Week In The Life 2013 | Sunday Words + Photos



Wow. Another Week In The Life has come and gone.

First off I want to say thank you for playing along this past week and for sharing your lives via the links below. By Sunday I'm usually ready to be done with the documentation but I'm also usually pretty inspired to see all the images as I scroll back through them.

Now I move on to bringing it all together. Tomorrow I'll share a video tutorial about working with the layered templates in Photoshop and later in the week/next week I'll share my completed album.

I'll also have some more thoughts and general observations for you as I pull my content together this week.

Here's a look at my Sunday:


Back in the office again playing catch up from the crazy schedule of the past week.


I spend a lot of time in that chair.


I took a couple photos of myself using my remote while I was waiting for friends to come pick me up for our Pub Cycle adventure.

I was scrolling through Instagram last night and Amy Tan had a photo of herself where she wasn't smiling and she mentioned that she really was quite happy at that moment in time even if she didn't have a huge smile on her face. I feel that way about this photo.


My friend John organized a Pub Cycle outing with a group of friends.

You peddle the "bike" from pub to pub (we went to three around town). There's no drinking while you're on the "bike" - it's just a super fun way to get from one place to another.


Sara and Sarah. Sara (in the grey) and I actually went to the same high school in Tacoma (Bellarmine Prep) and she married one of my friends from college (Oregon State) Todd. Sarah (in the black) married my friend John and she's also an Oregon State grad.


Heather and Kyle. Friends from college. Love them.


The whole crew.


We've got a really great selection of local breweries here in Eugene. On this adventure we stopped at Steelhead, Hop Valley and OakShire.



Sara and Holly. Holly is another friend from college and she has the biggest heart.


Our happy group.


Then it was back home again for a little more work and laundry folding before Aaron's soccer game.


Kids will be back home again tomorrow after school. Can't wait to see and hug them tight.

You can see all my days from this past week here: Week In The Life


I'd love to have you include a link to your SUNDAY of words and photos here. Please link directly to your post vs. your general blog link. Thank you!

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24 thoughts

  1. Shayne says…

    Hi Ali,

    I just wanted to say thank you for inspiring me (us) to do this. To capture the everyday. To remember the important, and not so important, and why it is important to do so.

    I've linked up my Sun Post - all about the devastation that occurred yesterday, here on our farm.


    Shayne x

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ksenia says…

      Wow. Sounds so scary. Glad you are all safe and hope for your farm's speedy recovery.

    2. Ali says…

      So glad that you are all safe as well. Praying for your community.

  2. sharon71 says…

    Oh wow Ali! Your Sunday looked much more fun that mine ;)

    I have loved doing this project and I know that it will become an annual event for me. I've been using your templates and they are great.

    Thanks for sharing your week and this fabulous project :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. dawn says…

    Thanks so much for this amazing project, I made it to the end! My favorite part is looking back at all the pictures, thinking of making a big canvas of all my favorites and putting it on the wall. Felt this way after WITL last time too but didn't do it, thinking this will be the year and count it as my early Christmas gift to myself.

    What a fun day you had, love that you have so many high school and college friends.

    Even I miss seeing your kids pictures here these last days, bet they can't wait to see you either!!

    Can't wait to put my album together now and to see yours!!

    Thanks again!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Brooke says…

    I am super excited to start putting my album together too. First time, good experience. Last night (my Sunday) I did a self timer jump for joy shot of myself to celebrate making it through! It's one of my fave shots.

    Your selfie looks great. Not sad at all. Inner glowing shining right through!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Katharyn says…

    Um. So, I'm not sure how to ask this question. But I guess the crux of it is that I used to scrap 8 hours a day, document every little moment, I thought I'd found my calling, as I'm a born documenter, a newspaper journo in the real world. I was lucky enough to find success with books/magazines who published my layouts. I've felt the resolute need to document my life since I was about 12. It makes me happy to know I have those memories down on paper even if my memory fails me in old age, or if I die before my time.
    I just found such satisfaction and fulfillment in scrapbooking about my beloved family. Always kept it positive. Lots of journalling. So much so that now my kids are older (one in preschool and the others are 8 and 10) they read their albums with a lot of nostalgia and fond memories. It makes my heart warm.
    But my husband and I separated 18 months ago and even though he didn't feature a great deal in our albums (even three years of my own version of Project 365) because he was never around, I am finding it absolutely impossible to scrap my family now.
    It's like I can only scrap the 'perfect family'. Not our broken one.
    I am no longer with my kids EVERY second of their lives. They visit their dad once a fortnight, and so keeping a Project 365 now feels like a fraud because I am only documenting part of their lives.
    And while I feel more positive than ever about our path in life as a single-parent family, I am not sure what I can say in my albums that won't hurt them to know in the long run.
    We are struggling financially and time-wise, and as such, I cannot compete with the Disneyland Dad approach my husband has taken - no rules at his house, kids get every possible toy they could imagine and they spend 10 hours a day on the xbox watching their dad. :( He lives with his parents, so his mother does all the laundry, dishes, dinners and organising the kids.
    So when I document OUR lives together, I feel like a complete dragon! Much of our time is taken up with chores, attending parent-teacher interviews or me taking them to soccer etc.
    I am just finding it hard to find something to scrap about now. I know I'll regret missing my third child's first tooth, first day at school etc. But how do I go about documenting a broken family?
    How do you do it? Do you include dates you go on (is it a record for you as well, or just for your kids?). At what point do you start to include others in your family albums? What if they are not around in 5 years time, is that healthy for your kids to remember time with them anyway?
    I'm just so confused because my main motivation for scrapping every day is gone, and I wonder how you are keeping it up too, since you are going through the same thing?

    Reply 7 Replies
    1. Katharyn says…

      Thank you everybody for the encouraging words. Look forward to your post Ali.

    2. Ali says…

      Katharyn - I want you to know I'm writing something up about this. Just want to make sure I say what I want to say and that might take me a few days.

    3. Natalie @ Architect MAMA says…

      Katharyn, I thought about you all day today! I come from a “broken” home. My parents weren’t even married. When they separated when I was five, my family of 6 was split in half. There is not one single photograph of my family together. I’m 34. Do I care that there isn’t one family photo? Nope. Why? Because feeling connected to my family is through the individual bonds I have with each of my three siblings and both of my parents. When I look back at the few photographs I do have, like one with my Dad and me, my hearts warms and I think of him fondly. My Dad was a “Disney dad” as you described and at times growing up, he lived with his parents, too, but he still did things throughout my life that added to my view of the world in a positive way. I don’t think of the hours, days, and years that we were apart or the depression and financial hardship my mother endured raising us. Your kids will also remember the values you maintained through challenging times. I attribute a significant amount of my emotional strength and the courage to keep pressing forward from remembering how my mom survived, struggled, and planned for a better life for all of us. When your kids grow up, they will remember that and it will give them strength. That’s the way my life has been anyway. One last thing. Both of my parents value working and making things with their hands. Whether that is gardening, building things, or crafting and that was a value that I have to this day. I have the urge to MAKE when times are tough more than I do when times are good. There is nothing more powerful or healing than scrapbooking through it. Whether that is in a personal album or a journal. Writing it down and observing it and watching how it changes, because it will change. And even if you stopped scrapbooking today they would still know how much you loved them because it’s not the quantity of daily documentation or the stuff in those family albums that makes them feel loved, it’s the quality of your relationship. Keep doing what you are doing and “show up” everyday as you have and your kids will look back and see the amazing woman that you are even if you don’t feel like it. Warm thoughts to you today.

    4. Paula says…

      Katharyn, if you are feeling broken allow yourself to figure out what you need to mend, and whatever that is, seek it. Please don't think there is any one "rignt" way to be. We are a pretty "atypical" family - my mom has lived with us since I was 26, she was in a very abusive relationship with my dad and I couldn't stand that she wasn't able to pull herself out of it, so I stepped in and she's been with us ever since. We went through people being nosey and rude, asking "how can you stand living with your mother-in-law" ... years later when my daughter was diagnosed with multiple disorders people sometimes said things like "I don't know how you do it." I think it's these types of stigmas imposed on us that make us think when things aren't "as they should be" - whatever that is - that we are broken. We aren't broken, and whether we are married or not, whether we have good jobs or not, whether we own homes or rent, whether we can take big vacations or take walks around the block is all ok ... sometimes we have to stop envisioning and just be. It sounds like you are providing lots of love and caring to your kids, you don't have to compare that with what they experience with their dad. There is also no right or wrong way to introduce new relationships that you feel good about, because sometimes kids are better off experiencing this sooner than later. Be gentle with yourself and if scrapbooking is something you love, don't deprive yourself of it, you deserve more. I wish you the very best.

    5. Shannon says…

      Kathryn, my heart goes out to you! I am not in your shoes, but I do come from a family where my separated parents had rather different ways of running our time with them. I believe that in a few years, your kids will look back on your albums (including chores, meals at home, even a list of rules or bedtimes) and see that you loved them in action as well as in word, providing routine and stability as a base for them to grow into the young adults they need to become. And I think Ali sets a lovely example for how to acknowledge the loss and change and difficulties in your lives while keeping the most personal stuff for a different spot- friends or a journal or some other private outlet. Peace to you.

    6. Nicole says…

      I feel compelled to encourage you as well to preserve those memories. Shannon and Maureen have stated so eloquently from their perspective, so I will not repeat what has been said already. But I would like to let you know that I do not have the 'broken' home environment that you are referring to, but my son (now 4) was recently diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. This was devastating to me and my scrapbooking came to a screeching halt. I recently gave birth to my daughter (around the time my son was diagnosed) and found that I wanted to "scrap" her more than of my son. I found that it was very difficult to document the "positives" about my son's developmental delays, behavioral difficulties, his tiny, tiny progresses, and our frustrations, that it made me more sad. My journaling for my daughter was soooo different from my son's story. Ali has inspired me to get back into the swing of things and I forced myself to do this Week In The Life 2013 project (this is my first time doing so). Not only am I forcing myself to read everything and watch the videos in Ali's blog and teaching myself how to do these digital overlays for the first time, but I am now going back and reading Ali's blog posts about "Autism" and learning to see the positives and amazing blessings in the simple things we often take for granted. Until recently, I would skip that section of Ali's blog because I couldn't relate (before my son's diagnosis), or didn't want to face (after my son was diagnosed), and now, I am inspired to see my son and our life from a whole new perspective. I know and BELIEVE our life has been BLESSED by my very special little boy. Since I have now started back up with my scrapbooking of my son and sharing my/our life through scrapbooking with our friends, teachers, church members, and even strangers, I have been told on numerous occasions what an "awesome Mommy" I am. I have documented not only the joys, but also the daily struggles, my 'creative' ways on communicating and "getting through" to my son, the financial (and marital) strains, etc, and people have become more aware AND inspired by my son, and some have even LEARNED from my life's approach in dealing with my son to become a better parent/spouse/person themselves...and THAT gives me more fulfillment than I could have ever imagined. Please continue to document what is real in your life now. No one has the "perfect" family...it is these imperfections that make all of our families unique and special in their own way. It is life's struggles that build characters and makes families even stronger.

    7. Maureen says…

      Kathryn, I am on the "other side" of a broken home. I am a stepmom, or as we choose to call it, a Bonus Mom. I married my husband several years after he was divorced from a 17 yr marriage in which there were 2 children. The youngest (when I met him) was 7 and the oldest was 17. They are 17 and 27 now. I dated their father for almost 2 years before ever meeting his kids because he wanted to protect them from meeting people who may not end up in their lives and I totally respected that. I was a scrapbooker before we met and I still scrapbook today. Upon meeting the youngest child, I started a scrapbook for him, which starts with the first time he and I met. (His fathers and my books start almost 2 years prior). My youngest bonus son currently has one scrapbook for each year that he and I have known each other. His books include pictures from all of the visits he has spent with his dad and I (we live in a different state than him). When we are him in his state, we take pictures there too and there are even times when his mom is at the events and I am always sure to take her picture too for in his books. These scrapbooks are the only pictures/books he will have of his childhood - or at least half of it anyway. His mom is not a scrapbooker and photos are not as important to her so she doesn't take any pictures except the occasional one on her phone. When I met my now husband, he had 5 pictures to his name. (His ex got rid of all of his childhood pictures instead of giving them back to him.) I grew up having lots of photo albums and I didn't want my bonus son to not have photos of his childhood. I guess what I am trying to get at here is that even though your family is no longer completely whole, it doesn't mean you have stopped being a family. I really think it is important for you to continue to work on your scrapbooks and preserving the memories of their childhood with you. I truly believe when they are older, they will appreciate that you did the books and didn't let the fact that their father was not in the house anymore bring and end to the preservation of all of the good times/bad times they continued to have with you. When they are older, they will appreciate (and benefit from) the structured environment you have always provided for them. They will also appreciate having pictures of all of those soccer games you took them to and other things that you and they have done together. Scrapbooking isnt always about happy times and it's OK to scrapbook those moments too. I don't think your motivation for scrapping the everyday is so much gone, but it's the changes into what "the everyday" means for your family now that are hard to adjust to. And it is an adjustment period. Your everyday is different now and thats OK. You and your children are still a "whole" family and they need your structure, love and support. By continuing to document things, it will show them that everything is going to be OK, it will be a little different, but it will be OK. And I agree 100% with what shannon said - Ali sets a lovely example of how to acknowledge the loss, the change and the difficulties. I read her blog often and it always makes me stop and think about my interactions with my bonus sons, for example, always making sure I am responsible and kind towards their mom, regardless of her actions towards us. Ali has such grace about her and I think alot of people could really learn from the examples she has put forth with her children for how she and Chris handle their different relationship now.

  6. Enikö says…

    Your Sunday was captured beautifully, Ali! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Jennifer K says…

    WITL is a great idea. I know that on my own, I probably never would have followed through. But feeling like I was following along, with Ali guiding us, I did it! And I'm sooo glad I did this! Can't wait to pull it all together this week. And will plan to do it again next year. :-) THANK YOU Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Nancy says…

    I am a late-comer to this project, but I love the idea! I will look at past posts and hopefully start this on my own. I have always loved Ali's style and am so glad I just found this blog!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. AmberCA says…

    Wow, a week finished. I really enjoyed documenting my life this week. What I learned is that it's not glamourous for sure, and a lot of it is mundane, but there is a sort of rhythm, and beauty can be found anywhere. This is my children's childhood story, and I hope that it's a good story for them to remember for the rest of their lives. I know my childhood story is good and brings me comfort, I want that for them as well. Thanks Ali, for inspiring so many of us to tell our stories.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Paula says…

    After work tonight I am coming on back to read everyone's lovely comments and look at the links...this morning I tried to take the plunge since I don't have a blog or do any digital photography except ordering online and texting photos on my older iphone...I went ahead and opened a flickr account, put my little notes under each photo and set up a site...but alas, when I click my link above, Paula Scraps, it didn't work. Ugh, I am not coordinated but I will try again tonight.
    I had such a great time documenting a WITL. Thanks Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. KimD says…

    I went on a BrewCycle tour this weekend too in Portland...lots of fun!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. alicia johnson says…

    hey ali!
    okay i've done all the fun work of getting pictures and writing it all down. Now, I have begun the daunting task of sifting thru pictures and pictures and pictures. What is your process of choosing the right pictures for each day? Do you settle around a daily theme? Am I making this more difficult than it needs to be?

    Thank you for any help!
    Alicia J

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. kelli T says…

    Ali! I was looking fora new place to print photo, but the offer you gave us is expired! Was that a typo?

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Teri H. says…

    Just curious...what was your major in college?

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Carrie Rosalind says…

    Congratulations on another successful year!! This was my first year participating and I SO enjoyed it - thank you for inspiring me to dust off my "big camera" and get in the habit of taking everyday pictures again.

    Reply 0 Replies

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