Meet the Mamas: Ali

age 30 : married : mother of two : Costa Mesa, CA

Has googled “developmental milestones” more times than she can count, loves all things truly healthy and organic, thinks you should always take time out to color with your kids when you are stressed, regularly fantasizes about her kids sharing.

I had a miscarriage over 7 years ago, followed by 3 years of infertility, and finally got to hold my baby girl in my arms 4 1/2 years ago!  Now I have a son as well.

Picture this: it is the day before Thanksgiving and I learn that I am hosting dinner at my house. I run out with the kids to get the “provisions” at Costco and after the cart is filled to the brim (amidst cranky, impatient and frantic customers surrounding me), my son throws up his entire breakfast – all over the front of himself and on the floor in the produce section. He’s crying, my daughter is gagging at the sight and smell of “recycled oatmeal pancakes”, customers are staring, and I am SWEATING! We survived, and all I have to say is thank goodness for the huge box of baby wipes sold at Costco!

How challenging it has been for me! I am a total perfectionist and there have been plenty o’ things in life that have been challenging, but I have always excelled at whatever I have
 done. Motherhood is a different sort of beast – sometimes it feels like “just working harder” is not going to cut it! I am also having to constantly remind myself to be present. I wrote a blog about this, but I think in a nutshell, it is my tendency to get swept away in looking ahead or looking at others, or even looking at what I think the moment I am in could be (if only I was more organized...or if the kids weren't sick on this day...or if I had remembered to pack the baby wipes...etc...) and that in that tide, I miss out on the beauty that surrounds me in that moment (amidst the pile of laundry and snack crumbs on the floor - yes, there is beauty if I look up to see the precious kid dropping those crumbs as he devours his snack with glee and abandon!).  Oh, and the surprise of having children with totally different temperaments than I expected. 

My son is acquiring speech very slowly, and this leads to frustration for everyone in the family. My daughter will talk to him and just repeat the same phrases louder and louder [“Callen, can you say LASAGNA?!!”]…I worry about what I am doing wrong and if this is “just a speech issue”…and, he just really wants to communicate!

There are truly very few situations that cannot be calmed/reversed/fixed/ quieted by a lollipop. I am sure that before I was a mom I saw kids with lollipops and thought, “Wow, so much sugar…”, but now I am so okay with busting out the lollipop when drastic measures are needed. Secret weapon #2 is naptime! Just to have a small chunk of time to myself is golden (what a treat to get to pee without having toy cars drive across my legs or a heated debate over which pony is the prettiest - can I get a witness?!) It is 
such a good thing to have a break from each other in the middle of the day and then to see each other again and say, "It is good to see you!"

my mama manifesto is… be present and engaged in my own life, and the life of my family...
…to empower fellow moms with resources, empathy, community, inspiration, compassion, shortcuts, laughter, courage, wisdom, strength, esteem, honor, great gear, and above all else, a moment to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE…
…to raise healthy, smart, kind, brave, Godly, free spirited kids
…to encourage fellow parents to invest in their marriages and to co-parent well…
…to help moms in impoverished parts of the world realize their dreams for their children to have food, water, shelter, education, and health

can it all happen? of course it can!I am a MOM!


  1. Wow, I love the website! I have to know where you find the time. You must be more organized than I am but that wouldn't be difficult :) I did not realize you were such a gifted writer.

  2. Hi Steph! I am so glad that you like the site...we are learning as we go, but we are sooo excited!

    As to where we find the time...we have not slept much over the past few months. :) We also took a few days away together to work, work, work!

    Check back often, and hugs to the whole fam!


  3. Ali, is your husband a worship leader at RockHarbor? I thought I recognized your last name and his face. We used to go there but now live in Colorado. I stumbled across this blog from who knows where and really like it!

  4. Yep, that is us! Wow, great recognition. When did you guys move? How is Colorado?

    Breathe that clean air for all of us!!!

    Welcome to Mama Manifesto, and I am glad you like it. Share it with your friends. :)


  5. WOW. THis is a blog for me. I am from the OC (went to RH) moved to TN 2 yrs ago. I found it through a link of a link kinda thing. Can't wait to ck it out more. I so need it and some of what you wrote in your bio is me to a T. I strive to raise my kids in a God loving, healthy home but the world is a scary place of goldfish, lunchables and capri suns.

  6. Hey there Melissa! Welcome to Mama Manifesto! We are glad to have you with us, and hope that you will visit regularly.

    What a small world...Amy, Kristen and I all attend RH. My hubby is one of the worship leaders there.

    I have an aunt in Nashville...part of me wishes we could trade cities. I love Franklin!


  7. I just found your blog and I am enjoying reading it.

    I wanted to ask where you got the butterfly necklaces for your daughters birthday?? You put in a link but it is not working. I also searched the net and can't find any with the caterpillars already in them and sealed.

    Anyway-thanks for the great ideas. My sons birthday is coming up and he loves bugs and things so this would be a great birthday treat for his friends to take home. :)

  8. Hey Kendra-

    I am so glad you found us. I hope you visit often. We are a family around here!

    As far as the party goes, I got all the bug stuff from Insect Lore ( I just did a quick search on their site and could not find the caterpillars in the lockets on their site. I know they have the info in their catalogue (which I do not have on hand). But, I worked with one of their representatives while planning the party, so I recommend calling them to place your order and they can steer you in the right direction.

    They are super friendly and very passionate about kids loving bugs. 1 -800-LIVE BUG (1-800-548-3284)

    Have a super fun birthday party!



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