Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 29, 2008

Back in the swing of things


I love getting back in the swing of things.

I am one of those people that loves the holidays and then loves to put all the stuff away and get back to whatever is coming next. Around here that includes a legislative session for Chris beginning on the 12th, Simon heading back to school on the 6th, and getting ready for a new baby coming soon.

I have spent the last couple of days hanging out with Chris and Simon, re-organizing Simon's room, working on the baby room, reading this, and putting away the holiday stuff.


We had a very lovely low-key holiday that was just right. Dinner at Chris' parents on Christmas Eve and then dinner here on Christmas Day.

My favorite thing this year? Cooking with Chris a good part of Christmas Day. He made the pie crust (his first one ever and it was awesome) and arranged the pork crown roast. I did the pie filling (cranberry & pear), the apple pecan stuffing, the pureed turnips (which were surprisingly good), and the gravy. The best part was just doing it together – I really loved that. Actually it was probably my favorite present.

The recipes we followed can be found here.


It was definitely a Star Wars Christmas in 2008. Books, figures, ships, etc (hence the need for a room reorganization) from family aunts & uncles, friends, and grandparents.

One of the most magical things at our house this year was that Santa
put new Star Wars sheets on Simon's bed while he was sleeping. That
Santa is pretty sneaky and it's pretty amazing that Simon slept through the whole thing. I think this could be one of those really special memories for years to come…

Hope you all had a lovely holiday and have been thinking a bit about a word for 2009. I am pretty sure I have chosen mine and will be sharing it on the 31st.


The last three pages of my December Daily will be posted later today (finished them up last night but wanted to wait for better light for taking photos of them).

Also, look for a very special giveaway this Wedenesday.


  • 1.
    Gayl Staffler said…

    The best thing about the simple word is having chosen one last year, keeping the committment and being ready to move on to a new word in 2009. Deceisions, decisions. Thanks to you for such a life altering idea.

  • 2.
    Amy Dow said…

    Ali, we had quite the Star Wars Christmas here as well but our Santa wasn’t quite that slick (and my boy sleeps on the top bunk so that would be “interesting” ) but I am always amazed at your energy! Really, the holidays and a new baby and your cooking all day…way to go! I wanted to thank you for taking the time to post all those cool homemade Christmas projects a few weeks ago. I made 3 of them for my 2 sisters and my mom. The best was the button tree because I made 3 small trees using all my Grandmother’s old buttons. My 2 grown nieces requested trees for next year! I also made them each a Christmas collage and a monogramed ornament. It was really fun to do and some of my favorite gifts to give…so thank you for sharing your creative ideas with people like me who love to create but aren’t exactly “creative”. I’ve even saved photos and tidbits from this month and I am quickly creating a Dec. daily for myself. Next year I will start at the beginning of the month and do it the right way but it just feels good to get some of the thoughts and memories down all together in one small book. Enjoy your week of “nesting” and again, thank you for sharing!

  • 3.

    Good Morning!
    Boy you are on the ball! Today is my clean-up day…
    I just had to comment about your oven/stove/range. For some weird reason, out here in ‘no mans land’ all ‘the girls’ are getting commercial ovens/ranges/stoves. Things that start at $2,500 and go on up to $5,000. Drives me crazy!!! I mean, do brownies really taste any better??? I’m sure there are benefits, but ‘keeping it real’ seems to be lacking in my neck of the woods.
    Thanks for being real – meaning, focusing on the important things in life, instead of the superficial.
    (I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this! Oh well!)…
    I think my word for 2009 is ‘Real’

  • 4.
    clgarrett said…

    star wars christmas at our home too!
    but that sheet idea is a really good one…
    i’m with you on the decorating, always glad to see it but so glad when it’s put away!
    can’t wait to see more of the album!

  • 5.
    Renee' said…

    I don’t know how you pulled off the sheets…by WTG!!! Can’t wait to see your last couple of pages! When are you due again?

  • 6.
    Renee' said…

    I don’t know how you pulled off the sheets…by WTG!!! Can’t wait to see your last couple of pages! When are you due again?

  • 7.
    Emily said…

    Ali, that is awesome about the Star Wars sheets that Santa put on Simon’s bed. When I was little my parents built a whole new canopy bed for me and put me in it in my room and I never woke up throughout the whole process and that is something to this day over 20 years later I still remember and am in awe of. :) Glad you had a nice holiday and Happy New Year.

  • 8.
    Juju said…

    I´m far far away from Oregon – in Europe and sitting at work in the office. I just saw the picture of Simon unwrapping his parcel and I had to smile. I remeber when I unwwrapped my LEGO Police Station (well… it was about 25 years ago!) and I was so proud and happy! Thanks for sharing with us your christmas memories!

  • 9.
    Ruth said…

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas Ali. How on earth did you get those sheets on the bed without Simon waking up???? Hope you have a great New Year too!

  • 10.
    Laura in Chicago said…

    I have been finishing up my 25 days of Christmas project. Our sons are 21 and 24 and it’s still been a lot of fun, different than it would have been at 1 and 4 but still lots of information and activity during the month. However I feel that stopping on the the 25th really stopped some great photos and journaling…. Since I’ve used your 25 Days of Christmas photo overlays extensively in this project I was wondering if you would consider creating an add on set for days 26 through 31???? I would love to be able to order those from Designer Digitals. Thanks and have a great New Year….

  • 11.
    Jenny said…

    Just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration and positive messages you send out into the world. Thank you!!

  • 12.
    Colleen said…

    Oh I sooo need to get my hands on that Wally Lamb book as he’s one of my favourite authors. His last book I just couldn’t put down!
    Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday!

  • 13.
    Kim said…

    …lovely… so wonderful looking in on your Christmas. And just the table alone – in your first photo warms my heart! Merry post Christmas to you Ali! ~ kim

  • 14.
    casie said…

    Everyday around my house is a Star Wars day so Christmas was no exception! My curiosity is piqued with whats in the giant box, but the look on his face says its the best thing ever!

  • 15.

    I love that you and Chris cooked together. How special! I already told my dh that next year I want us to do more of it together instead of doing things separately and then it all coming together on Christmas Day only.
    Have a wonderful new year’s eve!

  • 16.
    KarenB said…

    What a precious little smile on Simon’s face! I have loved watching him grow since I began reading your blog. Simple things, like cooking with your husband, are wonderful gifts. Enjoy the rest of your break and have a happy new year.

  • 17.
    Nanie said…

    Hi Ali,
    I often read your blog but I don’t post comments all the time lol !
    I love the first picture you’ve posted, and I love Simon’s face too :-)
    This year I’ve decided to choose a word too. I can’t wait to discover what’s yours !
    Enjoy your break !

  • 18.
    maureen said…

    My 2nd son was a StarWars fan about 30 years ago and it’s fun to see such a revival.
    I am working on documenting this last week of the year while on vacation but I do, in some ways, envy those of you who can start on the decoration removal. That awaits me when I leave the balmy beach. It’ll wait!
    I do have my 2009 word…Relax.

  • 19.
    Linda F said…

    I just LOVE the look on Simons face. Oh how I miss those “magical” Christmas mornings when the kids were little. My youngest is 17 and though I do enjoy it, it’s just not the same. And this year, all my kids were at their dads for Christmas which was hard for me. I had my husband and step-son, but just not the same – I missed them. I too have almost all my Christmas put away. Just the tree up until my daughter #2 gets home and we can finish up opening presents. I’m ready for a new year – a fresh start. Just love that!!

  • 20.
    alexandra said…

    New Star Wars sheets on Simon’s bed??!! Santa is something else!! Well done, Santa!!
    Happy to read that you and Chris had such a good time cooking together – times like that are good for the soul.
    Happy Holidays!

  • 21.
    sue Treiber said…

    Oh I wish I was one tenth as organized as you are!
    It sounds like you had a fabulous Christmas!

  • 22.
    Sandi said…

    Santa is full of great ideas! I have two boys (7 and 5) and it was also a Star Wars Christmas around here. I think it is amazing that a movie I saw at the age of ten is the favorite of my boys 32 years later. Will my sons children be getting Star Wars games?!?!
    Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I am off to start putting away some of my decorations too.

  • 23.
    poopsicle said…

    Ali, happy to read and see that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. I had a wonderful Christmas too because i came across your site and blog :-) . i work nights and enjoyed the 4 days off to catch up on emails and other stuff. I like to say Thank You for sharing your creativity with the rest of the world and congradulations on your new bundle of joy and enjoy your R&R. It has become a ritual to read/view your site before i have my nap now :-) . Thank U for being real and true to yourself.

  • 24.
    jennyrainbow said…

    Gotta love a man who cooks! My dh and I cook together too. Aw, Simon looks so excited. I’m looking forward to my word for the year again…last yrs. was right on.

  • 25.
    Liz Ness said…

    Man! That’s awesome that he slept through the Santa sheet change — bet he was sooooo surprised when he awoke to find those!
    Happy New Year to you all!

  • 26.
    Karen M. said…

    glad you had a quiet christmas…i think those are the best kind. i have been wanting to read that book…is it good??

  • 27.
    Melanie Brown said…

    We had a Star Wars Christmas at my house too! I would love to know what you are doing with the re-organization of the bedroom. My DS got 3 ships and I cannot figure out what to do with them. The are so big!

  • 28.
    Tona said…

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I can’t believe you were able to change Simon’s sheets without waking him up. Did you have a story ready just in case he woke up?

  • 29.

    My word for 2009 is: grow.
    I am hoping to grow a photography studio, grow in my love and obedience of Christ, and grow a baby a little later this year!
    Thank you for such wonderful inspiration!

  • 30.
    Artful Yogi said…

    Hooray for the happy holiday. I know I’m a geek, but have to compliment Chris on the way he is bending in balance. Many guys have such curved spines when reaching into the oven. He is bending in balance using his legs and not his spine. Good move!
    More info here:
    And enjoy your week.

  • 31.
    Heather said…

    Interesting book you are reading…are you really liking it? I so need to pick up a book and read. Seems like I’ve had a hard time getting one that really holds my attention lately. So excited to hear more about the word for 2009 and the new baby to come. Congratulations!

  • 32.
    Jung A said…

    i’m just like you, in that i LOVE to put out decorations, but i’m ready to pack it all up once Christmas has come and gone. we put all our decorations away on the 27th, while most of our friends and family are keeping them up for the “12 days of Christmas.”
    are you doing project 365 this year?

  • 33.
    Davinie said…

    I love how you are creative with everything, even coordinating with Santa on Star Wars sheets. That’s just awesome. Simon is a lucky boy.
    pureed turnips? I’ll have to take your word on that one, lol.

  • 34.
    Avital said…

    The smile on Simon’s face is just magical. I’m sure you’re as glad to give as he’s to receive. Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

  • 35.
    Devon said…

    Wow. The sheet thing rocks the house!!! Did he notice immediately when he woke up?

  • 36.
    Jennifer said…

    Ali, wonderful pictures and I’m still in awe of the Star Wars sheets surprise! That’s awesome…I had to show my husband, a 36-year ol Star Wars fanatic, the picture of Simon opening his gift. He knew immediately what it was and told me all about it. Lol…thank you for sharing part of your life with us every so often. You don’t know how much I look forward to your new posts. Keep it up! Yet, make sure you’re getting some rest and taking time for you. Happy New Year!

  • 37.
    o-girl said…

    I love the process of putting holiday stuff away too and getting back to everyday life. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas you all had. It’d be nice to have a willing, helpful & able partner in the kitchen. What a nice time for you & Chris! And….last but not least, as a mom, I’m trying to figure out the logistics of how Santa managed to get new Star Wars sheets on Simon’s bed while he was sleeping. I could see it being possible as long as they were a bit of a heavy sleeper. Anyhoo…I love that magical touch!! Have a happy week, Edwards’ family!

  • 38.
    Chris said…

    hey everyone! I spent yesterday catching up on the last week of December daily. Since I started mine at thanksgiving, and planned to end it on New Year’s Eve, I can honestly say, I’m ready to be done.
    I’m sure it will be a wonderful keepsake, I enjoyed it, and I’m glad I did it, but I’m over it, ya know? Ready to move on to the next thing myself.
    I’ve decided the word for 2009 for me is: Easy
    As in, I want things to be simplified. K.I.S.S.
    Happy New Year to all!

  • 39.
    Ali said…

    I totally get it Chris – that’s why I have stuck with the 25 days :) (it is more than enough for me).

  • 40.
    Chris said…

    So I changed my word. Simple. I think someone else said it maybe…
    First, technology for me has simplified. I blogged about it.
    I also chucked my 2008 album from my list of things to do. I just don’t feel like being behind. I’m burning a dvd right now of all 2008 photos to stick in a pocket in my december daily album…which is officially ending today.
    In the eternal words of Miss Scarlet Ohara…”tomorrow is another day”

  • 41.
    Laura said…

    Wow!! You already have everything put away?!!!! We keep all of our things up until Three Kings Day on January 6th. It was of course a Star Wars Christmas here as well…3 Star Wars Lego ships!!!!!
    Glad you had a relaxing Christmas. I am thinking of my word for 2009.

  • 42.
    Sara said…

    Looks like a wonderful Christmas. I’m still thinking of a word. Happiest of new years to you and your beautiful family.

  • 43.
    Anthea said…

    Dear Ali,
    My 7.0 son’s comment to pictures of Simon opening his christmas present was “that kid is so lucky, snow, polar express and star wars presents, can I swap with him”. Want to swap one 7.0 Asperger’s boy for another????? Simon can have a hot aussie christmas.
    Merry Christmas and thanks for the inspiration during 2008. I’m looking forward to more in 2009.

  • 44.
    Samara said…

    What a nice post, Ali. I’ve become a little addicted to your blog. :) Thanks for posting the recipes you used. I love turnips but really only make them one way. I intend to try this puree soon. Glad you’re able to turn your attention back to life as usual. Enjoy…

  • 45.
    Lisa Hall said…

    happy holidays Ali
    hope that you are well thanks for the daily great food too .
    can’t wait to see your bundle of Joy.
    many blessings to you and Chris and Simon
    Lisa Hall

  • 46.
    Lisa Hall said…

    happy holidays Ali
    hope that you are well thanks for the daily great food too .
    can’t wait to see your bundle of Joy.
    many blessings to you and Chris and Simon
    Lisa Hall

  • 47.
    Janice Stovall said…

    Ali – I truly enjoy reading about your daily life with your lovely family. I can feel the closeness, and it makes for a beautiful Christmas card to us all!
    Glad you had a Merry Christmas!

  • 48.
    Nola Wedlake said…

    The star wars sheet story……….so cute! Love that!

  • 49.
    the paper pixie said…

    That little boy must have been totally worn out to sleep through the sheet change! Way to go on that one. I love it as the kids get older and they wish for certain things, you make it happen and they just beam. That just one of the magical things about christmas… kid’s happiness.

  • 50.
    Karenraye said…

    Great pictures and what a great idea with the Santa sheets. I bet Simonwas amazed at Santa’s magic! My word for 2009 is shine.

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