I wrapped up my photos and journaling for week 13 of my Project 365 album last week and now I’m officially 25% of the way through this year. Woo hoo! Go Wendy! Yes, I’m a couple of weeks behind (last week was the fifteenth week of the year), but considering I’ve barely completed one third of the pages in my previous two Project 365 albums, this is quite an accomplishment for me.
I have a few thoughts on the album now that I’ve been working on it for awhile that I thought I’d share:
Putting Layouts Together
Though I’m consistently on top of the photography portion of this project, I’ve noticed that some weeks I’m really excited to put the album pages together and some weeks it feels like a slog. When I’m less enthused about working on the album I tend to let it slide for a week or so, but once I’m back in the groove I appreciate that the pocket pages I’m using (Becky Higgins’ Project Life photo pocket pages) make it pretty easy to pull each layout together quickly.
My least favorite part of putting the layouts together is picking which photos I’m going to use for the week. Sometimes I dislike it because I didn’t take many photos and the ones I do have are boring. Other weeks I’ve taken thousands of photos and the thought of choosing which ones to use, trying to squeeze extra pictures onto the layout and figuring out where everything goes is overwhelming. Once I have a plan and I print out the photos it comes together really quickly though.
I love the weeks when I have memorabilia and other stuff to stick in page protectors in the middle of the spread. The kids love looking at those layouts — particularly the ones that feature their art — and I think they will be really interesting to look back on years in the future.
Having a camera phone with me at all times has made taking a daily photo about 1000% easier. I haven’t counted, but I think that more than half of the photos I’ve used in this year’s album are phone photos. Though I much prefer the quality of the the photos I take with my DSLR, I am so grateful to be able to pull out my iPhone and snap a photo whenever I see a story that I want to remember unfolding before me.
Speaking of my iPhone, I use it to help with this project in a few other ways too. First, I’ve set up a reminder to take a photo at 2 pm every day. This has saved me from forgetting to take my daily photo many, many times. I chose 2 pm because the light is good, it doesn’t interrupt me when I’m working, and I’m usually out and about so I have my phone with me and I’m often doing something kind of interesting at that time.
I also rely heavily on an iPhone app called Momento. Momento pulls all my posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr into once central place. I can also use it to save notes about my day that I might not want to share on social media. Later, when I am putting my weekly layouts together I can go back, look at my week and remember events that I’d forgotten about or read the jokey little items I’ve posted online. I love it for remembering the funny little things my kids say. These are exactly the kind of memories I want to save in my Project Life album.
One Last Thing
Finally, there is one aspect of this project that I’m not particularly keen on. Since diving into this in January, I’ve abandoned all other forms of scrapbooking. I’m not making individual layouts. I’m not working on mini albums. And I haven’t done anything with my 40th Year Project since the beginning of the year. Part of me is very happy to have the last three months documented so thoroughly, but another part is also sad because I like doing those other projects too. Normally when something falls off my list, I don’t sweat it too much because I know I’ll get back to it eventually when inspiration strikes. But in this case I’m bothered because I feel like some of the bigger stories in our lives are being pushed aside because documenting all these little stories takes so much time and energy. I suppose this, like everything else in life, is a matter of priorities. Maybe if I stopped feeding the kids I’d have more free time?
On to this week’s pages! Here, I express my love for the gardeners our landlord hired. I also took a picture of my Monday morning shopping cart and listed out all the stuff I bought. The final photo is one of me in my new glasses the day they arrived. I’m really hoping this will be the last glasses photo I take for a long, long while because I’m bored of them now. I had two extra slots to fill, so I added one of the filler cards from my Project Life core kit and had Augie draw me a picture. As usual, he drew a rocket ship.
The stories on the next page are about one of our Kiwi Crate activities, a laptop date with my friend Heather, Wyatt’s pinewood derby and a family trip to the California Academy of Sciences.