Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 11, 2011

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.


  • 1.
    Kelly said…

    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.

  • 2.

    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!

  • 3.

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


  • 4.
    Sally said…

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

  • 5.
    Susan said…

    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.

  • 6.
    Paula in Australia said…

    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

  • 7.
    Susan said…

    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.

  • 8.
    Dorothy F said…

    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.

  • 9.
    sue said…

    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.

  • 10.
    dawn said…

    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.

  • 11.
    Leora Henkin said…

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

  • 12.
    Chris H said…

    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.

  • 13.
    Jill Broyles said…

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

  • 14.
    Christy said…

    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.

  • 15.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    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

  • 16.
    Sarah said…

    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.

  • 17.
    Joanne said…

    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.

  • 18.
    Reneecrops said…

    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.

  • 19.
    Helene said…

    How freaking adorable is that? Simon is adorable.

    And that tragedy is Arizona is so scary.

  • 20.
    Jennifer Levin said…

    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

  • 21.
    Judy Webb said…

    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!!

  • 22.
    Nicole said…

    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!

  • 23.
    Meadowlark said…

    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.

  • 24.

    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.

  • 25.
    Tamara said…

    so interesting to read about this part of your life! what a beautiful recount of a wonderful day…and a very thoughtful recognition of the arizona violence…so sad and upsetting.

  • 26.
    kelly said…

    i had no idea…how very exciting. congratulations to the whole family.

  • 27.
    Karen M. said…

    Thank you for sharing your amazing family day. We have always been heavily involved in community service projects – and they were right there working with us the whole time. Those experiences fostered a sense of public service in both of them and one is a special education teacher and the other one is a soldier. You reap what you sow I guess.

  • 28.
    Marina Chiaradia Mendes said…

    Congratulations to your whole family, great to see you all in such great position. God bless you! Love from a flooded city in Brazil.

  • 29.
    young c-m said…

    It’s so great that work can also be a family event at times. Praying for safety for those that serve our government, here and abroad.

  • 30.
    Shelley said…

    “His happiness for life was really sparkling.” What a beautiful sentence, Ali. Thanks for sharing your storytelling gift.

  • 31.
    BARB T said…

    I too loved hearing another story of what makes your family tapestry. Your family is lovely and very precious. May we all hold not only those who are a part of our country’s politics, but every American who might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time, in our thoughts and prayers.

  • 32.
    Elizabeth H. said…

    As a working mom in a very male-dominated career path, it’s a relief to see that progress is being made as far as work-life balance as it relates to family. I never knew what my dad did at his job (I still don’t!) and I think it’s important for our children to be a part of what we spend 40+ hours a week doing. After all, I’m at work longer on the weekdays than the amount of time I’m able to spend with my daughter. I am currently working in a group of individuals who value family as much as I do (the men included) and it makes my job so much easier and make me more willing to work harder knowing that I don’t have to cut them out to do my job well.

    OK, off my soapbox, but your post today gave me all kinds of happy feelings. The tragedy in Arizona is even more reason why we need to show our love and appreciation for our families because that’s who we have to hold us together during the worst of times…

  • 33.
    Ruth said…

    I’m another who is praying for the innocents caught up in the hideous violence in Arizona.

  • 34.
    Angie Hall said…

    I am sure you’re proud of the way your little man finesses all this. I know what you mean about the “guys!” thing. A few years ago, when my son was five, he met President Bush. I had been training him for weeks not to blurt out his overwhelming desire to go to Chuck E Cheese’s rather than wait in a long line to meet someone whom we hadn’t exactly voted for. Malcolm was able to hold it all together that day, thank goodness. Thank goodness for little things like Mommy’s signal (the index finger pressed over closed lips) that says, “please, hush, baby.”

  • 35.
    Emily M. said…

    Simon’s face seems to have pride written all over it. As well it should!

  • 36.
    Dawn said…

    Ali- I really just started following your blog a bit ago – so I had no clue what went on in your life outside of a class I have taken here and there…. My heart goes out to you, the crimes are real (my husband is a police officer, I can relate to the close to home comments). Funny how we press on and hold strong in front of the children, life continues… I wish your husband a successful year in the Senate. Your children all look so proud – even your youngest to feel so comfortable and think of it as just daddy’s work…and runn around… like it is just the average normal corporate office and not the government building – how cute!!

  • 37.
    Cindy Peterson said…

    We here in Tucson are hurting. Please pray for us – and our nation. I really do not want anything that happed on Saturday to give ammunition to this ridiculous partisan political fiasco that continues to ferment in our nation like the garbage it is.

  • 38.
    tania smith said…

    Dear God,
    I ask that you bless the Edwards family with your peace today. Please comfort those families and friends that have had their lives changed. Send your comfort, please send your healing. Please let the Edwards family know you love them and have your hand on them. In Jesus name, Amen

  • 39.
    alexa said…

    How wonderful for Simon to have these layers of memories of being at home in such an august and important place…

  • 40.
    Stefanie said…

    What a beautiful story. I so enjoy reading your blog with all your family adventures. And, this was an adventure for sure. Congratulations to Chris and to you and I’d like to say thank you for your service.

  • 41.
    Nancy said…

    I love reading your stories and also love when I can totally picture where you are even though I live in Minnesota! My daughter attends college right across the street from the Oregon capitol building and we too enjoy lunch at the Wild Pear.

    It’s great to get a personal perspective of a State Senator’s “office” and swearing in ceremony. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • 42.
    jen shears said…

    Congrats on starting a second term- to your FAMILY, as I know it is a job for all of you… Thank you for your service.
    I love the details you’ve given- so clear & descriptive- and happy.
    The tragedy in AZ is so startling- still don’t have words for that…..

  • 43.

    congrats edwards family! :) you may have a future politician on your hands. :)

  • 44.
    Shelly K said…

    Fun day for the Edwards! I remember your first post about the senate….look at the gray that has entered into Chris’s life…I’m sure it’s the job! :)

  • 45.
    Erin said…

    My dad was a state representative when I was just about Simon’s age. I vividly remember our times at the capital, and it most definitely leaves an impact on who you are and how you take part in our country.

  • 46.
    madeline St onge said…

    Thanks for sharing your day with us Ali.
    That incident in AZ was totally scary and it does hurt me too.

  • 47.
    Kate Burroughs said…

    I am really praying that the deaths in Arizona will make this country rethink what it means to have a difference of opinion and how we can state our wants and needs without the need to kill people over it. Admittedly the shooter sounds like he was mentally ill but how much did the vitrolic comments made by others push this person over the edge? I would like to see civil and respectful discourse become the norm, not what we have now.
    Aloha, Kate

  • 48.
    Melissa said…

    It’s so great that you’re including your kids in these types of events Ali. My grandfather was a Senator in Washington State and I was able to experience many similar things as a child. They are memories that I hold very dearly and that had a great impact on who I became as an adult.

  • 49.
    Kelli said…


  • 50.

    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!

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