Tuesday, August 25, 2015

week in the life: thoughts on the project

Over the course of the last week, I took around 200 photos and culled the best into a group of just over 100. Here's what they all look like piled up together in a collage....

Here are my feelings when I see this group of pictures:

1) I'm kind of sick I haven't done this at least once a year since Ali began it ten years ago. What a treasure trove a glimpse into our everyday life would be.

2) My scrapbooks are filled with photos I love but this project pushes me to take them in a different way. The candid "in the moment" type photos really do capture our authentic life. I did not do the job I intended to do of getting myself in the photos in the actual process of life, primarily because I normally do not wear real clothes or have makeup on at home. But you know what? I can still take those kinds of photos after this week, when I am dressed and being productive at home and I can still take a selfie in the grocery store of me shopping. I think this is going to change the way I take pictures going forward.

3) I'm a bit overwhelmed at the thought of making these into an album, mainly because I'm working on two scrapbook classes right now and this project will take me an entire week to complete. But I also know that I spent all this time documenting and I don't want to lose my motivation to turn these photos and words into an actual album. I'm going to use Ali's as inspiration and maybe I'll just work on it for 30 minutes a day? We'll see. I'm not a good multi-tasker.

I'm torn a bit on this project being done. I'd almost like a do-over but my family might murder me in my sleep. I simultaneously miss it and feel relief that it's over.

Thanks for joining me on the journey! I'll be back later this week with a class all about Easy Hand Lettering! :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

week in the life: the big weekend wrap-up

Here's a final peek at my "Week in the Life" photos. I took less photos this weekend than I did during the week. I've actually been looking forward to writing this blog post so I could see them all pulled together. Some are on my phone, some on my DSLR. 

This is a long blog post so hang in there. Here we go!


11:00 am - Last night was another late one blogging my WITL pics so I set my alarm for 11 am. I ran to get a shower, dress and pack my bag to get to my Craft Day at Hobby Lobby. As I say goodbye to Caroline, I snap this shot of her crafting.  

11:55 am - Quick stop at McDonald's for lunch and then I head to the classroom. Luckily no one is there yet so I quickly eat alone. :)

12:10 pm - My friends join me in the Hobby Lobby classroom and we do a makeup cards class. This is my friend, Kim Forkum, who is a regular student of my cards classes. 

2:00 pm - After we make cards, my friend, Jennifer Webb and I, work on our Bible journaling. She's using a vintage book with the pages painted. I brought my ESL Journaling Bible to work in.

2:45 pm - Jennifer leaves and I browse the store for a bit while Kim keeps working on sorting some photos she brought. I love the fall merchandise in the store. Passing this is what I call an occupational hazard. I restrain myself and just have fun looking.

3:15 pm - I work on my lettering class which should be available here by the end of this week! I just need to warm up my hand since I haven't been doing lettering daily. I love writing with a pencil so I do that for a while and then I try my hand at watercolor lettering ala Amy Tan but it does not turn out well. I decide to stick with what I know. :) 

Just for fun, I make this and send to my friend Jen by FB messenger which is how we talk daily. 

4:15 pm - I go back out in the store for a little more shopping before I wrap the day up and literally gasp when I see this chipboard sticker sheet I've been wanting for months!! It was in a weird place with two others that were similar. I grin with glee and fly to the classroom to get my wallet. With my discount, this came to $3.05. Yay!

5:30 pm - Kim and I decide to wrap it up a bit early so I make plans to meet my sister for dinner after I pick up Caroline. Mike has a gig, of course. He always has a gig on Saturday. We go to Pie Five and the line is extremely long. This is Caroline's pizza in the making. 

6:05 pm - Finally sit down to eat and it's delish!

My sister's been at a memorial service for my cousin today so she brings me some extra brownie bites out of the batch she made for the family. They have homemade chocolate frosting and Heath and m&m's. There are no words.

7:30 pm - Get home and veg on the couch for the rest of the evening watching my current Netflix obsession, "White Collar." Caroline hung out upstairs, Mike was at a gig. It was sheer bliss. 

11:30 pm - Went to bed and snapped some "in the bed" pics (just of me!) but they are too silly to share here. Will probably add one to my album. :)

Overall I was disappointed in the photos I got. None of Mike because I only briefly saw him before I left for the day. In fact, I'm not sure that I saw him at all, now that I think of it. That's our life sometimes. 



9:00 am - Wake up, shower quickly, get dressed, literally run out the door to my sister waiting in the car. No time to take a picture. Sadly, Mike took a gig subbing for a bass player at another church so he did not go with us to our church today and my plans to get a family photo in our Sunday best were squashed. 

10:15 am - Get to church early, sit with a friend we haven't seen in a while. I told her about "Week in the Life" and then asked her to be in our group selfie. The lights were down so this is grainsville all the way!!

10:30 am - Church was amazing, outstanding and excellent in every way. I pretty much cry from the time I get there until the time I leave. Tears of gratitude and love for what I am experiencing. We sang my very favorite hymn, "Jesus Paid it All" as we took communion. We also sang another favorite, "Come and Dine" that I haven't heard sung in a church in at least 30 years. I still knew all the words! I breathed in the moment and tried to cement it in my memory. I also brazenly snapped this photo with my big camera, from the fourth row, I might add. I'm a Week in the Lifer, I have a job to do. :) 

12:15 pm - Text Mike and ask where he wants to meet for lunch. Ooops, should have done it five minutes sooner, he's already gone through Panda Express drive thru. He's ready for a nap after his late gig and early church service gig so Jennifer (my sister), Caroline and I decide to go to our favorite local place, Demos'. I get the lasagna which was superb, as always.

2:45 pm - Get home and immediately sit down to edit the Scrap Gals podcast for this week. Spent about two hours and called it good enough. (I didn't listen to it as thoroughly as I normally do so I hope I don't discover any errors while listening later!)

5:00 pm - Just as I am finishing up, Mike gets up from his nap and I ask him to please finish it up. He has to compress it, adjust the levels and turn it into an mp3 so I can upload it. I appreciate him taking the time to do this every Sunday afternoon!

6:15 pm - Mike and I decide to go for a bike ride. He wants to go to Autumn Creek, the neighborhood across the street (where Kristina Proffitt lives, by the way) and ride about five miles. I'll stick to our street but first, I ask he and Caroline to take a family selfie with me, to wrap up this project. 

6:25 pm - Caroline had already been outside riding her bike so she goes back inside to take a shower, Mike rides off to Autumn Creek and I take a ride on our road, loving the cool breeze and wind in my face. I love our street so I decide to go back to the house and get my big camera and chance riding my bike while holding it. First, I snap this cool shadow selfie!

I grab my big camera and carefully balance it with the death grip as I ride with the other hand. I try to get some pics of the house from the street but the tree is blocking it so I get off my bike and walk around our yard. I'm feeling like I don't have enough pics from the entire week so I decide just to take some of our house and property. Even if I don't use them for this project, it's always good to have pics of our home.

I snapped my favorite tree:

The side of the house I never get in a pic, with our lovely magnolia tree over the patio:

I see the glow of the sun setting in my backyard so I walk toward our property line to take a peek at what the land looks like now. In the very back of our yard, we have several fruit trees and a fire pit. 

They are building 1,000 houses here and I hadn't seen this since it's been cleared so this was definitely picture worthy!

My house seems far away and tiny when you're at the fence! I really have always wanted to do more on the back part of our yard but now that there will be houses across the fence, I guess that's not happening. The houses are very upscale, nicer than my street so hopefully we will still have a peaceful environment. My Mom lives in a neighborhood similar to what they're building and her street is actually quieter than mine!

As I walk back to the street to try and get a pic of myself with the house in it, crazy head comes riding down the road and speeds behind me as I take a selfie. He's not right. I abandon my selfie since he's now watching me but I do grab this shot which I love but wish was in focus a bit more. This is definitely one of my favorite pictures of the week, primarily because he's a doll in it but also because it's just a snapshot of real life. 

Before I put my bike away, Mike takes a pic of me since I haven't been in all that many shots this week. 

We walk around outside for a while and he tells me about three wasp nests and how he's about to get rid of two of them. I go on the porch and then inside before he attempts it. He was successful! Still a huge one he can't reach that will have to die off this winter. 

8:00 pm - Mike cooks us eggs and bacon for dinner and just as I'm biting into my egg sandwich, he points out the edge is moldy!! Gross!! It wasn't even out of date! I toss the bread and then proceed to eat every snacky food I can find the rest of the evening as we watch The Andy Griffith Show. On Sundays, I like to watch Andy episodes where they go to church. They seem extra wonderful on Sundays. I love to hear what hymns they sing!

While we watch Andy, Caroline sits at my desk and draws. She is always making or crafting something right now which makes my heart happy. 

9:00 pm - Mike and Caroline go chill upstairs and I watch more "White Collar" until bedtime! 

If you're still with me - God bless you! haha!! I have to say, this project has been awesome for inspiring me to take shots I normally wouldn't. On the other hand, by this weekend, it did become a burden to have to remember to take the pics. I would have rather just lived my life and shot a pic or two spontaneously as I always do. 

Now I'm wondering what format I'll put these into and I feel like I need to soon or I might lose my enthusiasm for the project. But as my friend Megan Anderson says, "Document now. Make later." That makes me feel better on the inside. :)

I hope your week in the life was awesome and thanks so much for reading this post and cheering me on!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

week in the life: friday

10:10 am - Wake up and lay in the bed for a little while, knowing I have to clean all day. I am a horrible procrastinator when it comes to cleaning my upstairs. I dread getting up so I just snuggle in the bed for a while, thinking. I hear Caroline's music coming from Mike's studio (bonus room upstairs). She goes in there and dances for about an hour every morning but thankfully the room is pretty sound proof so I don't hear it! Plus, we always have two fans going in our room!

11:30 am - Check my e-mails and social media. I stayed up super late again blogging my WITL photos and at Write.Click.Scrapbook. Read Ali's blog post and decide that today I will focus on "I want to remember." I look around for something I'll want to remember from my house and see the lovely morning sun coming in the windows.

12:00 pm - Caroline's already done with school so she gets crafty in the dining room. I grab my camera because I want to remember her making rainbow loom projects while watching a video on her iPad. She does it a lot!

12:30 pm - Caroline makes herself Annie's organic mac and cheese. She's very chatty today. Out of the blue, she tells me she is looking forward to going to church Sunday. I want to remember her saying, "I woke up this morning and thought, it's Friday...church is in two days!" (That makes my heart happy.) She sings in the kitchen as she makes her mac and cheese and then watches Netflix as she eats it (Pretty Little Liars). She has Haagen Daaz chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for dessert.

1:30 pm - After chatting with friends online, I decide to make lunch which is corn on the cob. (I could eat corn on the cob for lunch and dinner every day: I love it.) I catch up on Casey Neistat's vlogs while I eat and Caroline continues working on her Rainbow Loom project. I want to remember how much I loved watching Casey's vlogs every day. I'm sure this is a phase that will pass but right now, I'm loving his vlogs and it's making me think differently in terms of video and how it fits into my life and craft.

1:50 pm - I watch an Amy Tangerine video and eat Cocoa Krispies because the corn didn't fill me up.

2:30 pm - I've procrastinated enough - time to clean! As I walk upstairs toward my bathroom, I look in Caroline's room and realize I want to remember how it felt to look in there and see the sun shining on her bed all made up. I was a messy kid but she is very neat and this room is so her. I know in a few years, this will look differently and I really, really want to remember how it feels to see this every day. (That pink crate to the right of her bed is all her schoolwork! It's a lot but Friday is her light school day.)

3:30 pm - After cleaning for 45 minutes to an hour, I take a quick break before tackling the toilet and floor. I go in the guest room because it's dark and cool and Caroline follows me. She loves to be where I am and she loves to lay around on the guest room bed which was my bed growing up. We both play on our phones for a few minutes.

4:00 pm - I go in my room to get back to cleaning and feel discouraged 'cause it's such a mess! As I was cleaning the bathroom, I listened to Paperclipping Roundtable with Ali about taking photos in low light. I realize, my bedroom has the best light in the house in the afternoon! The white walls make it bright white light. I resign to get it clean and keep it clean. Right now, the curtains are down, the furniture needs shining/dusting and there's clutter and mess. I will have to do it Monday because the weekend is full. I am good about keeping the downstairs very clean but our bedroom is the last on the list to be cleaned! I've got to fix that. This is real life y'all! Mike comes home as I'm cleaning.

4:45 pm - I clean the bathroom counter and just as I start to clean the toilet, it decides to break! Mike comes in to look at it and says he'll fix it Saturday. I steam mop the floor and by the time I am done, my knees are shaking from cleaning on my hands and knees for so long, around the toilet and baseboards. I put the white fluffy rug and the decorative towels in the washer and the shower curtain is down so it's a bit bare looking here but I'm so glad it's clean! I want to remember how good it feels to get this bathroom clean from top to bottom!

5:00 pm - I take a shower so Mike and I can go on a date. I cut myself kind of bad shaving and get so woozy, I stumble backwards a bit in the shower. My knees are shaking worse now so I sit down and rest while Mike gets dressed.

5:30 pm - Caroline waits by the front door for my sister to pick her up. I ask to take a picture and she poses and I tell her just to look natural because this is a real life picture, not posed! I love how this turned out. This is how she was standing before I said anything about a picture.

5:45 pm - I snap this cute pic of Mike and Caroline before we leave. I want to remember how cute they are together on this day and how much he thinks of her as his baby, even at 15. They are so alike.

6:40 pm - Mike and I drive 50 minutes to Chuy's in Bowling Green, Kentucky and sit down with no waiting, in the bar. We order one order of chicken fajitas to split plus a beer for him and a diet coke for me. They give you a lot of food so it's plenty for us both and we have lots of chips and dips. This picture represents my favorite food on the planet! I want to remember how good it tasted and how happy I felt sitting there with my handsome hubby. He loves this food as much as I do.

7:30 pm - Mike and I always talk about really deep stuff when we're alone so we get into a conversation about my creative business and I tell him some of my plans. I have been working very hard but sometimes I feel like I am not accomplishing much because creating content takes a long time. I tell him that it was easier when I had a job working for someone else, knowing I would have money coming in. He looks at me and says, "Yes but here's something for you to consider...security will rob you of your potential." I sit there stunned because that was exactly what I needed to hear! Tears come to my eyes and I share his quote on Facebook. He then says, "Money should just be the by-product of doing what you love. It shouldn't be about the money." I sit and cry because he is so wise. I know I'm doing the right thing and the money will come if I just do the work. I cry some more over how blessed I am to have him! Sometimes my gratitude bubbles up in my heart and pours out my eyes. Lately it does that a lot.

Late tonight, my friend Jen Schow made me this lovely lettering of Mike's quote! I love it and it's now my desktop wallpaper.

8:00 pm - As we're leaving Chuy's, a couple asks me to take their photo so to return the favor, they take ours! This isn't my favorite picture ever of us but I'll take it for this project. :)

(Jen Stewart: You asked who makes my purse...Vera Bradley! My fave!)

8:15 pm - It's getting dark quick so we take a selfie in the parking lot of our favorite bookstore: Half Price Books. I love this store so much I could shop there every week!

Mike was looking at CD's and I came up behind him and took this picture. He never moved but he said, "There she goes." meaning there I go taking his picture. haha! He does not love for his picture to be taken which puzzles me because he's so cute! 

The rows of DVD's and CD's for $1 are amazing but tonight I can't find any I like. Instead, I get two delightful books by Susan Branch (my favorite artist!). I used to own both of these and on some big purge one time, I gave them away! Then I rediscovered my love for her and regretted it. Luckily, these are both in great shape and only $4 each! I should have had Mike take a picture of me holding these. I am so bad about remembering to get myself in the picture.

I also get a delightful Disney record album cover with a book inside that is missing its record! I plan to use it as a scrapbook in some way. 50 cents! The graphics on this remind me of being little. I had Disney records that I played on my record player and they all had little storybooks that went along with them. I love remembering my childhood! I just couldn't resist this for 50 cents!

9:00 pm - Before we head home, we go to my favorite place, Great American Donuts (GAD). It's open 24/7 and they make the donuts all day and night! I get a cake with chocolate icing that was hot from the oven and it was life-changing. haha! Seriously the best donut I've ever eaten. I want to remember how awesome it was!

On the way there, Mike says, "Where is it?" I say, "About three miles down the road." He says, "Three miles!? What? You would go six miles out of your way for donuts?" I say, "Well yeah!!!"

It's like he doesn't know me at all. haha! He was serious too. Crazy man. When we pull up, he likes how old-timey looking it is. I love it! I want to remember how cute Mike is on our date nights and how he always lets me pick everything we do.  

9:10 pm - We are near downtown BG so we take a quick detour to check it out. They have a beautiful square (2-3 miles from Tiffany's house) and a band is playing but it isn't that great so we don't get out. Then Mike realizes we are almost to the campus of Western Kentucky University so we drive all over it as he tells me about going to college there for one semester. This is Cherry Hall.

This is the dorm he lived in! He said the worst part was the communal showers!!! I want to remember him telling me about this place because I've never heard this story! I love his shadow in this picture.

11:30 pm - Pick up my baby from my Mom's house but didn't take a photo. Talk to Jen Schow on FB messenger for a while and write this blog post and here it is 2:30 am again! 

My favorite picture from today is the one of Caroline working on her Rainbow Loom. I have not been doing a great job capturing the little things she does right now. This project has been the push I needed to get my big camera out. I didn't document this morning very well but I'm happy with the date pics I got. 

Two more days to go and I have fun things planned! I can do this and so can you!