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. Lucia007 says…
    08/26/2014

    Great picture of Simon and Anna! Love how it showcases their brotherly/sisterly bond.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. jennie says…
    08/26/2014

    I'm still getting familiar with the new site...so many wonderful elements. I just spent a lot of time scrolling through Ali's Gallery. Love it. It's kind of like Pinterest in that it makes so much visual information so accessible. I'm looking forward to your next announcements.

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

      Glad you like it!

  3. colletties says…
    08/27/2014

    Thanks again for all you share. I only "know" you through this space but I can tell you I am beyond happy at all the success and joy you are experiencing. I know life goes on and it isn't all fun and happy times 24/7 and I thank you for always keeping it real. I admire you. You have been such an inspiration. I just smiled and smiled reading this post (and cried a little too) Dave Matthews was 'our' thing but "we" are no longer. I started to get teary but then thought of how much fun you are going to have and it made it ok. I guess that's a tiny bit of my story and it felt safe to share it in here.

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

      Thank you for sharing. I totally get it.

  4. christinew1112 says…
    08/27/2014

    You inspire me so much. I am still working my way around the site Ali over load and I'm loving it. I'm looking into Project life and plan to do my first one with my photos from the 3 day walk I did in 2011 here in Atlanta. Enjoying the photos you share inside your life. Thanks for being you!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. JenBradshaw says…
    08/28/2014

    Quiet by Susan Cain completely changed the way I see myself. Can you believe I've never had anyone suggest to me that being introspective, thoughtful, somewhat solitary and just plain quiet could actually be a GOOD thing? Strengths, even?? ;) I know, I should have been able to figure that out on my own. Just so nice to hear someone say it out loud, and back it up with research. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. sugarnuggets says…
    08/28/2014

    Love the live music comment! we went to see a favourite band in Toronto in June and went camping after! Then we hired a good friend of ours for a house concert in August. This. Was. So. Much. Fun!! (We listened to Huey Lewis after the show...when things were mellowing out.) We have tickets for a local show tomorrow.

    Just picked up Quiet as well, and I reread Daring Greatly this summer.

    Love the new website and the way you've laid out all the details! LOVE!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. mbmccarthy says…
    08/30/2014

    I just wanted to say I love Simon's music choices. =) I am also obsessed with the Pirates soundtracks and I'm glad I'm not the only one. Also your book updates reminded me: I purchased The Nesting Place on Amazon after you mentioned you were reading it and I love it so far! Thanks for sharing these wonderful things with us. =)

    Reply 0 Replies

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