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December Daily™ 2013 | Day Four

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Welcome to December Daily™ 2013 | Day Four.

Over on the December Daily™ 2013 Message Board at Studio Calico yesterday there was an interesting post about the pressure for perfection related to this project. The question was asked by Julie Campbell: "Do any of you feel pressured to just document the most perfect/beautiful moments of the season?"

My response was this:

I vote for real.

Whatever that is for you right now because it could be totally different today, tomorrow, next week, next year.

Real is a mix of everything - stuff so insanely beautiful you feel like you will burst and stuff so heartbreaking that you feel like you can't go on. And it's the mess when you get all the Christmas stuff out while you are decorating and it's the magical tree afterwards.

I want the mix of it all. Today for Day Four I'm going to journal about where I find beauty and it will include beauty in the broken places/pieces.

Here's a look at my Day Four:

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I like the idea of posing questions to ourselves as we journey through projects like this to get us thinking about what's really important. The question that came to me the other night was, "what is beautiful?"

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Aaron joined us on Tuesday night when we were decorating the tree. As I watched him interacting with the kids and stringing lights and setting up Christmas tunes and responding to the many questions and "Hey Aaron, look at this" from the kids I was thinking about the beauty of the reality of our (the collective "our") lives right now.

Beauty isn't about the perfect tree, the perfect family photo, the perfect December Daily album or keeping up with your neighbor online or in your hometown.

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Right now for me what is beautiful is remembering again and again that people make it through things. They our lives are fluid. That what is here right now, as it is, is beautiful even if it doesn't fit some preconceived notion in our heads of what it's supposed to be.

Silly dancing in the mess of the Christmas ornament boxes and other decorations is beautiful.

Dragging the kids out to get more lights because I forgot that our tree isn't pre-lit isn't really beautiful, but the resulting twinkle on the tree was pretty darn awesome. It was another reminder to myself to slow down and remember what's most important.

The process of capturing stories throughout the month exists to enhance my joy.

AE_DD2013_Day4_Beauty

A couple things of note for Day Four (all products were from the Studio Calico kit with the exception of my 3x4 journal card):


  1. I added the super thin gold strip washi around the two photos as a border.

  2. Letter stickers on a pattern transparent overlay spell out my title.

  3. I printed these two, 3x4 photos on one 4x6 piece of photo paper. Here's a tutorial for that process if you are interested in learning more.

  4. If you purchased the December Daily™ kit from Studio Calico it included printables (one of the labels I used here was a printable and the other was from the label sticker sheet). Log on to your account and click under your name to access your Digital Files.


Here's to embracing a little more beauty this holiday season.

NOTE: I work on one story each day. That story might have happened yesterday vs. today. It doesn't matter. It's all part of the bigger December story I'm experiencing right now. Sometimes stories don't really evolve until a few days later.

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ali2013

TODAY'S POST SPONSORED BY | SIMON SAYS STAMP



ABOUT | We want to be your ONE STOP SHOP! At Simon Says Stamp, we care about our customers and pride ourselves on going the extra mile to make customers happy. Offering quality products that you want to use in your December Daily projects is our priority. Our whole team is passionate about crafting & the power of sharing stories.  We want to share that passion with you by getting you inspired! Please visit our blog that is updated daily and 2 weekly challenge blogs on Monday and Wednesday!  Have a "click" and stay awhile!



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48 thoughts

  1. Michelle Kelly says…
    12/05/2013

    Another reminder to live life and live in the moment. A beautiful post and lovely stories captured for the day. Highlights the beauty of the project! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Kathy says…
    12/05/2013

    Very well said Ali.........I know we all check out people's albums and think others have great ideas about how to put the albums together etc. but at the end of the day we are each documenting our lives in December. For my day yesterday it had nothing to do with Christmas festivities but our Parents vs Kids end of term football match.....that's real life for us yesterday morning so that's what is going to be documented. I think as long as the stories are told and it's nice that we get to "fluff around with albums" for creativity but being aware and documenting the traditions is the beauty of this project. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. dawn says…
    12/05/2013

    I agree, well said Ali.... thanks for reminding us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Paula says…
    12/05/2013

    This is so true and relevant for my day yesterday, thanks sharing a wonderful page with such an insightful post too. I struggle with the combo of how most days things make my heart feel so heavy between my mom being here in the house so ill and my daughter's anxiety/panic being code red on and off several times in a week. Yet every day there is always alot of beauty that shines through too. Things go wrong, but they go right too. At the end of the day I am often very frazzled. Sometimes I'm not sure in my family scrapbooks what to gloss over and what to highlight, but I find 99% of the time I pick what went well. And it is because, like you said, people do get through things. I am thinking I have found my OLW for 2014 this morning...resilient.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Brooke says…
    12/05/2013

    I'm always amazed (I shouldn't be, I've been following for a while) that I started reading your blog for scrapbook inspiration but I come back daily for your inspiration on living. The way you live your life and reflect on it is amazing. I'm so thankful for the lessons you are teaching.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. katie scott says…
    12/05/2013

    I think that when we reminisce about Christmases past we forget that everything was not totally perfect.

    It is human nature to forget pain (my joke about that is the evidence of that forgetting pain thing is that women have second children) - so it is nice to include the real and imperfect in these December Daily Albums.

    Thank you for all the inspiration and for the reminder to find the beautiful in the everyday and imperfect.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. kelly says…
    12/05/2013

    you are so right ali...sometimes life isn't perfect or 'beautiful'. this this year i feel like i am fighting for my christmas joy. but i have found, like you demonstrated, that gratitude for what is can be a powerful weapon in the war. thank you for all of your inspiration and sharing your imperfections.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Mallory says…
    12/05/2013

    Oh I love that border around the photos!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. {vicki} says…
    12/05/2013

    Beautifully said!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. sugarnuggets says…
    12/05/2013

    ...and sometimes, what starts out as "going through the motions" of Christmas, turns into a moment of most unexpected Joy AND that which is beautiful!

    Thanks for the encouragement to redefine "beauty" in the here and now!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Mary Sara P. says…
      12/05/2013

      I find that to be true as well.

    2. Christen says…
      12/05/2013

      I love your comment! Thanks for sharing it. I feel this way too.

  11. Marti Richards says…
    12/05/2013

    Thank you, Ali. My heart needed that reminder. Merry Christmas!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Bri says…
    12/05/2013

    This is beautiful Ali. I always enjoy viewing your December Daily album and following along as I create my own. Totally unrelated: What brand is your cutting mat, and where did you purchase it? I'm in desperate need of a new one. Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Peggy says…
    12/05/2013

    SO AGREE with Michelle....thanks for reminding us of REALLY HOW SIMPLE LIFE CAN BE LIVED! My children are all grown and moved out of state except for my daughter, but still lives 3 hours away with her husband and our twin 4 month old GRANDSONS and how much I inhale them when we do get together. QUESTION!! Could you please tell me how you printed off the little tag? I can't seem to get it to size. THANK YOU!! ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Peggy says…
    12/05/2013

    Wait...I think I figured it out. I am printing in Adobe and have to print off the entire page of tags. Is that correct?

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Jill says…
    12/05/2013

    Beautiful post. Great wisdom and advice. Have a wonderful day!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Michelle M says…
    12/05/2013

    This post is beautiful. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Jenell S. says…
    12/05/2013

    Perfect answer, Ali. I LOVE silly dancing! Perfect night!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Jenell S. says…
      12/05/2013

      And I forgot to say that what doesn't seem perfect, sometimes really is!

  18. Jackie says…
    12/05/2013

    This is a less than obviously beautiful season in my life and I needed the reminder today that we will make it through. Life is fluid. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Jil says…
    12/05/2013

    A wonderful, inspiring reminder. So important to be real, and yes, that's where the beauty and uniqueness lie. Thanks for your wise words.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Sherry Eckblad says…
    12/05/2013

    I always feel inspired when I read your blog and the love of your family. Love the photo of the silly dancing. You are building some great stories for Anna and Simon as well. I am going to try asking myself some questions throughout my book.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Lida says…
    12/05/2013

    Thanks for putting things in perspective. Yes, I got caught up in the idea of "perfect". I need to enjoy this process. So enjoying your December daily and inspirations.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. michelle says…
    12/05/2013

    I love what you wrote. Keeping it real in my album is very important. One of my favorite family photos is perfection from 4 and then the little one shoeless, throwing a fit, in his jammies. It's so perfect for the time of our lives right now. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. TracyJ says…
    12/05/2013

    Ali, WOW! I just love your thought provoking views. They make me see things in a different way. I often try to have just the "right" picture or story and when I don't I get stuck. I like the stories you see and want to improve in that are as well. So to you I say "Thank You!"
    Merry Christmas~

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Debbie says…
    12/05/2013

    Thank you for the insightful read this morning. I was reluctant to go to bed last night because of the Christmas decorations strung from here to there last night. My husband said, "let's go to bed". He went on upstairs. I was tiddying up. My cell phone began to ring and it was my hubs from upstairs, "really, please come to bed" So I did. He reminded me that the mess will still be there tomorrow. Guess the decoration will be finished tonight. Love that he reminds me to not stress on the perfect of completeing the project when everyone else is in bed. Our daughter will be trilled too. The decorating continues tonight!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Mary Sara P. says…
    12/05/2013

    Ali, thank you for reminding us to look into the beauty of every day and our own lives. Just because things aren't "perfect" doesn't mean that they aren't "perfect" for right now. Great inspiration today and some thought provoking. Have a beatuify day.

    Reply 0 Replies

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