week in the life 2014 : some thoughts on the process

November 6, 2014

Last week I decided to take part in the intense documentation project called week in the life that was started by one of my favorite memory keeping bloggers, Ali Edwards. Here are some thoughts on my first time taking part, along with some of my favorite photos from the week.

week in the life thoughts

Early morning list-making and coffee-drinking.

week in the life thoughts

She had just woken up. She is attached to this dog and blanket right now. / Liam at the doctor.

week in the life thoughts


week in the life thoughts

Bible study and nursing.

week in the life thoughts

A sticker Meredith gave me that I had forgotten was there. / Punching the code at daycare to pick up the kids.

week in the life thoughts

My current desk at work.

week in the life thoughts

Computer time while David was on kid duty. It was a gorgeous day so I kept the back door open.

week in the life thoughts

Walking outside to take a breather during a toddler meltdown. 

week in the life thoughts

Dressed up for picture day. Liam thinks it’s hilarious when Meredith jumps on the bed. / Just hanging out.

week in the life thoughts

Unmade bed.

week in the life thoughts

Family portrait after church.


This is a project that had been on my radar for a couple of years but it always seemed too difficult. This year, even the day before the challenge begun, I almost decided not to do it. I was very intimidated.

I had some perfectionist tendencies within me that I had to let go of. The fact that I don’t have a nice camera. That I might not be able to keep up. That I might forget to write anything down for an entire morning or an entire day. That my house wasn’t decorated how I want it to be. But in the end, I decided to go for it. I reminded myself that anything documented was better than nothing.

I didn’t do much to prepare ahead of time. I printed out Ali’s daily sheets to take notes. I jotted down a few reminders of pictures I wanted to take and stories I wanted to capture. And then I just did it. During the week, I only focused on documentation. After a couple of days it was already a habit, so much so that the Monday after the project ended I had the urge to continue.

I wrote down what we did each day in a detailed manner, and I also wrote a lot of reflective observations to put everything in context. I don’t have a great memory so I knew if I didn’t write stuff down I wouldn’t remember what happened or why I took the photo.

(My mother-in-law asked me why I wanted the family pictures after church and I told her I was doing a project where I intensely documented a week in our lives. Then I had to add “…even more than I usually do” because to them I’m already extreme. :))

My only camera is my iPhone so that’s what I used, and I didn’t stress about it. I tried to do some self-timer shots using the TimerCam app, and they turned out okay. I would really like to get an iPhone tripod.

Halfway through the week I decided to order Ali’s week in the life album kit (without the album). The stuff inside is more colorful than I usually go for, but I thought this would be a fun opportunity to do something different than what I do with Project Life. Right now I am even thinking of doing completely black and white photos and letting the journal cards and embellishments provide the color. This approach also appeals to me because candid, iPhone photos aren’t the greatest quality and black and white can really make a difference in minimizing that.

The week that I documented was, overall, a pretty normal one. Coffee. Bible study. Work. I had easy days in the clinic and busy ones. I pumped. We nebulized. We did a hundred puzzles (or, rather, one puzzle a hundred times). There were some meltdowns. Some very sweet moments. Family dinner at home almost every night. Arguments over bedtime almost every night. Chores on Saturday. Rest on Sunday.

Then there were a few things out of the ordinary. A doctor’s visit for Liam (although, that’s kind of normal lately). Halloween. No Friday night dinner with my parents, but my mom accompanied us trick-or-treating. We saw a play for date night. And Liam crawled for the first time.

I am so glad that I did this. It was much easier to keep up with than I expected. After only a couple of days it was pretty much habit, so much so that the Monday after the project was done, I had the urge to continue. Using my phone camera made it easy to capture little things.

In the coming weeks, I plan to put together a mini album for this project. If I do this yearly, I think it will be the perfect companion to Project Life, which gives more of a general overview of our lives and hits the high points. This has the nitty gritty, the routines, the little things that don’t normally get documented. I love it.

I’ll be sharing my album with you for sure – my goal is to finish it before Thanksgiving because at that point I want to move on to my holiday minibook. I haven’t been this excited about something in awhile.

I do encourage you to consider doing this challenge yourself. I chose to take the plunge during the “official” week because I thought I needed the encouragement, but it can obviously be done at any time. What you do with the photos and stories is up to you, but I can already tell it’s going to be something I treasure.

Posted in: personal, documenting, week in the life

Comments on week in the life 2014 : some thoughts on the process

  1. 1

    From Nora:

    I’ll have to check out the timer app; I wondered how you got such awesome shots of you at work/in the morning.

    Also, LOVE your kitchen cabinets. I’ve always wanted white ones. Maybe someday!

  2. 2

    From Melanie:

    I decided last minute to do this, too! I also had to let go of perfect, I could have documented way more details and taken more pictures, but maybe next time. I’m not sure at all what I am going to do with it now, it’s great how you set deadlines for yourself to get things done.

    I also was surprised how quickly it became a habit, all this week I have totally been taking notes in my head and preparing to go write down what we did the last hour!

  3. 3

    From Kathleen:

    I know, I’ve been the same way this week! Haha. I have to give myself deadlines or nothing will ever get done. Do you think you might make some sort of scrapbook or photobook?

  4. 4

    From Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and apprehensions going into this project. It’s easy to see the end result on someone’s blog and think “they have it all together” when really, we’re all just hanging in there. I hope Liam starts feeling better soon! Having to take a baby to the doctor all the time is a drag. Sam has been getting pretty frequent ear infections and it’s a real problem no that we live so far away from our doctor!

  5. 5

    From megabrooke:

    What a fun project! I’m sure some days (or weeks) were tougher than others to stick to it, but what a fun idea and an awesome collection of memories to have forever to look back on!

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