I’m taking Ali Edwards’ Project Life Storytelling class right now and I’m so inspired, looking at her books and hearing her process, that I am dying to play!
One of the first things Ali suggests you do , up front, is to identify why you want to do this project. My first thought (my usual self, avoiding introspection) was “because it’s fun… duh.” And although, yes, it is fun, there’s much more to it than that. I love the process. I’m not eaten up with a burning desire to “tell my story” because I really question who would be interested. But I want to document my story for me… because I like the process, because the process (the hobby) brings people together, because I like going back and looking at my books, because it’s fun.
My original idea was to do monthly spreads, but now I’ve just decided to do it whenever the mood strikes. And it’s striking now!
As Ali has been walking through her albums with us, she’s mentioned a couple times that she’s gotten away from including the “stuff of life” on her pages. I had noticed that in recent years and I missed it. That’s one of the things I LOVE about my early Week in the Life albums – all the bits and pieces: mail, receipts, pieces of shopping bags, kid art, shopping lists. I love that stuff. So I think Ali’s going to try to include more of that, I know I certainly am! Things change in the blink of an eye as your children are growing up. None of us stop to appreciate the idiosyncrasies and the lovely little oddities. I know I won’t remember them… except for my documenting them here.
For instance, the fact that our boys love Low Sugar Instant Oatmeal. But they really love it if I mix 2 Maple Brown Sugar flavors with 1 Apple and Cinnamon. I’ve been making it this way for a while but it isn’t something I’ll remember, even 10 years from now, maybe. It’s their favorite right now, eating it almost every morning. I put the packaging from my current favorite tea in this spread also.
Below is the first insert. I’ve always liked my inserts to be smaller than the real anchor pages. (Ali mentioned this in one of her class videos.) I like to be able to easily distinguish between different weeks. So here’s the first insert – just pictures of the recent big snowfall we had.
The second insert for this week is the interview pages that I shared on Instagram and Facebook earlier this week. I spotted an interview page in one of Ali’s books and realized that it’s been a while since I did one of these with the boys. And… they really enjoy filling them out.
And then here’s the final page for the week. More ephemera from the packaging that Ali sends out and the little bag from Liz Lamoreux, where I bought my One Little Word bracelet this year.
In the past I’ve felt like the pictures were the star of the show. And I’m not sure I agree with the value of LOTS of journaling. (I mean really, who’s going to read pages and pages of stuff?) I absolutely see value in documenting important feelings and details. And I love including the “stuff of life”!
Right now I’m not sure when I’ll make another entry in this book… probably next week because my birthday is coming up on Friday and we’ll be going to Colorado to celebrate with my Mom and Dad. (I hear there’s going to be TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHOCOLATE CAKE!!!!!) My point being, there’ll be fun stuff going on that I want to document.
That being said, I’ve just been reminded (by Ali) that the glimpse of everyday life that Project Life and Week in the Life offer is an absolute treasure! Some of the most fun I have going back and looking at old albums are from our time in Iowa when I had two boys in diapers. Reading about their likes and dislikes and seeing photographs of our traditions and preschool and habits. There are sweet, little, unforgettable things in those books… that I would have forgotten…
So I’m not sure how often I’ll contribute to this book, but I will contribute… because I love it.