hi, i'm Ali
Photographer, dog mom, daily walker, reader, and wife to a busy maker. I'm the voice you hear and read at Life Outside the Shop.
From new project how-to's and DIY home updates to the ins-and-outs of building a family & multiple businesses, Life Outside the Shop shares what is really looks like to figure it out as you go.
It’s easy to get stuck thinking I’ve seen all there is to see around the home we’ve created for ourselves here in St. Albans.
It’s also easy to get stuck in a routine and forget how quickly we can throw our paddleboards on the
back top of Sam’s truck, text our friends and spend the day in the sun exploring not-so-hidden places right at our fin gertips.
For the last three weekends, Sam, Lex, Sarah, and I have loaded coolers, snacks, dogs, paddleboards, lifejackets (for us, and the dogs!), and a canoe into the boy’s trucks, picked a new river, lake or reservoir, and set out.
We let The sun sinks into our skin, warming our bones and chasing off thoughts of those same bones chilled by winter’s kiss in just a few short months.
We talk about anything and everything. We can hear the boys (who we’ve recently stuck in the canoe together so we girls can take the boards) up ahead laughing about a shared story or riverside observation (
two peas in a pod, those two).
Trailing behind (because of the dog propelling himself through the water with his little legs beside us) Sarah and I talk about, books, podcasts, her plants, and my photography. She teaches me about osprey markings, the best time to plant my lavender, and that ferns are so ancient, they were around before plants had evolved enough to flower.
Hours (literally) float by and the concept of time becomes moot. You could tell me I’d been out there for five minutes or five hours and I would believe you. Awe, right?
Yesterday, our paddle brought us from the winding Lamoille River to the broad lake and we posted up at a small sandbar to snack, swim, and watch blue splash in the shallow waves.
The Adirondacks spread before us in different shades of blue, parading across an even bluer sky. If the earth had a heartbeat, I’m convinced it would look like these mountains.
It is incredible what we can create for ourselves when we break the mold of our daily routine and the restrictions it puts on our experiences and our creativity.
But, I’m realizing that, just like it is easy to get stuck spending Sundays lazing around, it is also pretty easy to start building a routine of adventuring. The more we do it, the more we crave it. I’m beginning to understand that the couch and hours of TV aren’t nearly as good at recharging my body and soul as being outside in the sun.
I feel more awake, alive, and downright happy on a Monday morning when I spent the day before
in search of filling up with experiences and the night gathered around a backyard table filling up with more stories, conversations, and homemade salsa.
So here’s to a summer of less.
Less spending money on things we don’t need
Less time on the couch
Less Netflix and chill
Less (“fewer”, technically) Sundays at home
And here’s to a summer of more.
More breaking routine
More searching for (and finding) awe right in our backyard