Monday, December 19, 2011

Friendship

Since I've moved out to the burbs I've experienced a lot of changes. Some really obvious ones include: new house with room to move, new city, a new baby, a new church, etc. But something very unexpected has happened to me out here. I find myself surrounded by friends.

Friendship is something I've struggled with since I was a child. And I know a lot of people had it so much worse than me. But I was bullied a little bit in elementary school and it left scars I'm just now beginning to realize exist (thanks, therapy). And then in junior high and high school I blossomed and met some really amazing people I still think about often and miss to this day. But in my "adult life", I've really struggled to meet people and feel the same kind of connection I had with my high school buddies.

But here I am, at twenty six years old, and I find myself buoyed up by this amazing network of girlfriends. And I feel so blessed. These women. I can't even describe how good it feels to know someone has your back no matter what. They overlook my flaws and my insecurities and they just love me for who I am. They appreciate the things I am good at and they are generous with their support and encouragement, not to mention the various acts of service I witness on an almost daily basis. It's very humbling at times. They have taught me what it means to be a friend and in turn I have found myself developing a small taste of this love called charity.

I don't know if there is really a single reason for why things happen they way they do but I really believe we moved to this particular house in this particular neighborhood so I could experience these friendships. And I am so much better for having them in my life.

love, ali

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recent reads



I love books. I love the way they smell and the weight of them in my hands. I have a special fondness for used books with dogeared pages and notes in the margins.

I'm afraid I could never own a Kindle or the like. I love owning books and hope to be a crazy grandma who refuses to acknowledge that the rest of society has moved on while I sit in my big library, surrounded by a mizillion old farty books. It's better than cats right?

Here are a few I have read recently:


I cried in spite of myself. Beautifully written, makes me want to make out. Just sayin...

My sister said I had to read this before I see the movie. And I want to see the movie. But the book was lovely really. I loved the relationships between the characters. It made me ache for my brother Mitch who is far far away in Korea. There were a few slow parts but most of the time I couldn't put it down.


I read this in about three days. It was a page turner and I would highly recommend it. I loved the dynamics between the main character and her frienemies. I empathized with this girl a lot which made me enjoy the read that much more.

love, ali

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving

I'm a day (or two) late and a dollar short. But here, in no particular order, are a handful of the things I am particularly grateful for this year:

My friends (not all pictured, of course)

Photography and the people it brings into my life

What this sport does for my mind, body and soul

These little guys

This big guy

Happy T-day!

love, ali

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The SLC

Had the opportunity to take some family pics in downtown Salt Lake today. I miss it. I'm not gonna lie. I get a little homesick every time I find myself down there. Especially now, as I scan the busy streets with a photographers eye. I miss the food and the greenery and the people. I could live there again in a heartbeat. But I could never afford my current home in the burbs were it located in the city. And I'd have to leave all my friends. Bloom where you're planted, right?






love, ali

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Good riddance

So I want to blog more. And write more letters to my missionary brother. And write in my real journal more often. And I had this big plan for Sundays. There's always time to write on Sunday!

And then today happened. And today was really really crappy. And it's all my fault. Which makes the crappiness of this day all that much worse.

I am a worrier. I worry about dumb things. Little things. Little people. Things and people and the things they may or may not think or do that in 5 years, or 5 month really won't be a blip on the radar.

And I'm learning to not let those things rule my life.

But I didn't today. Today I moped around and let my bad mood rule the day. I got annoyed at the kids and argued with my husband. And Franky was a wild man, going from room to room wreaking havoc (this is not an exaggeration).

I just wish someone would come over and tell me what to do with this kid sometimes. I know I'm doing something wrong, I just don't know how to fix it. It it an ADD thing? Is he not getting enough attention?

It's like the potty training issue. He totally knows how to go on the potty. And there have been times I've really pushed it. But he's backslid so much that now he won't even tell me when he's pooped in his diaper which often results in diaper rash and me being EXTREMELY annoyed.

I love these little boys, I love them so much. But that doesn't mean that really crappy days don't exist in the parenting department over here.

love, ali

PS. Here are some pictures I found of happier times from the summer, before seasonal defective disorder began ruling our lives.










Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thoughts on religion

Honesty.

God help me, it's so hard for me to do. I don't mean to say that I am a liar (although I can't say I've never lied). But to just be who I am without apologies or censorship and to be honest about who I really am and what I believe. That is something I struggle with.

Most often I want to be who you want me to be. Did we conversate today? You can almost guarantee I was thinking carefully about the words I was saying and how they would be perceived. To the point of obsession at times, I can assure you. And that is not something I admit with ease.

I am uncertain about many things. Though i don't really know if uncertain is the right phrase. Searching? Maybe? Indecisive. Insecure. Trying to find the right fit.

Lately I've been thinking a lot lately about my beliefs in a Higher Power. I was raised in a Mormon family and I attend a Mormon church. I serve with a group of women charged with leading the young ladies in my congregation. I pray on a daily basis. I search my scriptures for inspiration and guidance. I partake of the sacrament with a purposeful heart.

And yet... and here's the honesty part: not every single thing about Mormon doctrine makes my heart sing.

And so I've been searching, heart and soul and doctrine and other people with real life experience, and I've spent a lot of time on my knees.

So here comes the honesty part: I believe that I have a Savior who loves me. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that it will be a joyous day when I return to his loving arms after this life. I know that we are here for a purpose and that mostly that purpose is to do the best we can to help each other and learn to love each other and honestly, this religion helps me do that.


Love, ali




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Neglect

I'm sorry bloggy. You have been suffering from severe neglect. Usually when I don't blog for a long time it's because things are not going well. But I can honestly say that is not the case. In fact, it's about as far from the case as you can get. I am just really, really busy. Good, better, best, right?

Blogging is good but I've been filling my time lately with things like running, date nights with Zach, taking the kids to the park, kickboxing, girls nights, taking lots and lots of pictures, rough housing my boys, cleaning my house, taking Franky to joy-school, reading good books, reading the good book, reading the other good book, rescuing orphans from kidnappers who make them retrieve giant diamonds from very small caves,

wait. That was just a movie I watched with Franky.

I've been watching a lot of movies with Franky too.

Anyways, I'll get back to regular postings but if we're not friends on Facebook yet, shoot me an add. Then you'll always be eligible for all the up to the minute news on all things "me."

Until next time...

love always,

ali

Sunday, August 21, 2011

For Mitch

video

For my brother in Korea

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SAHM


This choice is not easy, this stay at home mom gig. I never thought I would say that. It's all I've ever wanted to be. I always thought the choice to stay home with my kids was the easy thing as opposed to simply the best thing. It's exhausting and frustrating mixed with exhilarating and fun and oh so heart warming. But there's good day and bad days, just like in a "job" job. But the difference is that these are my children, they are my everything, and I feel like the stakes are so high...

But I'm learning that it's okay to say "I can't do this 24/7 for weeks at a time without a single break... ever." I'm learning it's okay and even crucial that I have time for myself and my photography is allowing for a lot of that. But when it's not, I'm taking time away from the children to think and learn and grow (and shop and get a pedicure). And it's enabling me to be a better mother.


These photos of me and my boys are such a treasure. As a photographer I don't have a lot of pictures of myself. Especially of me and my kids. And I hope the images I'm creating for people give them the same sort of warm feeling these pictures give me. They make me realize why I do this day in and day out.

love, ali

My most loyal clients






These guys keep coming back for more. I tell myself it's because of my dynamic personality and good looks.

love, ali

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Photography - Drew, Krista and baby McCoy

You know those people that just excel in everything they do in life? Yeah, these guys fit that mold. And at the same time? Salt of the earth.




They are my neighbors and you can't have them. Unless of course, you happen to be one of my other neighbors.

love, ali

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This is what I do

A little bit of what I've been up to lately...

Isn't she just precious? The only way she would sit on this blanket with that look on her face is mom singing "itsy bitsy spider". SO CUTE


Don't worry, I told his mom to get him into modeling immediately. He was so cooperative and happy the entire session. He kept thinking up new poses and asking me to take individual shots of him.

And this little boy. There is just something special about him. Just the sweetest guy, not to mention the rest of this family.

I think the thing I love most about photography is getting to know all of these people. Some of them I've known for years and some I'm meeting through my craft. But the more people I meet the less nervous I become about the social aspect of this job. People are generally kind and loving and excited about the memories we're capturing.

More to come, if you can believe it.

love, ali

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Coming up for air

I know, it's been a while. But I've been so busy I just haven't had blogging time. Mostly just kids stuff and lots of photo sessions. I've got a million photos and various thoughts on life just waiting to be blogged. So watch for those and maybe a self portrait or two since I finally cut off all my hair. =)


A couple of weeks ago we did a little photoshoot for the girls in our ward. Can you believe these girls? Gorgeous. And that field? With that delicious light? Just steps from my front door.

Sometimes it pays to live in the burbs

love, ali

Monday, July 4, 2011

The passing of a patriarch


















































We knew his time on earth was coming to an end. On the way home from the Ragnar Zach called to say I wouldn't be coming home to a hot bath and a sorely needed nap. I would be taking a quick shower and then we would be rushing up to the hospital. Grandpa was not doing very well.


That was probably the understatement of the year. As we walked into his room the sight of his body, struggling to hang on to his last moments of life was a stark contrast to the powerful spirit you felt as you entered the room. If you've ever seen someone on the verge of death you probably know what I'm talking about. Painful and emotional. As we looked down on this man whom we loved so much struggling to breathe the spirit spoke so strongly to me in a voice that was not my own:






"We are not our bodies and this is not the end."






Although he had sufferend greatly and we know he is in a better place, the funeral was a very sad and poignant day for our family. But personally it was so sad to see Grandma, sitting in her wheelchair near the casket, fresh from the hospital herself.


I never really understood why they called him "Grumpy." He always greeted us with a hug and a smile and wanted to know all about what was going on in our lives. He was an avid follower of my blog. AVID. Checking my stat counter is a stark reminder of the fact that he is gone. He was the only ninety year old man I knew on Facebook. But we know we will see him again and more importantly we know that Grandma be with him again.






love, ali

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let me count the ways...



I love that you can talk me out of my anxiety.

I love that you see the best in me and often tell me about it.

I love how you pause a show and make me watch this one part just to see me laugh out loud.

I love the way you calm a sick child even as he's puking all over you.

And that's just from today.



love, wifey






Monday, June 20, 2011

Ragnar 2011




You wouldn't think riding around in a van for two days with 5 other women, constantly running and getting sweaty with very little sleep would be fun. But I'll tell you something, it's just about the funnest thing I've ever done.


That's AM people. And I'd already been up for about 30 minutes.


There's me!


Between the above two pictures you can see who was all in our van. I was sad we didn't get to know the other half of our team very well but I was so grateful I got to know these women. They are all amazing human beings and such an inspiration to me.


Ragnar was amazing! I don't remember where this picture was taken but just about the entire course was this beautiful. I'm so glad I did it and am already excited for Ragnar 2012!

love, ali