I often wonder how my Cuban grandmother spent her days. I wonder what she cared about and how she decided what to have for dinner.
I have stories, of course, from my mom, about how she would make desserts every night. Homemade desserts EVERY NIGHT, people! Doesn't that just sound glorious?
I know some things just by word of mouth. She had an old coffee can that was the perfect size for a flan. She kept chickens. The lights in their tiny port town would be turned off at 9 o'clock, but she would continue to read late into the night by candlelight.
How I wish I knew more about their lifestyle. I am absolutely fascinated by the minutia of those lives that came before mine.
This is one of the reasons why I blog. I know my kids are fascinated by how I grew up and so I write "now and then" type stories. But more than that, I know that my own ordinary days will be important for them to remember. So I write about the real things we do and the places we go and the people we do them with.
Last week I decided to take up the challenge by Ali Edwards to document A Week in the Life. The idea was to take photos of all the activities we did, what we ate, where we went, what we bought, etc. And then make notes about each day. And finally to compile all this information into a photo album.
Can I just tell you that I really enjoyed and got into it.
So this week I am sorting through the hundreds (!) of photos I took last week.
The observations I made about the week were nothing eye-opening, but I'm glad I stopped and paid attention.
I love the familiar rhythms and routines that make up each day in particular.
For example, every Monday I change the sheets on our beds and put up fresh towels in the bathrooms. This particular ritual makes me profoundly happy. I have such a sense of accomplishment. If nothing else gets done for the rest of the week, on Mondays there are always fresh sheets on our beds and all is right in my little world. =D
So, I documented the process and made notes about each thing I did and the places I went and the people I love.
I took photos of my bed looking all fresh and inviting with the clean sheets that, of course, you can't see, but I know are there and which make me so happy.
And I found that we drink a lot of coffee.
And I did a lot of driving. (Don't worry! Jon took the photo.)
And I admit that we occasionally eat fast food. (Well, if you can even think that the perfection that is an In N Out Burger could possibly be in the same category as other fast food places….)
Some days I pumped gas (which, by the way, I totally hate, but that's not important right now).
And witnessed drama. =D
Here are Lucy and Jonathan in the high school drama classroom playing a
spirited Improv game
of "Playground Dis."
I tended to my garden.
And I worked out. (Actually, I try to get out of this as often as my conscience will allow, but that's not important right now, either.)
I made phone calls.
And of course, I blogged. (Here's a screenshot from last week.)
Laundry was a constant.
As were dirty dishes.
And we also had a house guest. =D
I documented grocery shopping.
And took photos of my people in their natural habitats. 😉
Those are just a few of the random snippets of my days.
I'm working on the album this week and I've decided to put it together digitally and upload it to Shutterfly for printing.
In the album, I will include my meal plans for the week, grocery receipts, bits and pieces of conversations, and even a look at the weather (from my iPhone app).
Each day's photos will be spread over four pages. I've only just started, but this is what the general layouts will look like with photos and words.
To keep it simple, I'm using Ali's Week in the Life Layered Templates from Designer Digitals and pulling the book together using Photoshop Elements. I used digital papers – Manchester, and Laurel.
I'm quite pleased by how it's all coming together.
My own grandchildren will not have to wonder how we spent our days. Or wonder about the things I cared about and why.
And the feeling of what I'm contributing to that continuity feels almost as good as fresh sheets every Monday. 😉