 'gun' you saw was probably just his reading instrument."

Shock. I couldn't believe it. Five minutes earlier I was in mortal danger. And now? Now I was just a silly little girl with a silly overreaction.

But it didn't make me feel any less scared. Maybe he police had made a mistake and the meter reader just happened to match the description of my killer. I was still on high alert. In fact, that night was the first in a number of sleepless nights. I would lie awake and shake violently every time I heard a noise. Every bump or creak was the real villain coming to finish me off. It was getting to a ridiculous point and I was pretty much having panic attacks every night. I finally just told myself that if someone was about to break in that Tyke would alert us. Also, my neighbor gave me a club to keep under my bed. They use these clubs in Africa to kill lions so that was reassuring.

So I do know what it's like to be gripped by fear. Even if it is just the scary meter reader from the black lagoon!!

with love, aloicious


It's okay, baby. You can smile, I promise!

See? Grandma is smiling. Go ahead...

Okay, we won't look. Alright?

Ha ha! Tricked you! We all saw. And it was very cute!

love, mamalicious

Flashback Friday

Dang!! We were rad!!! That's me on the right, Amy on the left. Just look at those colors!

Amy was my best friend from my childhood. We moved into the house across the street from hers when I was about seven. We were the same age and both our little sisters were the same age as well. So it was a good match.

Amy was one crazy mother. She was always trying to prove that she was the most daring kid in the neighborhood. One time I dared her to do a cartwheel on the brick wall at the end of our street and she split her head open. This didn't stop her though. A couple of weeks later she did a cartwheel on the roof!

We would build bike ramps in the fields behind our houses and launch ourselves into the air. We would build forts and tree houses. When they started building houses in the fields we would sneak into the unfinished houses and steal the builders' supplies. We would scrawl things like "workmen suck" into the wet cement. One time after it rained we went out exploring and Amy got stuck in the mud in the foundation of one of the unfinished houses. I remember being so scared that she would never get out, or that someone would catch us before she did. She was finally able to free herself but not her shoes. They're still buried there.

One time we went swimming in the Jordan River. We built little rafts out of pieces of wood and nails and tied long strings to them. Then we'd wade out into the river and see how far we could let them out before they got stuck in the weeds and we'd have to rescue them. When we were done we knew our mothers would kill us so when we arrived home we doused each other with the hose and turned on the sprinklers to make it look like we hadn't risked our lives to sail our little rafts.

We found out about periods together and rocked out to Salt N Peppa (*AH, SHHHHH, PUSH IT!!*). We prank called radio stations during sleepovers and made up scary stories to scare our little sisters. She was always pushing the envelope, as much as one can push it at that age. I wonder where she is now...

love, ali

So I'm a real life parent now

Before I had FB I would hear new parents talk about how they were nervous about SIDS. I always thought I would never waste my energy worrying about something with such a mathematical improbability. But the truth is that now I don't even let myself explore the statistical possibility of SIDS. Because any chance is too big of a chance when it comes to my baby. I listen to his breathing until I fall asleep. And if he gets too quiet I sneak out of my bed to his cradle and put my hand on his chest so I can feel it rise and fall. Even when he wakes up in the middle of the night and wines until I rock him back to sleep I am just so happy he's healthy enough to alert me to his needs... okay, okay, I don't really think this at 1:30 AM but I do when he's not depriving me of sleep.

So many things change when you have kids. But I think the biggest change for me has been how little I worry about myself. I just worry about the kid instead.

love, ali

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Only in Utah... or any other state with a college football rivalry

I wonder if the one house has two mailboxes or if there are two neighbors who happen to be BYU fans... I'd hate to see what would happen if the neighbors to the right sold their home to a Utah fan.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month

I saw this sticker on the back of a little SUV when I was pulling out of work today:
Best bumper sticker ever!

The most awesome part was that 2 teenage boys were driving this car. So either their mom is a survivor or they don't really get the meaning behind the pink ribon. Either way... AWESOME.

love, ali

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ska anyone?

That's right. I was somewhat of a ska kid. And not just any ska kid. A Christian ska kid. We skanked FOR THE LORD!!

Okay, I wasn't strictly a Christian ska child. But I did love ska. And for some reason none of Five Iron Frenzy's cds made it to digital form during the great transfer of our massive CD collection to I-Tunes in the early days of our marriage. So when I found their CD's yesterday I was somewhat giddy.

I've been doing a little filing the past few days for Packy's work. I'm basically in the backroom all day with my Ipod putting papers in files. I've been jamming to some Less Than Jake and Death Cab, some Pedro the Lion and Reel Big Fish. So many songs, so many memories.

I've also been loving me some new finds like Dustin Kensrue and Miranda Lambert. I was never really into country until a couple of years ago and that Miranda Lambert can SANG!! Sometimes I get really into the music and worry that someone will walk in on me rocking out.

Now, I'm probably a little bias about how great this music is. You know that the music from your teenage years is always going to sound so much more amazing to your ears because of the memories and feelings it will inevitably envolk. It just fills me with such happiness. All of the best friends I've ever had were forged to this music.

Which songs bring you back to your adolescence??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A perspective on life

I just got back from visiting my friends Anne and Jon. Their baby girl, Grace, was born last Thursday by emergency C-section. She wasn't due until October 22nd and just got out of the hospital after 10 days in the NICU. She's off of the oxygen and gaining weight. Oh yeah, and she's GORGEOUS. She makes me want a little girl with a thick head of dark hair so I can wrap her up in something soft and pink.

Anyways, when I found out they were still in the hospital last week I was shocked. I'd seen them just that weekend and while their baby was in the NICU the doctors had told them she would probably be going home after just a couple of days - not the ten she ended up staying. I couldn't imagine how much my heart would ache if that had happened to FB. But it was more than just that. There was a set of twins in the NICU with baby Grace that had been there for over a month. The mom of these little babies asked my friends when they were going home and they reluctantly told her within a few days and felt a little guilty since her babies were going to be there for much longer.

There are lots of times in my life when I've gotten SO deep down depressed about myself and my circumstance that I just wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep for days (and there have been times I've done just that). But all emo-ness aside, I've got it so good. Of course I've had rough times but most of those were self-inflicted. And really I haven't experienced what I would call major tragedy.

So the point of all of this is that there's always someone who's go it worse than you. Count your blessings, or remember your good fortune, or thank your "happy fairies" or whatever it is that you do. Because we really do have it good.

love, ali

Monday, October 13, 2008

Deep thought (not by Jack Handy)

What defines a person? Their base? Their one word? Classifies them as good or bad? Uplifting or destructive?

There is no middle ground when it comes to those I call my friends. And I judge people based on their actions. And when those actions cause pain and anguish again and again and again and again and again and again and again, it graduates from a mistake to a pattern. At that point it's time to cut your ties and save yourself from the destruction of the "agains".

There's a difference between acceptance and ignorance. It's not that I don't believe in redemption and I do believe in forgiveness, but I don't believe in letting yourself be a doormat. Or seeing only what you want to see. Or being with someone deeply flawed, hoping they will change. It's not fair to either party. And unfortunately sometimes it takes something drastic to make people realize this. And sometimes they never do, and generations suffer. And lives are wasted.

Here is yet another moment when I have to remember that only my life is my own. And no matter how much my stomach aches to think about what it means for her, it's her choice to make.

Love, me

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Little Homey

This is my little homey. I can't remember who gave him to me or why (seems like it had something to do with Mats maybe?). But he's been the tiny man in my life (at least in my car) for at least 6 years. That's longer than I've been married. If you'd like your own little homey I think they still sell them at the quarter machine in the entry way of Albertsons. But they only come in Mexican, So if you're looking for a Cuban little homey I can't help you there. Viva la revolution!!

Anyways, during the cold months of winter he sits on my dashboard and reminds me that summer is not too far away. That's the nice thing about Utah: if you're not enjoying the weather, wait about a couple of days. For instance, it's been snowing on and off all day. Not sticking or anything but still, chilly! However, the forecast for next weekend says we'll be in the mid 70's. Woot!

Its lucky for me because I've got a garage sale planned with my neighbor. So thanks, little homey, for always keeping me upbeat when the winter seems to drag on and on. But as of right now, I'm enjoying the cool off.

Love, ali

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pictures stories

Since I quit my job to be a SAHM, we are now poor. This means neither Packy nor I can eat out for lunch every day like we used to. So I've been making his lunches. I'm not into the low-fat/low-cal fad like everyone else trying to loose weight. I'd rather have the real thing and either eat less of it or work out later. And also, Zach REFUSES to eat anything that hints at low-fat on the wrapper.

So if I ever buy something from that category it's completely accidental. And the other day I came home with granola bars with 25% less sugar. I actually remember at the store noticing this and trying to find the regular granola bars of the Quaker Oat variety. But, honest to goodness, they were all 25% less sugar. So I thought, if they put it on all of their stock they must have found a way to do it where 100% of the test bars tasted exactly the same as the regular ones (for this is how my mind works). But I knew this wouldn't fool Packman. So I decided to be a little sneaky.

First I took the regular granola bar.

Then I found some stickers I used at our garage sale to price items, and cut one in half.

Then I covered the 25% off part with the stickers. And guess what.......

IT WORKED! He ate it and was none the wiser. Until I bragged about it the next day. But by that time he already realized he liked them just the same as the other ones and won't protest them in his lunch anymore.

Yes, that is a pony tail. And no, it's not a little boy named Joe Dirt. This little girl freakin TOOK ONE OF THE OTHER PLAYERS DOWN just before they made a touch down near the end of the game. It was pretty rad (do people still say rad?). Marshall told me that she and her sister are both on the team and the blonde one is really good but the brown haired one always makes excuses so she doesn't have to play. I hope I never force my kids into something simply just because their sibling enjoys it.

And finally, the other morning Packy woke up to find our puppy curled up in the laundry basket full of blankets. Good thing he's small. NOT!

love, ali

Friday, October 10, 2008


One of the bloggers I frequent regularly (Dooce) posed this question on her blog the other day:

"let's say you're given the opportunity to donate some money to a desperate family who would use it to feed their children, but were only able to do so if you donated the same amount of money to someone you knew would use it to buy crack. Would you do it?"

I'll admit, one of the things I really disliked about Salt Lake when I first moved here was getting hit up for money every time I walked down the street. Not in our neighborhood or anything. But walking down the streets of the city, stopping everyone they would pass or even sitting outside the bank, someone is looking for a handout. I can't even go to the downtown Wal Mart without someone asking for "a few bucks for gas."

It used to really bother me. And my poor, sappy husband, he fell for it every time. Or so I thought. EVERY time one of these guys (or girls) asked him if he could "spare some change for a bus fare" or "give a guy a buck so he can get something to eat" without hesitation, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet.

When I finally asked him why, he explained to me that he'd rather give and be taken advantage of then ever turn away someone who was in need. It's impossible to tell what the intentions of these beggars are. But my sweet hubby takes the council of Christ literally when he said "if you've done it unto the least of these my brethren you've done it unto me."

That's one thing I love about him. He simply lives his faith. Not perfectly but in the best way he knows how. I think that's all you can really ask for.

Love, ali

Flashback Friday

I'd like to introduce a new segment I'm trying out called FLASHBACK FRIDAY! (imagine Homestar Runner saying it for the desired effect) And yes, I really am writing this post at 12:20 AM.

Today's segment features me with blonde hair. Also skinnier and tanner. And once my friend Jill said it looked like I was wearing a Back To The Future apron in this picture.

I went blonde the summer of 2005. It took a long time. The road from black to blonde is not a pretty one, my friends. Nor is it kind to your hair. I was only that blonde for a couple of months before I missed my dark hair and so did PackMan. He likes his women feisty and their hair sassy.

Love, me

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shine, baby!

I saw this quote on another blog and had to share...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -

-Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Don't forget...

Everyone has struggles. And I'm not talking "I suck at cooking" type of struggles. Every family, every person has a secret, some tragedy from the past or the present. I think growing up you see these families from the outside and everything looks so perfect. All you can see are the blessings and the good fortune they've obtained. But as you get older and hopefully wiser you realize that everyone has a story.

So don't judge too harshly. This is something I need to remember more often.

I love this quote:

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."


Please don't forget.

Love, ali

1 Month

Dear Babu,

Today you are 5 weeks old! Actually you will be 5 weeks old in about 1 hour and 13 minutes. I want to write you a letter every month to tell you about your life so when you grow up you can know how much I loved you from the start.

You are such an alert baby. More people comment on that then anything else. You are always observing this great big world with wide eyes. They are also starting to say you look like your daddy. I see both Sumsion and Tate attributes in your face. I think it will be a while before we can really judge who you resemble more.

Tonight when I put you to sleep I walked around our bedroom and just held you as your eyes grew heavy. You fought sleep so hard for some reason. I guess that is just a taste of what’s to come. I remember what it was like getting Marshall to bed each night. Who am I kidding?? Still getting him to bed! Each day you get a little more aware and awake and a little less like the sleepy newborn we brought home from the hospital. I am really going to miss these days but I am so excited to watch you grow up.

I’m also excited for you to sleep through the night. You only wake about 2-3 times right now but I honestly cannot remember what it’s like to have a full nights sleep. But I also know it’s coming. And you are certainly worth it.

Your daddy loves you so much, son. Seeing him hold you in his arms or bounce you while you lay on his chest makes me so happy. I know parenting is going to be hard sometimes but you have an amazing father. Your daddy loves kids but he LOVES you more than anything. It’s evident in the way he holds you and talks to you and in the way he talks about you to other people. He is very proud to be your daddy.

Tonight we went to one of Uncle Marshall’s football scrimmages. Your Uncle Marshall and Uncle Mitchell love you so much! When Marsh comes home from school and we are there he gets SO excited. And Uncle Mitch wants to hold you every chance he gets. They are constantly saying how you are the cutest baby ever.

Your Aunt Mattie also loves you to pieces. She couldn’t be there when you were born because she was away at school. But I was on the phone with her right after you were born and she wept and so did I.

It’s starting to feel more and more like fall every day. I put you in the baby carrier when we got to the football game tonight and you just slept snuggled up to my chest for over an hour. It was so much fun to see people’s reactions to you as we walked up and down the sidelines. You bring joy to people who don’t even know you. They walk by and see how tiny you are and the stress of life just melts away from their faces and they smile and sometimes even coo without thinking. You brighten people’s day and you can’t even talk yet!

I borrowed some photo albums from your Grandma Tate today so I can scan some pictures for my blog. There were a bunch of pictures of Uncle Mitch and Marshall when they were small like you. I had forgotten what it’s like to have a little baby with a binky in his mouth all snuggled up like a burrito in a blanket. I really missed it.

I think that’s part of the reason I’m really hoping you start to like the binky more. You usualy protest the binky for the first few seconds it's in your mouth but after you suck once you're hooked. Until you spit it out again. Daddy has a trick where he gets you sucking on the bink and then holds you facing his chest so you can't spit it out. It works wonders. There’s nothing cuter than a little baby with a binky in his mouth.

I’m so happy you’re here! You make my life worth living. You inspire me to be a better person. There are a lot of things I wasn’t strong enough to do before you got here. It’s like when I became your mother I came alive! I am a better wife to your daddy, I’m a better sister to your Aunt Mattie and your uncles. I’m a better daughter and a better friend. I have empathy for people I never had empathy for and I find myself wanting to accomplish more then I’ve every wanted to accomplish.

Thank you so much for choosing our family. I hope one day you can read these letters and know how much you changed my life and how grateful I am that you are here.

I love you son.

Love, mommy


I've got a bone to pick. Usually I'm not this bugged by the little things but it just has to be said:

People who protest getting their picture taken really bug me.

It's not that I don't dislike these people all of the time. In fact I have quite a few friends and family who just wince whenever the camera is pointed their way. I even had a friend at work who flat-out refused to have her picture taken for our website - period, regardless of the consequences (and the consequence was that no one got their picture taken for the website).

And it's not that I don't understand the way your stomach lurches when you see a REALLY bad picture of yourself. REALLY: I understand. But really IT'S INCREDIBLY SELFISH. When you are away from your family, either separated by death or distance, the one way your loved ones are going to be able to remember your face eventually is by the pictures they have of you. So really, you're only hurting the people who love you by not letting people take your picture. Plus you make it really awkward for people who think you look just great!

And even if you do have a little extra junk in your trunk or a big honkin zit on your nose, or you're lying in a hospital bed in one of those sick gowns with crazy hair and your dad takes a picture of you all sweaty with snot comming out of your nose cuz you're on the phone with your sister, crying cuz she is crying and you just had a baby and you have been up for several hours and you honestly can't remember a picture when you looked so bad.... NO ONE CARES BUT YOU!! Also, invest in some Spanx.

We're not taking your picture because we want you to feel all self-conscious and if you don't object we're not going to think you are conceited. In fact, if you just smile and wave or ignore us completely we are going to be much happier and come home with great shots of the people we care about most. The truth is we just love you and want to have pictures of the ones we love.


ali, photographer of beautiful people inside and out

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Conference Weekend 2008

It's become somewhat of a tradition on conference weekend to head down to the OC to visit with Zach's family. And this weekend was no exception. Franky LOVES his Grandma Sumsion. He spent a good part of the weekend asleep in her arms or over her shoulder. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. He also loves my mom. I think they can just tell when they're in the arms of someone who loves them.. and someone who's already mastered the art of soothing a newborn. It's hard work being so small!

Franky also really got to experience his older cousins for the first time. Jessika is becoming quite the little princess. You can tell she really loves her older brother.

Jace is just a little charmer. It's so fun to see his personality emerge. He loves to make his little sister laugh. He came with us to TV Hill to shoot guns and Grandpa Sumsion had him pull the string to release the clay pigeons. He loves to help. We climbed a big hill and found some moss. He was so intrigued by it all. So smart... It's fun to see him riding around on his 4-wheeler. I can't wait until Franky gets to this fun age.

Until next time...

Love, ali

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Journalistic blog

Franky smiled at me yesterday for the first time. It was probably the most exciting moment motherhood has presented so far. I've been reading along in the week-by-week baby book my neighbor lent to me and it talked about how by week 6 he should be smiling at people he recognizes. So I've been working on it with him.

I'll put my face directly above his about 12 inches and talk and coo at him. And yesterday I got my reward: a big fat smile from my most favorite creature of all time. I've yet to capture a picture of this beautiful sight. I almost don't want to. It's like our little secret that he knows who I am:

I'm his mommy.

Love, ali

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Makes you think...

1. In Citizen Kane, the main character’s last word before dying is “Rosebud,” which is discovered later to be the name of a favorite childhood sled. The idea is that this rich, powerful, hated man, in his last moment, finds himself thinking of happy, innocent times. If the film were about your life, what word might you utter in similar sentiment?

I have vivid memories of growing up in Murray and most of them involve playing in the backyard with Mattie and Danielle. My dad built us a playhouse and we would take turns jumping off the roof when we felt brave enough. We would dress up in my mom's scarves and play indians. Then we would climb the fence to the neighbors house to suck the nectar out of he honeysuckle that grew along the fence and swing on their swingset. Oh the things that bring joy to a child...

2. In Groundhog Day, the main character is forced to live the same day again and again until he has learned to love others and to love himself. If you found yourself in an endless loop, living one day repeatedly until you learned the lesson that was holding you back, what would that lesson be?

I have a bad habit of automatically assuming people don't like me. I think it's some sort of defense mechanism. I take a long time to really trust people but I'm working on that.

3. In Freaky Friday, a mother and daughter who have difficulty understanding each other find themselves each living the other’s life (occupying the other’s body and everything!). If this were to happen to you for similar reasons, whose body would you wake up in?

I would switch bodies with Mattie because I never had roommates and the opportunities to grow that living away from home presents. I would make her life a happy one.

4. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones has to jump into an underground room filmed with the one thing that freaks him out: snakes. “Why did it have to be snakes?” he asks. If the movie were about you, what would you see in the underground room?

Spiders. I really hate spiders. Ask Packy.

5. In Parenthood, a main character explains to her husband that she loves the ups and downs of family life,
she finds it exhilarating and says "I happen to love the roller coaster." Do you love the roller coaster or would you rather be on the merry go round?

I don't know that I wouldn't take the merry go round. It's hard to say. Of course the times my family has really come together have been during the trials. But sometimes there's things you wish you could change because someone's life is so hard and you just can't make decisions for people. In that sense the roller coaster scares me so. I need to a be more accepting of others' free will even when their choices create chaos in their life.

Please feel free to answer these on your own blog!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Unveiling of the Chair

So here's how I did it:

I started out turning the chair upside down and spray painting the legs.

Then I turned it right side up and finished painting the rest of the chair.

Next came the cushions. I actually don't HATE that fabric but it is really dirty and kind of gives off a 70's vibe. I chose a houndstooth print to match my classic decor in the lviing room.

I started by cutting the fabric and folding in the sides. Then I used a staple gun to secure the fabric on all sides and corners.

Here's the before and after shot of the seats.

Then I screwed the seats back on and VIOLA!

Turned out pretty nice, wouldn't ya say?

Love, Crafty McCraftersons

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sneak Peek

While I'm not quite ready to share the finished product I wanted to give you a sneak peak at what I'll be posting about tomorrow. I was inspired by Kimba and her many furniture rehabs to renovate the chairs we've got in our living room. We've had them since we were married and have been using them for extra seating. Here's their before picture:

The spray paint and rags in the picture might give you an idea of what I've done. I've finished one but haven't had time to take the "after" pics. I'm gonna try to finish the others tonight and get those pics taken so I can show you my final product tomorrow before we head out to the O.C. for the weekend.

Eeep! Can you tell I'm excited??

Love, ali

Oh snap...

Click here to find out more. Ha ha!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Livejournal rehash

Boy oh boy, Live Journal just keeps bringing back the memories. This time I found myself reading the old LJ of a boy I dated right after high school who was somehow still on my friends list. We'll call him Double A.

So AA was a year younger than me and probably one of the most interesting people I've ever met. He was an ex-raver turned straight-edge. He was a poet and a philosopher and was big into Reiki. He was definitely a wordsmith in many ways. He would tell me stories of all sorts - about himself, his family, people he knew, etc. And at the time I thought about 50% of what he'd tell me was made up. But now that I think back probably about 90% of it was made up. He was a great liar. I know that doesn't sound like a compliment but he'd do it in sort of a joking way and just push it as far as he could until I called him out on it. And even then most of the time he'd still just let me believe what I would.

AA wasn't fat but he was somewhat of a big boy. One time I was telling him that my mom was thinking of going on the Atkins diet. At that point he told me he'd lost 50 lbs on that diet. I just remember saying how cool that was and he just let it go. But thinking back, it was all a ruse. LOL

Anyways, I just read a lot of his LJ and remembered a lot of funny things and tidbits from that era of my life I'd forgotten about. It's crazy to think I've now been married for 4 years and have a little brown eyed baby sleeping on my chest (or maybe they're blue, they change every day I swear). My how our tastes change. But that time in my life still makes me laugh. And I'm glad time sweetens memories. I'm grateful to have had relationships with some memorable characters. Because they all led me to the craziest character of all: