Painting a Picture with Words

I have tried to keep project alicia a place free of politics, religion and heavy topics. And negativity for the most part. I wanted a refuge. A safe, happy blog to call home.

I wanted to uplift and inspire. And create. Share my passions and enthusiasm for the world around me.

But project alicia is about more than just capturing beauty. The veins of life are entwined with both roses and thorns. And every day I take a breath I am peeling away layers of lish- revealing a more refined, confident woman as I navigate the aberrant adventures life throws my way.

Unfortunately, like you, I was created with imperfect, human DNA. And reared by imperfect parents. Being flawed is an inevitable part of the human experience.

I have weaknesses, insecurities, and inner demons that I battle on a daily basis. As much as I resist it, these aspects of my life trickle down into my work from time to time. It is an unavoidable paradox. I am who I am.

And my blog is merely a mirror of me.

But until you walk in my shoes, you will never truly understand me. How could you? Just as I could never truly understand the trials you face. The picture we portray on the outside does not always give an adequate depiction of what is going on inside.

I give you glimpses. Selective bits and pieces of lish.

The Big Picture, sharing insights from my miscarriage more than a decade later.

Cliched Midlife Crisis? A wake-up call. Learning to tune out the world and listen to only the voice in my head; reconnecting with the lost child within and accepting the face looking back at me.

I said I'd never do this. A birthday tribute for little man, reflecting on the near death experience while bringing him into this world.

Raw Unadulterated Throes of Passion. Mama bear going in for the kill. New uncharted emotions after little man was beat up by a bully his first week of middle school.

Golden Nuggets. Savoring rare moments of perfect bliss.

A Sad Story, the stress inducing, anxiety ridden, never ending saga that is a short sale.

I've had a few wet dreams... Navigating my way through the agony and the ecstasy of parenting, tightening my grip in a last ditch effort to hold on, just as they are letting go.

Celebrating my Little Man Learning to adapt after his recent diagnosis with NVLD (non-verbal learning disorder), a form of autism classified in the asperger's family.

Making Modifications. Creating a new motto to live by for sanity's sake.

Secrets Revealed, the Nuclear Kind. Revealing my inner thoughts about the employment that takes my husband away at all hours of the night and day.

I am beautiful. Finding the strength to work through my feelings of inadequacy.

Launching Project Smile. Combating my S.A.D. in the long winter months of Iowa by seeking out the smiles of life.

But connecting words into a coherent sentence structure is something I struggle with. My mind is a whirring jumble of thoughts. The words are there. As a child I loved word games. I excelled in spelling and grammar. Words became an obsession. But rather than struggle to articulate my thoughts, it has been easier for me to tell my stories via photos. Besides, "a picture is worth a thousand words". But then there are those times that words are necessary to paint the picture. This is one of those said times.

So, please bare with me as I attempt to paint my picture with words.

I was gifted with the German schnoz. My Grandpa Yard’s eyes. My dad’s incessant need to pick. My Grandma Barnes’ sluggish digestive tract. My mother’s plot for perfection. And my Uncle John’s elongated face.

My acne prone skin and large breasts are up for debate. Genetic defects somewhere along the line. Dr Oz says that only 3% of tiny women have naturally large breasts. I had high hopes of this changing when children came into the picture. But no. They only left them stretched out and perky-less.

I am a hodgepodge of sorts. Half German. Part mutt. And 100% Lish. The name happened by sheer laziness. And it stuck.

We have no choice in most of our external attributes. We are who we are. And there is little to be done to change that. Unless of course you have extra cash and don’t mind going under the knife. I for one am a bit of a wus. I don’t much care for unnecessary pain. Or my pain threshold is flawed. One or the other. Plus, if there is a one in one million chance of experiencing any side effects, I am that one. Without fail.

One of six kids, I was raised by conservative mormon folks in the farmlands of the midwest. I learned to drive a stick shift in the cornfield behind our house. And at one point I lived within a couple miles of the stinkiest pig farm that side of Iowa. But ironically enough, we were not farmers. Dad's employment moved us multiple times during my high school years. And we were not military either. I graduated early in Cedar Rapids, IA, not knowing a single person in my graduating class of nearly 600 kids.

I should thank my parents for having the good sense to get my teeth fixed. But the pallete expander that produced migraines and wreaked havoc may or may not be in part to blame for my wretched jaw, as it is currently out of whack yet again. But who needs to talk or chew.

At a runtish 5 foot tall, double digit stature, "reaching" has become a habitual pass time. Whether it's that last dinner plate, little man's allergy pills, or the top rack of my closet, nothing comes easy. Step stools and ladders have become a staple. And don't even get me started on clothes.

I am cute. Not beautiful. Or gorgeous. Just cute. Tiny people do not carry a presence about them or stand out in a crowd like average to large sized people.

I dream of living in a cottage beach house over looking the ocean, a world free of burglars, rapists, and war. Without currency. A place where people have mutual love and repect for their neighbor... Endless rainbows and supplies of lollipops. Sigh. I think it may exist in fairytopia.

In 50 words or less...

I am an incessantly cold, carb lovin, teeth cleaning, order obsessed, shoe crazed, movie watchin, odor hating, pipe dreamin, over-cautious, nature admiring, nail breaking, photo infatuated, family immersed, phobia plagued, sleep deprived, girl next door who longs for more than this small Iowa town has to offer.

Hope this pictureless post gives you a better insight into the goings-on of the girl behind project alicia.


  1. I loved reading that! You are fabulous!

  2. Oh that was so nice to read more about you! I mean, I´ve been around here for quite a while, and what I love most about your blog is how your personality shines through with each post. So it feels even nicer to know a little background. And hey, you´re part german! Now that´s cool! If you ever come to visit the old world, maybe we could meet? You and your family would sincerly be invited, I bet we could have nice long talks.
    And I wouldn´t pester you to show me all your photography tips - though, maybe I would ;)

  3. Thanks for sharing. I dream of a cottage by the beach free of dangers too.

  4. Wonderful post! Honestly moved by the eloquence and ease of your words. I feel you staying true to yourself, even though I don't know you except through your amazing blog. Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself.

  5. I think you're absolutely beautiful and wonderful but I know that we are each haunted by the reflections of ourselves that no one else can see. I loved this inner look at you. Makes me love you even more!

  6. i love learning more about you...
    i do think you are beautiful and this post makes it even more noticeable :)

  7. what a beautiful, personal post. thank you for sharing. I feel like I know you just a little bit more now. xxoo

  8. Wow.

    This was just painfully, honestly real.

    You are an extremely grounded, accepting, open person.

    I am floored at your lack of ego, floored and in awe.


    You are something rare and special.

  9. Probably one of my most favorite posts by any blogger. Brilliant.

  10. I have to disagree with you - you ARE beautiful!!!

  11. I love this! You're amazing. Thank you for sharing your flawed, beautiful, honest self.


  12. As another runt I get what you are saying.... but... your words command attention. Your spirit keeps it. I can't comment on looks because I haven't the foggiest what you look like

  13. Awww. I love you and I love your honesty. You are amazing and beautiful.

  14. Your writing is captivating as are you photos. We all have demons and insecurities. As long as our good life outweighs them, balance is restored. You are just the kind of next door girl I would have over for a cuppa tea every day.

  15. I disagree with one thing... you are beautiful and I'm not blowing smoke up your ass, yeah I said it. I don't tell people things I don't mean. You seem that way inside and out, truly!

    I think you put the perfect piece of you in your posts.

    I often wonder what people get from what I put out there. How do they truly think I am? A whiner/complainer/negative, etc. I guess you never truly know 100% that what they write matches the real them. I feel you are honest though. Down to earth and true. All the reasons why I love you for what you put out there.

  16. what a beautiful post! I think you are absolutely beautiful and so talented in so many ways! i love reading your blog and I just love learning about you.

    you are amazing!

  17. This was such a honest, raw and real insight into the loveliness that is Lish. And in sharing it, it's like we just took our bloggy friendship to another level after reading this....xx

  18. I think this has to be my favorite post! And I also have to dis-agree with you. You are gorgeous!! Looks are not the only thing that makes your beauty shine! ;) Thank you for sharing such a personal and honest post!

  19. I am a relatively new reader and as I'm reading through some of your older posts I'm in awe. My impression of you has been that you are extremely talented and beautiful, and you are . . .

  20. I loved getting to know you! We tweeted back and forth this morning, just wanted to let you know that was me! :)

  21. Hello new blog friend! I am your newest follower via the blog hop :)
    It would be great for a follow back! Have a lovely day,

    Oh my goodness... I love ALL of your photos!

  22. I'm so glad I decided to come into the blogosphere to check my neglected blog and one click let to another until I found this....I absolutely LOVE this! Note to self I should come back to blogging :)