Around Here | Late August 2014

There's no way I can begin this post about what's been going on Around Here without expressing a huge thank you for all the congrats and well-wishes about the new site. Studio Calico has an amazingly awesome web team that created the infrastructure and figured out ways to make this all work and has freed me up to do what I do best: make stuff with the stories of our lives.  

As we move forward Katie and I are in the process of adjusting our block schedule to make room for concepting, designing and creating content for the Story Stamps™ and Story Kit™, workshops, products (digital and traditional) and other projects. My current plan is to have daily blog posts (weekdays) that will be a mix of what many of you have come to expect: personal stories and memory keeping projects. 

I also want to make sure you have the last week of October on your calendar for Week In The Life™ 2014. I will be offering a kit this year for the first time and I'm super excited about the design foundation I've set up and the products we've created. More details on that coming soon. 

AROUND HERE

Before summer wraps up and these two head back to school I wanted to take a minute to capture what we've been up to recently. 

ANNA 

LEARNING | To ride her bike. Chris has been coming over every few nights and working with her out in the cul-de-sac. He's got a system down that we used with Simon when he learned to ride his bike.  

BEING AWESOME | Katie and I had drinks with a friend last week and we were sharing about how awesome of a summer Anna has had. Last summer was a challenge with the combination of childcare, Anna learning that Katie was here for a different kind of work vs. hanging out with her, and not getting her into enough camps/activities to keep her occupied while we worked. This summer, through a combination of better planning and getting older, it has been so much better and I think we all enjoyed it that much more. She is so good at playing with her dolls and little people and animals and has really started enjoying time just playing in her room on her own.  

WANTING | To read. It's so cool to watch this desire grow - right now she wants to "read" the whole book to me via looking at the pictures and from her memory of what happens in the story. She's going to have so much fun in Kindergarten. 

LISTENING | To Taylor Swift (that would be all Katie's influence).

WEARING | Mostly skirts and dresses - always coming up with the most interesting combinations. She's also got a thing for lipstick and make-up and nail polish. She'll be back in her uniform in a couple weeks. 

SIMON

ATTENDING | Three different camps that included a Comic Drawing // Stop Motion at the University Of Oregon, Sailing through the City Of Eugene, and one about Wizards (of course). That seemed to be just the right amount of camps for him. I loved that each one of them challenged him in a different way and we lucked out with some very awesome camp staff at all three who really championed him and helped him acclimate and have a good experience.  

WATCHING |  Wizards of Waverly PlaceThe Hobbit (#1 and #2)

READING | The Hobbit

LISTENING | To the Everything Is Awesome song on repeat. His other favorite is one particular song from Pirates Of The Caribbean soundtrack called The Medallion Calls. These are the two songs he wants to hear most in the car. He is not a fan of Taylor Swift or really any one else singing in the car. We're working on that one.  

GROWING | So tall. Seriously. 

WEARING | A big development this summer is that he's decided that short sleeve shirts are okay. AWESOME. I also love that he wants to wear Vans. 

ALI

ATTENDING | Not enough live music this year. That said we did go to Heuy Lewis last minute a few weeks back and Dave Matthews at the Gorge is happening this weekend (yes, yes, yes). That will make up for some of the lack of live music this past year. So excited to make that trip again and camp and be outside and listen to Dave for three nights in a row. 

EXPRESSING | Gratitude in a million little and big ways. To Katie for seeing me through & always bringing the champagne, to Paolo for always being ready with a special plate lunch & a hug, to my parents for Beach Camp, to Aaron for grounding me & opening me up & challenging the ways I think about things, to Carrie & Julie for the gift of flowers and friendship.

READING | All that back-to-school paperwork. The kids start in September so they still have a few weeks before actual classes begin. I also picked up Quiet by Susan Cain after some interesting conversations with Aaron about introverts (and I think I'm actually one that learned at an early age how to make it as a quasi-extrovert even when I still really had mane of the same needs as introverts) and We Are Water by Wally Lamb (I really enjoyed his older books). Both were impulse purchases from Costco yesterday to add to my large pile of books to read. I'm also really interested in Lean In after seeing Elise post some passages on Instagram. 

EATING | Tomatoes. So good right off one of the two plants in my raised garden beds. I fell off the wagon again this year with the garden because I was gone quite a bit (love summer adventures) and when I was here I was working. All good. I did get a irrigation set up to those raised beds which meant everything stayed alive, but pruning and keeping it going didn't really happen. 

STARTING | Found my FitBit again (hello, old friend) and am getting back into physical activity (yes, this is a recurring theme). It is way too easy for me to spend way too long sitting here in my chair staring at this screen. 

ORGANIZING | I did one of those big Costco runs yesterday (long overdue) that makes you feel like you could wait months to buy anything again. It felt good to get things stocked up around here as we move closer to school starting for the kids. I did a freezer inventory and that will help me in getting some meal plans in order. I've written before that I'm not a summer cook and it was totally true again this year. As Fall approaches I'm way more interested in thinking about what in the heck we are going to eat and planning ahead. 

BREATHING | I took a really deep breath this weekend. It felt so darn good. Thanks again for being part of all this. 


Big thanks to those of you who participated in the Stories Matter Because sharing this past weekend using the #craftthestory hashtag. In case you missed it there's a free printable/PNG download on the Story Stamp™ pre-order page (scroll down to the bottom of the content area). You do need to be logged-in/signed up as a User to access this download. If you had issues downloading feel free to start a conversation and we can get that to you. 

I loved reading through all the reasons why stories matter to you. They were just so awesome and heartfelt and real and powerful reminders. 

We randomly selected jyssilly to receive a 3-month subscription to the Story Stamps™. We will get in touch with you via email/social media to set you up. 

Keep sharing those reasons stories matter to you. I think it's so important for each of us to understand the why - it's super motivating. 

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45 thoughts

  1. JenHart says…
    08/25/2014

    Hi Ali,

    I have just had a lovely morning getting to know your new site. It is awesome. Congratulations to you and your team, I love reading about them.
    I am really looking forward to purchasing the kit for WITL and I also think I am going to join the stamp and story kits. Exciting.
    Good luck with everything.
    Oh, I would love to know how #craftthestory came about. Did it come to you easily and suddenly, or was there brainstorming?

    Thanks, Jen

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. mtercha says…
    08/25/2014

    My daughter just turned 10 and she still plays with her dolls, and I love it. It's so beautiful to watch and listen. We did start the 10 going on 15 mouth and attitude though. All good. I'm an introvert, and I've seen some growth with my OLW. Won't ever be the life of the party, and that's ok, I'm content. Again, congratulations on your launch, very excited to try and participate in witl. Looking forward to more reveals.

    Oh, Jenhart had a great question, I'd like to read about the process you went thru with the brainstorming.
    Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. jemi says…
    08/25/2014

    Quiet is a masterpiece; Susan Cain has a great Pinterest Board too. Introverts can override introversion when we believe in something passionately and are driven to share/teach. You are simply an over-achiever!

    I found a Unity stamp: "Stay little forever. Please." I told my 10-year old granddaughter--my last grandchild--that I was going to send her a card every week because no one else has ever listened to me! As she's done since she's 5, she just sighs and says "But Grandma. I have to."

    Looks like you all are "thriving".

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. brooke1 says…
    08/25/2014

    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for this post. So fun to read and so many take aways that are relevant to my family and I right now - bike riding, introverts, meals, reading. And it's great inspiration to write a similar post, they always come easily and are great to look back on.

    I have always loved your lunch photos, so many fresh and healthy ideas. Is there a way to Pin your Instagram pictures? Or maybe that's crossing some boundaries? (I pretend to know what I'm doing with technology!) I can still picture your Paris picnics - that's how we like to eat in the summer, we call them snack plates at our place and they are my kid's all-time favourite.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Cookingmylife says…
    08/25/2014

    A lotta people look pretty happy here and that makes me smile.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. ChrisyC says…
    08/25/2014

    I love these post :)
    The glimpses into your life make me smile and laugh, and provide so much inspiration.
    It's so wonderful to see everything coming together for you. Cheering you on from all the way down here in Australia.
    Looking forward to what you have installed for us. xx

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. tinawo says…
    08/25/2014

    I just love everything about this. It's onwards and upwards and I can't thank you enough for helping me get my own stories out there. Can't wait to see everything come together for you. Beautiful stories and memories. x

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. SusanBowers says…
    08/25/2014

    Just can't get enough about the new site..so awesome!!! Still on the fence with the stamps because I am a digital scrapper and not sure I want to open my world to traditional scrapbooking again...your around here was absolutely fantastic. I love the approach you took with each of you getting their on 'currents'. A great story page right there.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. jyssilly says…
    08/25/2014

    OMG! That is me! I'm jyssilly (an old combination of nicknames that no one understands and takes too long to explain)!
    I'm so excited! I'll have to check in on instagram where I posted!!
    I'm really loving your new site! It's lovely to read and so glad the same stories land in my inbox every day! One thing - the embedded links don't seem to work unless you're clicking them from the blog - if you click them from within the email you just get a "page not found" error.
    Thanks so much for all your hard work! - Jen

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. katiejaeger says…
      08/25/2014

      Oh thank you for letting me know that those links weren't working. The web guys are looking into it now. Totally appreciate the heads up! We'll send you an email to get you set-up Jen!

  10. kellyish says…
    08/25/2014

    congratulations on your beautiful new site ali! looking forward to all the great stuff to come.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. xo_leahnicole says…
    08/25/2014

    I always enjoy seeing your "Around Here" posts. Thanks for sharing them. Also wanted to let folks know if they are a Kindle reader, Quiet and Lean In are very affordable right now.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. soonermama says…
    08/25/2014

    I love posts like these. I'm glad you all have had a great summer and look forward to the next adventures!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. midohio says…
    08/25/2014

    you are a wonder!!

    1. how is your house always so clean?
    2. I am so inspired by your relationship with chris. your kids are lucky for that.
    3. I can never create the light your photos have! but I keep trying.
    4. love the new site! thank you!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/25/2014

      Oh it's not always clean at all! Lots of piles in the kitchen right now - laundry and other things to be put away.

  14. AimeeActually says…
    08/25/2014

    Feeling inspired after reading this.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Pinkpea14 says…
    08/25/2014

    Great post. I think I might copy your prompts and make a LO from that.
    I just thought about WITL yesterday as I looked through my past 4 years of documenting. I can't wait for a WITL kit!!!
    Will you have a December Daily kit this year again? Having a little one on the way I might want to take the "hunting and gathering" out of my DD album this year.
    Thank you for your continuous inspiration! You Rock!

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/25/2014

      Hi! Yes December Daily album kit will be available again this year - this time here on my own site :).

    2. abbypimentel says…
      08/25/2014

      YES!!!!!!!!! Any idea when? The earlier, the better :) !

    3. Pinkpea14 says…
      08/26/2014

      Awesome! Can't wait for the holiday season! :)

  16. jaimeelynn says…
    08/25/2014

    Love these posts!! and am really loving the new site. Thanks for the reminder about WITL, I had a little panic moment that I wasn't prepared because I thought it was in September, so glad I have a little more time. When will the kit be available? You know you can tease us like that and make us wait. haha. j/k. Can't wait to see the kit!!
    Jaimee H.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. pammc says…
    08/25/2014

    Love this post. It's a good reminder to do a look around at all the good things that are happening in my world as well. Love the site, Ali, and look forward to following your new path along with you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Pabbott73 says…
    08/25/2014

    Love, love,love this post. Looking at photos of the kids is amazing. Seriously, Simon looks like he has gone from kid to young man overnight! And Anna with her mug and iPad is adorable. Hope your summer adventures continue and you allow yourself to "be" for a few days.

    So thankful for your prompt about stories matter. I've decided to use a label on my photos for the next week to really make me think about why stories matter. Even if the picture isn't amazing, it still has a story....

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. lizbeth8 says…
    08/25/2014

    You're ever so welcome, Ali. As usual, you are the breath of fresh air. Thanks for keeping it real~~ ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Anle717 says…
    08/25/2014

    Super inspired by this!! Thanks for sharing & making me want to write more!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. dianelynn5 says…
    08/25/2014

    Really love the new site. It's so fresh and clean. My favorite is the infinity scroll. Love that!
    I have a quick question, and I'm sorry if this was asked in your last post, but there were so many comments I couldn't wade through them all. Will you continue to teach at Big Picture Classes, or will all of your future classes and workshops be held here on your site?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/25/2014

      Most of my future classes will be here. I imagine from time to time I will offer something through BPC.

  22. abbypimentel says…
    08/25/2014

    I'm getting geared-up for December Daily...yes, already! Not sure how I'm going to maintain PL during December (actually skipped DD in 2013 for this reason), and tried to go back in your blog to see what YOU did for 2013. Couldn't find a post for PL until December 30th. Would LOVE it if you could point me in the right direction! And, of course, absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new website! Can't say it enough!

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. dianelynn5 says…
      08/25/2014

      I was actually just looking at the blog post that included December. You can find it here: http://aliedwards.com/2014/05/that-day-that-i-tried-to-finish-the-last-8-weeks-of-project-life-2013

    2. AliEdwards says…
      08/25/2014

      Yep! That's it - was just going to link it up. I still haven't got the words in there but at least I have the photos!

    3. abbypimentel says…
      08/27/2014

      Awesome -- thank you both!

  23. melaniefaber says…
    08/25/2014

    Ali.....I've been such a huge fan of you for so long, never commenting but always watching, learning, growing. I am so excited for this new adventure you have started - the site is great. I look forward to more in the weeks to come as I wait (not so patiently) for my first story stamp :) Know that you are a huge inspiration creatively and personally and that you have made a difference. Keep going, Ali, you will accomplish amazing things.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. andreacollects says…
    08/26/2014

    I really can't wait to see the kit for week in the life. I never made this (only a few Day in the life) and this makes me really curious.
    And also can't wait until story kits are up for preorder.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. vicki_dalton says…
    08/26/2014

    I'm curious at to what the 'dip' is on the tomato plate?
    I LOVE fresh tomatoes from my garden---I've been eating a tomato sandwich everyday for lunch. YUM!

    ps. I like Taylor Swift too!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/27/2014

      That's actually olive oil and balsamic vinegar ;).

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