Well, here are the final 3 Project Life spreads from my 2012 albums!! I put the finishing touches on my 2013 Week 1 layout this afternoon, so I'll be back tomorrow morning to share that - but these 3 layouts were some of my favorites of 2012, so I really wanted to share them first. So, long post ahead... Here's a look at Week 50:
On the left side of the page I used a variety of papers from both new and old Studio Calico kits, some Elle's Studios labels, and a Cathy Zielske digi file to mark the number of years Joel and I had been married (we celebrated our 7th anniversary on Dec 9th, so it seemed appropriate to include a wedding photo. It might be hard to see in the picture, but there's a little label on the wedding photo that says "12/9/05" and another little label on the 7 years card that says "12/9/12").
On the right side of the page I included a scaled-down (shrunk from 5x7 to 4x6) version of the front of our Christmas Card in the top left pocket. Also, just a quick note that this was the week of the Sandy Hook school shooting. I didn't want to dwell too much on it in my Project Life album, even though it weighed heavily on my mind and in my heart. The thing is, Dean had just turned 6 yrs old, is in 1st grade - the same age as those young children who were killed. It hit so close to home for me, as I'm sure it did for many of you. I can't even begin to imagine what the families of those children are going through. Joel and I decided not to discuss the event with Dean at this time. Every family had to make the best decision for themselves about this issue and this was the decision we made. The day of the shooting was the last day of school before Winter Break here in Hawaii. Dean is a very sensitive little boy and we felt that at this tender age, there was just no sense in trying to explain the unexplainable to him. We didn't feel it was something that he could fully understand and we didn't want him to be afraid to go to school. We kept the TV off for most of the following weekend and heavily filtered the radio and just stuck close to home. We knew there was a chance he'd overhear something and we were prepared to address the issue if it came up, but were hoping it wouldn't. And so far it hasn't. We did ask him about various drills they have at school and if he knows what to do in case of various emergencies (fire, earthquake, tsunami, and yes - lockdown). We were relieved to hear him tell us exactly what to do in each of those situations and he seemed very well prepared. He already knew what each of those emergencies were and what his school's protocol is (and he didn't seem to think it was weird that we wanted to talk about this either). So anyway...this is why I didn't dwell on the topic in Project Life. I included a poignant quote from Mr. Rogers courtesy of Cathy Zielske (freebie on her blog) in the bottom left pocket, and did a little journaling on the back of that card to serve as a future reminder of my feelings about the day - but hidden from sensitive young eyes for now.
And now moving on to Week 51. The whole week, including an extra insert that holds Dean's Letter to Santa, which was pretty funny (I had to tell him that I made a copy to send to Santa and kept the original just in case it got lost in the mail).
On the left side of Week 51, I included the back side of our Christmas Card in the top right pocket. Joel's Mom and Stepdad (Grandma Jo and Grandpa CR) got here this week, and I also included a Christmas drawing Dean did (one of my very favorite things to add to Project Life).
And the right side of Week 51. A trip to the Garden of Eden on the East side of Maui, dipping pretzels (my personal favorite holiday treat), new house shoes for me, and Book Club, as well as a "Currently" journal card to just capture what life looks like during the holiday season.
And finally...Week 52 - the LAST WEEK OF 2012!!! I did include an insert this week, but here's a look at the spread with the insert removed (the front and back of the insert can be seen at the end of the post)
This was the week of Christmas. Lots going on. Kiwi Crate non-gingerbread-house decorating, Cookies for Santa, and our traditional Christmas Eve at the beach.
The front of the insert covered Christmas Eve at my Mom's (Tutu's) house in the evening. Family friend Jayci was there too and we walked down to the beach for sunset before opening gifts. Lots of journaling this week. Some typed directly onto digi journaling cards before printing, some handwritten. I really don't like my handwriting AT ALL, but I try to make a point to include it every week. You know you can always recognize your Mom's handwriting instantly, and I feel very strongly that having my handwriting in these albums - no matter how much I may dislike the way it looks - will make them that much more special in the future for Dean and future generations.
The back of the extra insert with a favorite picture of Dean and my Mom in front of her "fire" DVD - so funny! She insists on playing this DVD every Christmas Eve the whole evening for "ambiance", even though it's 80 degrees outside! And everyone swears that "fire" makes it unbearably hot in there, but she refuses to turn the TV off! Says it wouldn't be Christmas without a "fire" on the TV!!! ha!
And the right side of the layout with our hilarious Christmas PJ photo that is intended to poke fun of those perfect Hanna Anderson catalog families that are so super annoying...Joel loved it (ha!). Some journaling about Christmas morning and a photo of our Christmas afternoon walk on the beach. Then a couple of photos from later in the week and it was DONE!
So that's it. Project Life 2012 is complete. I have to say that this has by far been the most rewarding project I have EVER done. I started out the year planning to fill an album and ended up needing 3 albums by the time it was all said and done. (yes, THREE). I was a little disappointed about that - I'm planning to do Project Life forever and the thought of 30+ years of 3 albums per year makes me a little nauseous. Where in the world will I put all of those albums?? But I'm sure as Dean gets older, I'll eventually have less extra "stuff" to add to them. I definitely could have made my albums less bulky this year by not using any thickers, but I really liked the way they look and so will probably continue that, although I do have a different plan for my "Week of" card each week that will be less roomy. I also added lots of inserts in the form of Dean's artwork and various pieces of schoolwork that I wanted to keep. I feel like I was pretty selective about what I kept. On average, there's probably an extra insert about every 2-3 weeks. And at some point I may figure out a different system for storing these items, but for now I really like having them chronologically in these albums in the same place as the photos of him at the time in his life when he created those pieces of memorabilia. So for now, it looks like 3 albums per year is what it will be. We'll see if I can trim it down to 2 next year, but I seriously doubt it. I'm OK with that. Project Life is what you make it, whatever works for YOU and this is what works for ME and I LOVE it. So who else is doing Project Life in 2013? Are you blogging it? If so, please let me know and leave me a link to your blog. I'd love to check it out and add you to my reader!!