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The Texture Of Our Lives

We spent time at the Oregon State Capitol yesterday where Chris was sworn in for his second term as a State Senator.

Simon's favorite part was not that he got to miss school for the day, but that he got to sit with his Dad at his seat on the floor of the Senate.

His first experience at the Capitol was on Chris' first filing day in 2006. Look at these guys:

I think about that first experience any time we head back to the Capitol. I think about the photos, the newness of it all, the enthusiasm, and the excitement. All those things are still there today in one way or another.

I like that these adventures are a part of Simon's childhood. I like we've always taken him along and included him in the process and that he's been exposed to the rich history and tradition of our state at an early age. I also like that each time we visit it becomes another layer of experience in the story of his life.

In his speech to the Senate yesterday Senate President Peter Courtney's theme was about the little things. Simon's received so many little kindnesses from other elected officials and staffers each time he's been in the building or attended an event: handshakes, hugs, Star Wars toys, candy, and even taking him up on a game of chase. It's been so, so special to simply be watching these kindnesses in action. Yesterday he was given a pin, very similar to the state pin that Chris wears, by Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli. A little thing that he simply loved.

Here's the four of us yesterday, almost five years after that first trip to the Capitol:

Katie, our fantastic babysitter, came along this year. She and I tag-teamed Anna and Simon while Chris was doing what he was supposed to be doing.

Anna and I spent time walking around the Capitol during the ceremonies (going up and down the big stairs, checking out Daddy's office, riding the elevator). She was able to sit in on the ceremony for a bit but really wanted to yell "guys" one too many times when she saw the color guard and the state troopers. No crying, just wanting to talk.

Simon rocked the whole experience pure and simple. That included getting really excited to see some of his favorite friends at "Daddy's office" like Brian and Sarah. His main disappointment was that Anna and I didn't sit through the whole ceremony (read the sentence about "guys" above) and that some of the singing took too long.

His happiness for life was really sparkling yesterday.

After the festivities we had lunch at Wild Pear and then headed for home.


I would be remiss to post anything about political life without saying how sad we were to hear about the violence in Arizona this past weekend. Our hearts go out to all those who were injured and to the families of those who were killed. Actually my heart really hurts about it all. The violence is scary. It's real. It's not a game. And in this case it was just way too close to home.

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75 thoughts

  1. Kelly says…
    01/11/2011

    Ali, I love reading about this part of your life. As you know I work in government and I can't tell you how heart gripping the whole AZ tragedy is. I love that these experiences are family experiences for your bunch. Stay safe.

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  2. Stephanie Kennedy says…
    01/11/2011

    What a lovely story!! :) Thanks for your service to the country. We know that the families of our state and national officials make a commitment as much as the officials themselves do. Thanks for making the sacrifice to serve others!

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  3. Karen/Chookooloonks says…
    01/11/2011

    Congrats to Chris! And love to your whole family, Ali. This post made me miss you "guys!"

    K.

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  4. Sally says…
    01/11/2011

    What an exciting day for your family. I love the 2006 picture of Simon -- so cute!

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  5. Susan says…
    01/11/2011

    Some things just rock your world. This time with your family is so special to have. The texture of our life, in this season is our son's Boy Scout pursuits. They each had board of reviews, and Scoutmaster conferences (think job interview) and both were promoted to Star rank (it is their 4th rank in two years) and they are only 13. We are excited for them.

    On a deeper note, some other things just rock your world. For some reason we too have been hit hard by the tragedy in AZ. Real, and scary.

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  6. Paula in Australia says…
    01/11/2011

    Hi Ali I thought of you and Chris when I heard the shooting news here in Australia. My thoughts and prayers go out to those families caught up in this tragic event.

    Here in Queensland we are currently facing the worst flooding seen for over 100yrs. I am grateful that both my and my husbands families are all safe but my heart is aching for those families that are tonight without their homes and worse still their loved ones whom have perished during this phenomenal weather event.

    Grief and tragedy are the same the world over and I feel for all those people who are suffering. It certainly makes me grateful for what I have in this life.

    Ali stay safe in your public life. The world needs more people like you. Take Care xxx

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  7. Susan says…
    01/11/2011

    Reading this just brings tears of joy to my eyes...what magical times. I am so inspired by your account of it all. So much so that I wish I were there!! Thanks for sharing this.

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  8. Dorothy F says…
    01/11/2011

    Thanks, Ali, for sharing this beautiful story. What a gorgeous family. I am sure safety is foremost in your minds always - stay as safe as you can in this crazy world.

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  9. sue says…
    01/11/2011

    What an exciting day for your family! Thanks to your husband and all the others who serve their constituents (I'm in IL). Our prayers are with those in AZ who lost loved ones senselessly.

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  10. dawn says…
    01/11/2011

    HOORAY FOR SIMON!! So glad all went well and you made it a family event. Anna did pretty good if there was no crying involved, how funny about the "guys". Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story especially after what's happened in AZ, my heart goes out to all the families involved.

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  11. Leora Henkin says…
    01/11/2011

    What a great day! I can so see Anna calling out "guys." Makes me smile. Love how you have captured the day.

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  12. Chris H says…
    01/11/2011

    What a wonderful thing to experience while growing up. To watch Chris have an active role in governmental processes will shape your children in the future. Viewpoints aside, it's the process that means the most. We just moved outside DC and I'm beyond thrilled to expose our daughter to all the history here as well as more about how government works. (not the bad stuff!) First item of business for us is going to the Lincoln Memorial next Monday for the Martin Luther King Day memorial service and reading of his speech by area school children.

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  13. Jill Broyles says…
    01/11/2011

    As I said yesterday, we appreciate all our elected officials. The pictures are beautiful. Such memories for Simon. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Christy says…
    01/11/2011

    Ali- it says volumes that Simon was able to so fully engage in all of the festivities. Congratulations and thanks to Chris and to you for your service. And thank God for fantastic sidekicks like Katie. The shooting in Arizona hit hard for our family as well. The child that was killed was only 2 weeks younger than our younger son. I send him places with neighbors all the time. It's hard not to hold them all so close.

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  15. Nicky from Canada says…
    01/11/2011

    So wonderful to see Simon doing so well with these trips - amazing for all of you. I was so saddened by the news earlier this week in Arizona, so very sad

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  16. Sarah says…
    01/11/2011

    I had to laugh when I read about Anna's blurting out of "guys". THAT is hilarious! Too bad that you missed out on watching these new memories unfold. Great pics. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Joanne says…
    01/11/2011

    I so enjoy reading all of your posts...you are a gifted writer. I agree that the shooting in Tucson was such a senseless act of violence - I live in Tucson and I pray for some sort of peace for the families that were involved.

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  18. Reneecrops says…
    01/11/2011

    Congratulations to Chris on another term. What a wonderful day for all of you. My heart hurts for everyone involved with the shooting. It doesn't just effect one person or one family the ripples sent out effect all of us. I thought of your family it's just too crazy to imagine.

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  19. Helene says…
    01/11/2011

    How freaking adorable is that? Simon is adorable.

    And that tragedy is Arizona is so scary.

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  20. Jennifer Levin says…
    01/11/2011

    I love seeing all the stories of your life and family. How wonderful it is that you include your children in these events of your life! As a parent I know it would be easier to not bring them along, but instead, you show us how easy it is to include them. So, not only do you inspire me creatively, but you inspire me to be a better mom. Thank you! ~Jen

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  21. Judy Webb says…
    01/11/2011

    Congratulations. . . .on Chris's term and his commitment to Oregon. To you for taking the children. And, for their behavior. I love reading your blog. Starts my date off in such a positive way!!

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  22. Nicole says…
    01/11/2011

    When I heard about the tragedy in Arizona here in Germany, I first had to think about you and your family. I love to read your family stories and so this tragedy seems to be near to me. That`s really scary. I pray for peace in your country and in the whole world. Please continue inspiring us, Ali! Good luck for Chris` new term!

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  23. Meadowlark says…
    01/11/2011

    Well congratulations. I hadn't realized you lived on the other side of the mountain from me.

    I do want to point something out that might mean something some day in the future. The way you feel right now, the fact that suddenly you realized and actually "get" that sense of "a person I love could really be a target of violence" - THAT FEELING is what police families feel every day. I hope that you can share that realization and sense of constant vulnerability with your husband as it comes time to vote on different measures which affect retirements and other laws. Feel free to delete this, but I wanted to throw that out there.

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  24. Tweets that mention The Texture Of Our Lives | Ali Edwards -- Topsy.com says…
    01/11/2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ali Edwards, Josephina Mydreama. Josephina Mydreama said: The Texture Of Our Lives: We spent time at the Oregon State Capitol yesterday where Chris was… http://goo.gl/fb/2cKSn [...]

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  25. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams says…
    01/11/2011

    I love that your whole family participates in these experiences...these are such rich, precious memories for all of you. And yes, the tragedy in Arizona is just horrible. Hoping for peace and healing for all those affected.

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