Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 9, 2010

Today You & Special Offer From

Today you started third grade.

You were up at 6:30am after a bit of gentle prodding (it’s hard to get up early again after a summer of late sleeping) and had a breakfast of bagel with cream cheese, OJ, and vitamins. It’s your breakfast of choice during the school year – at least it was in second grade.

You chose to wear long shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt telling me that you weren’t yet ready for pants. The new shoes bought for you a few weeks back are already worn with extended outside use – especially while climbing trees in the backyard.

The bus comes to this house a bit later than at our last house (which means you get to sleep at least a half-hour more). You and Anna and I waited out on the front porch for the new bus driver.

You didn’t seem nervous, in fact I’d say you were excited.

The bus pulled up, you climbed right on, and off you went.

Today your sister really wanted to get on that bus with you.

Today you ate “back to school” cupcakes baked by Katie when you got home. You ran around a bit outside, watched Cyberchase online, and had an apple along with more than enough cupcakes.

You were mad that we wouldn’t take you to Target to get a new Buzz Lightyear.

You got over it.

In the late afternoon you and Anna danced and sang and argued and whined a bit about the Wiggles before we ate chicken nuggets, fruit salad and french fries for dinner.

Around 7:45pm you took a bath and put your jammies on and asked me to read the next chapter in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

Today you and I had a great talk about conversations. Before you feel asleep we talked about your day and how it went and what was your favorite part. I asked you questions, you answered, and then you asked me questions about my day. You told me that third grade was cool.

Your sparkly eyes told me even more.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT DOING THIS | Doing this forces me to slow down, to reflect, to remember the little details, and to feel lots of love in my heart for this awesome kid. This is what I love about memory keeping.


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  • 1.
    Anna said…

    You have honestly just brought tears to my eyes reading this and remembering that very same day..
    Thankyou for that!
    Kind regards, Anna

  • 2.
    Lain Ehmann said…

    I love this. THIS IS WHY I SCRAPBOOK! :)

  • 3.
    Jonnelle said…

    So glad that 3rd grade is cool!
    We started 2nd grade, at a new school, but it’s awesome! (they’ve had the autistic program there for years which is a wonderful change from last year where the teachers weren’t used to our special little ones!)
    BTW, LOVE the red door!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh good services is a major hooray! And the red door was the first thing we did when we moved in :) . We had our door at our last house painted the same color…it’s kind of our thing (I think I need to do a page about that).

  • 4.
    Sonja Chandler said…


  • 5.
    Megan said…

    Yay for third grade! I meant to call you yesterday and tell you, I saw Simon walking to class with the BIGGEST smile on his face and talking a mile a minute with a buddy. This is going to be Simon’s year!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh that’s so cool Megan – love you!

  • 6.

    I love these little details you capture – and the sparkly eyes say it all.

  • 7.
    dawn said…

    Oh Ali you brought tears to my eyes too. I was so hoping you wouldn’t wait to long for a back to school post. I love that you had Anna right there enjoying the moment. Simon looks tall and like he’s ready for a new adventure. I love that you captured the whole day and wrote it for us. Thanks to your reminders and inspiration I’ve been writing more and more details of my kids days too. I love love the red door and yes you should do a layout there is a story there afterall.

    My son Sam started 3rd grade too and he came home that first week running and saying ” Mom 3rd grade is still fun and awesome I love it.” Now 2and1/2 weeks later he’s still excited everyday and can’t wait to go back. I hope the same is for your Simon. If you have time check out my back to school post I just put up yesterday of Sam and his sisters on their first day. It’s at

    Thanks again ali truly loved it

  • 8.
    Rachel Kizirian said…

    s exciting to see the warmth and coziness that you have with your “small” and also as it is delicious to see the old comments and see what is already huge! and Anna, who is already up … recently, he was a baby …. Congratulations on the family so beautiful!

  • 9.
    Karen said…

    Here in Oklahoma we’ve been back to school for a month but it’s still a struggle to get my son up on time on school days (oddly enough, he got up way too early in the summer to watch cartoons). It’s been hot here and just turned cooler this week with several days of rain. Yesterday, I pulled out a pair of pants for my son to wear for school and he refused to wear them, saying “Mom, I’m just not ready for pants yet. Summer is NOT over”. I guess our boys are thinking alike!

  • 10.
    Michelle said…

    Anna looks like the cutest little sidekick! It’s so great when kids love school.

    Growing up we lived in several different homes, we lived in Jersey and then down to Florida. In total I think we lived in 5 homes and my mom always painted the door red. Hers is a little more like a fire engine (I like yours better)! My mom says she does it for good luck. It may be an old Cuban myth or something, who knows! I just thought it was interesting that you do it too. Maybe if I show her this photo she’ll like the nice dark red. Let’s hope! =)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I think the neighbors were definitely curious :) . This house has shutters that are currently dusty blue (lots of dusty blue around here which I am slowly changing) which will be painted black this weekend. I’d love to hear the good lucky story if she tells you.

  • 11.
    Marsaille said…

    I noticed the red door too! Always wanted one. I am Episcopal and was told that it is a sign of welcome to all,hence all E churches have red doors. Not to sound creepy, but I think the good luck stems from the Bible when all the doors were marked with blood to be passed over by King Herrod? OH what is that story???
    In any case, death didn’t come a knockin.
    I also wabted to say that I am inspired by the little starter “Today you”- can’t wait to do this for my daughter today. She confronted her first bully with strength and poise. MUST be documented.

    • ….
      Carmen Pauls Orthner said…

      This happened during the time when the Israelites (then known as the Hebrews) were in Egypt and became slaves. Moses (who was born to a Hebrew woman but raised in the Egyptian Pharoh’s palace) became their leader. He asked the Pharoh to let his people go, but Pharaoh refused), and God sent a series of plagues to convince Pharaoh that it was better not to keep God’s people in captivity any longer. The last plague was that the first-born son of each Egyptian family was killed by the angel of death. God told Moses to have each Hebrew family mark their door with animal blood, so that death would pass their house by (“pass over”). This event is now celebrated in the Jewish rite of “Passover”. Hope that helps. It would be interesting to know if that is in fact the origin of the lucky red door tradition.


    • ….
      Carmen Pauls Orthner said…

      I found this —


  • 12.
    Lori said…

    Doing a little shopping for the designer digital sale – saw your new items – love ‘em! Perfect for my 3 kids :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Cool! Thanks Lori – I’ve really been enjoying working on them.

  • 13.
    sarah said…

    i always love these ‘today you’ type posts ali. tihs one made me smile a lot. and look at how tall simon is getting!

  • 14.
    krystal said…

    beautiful post! so going to sign up for paper clipping- thanks for this great offer!! :)

  • 15.
    Lori said…

    Lovely post, Ali! What a wonderful record of Simon’s day; he’ll treasure those details.

    I have a little guy who really struggles to get meat/protein down as well, so bagels with cream cheese and OJ are staples in our home too!

    And one more thing….I absolutely love reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I used to teach 2nd grade and it was always one of my favorite read-alouds.

    Ahhh, such good memories you evoke!

    Thank you,

  • 16.
    ale said…

    i just l-o-v-e the way you translate your feelings and daily life into words. words so full of love that i think all us readers end up cherishing your kids, too.
    (does it make sense? i’m brazilian and can read english pretty well, but when it comes to writing… not so good…)

  • 17.
    Christina said…

    Love this idea. I will this “today you” about my mum today. She is staying with me for a week as my father is in hospital. She has dementia and I have been wanting to document it in a “nice” way. I think I just found it. Thanks so much.

  • 18.
    Stephanie said…

    Love this post! Since you are at a new house, does that mean Simon is going to a new school, too? He is growing up so fast!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Stephanie – he’s at the same school because he’s in a special program that pulls kids from around the district.

  • 19.
    Shannon McPheeters said…

    I SO need to do this! I love the way you capture the little details. My daughter just had her first day of first grade and her exact quote was, “It was AWESOME!” As a mommy of a little bug with similar circumstances as Simon I always love to see how he’s doing!

  • 20.
    carriep said…

    So glad that Simon had a great start to a new year. I just wish all kids would be able to have someone who cared for them when they were home and could talk through their days. There are so many little ones at our school I would love to wisk them off and give them that little extra.

  • 21.
    Brooke said…

    this is such a great memory. I love your honest, loving journaling.

  • 22.
    rachel said…

    I’m a brand spanking new follower but had to comment because I did a double take looking at your back to school picture! That is the exact color of my door and the exact door hardware. (you have excellent taste, my dear!) We also have the side lights on either side of the door, except we have the cheesy plastic “panes” in ours. Here’s a link to our back to school pic, you’ll just have to trust me on the door hardware, my daughter’s butt is hiding it. : )

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That’s awesome Rachel!

    • ….

      Rachel I love your blog title, wish I had though of it!

    • ….
      rachel said…

      thanks, Brenda! I just came up with my new blog name a few weeks ago, and I was so proud of myself for thinking of it. : )

  • 23.
    Shirley said…

    I’m an everyday reader of your blog but don’t post very often. My heart is bursting for Simon and you and the awesome day you had. To experience that bedtime conversation had to be amazing. I hope he has a wonderful school year.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It really was awesome – thank you for understanding.

  • 24.
    Jackie Bremer said…

    Your journaling is an inspiration Ali.

  • 25.
    Amy said…

    Love your post. It makes me realize that I need to pay more attention to the little things about our day. Our oldest started kindergarten in Aug and he loves it. So maybe one day next week I can do a detailed summary of our day! Thanks for the inspiration! Your kids are so adorable!

  • 26.
    Amy B said…

    My 3rd grader’s favorite breakfast is bagels and cream cheese too. It’s an exciting year. I know our boys will do great!

  • 27.
    Pam Wensel said…

    I am so happy for you. I feel like we are living similiar lives in Minnesota. My 11 year old son with PDD-NOS (doing pretty good), and 8 year old daughter, Lauren in 2nd grade. Both of our helpful husbands are involved in community affairs, and we, as the moms, concentrate on preserving family memories, along with earning money for our family. My blessings to you. May our sons grow up to be helpful and happy. May we be happy with what we have done to help our children and where we are to experience retirement with our spouses. That is what I hope! I thank you for your inspiration!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Sure sounds very similar Pam – peace to you and your family.

  • 28.
    Candace said…


    I’ve got a wonderful next chapter book to share with you that Simon might adore…”How to Be Cool in Third Grade” by Betsy Duffey is a wonderful book that I read each and every year to my classroom of Third Graders!!! Hold on to him – they grow so fast!!

  • 29.
    Tammy Davis said…

    This post is wonderful, Ali! How special for your children to read later. I felt like I was sitting on the porch with you!

  • 30.
    Kristi said…

    Thanks so much for sharing Simon’s first day of school adventures. I was not lucky enough to have children and I so much enjoy watching Simon and Anna grow and hearing their stories. Simon never ceases to amaze me with what an amazing person he is.

  • 31.
    Cori J said…

    Hi Ali,
    I loved reading your post…you have this way about you when you write…reading it feels like we are there with you. My little man started grade 3 too…apparently grade 3 means there are no more Mom kisses on the school yard at drop off! They are growing so fasttere are moments I want to stop time and replay over and over…hoping I never forget.
    …love the red door too!…please post more house pics!

  • 32.
    Emily Kinsaul said…

    Loved reading about Simon’s first day back to school! This is why I scrapbook. You and your family have been a major inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing a part of your world with us.

  • 33.
    Deirdre said…

    Thanks for sharing, Ali. Priceless snapshot in your words.

    Question: your photos have me hankerin’ for stripped pjs this Xmas. Do you find that the Hana Andersson PJs for kids run big or small??

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Deirdre – our favorite jammies. The ones Simon is wearing are US 10′s – a bit big but room for them to last a little longer. Anna’s are US 2 – also room to grow. So basically that means I tend to order up one size.

  • 34.

    Isn’t it hard for the little ones when the big brothers go off to school? my 4 year old was sure he was also starting 3rd grade with his big brother last week, he left the classroom in tears!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It sure is! I totally wonder what Anna is thinking about all of it…she must wonder where in the world he is going (even though we tell her I’m not sure she knows what it all means).

  • 35.
    CanadianKristin said…

    This post gives me so much hope after a week of dragging my kicking and screaming child into school. YAY Simon! YAY Mom and Dad for getting him there!

  • 36.
    kathy in Massachusetts said…

    I love the journaling – such a moment in time captured forever. I am always trying to be more in the moment because childhood is so fleeting – 8 years yesterday, since the day we met and adopted our daughter. I want to be able to slow down more and capture these moments for her…especially since I missed some of her earliest moments. Thanks Ali for reminding me always to stop, look, listen and record with my eyes, my ears and my heart….

  • 37.
    Ann said…

    Thanks for sharing Simon’s first day. I’m glad he had a good one. As a pediatric OT specializing in Sensory Processing Disorders, I got a couple of calls from moms that just broke my heart. I wish every kid could have a great first day.

  • 38.
    Mia said…

    First days are always so nerve wracking!! (Even for us teachers!!) Glad Simon’s went so well! When I was in the classroom, I think I was just as nervous as my students were!! :-)
    Thank you also for the paperclipping deal also,I will sign up this very second!

  • 39.
    Mia said…

    Ok, forgot to mention how thankful I am that your Anna is still using a pacifier. Makes me feel better since My Gia will be turning 2 in October and REFUSES to give hers up. Since she is my 4th and last, I must admit, I’m in no rush to make her a “big kid” any time soon!:-)

  • 40.
    Sarah said…

    I loved reading this post. It felt so sweet and sincere. What wonderful memories you have captured.

  • 41.
    syanik said…

    I have to say that I always enjoy all of your posts (especially about Simon). Today’s though really struck my heart… not sure why, maybe the honesty, maybe the love… I don’t know. Thank you for sharing this part of you and your family.

  • 42.
    Phyllis said…

    I love the story of Simon’s first day. So many memories of my children. Three in college now, but the one who just started this fall still comes home and tells me about his classes and teachers and what is going on there. Being a mom has to be the best job on earth.

  • 43.
    Mauxane said…

    I love it, a beautiful story!

  • 44.
    Vianna said…

    Ali, I’ve been following your blog for a looong time, though I dont post much and I want to comment here on your new website/blog design. Perhaps you’re also evaluating how the new format works for you and your followers so here’s what I think: the new format is interesting, but I cant say it’s more convenient. Whatever blogs I do visit, it’s at my own convenience, when I can sit and read the posts since my previous visit – sometimes this is once a week, sometimes it’s once a month. For those who approach blog visits in this same manner, it’s more convenient to have all posts in one place (rather than 2 separate blogs). Additionally, having to click Continue Reading on every post is rather a nuissance. I’ve only just noticed the links at the bottom of the screen (Email me / Advertise / etc), and I find that the white on the light grey is almost impossible to read. I’m still poking my way around … maybe I can get used to the new format, but I’m not exactly thrilled with the new format at this point. Your approach to Life, Scrapbooking,and scrapbooking life, now THAT’s something I’m still very much inspired by.

  • 45.
    Carol said…

    Hi Allie,
    My children are “grown and gone” but I so look forward to reading about your daily life with your little ones. Such wonderful times and for me, such wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing.

  • 46.
    Anthea said…

    Dear Ali,
    ON Sunday I went to my Niece’s 21st Bday Party. Erin was born with Development Delay NOS and Mental Impairment at a time when Special Needs care was hard to find. At Erin’s party were her Speech Therapist and past eachers from both high school and primary school and all her current friends from her Supported Workplace. It was lovely to her come of age. It was also lovely to see her mix with past memories and her contemporaries. It was a beautiful party and she has a beautiful future full of hope and dreams.

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