Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 13, 2011

What Is Real Right Now

Project Life | Week Thirty-Four

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW Simon began the 4th grade last week. The start of school has traditionally been a challenge for him as he navigates a new classroom, new teachers, new structures and a return to old routines here at home but so far he’s been doing great. Definitely a bit sleepy this morning as we all adjust to waking up earlier.

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW is that Simon is doing just awesome: riding his bike, reaching out to other kids, being more comfortable in new situations, reading books with joy and excitement. It’s so amazing how much he loves to read if it’s something he’s really interested in – which really is not all that amazing when I remember that my favorite things to read are things I’m really into and excited about. We just need to find more of things for him. A couple Tuesdays ago he read a Shrek book to me for 2 hours while I was working.

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW is that fall is on it’s way. I could feel it last night coming in through the half-open windows. I saw it yesterday in a few leaves that are beginning to change colors and drop to the street. I saw it again early this morning when waking to complete darkness.

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW is that Chris and I are having a challenging time. There are many things we are great at together and yet many areas in which we struggle to connect. I want you to know that life is real here – just as it is in your home and your life – and there’s good and bad and easy days and hard ones and this happens to be a time in my life that is really hard. I’d totally take your prayers, your positive energy, your wishes of strength and peace, and your compassion. Things are changing here and I’m hoping to face this next chapter of my story with grace and an open heart.

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW is that Anna is two. She’s more two than I think Simon ever was – she’s got opinions and the language skills to back them up. She’s also much more of a boundary tester than Simon. She loves to jump on the couch and asks “Why Mom?” as a response to just about everything. She started a daily Montessori preschool last week and seems to be adjusting just fine. Chris and I dropped her off this morning and she was so happy to show him her school and have him meet her teacher and see her classroom. She’s really pretty darn amazing and I’m so happy she’s a part of my life.

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW is that I finished both The Help and Little Bee last month. Loved them both. I asked for suggestions via Facebook and Twitter last week and started Cutting For Stone last night. Hoping to go see The Help this weekend.

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW is that this post from my friend Jen Lemen is super inspiring: How To Be Dangerous.

WHAT’S REAL RIGHT NOW are these words: This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good. Author Unknown.


  • 1.
    Jean said…

    Sending you compassion and positive energy, Ali.

  • 2.
    Pidgen said…

    Definitely sending prayers that you and Chris can come to a deeper more meaningful level in your realtionship! Amazingly real of you to share this with us. I’ve been thinking a lot about you since I watched our OLW video this month … sending prayers your way in whatever area you are letting go!

  • 3.
    Sarah said…

    Big (((hugs))) to you Ali. Thank you for being real.Great post.

  • 4.
    amanda said…

    you are beautiful, ali. and you are in my thoughts. xo

  • 5.
    Michele H. said…

    Ali – thinking of you and sending you positive vibes!

  • 6.
    Brene said…

    You are so beautiful and honest. sending you love and light.

  • 7.
    Beth M said…

    Thanks for the beautiful and inspiring quote at the end of your post. Wishing you peace, comfort, joy and love

  • 8.
    Jennifer said…

    Sending you strength and peace for getting through this tough time.

  • 9.
    Babz510 said…

    Sending you strength and a big hug today Ali. <3

  • 10.
    kelly said…

    Sending prayers for grace (and mercy) and loving that you are celebrating Simon and Anna, good literature,the coming of fall and all that is good even through the challenging times. Be strong (be dangerous) and be real.

  • 11.
    slmnontec said…

    It took great courage for you to admit that your life is at times difficult too. When I read your blogs, your life seems so full. You go so many places, have child care in your home, and seem so on top of everything. I sometimes seem overwhelmed until I remember that stage in my life. Looking back it’s kind of like going through the rapids–bumpy and scary, but hang on, ride it out, and the waters get much smoother. Love carries you through…

    • ….
      Stacia said…

      So very true. I’m just emerging from *some* of those rapids right now but still years to go pretty immersed in “momdom.” You expressed this so very well. Thank you!

  • 12.
    Melissa said…

    This was an amazing post. I’m so glad to put you in the normal category. I will send you some positive energy on the relationship front! Never a good feeling when there is disconnect. EVER!!!

  • 13.
    Suzette said…

    Sending prayers your way. Your honesty is inspiring. It is why I have read your blog for 5 years.

  • 14.
    Kara said…

    Sending positive energy and prayers to both of you.

  • 15.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Sending you strength, blessings and lots of love as you go forward. Life definitely throws us lots of challenges and in each one that comes forward we do find growth. Lean on your family and friends who will help you as you go forward. Remember you have a huge community out here who will support you as you go forward in whatever your next chapter in life will be.
    God Bless

    • ….
      Gypsy Chaos said…

      Nicky, you expressed my thoughts very well. Thank you!

    • ….
      Nicole S said…

      Nicky said it perfectly. Warm thoughts and prayers to you and your family Ali.

  • 16.
    rhonda said…

    Sending positive thoughts and wishes your way and thank you for making me see everyday things in better light.

  • 17.
    Amelia said…

    Dear Ali, here through tweets. I just want to say yes, in my home too. The relationship that didn’t survive the tumultous early years of with my son (we did not know), finding myself alone and then working relentlessly to ‘discover’ what it was with my son. Asperger syndrome – no-one else would have found it. What a journey. A journey that led me to have to give up work due to exhaustion and start my own fully self-employed venture. A creative biz that both saves and is juggled. If not for art I guess I would go a little crazy. Two children alone, making sense of others psyche’s (my two kids) both with their own things and learning so much about myself too. And one of the best things is sharing stories with others on via the internet and knowing I/we are not alone. Strength. Times recently have been beyond tough as my own health has faltered, but then that’s not surprising given the circumstances. But still I find myself going on. I’ve written the ‘blue’ and tough posts too, wondering how much to share.

    Sending the most positive thoughts, feelings, vibes, whatever it is you need right now. Yes, each day is so different. I am here learning/remembering more that I can ever understand.

    Hugs to you,


  • 18.
    Emma said…

    Great Post Ali We’re going through a hard time as a family right now, you read some blogs and they make you think life is all rosy and It makes you think your the only one having the hard time, Life has it’s up and downs and the downs make us appreciate the up’s more. Things will come good xx

    • ….
      Trina H said…

      Emma completely agree about the way some blogs make everyday life seem so rosey and you wonder “what am I doing wrong”, “why can’t I be in that place” it is nice to know that you are not the only one whose family is going through a hard time and it makes you realise that this is everyday life with all its wonderful ups and downs and twist and turns. Here’s to getting through these hard times for us all and knowing that in the end it is all worth it.

  • 19.
    Patricia said…

    Positive thoughts and strength your way Ali. I love (and envy – in a good way!) your openness. It’s so admirable and honest.

  • 20.
    amy tangerine said…

    sending you REALly big hugs. your positive, authentic outlook on life is so inspiring. xoxo

  • 21.
    Mich said…

    Your honesty and openness is inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Sending you hugs and lots of positive thoughts that you will make it through this rough spot in life. You are a gem.

  • 22.

    Humbled by your honesty, Ali, and sending you love from the East Coast.

  • 23.
    Ali M said…

    you kinda just made my day. rock on Ali.

    • ….
      Gwen said…

      Kinda just made my day as well…. Have my own issues with connecting with my husband.

    • ….
      kristen cox said…

      i understand too. what it is about bringing little people into the world that can cause such a disconnect between two people. we love love being parents but what happened to us? in a struggle too. hugs!

  • 24.
    sarah said…

    so happy to hear how well simon is adjusting to 4th grade. i also love that i’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with both simon + anna – i can flash back to their awesome personalities when i read your words.

    this morning was definitely fall. we even had a bit of a drizzle early this morning. i sure do love this time of year!

    sending you love + prayers.

  • 25.
    theresa said…

    Thinking of you, and praying for you.

  • 26.
    Jacque said…

    As I read your blog today, I am reminded why yours is always the first I seek each day. You and your honest approach to every thing is an inspiration. Your love of family and life is evident every day. You share the good and sometimes the not so good or the more difficult with the same wonderful approach. You constantly show us what life is truly about. You are appreciated for sharing the real world with us. I wish you love, peace, joy, and understanding during this difficult time and please know that it matters to so many of us even if we only know you through your posts. God bless you and your family!!

    • ….
      lisa said…

      ditto what jacque said.

    • ….
      Robyn said…

      Hi Ali,
      Jacque nailed it. You are the blog I sign on to first thing every morning. You are an inspiration in more ways than I can say. My thoughts and positive energy are headed your way, along with millions of others!!

  • 27.
    Tammy B said…

    Best wishes to you Ali. Family life can be so hard sometimes but it’s always nice to know that there are people who will love and support you no matter what! Thank you for sharing your trials and tribulations with us – we are all human.

  • 28.
    Kristyn G said…

    Praying for you and Chris.

  • 29.
    madeline St onge said…

    Sending you positive vibes and lots of hugs and prayers that you and Chris can come to a deeper meaning in your lives. I have been thinking about you since listening to the OLW video, had a feeling something just wasn’t right.
    Lots of positive energy coming your way

  • 30.
    Alexandra said…

    I have a special little candle and I light it when I feel moved to pray for special people in my life or for when I think the world needs big love – the candle is lit for you as I type this.
    Sending you love, and hugs and prayers for peace and strength.
    love you.

    • ….
      LauraLee said…

      What a lovely ritual, Alexandra.

    • ….
      jen said…

      I agree! I love this… I think I’ll start the same thing… :)

  • 31.
    Lourdes said…

    I was trying to think of what to say. To let you know that I have been there, done that, came out on the other side a different and wonderful couple.

    These sentences from your other readers cover all I wanted to share:

    Be strong (be dangerous) and be real.
    Love carries you through…
    Sending you love from the East Coast.
    Rock on Ali.

  • 32.
    abbeyviolet said…

    That is a very real post and we admire you so much for being “real” with us and real about your own life. You are amazing and strong. Hugs, love and prayers around you and yours for strength, wisdom, love and peace.

  • 33.
    mrydee said…

    I just read a book, 10-10-10 by Suzy Welch, which might be of interest to you. It’s about making decisions, big and small, by taking into consideration the effects of various decisions on one’s life in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years. Quite of few of the examples in the book are about decisions involving spouses and family. I will be praying for you and your family.

  • 34.
    Danielle said…

    Thank you for sharing your true & honest life right now. Sometimes it is easy to forget that everyone goes through the good & bad. You & your family are in my thoughts & heart.

  • 35.
    Sheila said…

    Ali, having some struggles myself dealing with some post chemo issues. Feeling a bit sorry for myself. Reading your post made me realize that everyone has struggles and prayers for eachother are important. You have mine.

  • 36.
    Ginny said…

    Praying for your family.

  • 37.
    Julie said…

    Sending prayers your way, Ali. It’s easy, as a reader, to create an imagined perfect life for you and other bloggers who are part of our day-to-day routines. Thank you for sharing what is real in your life right now and trusting that manifold compassion will be returned to you through comments and prayer. Wishing you an inner wisdom to guide you as you continue to navigate life’s challenges.

  • 38.
    Kim said…

    Will continue to pray for you. Two and a half years ago, I was unsure if my marriage would survive (or if I would survive the pain). Next week we celebrate our 20 year anniversary. It has not been easy, but through prayer and counseling and downright resolve it is still going. Rely on your faith and your family and be true to yourself!

  • 39.
    Jill said…

    Hey Ali,

    Prayers and positive energy to you and Chris (and your fam, too). On days when I’m feeling really down about being single and romanticizing how much more exciting and less lonely (at times) my life would be with a husband, I completely forget that a life with a husband takes a whole other level of skill, compassion and commitment that I haven’t even been exposed to yet, let alone practiced. I’ve decided it’s truly brave to be married and really work at making it work. That’s humbling and scary to think about, amidst all the fun thoughts about what it would be like. Striving to live with compassion and kindness is the best we can do each day. Thank you for being true and sharing your real-ness with us. Looking forward to Italy :)

    • ….
      Jill said…

      Hey again, Ali –
      Just listening to your Sept OLW audio and I totally get the feeling that a switch has been thrown and suddenly feeling different – just wrote about my experience with that on my blog on 9/11, actually ( It’s a great feeling. I didn’t trust at all that it would stick around – but for me, it did. So grateful for that :) xoxo

  • 40.
    Leah Burgett said…

    Praying for you and your family. I am fairly new to your blog and have really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for being so honest!

  • 41.
    Kerry A said…

    I’m not sure what all of Simon’s interests are but my son is an avid reader and recently found a book he loved…The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy.

    Here’s the link:

    There are currently just 3 books in the series. We also enjoy the series of Seekers by Erin Hunter.

    • ….
      tracey m said…

      my son loved it, too!!!

  • 42.
    susan said…

    ali… you have lifted me up so many times with such small thing on your blog i hope this helps in a small way. the power of prayer is amazing. put you burdens to God and trust he will take care of them. it works so much better than trying to do it all by your self. some times all you have to do is, le it go, and know he will take care of you. love you -S

  • 43.
    Sue said…

    Sending prayers to you and your family Ali.

  • 44.
    Lisa H said…

    Ali–sending prayers your way. Disconnect is not a good thing in a marriage and we struggle with it sometimes too. Big hugs to you!

    • ….
      juanita said…

      Sending peace, prayers and positive vibes to you and yours. May you make it through these difficulties quickly and with your heart and psyche intact.

  • 45.
    Wilma Cole said…

    Ali, I love your transparency. We all know that there are bumps in the road, and sometimes mountains, to navigate around. I don’t know what your religious feelings are, but I must say a deep faith in the living God that created you and sustains you will get you through.

  • 46.
    Jennifer Levin said…

    Thank you for such an honest and real post. I’m sending big hugs and lots of prayers your way. I’m wishing you much comfort and love in the days, weeks and months ahead. ~Jen

  • 47.
    Yolanda said…

    It takes courage to be real. Thank you for being brave. Reading this made my heart clench. I am so hoping that you and Chris can find a positive road forward, however twisty that road appears right now.

  • 48.
    Theresa S. said…


    I appreciate your honesty. I can totally relate to the challenges of marriage. I am divorced (when I was 24–I’m 41 now) and remarried to my current husband for 12 years in November. Marriage is simply HARD. I am sending positive energy, thoughts, and prayers your way.

  • 49.
    Krys72599 said…

    Sending positive thoughts your way, toward you and Chris, hoping you can meet somewhere in the middle to work with and for your lives together.

  • 50.
    Lucie Campeau said…

    No matter what…the Source is in every one of us.No matter what, you inspire Anna & Simon with your love. No matter what, you inspire us. You are in my heart, as is your better half. Soft times for yourself, appease the rest. Hug

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