Week In The Life™ 2015 | Monday Words & Photos

Just a couple of details before we dive in to my Monday words and photos:

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 themes I noticed today with my own photos as I went back through them tonight: hands ( photos of things in hands as well as hands doing things), shots looking down, people sitting around the table, and embracing the dark and light.

In sharing my photos today I'm going to share different things I might have been thinking related to taking the shot or the story that lead me there or another observation. 

Here's a look at my Monday, starting with the ceiling fan in the photo above which is pretty much the first thing I see each morning: 

So hard to get up today. I'm a morning person and it was harder than usual. My kids don't go back to school until after Labor Day so we are still on a summer schedule (which means very little schedule) but I still have to get up to work. This shot is with my iPhone using the lesser of the two cameras (hence the grain).

I love this bedding - sheets from Target and stripped duvet from Ikea. 

Dressing in my closet. Self-timer with camera sitting on my bed looking into the closet. 

Yeah, there's a window in my closet. 

As I mentioned above, I'm continuing to work on seeing light and letting the dark be dark and the light be light. This is one of my favorite shots from today.

My Dave's bread was moldy, much to Aaron's dismay, so we went with smoothies instead. 

Daily dose. Thyroid. Birth control. Vitamin D. Allergies. Omega 3.

Aaron and Audrey and me at the table. In and out. Here and there. It's part of our lives right now. Sometimes it's just me here in this house and sometimes there are seven of us. We talk about taking the leap. Fear is currently holding me back; love keeps me moving forward. 

It was not lost on me when I uploaded this photo that the main headline in my local paper read "room to grow."

Aaron and Audrey move on with their day and Katie arrives. 

We head upstairs. Email. Facebook. Conversations. Laying out the plan for the day. Chatting. 

I always seem to have more stuff on my side of the table.

Waiting for the kids to return home after being gone on a camping adventure with Chris. 

Welcoming Anna (Woody, Aaron's dog, was helping).

Chris giving Simon a big hug before leaving. 

Hugging and loving and them giving me the gift of a photo of the three of us. 

This is what we do. 

A major favorite shot of the day for me. I moved her room around last week and did some re-organizing in there when she was gone this past weekend so that when she came home she'd get to see things new again (mainly toys separated into baskets with like things: ponies in one basket, other animals in another, Playmobil people in another). It worked.

Today when she came home she grabbed the iPad and chilled out in her bed for awhile. 

I'm conscious of what re-entry might feel like for Anna and Simon. I don't know exactly what it feels like because having more than one house was not part of my growing up experience, but I do know what it's like to be gone from the house for awhile and to come home and just want to chill. So I give space for that to both of them. 

And then we usually have popcorn for dinner. 

Simon had lots to chat about. He's pretty much either totally into us or totally not and today he had stuff to share. Mostly it was about how he had saved up enough money from odd jobs at Chris' house to be able to buy a couple new lego sets. He and Katie did some research and we both laughed when he mentioned something about the spinning "wheel of death" while they looked up where  the new Scooby Doo lego sets were available locally on the computer. 

And he was awesome for me in front of the camera today.

Meet Sam-I-Am - our newly adopted 5-year-old cat. He came home with us from our local Humane Society last week officially as Anna's cat. Currently he's living in the office as he acclimates to our house. He hasn't met George yet but he and Woody are getting along just fine when Woody is visiting.

Hanging out. Watching Scooby Doo to get ready for his new lego sets.

Sleeping in one of his favorite spots around the table. 

This one plays and plays and plays. Today I saw her carting this baby doll around (one that I moved to the top of the toy crib pile when cleaning out her room) with the bag and happily engaging in some sort of imaginary play. 

She's one that would almost always prefer a playdate. <

I did a major Costco/farmers market run on Sunday to stock the fridge with food. It has been awhile. I also chopped up a lot of the fruit to make it easier to access. 

Simon likes cantaloupe and watermelon and strawberries. No raspberries or blueberries. 

Anna likes it all but was disappointed that I didn't give her any pineapple. 

Lunch plate. 

Back to work upstairs. 

An order of embroidery floss arrived for a workshop I'm teaching in France next month (the class is called Book Of Joy and we'll be doing a tiny bit of hand-stitching). Katie and I picked out our favorites - hers had a lot more pink than mine. 

Chris took Simon to Toys R Us to pick up the lego sets. He sent me a few photos of the process. He also told me that when they pulled up to my house Simon told him, "I think I'm going to enjoy this."

Books for Anna. Legos for Simon. 

I remind her regularly to please not stand on the couch. She is usually in motion. 

She also loves this corner spot for reading and watching. 

While working during the afternoon I would get up and walk out and see what was happening. 

I love looking into both the kids rooms and capturing them with the door as a frame doing whatever it is they are doing at the time. The whole concept of "looking in" is one of my favorites. 

I also took a few other shots to show you as examples of different angles. 

Here's a shot that is straight down on her head. This one shows more of what she's actually playing with vs. the overall scene. 

And one more where I laid on her bed and held the camera down to be able to include her face.

I like all three - each tell a piece of the story of her play. 

Legos at the table. He almost always builds the sets here and then eventually moves them up to his room (or I move them up to his room when I need the table cleared). 


During the afternoon I filmed a video for the next mini-class release called Love You Because. You can read a bit about it on the mini-class bundle page here

I often put my hand down on my project before filming to make sure the focal point is correct. 

She was ready for a little more interaction by this point in the day. And ready to go to the pool. 

But first George had a vet appointment (Sam has one tomorrow). 

On late-summer afternoons after I've finished up work we often head to our local swimming pool. It was near 6pm when we got there today and it was basically empty. 

Simon often brings a book and does a bit of reading before jumping in. He always looks for the shade. 

We don't stay too long - maybe about an hour. I love that it's so close that we can jump in the car (or bike) and be there in just a few minutes. It's a relaxing place for all of us and seems to help as we transition to evening. 

This is a good example of an imperfect self-timer shot. My focus point was off (on the towel) but I went with it anyway. Reading  Essentialism, which is awesome by the way. 

And no, I didn't get in today.


I'm telling you, every time I do this project there are a few shots that stand out over all the others. This one + the one of Anna in her bed up above are two of those I absolutely adore. 

Man feet. With flip flop tan lines. 

The story here is that this is the first summer Simon has ever worn flip flops. Before this summer he never liked the way they felt on his feet/between his toes and for whatever reason this season I bought him another pair (as I've done every year even when he wouldn't wear them because I guessed/hoped that one day he might like them) and he has worn them just about every day. 

Cleaning up a bit while making dinner. Frozen pizza and fruit. 

Sometimes we eat with legos and books and flowers all over the table. 

Reading out loud to me in my office while I work on this post. Reading = win. 

Playing one more game before bed in the red Pottery Barn over-stuffed chair with his name on it that he's had since he was two or three. 

Uploading, editing, writing this post. Ready for bed. 

Dated word on the top image in this post available here. I just added "words and photos" using the font Mrs. Eaves. 


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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55 thoughts

  1. kholtz says…

    "Leap and the net will appear." Currently doing some leaping here, too...and rooting for you & Aaron.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Lights says…

    I have taken a break from reading blogs. I also enjoy following your WITL posts. I notice Simon wears glasses now. He is around the same age as my son. I just purchased prescription googles. He loves them. I never knew the existed - just thought if share.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Mel_12 says…

    Amazing photos for your Monday!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. photecstasy says…

    Wow! Just wow! Man, I kinda just jumped in mid-day yesterday after some urging from an Instagram buddy. My documentation is nothing like this & my photos are half assed. Motivation to try to capture more this week! Thank you for truly being inspirational!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. dawnmi says…

    Loved so much of these Ali, great photos and stories! We had pizza too and my son Sam started wearing flip flops to the pool and for quick walks out back this summer. That hug with Chris and Simon was so sweet, happy things are still warm and friendly like that with your family. That's great your kids start back later, wish we still did it that way.
    Thanks so much for this project and the sharing ours here, having fun!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. dawnmi says…

    p.s. we eat around all my scrap stuff and things at our table too. I'm actually thinking of doing a mini album about this and calling it "table talks" it's where we all hang out the most and I realized the other day we didn't do that at my house growing up so especially glad to see it now with my kids and family.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. ciahansen says…

    My favorite shots: the vitamins for the day, all the fresh produce on your countertop, the hugs, all the pool photos. And the headline on the newspaper!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. YolandaL says…

    So much beauty and inspiration from these shots of ordinary life. You + Aaron + Audrey at the table and the hug between Simon + Chris both made me well up. It really is a privilege to be allowed in to follow your family's journey, whatever and whenever those next steps turn out to be. But man, your kids are growing up. It's happening so fast.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. IsabelMS says…

    I love your post is full of life, hapiness and some "fear" and a big change. It´s visible if we compare with your last year WITL. Life is a roller coaster as it´s ups and downs but men the good ones are always especial. I love that you share photos of your meds and explain for what they are. I have a thyroid health issue to and is especial to me when someone share that with the world like you did. Many of thyroid sick persons don´t share that they have this illness because it´s one illness that is not visible and many persons don´t believe that we have this illness and many of the symptons we share with them. We always must document the good and the bad days in our lifes because we all have them, know matter our social status and is with them that we grow and evolve. Thank you for sharing your life and your family with us everyday. I hope you and Aaron take the leap, dont be afraid like you said love keeps moving you forward girl.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. dpetrick4 says…

    Love your photos and was so excited to click on your blog this morning to see how your Monday was captured - very inspiring!!! do you have any tips for how you set up your camera (manual focus? Aperture settings?) when doing a self timer shot? because you nail your focus in so many of them and mine are usually pretty off!

    Reply 6 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi - I'm shooting manual. I use the auto-focus option (haven't really ventured into manual focusing). I do the half-way-down with the shutter to see what the focal point is (indicated by the red lights inside) - from there I can see where the focal points are and decide if it's right. I can't do that when I'm doing self-portraits so I usually try to hold my hand out in front of my camera to focus first (again, shutter half-way down - hard to explain this in writing) and then push the button for the self-timer. Any shots from today were at 2.8. The ISO is usually as low as I can get away with, except in those evening shots where I'm trying to keep the dark parts dark (I think those were probably around 1250 or higher). The main thing I adjust is shutter speed - the lower the number the "lighter" the image. Using the shutter speed as the main adjustment tool was something I learned from Me Ra Koh a few years ago that really helped me move into full manual mode.

    2. dpetrick4 says…

      perfect!! thank you!!

    3. abbypimentel says…

      Thanks for the tips about how you shoot -- you seriously just made my day!!!!!!!

    4. abbypimentel says…

      Taking this one step (gulp) further - do you have your camera set to a light metering type? Maybe that helps,too, with getting such crisp light images. Totally trying the shutter speed adjustment!

    5. AliEdwards says…

      Not that I know of ha. I really just use the ISO + shutter speed combo (and usually keep the other set to 2.8).

    6. abbypimentel says…

      Thank you so much for taking the time to give more info -- I really appreciate it, and realize your plate if pretty full right now! :D Loving your photo/words with this projects. I'm loving it!

  11. mtercha says…

    I just wanted to pop back in and say how gracious you are. Truly a gracious person.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. JenHart says…

    Wow, love, love, love this. You are such an inspiration. Last night I was feeling tired when I got home from work and a full day, it was a beautiful day here in north devon too and I thought What would Ali Do? It is becoming an official hashtag/mantra for me now. so #whatwouldalido? she would definitely get off her butt and go for the walk around the harbour that I wanted to do and see the sunset and treat my people to an ice cream. So I did. I know I don't really know what you would do, but that is how you inspire me. And, oh, the photos I got, loves em.
    Have a great wednesday...

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. laoocean says…

    I've been reading your blog on and off for years but never commented before. Your photos and words in this post are very inspiring. It reminds me that you don't need to use lots of fancy scrapbooking supplies to tell an authentic and moving story. Thank you for opening your life to us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. JenBradshaw says…

    Such beautiful pics! I just love all the gorgeous light in your house. Mine is so DARK and I struggle to get photos I love that aren't grainy. I do love capturing us in our home, though, so I just go with it. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. quartetdesigns says…

    Beautiful photos and words! I received my WITL kit today. I'm planning on doing mine next week and will try some different angles for my photos. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. ScrapSony says…

      Glad to see someone else is doing their WITL next week. I'm doing mine next week, too. We're camping this week, which isn't really representative of a week in my life. Besides, I'm doing a separate camping album, so this week's stories really belong there.

  16. merlainne says…

    Not joining you for WITL just yet (moving, sick, etc) but your sweet stories make me want to stop unpacking and go sit with my boys right now. And snap a photo. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. ravenedwards says…

    Oh I love seeing that Little People house on her shelf... One of my favorite things to play with growing up, and I still have it.

    Reply 0 Replies

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