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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.