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Thinking About The Ways We Evolve

Remember when I used to “just write” more in this space? 

I do. 

For those of you who have been around for years - maybe even back to the beginning in 2004 - thank you for still being here. Things - so many things - are obviously very different from when I first started this blog. Think of all the things in your own life that have happened over the last 14 years: children, work, family, health, etc. 

Fourteen years. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ways we evolve: personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually, etc.

I know there are some of you out there who wish this space still contained the same kind of story-sharing as it used to in past years. To be honest, there are times I really miss it and times I have no idea what to say and times when it’s the last thing I want to do. I have drafts here on my computer of posts I’ve started and abandoned for one reason or another over the years.

These days I do most of my story sharing via Instagram. I like it over there. I like the visual nature and I think it’s felt like the right place for me for a number of years to share more personal pieces of my story (and to then copy + paste my words into many of the projects I create). This blog space has become more of an archive of past posts along with current posts about projects and the products that support those products - the business piece of my life. That’s simply been the evolution of my business. I know it's not the same as it was before and I know some of you wish that was different. 

I still tell my stories on layouts and I still do projects and I still document my life and the lives of people in my family in a variety of projects very regularly. I share December Daily® and Week In The Life™ and Day In The Life™ and Project Life® spreads here and tell many other stories within the Story Subscription and within the One Little Word® classroom content each month. I also do a whole lot more design work and focus on a steady stream of content creation for workshops and take care of the business part of the business. All of that has been an evolution of the way my business has grown and changed over the years. 

A lot of times we want things to stay the same. We may even beg for them to remain the same - man, I have been there. Most of the time though, it’s not in the cards no matter how much we want it. Things change and grow and end and stagnate and then there are new beginnings. Sometimes it’s easy and other times it’s super hard. 

So why am I writing about this now? 

I think I’m writing it about it now becuase I’ve been thinking a lot about writing for the sake of writing and I've been taking a good hard look at a bunch of "spaces" in my life as part of my journey with my One Little Word® for 2018

My life does look different now. My family has expanded and there are more things to consider than there was back in the beginning. How do I tell these stories? Which pieces are mine to tell? So maybe it will be baby steps. 

I guess what I want you to know is that I get it. If you have missed a more personal connection in this space, I understand. And thank you. Thank you for being a part of this space for how ever long you have been here. Thank you for giving me space to figure this (all whatever “this” is) out as I go along. It’s how we grow and evolve. Thank you for sticking around.

Sometimes it’s simply time to start again. 


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95 thoughts

  1. SusanBowers says…
    08/15/2018

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I'm one of those who has missed this. These words of yours, here, on the blog, that inspire, encourage, and simply enjoy - immensely. Blessings to you wherever you are in life and right now.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      Thank you Susan.

  2. JoTeves says…
    08/15/2018

    I've been around since 2011, and of course I have noticed changes but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. It's natural, and good, for things to change, and I have felt inspired and motivated by so many of the things you have shared with us. Keep going in a way that works for you and I wish you all the best!

    Edited to correct the year I discovered your blog

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      Thank you!

  3. SherryLynn says…
    08/15/2018

    Looking at 64 years in 3 weeks...I have constantly evolved throughout my life to where I am now. THANK GOD! I have been so blessed to change and grow. I joined you late in 2015 at the beginning of a desire to organize recently inherited photos so they would not be be “left” to my children. OLW in 2016 was CHANGE, 2017 I worked to UNBURDEN, and 2018 I CONTINUE this process. Along the way I am doing Project Life and have also discovered 𝗕𝗂𝖻𝗅𝖾 Journaling which helps use up my stash in addition to upping my photography skills thank to you, Ali, and Becky Higgins. BTW I love IG stories and do my own. Sheree Kimes

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      Wonderful! Thank you Sheree.

    2. laura_g_ says…
      08/15/2018

      Ali's Today and Yesterday class is a great class to take if you're scrapping inherited photos... I'm working on getting my kids albums finished and turned over to them, so quit doing PL for now..they're ages 35-42...

  4. kalibetsy says…
    08/15/2018

    Ali

    Yep I am one of those people who has been around for a long time (is it really 14 years?) and would love to have more of your stories, but I get it, things change (as much as I want everything to stay the same). Also I think as your children get older they may not appreciate so much of their story being told. I know that my children (who are in their 20s) have asked me to not share anything about them on social media, so I am very careful about including them in my posts and always discuss it with them first. I, for one, support you in whatever you choose to do and how you share bits and pieces is your business!!! Thank you also for designing products, classes and projects that move our stories forward and for tirelessly encouraging people to tell their stories. I know many people like to tell their stories for others to read or look at, but I do it for myself. I have often said if I lost everything (fire, earthquake, whatever) my projects will still be worth it, because they have helped me so much. So again thank you and thank you for sharing these thoughts today.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      Yes, kids getting older is definitely a piece of the equation :).

  5. mtercha says…
    08/15/2018

    I have loved this blog, too. It has been my first stop on many mornings for 5 years now, I still feel like an All newbie. But I get it, too. Thanks for sharing the digital art. Goes towards things I've been thinking about lately, too. Thanks. Michelle t

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      Thanks Michelle.

  6. swimfin says…
    08/15/2018

    Yes. Yes! And yes! One of the things I love about you, and why I follow you, is you speak of life-real life! You are open about it, about the changes that happen, about journeys good and difficult, about growing, taking stops and starts. I have stayed because of the evolution. I write more In My scrapbooks because of your inspiration. I write more period. So I am excited for this place-wherever it goes! Thank you!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      Thank you!

    2. Lorretta says…
      08/16/2018

      Yes! Ditto to that! Your blog is my first stop in the morning, not only because of your beautiful work but also because of your authenticity. It’s rare and so refreshing.

  7. nerdgirl says…
    08/15/2018

    Would love to see more writing. Your blog has, in my eyes, basically turned into an advertisement and it makes me actually want to spend less money on your website. I guess to me the relationship is very one sided. Completely understand that this is a business but I feel taken for granted, like I’m just expected to want to keep supporting your business without getting anything in return. For example, I’m a loyal Starbucks customer and they weekly give me opportunities to earn more points or get drinks cheaper. They know they have to keep doing things to bring people back again and again. I’m not sure your business is set up that way and using your blog for more than selling products is one way to reward loyal customers.

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      It has definitely been used over the last few years more as a way to convey information as my business has evolved and my responsibilities have changed (you can call that advertising or you can call it communication). I don't view it as completely one-sided since I have and continue to share many project how-to's for Project Life®, for December Daily®, for Week In The Life™, and for Day In The Life™. Yes, those do generally include products I offer but they are also showing you ideas on how to use those products. In most businesses the relationship is that you pay for something and something is provided in return - do you feel taken for granted generally when you purchase things? It sounds to me like you are talking more about wanting a reward program or discounts vs. me writing more about my life here - or do you see my writing about my life as a way to value you/reward you as a customer? Just wanting to understand your comment a bit better.

    2. nerdgirl says…
      08/15/2018

      The sharing of projects can be very sporadic and I love those posts. I spend a lot of time here in December. But there have been long periods where it seems like the only things that have been posted to the blog are mid-month for story kits and then the design team (and design team posts are ones I don't read).

      I guess I view the blog as the reward program. Sharing how your use your products in projects. Sharing books you're reading (I look forward to the first of the month to see what books I can add to my list). Sharing your life, to whatever extent you feel comfortable, is creating a connection and without that connection this is just another store I can chose to or not chose to spend my money. For example, you sharing your health story helped me. I recently had a lump on my neck, but because of your sharing about your thyroid problems, I didn't worry it was anything other than that because of your story. (I'm currently in the process of getting a diagnosis). You have this great platform and ability to share your story that connects with people.

      If I have a connection to a company, I tend to be freer with how much money I spend with that company. I hope this rambling makes sense.

    3. AliEdwards says…
      08/15/2018

      Totally makes sense! Thanks for taking the time to respond and for continuing to be here :).

    4. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…
      08/18/2018

      I value everyone's opinions, just wanted to throw in that you may want to check out the design team posts - I think they really add a lot of value for me. To use the Starbucks analogy (I love Starbucks too) - the design team posts are like a free taste of what you can do with your Story kits - or if you don't subscribe there are still great ideas on topics to scrap, heartfelt journaling and lots of scrap-liftable layout formats. We all tend to have set ways to put layouts together, so for me the design team posts help me try new ways to get photos and words down on paper.

  8. paulette1980 says…
    08/15/2018

    14 years... yup, I'm one of those :) I've cried & laughed & clapped & cried again with all the parts of your journey that you have so humbly shared with us.... Just keep doing what you need to do for you Ali,the ebb & flow will take care of the rest... I miss the "big" story telling blog but the environment is still safe, familiar & comfortable, that what matters to me... you still keep it real...xo

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. jemi says…
    08/15/2018

    I found you in 2011, exactly when your life was imploding even though it took you a few months to share that with us. (I will forever wonder how bloggers (like you were then) could share their lives in such a public space.) In mid-2011, I was preparing for my last year of work before retirement. Now, my life has downsized: without work, with grown grandchildren-a different kind of empty nest, laughing at my 50-year old children who are now becoming "no fun" like they said I was. I do miss you; I have to give myself lectures not to buy your monthly kits just so I can keep up with you and yours. One Little Word and posts here help. Ali, you are obviously so happy. Embrace your Space. I'll be here wishing you well.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. nightmer says…
    08/15/2018

    I have been here since the beginning and so has my sister. I feel like I know you and your family personally even though in reality we have never met. When my sister and I were in Oregon (first time ever for me) for a wedding this summer I was so excited to actually see the Willamette River and then started looking for all the other "colors" of my Ali Edwards inks. My sister and I even joked that we should make a side trip to Eugene to drop in on Ali! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing all that you do even as the path of your life has changed as has my own. I will continue to follow you as long as you care to share. God bless you and your family!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. shelleeyore says…
    08/15/2018

    Ali,
    I've been around since I took your Week in the Life Class at CKU so many years ago! You have continued to inspire me, even as your life and products evolve. Yes, I love seeing what you create and reading what you write about on your blog. But I think if things didn't change over time we would all become bored and disinterested. Thanks for continuing to engage your fans/followers/customers even as your life changes and evolves. I, for one, will be here. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. chp97 says…
    08/15/2018

    Love that you are always evolving Ali. I’ve been following your blog a long time, I love how you find ways to share your story with your fans/friends. I enjoy seeing what you create & share in all social media. Thank you for always sharing your kindness & love of learning & being creative with the world ❤️ I too love going back to Instagram to remember the stories I really want to tell. I appreciate that you let us follow along there as well as I’ve learned so many lessons from your inspiring stories too. One day I hope to finally be able to meet you & say thank you in person as I love what you do!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. charris says…
    08/15/2018

    I have not been around that long - only since 2015, but I very quickly became an AE groupie of sorts. I say that because i have gotten so much creative inspiration from your blog, your work, and your perspective on life. Although I am much older than you are, my life journey has in many ways resembled yours, and you have had such a logical and healthy perspective during it all and celebrated your life as all parts of life evolved. I totally understand that particularly with an expanded family, not all of their stories are yours to share. Your blog just as it is now still brings a great value in both creative inspiration, product introductions, and great ways to use the products. It is a constant source of education, and I applaud you for that. You have to be able to be inspired by your work in your own way in order to continue to provide such a great product. You will find your way and we will be right there cheering you on. Thank you Ali, for the wonderful note.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Beejay22 says…
    08/15/2018

    I've only been with you since 2014 so while I do missing the writings, love your style of writing I can definitely go back and see your earlier posts if a need a fix. You have taught me so much about change and growing. I'm embarking on a new path with a personal trainer/coach and I believe my word for 2019 will be GROW. I want to grow every year but next year will be a big one for me and I'm just 57 lol. Lots of change for you and this community to embrace. Keep evolving and although I don't follow you on IG maybe I will change and start to do that. Keep up the great products and with DITL, December Daily, WITL, OLW and Project Life as I love to see those layouts. I send only the Best and Greatest Wishes for you Ali and for the rest of this community in the coming years.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. susan_rosen says…
    08/15/2018

    We can only move forward. I’ve been around, since the beginning. I have a picture with you from a very early workshop telling me “it will be ok”. And it has been, for both of us. Actually, it’s been amazing! Thank you for sharing your heart, talents and story. Your perspective on seeing the beauty in our everyday stories has had a HUGE impact on my life. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. suzq910 says…
    08/15/2018

    All these years later and yes, we have and are all evolving. I was here before Anna was born and have followed since. I watched as you dealt with the hand that life gave you with all its ups and downs. You've been a friend I've never had the pleasure of seeing in real life. Thankfully we have the internet. I have always appreciated your insights, kind words, thoughtful approaches and motivation to tell my stories. I have purchased many of your items and especially enjoyed using the story kits. Alas, my retirement income has stagnated while everything has gone up in cost and I have not been able to purchase crafty stuff for a while now. I will continue to read your online contributions and hope that you find a path in your life that is both satisfying and enriching. From the outside looking in, your life looks pretty good. I am happy for you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. lucrecer says…
    08/15/2018

    I think we are on the same wavelength, friend. I have been itching to write like I used to, just for me and the sake of recording my stories. I have started a daily log to help me do it in a way that is fun and eases me back into the practice.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. hgauvin says…
    08/15/2018

    I don't even want to think about how long I've been around! Simon was little and Anna wasn't even a thought. They've grown, you've grown, I've grown and my family has grown. It's all about evolution. I've stayed this long because I love the content you provide and the inspiration within that content. Honestly, I haven't noticed the change that much. I like change or, rather, some change. I like new things whether it's something old that's cleaned up to look new or something completely new. Change is good. This blog is good. I just like it here. That is all.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…
      08/18/2018

      Same for me!

  19. laura_g_ says…
    08/15/2018

    Loved this post...have been missing daily blogs from you,but I get it! So I started looking at Instagram :) really expanding my horizons!;) I've been following you since 2005 or 06?? Since before Anna was born...keep on inspiring us and encouraging us!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. LynneGillis says…
    08/15/2018

    I've been with you since the beginning, and have found the ebbs and flows of your writing to actually be quite comforting, as they have mirrored my own ebbs and flows of enthusiasm for various parts of my life (and/or time to act on that enthusiasm). It has somehow felt like "permission" to be less than 100% on 100% of the time, if that makes any sense.

    I love your writing. I love your perspective. And I love that you are coming back to this space.

    Onward...

    Lynne

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. cruisin_ali says…
    08/15/2018

    I have been around for many many years. I'm a multiple kit subscriber, I've taken all your classes, I do December Daily, PL, Week in the Life, Day in the life and I'm an active participant on your Facebook group and agree with everyone but I will admit, I agree with nerdgirl. As you have said many times, there will always be "more product out there" but in my opinion, your blog, your story and the connection you have created with your "followers" is a huge business asset that sets you apart in this industry and for that, I am truly grateful. You connect with people - not everyone has this talent. You will find the right balance - you always do. GoAliGo!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. patowle says…
    08/15/2018

    I started following you right around the time your husband left. It was your openness and vulnerability during that time that actually drew me to you, because I wanted my memory-keeping to be real for my children as well, and your style wasn't one that I had really encountered before. I see the changes coming as a result of your brand/business growing. And that is something to be celebrated! Growing a business to its fullest potential is to be admired and applauded. You still share and provide inspiration, but it comes in many different forms now, and I for one appreciate the inspiration from the many areas. Change is normal. As my mom always told me (mostly during hard times lol) "nothing stays the same forever". Thanks for all you do.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. RhondaN says…
    08/15/2018

    Ali thank you for your honesty. I have been a huge follower all of these years, watched Simon and Anna grow into wonderful people, cheered you on through the struggles and so happy for you on your marriage to Aaron and combining 2 families.
    There have been many times that I wanted to quit documenting my life and my family journies but everytime I come here to your blog and now through your IG account and to really be honest on my part all of your products I have stuck in there. And thank you for always inspiring me and please keep sharing with us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Mbcyoga says…
    08/15/2018

    Life is a journey, with twists and turns, hills and valleys...your path is yours to find as you travel. We love sharing part of it with you but it is yours...love the saying..starting again pulls us away from our comfort zone but unless we do we live the same day over and over...hugs as you find your space!! Marybeth

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. YolandaL says…
    08/15/2018

    I’m here for it. Whatever it looks like. I like the glimpses we get here and the different pieces of life we get to see on Instagram or by following you on a backyard tour. In just a few short years you’ve grown a brand and blended a family. Of course you can’t give us a play-by-play. So much of that HAS to stay private. I doubt I’d look at you the same if you were here, telling it all, with no sense of boundaries or respect for all those little hearts running around your house.

    Though I also get the pull that comes from wanting to return to something more free or more intimate. I, personally, miss The Weekend Lens and your Around Here posts. But, I’m content as a spectator. I love watching your business and brand evolve and getting a chance to root for a powerful and creative entrepreneur from the sidelines.

    Reply 0 Replies

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