Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 26, 2011

December Daily™ 2011 | Day Twenty-Three

Welcome to December Daily™ 2011 | Day Twenty-Three

First off, I hope you had a really lovely Christmas that was filled with lots and lots of twinkle lights. We had a really nice, quiet, low-key Christmas with a fire burning in the fireplace all day (something I love).

Over the next couple of days I’ll be sharing the last few pages in my album. I know many of you are working on your albums as well. I hope we can continue to encourage each other to complete these albums and that you are finding joy in the process.

NOTE | Designer Digitals After-Christmas sale began today. All Christmas products are 30% off until 6am on January 1st. A great time to grab some products for documenting your holidays.

Here’s Day Twenty-Three:

The story I’m sharing for Day Twenty-Three comes from Chris.

He had the kids for a couple days leading up to Christmas Eve and I asked if he’d be willing to share some words and photos about their time together for this album. I’m hoping to continue to include his voice in future projects that tell stories of our kids lives. He was willing and I was appreciative and Dropbox was useful for sharing the photos.

The first page of the spread includes three photos. I added chipboard letters to each of the photos (and added those same numbers to the jouranling on the next page).

Between “Notes” and “Dad” I stamped “from your” and cut up a chipboard accent from the Echo Park sheet to fit in that space. The label and “merry and bright” pieces are from October Afternoon Holiday Style Collection Miscellany.

For the journaling today I added it directly onto the background cardstock foundation page. I set up a new canvas in Photoshop and made it 5.5 x 6.75 (the size of the large space inside the overlay). I did a test print on regular paper and then temporarily adhered the foundation page onto the test print (I usually hold both up to a window to be able line up the pages correctly).

Here’s what it looks like when it came out of the printer:

Some days throughout the month I just printed the journaling onto a new sheet of cardstock and adhered that to the foundation. It’s all about what works best for you (and sometimes what’s easiest one day is more complicated on another day).

And here’s a look at the pages inside the album:


Click on the images to link to the products.

TODAY’S POST SPONSORED BY | Sweet Shoppe Designs

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You’re invited to include a link to your DAY TWENTY-THREE page here. Please link directly to your post vs. your general blog link.


  • 1.

    I love how you have Chris part of this. It’s a great way of you learning about what they do and will be nice for them to look back at. I failed December Daily last year, did it this year but it was brutally simple, so I strive to get to the point of your story telling. It’s so beautiful.

  • 2.
    Hannah said…

    Love that you are able to include thoughts from their Dad. They will love that in the future I’m sure. Having a couple of days off my DD, knowing that I will not get too far behind now, as 25 will be my last day. So happy to have seen it through this year. :)

  • 3.
    megan said…

    Thank you for being such
    a dignified voice during this time of transition. You will be an example to many. Bless you all.

    • ….
      Judy said…


  • 4.
    Tracy Moniz said…

    I don’t comment a lot, but I had to say – I think this is great, Ali! A woman once asked me to make “baby books” for her two children – basically a scrabook for each using photos from birth to age 5.

    She and her husband separated shortly after the youngest child turned five, but she wanted to make sure he was included in the albums as well, and did a great job of finding photos of the four of them, or of the kids with their dad, for me to use – note, the kids were entering high school when she asked me to do this.

    When the albums were done, she loved them, and invited their dad to take a look… later he told her that he was very touched that she included him in their albums.

    Chris is lucky; your kids are lucky – that you get it.

    Have thought of you often – so many of us are quietly supporting you – I hope you can feel the energy.

  • 5.
    Jennifer L. said…

    This is such a positive aspect of the difficulties your family is going through. It doesn’t have to be ugly, and the approach you and Chris are taking will benefit the kids greatly. Speaking as a child of divorced parents, they will be okay because of the way you are behaving now. I applaud you. Merry Christmas, and thank you for letting us join you on your December journey. Best wishes, Jennifer Langer.

  • 6.

    What a blessing for Simon and Anna to have such wonderful parents.

  • 7.
    Nancy said…

    Dear Ali,

    What a wonderful thing to be able to include Chris’ voice into this. The kids will love that later on.

    I haven’t commented on your last posts, a bit at a loss for something to say…

    My son, only days apart in age from Anna, is almost 3 and I’ve been raising him on my own since before he was born. After about 1 1/2 years into his life, his dad wanted back into his life to get to know his son.
    It was hard, I was hurt and I really wasn’t looking forward to the emotional rollercoaster this was going to be. In fact, I am still not.
    But my son deserves to know who his dad is. And he deserves to be loved.
    And so, against all advice from people around me and inspite of the emotions I feel, I give them the opportunity to get to know and love each other.
    His dad doesn’t make it easy on me, but I try to be as graceful as I can be.

    The situation you’re in, I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But seeing you handle it with the grace I hope to show myself… It keeps me on my toes and inspired.

    It is not easy. Not at all. But we’re doing the best we can. And we’re doing a pretty good job too. I’m sure our kids will benefit from that, if not now than surely later on in life.

    Reading your stories I am so proud of you, even if we hardly know each other. And that reminds me to be proud of myself too.

    And for that, I thank you.

    Hugs from the Netherlands.

    • ….
      laura g. said…

      i think you both ROCK!! with moms like you, your kids will be ok!

    • ….
      Nancy said…

      Thanks, Laura, much appreciated! Writing my comment for all to read had me bawling last night. Today, I feel like taking on the world again!


  • 8.
    ShellyP said…

    As Tracy stated above there are many of us quietly supporting you, I said a little prayer for you yesterday remembering how my Christmas (not as a family unit) felt the very first time. I always think back to the Christmas’ that have gone by with a little bit of nostalgia, but as the children grow and the family dynamics change we now have new traditions of our own, and those are good too.
    It may be sad and hard and different now, but your heart (and soul) will quietly heal.
    Love and prayers to you.

  • 9.
    Camilla Blue said…

    I’m challenged to have my husband’s voice in my pages. Thank you.

  • 10.
    Celeste said…

    As those above have stated, I am quietly supporting you too Ali. I continue to pray for each of you. As I read today’s post I am so incredibly inspired by your grace and dignity. I am sure it is not easy. I keep remembering what you said when you shared publicly your separation, “that there is NOTHING easy about this”. May you continue to stay strong. God’s blessings.

  • 11.
    Pidgen said…

    What a challenging example for all of us! Your attitude is so strong, and although you have not shared your emotions, you have publically handled this in such a graceful manner. I pray for you often.

  • 12.
    tiffany h. said…

    You are an amazing woman! Your children will so love that you included their dad’s voice in the memory keeping. I’m a child of divorced parents and so wish my parents handled it the way you are–with dignity & grace. Prayers to your family as you journey through this new adventure.

  • 13.
    Kim Borcoman said…

    you rock, Ali. there’s really no easier way to say it.

  • 14.
    Kristen said…

    I can’t really say much more than has been said above. This post, and your grace in handling a difficult life experience, brings tears to my eyes. May God bless you as you continue on your path. xoxoxo

  • 15.
    Katie Scott said…

    {I don’t think my post went through so I’ll post again}

    As a child of divorced parents and as the wife of a divorce lawyer, I’ve seen lots of divorces up close and personal; it is seriously awesome for everyone when the parents continue to work together as parents. Yay for you all and I’m not suprised – you always seems to focus on the positive and on moving forward.

    I’m looking forward to your One Little Word class at BPC – I just signed UP!

    Hoping to finish my December Daily Album tonight. Thank you for this awesome project and the community you’ve created here.

  • 16.
    Claire Daly said…

    Love how you have included Chris’s voice in here too Ali. You really do walk the talk. Have loved all your December Daily pages and even though I decided not to do DD, you inspire me in many ways. Hugs to you as you embark on 2012.

  • 17.
    ErinK. said…

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as well as all of those who struggle with family issues. You are all so much stronger than I think I could be. God bless you all as you try and find the balance between self and family.

  • 18.
    Jennifer said…

    Love the comment about signing UP for OLW!! Still searching/waiting for my word but I think I’ll sign UP because my first year participating in DD has been awesome. Still have some work to do but I am forever grateful for having gotten this holiday season down on paper with pictures and words. I’ve said it many times, but still feel I have not expressed it enough, thank you Ali!

  • 19.
    Christine said…

    Lovely post and a reminder for me to include my kids father into the December Daily.
    BTW… I am jealous of your fireplace. :)
    Our old house had one but we currently have a gas one.
    I really miss that old fireplace.

  • 20.
    Cynthia said…

    Beautiful page Ali and something to be treasured. You are incredible and gracious; if we all acted in similar ways the world would be a much better place.

  • 21.
    Doreene Hansen said…

    Ali-you inspire me. Our situation is different in that my husband was killed in an accident. Christmas time is very difficult at best. This year I made a Shutterfly book of all our special pictures with him-from babyhood on. There were tears, but there were smiles, too. Your spirit and grace has helped me move on and I appreciate you so much. Glad you had a peaceful and joyous Christmas. Love

  • 22.
    Liz said…

    for·ti·tude   [fawr-ti-tood, -tyood] Show IPA
    mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously: Never once did her fortitude waver during that long illness.

    You got it girl. I love you.

    • ….
      Yolanda said…

      And now I think I just found my OLW for 2012.

  • 23.
    Estellita said…

    Hello Ali !
    I was waiting for your post. My DD is finished, and i was curious to see yours.
    Kisses from France

  • 24.
    dawn said…

    love all of this Ali, so wonderful how you included it in the album. happy he wanted to tell a story for the kids. great way to include him in it. thank you for always showing the good and being positive even thru something this hard. hugs and prayers !!

  • 25.
    Anne M said…

    I don’t know how difficult it was for you to ask Chris for his input, but I find it really great that his thoughts are included on your DD. Great for the kids of course, but great for me as a reader because it provides another point of view and gives a more complete picture of your life. I know you focus on the positive side of things (and it’s great) but it is also interesting to read the other side; the bickering/timeout/biting side which is also part of their story!

  • 26.
    MichelleGB said…

    You are an inspiration on how to handle difficult times and how to make your children your priority despite the circumstances. I wish you all peace in the new year.

  • 27.
    Theresa S. said…

    As many have mentioned above–you are the epitome of grace and dignity. Keeping it civil is not the “easy” way and by that I mean it is easier to let the hurt take over and lash out at your former partner. I have been there. What you are doing for your kids is what is right to do. It is not easy, but it is the right thing to do.

  • 28.
    Mallory said…

    I love how you and Chris can still be mature and civil to one another for the sake of your kids. My fiance’s parents are divorced and are horrible to each other. I feel so bad for my fiancé and his 13 year old brother. It makes me sad that they can never be in the same room and I think about future weddings, graduations, birthdays, and holidays. And now my son, I feel sad that he’ll never know his grandparents together and if one isn’t at a special function. You are a strong woman Ali, and Chris seems like a wonderful father. I hope 2012 brings you both happiness.

  • 29.
    Martha Thomas said…

    Ali, You have been a BEAUTIFUL example of a gracious woman in this season. I am so encouraged reading all the comments and the examples of strength of other women you are inspiring. What a gift you have…to bring all sorts of ladies together to share their stories…of happiness as well as pain. Wow. You are such a beautiful woman. I am blessed to just look in on your story. And I as well have been silently praying for you at different times during this season. I just want to echo all the beautiful comments of support your are receiving. You are a blessing….don’t ever forget that!!

  • 30.
    Katie said…

    Love when she sings that Tangled song!

  • 31.
    Yolanda said…

    I have deep admiration for the both of you, as parents to these children, committing to capturing and telling their stories. It would be so easy to be selfish right now. We would all understand. We’d all forgive you for it. But instead, Chris takes time to photograph and write. He shares the stories. The moments you weren’t able to share with them, a reality that certainly has its sting, even when bound with acceptance. And yet, despite that reality, you’ve still made a page that celebrates the days they spent together during this holiday season. It’s so, so admirable.

  • 32.
    libby gordon said…

    Ali I am so impressed with your quiet grace and dignity handling this time of change. I can’t even imagine how hard this would be. Change is hard for any child but for a child on the spectrum (I have a 16 yo DS with Asperger’s), it is extremely stressful and challenging. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

  • 33.
    Sherry Eckblad said…

    Your albums each year are always amazing and I strive to one day have mine look half as nice as yours. I love all the journaling that you include with it.
    I had wondered over the past 4 months or so why you didn’t include photo’s of Chris or talk about him. I was sorry to read the above post and realize that you two were no longer together. But so glad that you continue to include him in the December Daily. My parents split when I was very young and would of never done something like this. So good for you. I can’t wait to finish up the last few days of December and to complete my first Dececmber Daily album.

  • 34.
    Benita said…

    Sending you a big hug!
    ~ Benita

  • 35.
    Raylene said…

    Your kids will benefit Big Time from the way your life is going . . . .My son & I talked for a couple of hours on Christmas eve after everyone else went to bed. He is 32 now and he shared with me the tough time he had out in the world after he left home. My husband & I are 34 years married, love each other dearly, and there was rarely any fighting in our home as the kids grew up. My son mentioned how difficult it was for him to handle conflict on the job, customer service, etc. as he had no idea because we got along . . . too well, apparently. The stress he experienced was huge and it caused problems for him for years. What a shock for me to hear this!

    So you see, there are definite benefits to not-so-wonderful-childhoods!! It took him years of hard slugging to acquire the skills to handle the “real”world”. Who knew???

  • 36.
    EvelynB said…

    I have a question about printing that I know you have mentioned before–when you print directly from Photoshop, does your printer print the image exactly as it appears on your screen, without cutting off edges? Since you changed printers from an HP to Epson did you research printers to make sure they print all the way to the edges? Also, how are you liking the Epson compared to HP? Thanks!!

  • 37.
    Sandra said…

    I admire you for being a grownup about your divorce. My brother is going through a separation (probably a divorce too) and they are both acting like jerks. I can’t even see my nephew because of this situation.

    Anyway…a technical question. How do you get your letter stickers to line up so nicely? Do you draw lines with a ruler? I almost never use alphas because I have SUCH a hard time with them!


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