Week in the Life photo project – a little slice of life right now. Normal. Routine. Real.
(Week in the Life – a concept introduced to me by Ali Edwards that has become one of my favorite over the last few years)
Today is the final excerpt from my week of documenting life’s little realities. I spent the week of April 10th taking photos and jotting notes and this past week I’ve been pulling each day together into a blog post. Today I’m sharing
(Easter Sunday as it happens)
Rolled out of bed to make sure the Easter Bunny had hidden all the eggs. Sam fired up the smoker to start on the meat for dinner tonight.
Tyler’s up and wakes up his sister, both happy to explore their Easter baskets from Sam and me.
Roller blades, flip flops, and Ipod case and headphones for Kaitlyn. Scooter, swimsuit and goggles, and the Spy School book he has repeatedly requested for Tyler. Both very pleased and excited.
Bambi was wound up by all the excitement – and by the kids trying out their blades and scooter in the hallway. She needed a long hug to calm down.
Outside to hunt for eggs. Kaitlyn is still better at it than Tyler, though that only bothers him when she beats him to an egg he has spotted and was close to grabbing for himself.
Exploring their loot. Our system is to dump all the candy in a bowl and everyone grabs what they want throughout the day. Some eggs also contained items specifically for the kids. Tyler got a Lego set (Star Wars) and Kaitlyn, a crystal 3D puzzle.
Cinnamon and orange rolls for breakfast.
The rest of the day everyone filled in their own ways. Sam started packing his equipment for his trip and he and Tyler finished off the Pinewood Derby car. (Pinewood Derby is Tuesday night) Kaitlyn tried out her new rollerblades, listened to music, etc. I started and finished an entire book, My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. A light, easy read.
Dinner with the family, entirely homemade by Sam (who likes to spend large chunks of time cooking when nothing else is on the agenda). Shredded pork, homemade rolls, grill fries. Yum.
And that, my dears, concludes my Sunday and my Week in the Life photo project – at least the documenting part of it. As always, it has been a learning experience. Some days are easy to document, some are hard. Some things in the day are happy, some are routine, and some are a struggle.
-not a single shot of all 4 of us in the same photo. I’ll fix that soon. Well, as soon as the husband gets back from overseas.
-had fully intended to take a few portrait-type shots of each of the kids and include a list of things particular to them right now. Truly plan to follow through with that as soon as I get a chance.
-self-timer shots were almost non-existent. Not so much because I’m not wanting to be in the photos this time around, but more likely because they take more forethought and time to set up. All of my photos were definitely “in the moment” and not planned out ahead of time.
-felt weird about asking others to be in photos with me/for me this week. Too intrusive? Sam and the kids are used to me taking photos at random times for random reasons, the other people in my life – not so much. So I have photos of things at the gym but not one of myself and my workout buddy. I have photos of my walk, but not any that include my friend. And so on. I’ll work on it.
I may wish I had taken more/others/been more creative but I won’t regret the photos I did take and can now enjoy over and over again.
I have ordered photo prints and can’t wait to get started on putting it all together in an album. While I wait for those to arrive I’ll be back to working on blog updates for the Great Kitchen Remodel and thinking of more ideas for upcoming Teacher Appreciation (like THIS and THIS) and Mother’s Day. Always something to look forward to and plan for, right?
Until then, feel free to glance through the rest of my week.
Getting close to the end of this year’s Week in the Life photo project, documenting the small or routine things in daily life. Saturday happened to be one of the more eventful days of the week – in it’s own ordinary, familiar way.
(Interested in the Week in the Life concept? You can find out more on Ali Edwards’ blog)
With everyone home on weekends, we usually devote at least a portion of our days to family time. My original plan was to do something new and hike to some hot springs I recently heard about. But it was a restless night with Sam getting a migraine at 3AM. Eventually he did fall asleep again and the migraine backed off but the thought of a hike no longer appealed to him.
We usually allow ourselves and the kids a slow start on the weekends, letting them stay in bed until 8:30 if they’re still sleeping and taking our time with breakfast and getting dressed for the day.
Sam had errands he wanted to run in the city so I gave in (really was NOT feeling like dragging the kids all over that day) and we headed out.
First stop was Best Buy for a power adaptor then lunch at Zupa’s, one of the few restaurants where everyone in the family can find something they like. Tyler had asked to try the chocoloate mousse cake and Sam told him we would think about it if he ate his lunch without reminders. That isn’t always a motivator for him, but today our picky eater ate his entire grilled cheese without any problem so he got the cake. And uncomplainingly shared it with his sister.
I had spotted running shoes at good prices while out shopping earlier in the week so our next stop was taking Kaitlyn to try some on (for the upcoming 10K she is running with Sam). She didn’t love anything at either place so it was on to the Verizon store. The kids and I wandered down to Home Goods while Sam went into Verizon (where he didn’t really have any luck getting questions answered).
Wanting to keep Tyler happy and figuring it was a good break from the errands, we took the kids to one of the newer parks Sam had run across while out and about for work. Great park, with plenty of things to handle the bigger crowd on a warm spring Saturday. Tyler had a lot of fun running around.
Kaitlyn is getting too old for that kind of thing. She tried out that spinning thing with her dad and she and I did some swinging on the hammock thing, but most of the time she just hung out with me and visited.
We decided an hour was long enough at the park and headed off to Costco. I always try to avoid shopping on Saturdays and Costco is one of the worst places for Saturday crowds. But Sam wanted to stock up on protein bars and drinks for his long plane ride (flying military cargo or whatever so they if they want to eat they have to pack it).
About half-way through Costco, while stopped at a sample stand, I spotted a rash on Tyler’s arm. We were surprised and disturbed to see it covering both of his lower arms. Seeing that it stopped abruptly where his sleeves started, I made the assumption that it was some kind of allergic reaction from something he touched, probably at the park. I left Sam and Kaitlyn to check out and Tyler and I headed into the bathroom to wash his arms repeatedly. Thank goodness for family bathrooms so I could help him with that.
We found Kaitlyn and Sam waiting for us, churros in hand. Nice surprise.
I had Benadryl in the car. It’s not the first time I’ve been happy to have my little Just in Case kit in the car. Though getting a giant bottle of Benadryl wouldn’t have been hard to do at Costco.
At that point we figured it was time to head up the canyon, taking a pic of the road sign we had been seeing often on the freeway all day. For some reason we all found the message “Some bunny loves you drive focused” amusing or at least interesting.
We stopped at Park City for another stab at finding running shoes. Options found but Kate was not in love with any of them at Famous Footwear. After trying on many pairs we found a winner at New Balance. Tyler had quickly found a pair he liked, which worked out nicely for the Buy One Get One 50% off deal. (Can’t resist those right?)
At some point during the drive we had figured out the rest of our plan for the weekend and Easter so our final stop before heading home was the grocery store.
Tyler finally gave in to the Benadryl and fell asleep on the way home.
Once home everyone helped unload the car and put everything away. Tyler fell back to sleep on the couch downstairs, promising to wake up for dinner in half an hour.
Sam, Kaitlyn and I prepped DIY pizzas. Pepperoni and cheese for Kaitlyn. Pesto chicken with gouda for Sam and myself. Just cheese for Tyler.
I had a very hard time getting Tyler to wake up and come upstairs, but I didn’t want him falling asleep so early and not sleeping through the night. Eventually he did get up, but wouldn’t eat.
It wasn’t until dinner was put away and we had the eggs and dye all set up that he perked up enough to participate.
Tyler and Kate both took their time doing something different to each egg and experimenting with various methods and techniques. This might be the first year I wasn’t stressed about one spilling something or needing extra help and could just sit back and take photos. (One of the few times I pulled out the big camera during Week in the Life.)
The rash had faded some but was far from going away. *sigh* Thank goodness it didn’t itch or bother him – just looked nasty.
Lots of photos of the egg decorating (ruthlessly editing them here – be glad!) then I set aside the camera for the rest of the night. Long day. Everyone is tired, mostly in a good way (poor Ty).
Saturday, more than the rest of the days this week, has me introspective as I look back at it. Lots of lessons there.
-We did a good job of making the Have Tos fun.
-Gracefully changing plans last minute (something I’m not always good at).
-Dealing with whatever comes our way as best we can. It’s what we have to do.
-Kids value traditions, even when I think they may be getting too old for them.
Kaitlyn was surprised when I mentioned that I really had not wanted to spend the day shopping. She thought the whole day had been fun. And it had. I love this little family of mine and being together is good no matter what we’re doing.
I think I am personally, however, struggling with a need to change how we do things a bit. Maybe to free up some of the roles I’ve been filling exclusively as the mom. Especially in regards to responsibilies for making plans and coming up with ideas for entertainment. My desire to play “cruise director” is at low ebb right now.
One more day in the books! And one more day to finish documenting for this year’s Week in the Life project. Check back tomorrow!
Fri-day! Fri-day! Fri-day!
One of my favorite days of the week, even when we have no plans for the weekend and I know that entertaining everyone may be more work than I usually do on a weekday. There’s just something about Fridays that make me happy.
So without further ado…
(for Week in the Life, which I spent last week documenting and am spending this week pulling it together here on the blog. Photos in today’s post were taken Friday, April 14, 2017)
“You put on workout clothes. Are we going for a walk?!!” Actually I’m surprised she sat still long enough for a photo. She can hardly contain her excitement if I come out of my room wearing yoga pants or gym shoes. Most of the time I’m simply headed to the gym but today she is right. We are headed out for a walk as soon as the boy gets on the bus.
Dishes and straightening up the kitchen while the little guy eats breakfast and packs lunch. More to clean up than usual since I didn’t take the time for dishes yesterday and the other adults in the house don’t often do so.
Doesn’t she look happy? Off to pick up my friend for our walk.
Sandhill cranes, horses, cows, and lots of clouds on our walk this morning. Love that I can get out with a friend once in a while and enjoy being outside while also making the dog amazingly happy.
Biggest thing on the list today was Easter prep. As you can see, I had plenty of help.
Eventually she did relax and let me finish the Easter baskets and start working on teacher appreciation.
Friday is early out day, including Sam this time around. Bambi has to greet everyone and get some attention before the rest of us can sit down and talk to each other about our days.
I’m all out of dinner ideas (and supplies) for the week. Surprisingly, Tyler had a dinner suggestion that didn’t involve pizza (he requests pizza at least twice a week) so I took him with me to the grocery store. We picked up tortellini and garlic bread then I let him help select some ice cream for dessert.
Red Button is the BEST ice cream. Tyler chose Cookies and Cream and I grabbed Raspberry Ripple Chocolate Chip (since they were on 2 for ___).
Dinner prep and time to unload the dishwasher. Yes, we typically do eat early, usually around 5:00.
Ice cream and TV time. And how great that the sun is setting later in the day.
Ah, Week in the Life.
I’ve been enjoying the time spent over the last few days pulling all the photos and journaling together. I’ve even managed to order photo prints so I can start putting the album together soon.
Every year is a learning experience. I see the kids growing and changing. I see routines that feel like they have been the same forever actually evolve and change. I see mannerisms and habits that seem so familiar right now that will only be memories in a few years.
Every year I don’t capture everything I could, but I do get plenty of little glimpses.
Want more details on the project? Check out Ali Edward’s blog and the WITL community.
Two more days to document! Please check back tomorrow!
Halfway through documenting Week in the Life at this point – taking photos of all kinds of things I don’t spend much time documenting in daily life. I’ve done this project a few times before and usually at this point I’m starting to lose a little enthusiasm and taking fewer photos. This year has been the opposite. It took me a few days to really warm up to the project and the second half of the week I was more prolific with the photos – even while out running errands, which is how I spent a good part of my day Thursday.
*I spent last week taking the photos so this week is dedicated to pulling them together in a series of blog posts. These photos were taken Thursday, April 13 – before Easter, in case you were wondering 😉
(Want more info or to join in the project? Check out Ali Edwards’ blog and the Week in the Life Community)
Surprised to find Tyler was up and dressed already. Instant Breakfast is his breakfast of choice lately. Sam skips breakfast but it looks like he did make a cup of coffee to take on the drive to work.
Guess who got promoted! First day with the new stripes (ok 2nd, as he wouldn’t stop for a photo yesterday) since he has to be at the base a few days this week. Pretty sure he is enjoying the break from his regular job.
Sometimes I skip the oatmeal and go for the kids’ cereal.
Everyone off to school/work and I FINALLY have a clear morning where all I have to worry about it my own agenda so I’m off to the city to do my Easter shopping. Usually I’m ready for holidays much further ahead than this and I wasn’t exactly happy about that. I’m feeling pretty upbeat today and I think knowing I can check this off my list has a lot to do with my mood.
Easter candy, random items for baskets, a scooter for Tyler, rollerblades for Kaitlyn. Ordering online probably would have been the better option for the larger items but I didn’t decide on them far enough ahead of time. So I had to do a little extra running around.
Target first (of course!) where I didn’t purchase much but enjoyed looking around. Shopko, then Big 5 where I stopped to call Sam for help making the final decision on scooters. Opted to buy rollerblades for Kate there (in a size that fits me! She’s growing up way too fast) then back-trackted to Target to get the scooter I had spotted earlier.
I grabbed lunch from Chipolte and ate it in the car while listening to the 5 Love Languages before heading back up the canyon.
I completed the rest of my errands in Park City with a trip to Michael’s (where I only purchased weights for the Tyler’s Pinewood Derby car – can you believe that?!) and TJ Maxx.
The last stop was Smith’s for dishwasher soap – and I walked out with all that!
It had been a beautiful day, warmer than any we’ve had so far this spring. Thus the slushie impulse buy.
Made it home, unloaded the car, and had just enough time to add a fun vinyl saying to the water bottle I picked up for the friend I’ve been meeting at the gym. She never remembers to bring her water bottle and they had only ONE left in one of my favorite styles at TJ Maxx. I also gave her a bag of her favorite Easter candy that she mentioned a few days ago that she hadn’t been able to find. She was pretty happy.
I had warned Kaitlyn that I would be taking a few “better” photos during the first part of practice but when I actually showed up to do so I think she was a little embarrassed. I ended up rushing through it and not getting the great shots I had hoped for.
Oh well. She’s at the pool all the time. I’ll try it again another time.
Work out. Home. Homework check for Tyler. Dinner. Sunset. Call it good for the day.
And that’s it for Thursday. Tune in tomorrow for Friday’s Words and Photos for Week in the Life 2017.
Until then, feel free to check out some of my previous Week in the Life Posts
Or take a look at some of my other projects like the Great Kitchen Remodel (half-way through the updates there, I’ll have a new blog post up on that next week), my Spring Tulip Wreath, or Ideas for upcoming Teacher Appreciation (ideas HERE, HERE, and HERE).
This week I’ve been sharing my experience with Ali Edwards’ Week in the Life photo project for this year. I spent last week keeping the camera (or more often the camera phone) nearby and trying to document the small moments that are often overlooked in regular life.
Kinda fun, right?
Restless night meant I was more than ready to get up and be productive so I baked muffins for the kids at 6:15AM. (First Instagram post of the day)
Sam headed off to the base instead of his regular job in order to get ready to head overseas next week. First day in uniform with his new promotion but in too much of a hurry to stop for a photo or wait for muffins.
Kaitlyn, however, was more than happy to have something home made for breakfast.
One of my favorite ways to make muffins uses cake mix (today’s was yellow cake mix) and a can of pumpkin. Just two ingredients so it’s super easy and the pumpkin makes it healthier than most. Tyler prefers it with chocolate cake mix and ate only one muffin but Kaitlyn said she likes it better this way.
7AM means she’s out the door (and not exactly pleased that I told her to pause for a photo).
This boy has such a great teacher. In order to solidify a concept she asked them to wear something at least vaguely military today. Good thing we have no problem pulling that together at the last minute. Tyler was excited to wear his dad’s hat (or, er, his “cover”).
Today was a day for just going with the flow. Original plan had been volunteering in Ty’s class then heading to the city to get my Easter shopping done. However, last night I agreed to go into work in the afternoon as Cha Cha was excited to start some of the organizing we had discussed earlier that day.
Typically on Wednesdays I spend my time after Tyler leaves getting myself ready and off to the school for my standing date volunteering in Tyler’s classroom. This morning though I got a text saying they had a few extras added to their day at school and I wouldn’t be needed today. So I decided to take a bit more time with the morning routine and read in the tub for a while.
Work was then bumped from 1:00 until 2:00 so it’s a very good thing Sam had already planned to pick Kaitlyn up from swim team practice on his way home from work so I was able to stay a bit longer. We worked on organizing computer files the entire time.
As you can see it was another day with fewer photos than I would normally take during a Week in the Life project. I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes. Life feels a bit TOO ordinary or I forget or I’m too tired. So I wrapped it up for Wednesday with a view of what I am beginning to think of as my “command center.” This end table between the couch and the chair I typically use when on the computer or watching TV is always covered with a random collection of notebooks, calendars and books and whatever needs my attention at the time, like the spelling bee word list for Tyler and the clipboard I’m using to take notes for Week in the Life.
At this point I did go on a search for more inspiration for Week in the Life and as you will see tomorrow, my enthusiasm (and photo count) did go up a few notches for the rest of the week.
I’ll be back tomorrow! Feel free to share your Week in the Life experiences or take a look at some of my other photos for the week.
Week in the Life – a week long photo project intended to document a typical week and appreciate it for what it is. I have made the point of participating along with Ali Edwards and the Week in the Life Community for a few years and really enjoy the process.
A lot of the community started documenting their photos yesterday so you still have plenty of time to jump in! I chose to start last week as that was a more routine week than this week will be. So this week I get to pull it all together in a series of blog posts.
Pretty sure this was the day I took the least number of photos. Possibly because it’s a little harder to get the motivation and creativity flowing without the enthusiasm of doing the project with everyone else? Possibly because I spent a good part of the day at work and was concentrating on that instead of pulling out the camera. Possibly I was just tired.
First photo of the day was that picture of the alarm clock. Instagram caption read: Good morning Tuesday. First photo of the day for Week in the Life. At this point I had been awake more than an hour – typical. I try to tell myself to go back to sleep but it doesn’t work. Instead I end up laying there trying to enjoy the comfy bed, the quiet, and the time with the husband before he goes to work. Once he heads out then I pick up a book or the computer until Kaitlyn finishes showering.
After Kaitlyn heads upstairs I usually get up and get breakfast (most of the time that’s oatmeal with cranberries and almonds) and spend more time on the computer until it’s time to wake up Tyler.
found me at the office. This is still kind of new for me, having somewhere to go to “work” even if it’s only for a few hours a week. Lots and lots of time on the computer, part of which was spent putting together and sending out their first ever email newsletter.
Didn’t leave the office until 1:40 so it was a very quick, very late lunch and a quick change before heading to the gym (while Kaitlyn is at the pool, of course). This is my almost-daily view of the drive to the rec center. My car could probably get there all on its own at this point.
found everyone home, homework done, dinner finished. Grabbed a quick photo of Sam and the braces since I realized I hadn’t taken one and he had another orthodontist appointment the next day. Braces at 36. Better late than never, right?
Barely over half a dozen photos of the day today has me worried that I didn’t do “enough.”
Silly isn’t it? It’s my album, I shouldn’t worry.
Then I came up with the idea of adding in a few more journaling/word prompts for this day to fill it in. I want to add in a list of prompts using “_____ing.” Things like: reading, watching, listening to, eating, loving…
nightly down time with the kids. Typically this involves a couple of episodes of Star Wars (Next Generation – yes, Sam has gotten Kaitlyn hooked on that). Tyler and I usually have the tablet/laptop out as the show doesn’t hold our attention quite as well as it does for Kaitlyn and Sam. Added bonus tonight was a box of Smores Girl Scout cookies. Bambi obviously thinks she should have been given some too.
And that’s it for the day. I’ll be back again tomorrow with Wednesday’s Words and Photos.
Every so often I feel the need to take a closer look at my life. To look at the routines and everyday items in a different light. Maybe to appreciate them more. To change my perspecitive a bit.
Luckily, I am reminded to take the time to do so every year when Ali Edwards initiates her Week in the Life photo project. I have participated along with this project for a number of years now (some more successfully than others).
The main point of the project is to document the everyday. Ali and most of the Week in the Life community have planned to start documenting their Week in the Life today. However, this year the husband is headed out of town for a good chunk of this week and the rest of April, so I decided to start documenting my Week in the Life last week. I took photos and kept notes and tried to post more than usual on Instagram. Now this week I want to pull all my thoughts together in a series of blog posts (Words and Photos) and order photo prints so that I can put everything together in my physical album sooner rather than later. (Which will be a first for me, for sure!)
“Tyler, your alarm went off. Time to get up.”
Ty: “I know. I wasn’t ready. I need more sleep!”
The Monday after Spring Break. Oh boy. (from Instagram post)
I bribed him to get out of bed with the promise of Gosner’s flavored milk for his lunchbox today.
Monday means laundry. All. Day. Long.
Morning routine includes saying goodbye to Kaitlyn first (who refused to pause for a photo) then making sure Tyler is on the ball with breakfast and packing his lunch. This week he has to pack lunch in a paper bag instead of his usual lunchbox as he has been “tossing his lunchbox into the air on on top of the lockers” at school lately and his teacher doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. *sigh*
Despite the slow start, Tyler did manage to complete all his morning routine with enough time to spare to (unwillingly) study for the spelling bee this week.
I spend my mornings keeping Ty on track while cleaning up the kitchen. Usually I have much more than this to deal with – phew.
We had some snow over the weekend but that didn’t keep Bambi from wanting to enjoy the sunshine. She found a dry spot and refused to come inside for a good chunck of the day.
Most of the morning and early afternoon was laundry. Some computer stuff for work. Laundry. To Do List and phone calls/texts. Laundry. Lunch. Laundry.
My usual afternoon view. I try to work out while Kaitlyn has swim team practice. She is still a very determined girl. Can’t wait to see her progress in the upcoming swim meets.
I’ve been happy to have been able to run into an old friend from high school a few weeks ago and we have since developed a habit of working out together during most of Kaitlyn’s swim practices. I love that I have someone to keep me company and I think Kaitlyn loves that I’m not getting sick of being there so easily and prodding her out of the pool before she’s ready to leave.
This is where my photo taking fizzled for the day. When we got home from the rec center I was happy to see that Tyler was almost finished with his homework. The rest of the evening is pretty standard. Laundry. Dinner. Finish folding laundry and get everyone to put it away. Relax in front of screens or books until bedtime.
I’ll be back tomorrow with Tuesday’s Words and Photos. If you’re participating in Week in the Life, I’d love to hear about it!
–2016 Sunday’s Words and Photos (looks like the rest of the week may not have survived the switch to the new website 🙁 I might have to work upsoon to show of the completed album for 2016) a blog post
–2016 Saturday’s Words and Photos
–2015 Sunday’s Words and Photos
–2015 Saturday’s Words and Photos
–2015 Friday’s Words and Photos
–2015 Thursday’s Words and Photos
–2015 Wednesday’s Words and Photos
–2015 Tuesday’s Words and Photos
–2015 Monday’s Words and Photos
It’s that time of year again! Halloween is over, Thanksgiving plans are well under way and all of the stores are decked out for the holidays…bring on the Christmas prep! For me that means lists – gift lists, shopping lists, projects lists, Christmas card lists, and lists of ideas for our Christmas elves.
Our elves always show up on the first of December and spend the month with us keeping an eye on the kiddos for Santa, as well as having a little fun themselves (sometimes too much fun!). The kids look forward to the visit from the elves and it adds a little daily fun and magic to the season for all of us.
Our elves have been making their appearance for almost 10 years now (yes, I looked it up 😉 I started this tradition in 2007), well before the Elf on the Shelf concept took on the recognition and popularity it has today. So our elves don’t look like all of the other elves and they don’t have quite the same rules as the official Elf on the Shelf. In fact, our elves love to get hugs from the kids and to play with them during the day.
To keep things fresh and fun year after year I do have to put in some planning time (thank goodness for Pinterest, right? I have tons of ideas on my Holiday Elf on the Shelf board) so I’ve been pulling together ideas and reviewing photos of our Elf Antics from years past and I thought I would share a sample year with you.
This is what our elves were up to every day in December a couple of years ago. (My kids were ages 11 and 8 at the time)
Day 2: found them in the storage room where they had pulled out most of Grandma’s games and toys. Photo is courtesy of Kaitlyn, who was quick to inform me when I got back from the gym that morning and found the kids playing Jenga that she knew I liked to take photos before we moved the Elves and had made sure to do so. (Isn’t she the greatest?!)
Day 3: in the bathroom, where Twinkle was tangled in Kaitlyn’s headbands and Tinsel had drawn a Rudolph head on the mirror.
Day 4: the elves had put up a “tent” using one of the pool towels so they could hide while they created Top Secret missions for the kids.
Wonder what’s in the envelope…. (printable found here. Awesome idea)
Day 5: was Tyler’s birthday so the elves had made an attempt to decorate with crepe paper but got distracted playing with the party games.
Day 6: the elves we cozily reading a book together in the rocking chair
Day 7: had decorated the photo wall in the office using dry erase markers
Day 8: Perler bead creations
Day 9: they got into all of the treats left over from the birthday party
Day 10: must have been taking inspiration from my (body builder) brother. Looks like Tinsel might benefit from a few personal trainer sessions.
Day 11: found the sled on top of the entertainment center in the living room. I’m told Twinkle almost met with a horrible accident when she toppled off and my brother’s pit bull picked her up. Luckily, the husband saw it and pried her out of his mouth before any damage was done.
Day 12: packed the kids’ lunchboxes
Day 13: changed out the light bulb in the hallway for a pretty stained-glass one. Tyler said it looked like they were having a dance party.
Day 14: climbing the Christmas tree. I’m afraid it looks like Tinsel must have taken a tumble or two.
Day 15: hot chocolate! They found a special Cookies and Cream version from Stephen’s – MMMMMM
Day 16: crepe paper Christmas tree
Day 17: time for a Nerf dart war
Day 18: the elves found the tablet and had used it to take photos of themselves (by the Christmas tree, posing by the dog, random selfies, etc) then used them as the desktop background photos on the tablet.
Day 19: Playing with Tyler’s Minecraft toys and even found a Santa Minecraft head for Steve. (The cardstock “Steve” is a printable I used for Tyler’s Minecraft Party. The Santa head is a printable found here that I just enlarged a bit before printing. It wasn’t quite big enough for one of our elves to wear, but it worked fine for Steve)
Day 20: The kids forgot to open their Advent treat box before bed so the Elves did it for them. Lucky for the kids, the elves didn’t get as far as opening any of the chocolate!
Day 21: found the elves fast asleep under the Christmas tree, using the kids’ stockings as sleeping bags.
Day 22: the elves were having fun with the camera last night and took all kinds of photos. (Printable photo props found here)
Day 23: this morning they attempted to hitch a ride to school in the kids’ backpacks. I think we are all excited for the last half-day of school before Christmas break!
Day 24: elf zip line! And of course they also wrote up a farewell letter since Santa will be picking them up tonight.
And that, my friends, is an entire month of Elf on the Shelf ideas for you. They’re my favorite kind too – quick and easy. Easy enough to implement at 3AM when you suddenly wake up with that feeling that you forgot to do something… 😉
What have your elves been up to? Any great ideas you would like to share? I would love to add a few to my list for this year!
Linking to: Wow Me Wednesday,
Sunday was the final day for my Week in the Life photo project – a full week of taking extra notice of all the routine things in life and documenting them (a fun project spearheaded by Ali Edwards. More info on her blog). It was a fun week and I snapped a lot of good photos I might not otherwise have taken, but it’s intense to put that much concentration into something every day all day so it’s been nice to take a step back and get back to my more natural photo taking practices (which still means plenty of photos).
I truly do want to finish up the entire project this year, which for me means pulling together the photos and the journaling here on the blog – getting it all down in black and white while the memories are still fresh – before putting it all together in an album. I have done this photo project 3-4 times in the past and I do well with the photos and note taking during the week and pretty good putting most of it on the blog but I have yet to get an entire Week in the Life fully in an album yet. This week is going to be the year I do that! (Someone remind me of that a week from now when I am still procrastinating on ordering the photo prints!) So to keep myself on track – here is the journaling and photos from my final day of Week In the Life – Sunday:
Bambi was excited to go outside first thing until I opened the door and she realized it was raining.
9:00 AM sorting through the kids’ summer clothes before we go shopping. Tyler has a lot that still fit from last year, Kaitlyn needs an entire new wardrobe
10:15 AM Kaitlyn and I are ready to head out the door for some shopping but there was no hurrying Tyler. I guess I could have let him put off his weekend chores until later but I had already let him out of it on Saturday morning so this is Kaitlyn impatiently waiting for Tyler to finish vacuuming.
Today’s plan: shopping for summer clothes for the kiddos. Easiest thing to find – tank tops for Kaitlyn. Hardest thing: finding Kate shorts…and keeping the little guy from complaining. (caption from Instagram post)
First stop was Justice where we had lots of choices for Kaitlyn with Tshirts and tank tops but didn’t love any of the shorts.
11:30 AM Old Navy resulted in a couple of pairs of shorts for Tyler, this Minecraft Tshirt, and flipflops for both kiddos. Children’s Place yielded a pair of shorts for Tyler and I had to talk him out of a new tie and baseball cap. Still on a quest for denim shorts for Kaitlyn, we struck out at Aeropostle before taking a break for lunch.
12:30PM lunch at Panda Express. Choosing a restaurant always a hard thing when eating out with Tyler (not so much with Kaitlyn anymore – yay) so we over-use Panda Express (and Taco Bell). Oh well – everyone ends up satisfied so it works. PS – his time in the high chair only lasted for a couple of minutes before he switched to a regular chair. Sometimes being a little silly is ok.
When we pulled into the driveway after shopping today Kaitlyn got out then immediately turned back to the car and grabbed my phone so she could get this shot of the robin. #weekinthelife may be teaching them more than how to pose for photos without complaining 😉
2:15 PM Home with all our loot. A stop at TJ Maxx yielded a couple of pairs of shorts for Kate from the Juniors section (not sure how I feel about her transitioning to adult sizes! Right now it’s super hard to find things that fit her but it’s also another sign my little girl is growing up) and a trip to Wal-Mart gave us more cough medicine for Kaitlyn (thank goodness the cold never turned really horrible for her) and a gift for one of Tyler’s classmates for the party next weekend, and Kaitlyn and I treated ourselves to new pens.
5:00 PM Rainy, cold and overcast all day meant it was not a day for the dinner over the fire that Tyler had requested but we went with the hot dogs anyway. The marshmallows will have to wait for another day.
Final sunset for this project. Rainy days make the best sunsets.
I thought it was nice to mirror the first photo from this morning. This is the end table in the family room next to the chair where I usually hang out. I managed to finish that book (one I’ve been reading all week) while drinking hot chocolate after the kids went to bed. Good night.
The day in numbers:
-total photos taken: 26 with my phone and 41 with the DSLR
-5647 steps taken
-48 miles driven
If you’ve missed any of my earlier Week in the Life posts feel free to check them out or follow me on Instagram as I’ve been posting photos as I go along this week.
-2016 – Monday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Tuesday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Wednesday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Thursday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Friday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Saturday’s Words and Photos
-2015 – Main Post with links to Words and Photos for each day
I put aside the blogging the last two days of my Week in the Life photo project (and attempt to capture some of the everyday details we often overlook, a concept I ran across on Ali Edwards’ blog) and concentrated on just living life for a couple of days. I think that’s the lesson I am constantly learning/making myself aware of – finding the balance between what I want to do, what I “should” do, and what my body, energy, motivation or emotions are telling me they want to deal with at any given time, when to push past it and when to step back. I think once the intense energy and concentration of taking a lot of photos for an entire week was past I ended up wanting a little breathing room, a day or two to put my focus on other things. So I took the time and let myself get back into a more normal mind-set and now I’m ready to put the journaling and photos together for the final two days of the project before I forget any of the smaller details.
Saturday’s Words and Photos:
“Are you taking a picture of my messy hair?” Of course I was.
I was awake at my usual time (around 6), grabbed breakfast and read for a while. Kaitlyn was up at 7:00 and said she slept great. That must have been true because she easily and eagerly got dressed, fed Gma’s dogs, did her chores (dusting the basement this week) and took Bambi outside to play all before 8:00 AM.
This is how we found the kitchen table this morning. Obviously Tyler had been wearing his cowboy hat while out with Grandpa the night before and had also picked the single tulip from the front berm (I had spotted it yesterday while taking out the garbage and do have a photo of its lonely self). We have tulips in other parts of the yard, but not on that hill and I’m not sure how it got there in the first place.
Dishes. Again. Not many, thank goodness.
Kaitlyn wasn’t the only one with motivation. I cleaned the bathroom then took a shower while Kaitlyn was doing her morning stuff.
She even practiced her piano! (something I often have to remind her about)
This photo also demonstrates the state of her room. She may have a lot of my own habits/leanings but her tolerance for “visual clutter” is all her. She also has a tendency to just drop things thinking she will take care of them later (never does) or come back to use them in a while and doesn’t put them away. Typical kid, I know.
8:00 AM woke up Tyler. I had a hard time getting him moving and had to keep nudging him, plus we had to have a talk about complaining vs having a good day. He really wasn’t on board with my plan to take him with us when I took Kaitlyn to swimming practice.
I took this photo to compare/contrast to Kaitlyn’s room. Sure, Tyler’s room was completely clean but it usually has a lot less clutter than hers and always has. The clothes that were taken off but not put in the basket, the book on the floor, the unmade bed. Tyler has taken to reading for a while after bedtime and I’m ok with that as most mornings he doesn’t seem like he needed more sleep and I don’t have to nag him to get his reading time in.
This is one of my favorite views on the drive to Heber – as you come around that final bend at the top of the hill and the valley opens up before you. Since I was on my 4th trip there this week I figured I may as well stop and get a photo this morning
9:25 AM we dropped Kate off at swim practice then took Tyler to the park. That kid never has trouble making friends and b within about 5 seconds of our arrival he had a new buddy and they played happily the whole time we were there. I just sat there reading my book and enjoying the weather thinking “good choice mom” as my debate this morning had been whether or not to bring Ty or leave him home (to spend a couple of hours oh his tablet I’m sure)
#weekinthelife (caption from Instagram post)
10:30 AM #weekinthelife#groceryshopping
This is the face I got when I told him we would not be getting jello at the store. Forget about the fact that I had already agreed to hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner and Transformers fruit snacks (caption from Instagram)
It was after 11:00 when we picked up Kaitlyn so I had Tyler pick out something for lunch while we were at the grocery store. Lunchables with nachos for him, Lunchables with turkey sandwich for her (not one she had tried before but she compliment Tyler on his selection for her), and sushi for me (this has become my standard when I want to grab a quick lunch from the grocery store. I’ve very happy that a couple of my favorite grocery stores have a good selection made in-house). Tyler and I ate our lunch while waiting for Kaitlyn in the parking lot of the pool and Kaitlyn ate hers on the drive home. Kaitlyn was still in a good mood after having a good time at practice.
11:55 AM spur of the moment decision to go wander the boardwalk at #rockcliff and see how high the river is. The kids couldn’t remember being there before though I know we did some exploring just last summer.#ministaycation
We wandered around for 30-40 minutes until I started worrying about sunburn and remembered we had groceries in the car. The kids thought it was great so this day definitely goes in the #momwin category
On the way home we stopped at the Rec Center to sign the kids up for Pre-comp swim team then again at the Post Office where Kaitlyn ran inside to get the mail. She likes to get the mail while Tyler prefers to let me do it.
1:30PM The kids helped me put the groceries away then headed out to the back yard to play baseball with Bambi’s help.
The kids played outside, then on screens, then outside, and so on the rest of the afternoon and evening. At the end of the day I realized Kaitlyn was looking a little pink but it was too late at that point. Dad and I insisted she put on some aloe but though the sunburn was obvious it didn’t hurt her at all that night or the next day – got lucky with that one.
I would have to say this was the best day of the week – beautiful weather, happy kids, enough to keep us entertained but a slow enough pace to feel relaxed and easy. This may have been the day I took the largest number of photos as well – so many things to document and enjoy. I love Saturdays.
The day in numbers:
-total photos taken: 99 with my phone and 55 with the DSLR
-6782 steps taken
-53 miles driven
If you’ve missed any of my earlier Week in the Life posts feel free to check them out or follow me on Instagram as I’ve been posting photos as I go along this week.
-2016 – Monday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Tuesday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Wednesday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Thursday’s Words and Photos
-2016 – Friday’s Words and Photos
-2015 – Main Post with links to Words and Photos for each day