I actually can’t believe I am writing a second blog post in just over a week. Many times I have had such good intentions to keep you updated with what’s going on but I just couldn’t keep up. So this is me hoping I can keep up with what I will call writing my thoughts rather than ‘blogging’, I feel I’m not worthy of that term.
It’s been so long since I wrote anything about me, so I think that’s a good place to start, if you fancy a read.
I’m Ali, well actually I’m Alexandra but most people call me Ali, Al or more recently mummy! Firstly, so nice to meet you, thanks so much for being here, and for taking time to sit/stand or whatever you are doing in order to read my ramblings.
I’ve just recently turned 29, been married to Dave for over 4 years, together for over 8 years and we have a little boy called Seth, who will be 2 in just over a weeks time. Which is crazy! I was looking for photo’s to put in this post and came across video’s of Seth when he was a little baby, which really isn’t that long ago, but just made me realise how quickly things change. And also slightly emotional and dare I say broody!
I am a VERY emotional person. Just like my dad. Who cried most recently at Heather’s flowers arriving on her wedding day. Okay he was probably just starting the emotional journey of that day, but WHO cries at flowers? I’m almost definitely the type of person who is totally engrossed in your story, hanging on your every word, details are totally my thing. I also love to tell a story a few hundred times, I usually start with “I’ve probably told you this before but …”, maybe add some extra bits and totally over exaggerate on most things. Not good when my husband is around as he has no problem embarrassing me, telling the right way of the story. This happens often.
However, what is true and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I did grow up in the beautiful green isle of Northern Ireland, Lurgan to be exact. I love it there, you may say different, but when you grow up somewhere, make memories there, it’s home. I miss not being just round the corner from my parents, but hopefully in the not to distant future, I will be able to convince Dave to move ever so slightly closer to them.
I have two siblings, who I love and admire very much. They both love Jesus and inspire me daily in their pursuit of knowing, serving and leading others to knowing him too! Simon works for Youth for Christ Ireland and Heather works for Reach Mentoring & Emmanuel Church Lurgan as a Kids Pastor.
We were brought up in a Christian home, no TV on a Sunday, I know absolute shocker! It was also black & white for most of my childhood! But when I look back on it now, I am thankful for that rule and others that my parents put in place. I’m not saying we didn’t break it, we did many a time. Biker Grove on a Sunday morning was what we lived for. But my parents really did create a loving home, that safe guarded us in so many ways that I will be forever grateful for.
I became a christian when I was 8, I said ‘the prayer’, you know ‘the prayer’ right. And so that was it. But when I was 16 I fell in love with Jesus. Finding out what it truly meant to love and follow him when I went to South Africa, with Exodus. A Christian organisation, discipling young people and helping them to put their faith into action on Mission. You can read more about Exodus here.
Being involved with them changed the direction of my life quite a bit. Not only did I understand christianity properly, but for the first time, I got to travel the world on mission. Sorry there I go again, over exaggerating, not quite the world, but I did get to go to South Africa, Uganda (twice), Romania, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Surprisingly though now, I no longer have any desire to live or be anywhere other than Northern Ireland. I love going away on holiday but the joy of coming home, love it!
I graduated with a 1st Class Honours in Graphic Design from John Moores University in 2010. I worked for a few years as a designer with my brother in his company until he was called to be a missionary, I learnt so much from him and believe I am a better designer because of his influence and encouragement. I now work full time as a self employed graphic designer, at Radiant Design, people contact me and ask me to design branding for their new business, draw illustrations or design brochures/leaflets and much more. I also dabble in web design and stationery for weddings. Ali Marriott started when I fell in love with my husband, Dave. I used to design him wee cards, and pop them in the post. I also used to make them to apologise to my parents for something my teenage self said in haste. Mum and I attended the craft fair scene many a saturday and the business has come from there. I may never make millions from it but I LOVE what I do, and that’s got to be the most important thing.
The question I get asked all the time is how do I get any work done with Seth. The answer is my parents and my in laws. Without them I would be stuck. Between our two sets of parents, Seth is with them 3 and a half days a week, but I do often work an evening or two as well. Honestly, I can’t get one thing done with that boy around, he’s actually so bossy it’s hilarious; “Sit down mummy”, “play cars mummy”, he is non-stop. I very often get the ‘mum guilt’ but at the end of the day I am doing this to provide for him!
As much as I love being self employed, it can be a lonely job. It’s also not as glamorous as people think it is either. But last year, it overwhelmed me a little bit to much and I did feel like giving it up. Apart from meeting with friends when I could, and going to church, I had very little time to do much else, and it was getting me down. I’ll maybe explain more another time, but for the last year I have been going to the gym faithfully every week, which has helped massively. I started going twice a week and now I go 3-4 times a week. My sister is my gym buddy, it’s such a fun thing for us to do together and I love these times with her.
When Dave & I discuss my love for the gym, we almost pee our pants, because if you know me at all, you will know I am NOT sporty or the least bit fit. I also have a real love affair with food, and working from home does not help this one bit! Also even after a year I still don’t have that skinny body (that I’m hoping for) but I’m trying & that’s a good place to be at. I’ve definitely found going to the gym gives good head space, massively changes my mood and it’s something I do for me & I absolutely LOVE it! If your from Lisburn, check out One Fitness, there are cheaper gyms out there, but the guys that work there are thee best & so good at encouraging & challenging you! I even got told I was doing well this week, I managed to complete the burpee section of the workout! Whoop Whoop!
Some other things about me before you pass out with boredom. I am a massive tea drinker, has to be decaf though. I can’t drink fizzy drinks, so I’ve learnt to love water. I listen to Ed Sheeran a lot, I spend too much time on instagram, I love my sleep, I tolerate football for the sake of my marriage, I had my appendix removed when I was 13, I’ve broken both my ankles, I love watching box sets, I love savoury over sweet and I love a good old fashioned letter through the post! I find it really hard to know what to share on social media, I have a love/hate relationship with it. But I figure that when you come on to my website, you probably want to know who I am, and I can tell you because I am a small business. I want to know my customers and know that they love their products. So thanks so much if you are a customer, I am so thankful for all those gifts you’ve bought for yourself and others.
Also read my blog post Be Brave, if you want to know about my pregnancy journey with Seth, it was a hugely tough thing in my life! And not something that usually happens to a pregnant woman! It’s a good read!
Hopefully you know me a tad better!
Enjoy the rest of your week and if you’ve read to here, major high fives!
Here’s a treat below!