A Journalled Year.

This delightful kid turned eleven yesterday.

13 180105 Falling Rock Falls c IMG_0465 s

Ali recorded her year much better than I did, so I thought we’d tell the story together.

January 2017: her tenth birthday, and when she finally allowed me to start calling her a tween.

03 Ali-3-2017b s

Also, she made sure to record her little brother’s fairly impressive abilities.

Ali's Diary IMG_6927 2 s

February: She’s always up for a craft project of any kind. In fact, she may craft harder than anyone has ever crafted in the history of craftswomanship.

02 Fimo ProjectIMG_3930s s

She also ran her third 5K (and began feeling eerily close to me in the height department.)

02 IMG_4522 s

In her February writings, she took the time to express her lifelong displeasure in the Chick-Fil-A cow’s ability to spell. (She has long told me that she thinks it’s just awful that they teach little kids how to spell wrong. I did not know, until reading her diary, that she uses them as a scapegoat for her own spelling missteps. It’s fair.)

a 02 Ali's Diary IMG_6919 2 s

March: She’s always excited about any adventure and more willing than ever to take risks and try new things.

03 Pine-Mountain_MG_6407_0082 s

She also recorded this fairly quirky moment.

Ali's Diary IMG_6925 2 s

If you can’t end a story of inexplicable mouth bleeding with TTYL, are you really tweening?

April: She’s a model oldest cousin,

04 Easter-2017_MG_7991_1720 s

She’s cool enough for awesome sunglasses but not too cool to bury her Dad,

04 April 2017 beachFullSizeRender 75s s

And she doesn’t believe in spoilers. Even in one’s personal diary.

Ali's Diary IMG_6926 2 s

May: Who needs water shoes to walk on a rocky riverbed? Not ten year olds.

05 170519 Cahaba River Exploring Trussville_MG_0003 s s

Ali finished her Alabama History project with flourish,

06 Alabama-History-Book s

Our last field trip involving standing under one of Alabama’s finest accomplishments.

05 170523b-Dreams-of-Space s

She always loves reading,

05 Last Day of School on Ruffner Mountain _MG_8599 s

And, when necessary to tell the story correctly, she believes in a good, solid illustration of crying and injured children.

a 05 Ali's Diary IMG_6920 2 s

(And, if you cannot properly see the injury due to scale of drawing, by all means show a magnification.)

a 05b Ali's Diary IMG_6921 2 s

June: She’s an angel. Especially when compared to her competition.

06 Ali-Noah-Wings-Karate-Chop s

She’s still 100% committed to her literal lifelong best friend, AJ.

06 June 2017 Spurlahan Trip _MG_9384 s

And she realized that she likes having a pictoral journal of herself, so is willing to pose for any picture, including holding a giant peach that most believe to actually be a giant peach-colored butt.

06 June 170225-Holding-Up-The-Peach s

Also, ants are the worst, no matter what your age – mainly because it only takes 180 seconds to go from digging up sassafras roots to being the proud owner of a cluster of ant bites.

Ali's Diary IMG_6935 2 s

July: Ali decided she was going to become a woodcarver when she grew up, so Pop took her to get whittling tools (with which I managed to mortally wound myself but she uses still unscathed), and she began her career on soap, as one does.

07 IMG_0467 s

…Which is less dangerous than her backup careers – snake charmer,

07 IMG_8042 s

or supervillain.

07 Ironman-Catwoman-3 s

She also managed to record her brother’s most humiliating moment of the month,

a 07 Ali's Diary IMG_6923 2 s

Along with a total stranger’s:

a 07 Ali's Diary IMG_6928 2 s

August: She continued being a helpful cousin,

08 2017-Family-Vacation-Cousins-Pic_MG_3358 s s

A helpful photographical muse,

08 170818d Sunset on Cape San Blas _MG_3175 s s

08 ali-beach-8-2017 s s

08 August 2017 Family Vacation FullSizeRender 99 s s

And a helpful sister.

08 Ali-Assisting-Noah-climb_MG_9697 s

She also recorded her once-in-a-childhood opportunity to experience a partial eclipse (I know, I know – we should have driven up to the total eclipse. I still have regret.)

a 08 Ali's Diary IMG_6929 2 s

September: Ali started the Fifth Grade, which sounds super old.

08 First Day of School 2017 IMG_1950 s s

Her excitement for adventures-in-the-woods went a bit manic like mine does every fall, which was quite convenient.

09 170929 Tannehill IMG_3490 s

And, lucky for her father, her joy from football also grew twelve sizes. Except when she gets stung by mysterious creatures.

a 10 Ali's Diary IMG_6932 2 s “But not all was good…”

She also realized The Way Things Are with Alabama Football.

a 09 Ali's Diary IMG_6930 2 s

October: Our multi-weekly hikes kept her a step ahead of her friends,

10 Ethan climbing wall to Ali IMG_5191 s

And she cracked the code to happiness.

a 10 Ali's Diary IMG_6936 2 s The definition of happiness always includes “etc.”

November:

11 Ali-11-15-17-IMG_0235 s

She volunteered at Habitat for (Fairy) Humanity and built a house from the ground up,

11 Oak Mountain Fall Trip 2017 IMG_0297 3blog s

She discovered the joy of coffee (when liberally creamered),

11 Oak Mountain Fall Trip 2017 IMG_4849blog s

And she truly Became One With The Fall.

11 171107 Ali in Endless Leaves IMG_9045S s

11 171108 Walk in the Woods at Oak Mountain IMG_9308S s

11 171108 Walk in the Woods at Oak Mountain IMG_9344S s

11 171108 Walk in the Woods at Oak Mountain IMG_9423S s

11 171111-Leaves-Sunset-and-Football s s

11 171120 Leaves and sunset atop Ruffner Mountain IMG_2384 s s

Also, her football commentary and illustration abilities became ESPN-Ready.

a 11 Ali's Diary IMG_6937 2 s

a 11b Ali's Diary IMG_6938 2 s (Although when I read the lips of angry coaches and players, that’s not usually what they’re saying.)

December:

12 Ali-12-18-17-IMG_7664 s

She perfected the art of climbing a tree that clearly wanted to be climbed,

12 171218 Aldridge Gardens IMG_7700 s s

She got to make a fantastic December snowman,

12 IMG_0376 s_1 s

And she helped me get kids to smile for Christmas photoshoots,

12 Ali-and-Noah-helping-Photo-Shoot-12-4-17-IMG_6779 s

Including when that kid was just simply her brother.

12 Ali-Noah-2017-Christmas-IMG_8174 s

Also, her nonchalant ability to move on after documenting illegal residents is a lesson to me in not sweating the small (and furry) stuff.

Ali's Diary IMG_6934 2 s

January 2018: Her basketball career is flourishing.

IMG_6856 2

Our long bout of sub-freezing weather has fascinated her, making her eager for a daily adventure to experience this wild and wonderful Natural Ice.

13 180103-Ali-Through-The-Ice-IMG_9529 s

13 180104 Walk on Water  and Icy Day IMG_9781 s

13 180104 Walk on Water IMG_9764 s

She is and will continue to be my eager adventure partner,

13 180105 Falling Rock Falls c IMG_0580 s

Along with my equal-sharing partner in pants, socks, shirts, jackets, hairstyles, and very nearly height.

13 IMG_6667 s

I, for one, am quite excited to see where the year of eleven takes us.

Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. OMG I love this ! What a great person she is — and what a great photographer her mom is!

  2. Lauren Kelley says:

    This is amazing! My youngest is Ali’s age. I wish I had chronicled her years this way.

    LOVE “the definition of happiness always includes etc.” Will be using that from now on and giving you full credit…

    You should definitely have driven to see us in Greenville, SC for the total eclipse. It actually was really incredible. Next time. ha!

    Ali is truly such a beauty in every way. Thanks for sharing her with us! And eleven is actually a really fun age!

  3. Happy Birthday Ali!

    I love the way Ali signs her name! I can tell 11 is going to be a great year.

  4. Happy Birthday Ali!
    I wish my girls would journal like her as that is such a cool way to remember their year

  5. Happy birthday!

  6. Love this! The Chik-Fil-A blame cracked me up! And I’m totally regretting the whole eclipse thing too! I really wish I had researched it better because I thought that being as close as we were to the totality zone that it would pretty much get dark. Yeah not so much. We went to my brother in laws a couple weeks later and I’m super mad at myself that we didn’t go that weekend since they were 100% in it. Grr.

  7. Happy birthday to Ali! Looks like she (and your family) have had a terrific year. Here’s hoping year 11 will be the best yet!

  8. Happy Birthday, Ali! We loved spending some time with you this year in Enterprise and in your beautiful Red Rock Park. Maybe Year 11 can include a trip to the west for some more cold adventures.
    Have a great 11th year!

Speak Your Mind

*