Around Here | January 2014


Last week I took some time to go back through my Project Life albums since 2011.

It's so fun to look back.

It's always been fun to be able to look back even through all our family changes. It's one of the reasons I do what I do - in addition to knowing myself better through the process of documenting and creating and on and on.

One of the things that stood out for me is that I often included inserts that featured more writing - most often those words came from blog posts. They were often Around Here style posts or What's Real Right Now - repetitive journaling prompts that help my words flow easily. I want to get back in the habit of writing those kinds of things down more frequently again - they are longer stories that have a place in Project Life or on traditional layouts.

So here we go:

Around here I'm planning a really big surprise for Simon's birthday this week (his birthday is today). He's turning 12 and it's about time the two of us had a little adventure.

Around here I loved participating in the Big Picture Play event in Anaheim last week. It was awesome to connect with old and new friends and I loved the challenge of creating a presentation around the topic of play (which is something I struggle with in terms of letting go enough to just have fun).

Around here Katie and I are hoping to start our new "block" schedule next week. I talked about this sometime last year and it never got implemented. The idea is to set aside time each week for certain tasks - making it a little less flexible than we are used to with intention. The goal is to move us away from screwing around online when we could be doing more productive, content creation sort of tasks (but building in time for messing around). I'll let you know how it goes.

Around here I've learned that reading chapter books out loud to my kids in the evening is just awesome. After writing my post about distraction a couple weeks ago I really did take action and it's continued to be something I'm super aware of as I got about my day. There is a special, special connection happening during those evening reading times with just the three of us.

Around here my Christmas tree was still up as of Sunday morning. Now it's packed away in the garage, ready to make another appearance later this year.

Around here Simon is all about Ghostbusters. He's creating scenes with his Lego guys. He wants the book. He tells me scenes over and over again. We listen to the soundtrack every single time we get in the car (Anna asks for it now too). He also really wants the Back To The Future Lego car for his birthday. And you know I'm loving all these blasts from my own childhood - things I loved and watched and played and pretended.

Around here Anna is all about the alphabet and working on writing her letters. She sees words and wants to copy them and wants to know how everything is spelled. Last night she wrote the names of all her friends she wants to invite to her birthday party next month. I'm slowing down with her and it seems to be just what we both needed.

Around here I'm making spring break plans. It's so, so grey here during this time of the year and the idea of heading to somewhere sunny makes it a little more bearable.

Around here I'm reading Hands Free Mama and a book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker and I might have started watching Breaking Bad (okay, I watched the first four episodes one night last week). I'm reading more than watching though since last year I'm not sure I read more than a handful of books and for me that's just not enough.

Around here I'm working on a post about my unfinished projects and the way I plan to tackle them this year. I'm also working through the last few months of Project Life 2013 and my 31 Things Workshop (a re-run of the same class from last year) starts on Wednesday. One Little Word® is in full swing and I'm working on a new article for the next issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today.

Around here things are good.

And now I'm off to celebrate one of the most awesome blessings in my entire life: Simon.

69 thoughts

  1. J3SS1C4

    2014-01-21 18:26:23 -0500

    Happy birthday to Simon! I hope he has a very special day :)

    And such an awesome post, Ali! I always enjoy when you do these sorts of posts :)

  2. Christine

    2014-01-21 18:27:31 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon. I hope your day is grand and may all your wishes come true.

  3. Cindy

    2014-01-21 18:42:19 -0500

    Hope your day was AWESOME Simon......HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!

  4. Melanie

    2014-01-21 18:46:51 -0500

    I read 7 last year and really enjoyed it. Can't wait to hear what you think when you're finished.

  5. Caitlin

    2014-01-21 20:06:50 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon!! Enjoy your adventure!

  6. Evalyn

    2014-01-21 20:25:52 -0500

    Ali, it was a pleasure to meet you again last week at Play. My just-turned-11 year old granddaughter loves the Back to the Future and Karate Kid movies. Can't wait to read about how you plan to handle old projects because, well, you know...

    Happy Birthday, Simon!

  7. lee

    2014-01-21 22:14:32 -0500

    I would very much like to know what you think about the book 7. I've seen it at the bookstore and wondered about it...

  8. stacie d

    2014-01-21 22:34:15 -0500

    Happy 12th birthday, Simon! May your surprise travels be amazing and memorable. Our oldest son turns 12 in 9 days, twinsies.

  9. Christin Dukes

    2014-01-21 22:37:19 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon! From Taylor, Michigan!

  10. Debbie (from Sugar Land)

    2014-01-21 23:06:28 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon - from Sugar Land, Texas!

  11. Morgan Wilson

    2014-01-21 23:10:04 -0500

    Happy celebrating!!!

  12. SueTR (ys 11-12-13)

    2014-01-21 23:27:33 -0500

    Happy Happy Birthday Simon! Hope you had an awesome day!!

  13. Ma Laarni

    2014-01-22 01:17:36 -0500

    Happy 12th birthday Simon!!! Enjoy!!

  14. Julie

    2014-01-22 11:07:49 -0500

    Wishing you a awesome exciting fun-filled, birthday!!!
    Happy 12th Birthday Simon :)

  15. Queen Mary

    2014-01-22 12:02:50 -0500

    Lovely photo Ali. Do you ever read fiction? I would love to hear what fiction you are reading.

  16. Cynthia H

    2014-01-22 12:05:01 -0500

    Anna's hair is getting so long!!

  17. rhonda nickol

    2014-01-22 22:50:15 -0500

    Have a very Happy Birthday Simon!

  18. Carrie-Ann

    2014-01-22 23:35:14 -0500

    Birthday wishes for Simon from Kamloops, BC! Have you tried skiing or snowboarding? We've got an awesome resort ... Sun Peaks!

  19. Nina Chow

    2014-01-23 00:35:09 -0500

    Happy Birthday Simon from Nina in Canada

  20. Scrappyjen

    2014-01-24 05:12:42 -0500

    I too am on an unfinished projects bent this year. Took Jennifer Wilsons five day Start Fresh class at Simple Scrapper and have entered in all my unfinished projects into the workbook. Having them out of my brain and onto paper has already inspired me to complete 5 layouts and an off the page project within the last two weeks (during which I have been super busy with kids, study, everyday life stuff and designing my brothers wedding invites). Love ticking those items off my to-do list and not only that but its stuff I've wanted to do for years. Finished is a great feeling.

  21. Emily Ruth Gulka

    2014-01-24 09:56:25 -0500

    I am excited to hear about your time blocks. I need to change some stuff up around here...
    Oh, & 7 is such a great book to get you thinking! My book club read it in October & the discussion was really fantastic.
    Oh! & happy birthday, simon! I hope your lego dreams come true!

  22. Deirdre

    2014-01-24 11:47:09 -0500

    Great post Ali and Happy Birthday to Simon. Hope he has a truly wonderful week.

  23. Jessica @The Mom Creative

    2014-01-30 11:10:26 -0500

    You will love, love, love 7 and Jen Hatmaker. She is a friend of mine and you two would get along so well.

    You might enjoy these videos my friend Angie and I did with her for a book club last year.


  24. Jody Rogers

    2014-02-03 11:25:08 -0500

    Wow! I love the way you write and project your thoughts and feelings. I'm signing up for your OLW and am really looking forward to expanding my thoughts onto paper which I have never really been good at. Thanks for sharing your experiences, your up and downs and your lovely family and talent with us. You are very inspiring - thank you!

  25. Christine

    2014-02-11 15:14:26 -0500

    Ali, I feel you on the weeks that just seem to keep putting obstacles in the way of joy. Well done for embracing the beauty in each day and being okay with the falling tears. I have been recently reminded of the power of living through pleasure - check out Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts. It is SO much fun for you and brings so much to those you love as well. She is doing this amazing course starting March that I am attending and would love to invite you to join me and my girlfriends!! In any case, she has written a few books that are easy and fun reads...

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