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.

74 thoughts

  1. Kelli

    2011-01-11 14:40:14 -0500


  2. Stephanie George

    2011-01-11 14:50:11 -0500

    I was thinking the same thing when I started reading your post, about this all being a part of Simon's life growing up. It's really cool, and he should be so proud of his dad. I was fortunate enough to get to spend several weeks with my parents this Christmas and it was making me do a lot of remembering and reflecting on my childhood. I have a 16 month old, and so I've been thinking about the fact that my childhood was really just me being a part of my parents living their lives (going to work and church, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, and then attending a host of extracurricular activities). Although I felt very loved and special and I had a fulfilling childhood, I realize now that it was just the simple daily things that made up that childhood. It seems so crazy that now I am the grownup, living my life and creating memories for my child which she will then reflect on in years to come. I know it sounds really basic, but it seems so profound that I am the mom now and my child's childhood is being created as we speak. Anyway, I just felt like my thoughts lately were mirrored by what you said in your post. Thank you, as always, for sharing!

  3. Laurie

    2011-01-11 14:52:59 -0500

    I write this with tears in my eyes. What a fantastic day for you and your family. It comes at an especially difficult time, given what happened in Arizona, but I want you to know while I don't live in your state, I appreciate all that your husband and you and your family do for others.

  4. Karla A

    2011-01-11 15:00:10 -0500

    Sounds like a great day! I never realized your husband was a state senator - read up on him - he's a good one!
    Since you live in Eugen, you should check out Harlequin Beads, if you haven't yet. My cousin Stacy Bierma is the owner, they have tons of gorgeous beads and charms that can be used in paper crafting also. Stacy is a pretty cool person

  5. Tiffany H.

    2011-01-11 16:36:21 -0500

    How exciting for your family to be a part of such history. Congratulations to Chris! Thank you for sharing your family with us.

  6. Lisa A.

    2011-01-11 17:42:16 -0500

    Congrats to you and your family! What rich experiences!

  7. kat-in-texas

    2011-01-11 19:37:41 -0500

    I remember reading your post when Chris was sworn in back in 2006! It's been a blink of an eye!!! Congrats on achieving another term. Your family is very blessed, Ali. :)

  8. Kimberly

    2011-01-11 21:07:43 -0500

    An amazing experience for your family! Beautiful photos as well!

  9. Paula G

    2011-01-11 21:14:47 -0500

    Congratulations to your husband for his wonderful accomplishments. I have the deepest respect for just about everyone in politics - I know it has to be so hard and sometimes thankless to try to keep so many issues and causes balanced - not to mention budgets! I love your photos from this special day.
    I am so sorry and sad about what happened in Arizona, and I pray something like this will never happen again, anywhere.

  10. Angie Blom

    2011-01-11 21:37:09 -0500

    What a wonderful experience for your family.. Such good memories ,Simon looks so young in that photo .. So happy! What a great family photo too and just loving Anna's character right now "guys" she will repeat those words as a teen too!lol

  11. Angela DiGiovanni | Blog Giveaway NOW!

    2011-01-11 22:45:36 -0500

    Oh, my gosh, your husband is a Senator!!! That is fantastic. What a great story, too. Such amazing memories for your son...

  12. Sarah

    2011-01-11 23:37:55 -0500

    Here's to another great term. Cute photo of the 4 of you.

  13. Chris

    2011-01-12 00:15:21 -0500

    Congratulations to your whole family, and what an exciting time for Simon to remember. Anna will get to experience it more fully the next time.

  14. Denise Sanner

    2011-01-12 00:38:22 -0500

    i remember the day Chris was sworn in for his first term....and look at you now. i'm heading to split rock for s.a.v.e. tomorrow...wish you were going to be there too! that, hands down, was the finest one ever!

  15. Amy K

    2011-01-12 05:37:44 -0500

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing this beautiful post, and your heartfelt words about the Arizona tragedy. Another tragedy that rocks us to the heart aches...

  16. Johanna

    2011-01-12 08:04:42 -0500

    The tragedy was all over the news here in Germany, too. I feel such deep sadness for all the loved ones, and reach out across the ocean to share love and my belief in "das Gute", in goodness. Ali, your take on living a full life and taking note of the little things that add up to our days on this earth has opened a whole new layer of "making sense of life" to me. I feel like I am in the midst of of making connections, of being able to channel some of those twirling thoughts and feelings into some kind of documentation of being alive, living life. This good, wild, precious life.

    Thank you.

  17. paula s

    2011-01-12 11:44:12 -0500

    wow. what a great story and a wonderful memory. you got a couple great shots! thank you for sharing it!

  18. Jen in AZ

    2011-01-12 11:58:10 -0500

    God bless you and your family. Thanks {from the bottom of my heart} for including the last paragraph in your post. This is truly a tragedy, and is overlooked by many. I appreciate you bringing it to light for so many of your readers.

    May the Lord keep you and yours safe : )


  19. Maureen

    2011-01-12 18:45:55 -0500

    Our General Assembly went into session today, and I thought of you and Chris. Even tho I'm no longer on staff, I worried for my friends when there were two explosive parcels last week. I was the floor 'warden' for evacuation purposes for a while after 9/11 and a lot of that feeling came back.

    So glad your children are growing up to see what 'public servant' means in real life. Have a good session Chris!

  20. Mary Cardini- Anderson

    2011-01-12 21:44:27 -0500

    Congratulations to your husband Chris. You must be very proud of him. Thanks for sharing your photos. Ilove looking at your photos. Thaey all tell a story.


  21. cinnibonbon

    2011-01-14 10:44:15 -0500

    Wonderful experiences for you and your family. You have an amazing way of capturing life!

  22. Project Life | Week Two | Ali Edwards

    2011-01-18 06:01:25 -0500

    [...] think I might use one of those for the post I did last Monday about going to the [...]

  23. Project Life | Week Three | Ali Edwards

    2011-01-26 16:09:00 -0500

    [...] The words added were taken directly from this blog post. [...]

  24. Marilyn Platt

    2011-01-29 16:20:58 -0500

    I got chill bumps seeing Chris in the "formal" representative room. I feel after following you and your journalings about your family that as a group you all approach life in a sparkling manner. You gifting your children and all of us with that outlook and it changes all of us in a postive way. I will always be grateful.

    As for the giveaways they are so much fun...I am so happy for all of the winners. One day I would love being one of them. LOL

    I am grateful for my health.


  25. Bev

    2011-01-30 09:07:21 -0500

    PLease enter me in the giveaway. Thank you

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