Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

July 31, 2012

Around Here

Making pesto. Or attempting anyway. I tried on Saturday and I think the pine nuts I used were old – something just tasted off so I’ll be trying again. The basil is growing great in my raised beds and I want to master this one.

Vacationing. I spent last week on Martha’s Vineyard with a special group of friends (my first time there and I loved it). We switched up our annual get together and headed to the other coast this time (vs. Oregon) and it was a true vacation. I love these people and the absolute joy they bring to my life – especially through laughter. Man I haven’t laughed that much in years.

Cuddling with the kids after being apart last week. They spent the week with Chris vacationing in the San Juan islands.

Planning. A camping adventure. Layouts. Fall schedules. Work-related stuff.

Cultivating relationships. With friends, kids, Chris, family and with someone kinda special.

Savoring the beginning.

Listening. To music really loud. And checking out new-to-me music and making playlists and feeling it through my whole body.

Repeating. Finding myself saying the same things over and over again such as “please go get in your bed” and “that behavior is not okay” and “take your plate to the kitchen” and “are you calm?” and “take a deep breath.” I’m in one of those places where I hear what I’m saying and wonder if it’s the right thing or should I be phrasing it differently, wondering how to get across what I really want to communicate to my kids.

Pruning and puttering out in the yard. My happy place. Cutting flowers and bringing them inside. Waiting on the bigger tomatoes.

Living the length and width. That’s what it’s all about.


  • 1.
    Marie said…

    Ali, you make me cry… I’m wondering exactly the same things regarding communication with my little girl… I love her so much, but these days are a bit difficult for me to make her understand what is wrong and what is good, and I’m clearly loosing patience with her too quiclky. I guess it’s my job of being a mother, with all its joys and its difficulties! Have a wonderful day.

  • 2.
    Amanda McGregor said…

    So happy about the “and someone kinda special” comment!

    • ….
      Amy said…

      Me too :)

    • ….
      Dori said…

      …me three!

    • ….
      carole heburn said…

      Me four !!

    • ….
      julie macneil said…

      yes, yes, yes!!!! i can tell you are are so happy in the photos you’ve been sharing lately- seriously i am amazed at the difference! so excited for you!

    • ….
      Noell said…

      I know!! I was especially happy to read, “Savoring the beginning,” after that little hint about someone special. The beginning is so enchanting and exciting.

      Much love and respect, Ali!

    • ….

      there’s been a whole change in everything about you ali… some kinda new confidence, and joy has been beaming from you. it’s quite beautiful to see.

    • ….
      Julie said…

      CHEERS! to you and your someone special :)

    • ….
      Kathy (kathyb) said…

      Happy for you here too :)

    • ….
      Jamie Fisher said…

      :) )

    • ….
      Kim S. (nerdgrl) said…

      Add me to the “me toos”. I grinned a huge smile (not great English but you get the drift) when I read it. Woo Hoo!

    • ….
      Stacey said…

      Goose bumps! That’s awesome.

    • ….
      Cathy said…

      Me too. :) :)

    • ….
      Sheila said…

      Was soooo hoping you’d mention “someone special” soon. Good for you. He’d be one lucky fella to land you.

    • ….
      Cathy said…

      I had been wondering . . . so happy for you.

  • 3.
    Grace Hester said…

    Welcome back! Hope to see some of the vacation photos from your trip and the kids’ trip too. And . . . . congrats on someone “kinda special” – hope it blossoms into something “truly special”.

  • 4.
    Rene' Sharp said…

    Loved reading this post so much. Happy for you!!

  • 5.
    Sandi said…

    Glad you had a wonderful vacation. Welcome back!

  • 6.

    Ditto on the “someone kinda special” comment – hoping for serious happy for you :)

  • 7.
    Neelu said…

    oooh “someone kinda special” :D

  • 8.
    heidig said…

    So very happy for you!!

  • 9.
    olga said…

    Ali, I highly recommend this book: Parent effectiveness training, by Thomas Gordon.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks! I’ll check that out.

  • 10.
    Kym said…

    Your posts always make me smile, Ali. Thank you. :) (PS: I keep my pine nuts in the refrigerator or freezer….they last so much longer. You can use walnuts in Pesto, too, and you can freeze it in ice cube trays to use all winter)

  • 11.
    Brandi B. said…

    Your posts always brighten my day. I especially enjoy hearing there is a someone special. :-)

  • 12.
    kelly libby said…

    Welcome back!

    I’ve missed ya’. But, i took a few days vacation (or stay-cation).

    Martha’s Vineyard is soooo WONDERFUL! Glad you had a chance to visit. It seems like a place that you would love. Where did you stay? Did you get to Katama Beach? or their General Store? Chilmark is quite wonderful, too. And, Bunch of Grapes book store. Ahhhh…. so many great spots on that little island.

    love the “someone kinda special”. You had the look of wonder and excitement of a new relationship in your photos lately. Good for you!!!

  • 13.
    kate said…

    a really great post. here, there seems to be to be treating you pretty well right now.

    a pesto recommendation, jacques pepin’s pecan pesto. so good.

  • 14.
    Michelle L said…

    OH I can completely relate to the kid thing! My seven year old developed an attitude overnight and my five year old likes to copy so Im having to talk a lot about respsect, patience, how to speak to adults and what is and isn’t ok. It’s important stuff that you can’t over look but so tough! So you are not alone there!

    Happy to hear there is someone special in your life these days. Enjoy!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh the copying is big here too!

    • ….
      kim S. said…

      I have a 16 and 10 year old…oh, the copying…been going on for years! so happy about the “someone kinda special”. You deserve much happiness, Ali!

  • 15.
    Laarni said…

    Happy to hear about your journey through motherhood as I am a new mom and your relationships. You truly inspire me. Thank you!

  • 16.
    Tracy said…

    Ali I use the Pesto recipe in Giada DeLaurentiis’ cookbook Everyday Italian…very easy and delicious!! And yes, pine nuts do get old and very bitter. Try Giada’s recipe I think you’ll like it!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks! I’ll check it out.

  • 17.
    April said…

    Cultivating a relationship “with someone special” brought the biggest smile to my face. You deserve to be so happy and I hope this relationship with someone special brings nothing but happiness in your life.

    Dahlias are my favorite, yours are stunning!

    Wishing you joy on this journey!

  • 18.
    Tina said…

    Love the stuff in your post – pesto, vacation, kid cuddles, the beginning, loud music, and garden puttering! Happy for you Ali!

  • 19.
    Stephanie said…

    I found a great ‘lite’ recipe for pesto on – that’s the next pesto recipe on my list to try :)

    I’m from NH and Martha’s Vineyard is one of my favorite places to vacation – we LOVE it there! We usually stay in Edgartown and we love how historic it is! Can’t wait to see your pictures & can’t wait to go back there myself!

    I also have to say that reading ‘someone special’ on your blog makes me feel so happy for you!

  • 20.
    Bridget said…

    Welcome back. I’m in a similar spot with my 8 year old. I’m sure using the same words over & over just makes him put me on ‘ignore’! I’ve experimented with toasted pecans in pesto (allergy to walnuts in the house). Doesn’t taste exactly the same but still good.

  • 21.
    kelsey said…

    Someone special! GO, ALI, GO!

  • 22.
    Babz510 said…

    Love this update Ali, I second all the comments already stated above!

    I totally feel like a broken record with my daughter too these days. Drives me crazy, but I know it will pass soon, eventually it will stick or at least I keep hoping it will.

    One thing to keep in mind with the pesto is that over processing it in the food processor can also change up the flavor. If you pulse it too long and if it starts to turn black you’ve done too much. Make sure you have enough oil in the bowl too, that helps it move more freely.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Good to know about the processing too long – thank you!

  • 23.
    Wendy O. said…

    You sound so happy. I am so happy for you.

    About your pesto, have you tried almonds instead of pine nuts?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Might try that next time (want to try fresh pine nuts first)

  • 24.
    Kristen D said…

    Try toasting your pine nuts first. Makes a HUGE difference. And definitely store your pine nuts in the freezer. Actually all nuts should be stored there. Nuts are loaded with oils which can go rancid fast. Pine nuts especially get old pretty quickly. Pesto is pretty easy. Just experiment with the amounts of each ingredient till you find the balance you like. There is no right or wrong way to make it! :-)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Will definitely store them in the freezer next time – I did roast them first but they were just too old.

  • 25.
    Alexandra said…

    So many great things in this post – a true pleasure to read.

    Love that you are “living the length and width” – so awesome.

    And as for the pesto… great advice in the comments above – just tinker with it til you get the blend that you like and then run with it – pesto is a great addition to your culinary repertoire. Fresh and fabulous. yum.

  • 26.
    Elise said…

    Woohoo, Ali. Here’s to diving in, alright!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Amen sister!

  • 27.
    Denise said…

    I love following your story. This post just brightened my day. Wishing you all kinds of happiness. :)

  • 28.
    Susan said…

    Yay! What a happy post!

  • 29.
    Christine said…

    Welcome back. I have always wanted to go to Martha’s Vinyard. Can’t wait to see some pictures. I love the San Juans, I’m sure your kids had a great time. Thanks for setting us up with the guest bloggers. They were great and it was very thoughtful of you.
    So happy about your someone special. Sounds like things are looking “up” for you :) .

  • 30.
    briana said…

    Loved your post this morning! Thank you for sharing. I had to laugh because as I was reading it, MY little Anna came up and saw the picture. She asked me, “Mom, where am I in this picture?” We laughed hard when I told her it wasn’t her in the pic, and it totally blew her mind when I told her that the little girl’s name in the picture is Anna also. Happy day to you, Ali!

  • 31.
    Kate Burroughs said…

    We love to make pesto. As far as my husband is concerned summer doesn’t start until we have pesto. We grow our own basil too. Highly recommend refrigerating or freezing pine nuts between uses (we buy it from a food buying club in a 5 pound bag). We live half the year in Hawaii and often use macadamia nuts instead of the pine nuts. Just need to put them in with the garlic, as they need a longer processing time to get really smooth pesto at the end. We use about twice the normally recommended amount of basil in our pesto. Delicious!

    So happy to hear about someone kinda special. You so deserve to be happy!

    Aloha, Kate

  • 32.
    Sara said…

    Love this post, Ali! I love your phrase “cultivating relationships” – I need to remember that instead of taking them for granted.

    May I ask what new music you’re listening to? I love recommendations. Thanks so much!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Sara – right now I’m listening to Mat Kearney (not really new but new to me) and I’m also just going back through all the music I already own and making new playlists – revisiting songs I used to love :) .

  • 33.
    Meghann said…

    Very excited for you… with everything that is happening in your life right now. Hope to see photos from Martha’s Vineyard. My husband and I are thinking of going there to see the fall colors in October, but are still undecided!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It was awesome!

  • 34.
    Steph said…

    Always love your posts – they make me smile! As I saw in so many of the replies above… very happy to hear you have someone kinda special! Thanks for always brightening my day!

  • 35.
    Jaimee H. said…

    Welcome back! We missed you.
    Love the way you labeled your photos for the post today. I call my little guy my little peanut (which in turn means I am the big peanut). Can’t wait to hear more about the “someone kinda special”. :)

  • 36.
    Amy P. said…

    Love your post and I enjoy reading your blog.

    I totally get the part with the kids, mine are 4 & 7 and we are trying so hard to get them to understand that they repect others and to also get across that they are very blessed to have “things” in their lives. (if I hear one more time “I wish I did not have a brother” or “I want this or that..” I think I will scream!) It can be so hard sometimes yet so wonderful!

    So happy to hear about “someone kinda special”.

  • 37.
    Kimberlee said…


  • 38.
    Tere (Marie) said…

    love your post. love love that there is someone kind of special. Life is good.

  • 39.
    pam said…

    girl, you sound so good!!!! (and lookin’ mighty fine in all your pics too!) living the length and width…go ali!!!!! super happy for you xo

  • 40.
    slmnontec said…

    As a parent of a 25 year 2 cents worth: Persevere with calm words over and over. It eventually “takes” and they become responsible.

  • 41.
    Quinna said…

    Basil….process in blender with as little water as possible…freeze flat in ziplock bag… Break off pieces all winter long for soups etc. yummy!

  • 42.
    amy said…

    Watch out for those pine nuts-they may have tasted “off” because they are grown and shipped from China, which grows a different kind of pine nut than stateside. My husband got “pine mouth” from a pesto I made with those kind of pine nuts, and he had an alkaline taste in his mouth for weeks. Anyway, they can go rancid or you could just have a rxn to them. Glad you had fun in MV, I love that place, too. Very special. Thanks again for all you inspiration and I look forward to more in the fall.

  • 43.

    It made my heart happy to hear about your joy-filled, truly restful vacation, your wise wording about “cultivating” relationships, and the hint about the special person in your life. I had noticed the “date night” photo in your Project Life, and was hoping that meant good things were happening for you. :) “Up”, indeed. :)


  • 44.
    Paula said…

    Hurray for everything in today’s post!

    Wishing you happiness and peace – someone kinda special is very lucky and blessed to have someone as special as you!

  • 45.
    Liz Sawyer said…

    I made pesto with asparagus the other day… barely could even tell it was there! A great way to add in some added vitamins into it!

  • 46.
    Leanne in CA said…

    Awesome and ditto to the comments above! Glad to hear you are well. Take care and have a fabulous week!!

  • 47.
    Nita said…

    Love this post. It made me smile.

  • 48.
    Liz said…

    Happy for you Ali… thanks for sharing! x

  • 49.
    Ilona said…

    :-) Happy for you!!

  • 50.
    Catherine said…

    All I can say is, you go girl.

    Email me if you want some playlist ideas-I’m always keeping an ear out for awesome music and could make you one.

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