Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Real Backyard

When I came to this house for the first time, I was blown away at the size, the hardwood floors, and then I saw the backyard. I imagined Logan playing.. really playing out there. I imagined painting and playdough and water play and running in the grass area that was bigger than our former yard! 
Here we are, fully settled in to our home and our awesome backyard.. our real backyard. Not a courtyard or a side yard or a pass through from the house to the garage; a real yard. Rory and I scored a few weekends ago with some new patio furniture. We found the bench at Lowe's for 50% off (and an additional 10% because it was the display one) and we found the two chairs at World Market for 50% off the same day! I gave our little Target side table that I've had for years a makeover with a can of spray paint that we had in the garage and voila.. a bright and vibrant seating area. I joked and told Rory that whenever people come over we should say, "This is our patio, sponsored by Skittles." I love that this space is a rainbow of colors.. it's happy!

I brought twenty eight out of my formerly sixty three potted plants with us to our new home and they all are thriving here; the sun was so harsh at our last place and we get some beautiful shade from the hibiscus trees in the patio area here that they seem to be pretty happy with. I love having this lush space; there's nothing more peaceful to me than taking a few moments to go outside and water all of my plants.. I am so happy to have this little getaway right outside.
We've already made some great memories in our yard and we've only been here since the end of June! Rory and I reflected on that the other day, "we've only been here for seven weeks!" It feels like we've always been here, like we belong here; this is our home and it feels so sweet.
Each week day, Logan and I go outside after her nap and we play. We play in her little wading pool, we play with the playdough I made for her, we water the plants together, we draw with chalk, we paint, we dance, we run.. we make the most out of our space and we enjoy it.

xo
-Ali

Friday, August 15, 2014

33/52

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

She's been a delightful little handful this week; sand in her eyes twice, but I am loving how adventurous she is.  She's not afraid to go off on her own and figure things out by herself. She's always been pretty independent, but it's definitely amazing to see her problem solve and discover how to do things without any help.

 xo 
-Ali

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fall Picks for Logan

Hip Hip HOORAY!! Summer is almost over!
Summer coming to an end means better weather and most importantly, kids are going back to school! Though I don't have a child in school, I look forward to other peoples' kids going back because it makes outings so much easier and nicer; I can find parking easily and all of the places we go to play are not flooded with a bunch of camp kids.

This Summer was a hot and grotesquely humid one; I think Southern California got confused and wanted to be Florida for a while. We maybe had three days of "June Gloom" and a few sprinkles of rain
; I am ready for the cold (the California cold). I am ready for fires in the fireplace, I am ready for the holidays, I am ready for hoodies, and I am ready for warm socks.

Logan's closet is packed full of rompers, short sleeves and shorts right now.. I am ready to put in some leggings and cute cardigans!
one: flower tee shirt at Retro Kids  // two: red treggings at H&M  // three. critter hoodie at Crazy8  //  four. livie&luca navy ruche flat at Zappos  //  five. lace striped tee at Target  //  six. striped skinny leggings at Baby Gap  //  seven. cat headband at Baby Gap //  eight. tortoise print fashion glasses at Target //  nine. livie&luca London boot at Zappos //  ten. swiss dot flutter top at Old Navy //  eleven. polka dot treggings at H&M

I am also ready for my electric bill to be cut in half. Running the A/C for a few hours in the afternoon is pretty expensive!

xo
-Ali

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mama Fails (v.2)

I was tickling Logan on my lap and she squirmed so much that she fell right off and slammed her head in to the wall.

More times than not, I manage to hit her head on the frame of the car as I'm trying to get her in to it.

I've ran over her toes with the vacuum twice so far; it's hard because she chases it!

While we were leaving the post office, I went to grab my keys from my bag.. when I got them out they flew out of my hands and hit Logan in the head. She gave me a super stink eye.

I yelled "Shit!" in the car and Logan said "shit shit shit shit shit" for a good remainder of the car ride . Thankfully I haven't heard her say it again!

While watering the plants outside, I've turned and accidentally drenched her with the hose.

For the second time in her life, I caught her neck in the car seat buckle.

I looked away from Logan for a millisecond as she was walking down the final two stairs and CRASH! In to the baby gate she went.

Do you have any mom fail moments to share? I'd love to hear!

xo
-Ali

Friday, August 8, 2014

32/52


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

She's burst in to a full blown kid all of a sudden. It's easy to have conversations with her; she says and understands so much. It's sinking in that she'll be two in about three and a half months and it's sort of killing me on the inside at the same time. Something I'm really loving about her right now is how much she loves trucks, planes, trains and cars (my girl!).

xo
-Ali

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

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

As Time Goes By


Every Monday, Logan and I do our grocery shopping.. every Thursday morning is Gymboree; we have a routine; we get up, eat breakfast, go to our designated play dates or errands in the morning, lunch, nap, outside play, dinner, bedtime... the days just slip away so quickly and most  run like a well oiled machine; one day in to the next. Today, after our splash pad play date, Logan and I took a much needed Costco trip.. as we went to check out, I noticed their displays of Halloween decor and costumes, "What!? It's August!". Then it sank in; it's already August which means September and October are just around the corner. The holidays are quickly approaching, Logan's second birthday is quickly approaching... life is moving so quickly and I don't want to miss it.

People always stop me in the market to compliment Logan and they always leave me with, "Enjoy this age.. it goes by so fast" or "I miss my babies being that age" and I never really thought anything of it; it's something I hear often. But today, my daughter is already twenty months old, our two year lease that I feel like we just signed in our last home would have been up at the end of this month, Rory and I are celebrating three years of marriage in a few weeks.. it doesn't seem like much time has passed, but it truly has.

Rory and I were driving home late Sunday night and I was reminiscing being on the 405 freeway in Orange County.. I spent a lot of time on that freeway going back and forth from Los Angeles to San Clemente and Mission Viejo when I lived there. I started to think about myself at that age (my early twenties) and it's strange to think that I am that same person. I am that same girl who went through horribly abusive relationships, moved to Orange County to escape. I am the same girl who partied hard, loved hard, and was very broken. When I think that Rory and I have been together for about six years now, I can think "that's so long", but it really isn't. Only six years ago, I was a damaged little girl who saw no happiness in sight.. only six years have passed and I am happy; truly happy with my husband and my daughter. Those six years seem like a lifetime ago, like another persons life entirely and I am only remembering it from stories I've heard and I feel sorry for that girl.


My grandpa says, "You are twenty and then you blink and you're sixty."
I am starting to see the truth in that; starting to say "aha" to the people that have told me it goes by too fast.

Something that I am taking away from all of this is to just enjoy today. I have always been a worrier; stressing about the next thing and never just living in the moment. Since we've settled in to our new home, I have made a major effort to change that; "enjoy this moment", "put your phone down", "you can take care of that task later" are all things I am telling myself on a daily basis. I don't want to spend my life worrying about the future and miss out on what wonderful things are happening right now.


                 "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
-Matthew 6:34



I have an hour glass tattooed on my arm to remember that verse daily. It slipped away from me for a while, but I am making an effort to live that way and to stop and enjoy these precious days before they're gone.

xo
-Ali

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Funk

I am in a bit of a funk lately and I'm not quite sure how to pull myself out of it. It all started with the move I suppose; everything happened so quickly and as soon as we were moved in, I finally stopped to notice that my ears hadn't felt normal for a week or so. I mentioned to Rory what was going on and if my inner ears still felt swollen, I'd go to the doctor. The next day I pulled in to my garage and everything started spinning as soon as I stopped the car. I took some deep breaths and nothing helped. I had to get Logan out of the sweltering car, so I dizzily carried her in to the house, layed down on the floor and watched everything spin around me for an hour. I felt like that was the point that I needed to see a doctor. I crawled upstairs and sat down on the computer to look and see what doctor accepted our insurance and the internet was out! I got on my phone and I had no network to search either. Between entertaining Logan, the room spinning, and holding the line with AT&T for forty five minutes, I finally had network to find the nearest urgent care and their operating hours. Rory got home just in time for me to rush out the door.

The doctor put me on a heavy dose on antibiotics for a little over a week and my symptoms were getting worse; I was dropping knives while preparing meals, burning myself on the oven racks, walking in to walls, forgetting what I was talking about mid sentence.. needless to say, I went back to the doctor. He ran some neurological tests and he was happy with all the results but scheduled an MRI for me just in case. I frantically searched my symptoms online and of course the internet diagnosed me with cancer and MS (never Google your symptoms.. especially if you have anxiety).
My MRI was on Tuesday morning and I got a call back on Wednesday with the results: no abnormalities in the brain or auditory canals. Good news, right? Well, yes.. but my ears are still swollen, my balance is off, I am forgetful (I sent a resume with typos.. good job self), I am very tired.
I don't feel like something dire is going on with me.. the doctor did say he thought it was vertigo and that it could last for up to six months, but I just feel off. I feel like I am a  shell of myself; I don't want to talk too much because I know I'll forget what I am talking about, I am fearful of exercise because I don't want to collapse by myself with Logan (am I being dramatic?), I want to fall asleep as soon as Logan does.
 
I don't know if it's vertigo or the awful humidity and heat or if it's all the stress and anxiety I went through last month still making it's way out.. I'm just ready for whatever it is to go away so I can be a normal functioning person again.

xo
-Ali