Week In The Life™ 2017 | Monday Words + Photos

Thank you so much for joining me for this Week In The Life™ adventure. Whether this is your first time or your 12th, I hope you enjoy the process and learn a little something about your life along the way. 

MONDAY REFLECTIONS

A few thoughts as I went about my day and as I reflected while editing my photos: 

  1. Monday of this project is always a mix of emotions for me. Excitement (because I really do love this project), a little bit of dread due to the duration + commitment (meant in the best possible way), and patience with myself as I ease into the next seven days. 
  2. Generally I take most of my photos with my DSLR during this project. Today I reached for my phone instinctively and had to remind myself to pick up my big camera. At the end of the day when I uploaded my photos I was struck by how much I love the combination of the grainy phone photos mixed with the super crisp DSLR images. The grain in my phone photos comes most from challenging lighting situations - mainly low light. It obviously doesn't have to be either/or but it was a nice reminder to myself that photos from both can tell a unique story. 
  3. In reviewing my DSLR images I definitely felt a little out of practice because I haven't been shooting much with that camera besides work projects - people throughout the day are a whole different ball game. I'm setting an intention to slow down throughout the rest of the week in an effort to get my focusing right. 
  4. I didn't have a set story intention for today, I really just wanted to live the day and capture things as I went along. I started off some of my journaling in the morning using the phrase "I see" and ended up being able to use that for my photos throughout the day after editing them and brining them into this post. I like the bit of detachment that the words "I see" can bring to some of the stories - especially when I'm the main character in the photo - so I'm changing some of it up and referring to myself as "she." I also like how it goes along nicely with the "Lens" Story Theme this month. I can use both my photos and my words to tell what I both through the lens of my camera and what I see when I look at the resulting images. 
  5. I decided to go black and white for a lot of my images today - especially the ones that came from my phone. I did this for a couple reasons: (1) I like the photojournalistic quality of black and white images - especially ones that include a lot of visual content from the literal stuff of our life right now and (2) sometimes the colors are just so off because of the lighting challenges that they look significantly better when they are changed to black and white. I use RadLab (an add-on to Photoshop) to change my photos to black and white and make other color adjustments. If you are interested in learning more about my complete photo process - from looking through the lens + composing the shots (vision + voice) to uploading to editing to organization to printing - make sure to check out my Lens Of Joy workshop that is now available as a self-paced class. 
  6. I still love this project. I love the photos that come from the commitment to seeing my days through the lens of my camera. I didn't take a hundred or more photos (I actually didn't count this time but it didn't feel like too many) but I took enough to paint a picture of my life on this Monday in April of 2017. 

Here's a look at my Monday: 

6:20am // The alarm has gone off a few times (photo at the top of this post). Climbing/rolling out of my side of the bed (the right side), I see my bedside table holding stuff of my life: water and books and headphones and electronics and light and glasses and hair ties and cords.

After showering I walk downstairs and I see the gathering of backpacks + shoes + coats (and a random cooler that needs to be put away in the garage) + the three pets who are ready for their breakfast. 

6:53am // I see two of the five are at the table and I can hear the other three in various parts of the house going about their morning routines. I feed the two cats and one dog. Coffee next.

7am // I see two more joining the first two at the breakfast table. One, who always has his feet up on the chair, is finishing up some weekend homework. One is trying to figure out why in the world I'm taking photos at this time of the morning on a school day. One is holding out as long as possible before moving to the next things on her list. 

7:05am // I see the oldest finding his way to the table after heating up his daily breakfast sandwich. He gets dressed before he comes to the table while the others usually eat first and then get dressed. The others have moved on to their jobs that need to be done before heading to school. 

7:24am // I see kids packing their lunches/snacks. Goldfish continues to be in demand.

7:43am // I see a Mom driving two kids to their schools (Aaron drives the other three to their school). I see a boy watching the movie Aladdin on his phone (a current and former favorite) and and a girl in the backseat playing a game on her iPad on the way. Self-timer DSLR photo with camera on the dash. 

7:50am // I see a girl who had a pretty darn good morning getting a kiss on her check before she gets out of the car and walks into school by herself. I see a Mom that will drop off her son next and then by 8:15am it will be quiet again. She'll turn on NPR and head back towards home and the start of her working day.

8:46am // I see a working woman motivated by cup of coffee number two. And she's super excited because the carpet guy is here to do Simon's room = progress.

9am // I see someone who is so thankful for this space. For the light and the opportunity and the flexibility and the creativity. Self-timer DSLR photo. 

9:38am // I see two friends and working companions doing computer work. Monday mornings are for outlining the week ahead and catching up on weekend adventures and establishing a focus (this week my focus is on classes for our Story Camp event in June + designing the shop digital kit for May). 

11:15am // I see a super soft and fluffy cat who has come out of hiding for some hang out time now that the carpet guy is gone. Photo by Katie. 

12:01pm // I see leftover Costco pizza from a kid-filled weekend. I also see the local daily paper that has long been a lunch-time reading adventure. 

12:05pm // I see flowers from the yard that have been brought inside. I see an Easter basket still on the table, leftover from the festivities the day before by a child who was disappointed that there wasn't a large stash of cash in his eggs vs. the traditional chocolate. I see a cozy sweater. Self-timer DSLR photo.

Lunch was followed by a super quick nap (work-at-home occasional perk) followed by walking down the hallway back to my office. 

2:10pm // I see joy that only newly installed carpet and fresh white paint can elicit. We've been updating each room upstairs with white paint, new base trim, and new carpet now that the main construction is complete (we re-configured some space outside my office to make a bedroom for the girls). Simon's room got the new carpet today (all of his stuff is currently in the girl's old bedroom and now we will move him back into this room and re-carpet that other room next as a new room for Elliot). Photo by Katie. 

2:42pm // I see an awesome man in the backyard starting to take care of the tree that fell down a couple weeks ago. He wasn't bummed out about the opportunity to get a chain-saw.

2:43pm // I see a flowering cherry in my yard accompanied by an even larger flowering tree in my neighbors yard. This time of year goes so fast and this view is one of my most favorites all year. 

3:08pm // I see a Mom waiting to pick up her oldest child and who will then drive to pick up the other one from her after-school care program. The other three are staying with their Mom tonight. Self-timer phone photo. 

3:45pm // I see a girl who is full of stories and excitement from her day at school. She loves to read to me from her folder about things that are on the schedule at school. I love that she wants to share. 

4:51pm // I see a boy with a pretty awesome after school work ethic. He comes home and generally does his homework right away. Today he is working on geography + algebra. It has been so, so cool to watch him grow into himself even just over the past few months as he's become more comfortable with the routines of more traditional classes. He worked really hard last term to do well in his classes and seeing him be proud of himself is what we really love to celebrate. I love that he actually really likes to learn. 

4:53pm // I see a girl that came home from school and got right into her bed for some screen time. She does her homework at her after-care program and on days when the house is less full and she doesn't have other activities she can often be found just hanging out in her bedroom on the top bunk. 

5pm // I see a guy that makes me laugh a million times a day. He is such a gift. 

6pm // I see a family gathered around the kitchen island talking about dinner and evening plans while the other adult makes a quick trip to the store for a couple items for dinner. Tonight we made "Yumm" bowls which is modeled after a local restaurant that we love called Cafe Yumm. Simon made himself a quesadilla because he's not much of a fan of the beans + rice bowls. Self-timer on DSLR camera. 

6:45pm // I see a Dad picking up his son to take him to Boy Scouts. 

7:30pm // I see a woman reading her book in the bathtub and enjoying the hot water. Of course tonight was the night this book started to get really good and I've got a bunch of work to do before I can get back to it again. Photo by Anna. 

8pm // I see a woman tucking her child into the top bunk of her bed and giving her a kiss goodnight. 

Again, thank you for joining me on this storytelling adventure and for being part of this community. 

SHARE A LINK TO YOUR BLOG IN THE COMMENTS

In the past I've offered a linking widget here to collect links to people who wanted to share their Monday post of words + photos. For some reason I can't get it to work again so if you would like to share a link to your MONDAY words and photos please post in the comment section below. Please link directly to your post vs. a general blog link. Thank you!

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80 thoughts

  1. jessfo says…
    04/18/2017
    Reply 2 Replies
    1. teri0604 says…
      04/18/2017

      I loved your blog post! The real is in all of it!

    2. AnnaWK says…
      04/19/2017

      I love the alphabet on the wall by the crib <3

  2. elinjanne says…
    04/18/2017
    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AnnaWK says…
      04/19/2017

      Norway really is a beautiful country! (Waving "hi" from Sweden)

  3. cathycaines says…
    04/18/2017

    Oh Ali - I love your mud room and your stories. You have a way with words. Here's my Monday photos and stories. http://www.inthecatcave.com/2017/04/hello-monday-stories-photos.html

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. lime says…
    04/18/2017

    I'm so glad to be a part of this project, and for an excuse to pick up my big camera again (it's been a while). Loved seeing your photos and reading your words, here is a link to my day:http://limeblog.net/2017/04/18/monday-week-in-the-life/

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Nita27 says…
    04/18/2017

    In the Netherlands we celebrate two days Easter.. that gives me the time to create the first pages of the digital book: http://ongevijftig.blogspot.nl/2017/04/weekinthelife-2017.html?m=1

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. donna10 says…
    04/18/2017

    Here's my day one - loving, loving, loving it!

    https://notsoseriousgirl.wordpress.com/

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. nirupama01 says…
    04/18/2017

    Great to see your photos and thoughts on the day 👍🏾
    http://avinashhecker.blogspot.com/2017/04/week-in-life-monday-photoswords-2017.html

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AnnaWK says…
      04/19/2017

      What a cute play tent you have <3

  8. MariClaudi says…
    04/18/2017

    Here's a link to my Instagram acct. I shared my MONDAY photos there.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BTAbU3KDHt4/?taken-by=marisolscreativeretreat&hl=en

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Jeannew says…
    04/18/2017

    Love reading your daily posts! And I love the picture of you in the car -3:08 pm. Beautiful and pensive.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      04/18/2017

      Thank you!

  10. EssieRuth says…
    04/18/2017

    I've made a process video of my Monday. I love this project so much. Each year it's been different and precious.
    Thanks Ali!
    http://essieruth.com/week-in-the-life-2017/

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. CasieGutierrez says…
    04/18/2017

    Here is my blog post about Sunday. (I started a day earlier :)
    https://cultivatingcasie.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/sunday-witl-4-16-17/

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Coni says…
    04/18/2017
    Reply 0 Replies
  13. cornybeard says…
    04/18/2017

    Love reading your WITL posts, Ali (actually I love reading everyone's WITL posts because I'm nosy). Here's my Monday: http://bakingbetsy.com/week-life-2017-mondays-stories/

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. sparklingallison says…
      04/18/2017

      haha. Me too. ;) It's a great way to get ideas too!

    2. AnnaWK says…
      04/19/2017

      I love that Betsy has her own scrapbook <3

  14. jamie59 says…
    04/18/2017

    My husband and I were debating something about your podcast this morning. In your podcast with Jess Forster, you said "Don't take 500 pictures." It was actually my favorite part of the podcast, so funny. Can you just clarify a point of contention with us? Did you mean 500 per a day? Or 500 pictures in a week? I'm just curious. Thanks!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      04/18/2017

      Ha! I can't remember exactly - definitely not in one day :). I think it's totally possible to take that many in a week, but even then that's too many to actually use for this one project (but does make great content + stories for other projects).

  15. baersgarten says…
    04/18/2017

    here is my two-pages spread on my Project Life Album for Monday: http://baersgarten.com/blog/?p=5818

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. fannyathome says…
    04/18/2017

    THank you for sharing! I absolutely relate with your DSLR feeling! I'm totally rusted! Here's my monday: http://www.fannyathome.com/2017/04/witl-2017-lunes.html

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. soonermama says…
    04/18/2017

    I definitely need to keep my DSLR more present. I'm trying to keep it manageable and highlights as this project often does often get overwhelming to me. That said, I love all the memories I've captured through these weeks in the last 9 years. I'm amazed how different our life is now from what it was then.

    http://athomewiththerichardsfamily.blogspot.com/2017/04/witl-monday-2017.html

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. JNeufeld says…
    04/18/2017
    Reply 0 Replies
  19. smalls530 says…
    04/18/2017

    I can't believe how much I am loving this project! Wish I had started it years ago!! Here's the link to my Monday:
    http://jutandlinds.com/blog/2017/04/18/week-in-the-life-2017-monday-words-photos/

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. whitehart says…
    04/18/2017

    I absolutely love your photos, and how we really feel like we were here with you during your day! It's my first year doing it and so it's a little strange for me to snap details, but I really enjoy how it makes me stop and appreciate the little moments already. I just published my Monday post here: http://deuxjanvier.eu/2017/04/monday-17th-april-a-week-in-the-life/

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. LilyandTwig says…
    04/18/2017

    I love your photos and stories, and I absolutely love this project. Unfortunately I can't do it this week, but my plan is to do it the beginning of next month. Better late than never. :-) Thank you for the inspiration!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      04/18/2017

      Yes! I always love to see your stories :).

  22. EAugustin says…
    04/18/2017
    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Ojyma says…
    04/18/2017

    I love your photos! Amazing first day. Mine is here http://www.paperandspool.com/week-in-the-life-monday-2/

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. simplyautumn says…
    04/18/2017

    Love this Ali! Love the "I see" prompt ... will have to borrow that from you! Ha!!!❤️

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      04/18/2017

      Yes! Do it!

  25. Charlie_178 says…
    04/18/2017

    Love seeing everyones stories.
    My Monday: https://charlielovespaper.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/week-in-the-life-monday/
    Hoping this year that jotting a few things down as they happen will encourage me to complete the album - journaling and all.

    Reply 0 Replies

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