Friday, April 27, 2012

Pull up a chair; we've got a lot of catching up to do!

Hello, dear friends!

It has been quite a long time since we were last together, and there is so much I want to write about.  Hopefully I'll get around to it in the next few days.  Stay tuned for:

  • Holiday pictures and recap from our lovely Christmas in Citronelle.
  • A chat about the Biltmore Estate.
  • Spring, Lent, and Easter.
  • Spartan Race and a visit from 3 of my favorite people.
  • Motorcycle Mayhem!
  • and more!  :)  I feel like an infomercial...

Anyway, I'm jumping back into the swing of things here because I am starting a new phase of life.  Today is my first day on the Dukan Diet, the miracle responsible for the lovely Kate Middleton's pre-wedding transformation, as well as a million gorgeous French women.  Essentially, it is made up of 4 phases: Attack, Cruise, Consolidation, and Stabilization.  Since I am trying to lose just over 20 lbs (I'm already down 10 from my starting weight!), I'll do the Attack phase for the next 4 days, then Cruise until July.  Which is awesome.  I just can't even believe it.  Two months from now, I'm going to be in the 140s!!  That hasn't happened since puberty! 

This is my timeline:

So basically, I'm done with excuses.  I'm done saying, "when I lose weight..."  I'm done saying, "If I were 20lbs lighter..." I'm ready to do it and feel awesome about my body.  

I've never been obese, but I've always been on the higher side of the healthy BMI range.  At 5'9", my goal weight of 145 is right in the middle of healthy.  I'd have to get to 125 before I'd be unhealthy for my height.  So we'll see where it goes, but right now, I'm so pumped about being 145 in two months!!

So for the next two months (or more) I'll be trying to post about what I eat, hopefully adding some recipes and tips I find helpful.  

Thanks for coming with me on this journey!

Grace and peace,


4/27/12 - Day 1 - Attack!

Breakfast: steak and eggs

Lunch: pretend crabmeat, deli turkey breast, cottage cheese

Snacks: dukan galette with cottage cheese, cinnamon, and stevia
several cups of tea

Supper: marinated and grilled chicken thighs with cottage cheese

I'm not gonna lie... it's been one day, and I'm getting pretty tired of meat.  They say the first few days are the hardest, so we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If my life was a movie...

This would be the cast.


Anne Hathaway as Ali Willis

Robert Redford as Drew Willis

Natalie Portman as Nicole Fisher

Dennis Miller as Jim Fisher

Lily Tomlin as Kathy Fisher

It will, of course, be wildly successful and win numerous awards and critical acclaim.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leaves are falling...

The time is upon us, my friends!  Autumn in North Carolina is one of the most beautiful things I have been blessed to experience.  Every year, I always forget just how gorgeous and vibrant the colors of the leaves are as they turn from green to gold to crimson and then return to the earth as a blanket of rainbow over grass and pavement.  And every year, I am reminded anew.

There is also a sparkling kind of chill in the air.  Just enough to relish a sweater, pull out the cushy slippers, and curl up by the fireplace with the bible and some "dark sensation" hot chocolate.

I am having one of those unique times, after an incredibly busy week and before the start of another, when I am resting in the eye of the storm.  I have had several things due this week, including a complete song with theological commentary on Tuesday, part 1 of a midterm on Tuesday, part 2 of a midterm on Wednesday, then a day full of class and choir practice until 8:45, then a sermon that I preached in class today.  Unfortunately, time management is not one of my strong suits, so with all that, a few late nights and 5-hour energy shots behind me, I feel like I have survived a battle.

And now it is the deep breath before the plunge, as they say.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Hello, my lovelies!

Some of you may know this, but I am taking a class at school called "Songwriting and Theology," in which we have weekly assignments to write hymns/songs based on certain theological emphases.  Well, all semester so far, we have just been required to write 1 stanza each week.  I usually wrote more, but it was not required.  This week, though, we had to turn in our first complete song!  Y'all, I was so nervous!  I don't know why, but the pressure of writing a whole song made it so much harder to write this one than the others.  Anyway, it's finally done, so I'm posting it here for your reading and meditating pleasure.  If anyone is a gifted composer and would like to offer a tune, I would be much obliged!

A basin filled, a towel tied at waist. (John 13:4-5)
Disciples gathered in the darkened room. (John 12:35)
A moment captures maker of both time and space, (Phil. 2:6-8, Jer. 23:24, Ps. 90:4)
As master serves despite impending doom. (John 13:13-14, 21)

            Waters in the hands of God. (Prov. 21:1)
            Oh, wash me in your precious blood. (Rev. 7:14, Heb. 9:14, 1 John 1:7)
            Let me kneel before your throne. (Phil. 2:10)
            As you reach down, make me your own. (John 3:13-15)
            Wash me clean and make me new. (John 3:5, 4:7-15)
            O Lord, I give my heart to you. (Ps. 108:1, 1 Chr. 22:19)

Palms poised for piercing hold our trembling feet, (Isaiah 49:16)
As they had before the earth was made. (Ps. 139)
With saving love so lavish and so undiscreet, (Luke 15:11-32)
He kneels, our death for his own life to trade. (Isaiah 53:4-12)

Betrayal lurks, a fate sealed with a kiss. (Luke 22:47-48
Denial casts a shadow on the night. (John 13:37-38, 18:17, 25-27)
Yet through the dark, a whisper drowns out death’s foul hiss.  
“As I have served, you shall enact this rite” (John 13:15)

Also, part of the assignment was to annotate the lyrics with Scripture references, so if you feel so led to look them up and read them alongside the song, be my guest.  I hope you like!

Much love,

Pastor Ali

Monday, October 17, 2011


Hello, my lovelies!

It has been a long time coming, but Southern&Lovely has gotten a much-needed makeover!

What do y'all think?  The layout and header are courtesy of, with a little of my own flair thrown in.  Tres chic, non?

They have so many cute blog layouts and graphics... I could hardly decide which one to pick, but I had to go with the one called "Southern Girl."  I just couldn't resist the p.i.n.k.&.g.r.e.e.n.

I hope you like!


Pastor Ali

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lucky me!

Hello, my lovelies!

I feel like the luckiest girl in town!  After a long day of website-building (check it out here!), I checked on one of my favorite blogs in the whole world, Miss Janice, and saw that I won her Back-2-School giveaway from 2 Preppy Girls!  I've never won a blog giveaway before!  All the stuff from 2 Preppy Girls is super cute, but I think these Personalized Pens and Preppy Postage are about as cute as can be.  N'est pas?
And see what she had to say:
I'm happy to announce the winner of my 2PreppyGirls giveaway. It's Pastor Ali from Southern and Lovely. Lord have mercy, when I drew this entry, I was shocked that a "Pastor" was even following my blog! Pastor Ali is co-Pastor with her husband Drew at the Lebannon United Methodist Church in Mebane, North Carolina. I love that in her blog profile she says "I'll be writing about fashion for young clergywomen." Congratulations to you Pastor Ali! 
So, I want to say a big "Thank You!" to the sweet and inimitable Miss Janice!