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Week In The Life™ 2014 | Tuesday Words & Photos

Welcome back to Week In The Life™ 2014. 

On Monday I took a lot of shots that included me and the people I interact with most. Today (Tuesday) I decided to simply focus on what I see and use that as the jumping off point for my images and my words. 

As some of you noticed yesterday, I generally like to use a wider angle lens (the 24-70 opened all the way up) because I like to include the environment in my photos. It goes along with my "tell me more" philosophy. What else tells a story within the photo? What insignificant background stuff will be interesting in years to come? How can I tell more of the story? 

Today I went for a bit more balance and intentionally included some closer shots as well as more stuff around the house.

Every photo we take includes a story - many include multiple stories that go layers deep. You tell one and realize how hard it is to tell one without telling another (or giving context) and so on. So many threads and opportunities in each photo. 

The story of today includes these thoughts: 

  • My kids are growing up. Wow. And this isn't in the sad, longing-for-those-baby-years sort of feeling. My main thought right now is this: my kids are RAD. They are good kids. Of course they both have their own stuff, like every other human on the planet, but I love the people they are becoming. 
  • I'm doing the best I can with what I have in front of me right now. 
  • Have you guys noticed how people are talking about story everywhere? I know it's not really something new and maybe it's one of those things where once you become aware of it you see it all over the place, but man, it's really everywhere. From business to sports to global development to fundraising to education and on and on. Stories are powerful things. I was reminded again how lucky we are that we get to tell our own stories, that we get to define the narrative of our lives by simply taking photos and writing down the words. How awesome that we get to give our voice to the world and our families and friends - however shy, loud, etc. 
  • #storiesmatter
  • Today is also the day that I remind you that this isn't a competition or a race. 
  • The concept of seeing your life, and yourself, though the lens is a powerful one. Adding words to those thoughts adds a whole other layer of context and depth. 

TUESDAY PHOTOS & STORIES

About 100 DSLR + about 19 iPhone shots

Tuesday began and ended with rain. The hard kind of rain that you can hear stomping down on the roof. 

I saw myself, up at about 6:30am after multiple snoozes, sitting at my desk first thing even before a fresh cup of coffee. Checking in, reading, thinking, planning, assessing, responding, deleting. I'm one of those people that starts fast - before I'm out of bed I've got ten things I'm clicking through on my list. 

It's a blessing and a challenge. 

I saw myself getting my first cup of coffee, taking my medications, and playing with the self-timer again. 

Something I'm personally working on with my photography as you might have noticed, is embracing the contrast between dark and light and figuring out how to effectively capture that through my lens.  

I think sometimes I shy away from darker images because I want the nice, clean, bright white images (or because that's what I want my life to look like - how many times have I said I want to dip my entire house in white paint?). But man those darker ones tell good, interesting stories. They communicate a completely different mood and often a different time. They actually feel different. They are far from perfect, often including grain or noise. 

Much like life itself. 

I saw myself at the breakfast table with Anna again this morning. Banana & cereal for her. Coffee for me. I stopped getting the local paper recently and I'm missing it and not quite sure what to do with myself when I sit down at the table in the very early morning. 

For those of you who feel like you do the same thing everyday (there are elements of that in play here), consider different angles. Yesterday I took a shot of Anna and I eating breakfast from the other side of the room, today I set up the camera in the kitchen and set the timer. 

I saw Anna, hot pink hat and rainbow shoes + her school uniform, in the backseat holding the iPad in her lap. Technology is intrenched around here again and I'm assessing how I feel about it for myself and for them. I set limits. I get lax. I want conversation. I want quiet. A lot of paradoxes all around.  

And man, she's great at loving words. That's actually what comes to mind when I look at this photo tonight. She is mighty but kind. 

I saw Simon, excited in his new glasses, happy that it was Taco Tuesday. 

After dropping the kids off and filling the tank with gas I decided to see what I could see around the yard and in the house. I was looking for things that captured my attention. Things that represent the current season - in weather and in life. 

I saw dahlias hanging on. 

And tomatoes past their prime which tell a story of best intentions, of travel, of distraction and decay. 

I saw George sleeping soundly on the couch after a night out. 

I saw images and art on the wall and made a mental note that I want to add more and move things around. It's been a long time since I made that a priority. 

I saw well-loved dolls and stuffed animals in a crib waiting for attention to be paid. 

I saw the lock that needs to be replaced. 

I saw outdoor chairs and a table that were purchased from a second-hand store the week we moved into this house. 

I saw dishes from last night and this morning. 

I saw Anna's handwriting on her door and the glass knob that needs adjusting. 

I saw myself adding dishes to the dishwasher which is an act of procrastination as much as it is a necessary task. 

I saw myself washing my hands in the sink and looking out the window which is one of my favorite views into the backyard. 

I saw myself back at my desk. Working through a long list, yet distracted and off-focus. Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard. Listening to Dave Matthews and NPR. Chatting with Cathy. Watching the clock as it ticked toward the time I need to go get the kids. 

I saw George again and wished I was curled up in that bed too. 

I saw my desk filled with the current tasks at hand. 

I saw the leaves changing color on the way to pick up Anna. Driving on this street (Jefferson) at this time of year is one of my favorite things because of the trees. They create an amazing canopy of bright autumn colors with trees on both sides of the street reaching out to touch the ones on the other side. I took this shot with the sunroof closed, holding my camera in one hand as I was stopped at a light. 

I saw drops and drops and more drops of rain on my windshield. This is western Oregon after all. 

I saw Anna at gymnastics and got the news that she's been invited to join one of the development/pre-team classes. She was super excited to know that she was going to get to start going twice a week next week. 

I saw Simon's teacher filled in his martial arts worksheet. He'll be happy to turn that in during his lesson on Friday. 

After returning home from after school activities (Simon at lego club and Anna at gymnastics), I saw them go about the process of putting away the dishes I had loaded earlier while I got dinner ready. I saw myself get frustrated with Anna as she melted down in the middle of the task. I saw Simon bristle at the confrontation and de-escalted myself in reaction to his body language. 

I remind myself that she's five, almost six. It goes with the territory. Around here we call it "hangry" (hungy + angry = hangry). It's an after-activity-before-dinner episode that would be eliminated if I just got it together and brought her a snack to have on the way home from whatever activity she just completed. 

Note to self | don't forget the after-the-activity-snack + the after-school-before-activity-snack. 

This is where my Mom would tell me I was exactly like that when I was a kid. 

I saw him put on his green ninja Halloween costume that came in the mail. I saw Anna run up to her room to put on her Tiana costume. I saw them chase each other around a few times with swords and a light saber. I saw him retreat when he'd had enough into the little room off the foyer and turn on the Suite Life of Zack & Cody. 

I saw her get her PJ's on, brush her teeth and then climb into my bed. 

I had one of those days with her where I said "just a minute Anna" one too many times. Totally on me. I saw me not giving her the time she needed to connect with me because my list is long. Thankfully I get to try again tomorrow. To keep recalibrating. To remember what are the most important things and to get stuff done in the time scheduled. Work in progress. 

I saw her walk into my office a half-hour or so later and proceed to work on writing letters and, as she calls it, "math-ing it' - meaning she was writing out numbers and counting and laughing out loud about how awesome she thought it was to add up numbers. It's hard to tell her to go back to bed when she's learning (and she doesn't have school for the next few days due to conferences). 

SHARE YOUR TUESDAY

I'd love to have you share a link to your TUESDAY words and photos below. Please link directly to your post vs. a general blog link. In addition you're invited to come over to the free Week In The Life™ Community Gallery & Message Board.

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52 thoughts

  1. mrsmartha says…
    10/29/2014

    Good Morning Ali! I'm so thankful for you and that you use your gift of story telling to model for the rest of us how it (can) look. I want to thank you for your comment "this is where my mom would say....". I lost my mom recently and I miss her so much. As a mama myself, I long to have her around to tell me things like that and to tell me that it's all going to be ok. As I was reading your words this morning, I read that sentence and burst out crying...missing my mom. But it what EXACTLY what I needed to do. I've been feeling a bit off lately and as I cried out my grief, I found that I unwound and settled down on the inside of my heart and mind. Thank you that God used your words to settle my heart today. Thank you. You are a gift.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Scrappyksr says…
      10/29/2014

      I lost my mom a couple of years before my first child was born. I could not tell you how many times I wish she was still here; especially when I had a newborn. Her death segmented my life. I thought of my life for many years in terms of "when my mom was here" and "now that my mom is gone". It gets better. Fifteen years past it and I can say that now. But there's always going to be a missing piece of you. But the pain won't be as intense or as frequent. I hope you don't mind my sharing my own experience.

    2. mrsmartha says…
      10/29/2014

      Thank you for your words of encouragement. The grief is so strange. It has been almost 2 years, so it's not super super tender, but sometimes it just overwhelms me. I know time will make it better. Thank you for your thoughtfulness!! :)

  2. petrac says…
    10/29/2014

    Hi Ali. It's the end of the next day here when your posts go up and I seriously look forward to them. Waiting with baited breath to see your pictures and stories and once again you did not disappoint. Everything about this is beautiful. And what do you know? I did the dishwasher shot on Tuesday too! Only 3 days in but this has been a tough week for me. So many things went wrong, some went right but all in all the last three days were a blur. Fortunately WITL has given a higher purpose. I have sought out moments and stories, sought out calmness in storms and as I write this and reflect on Wednesday as it happened here I am grateful that I am on this journey. I started and ended this day with a much calmer heart realising that those precious moments with those that I love are all that matters. And it has reflected positively in the way I have been towards them. From The Bottom of my Heart Ali. Thank You. x

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. jdm9 says…
    10/29/2014

    Oh, Ali. Man, I love your thoughtful posts. I just love the repetitive "I saw" of today's post. You remind every time of the little stories that are important and need telling. They are just as important, if not more, than the big ones. Thanks.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. sunnychick says…
    10/29/2014

    Ali, people are talking about story everywhere! This morning on NPR there was a piece talking about news in Social Media and the person commented that there is a story in every piece of research for the news. And I just loved hearing that comment this week! (Piece was about Storyful). Love your pictures! Been using my self timer a lot lately too. Need to get out my remote for my big Nikon and use it. Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. thenerdnest says…
    10/29/2014

    We call it hangry too! Love what you captured today, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. ericathomas says…
    10/29/2014

    I saw this quote yesterday on a picture by lexibridges on Instagram and I thought you'd appreciate it.

    "And every day the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, "this is important! you need to worry about this! and this! and this! and this! and each day it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it over your heart and say, "No, this is what's important."

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/29/2014

      Yes. That is totally it.

  7. dailydwelling says…
    10/29/2014

    I love the way you told the story of your day as if you were watching it. Today I'm going to be pulling my camera back a bit. Also, I want to capture more of the end of our day...I tend to be tired and not capture the ending moments.

    Here's a link to my photos and words from Tuesday. http://www.dailydwelling.com/week-in-the-life-tuesday-words-photos

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Britiney says…
    10/29/2014

    <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. amytschubert says…
    10/29/2014

    YES to the photos of light and dark. I know that my pretty white, bright photos are what Instagram loves, but this time of year I'm waking up before dawn, turning on as few lights as possible as I brew my coffee, feed the cats and settle in to work.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. nirupama01 says…
    10/29/2014

    Love how real your stories are. We had more than one tantrum around here today too. My six year old is still getting used to the longer days of kindergarten and I think he is just too tried and hungry at the end of the day for much. Yesterday it was tears about the iPad and being kind to your sister.

    Here is my Tuesday link. Thanks!
    http://avinashhecker.blogspot.com/2014/10/week-in-life-2014-tuesday-photos-album.html

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. seemommydoing says…
    10/29/2014

    Love all of this. Thank you. Could you share a little bit about how you focus your self-timer shots? How did you focus on your hands at the sink, for instance, when you weren't there yet to focus on?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/29/2014

      Total trial and error. Sometimes I hold my hand out and wave it in front of the lens to give it an initial focal point before I hustle over to where I want to be. For the sink I did that - held out my hand in front of the lens - and then set the timer. I took three shots and this was the best of the three.

  12. Untiedt says…
    10/29/2014

    I look so forward to these morning post to see what photo you took and what theme you had for each day. You never disappoint. I loved the simple photo of the lock as a reminder of things to do. I loved how you took the same morning shots in your office or at the table and from a different angle that shows the repetition of everyday without the boredom of the shots all looking the same. This is the first year of the week in the life and sometime I'm unsure what theme or photos to take. The I see is a great jumping off point so I shall use that today. It would be helpful if you can let us know the day before what your theme will be for the next day.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/29/2014

      My honest response is that I don't usually know what my story angle will be until I sit down at my desk to reflect back on the day. Sometimes, like yesterday, I find a thread that I follow mid-day. It's not planned out in advance :).

  13. AudreyV says…
    10/29/2014

    I love how real this is Ali! When my son was Anna's age, and he did math homework, he called it "plus-ing the numbers", similar to Anna saying "math-ing it". Love it! I made a scrapbook page about my son saying that, it was so cute. Simon is getting so handsome and grown up looking, his new glasses are fab! And Anna is also looking so grown up and so pretty, I LOVED the photo of her running to the car yesterday. That deserves extra special treatment (a full size photo on a page?). And the photos of George Washington are the best. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. sheliak says…
    10/29/2014

    If you need to change the date on the digital file how do you do that in Photoshop? Thanks for the help

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/29/2014

      Hi - you can do that by using the eraser tool or the selection tool (dotted rectangle). After you remove the date you can then draw a new text box and type in your custom date. Helvetica Neue would be a good match.

    2. jodisloane_me_com says…
      10/31/2014

      Ali - would love to take a class of you teaching us all your tricks for using photo shop and your digital goodies. I do not own photo shop but if you taught the class, I would make the investment!

  15. soonermama says…
    10/29/2014

    Here is my Tuesday post - http://athomewiththerichardsfamily.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-week-in-life-2014-tuesday.html A very busy day. I don't feel like I've done a great job of identifying what I want to document this cycle and it mostly seems like a list of x then Y, then z happened. Perhaps I can refine the story when it moves into the album.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. DenDen says…
    10/29/2014

    Such fun to read during my lunch break! Love it as always!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. daniscrapper says…
    10/29/2014

    I like the prompt I saw and I may use it tomorrow. Loving the inspiration you bring to us since it's my first time doing the project and sometimes it's difficult to find what to capture and tell.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Emmaj says…
    10/29/2014

    I love how open and honest you are Ali. Your observations about your own behavior are such an example to me about how i need too look at my days. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. craftwomanstyle says…
    10/29/2014

    Wonderfully captured moments as always. I bet George the cat has some great stories to tell too:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. tinawo says…
    10/29/2014

    Thank you Ali, I loved your day. I seriously didn't take as many photos as I did on Monday because my days have been basically the same but your tip about getting the moment from a different angle is perfect. I'm trying to embrace the dark too in photos too. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Thank you for this wonderful project. xo Kristina

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. anandi says…
    10/29/2014

    I'm also finding that writing down some of the events (no interpretation, just what happened) makes it possible for me to reflect on how I could have behaved differently (aka better), especially around frustration with the kids. That in itself is worth the project for me. I love that it's teaching me to slow down and really look at what is going on.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. scrap_horse says…
    10/29/2014

    LOVE your photo looking up through the rain at the tree! Hope Simon is enjoying his ATA classes. We had a great 4-year experience at the West Salem ATA school before we moved (I think I said that before). Great program, so good for kids (and grown-ups)!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/29/2014

      He really loves it!

  23. SarahCB1208 says…
    10/29/2014

    God bless Keurigs and that kitty is SO adorable!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. emilyruth says…
    10/30/2014

    Jefferson Street canopy is my favorite, too!
    I dream of having my picture taken, standing right in the middle of the road.

    Also, Lego Club?
    Lego Club!
    Is that a school club or open to all?
    I have been talking about starting one & I know an interested party :)

    Always love your posts about life in general :)

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/30/2014

      Hi! The Lego club is a robotics club at Simon's school (after school club). If you start one let me know!

      And Jefferson - this time of year is so the best.

    2. Lisel says…
      10/30/2014

      I took a picture while driving down Jefferson earlier this week too. I love how that street transforms as the seasons shift. There is one tree in particular that seems to glow when its leaves change color in the fall.

  25. roseburgirl says…
    10/31/2014

    Sitting at my desk reading this, it made my smile and just feel sentimental. Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's me thinking about my own children and how quickly time seems to be passing. Life is precious. Even the day to day. And while I'm not currently doing a Week in the Life project, I recognize that for me it's all about seeing and knowing and touching the value of each day and moment. On a side note, have you ever thought about writing children's books? I feel like when I read much of your style of writing, the way you tell your stories and how it seems like sometimes your words have a theme or a common thread in the phrasing...it would just be so awesome to see this kind of prose (is it prose?) in something to read to kids. I think you have a special 'voice' that would translate well into children's literature. It's so great. You have the gift of sharing stories. :-)

    Reply 0 Replies

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