Week In The Life™ 2016 | Monday Words & Photos

As I made my way through Monday I kept thinking that I wasn't taking enough photos. When I uploaded them all I had more than enough to tell the story of this day. After doing this project for so many years I've loosened up a bit with my own personal intensity but I still want to make sure I'm getting a good bunch to choose from. One of the things I'm going for this time is a healthy mix of shots I've taken before (I love comparing from year to year) and some new ones even in the familiar spaces of my home. 

Today's soundtrack: Justin Timberlake's new song Can't Stop The Feeling

General thoughts: My people are growing. Things are good around here. I love my yard. I'm so thankful to be done with April. I still love how this project invites/forces me to capture more. 

Below I'm sharing my photos from the day and my thoughts/reflections to go along with them. Some reflections are emotional. Some are factual. Some include a bit of both. Some photos I'm just letting stand on their own and others are a gateway to other stories of life right now. 

Remember, as with most of these kinds of projects, it's the sum of all the parts vs. any one particular day that is most magical. Keep going. If you missed something today try to capture it in some way tomorrow. 

I'm shooting with a Canon 5DMKII with a 24-70 lens and an iPhone 6+. Any editing done to the photos is done in Photoshop using Curves and/or Levels or using RadLab

The date circle I used on my main image above can be found here (either filled or outline):  Week In The Life™ Messy Circles

Here's a look at my Monday: 

I started the shower and then looked out the window and saw the top blooms of my Japanese Snowbell tree. It's a window I look out probably every day but I rarely take photos out it. Soon there will be a blanket of white blooms in my backyard under this tree. I like how I can very faintly see my reflection in this photo. 

The places we step. The textures. The painted toes. The things that need to be cleaned. The floors I've become used to. 

Loving that light happens earlier at this time of year. 

Do you see what I see? Anna under the table, not thrilled that I set up the camera this Monday morning to capture the two of us at breakfast. I said nothing, just took the shot and then went back to the business of breakfast and our morning routine. 

Can't go wrong with a friend who shares your taste in pink + cheetah prints. 

After he eats breakfast and gets himself ready he can play video games until I get back from taking Anna to school. This morning he was playing Lego Harry Potter. 

He is taller than me now. 

Waiting in line at Walgreens to pick up my prescriptions after dropping kids off and going through the car wash. 

Someone on Instagram asked me if my eyes and body were sad when they saw this photo. My response was this "Always - but not in a bad way! All good here. I'm thankful for both the ups and the downs." 

I think this is probably one of the reasons why people hesitate in taking photos of themselves and sharing them. It's a vulnerable thing. As human beings we are so rooted in stories that we immediately create stories about what we see and that can be scary/uncomfortable for people who don't want to be judged one way or the other. I was actually super happy while I was sitting here at Walgreens waiting for my prescription because I was the only one in line and the person working was quick and efficient and it was a good morning. 

Just because someone isn't smiling into the camera doesn't mean that they are sad or melancholy. And I firmly believe that it's okay to be sad and melancholy and to show it and document it when you are. It is a part of all our lives and I've come to know that there is beauty in the sadness when it rises it. That's what is real - it's just as real as the joy. 

George's new favorite spot. 

The business of business includes check writing to my accountant and attorney. 

Katie's here two days a week now and she works from home the other days. We do a lot of chatting and planning on Mondays. Today I was working on my 24th Story Kit™ designs. 

Katie goes home for lunch and I go downstairs to see what I can eat. Leftover pizza for the win. 

This year I planted something new: allium. I planted both a white and a purple variety. They were awesome. Loved having them in my yard for some contrast with my other plants. 

Here come the peonies. So close to bursting wide open. 

Paolo was here last weekend and helped me set up my new outdoor couch. This is my happy place. This and the pool. I sat out here to eat my lunch and read the paper. 

Katie returns and we both work through our to-do lists. I leave at 3pm to go get Simon and attend a high-school transition meeting. 

I did't take any specific photos during the meeting itself. To be honest I didn't even think about it. The process of getting to today's high-school transition meeting has been intense (much of March and April was consumed with this issue). We are so happy with the high school Simon will be attending and the program he will be in but it really took a lot to get to this point. Today he got to meet his case manager/teacher/program director (he had lots of questions for her about her movie knowledge) and ask some questions about what will happen during freshman year. We got to talk about his schedule and what classes he would start out in during the fall term. We are hoping for a smooth transition and a soft-landing for him as he begins the next phase of his education. 

While I was at the meeting Katie picked up Anna and headed over to her parents who were hanging out with baby Graham. They happened to be wearing matching sweaters of course. 

Home again about 5:45pm. 

One of my personal goals this summer is to get really comfortable with grilling a variety of things. 

Tonight it was flank steak and zucchini. Simon complained about it and then ate all of it + the roasted beets. He has come so, so far in his eating habits. 

Math homework after dinner. It included me googling stuff to remember certain things or to get some vocabulary to walk him through the steps with the least amount of words. And lots of reminders to slow down and read the problem and make sure his answer passes a common sense test. 

Dishes. Always. 

While I edited and uploaded photos tonight Simon asked if he could read to me from  Goblet Of Fire. He twirls his hair when he reads. I've been encouraging him to read the books when he asks me questions about Harry Potter storylines telling him that he will learn so much more if he reads the books (he's read the first two all the way through and has picked up the others now and again). Anna hung out on the pink couch until it was time for her to get in bed. 

A first around here for the few minutes that both cats sat next to each other on my desk. It was short-lived but lovely while it lasted. 

I stopped taking photos at this point while the kids were here in the office and I was working on this post. My week will even out with evening shots on the coming days. 

SHARE A LINK TO YOUR BLOG

I'd love to have you share a link to your MONDAY 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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31 thoughts

  1. mtercha says…
    05/10/2016

    Love your wisdom with this project, as always. 24 kits!? Wow, that's awesome. I'm really happy for you things are working out for high school. I can't imagine how difficult this has been. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day. Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. cathycaines says…
    05/10/2016

    Dishes. Always. Yes.

    24 kits. Love everyone.

    Rough start for my weekinthelife but I'll document it anyway. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…
    05/10/2016

    Loved your post. Gave me strength for today. Wouldn't and couldn't say this anywhere else, but yesterday my marriage hit a big bump in the road. A big, shocking bump that I am still veering in circles about, hands off the wheel. Was good this morning to come somewhat back to reality by both reading your post and all the wonderful Facebook WITL and OWL posts. It's so good to unite in what we all go through - sick days, happy events, hopes and worries, victories and loss.
    I understand what you are feeling about Simon starting a new school. I have learned that it will be ok - believe it or not even if this school doesn't work out. There are always alternatives and the one that makes him feel fulfilled will end up being the right one. For my daughter, it was 2 years of high school and 2 years of virtual online school. The first year, so many told me "bad choice, you are isolating her more, etc." Guess what - by the middle of that year she started with college courses online and then with a summer class at the college - and in senior year 4 classes at the college. She is graduating high school without attending graduation, but with 30 college credits already. I have learned it doesn't have to look like what I want or envision, as long as what she needs to feel good about herself is what's happening. I know you will do for Simon whatever makes his heart sing.
    Sorry for rambling today. Thank you for all you are giving us, so that we can live stronger and learn so much about ourselves with your creative nudging!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. mmahurin says…
    05/10/2016

    Beautiful photos Ali. It's always a fun to see what you photograph each time. I also wanted to tell you that the Facebook group that you started for this project has been great! It's awesome to connect to so many people who are doing the same project. The opportunity to check out so many other peoples blogs has been a lot of fun too. Thank you for starting the group as well as offering the option to post a link to our own WITL posts via your blog and of course, for doing this project again!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Maxpuppy says…
    05/10/2016

    That penultimate photo. Simon. My heart. He gives me such hope and belief for my own boy in the years ahead.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. SuWrite says…
    05/10/2016

    Love your pictures; they are real and show LIFE going on! Thank you for doing Week in the Life again. Would you mind sharing where you found that chalkboard (in the picture where you all are eating dinner)? Would like to find one for our family.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      05/10/2016

      Hi - pretty sure it was a find at a second-hand store.

    2. Northrigg says…
      05/10/2016

      I got this from Etsy a couple of years ago

      https://www.etsy.com/listing/182613829/weekly-planner-dry-erase-calendar-with

      Mine is in black - looks just like chalkboard - I use chalk. This has been great for our family -I write down our menu for the week - and also any activities. Since its in the kitchen - I don't forget!

  7. Lize says…
    05/10/2016

    Ah, go Ali go! I ordered the WITL kits to document vacations, and wasn't sure if I was going to take more photo's this week. But I already took a bunch, and to my surprise found new angles to document life around here. Something I always love about WITL, how it inspires me to think more creatively. And of course, I love looking back and seeing how much life evolves.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. hgauvin says…
    05/10/2016

    I'm always so inspired by your posts. I didn't take nearly enough photos yesterday - 10 total. But I think I'm going to approach this year's project from more of an informational (and emotional) standpoint and go with it. This way, it'll be a little different than the last two years. I hope it goes well! ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. onehappymama says…
    05/10/2016

    LOVE your photos and stories today, Ali! I was so proud of have gotten IN the photo some yesterday! YES! I took quite a bit of photos yesterday - hoping to keep up that momentum all week. Simon and Anna are looking SO grown up! Have a great Tuesday! XO!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. JBCarr says…
      05/10/2016

      K!!! I so enjoyed reading about your Monday!! Love you sweet friend!!

  10. itcouldbelove says…
    05/10/2016

    I love how real you are. Thank you for sharing and inspiring the rest of us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. jcasals says…
    05/10/2016

    Ali, thanks so much for this. This is my 4th year doing WITL and I love the stories I can tell and what I learn from us as a family each time. This project has carried me from my second pregnancy and seeing that routine, recording what I was feeling, then the experience of two kids at the house, to now where they are 4 and 8 and going to school. Such a wonderful idea on how to tell our story. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. JenHart says…
    05/10/2016

    Really inspirational as always Ali. Im enjoying myself doing it this year and focusing much more on the stories :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. CasieGutierrez says…
    05/10/2016

    Ali,
    This is my first year playing along with Week in the Life and at first I was freaking out about the commitment and overthinking things as always! Today I have relaxed into just noticing the patterns of our day and connecting words to the stories I see around me. I was going to attempt to complete my layouts each night but having my words and photos saved on my blog like you are doing is enough to help me make my layouts in the future!
    all this to say - I am LOVING this project and thank you for sharing your life with us!
    Casie

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. JBCarr says…
    05/10/2016

    As always... <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. edillow says…
    05/10/2016

    So enjoyed doing this last time around but with the next move only 2 weeks away I decided to pass this time... but love stopping in to read your roundup. Can't believe that Simon is taller than you and that we'll both have high schoolers in the fall!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. jchurch2 says…
    05/10/2016

    Love your house and yard...want to live where you live. Too cold here for flowers yet. Love that you are barbecuing in a skirt. Ha! Cannot believe how tall Simon is.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. teri0604 says…
    05/10/2016

    This is my favorite type of photography. These are the stories I want my children to have one day. Who I was right now at 41, what our (my) life looked like and who we are. Thank you for leading such amazing projects that truly make a difference for so many of us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Untiedt says…
    05/10/2016

    Oh no! I totally forgot. I was so excited to start. I've been under the weather and taking meds that make me forgetful. I'm thinking of starting tomorrow or perhaps I will start next Monday,my birthday. I love this project. Your photos inspire me. I can't believe how tall Simon is.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Basteltiger says…
    05/11/2016

    I love this idea, my friends is taking part of it each year.
    I want to do next time, I feel encouraged.

    One question: how do you take the picture of you somewhere in a room?

    Nadine

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      05/11/2016

      Hi Nadine - I use a self-timer on my camera (it's an option within the camera) and usually set the camera on a counter or a chair.

    2. Basteltiger says…
      05/12/2016

      Thank you so much for your reply.

  20. Binxcat1 says…
    05/11/2016

    Love your thoughts as ever.
    That 24th story kit is looking interesting. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. amyomalley says…
    05/11/2016

    Absolutely love reading your blog - especially these weeks. I've also got the grilling goal this summer - we bought a little vacation house (hooray!) and when I mentioned that we need a grill, the hubby insisted on charcoal (he cleans, I cook) - and then came clean after 20+ years that he is terrified every time I light the gas grill that it is going to blow up the house. Picked my my new little Weber yesterday and now we get to learn how to do it. I think we should make this a team project.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. nicholemoses says…
    05/11/2016

    Abundant natural light! Gorgeous photos, Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. flygrl says…
    05/14/2016

    this is one of my favorite weeks of the year reading your blog and taking pictures of my own week. I've watched your whole family grow for so many years. I love the huge stories you tell and the tiny ones like this one, offered only as a noticer of small things: your framed drawing of Anna in your office at the end of the day is askew on the wall. ;-)

    Reply 0 Replies
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