Week In The Life : Monday Morning Thoughts


I forgot how much work (fun "work" of course) this project can be once you get going. The first day is always the most challenging - it gets easier as you get into a groove as the week goes along. I've taken a bunch of blurred shots this morning since it was still pretty dark when we started our day - needing to get out my tripod tomorrow morning or add on the external flash.

Received a great message from my friend Carrie this morning as we were talking about the project, "I think it's important to embrace this even amid life's imperfections...It's easy to say, 'Well, life isn't perfect right now, so my week isn't worth documenting.'  Not true."


Don't beat yourself up if you miss something. If you forget your camera. If your day isn't how you hoped it would be. If you don't write anything down. Hello life, right?

One of the things I am remembering that I love about this documentation process is the awareness of my surroundings that I begin to have again. For awhile, it has been hibernating. I am excited to welcome it back.

As for my writing so far, what is working for me is to have a Word document open on my computer to jot down thoughts/activities as they happen.


Just a note: I am answering questions in the comment section this week as we embark on this project together. Feel free to leave questions and suggestions.


A complete list of posts related to the week in the life project can be found here.

87 thoughts

  1. Margalyn H

    2008-09-29 09:12:38 -0400

    Thanks, I'll work on it!

  2. rachel carlson

    2008-09-29 09:36:15 -0400

    it's been good so far...have just returned from a leaf peeping mini road trip from the mountains with great photos, thoughts, etc...thanks again ali, this is great!

  3. Crystal

    2008-09-29 09:36:49 -0400


  4. Ali

    2008-09-29 09:45:40 -0400

    No worries Crystal - you can begin tomorrow or just do words today + supplement with "general" photos later on.

  5. gardenymph

    2008-09-29 09:59:10 -0400

    Okay, I think I need to slow down. I have 227 pictures so far and it's only 4pm. I guess I'm a bit trigger happy today. I'm hoping that I won't deliberate over all the pics tonight. I don't want to make things harder for myself. :~) Hopefully I will slow down and be more thoughtful in what I choose to capture for the rest of the week.
    This project is really helping me to be in the moment. So many days rush by in a blur, but today I have been hyper aware of every activity that I am doing with my kids. This day too will be quickly swallowed up in waters of my life, but I have found a way to stop time for a while, and to make sure that this day, this week, will be remembered.
    Thank you, Ali.

  6. Megan Taylor

    2008-09-29 10:03:59 -0400

    Can i say how much i appreciate you sharing this wonderful opportunity? Scrapbooking can be so expensive, and I love that you made this little class availible to poor little students like me. I'm just very grateful.
    Here's my little blog:
    I started on Friday, so I have a good amount of pictures. Trying to process as I go... and journal as well. Can't believe how much I'm learning about my camera and my self as a photographer. It's perfect.

  7. alexandra

    2008-09-29 10:32:17 -0400

    sorry about the typo - 'right' instead of 'write' ??!!
    - must be the Extra Strength Dristan!!

  8. Wendy Davis

    2008-09-29 10:54:36 -0400

    Took over 100 photos yesterday. Went to bed with my camera by my bed and so glad I did. Woke up this morning to the most beautiful sunrise. The clouds were all pink so I grabbed the camera and got the shot, I hope. Either way, it's great. Driving to the gym this morning I noticed that I was really noticing so much more of the world around me. Even took some pictures driving -- and we're not even supposed to use hand held cell phones here in California...lol!
    Ali, I'd really like to do my album all digi when it comes time to putting it together. Any chance you'll be doing or recommending templates we might be able to use? Just a thought.

  9. treeclimber

    2008-09-29 10:57:37 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    Thank you for motivating me to do this. I am having a lot of fun with it so far.
    I was thinking about the finished format... I don't have any of the sleeves with six 4x6 slots but I do have plenty of the 8-1/2x11 baseball card sleeves. Using those with the 8-1/2x11 sheet protectors should be perfect to include all the 'little' clips from the day and the journaling and larger items.
    Just thought I share in case anyone else is stuck on the format too.
    Thanks, Deb :-)

  10. Ali

    2008-09-29 11:04:27 -0400

    Hey Deb - that is what I am going to do :). More about that tomorrow or Wednesday.
    And Wendy, I do have some digital recommendations to come as well.

  11. noell Hyman

    2008-09-29 11:24:52 -0400

    Thank you for answering questions in the comments, Ali. Reading all these ideas and questions and your answers really opened my mind up to the picture-possibilities.
    My initial thought was to only take a few pictures through the day. I thought I had my photos done for the first half of the day until I read these posts. Suddenly I realized how much there was for me to capture that just hadn't occurred to me before. Here is what I've photographed since reading the comments...
    *Playing with my son
    *The amusement park we built from his Gears
    *The vegan choco. chip cookies I baked last night--broke my own rule and ate one first thing this am.
    *The three different types of dried beans I soaked today for this week's meals
    *The sink and counters loaded up with with dirty dishes and the full dishwasher--a regular thing now that I make almost all of our food from scratch
    *The black bottom of my pot b/c I forget that mung beans cook in less time than other beans--oops
    *My sick 5 yr old asleep in my bed for a nap--an old daily occurrence that was long gone but is back for the day
    *My dog sleeping in his usual spot on the top of the sofa, like a cat
    *My Tagalog language books with a filipino movie--brushing up on my Tagalog today (a filipino language)
    *Me holding my little guy in front of the mirror as we prepare to pick up the other two from school--another flashback to old times
    *My oldest two entering the car from school
    About 6 hours left of my day...

  12. Linda Beeson

    2008-09-29 11:32:53 -0400

    One month I did the "photo a day" kind of challenge and it was funny one day when I realized how many drive-thrus I go through!!! It was fun to document even that.

  13. Jeni Barbas

    2008-09-29 11:37:26 -0400

    I am so thankful that you have inspired me to play along this week. I just took the most amazing, precious photo of my 18 month old while he nursed. We are weaning and I've been trying to think about how I would capture a picture of him during these last sweet days of nursing when he only ever nurses in the dark-first thing in the morning. Today, he wanted to nurse in the afternoon ....so we did and because I'm doing this project I had my camera right beside me. Thank you Thank you!!!

  14. Leigh

    2008-09-29 12:13:58 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    Quick question - I started to upload my photos. Are you editing them right away? I usually edit to 4x6 300 dpi so I can print at costco. What is your process?

  15. Jill Sibbald

    2008-09-29 13:02:07 -0400

    Hey friend :) not sure if this has been asked, but assuming we're using the original 'plan' from your CKC, and the album pages you used, approx how many photos do we need per day ? 10 ?
    Thanks :) Happy week. j

  16. Heather M.

    2008-09-29 14:26:27 -0400

    I'm so glad you are doing this. I started this morning as well and while it's been a bit overwhelming at times, it has totally opened my eyes to all the photo possibilities that are in my life right now. Thank you, Ali! Hoping I can stick out the week as I just keep thinking how awesome it will be to look back at this project one day!

  17. Maggie

    2008-09-29 16:03:26 -0400

    Personally, I don't take pictures when I'm feeling overwhelmed most of the time. I take them in moments of "breath". Of life happening I don't want to forget and miss. I think a lot of that has to do with learning to live in "grace". Go with what graces and gifts you in the moment...I guess a new discipline may feel like work to some, but overall, it should feed you.

  18. Maggie

    2008-09-29 16:04:12 -0400

    Personally, I don't take pictures when I'm feeling overwhelmed most of the time. I take them in moments of "breath". Of life happening I don't want to forget and miss. I think a lot of that has to do with learning to live in "grace". Go with what graces and gifts you in the moment...I guess a new discipline may feel like work to some, but overall, it should feed you.

  19. Maggie

    2008-09-29 16:04:20 -0400

    Personally, I don't take pictures when I'm feeling overwhelmed most of the time. I take them in moments of "breath". Of life happening I don't want to forget and miss. I think a lot of that has to do with learning to live in "grace". Go with what graces and gifts you in the moment...I guess a new discipline may feel like work to some, but overall, it should feed you.

  20. Jenny Rebecca

    2008-09-29 16:16:37 -0400

    So what do I do if my day is pretty much exactly the same every day?

  21. Ann

    2008-09-29 16:51:23 -0400

    Ali, its Ann in Spokane. Worked at Apropos when you taught there. Whoa did I miss something, are you having a girl? Still raising Grandson (Isaiah) I should do this project, a day with him sometimes seems like a lifetime. Love him but man at 60 its hard to keep up with a seven year old boy who is very active. Really related to your comment about Simon coming out of the bedroom with a happy face, Isaiah look as he comes out seems awfully important for us as to how the next hour will be before he gets on bus.

  22. Linda

    2008-09-29 17:43:54 -0400

    I started Sat but I only have taken about 7-10 pictures a day!! my work is hard cuz at a hospital confidentiality is so imprtant, since I work long hours it gets hard--any ideas??

  23. Johanna

    2008-09-29 21:21:03 -0400

    This project is fun! It will be my first scrapbooking experience and now that I know I'm not on this project journey on my own, it feels much easier to start with. I wondererd for a second if this really is the right moment to start, as I have a deadline for a university project in three weeks and I should be working on it all day long, but then I thought – now or never, I should start BECAUSE I have a lot coming up. Kind of like monitoring my progress, and reminding me of my priorities. Yesterday (Monday) was the first time in weeks, no, months, I felt like having a lunch break, because I had actually been working all morning instead of dawdling along. Wonderful!
    I only noticed what a nice light there is in my bathroom in the morning, too. :)

  24. Mikki

    2008-10-01 04:28:33 -0400

    I just discovered all this wonderfulness right now and I am onboard (albeit at few days behind). I'm going to throw a few polaroids into my project to avoid the temptation to include only "good" pictures, something about their permenance is very appealing to me. Thanks for the inspiration!

  25. Sara

    2008-10-01 14:58:07 -0400

    I started this project on Monday with a fixed, short focal length lens on my husband's SLR (not that I know much about photography, but this lens takes beautiful pictures of my children's faces). Because I'm too lazy to change the lens, I've been forced to look at the little things, because my camera can't see big things unless I'm 100 yards away! Its kind of nice this way. I don't think I'll change my lens. I'll just have a week of close-ups.
    Thanks for the inspiration (as always).

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