Friday, December 16, 2011

3 Wishes

if you were granted 3 wishes by a genie what would you ask for?

at first thought I would say oooo that's easy...a giant house with a swimming pool, unlimited $hopping moola,  & vacations every other week.

but are those really the right things to be wishing for Ali?... even though they sound so great, deep down they will not satisfy the thirst that only our heavenly father can.

even though i still would like some of those things, there are more important wishes i could be a wishing :) wishes that would benefit his kingdom.

what i wish for more than anything is a world filled with smiling faces, how much fun would that be if we could all just be friendly to each other for once?

i would also wish for selflessness in all aspects of my life...hello is this not so difficult for all of us? i wish i could spread my love as easy as i wish to receive it...wahhhhh.

my last wish would be to better bless my enemies, instead of letting evil thoughts about them linger in my brain...not that my enemies are total bad guys, but just people who have in some way or another hurt me and my sensitive spirit along the way.

it's so hard for me to completely forgive, but it's what our God does for us each & every day. there is incredible freedom in forgiveness, but for some stinkin' reason it is so hard to take that leap of faith.

a quote from my devotions:

"Am I that wise? If God spoke to me directly and asked what He could do for me, what would I ask for? Would I ask for health, wealth, youth, power, or prestige? Or would I ask for wisdom, holiness, and love? Would I be wise or foolish?
Suppose God asked you what He could give to you. What would you ask for?"

what would you ask for?
smile :) 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Canes & Wrinkles

I got a job at Ruby Tuesday as a hostess about a month ago now. My first restaurant job woo! 

It's been wonderful to greet people of all ages, races, and social statuses at the door with a smile no matter what they have for me in return.  Loving on them is my job.

And it's so much fun because that's why we're on this earth, to love as he first loved us
I'm shining my little light through my smile and it's been the greatest. Who'd a thunk i'd have so much fun at a restaurant not eating the food in front of my face, i sure didn't.
One of my favorite moments has been the old couples.
And God has really been teaching me something through them.
He asked me why I cater so much to certain ages and fall in love and want to love older folks more than anyone? I didn't have an answer really except for that they need me, but doesn't everyone?  He opened my eyes to judgements I have been making and holding onto.

Everyone so desperately needs to be loved no matter their appearance.

So I've been thinking this whole week and what I came up with was this:

If we pictured everyone (even though this sounds somewhat silly) with wrinkles and a cane wouldn't we be able to give love so much more freely?
I'm thinking you're nodding your head yes.

There's just something about old age that makes us treat and judge people differently.
Old people will always be preciously cute to me which is ok, but for now I'm picturing the world as if it were filled with wrinkles & canes.

After all, someday that will be each of us.
We need to soften our hearts and love people as if they carry a cane.

Help them out and love love love on them as if they were your grandma.
It's hard to do sometimes, but it's why we're here.
To love.
And smile :) 

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Eternal Image

[God shines his light down onto us so that in return we shine back for him]

The old Ali was big on self image, looks, and feeling good 
enough in her own sometimes "zitty" skin.  Feelings, feelings, feelings...dumb.
The new Ali though is set on her eternal image.
Even on bad hair days, days when those annoying zits show up, days when your closet is a giant lava pit of clothes you've tried on, days when you don't "feel" good enough for the tasks ahead it's important to remind yourself exactly why you're alive this day.
We are here because of Christ and his love & passion for us to do good in this world.
We are not here to look pretty. Don't let your feelings dictate your day.
We are here to love and shine our little lights.
Remember that today.
It's not about you, it's about him.
You are beautiful no matter the day or what lies ahead.
You are so precious to him.
Him, the creator of the entire universe.
I don't know about you, but i get the tingles thinking about that.
Smile and know how beautiful you are to him always :)

& as the lovely Joyce Meyer would say: 
Do not say anything else negative about you out of your own mouth. Say what God thinks about you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


today i'm going to be sharing with ya'll a little crafty craft. woo woo! these are my fave. this one's also very handy and so easy to make!

after i was accepted and on the lovely & oh so addicting pinterest for like 3ish days much thanks to miss Taylor Carlson who blogs right here, i knew that a more fashionable display case of a jewelry organizer was a must buy. i didn't know what exactly i wanted, just something-anything better then storing them away in the cupboard or in a tangled mess for absolutely no one to see. after all, jewels are a decoration in themselves and should not be in hiding.
so i went out in search of the perfect displayer for my preciously colorful jewels thinking that i would just buy a generic stand, ya know the ones that are tiny and everywhere (they would hold like 5 necklaces :/) but came up with a better craftier idea instead.
i found the outer white woodwork frame at Pier1 Imports. It is meant to be a frame where you would hang pictures off of each clothespin which is also fun, but i worked it in a different way.

[The original frame]

the frame has 3 rows of wires built into it, which is what caught my eye - necklaces hang perfectly from it (even the longest ones). 
i also clothespin some of my favorite necklaces for easier removal.
step 2 to this process is the black chunk of metal...

as you can see in the picture i do hang bigger earrings from the bottom wire, but there wasn't a place for the smaller studs. for this, i went to one of my new favorite stores (seriously toward the end of the summer i was in there twice a week hehe)... The Home Depot. 
i was in search of a material that had tiny enough holes for a small earring.
the employees were unsure at first, but i had faith the store would have something of the sort. 
sure enough, they found me just what i needed.
i ended up using a sheet of metal mesh, cut it to fit the back using the ever handy tin snips and glued her together with mr. E3000. 
i felt like such a handyman :) 

now both my earrings and necklaces (of all lengths) have a beautiful place to call home. 

this project wasn't the cheapest craft i've ever made, but to me the prettyness of it makes up for it. don'tcha think so too?!

[the frame was $28 and the sheet of metal $20]

~but you don't need to buy the frame with wire already strapped on, you could handyman this part yourself and decrease the cost.  all you would do is maybe find an old frame and paint it up or buy one, then grab some wire from your local hardware or crafting store-- and put the two together!~

hope you too can find a fun way to display your jewels, smile big :) A

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Browns

November Browns

November is here and seems to already be flying by. Before we know it, we'll be chowing down our Turkey-gobble gobble & plentiful array of Pies (pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!!!). Mmm my tummy is excited just thinking about all of the wonderful foods it's going to have the honor of choosing between. Lucky tummy. Growl growl. 
With this scrumptious holiday right around the corner, it's a time for our hearts to be thankful. And we shouldn't wait till the day of either. This year i have decided to write down at least 1 thing i'm grateful for each day during this month of thankfulness. If you haven't already, it's not too late to get started. That way when it comes time to say what you're thankful for at your thanksgiving dinner you can say well let me just pull out my list! Be thankful for what you have. Always.
I found this fun fashion/outift design site last night called Polyvore, check out all of its goodness here!
I could play around on it for hours. It's like photoshop for clothes. So I put together a "brown" outfit or as my family would say "the paperbag".  With the weather and our skin color turning duller, brown can be a fun color to spice up a bit. Brown instantly draws my brain to the month of November, maybe because turkeys are brownish i don't really know. Smile because you're thankful :) A

Sunday, November 6, 2011

killing my first deer ever with my Lee

Soooo i killed my first deer this past weekend. Oh the excitement. Oh the thrill. Oh the emotions. Oh my gosh i did it. I killed an animal with much much much of lee's help but otherwise all by my very self. 

Let me take you back... The alarm went of at 5:25, i did not want to get out of my cozy bed. Now looking back i'm so glad i did. I had a funny, dizzy tummy ache the whole ride to the spot from waking up so fast and early, in my head i was like grrreat i'm going to be either peuking or pooping my pants out here and lee will not be so happy with me. He was very caring about the tummy issue though and as it turns out the fresh, fast blowing winds did me lots of good. Bye bye tummy ache, here we come deers. 

So we trudged our way out there in the pitch blackness, me trying to keep up as best i could with lee because i am not the biggest fan of walking through the woods in darkness all by my lonesome and boy is he is a very fast walker even while carrying loads of equipment. I thought the walk was never going to end, it did. Lee got us all situated and we hopped into the very warm temperatured blind. It was the warmest hunt for us yet, even though it was also the windiest. Normally the cold makes me a not so happy camper, but this time was a different feeling we had high hopes after seeing 2 shooting stars on the way in. By the way I forgot to mention that this was my 3rd year going after those sneaky deer with lee. 

Right away while still too dark to shoot we saw a doe and a little while afterward what we thought may have been a buck, it was too dark to tell. I wanted to get em' so badly. I was already satisfied. Just seeing them (and not squirrels) so up close and personal is an adrenaline rush in itself. After that excitement my nose got cold so i pulled my hat down over my nostrils and started to take a little nappy poo. I don't know how long lapsed by but all of a sudden i hear lee "wake up, wake up" in his excited urgent matter voice at first i thought he was being a booger just interrupting my sleep but this time it was the real deal

And well, I wear contacts and after sleeping they dry up = not good. Trying to get all set up with a sleepy face on was not what i had planned on. Oops. And there was the deer so close to us. Lee told me about 4 times to wait till it turned broadside before shooting, each time i responded with an enlightening "i can't see out the scope" because my eyes were so dried up :/ he was shaking, i was shaking our hearts were a beating. The whole black out eye thing was not helping the situation. Mr. deer walking a little closer, turned to just the right angle for me to point, aim, & shoot. 

Kapowww. One shot right through the heart. My first shot not at a target of some sort and it couldn't have been more perfect. The deer did almost a back flip and dropped dead instantly. Big screams followed the kill which is a no no in hunting land woopsies again. High fives were next. Then very exciting "i did it lee's", "i killed my first deer", then came the tears of joy, followed by "we don't have to get up early anymore"(favorite thing) & "it didn't even hurt my shoulder" (one of my biggest fears).  It was a roller coaster of emotions, i really couldn't believe what had just happened. 

The best part is that i was with my very best friend. Lee is such a patient man both for me and his deer. He doesn't give up and fall asleep on them like me. I do have to give a big shout out to my dad for instilling the "hunting genes" in me and talking me through my tears and fears as best he could back in the day. For a girl who cried at hunter safety i never thought this day would come. But that's the beauty of God's plan. He has led me to lee and changed up my girly girl ways. Love is about making sacrifices, or else you're not really loving. I enjoy being with lee doing what he is so very passionate about, it's even now becoming a hobby of mine. 

I love my first deer kill adventure so much and thanks to lee it's a memory we'll both never ever forget as he captured the whole thing on video for his outdoor filming company True Calling Outdoors. I'm an even luckier girl. Anyone want to come over for movie night, just let us know! Gosh i still can't believe it. So many thank yous to my leland john. Let's go get another one soon ;) 

hope everyone else had a splendid weekend and maybe even killed some deers of your own.
smile :) 
A, the Deer Slayer

you can "like" True Calling on Facebook here!
visit their website here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Meet my A's

(<--Arica almost 18, Andie a teenager on the 30th--->)

I ventured home to see the familia after too many weeks far far away from them for hugs, european talk, and lots of souvenirs. The girls had no idea that I was leaving a day earlier then expected and skipping a class or two oops sorry professors family comes first, sooo only momma and myself were in on mission arrive a day early. It broke my heart to talk to each of them and explain that I wasn't leaving until after Friday's night classes = very late, they knew that meant not much time with them. Man is it killer for me to try and hold something like that in people! But boy did we get them good. Tears, screams, and lots of laughs accompanied each surprise. I sure love my little A's. They are my sisters, but most of all my bestest friends. I am so blessed by the uniqueness both hold deep within. Each at a different stage in the adventure of life, both keeping me a child at heart. They are the most stylish little things too dontcha think?! Momma helped us take some sister pictures this weekend, one may even be going on our Christmas card in a month or two but shhhh I'm not supposed to say anything! And Christmas is exactly 55 days away oh yeah oh yeah oh yeahhh! We even got Dad to join in for a picture at the bottom, he is a goof! I cherish my family and the hours we spend together sometimes being lazies on the couch, maybe arguing about something silly, or maybe dancing like crazies...the moments we spend together are priceless. 
PS I'm still working on the art of mastering my modelicious serious face I'm laughing at it too, 
Smile :) A

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Swiss Francs
Eating some swiss snow
KK and A
ice ice baby

One big pile of mush, Dr. Scholl's after 1 month of walking
    9 stamps in the passport later and I'm officially back in my homeland. Yay for the land of free toilets and the dollar! It's a sad but mostly happy feeling to be home sleeping in my own comfy bed, showering in my own perfect temperature shower, getting ready all sprawled out in my own bathroom, and not living out of that suitcase hopefully for a very long time. Phewfta, I like having my space again! But, back to Europe.  During our last 6 days we ventured to a total of 5 countries, talk about country hopping! We left Belgium for Strasbourg, France from there headed to Interlaken, Switzerland, then Luxembourg and Germany and finally back to Brussels where my feet first touched Europeaness. The days are all fuzzy to me now, my ADD brain has school on its mind again, so thankfully the pictures can do the explaining. I will end by saying that the last 5 weeks were a whirlwind of experience and eyes changed for me. Seeing so many areas of the world so different, yet so similar to us has changed me as a person. If ever you have the opportunity to visit Europe or anywhere in the world for that matter especially as a study abroad trip make like Nike and JUST DO IT! Not only do you see sights you wouldn't normally see, but you also meet some awesome friends along the way. The world is a lot bigger than you think until you get out there and explore for yourself. Oh, also my 3 favorites of the trip: Ireland, The Eiffel Tower, and Switzerland.  I hope to return to all 3 and hopefully more someday. This week, it's back to reality... poor Ali school starts back up tomorrow. I will still be smiling though and you should too. Smile :) A

All glory to God for creating such a beautiful world. 

This was posted at the top of the mountain
Our final dinner in Antwerp

We love kimonos


Our last cherry beers!

Canals in Strasbourg, France

i was lovin the mustard and turq


A canalside resty-rant

Most of the buildings were wooden style

Full moon musky time

Eguisheim, France along the Alsace wine route

A flower filled town

Tiny door

Power lines

So many flowers for October

A giant storks nest

Back in the day there was a tax on the size of your first floor, hence this design...smarties

Too tall to enter

Fave shutters