We Do

AE_WeDo

In our family...

We do magic. Moments of surprise. The ones that take your breath away. We create opportunities to experience magic both big and small.

We do adventure. We take trips and see new places and experience new things to expand our worldview.

We do hard things. With grace and courage and bravery. We face our fears and we support each other. Challenges are welcome as a path towards greater personal understanding.

We do forgiveness.

We do compassion. For others. For ourselves.

We do community. We have friends over. We invite. We welcome. Our doors are open. And we accept invitations and show up.

We do movies. On the couch. At the theater.

We do outside. We swim. We bike. We walk. We play. We chase. We dine.

We do failure. We know without a doubt that trying hard and making mistakes and screwing up and getting back up again is one of the ways we all grow.

We do quiet times. In our own rooms. On the couch. In the reading room. We value time on our own.

We do one-on-one time.

We do creativity. We build. We paint. We might not all do the same forms of creativity but it is encouraged and celebrated.

We do laughter. We do joy. We do giggles and silliness.

We do different. We embrace and celebrate our individuality. We celebrate imperfections. We challenge assumptions (our own and the ones others have about us). We help others to see that different is amazing and makes our world and our lives a much richer experience.

We do family. Our family might not look the same as other families. Ours includes a wonderful collection of people who are related and un-related by blood or certificate. Some we see everyday and others on occasion. Love binds us together and we are thankful.

We do reading. On our own. Together.

We do education. We are involved and active and in-touch with our teachers. We thank them when they are awesome and gently challenge them to question their own assumptions when we know there's room to grow. We are always learning.

We do gratitude. Around the table. In the car. On the page.

We do love. Every single day. No matter what.


I wrote this last month in a flurry of inspiration while sitting in the car waiting for one of the kids or just after dropping them off at school (I can't remember which it was now). "We do..." is basically a family manifesto of who we are and the things I value and want to pass along by example. I wrote it out using Evernote which is the program I'm definitely using most these days for writing things down and keeping track of ideas while I'm on the go (thoughts, post ideas, workshop ideas, etc).

As I was getting this post ready Katie and I went back through many, many photos looking for a recent one of the me and the kids and we are severely lacking in that department. This needs to be remedied very soon. Katie printed out and put together the fun collection of recent photos you see above.

PS | Thank you so much to those of you who have taken the time to fill out the 2014 aliedwards.com Reader Survey. I appreciate it greatly. There's still time to fill it out if you haven't yet. I'll close it up on Monday.

What do you and your family do?

36 thoughts

  1. Tammie

    2014-04-10 08:21:55 -0700

    Thanks for more inspiration Ali!
    In my family we do: a lot of laughing, cooking & baking, photography, puzzles, nails & hair, popcorn & movies, walks in the park, prayers, shopping, bedtime reading, gardening, Instagram, fashion and visiting with family/friends.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  2. dawn

    2014-04-10 09:24:33 -0700

    WOW!! This was beautiful Ali, loved it so much! Will have to write down ours now. Hope you include this in your PL or on a layout.
    THANK YOU!!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  3. rachel del grosso

    2014-04-10 09:38:23 -0700

    oh ali, i just love this! it has inspired me to write mine down now, while my son is so little, so that we always know what we are aiming for as he grows and learns.

    thank you for sharing!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  4. allyson

    2014-04-10 10:51:29 -0700

    simply love this. thanks for sharing.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  5. Kim B.

    2014-04-10 12:20:04 -0700

    What a rich, rich life. Beautiful.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  6. Monica

    2014-04-10 12:29:42 -0700

    B e a u t i f u l .

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  7. Charlotte

    2014-04-10 12:48:55 -0700

    Love this, Ali. In our family, as in yours, family is defined by who is in your heart, not who you share DNA with. I like that it makes family expansive, not restrictive.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  8. Alecia

    2014-04-10 13:03:16 -0700

    You and your family, my friend, are AWESOME!!!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  9. Paula

    2014-04-10 13:38:36 -0700

    Thanks for this beautiful post. I applaud you for what YOU DO - your children will always be able to look up to you and cherish everything you have provided and created. You are a thinker, a doer and a creater - and I really appreciate all that you share.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  10. casie

    2014-04-10 14:42:18 -0700

    Ali,
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! A family manifesto! Perfect! You continue to be an amazing inspiration both in life and in my creative realm. Please continue these awesome posts!!!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  11. {vicki}

    2014-04-10 15:05:46 -0700

    Thanks for the 'prompt

    Will definately do this'

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  12. patty

    2014-04-10 16:41:40 -0700

    love. love. LOVE this...
    thank you for sharing openly and honestly.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  13. Ann

    2014-04-10 18:34:05 -0700

    Inspiring!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  14. carrie wohlt

    2014-04-10 19:54:24 -0700

    LOVE THIS post ali. so heart warming. I could totally see this as something put on a wall in your home or on some big piece of art to hang. as always YOU ROCK!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  15. J3SS1C4

    2014-04-11 01:56:02 -0700

    This post is seriously awesome! It is such an inspiration, and I really love that you are so willing to share such touching details about your every day life with us!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  16. Dori

    2014-04-11 06:24:46 -0700

    Ali, you do magic with paper and photos, but especially with WORDS. Thank you for this beautiful post, dear (virtual) friend.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  17. Robyn G.

    2014-04-11 07:22:48 -0700

    Any chance you could put this in a print out version so we can use it as inspiration for our own journaling?

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  18. Mary-Lou

    2014-04-11 09:55:09 -0700

    Ali several of your posts this year have given me the cyber smack up side the head (obviously I must need) so thank you. Today's smack was your "We do community. We have friends over. We invite. We welcome. Our doors are open. And we accept invitations and show up."

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  19. Alishia

    2014-04-11 14:54:32 -0700

    Deliberate. We are working on being more deliberate. Attended a marriage conference 2 weeks ago, came home with "Our Legacy Pledge" and read it to each other in front of the kids. Had them sign it as our Witnesses. Thanks Ali. Love that you are deliberate about documenting.It goes by too fast. How soon we forget.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  20. michele

    2014-04-11 18:25:15 -0700

    Very well stated. Very inspiring.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  21. yin

    2014-04-11 19:41:49 -0700

    So beautiful. You do so well and so deliberately. Very inspiring indeed. thank you!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  22. stacie d

    2014-04-11 20:57:17 -0700

    Ali, I love this "We do..." to prompt all of the descriptors of our family life (crazy as it is!) Thanks for sharing your insight!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  23. Leslie S.

    2014-04-12 15:45:57 -0700

    Love this post!

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  24. Bonnie Lamothe

    2014-04-14 09:29:09 -0700

    I love this.... I am especially moved by the fact that you included a pic of your ex husband and his ?.... you are such an amazing person! I hope with time (after my separation) I can get to that same place of peace and clarity. You are an inspiration.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
  25. Carolyn K

    2014-04-24 08:01:52 -0700

    I clicked quickly through the question at the bottom of this post to the next post (I'm Ali-binge-ing this am trying to get caught up-) and then clicked back, realizing the prompt was perfect, your example shining so easy to take 3 minutes and grab something that could very well be our family manifesto. So here goes:
    we do loud. Music. Voices. Laughter.
    We do responsibility. Pets, chores, and independent work.
    we do praise. big time. we do rewards for great report cards and surprises for no reason.
    we do family times together. We race cars, we watch movies, we eat out, we drive together. we make time to celebrate us as a threesome.
    we learn. we stop for the teachable moment. we observe, investigate, and collect information.
    we communication. sometimes not well, sometimes very well. we reach out to friends and family, we say yes to people coming over and try to feed them often.we invite others to join us often.
    we take time for one on one. Me and her. Him and her, me and him. we get babysitters.
    we do theater. all the time. all of us.
    we do activities, activeness. making things. running. classes, swimming.gardening, hula-hooping.
    we do experiments. we change things up. we try things out with failure and possible uncomfortableness.
    we apologize. we say thank you. we ask nicely. we think of others.
    we do creativity. we do mess. we do paint elbow-deep projects that take over tables and floors. we do clean up and organizing constantly.
    we build opportunities for traditions. we make memories. we keep memories. we appreciate photos and stories and color and paper.
    we do love.

    * edited 08/08/14 02:56PM
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