Friday, March 16, 2012


My 6th grad school class (Second Language Acquisition) just finished and we are at the end of the school year, so I am on a little studying break this week. That's about to end though because my 7th class (Grammar) will start on Monday. Before that, I want to write a couple of posts. One thing I really miss while focusing on the degree is writing on my blog.

Recently, because of certain events that have happened, which I cannot get into here, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It gives me great relief and even more motivation to finish the degree and move ahead with my life. Every day, my kids remind of me of why I am doing this, and as we get closer to Ailin's impending "graduation" from daycare/kindergarten in one year, I know that by the time my courses finish, I will be able to be around more for them.

What I want to focus on for this post is my Project Life.

Project Life is now in it's 3rd month, and since it is a work in progress, I am going to discuss the process/design for the last two months. Basically, in trying two different approaches, I'm attempting to see which one works better or if I need to go a different route for the next month. I am not completely happy with either January or February's layouts, but since the purpose of Project Life is to capture real life, I think I have managed to do that in both months. So, it's not all bad.

January 2012 Project Life
My basic approach for January was to collect information for Journaling, tidbits such as Ailin's drawings, and photos of everyday life. I was able to use photos taken on my iPhone as well, so it was easy to do. On the 15th and on the 31st of the month, I scanned tidbits I had collected thus far, and once a week, I went through my iPhoto files and chose representative photos for PL. I kept everything in folders (one for scans, one for photos, one Day One app for iPhones, and one for journaling. Ailin helped a lot by choosing and even taking some of the photos, and she helped to remind me of information I need for journaling. I tried to keep lists of things such as Luka's new words, funny moments, dinner menus, etc. Ailin helped with this part too.

Click on the images to enlarge.

At the end of January, I quickly put together all the lay outs using the Becky Higgins templates and papers. It was quite simple once I got comfortable using these particular templates. I admit that they are not very pretty or interesting, but they serve their purpose for Project Life.

February 2012 Project Life
I tried a different approach for February, which was a busy and stressful month, especially at work. I ended up using my Day One app to document daily life, particularly feelings I was having concerning my job or my progress with my grad school course. In fact, I forgot to keep lists of Luka's new words, which are now actual sentences and a little harder to keep track of. The Day One app is useful except that the entries cannot be exported to a word processing program, and so I had to retype all of the entries into Word later. I have read that Day One will soon add the ability to export entries, but that has not materialized yet. I did the same process of collecting memorabilia and scanning it and collecting photos. I had more layouts this time because I had used Day One for the entire month and had more journaling to spread across the layouts, and there were a few major events to feature, including Ailin's 5th birthday.

Click on the images to enlarge.


Because I was so busy in February, I couldn't finish February's layouts so quickly, and it wasn't until March 15th or so that I finally finished. This is an important issue. For one thing, it puts me behind in March, and I was less motivated to take photos or collect memorabilia for March knowing that I am already falling behind. For another thing, it is not as much fun. I actually would prefer to do random layouts instead of a Project Life type album, BUT this is what I have chosen to do this year and it is really all I have time for.

That said, Ailin and (maybe Luka too) love these Project Life pages! She really enjoys helping me choose photos and she loves to see her scanned drawings (and other stuff) on these pages. One small problem though. Yusuke doesn't make many appearances in this album and I guess that is a reflection of how much time he spends with us. I should ask him to take a few photos at work or on his way to work...

Now, notice the blank spots where journaling would normally go. Some things I just cannot put on my blog because they are too personal and work-related rants might get me in trouble; however, work-related rants are part of life and I don't mind documenting some of them in the PL album. So please excuse the big orange spaces.

Some people might be wondering what I will do with all these pages that PL produces. I am planning to just have a digital album printed at the end of the year. It will produce a thinner album that will fit on a bookshelf easily, because as you can imagine, I am running out of space for my albums! Well, we'll see how it goes. I think 6 layouts a month is quite enough so February was a little overboard (We can thank my job for that...)

1 comment:

Your Friend, A said...

These look great. They are inspiring because not only do you capture the pictures, but you always have great little lists of things that happened, or favorite things, or phrases the kids said, or whatever. You are so good at documenting the passage of time and the kids will really enjoy not only looking at pictures when they are older, but reading about what your family life was like.