On Sunday afternoon I decided on an absolute whim to take part in the Week in the Life project, which is a documentary project that you do for…wait for it…one week. The purpose is to document the every day: your routines, the “normal” stuff of life that you probably don’t take pictures of or put in your scrapbooks otherwise. The result is like a little time capsule in scrapbook form (or whatever you decide to do with your words and photos at the end of it).
Having two young children means that our daily rhythms change frequently, so it seemed like a good idea to me to hop on the band wagon this week and get to documenting.
These are just a handful of my photos from yesterday. I’m Instagramming many, but not all of them (are you on Instagram? You can find me and follow along here: @alexishelmrath) I ended up with 46 photos on my phone and a few from my big camera and I’m stunned at how many of the photos I LOVE. Because we didn’t do anything special at all yesterday. We only left the house to go grocery shopping. But it doesn’t matter!
I started off as you are apparently legally obligated to do with a coffee shot. It was either this or a picture of my mug viewed from above, but I decided to go with the one that showcased what a lovely mess we have on the countertop: vitamins, coconut oil, cat treats, and a cantaloupe that desperately needs to be cut up.
Natalie woke up with her usual glorious bedhead.And Olivia was not to be outdone with the cuteness. OOH GURRRL.Natalie stole my phone while I was getting Olivia dressed. She loves the Spotify app and can operate it almost better than I can. She can’t pronounce the word “music,” so she says, “Maha! Maha!” and then dances like a crazy person. Her current favorite songs include “Jump Around” and “500 Miles.”
Fattypants Beckham.After breakfast Mom came over to visit and to hold Olivia so I could make a menu and a grocery list. Having her right across the street has been such a godsend and it’ll be bittersweet to be even 15 minutes away. #spoiledYesterday was my first solo trip to the grocery store with both girls, and I was a little bit nervous. Natalie can be a bit of a handful when she sets her mind to it. I always wear Olivia in the wrap when we go out and picking up a flailing 30-pound toddler without squishing her sister or throwing out my back is, shall we say, challenging.
Fortunately all was well because I remembered to bring my old iPhone, which we’ve stripped of everything except Spotify and Fisher Price apps. Natalie was perfectly content to play with that while we shopped.
And then she was finally asleep, so I hopped to and did Olivia’s weekly photo in about ten minutes. Just take a look at that setup, laundry on the floor and all. Don’t try this at home, kids; I’m a professional.
I tried to put Olivia down for a nap to see if I could synchronize their sleeping, but it failed miserably. Olivia stared at me like this for 20 minutes, and then Natalie woke up just as her sister was finally nodding off. So what else could we do but have a snack?
We hung out for a bit and watched some Daniel Tiger before it was time to make dinner. Natalie joined me in the kitchen and played with the broken crayons and pegs in her treasure box. Yesterday I learned that a magic eraser will remove crayon from just about anything.DADA! Reunited and it feels so good.Dinner was a non-event and I didn’t take any pictures. Bedtime was a TERRIBLE event and I also didn’t get any pictures. Natalie didn’t want Will to do anything (he usually handles Natalie’s bedtime routine) and was sobbing for me to change her diaper and read books with her. I agreed, but she was already so worked up that it took a long time for her to calm down. And then, to her utter frustration, I couldn’t tell what books she was asking for. Normal toddler pronunciation + a blubbering kid = I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU WANT. Finally figured out what books she wanted (two new books from her Great Grandmother about a dog named Biscuit) and we read those together. Disaster not even close to averted but she forgave me.
After that, good god, give me some cake. Will and I chilled out with Olivia, watched John Oliver on HBO, and then went to bed around 10 p.m.
My takeaways from day 1:
- Getting in front of the camera takes a ton of extra time, but it’s worth it.
- Looking for different angles to better show whatever story I’m telling with that particular photo is a really fun challenge. I definitely fall back on certain ways to shoot certain things, so getting a little more creative was a lot of fun. I also found myself taking much wider shots than I would ordinarily to include more of the scene (even if that scene includes dirty laundry).
- The natural light in this house really sucks and makes early morning pictures pretty much impossible.
- There really is magic in the every day and you can totally find it even if you only leave the house for groceries.
I won’t be blogging every day of this challenge but I wanted to post day 1. Are you taking part? Leave a link in the comments — I’d love to see what your day looks like!