Sunday, October 26, 2014

43/52

 
A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014. 

She likes to make us soup every day in her play kitchen. 

xo 
-Ali

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Beginnings of a Toddler Garden



You may remember when we were living in our last rental what nightmares we encountered with the little backyard; there was the mess, the dead cat in a garbage bag, the sod failures, the lavender failure, the overall failure of it all. Thankfully, we're in a rental now with a great backyard with no dead cats to be seen! The one problem area that we have is at the very end of the grass where it just won't grow; the gardener says it needs a sprinkler but it always seems to be wet, so who knows!? It may be the amount of shade from all of the tall trees and shrubs we have in that corner. Rory and I thought about building a bench and putting some potted plants around it to give that dirt patch some life, but after seeing some cute toddler gardens on Pinterest, I decided to go that route. I liked the idea of Logan having her own flowers to take care of and playing in the dirt is a sensory necessity!

I got some cheap plastic flower bed borders from Lowe's, two annuals for her to water, I put some garden decor I had lying around in there along with her watering can and some gardening tools... done. I am kind of dying over these mini flamingos and may need to get them for her little space.

She had a lot of fun in there for its first run yesterday and I'll be scouring Pinterest for any more ideas to add to her little garden. Do you have any?

xo
-Ali

Friday, October 17, 2014

42/52

A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps.


Ten weeks left in this year... an odd realization in this weeks portrait.

xo
-Ali

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Calm in the Storm



It's been a very difficult week. The weird thing about having a blog is that you're sharing your life with strangers, ghosts of your past who still have an interest in your life, family, friends.. mostly strangers and there's some things that you just can't share. When there's heartbreak and fear living inside me, I write; so here I am writing as much as I can to feel like I've "opened myself" up enough to feel some sense of relief for the time being. Perhaps you're thinking, "Wow that's vague. Thanks a lot!" but let's remember that this blog of mine isn't really for the entertainment of the world, it's for me to have a bit of an outlet and also to be what it started as; a way for family far away to keep up with Logan.

The weather has been ominous today with little bits of sunshine peeking through on occasion and I can't help but feel the need to be cliche and say that the weather perfectly represents life right now; there may be darkness, but there's sunshine behind it all. There's Logan and my husband and the fact that we're all alive and overall healthy, there's God, there's faith and hope, there's things to look forward to and memories to make. No matter what happens in life, there's always love.

xo
-Ali

Friday, October 10, 2014

41/52

 
A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014. 

It's just her and I this week. Rory left Wednesday night for a business trip and we won't see him until the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. 

 xo 
-Ali

**see all of Logan's 2014 portraits here**

Friday, October 3, 2014

Girl Friends



I've been mulling over the idea of this blog post in my brain for a few weeks now and I suppose the healthy thing is to sit down and actually write it.

I can remember back to being in Kindergarten and being "one of the boys". My two BFFs were Brent and Justin; we played ninja turtles all the time and we never strayed from each other at playtime. Most school days, in the midst of our awesome ninja play, I'd be interrupted by a girl (named Kendall, I believe) who would say "you're not a boy! You have to play mermaids with the girls." I never felt like I was out of place with Brent and Justin, I felt like I was where I belonged and I enjoyed playing "boy games" with them.

All throughout my childhood, I can think of my best friend at school.. always a boy. I started to have a few girlfriends but never enjoyed the sleepovers I was invited to or the girly chit chat. I think my first best girl friend was in junior high.. she came to my Catholic school and rocked our naive class of thirty two; she talked about sex and kissing (let's just say this girl had seen more than she ever should have for a thirteen year old). I didn't like that she always flaked on me to go make out with one or more of our boy classmates by the sheds where they kept the basketball equipment, I didn't like that I always turned in to a third wheel, nor did I like being her cover for her grandparents. I continued this friendship with her in to high school for a few years until she ended up moving up North (my mother was relieved to say the least).

My first day of high school, I walked in to my elected ceramics class and stumbled upon  a tight knit group of boys (they were childhood friends); I was immediately smitten with them all.. not in a crush worthy way, but they made me laugh and I loved them for it. My first two years of high school were spent laughing with them in all the classes we shared, hanging out as cool as can be at our designated lunch table, and when they graduated the other two years of my high school experience were spent going to their shows at the American Legion Hall and all the other dumpy places in the Valley that their bands played. These boys were my entire teenage world. I called the one I felt closest to every time I felt like I wanted to "die".. he was my saving grace for a lot of years and without his friendship, I don't know how I would've gotten through my self inflicted tragic high school years.

This group of boys have remained my friends.. the one I just mentioned above was one of my bridesmaids; these boys are still my family. They eventually brought girlfriends in to the group with them, sometimes I bonded, sometimes I didn't.. mostly I didn't want to bond with them. I had already formed an opinion about these girlfriends because I simply never had any girl friends and wasn't interested in having any; my boys were all I needed.

After I got married and the drinking and house parties stopped, I felt like I was being abandoned by my boys.. I couldn't see at the time that we just didn't enjoy doing the same things any more. Especially after Logan was born.. I was shocked and devastated that they didn't come visit us. In hindsight I can understand.. what guy even thinks "gee, let's go meet a new baby"? Maybe if I had wanted to have a big barbecue with beer and carne asada, they would've come. 
Something motherhood has taught me: boys are not mothers and they do not think like mothers nor do they have the compassion women do for new mothers. I know they love me, they love Rory, they love Logan.. they just are wired differently and that's when I started opening my heart to friendships with females.

Two years ago, if you asked me to name my best friends, I'd name a list of a dozen or so guys.. now, (though I still hold those guys super close to my heart) I name  girls. When I am feeling bad, I call my best girl friends. When I want to get together with another adult, I call my best girlfriends. When the rare occasion comes that I see this group of guys, I hang out with their wives.

I never valued the importance of having female relationships until I needed them; when I became a mom. It's so important to connect with someone who completely understands you because you're just made the same way.. you have similar emotions and expectations, you mature at the time same, you value things differently than your male friends. It's taken me twenty nine years to see how much I need girl friends and how much more I connect with a female now than before when I was single and close minded.

I cherish my girl friends, and I feel relieved to be at this point in life where I'm okay with the fact that I need them.

xo
-Ali

40/52


A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014.

We're taking full advantage of being outside (despite this weeks heat) because the winds are picking up already!

xo
-Ali