Meet Ali Anderson, 2010 SOAR! Recipient!

Me Ra Koh

Today I get to introduce you to one more special lady, our third SOAR! Recipient!  Meet Ali Anderson!

If you missed Ali’s SOAR! video submission, check it out.  I love the part about her grandparents.

Ali, we are so excited to have you be one of the three SOAR! Recipients!  The three of you bring a wonderful balance that will only grow and grow. Thank you for sharing your heart in your video and in your initial thoughts below.


Initial Thoughts by Ali Anderson

I alphabetized my spices last week. My kitchen junk drawer should be on display at The Container Store. The toy depot in my living room now has all the order of a U.S. Army barracks. And that is just the tip o’ the iceberg, people.

Ordinarily, I engage in losing battles with domestic entropy, but when someone knocks on your door, holding a neatly wrapped gift the color of cotton candy, and delivers you the life-changing news you’ve been secretly hoping for, there are unanticipated aftershocks involved. Like big-time nesting (and potentially the need for cardiac resuscitation equipment). It took me a week of obsessive home organizational projects to realize I was nesting in preparation for this year of SOARing. (And here I thought I was just on a hot streak of domestic prowess.)

Many of you know the feeling all too well: You can’t possibly go to bed until you’ve cleaned out the kids’ closets and boxed up their outgrown clothes in hermetically sealed containers according to gender, season and size. It doesn’t matter that you vacuumed the dust bunnies under the sofa last week. Surely they are capable of asexual reproduction. And when you’re under the influence of nesting, you practically have a vocational calling to sort the clothes in your closet according to the hexadecimal color values grid.

As women, nesting is what we are crafted to do when we’re anticipating change. And SOAR!, friends, is a big one.

That is exactly why the gravity of accepting the honor weighs so wondrously heavy on my heart. I have watched every one of your videos. I have humbly read every one of your comments, feeling blessed to be on the receiving end of so much genuine sentiment. I am impressed and moved by your creative talents and the personal stories that have propelled each of you to this community. Your talents, stories, dreams and challenges are not lost on me.

My promise to you this year is to live this experience transparently. You will see me fail gloriously. You will witness some frustration (I’ll try to keep the kicking and screaming to a minimum for my sweet husband’s sake). I hope you will also share my successes, excitement, and inevitable growth.  You can count on me to put it ALL out there for you, but here’s the thing:

You gotta come along. Especially if you submitted an application this year or wished now you had, *please please please* come with Charisse, Rachel and me on this journey: don’t stop here. I see myself as a conduit for the growth and achievement of anyone who is willing to endeavor with me. Be all in.

So if you’re ready to get this party started, I’ll see you over on the SOAR! blog next week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go dust all my ceiling fans before the first photo exercise is due.



Now that you’ve met all three SOAR! Recipients, don’t you think that as a group they have a wonderful balance about them?  All three women are dynamic, diverse, gifted, passionate, and yet scared, overwhelmed but still going for it in their own way.  One of the things I’m most excited to see is how their relationships with each other unfolds.  It’s going to be a wonderful year of adventure!

Will you help me welcome Ali?!

Now let’s get this year rolling!  First up on Monday, Business Coaching exercise for all!





  1. Wendy Roob says:

    Congratulations Ali!

  2. Addie says:

    I love the way you write and I love the images you chose to share on your video. And the words of wisdom about your grandmother spoke to me too. Every time I see a photo like this it evokes the family history and stories that must be told and cherished.
    It always amazes me how photography can be important for so very many different reasons to so many very different people, and yet it, and we, all come together as one. I absolutely love the harmony of that.
    Congratulations in your new adventure and can’t wait to see you SOAR!

  3. Tammy Snyder says:

    Ali~I am so looking forward to your SOAR! growth this year as well. Your writing is beautiful and will be thought provoking. I’ll be along on this train ride with you, Rachel, Charisse and all the other wonderful women belonging to this forum. Can’t wait to get started!

  4. Cathy says:

    Ali, Congrats and I already love the way you see and the images you posted. I can’t wait to see where this year takes you.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sony Artisans, Me Ra Koh. Me Ra Koh said: New blog post: Meet Ali Anderson, 2010 SOAR! Recipient! […]

  6. Hmmm, do we have a writer on our hands?! I loved reading your initial thoughts and would’ve kept turning the page with you. I am so proud of you and can’t wait to watch you SOAR! this year.

  7. Lisa W. says:

    Ali- You sure have a way with words! You will do an amazing job this year. You seem alot like me. I’ve been totally into reorganizing closets, rearranging bedroom furniture, getting rid of broken toys, etc. I’m SO ready to change. I’ve already started reading “The Artist Way” and I’m ready to SOAR! It’ll be great to have you tell it like it is this year. Sounds like you won’t be sugar coating anything. Way to be!

  8. Samantha says:

    Ali- Thank you for inviting us to join you with open arms and such a big heart!

  9. jessica ho says:

    My goodness ali, you are a natural writer! Just amazing! Good luck this year, I have a feeling you will do really big things! Oh and I LOVED your application video, you just seem so real and genuine. <333

  10. Summie Roach says:

    Ali…I so visualized your spices, junk drawer, toys…everything you wrote I felt I was walking next to you! (okay, now I need to go straighten the spices and the junk drawer and try to beat you at cleaning the fans! LOL) Thank you for being so real to us! Cannot wait to scream with you, laugh with you, cry with you, but most of all…SOAR with you! This is going to be a wonderful journey for all of us! Cannot wait to embark on this life changing year with you, Charisse and Rachel!

  11. Rhonda Kane says:

    Congratulations Ali. I can tell I’m going to LOVE being on this journey with you already. I laughed so hard when I read this, because I determined 2011 a year of getting stuff in order and I’ve been doing exactly what you described above. Last week my daughters closet was empty and you couldn’t walk in her room – because I wanted to start with a clean slate and sort through and organize EVERYTHING. It wasn’t enough to just clean up this time. Haha!

    I think I’m going to tackle my sons’ room this week. We’ll see how that goes 😉

    I’m really looking forward to the Soar journey this year.
    Can’t wait to get the journey started!

  12. “I alphabetized my spices last week.” That alone makes me want to hug you 😉

    Congratulations, Ali! What a season ahead…I am very excited for you and cannot wait to watch the twists and turns! I am with Rhonda…can’t wait to get the journey started!!! This is going to be an amazing year–I feel so privileged to follow along!!

  13. Jill O'Hanlon says:

    Ali, you crack me up! I love your writing style and can’t wait to read more! I can really relate to your need for order before this challenging year commences. I just began going through our enormous file system and chucking old papers, etc. and didn’t really know why I was doing it. Thanks to you, I now know! 🙂 I’m definitely joining you on this journey, lady. So glad we live fairly close so we can have some face time along the way (hopefully!). You are a talented, intelligent, artistic woman with so much to offer this world of photography – I’m excited to watch you grow.

  14. Brianna says:

    Ali, I remember watching your video while we were all patiently waiting for the recipients to be announced. I knew you would win. Your story, your pictures and your personality made your video exceptional. I’m so happy and excited for you! And guess what! I’m ALL IN!!! Let’s do this thing! 😀

  15. Jill says:

    Can’t wait to follow you Ali. Love your passion for life!

  16. Delanae says:

    Congratulations Ali!!!

    I’m so excited to be SOARing along with all 3 of you.

    I am super excited to be taking the Confidence Workshop this weekend. Yeah! Just 2 more days@! To know that the SOAR year starts on Monday, well, I feel super blessed.

    Cannot wait to flap my wings with you all! 😀

  17. ali anderson says:

    thanks everyone for your support! i feel like i’ve got that glowy feeling that is usually reserved for new mothers and people whose football teams are in the super bowl. and i just have to throw a shout out to stephanie doran who, at the DC CONFIDENCE workshop last year, took just about the only headshot i have of myself. thanks again, stephanie!

  18. Rachel Abelson says:

    I thought this was a blog, not a fabulous beginning to a book! Ali-your writing is amazing, just as I’m sure you are as a person. I can’t wait to get to know you better and grow with you!.

    BTW…want to expend some of that nesting as my house? =)

  19. Judith I says:

    Congrats Ali!!! Cannot wait to follow along on your journey.

  20. Charisse says:

    Ali, what can I say but wow! I would really be nervous following both you and Rachel’s blogs. Glad I am in the middle. (smile) Seriously, loved your post. Your writing is as beautiful as I am sure your pantry and cupboards are! If you run out of things to label, my house would love some of your “domestic organizational prowess”. Love the different dynamic we all bring. Looking forward to meeting you.

    oh yeah…that picture truly captures your beauty!

  21. Charlotte says:

    Ali, will you please come to my house before you get that first photo assignment?
    And bring a nice big bottle of that confidence, too, OK?

    Ali, Charisse, and Rachel: Wishing you all the best as you take flight this year. Beautiful writing! Beautiful new beginnings. Beautiful, strong women.

  22. Stephanie says:

    If you run out of things to organize in your home, feel free to come over to mine! I always love your facebook posts. Such humor in everyday things. Love your initial thoughts. I look forward to following your blog posts.

    Thanks so much for the shout out! Who knew the headshot exercise back at the DC Workshop would pay off? Congrats!

  23. Carol says:

    I have to say….MeRa and team chose well! I love each of these three ladies! Can’t wait to see what is in store for them for the coming year! 🙂

  24. Oh Ali,

    You crack me up. How ironic that you are in the same position in the blog line up as I was and we share so much!! I completely understand your nesting and must tell you I have nested and rebuilt and nested more times than my family could stand last year, and the journey still continues. I do expect to see pictures of all this organizing however, consider it my first assignment as your mentor, bet you didn’t know you would be getting those. Shhh, don’t tell Me Ra!!

    I am honored to be your mentor over the next year!! Since we are already so close and keeping secrets I thought I should also tell you that…between Jen, Linda, and I… I really am the one who held it all together last year ; )!! I was totally the one who was cracking the whip reminding them of all they had to do. So please know that I am the one that they will all be coming to this year again, so as my mentee you are so ahead of the game ; )!!

    Can’t wait to laugh and cry along with you this year!! Grab on tight it is going to be a wild ride!!

    Shine on!!

  25. Hey Ali,

    So funny with the cleaning but I know what you mean. On Monday night I was hit with the flu and I knew it was going to be a hard week. As I’m laying in bed I kept getting the urge to have to clean everything up. Maybe because I knew what my apartment was going to look like at the end of the week when hopefully I’d be feeling better. Eeeek!!

    Looking forward watching and growing with you!!


  26. AHHHHH!! They are all so awesome and I couldn’t be more excited for them (and all of us really!!) 🙂 Congratulations, ladies. You rock!

  27. Helene says:

    Congratulations Ali…it’s going to be a great year for you, Charisse and Rachel. Your Grandmother does look beautiful & elegant.. a picture like that one is a treasure. I’m planning on following the blog from day one so I better go get ready; time to start dusting the blinds and the legs on the dining room chairs; see your not the only one!!!

  28. ajira says:

    Ali! Congratulations. So wonderful to get to ‘see’ you a little bit through this introduction. Very excited to see what you do with this amazing opportunity.

  29. Congratulations! Your preparation is amazing. The video application alone shows your determination to get it flawlessly right! I love how articulate you are in your writing as well! I can’t wait to follow your adventures this year!

  30. […] else is on top of my list? The vendors who have donated all the equipment and training for myself, Ali, and Charisse. I could not be more thankful for all the SOAR! partners: Sony, Jill-e, Adobe, Wisdom […]

  31. Wow! These ladies are amazing. They truly are strong women and passionate people. Good luck on the opportunity! I’m looking forward to your flourishing success and less of the glorious failures.

  32. Ali, Congrats on your opportunity. I have to say that I can totally relate to your response. I would do the same in regard to attempting to prepare for a new adventure. I go into everything I do with both feet, all in, deep end! But, before I take that plunge, I researched A-Z, strengthened my mind and body, and prayed for my spirit to get in line with my tasks. After I have done my part, I can dive in with free abandon! Best Wishes.

  33. Congrat’s Ali…looking forward to the flight ahead. I love that you do “domestic entropy” too….I can so relate! Now for learning how to put all that organizational energy toward Soaring! ; )

  34. […] weeks Business Coaching exercise from Karen Buckley of the Wisdom Connection did not disappoint. Ali, Rachel and I are blessed to be able to work with and receive some business acumen from them as we […]

  35. […] could go on an on about the awesomeness of the camera, but then what would Ali and Charisse have to write about?  Instead I’ll show you some pictures, straight out of the […]

  36. […] don’t do sunlight. I mean have you seen me? I’m one shade away from being a Twilight character (minus the blood-stained incisors and sullen […]

  37. […] Getting ready: Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner Ceremony: St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church Reception: Halcyon House Coordinator: Rex & Regina : blog Florist: Holly Heider Chapple Flowers : blog DJ: Chris Laich Music Services : blog Videographer: Blue Sky Films : blog A capella group: Euphonism : blog 2nd Photographer: Megan Beth : blog Assistant: Ali Andersen […]

  38. […] Videographer: Blue Sky Films A capella group: Euphonism 2nd Photographer: Megan Beth Assistant: Ali Anderson Catering: Design Cuisine Tags: baby's breath, cabbage roses, Halcyon House, holly heider, pink […]

  39. […] how you don’t have the brains, heart or courage to run a business.  Through my journey with SOAR! this year, I’ve been relying on my business coaches to help me navigate some twisty turns in the […]

  40. […] don’t do sunlight. I mean have you seen me? I’m one shade away from being a Twilight character (minus the blood-stained incisors and sullen […]