Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 21, 2014

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.


  • 1.
    Alida said…

    Happy Birthday Simon- all the way from South Africa!

  • 2.
    Linda J said…

    Happy Birthday Simon, from very cold snowy Michigan:)

  • 3.
    Jennifer said…

    There is a great app for words and spelling! Its called endless alphabet, I know its for iPad not sure if it is compatible on iPhone! Sounds right up Anna’s alley.

    Happy birthday Simon!!

  • 4.
    Anita said…

    Happy 12th Birthday Simon, from Anita in Melbourne, Australia.

  • 5.
    Heather said…

    Can’t wait to read the post on unfinished projects!!! Lordy, I can’t even count mine.

  • 6.
    Michelle t. said…

    Oh a great read this am. Bogged down, worried, etc… thanks for the enjoyable read. Happy birthday to Simon. Enjoy your wonderful day. A beautiful adventure is headed your way. Enjoy. Michelle t

  • 7.
    Maria Elena said…

    Happy birthday Simon. Have a GREAT day!

  • 8.
    Lynn Dirk said…

    HaPpY BiRtHdAy Simon!

  • 9.
    Laura Moegenburg said…

    Simon – Make the day yours!

  • 10.
    Wendy said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!!!

  • 11.
    Karen d. said…

    Happy Birthday to Simon!

    Love to hear you are reading together. So fun. I enjoyed the books you are reading,too. Lots of food for thought. Have a blessed week.

  • 12.
    Peggy said…

    HAVE THE BEST DAY EVER SIMON!!! Can’t wait to hear more about what you did with your family to celebrate being 12!!!! AWESOME!! It was also nice to read about your AROUND HERE Ali!
    I still have my REAL tree up and it still smells so nice…but it’s time for it to be down now…. :( Have a nice day!

  • 13.
    Lynn L. said…

    Happy Birthday Simon from Maine! Have a great day!:)

  • 14.
    Toni From said…

    Happy Birthday Simon. I can’ wait to hear about your birthday adventure.

  • 15.
    anneberit said…

    Happy birthday to Simon!
    And I love the ‘Around here’ kind of posts.

  • 16.
    Yolanda said…

    Happiest of happy birthdays, Simon! I have loved having you in my life and hearing about your magic for the past 8 years, even though we have never met. May this year is the best one yet!

  • 17.
    Paula said…

    Happy Happy Happy 12th Birthday Simon!! I hope you have a wonderful year full of Ghost Busting magic! You ain’t afraid of no ghosts!!

  • 18.
    Lida said…

    Happy Birthday, Simon.

    Can’t believe this “little” fellow is growing up so fast before our internet eyes!

  • 19.
    Kathy said…

    Happy Birthday Simon (from Tennessee). LOVED the book 7. Think I willpull off my shelf and read again.

  • 20.
    Melanie Britt said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!

    Love Jen Hatmaker.

    Have a great day Ali!

  • 21.
    MichelleB said…

    Happy Birthday to Simon! May you and your Mom have an awesome adventure! (And thank you for letting us watch you grow!)

  • 22.
    PamV said…

    Happy Birthday Simon! It’s been a pleasure watching you grow! Enjoy your adventure with your mom and have a wonderful birthday!!

  • 23.
    Michelle said…

    Happy 12th birthday Simon, special congrats to both his parents, raising children stretches every part of your being…its a great gig but a tough gig. Enjoy your adventure.

  • 24.
    Mary Sara P. said…

    Happy, Happy Birthday Simon. So glad that you are off for an adventure for his birthday. Can’t wait to hear about it. We used to do mystery car rides and adventures for my birthday and they were so much fun. Enjoy your day.

  • 25.
    Brenda Grubbs said…

    Ali, I just love your posts. They are from your heart, and it really comes through. I can hear your calming voice reading them to us. Happy Birthday, Simon!

  • 26.
    Wendy said…

    I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to Hands Free Mama. After your touching blog post that hit so very close to home, I checked out her blog and bought her book. It’s going to be a process, but it’s so very important.

    Happy birthday, Simon! Enjoy your adventure!

  • 27.
    Leanne said…

    Happy 12th birthday Simon! (From Nanaimo BC) enjoy your adventure;)

  • 28.
    Debbie said…

    Happy Happy Birthday Simon! (From Debbie, in Coeurdalene, ID)

  • 29.
    Julie said…

    Happy 12th Simon! Enjoy your special day! From Julie in Nevada

  • 30.
    Amy said…

    Happy Birthday Simon…from Colorado!!

  • 31.
    Karen said…

    Happy 12th Birthday, Simon! Have a great day!

  • 32.
    Ann said…

    Happy Birthday Simon, from Nebraska!

  • 33.
    Angie Hall said…

    Happy Birthday, Simon, from Atlanta, Georgia. I have a son who will be 12 soon. 2002! What a wonderful year to have come into the world!

  • 34.
    Mikki said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!

  • 35.
    Tere said…

    Happy Birthday Simon. You are going to rock 12!

    I just received my Hands Free Mama book from Amazon, excited to dig in. I read 7 last year. I loved it but honestly struggled through some of it too. The book helped me view life and all my stuff through a new lens. It helped me let go. I like that I lean a little more minimalist. Working on my family and home too. I’m excited to hear what you think.

  • 36.
    Linn said…

    7! I just started the seven month fast from excess experiment with a group of other ladies as we read through Jen Hatmaker’s book! I’ve blogged a couple times this week about the whole fast and specifically month one: food. Very interesting life challenge, and just reading the book itself can be eye opening, too. Love it!

  • 37.
    valerie said…

    Happy 12th Birthday, Simon! Have a rockin’ day!

  • 38.
    Rosalie said…

    The book 7 is a great book. Jen Hatmaker uses wonderful humor to get her point across. I hope you enjoy the book.

  • 39.
    Pam said…

    Happy birthday, Simon! My youngest son’s birthday is today, too; he is 20! Those years went by fast!

    Thanks for sharing your journaling “prompt”; a great idea!

  • 40.
    Jen said…

    Happy Birthday Simon – from Minnesota! I LOVED reading that you are into Ghostbusters – my boys are really into 80′s movies too right now! My son Henry is drawing all sorts of GB stories and we made our own ‘slime’ one day…pretty gross (and cool). Back the Future is next on their list – didn’t know there was a lego car (ofcourse there is a Lego everything – I am sure you are pumped for the upcoming Lego movie!!). We just watched ET too and Goonies. Have fun ‘visiting’ the 80′s!!

  • 41.
    Pam Abbott said…

    First, Happy Birthday Simon!

    Second, I love how you didn’t sugar coat that you both were screwing off online. So hard not to. In fact, it is exactly what I’m doing now. Must get to work!

    I love these type of reminders that we can quickly document exactly what we are experiencing in that very moment without being too wordy.

    Good luck with not screwing off and your adventure with Simon. Where has the time gone?


  • 42.
    Gina Crowley said…

    What is this “screwing around online” you speak of? I would never do that. Blah ha ha ha ha. Said noone ever.

  • 43.
    Sherry said…

    Happy 12th Birthday, Simon, from California. May all your birthday wishes come true. :)

  • 44.
    J3SS1C4 said…

    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 :)

  • 45.
    Christine said…

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

  • 46.
    Cindy said…

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

  • 47.
    Melanie said…

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

  • 48.
    Caitlin said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!! Enjoy your adventure!

  • 49.
    Evalyn said…

    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!

  • 50.
    lee said…

    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…

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