Week 35 {365} Rough Start Part 1

So, this is supposed to be my first week of finding smiles and I must admit I'm not off to a great start.

I rung in the week with soccer, sleep deprivation, soccer, and more soccer. A flopped photo shoot, a bully that punched my kid in the face, and I just burned the banana bread that was supposed to be the after school treat to brighten little man's day. I had extra ripe bananas just sitting around. I even had buttermilk in the fridge, which is a rare occasion. It seemed like the perfect solution. In retrospect, maybe the banana chocolate chip muffins would have been a better option.


So, I may be known for burning a thing or two, but that's besides the point. I assure you I wasn't even attempting to multi-task. I had all attention directed on nothing but the bread. Even took it out early. Not sure exactly what went awry, perhaps I shouldn't have doubled it.

So, I took a long hard look at this bread...

I wanted so much to cry.

It represented so many things to me. It made me realize that living without expectations is proving to be tricky business. I hadn't really thought much about it prior. But who really expects to burn 5 loaves of banana bread?

I had taken a chunk of my day that I wanted to be catching up on housework and other things to make this because soccer will take precedence yet again all weekend long. I thought it would be a fun surprise for the kiddos. As I looked around the kitchen with dishes scattered about I couldn't help but feel a bit defeated. And tired. I had taken on the task just after my bodypump workout. My arms had felt like 50 pound lead weights as I stirred in the flour. It was much more challenging than I imagined. And I admit I am no gourmet chef, but I have made a mean banana bread before.

And now I am left with 2 hours wasted and 5 loaves of burnt banana bread.

So I did what any mother would have done...


I cut off all the burnt edges and offered it up as an after school treat and no one was the wiser. Smiles all around.

In other news, Little Man has been a trooper in light of being victimized by the bully at school. I am so proud of him and thankful for the three day weekend to let things cool off and put some space between. I sure appreciate all the comments and personal notes I received. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. It's so nice to know that I'm not alone and that these new emotions are normal. I will be at soccer all weekend, but will get back to each of you soon.

And those not so great overexposed photos?

I gave them a vintage overhaul and although they aren't my favs, I like the result.



Any photographer knows that solid colors work much better for photos, but try telling that to my little man. I've given up on that battle for now. They are not dressed in what I would have chosen, but by tweaking it I am getting closer to that autumnal flare I was after. Life was so much easier when I bought what I wanted and they wore it. These opinionated tweens sure make life interesting.

In spite of the many unforseen obstacles this week, I have still managed to find a few smiles.

These are the thing that made my first week:
-Not noticing a fawn just a few feet away until it jumped and startled me.
-Little Man saying, "Great texture" in response to the banana bread. (He sure is a funny little thing.)
-Finding beautiful lily pads to photograph.
-Seeing my smile button around the blogosphere while visiting my WW linkups.
-Funny, thoughtful, uplifting comments.
-Having a few minutes for some much needed me time.
-Date night with hubs.

If you have taken on the smile challenge, have you been keeping tabs on your smiles? Stop back Sept 30th to join in my project smile. The last day of every month I'll have a linky in place and we'll all be able to share our beautiful smiley moments. I do understand that life isn't smiles 24/7, but it is my hope that by seeking them out I'll get into the habit of focusing on the positives. If you are new here or haven't yet swiped the button, please join me on my smile crusade.

I attempted to have a button here for you, but alas it is not working. So you can grab the one in my sidebar.
It looks like this...


By the way, this is the alicia version of project 365. Most people who do project 365 share one photo a day. That was my task last year. Although I loved the results, I've decided to continue with a modified version. I'm still documenting the moments, but in weekly chunks. I don't necessarily take a photo a day and while some weeks turn out like that others only highlight one big event. I can have as many or as few photos unlike the daily challenge. I love the flexibility and I'm sure the results will be just as nice. Stay tuned for part 2 of my week 35 {365}...


  1. I love the soft colors in those photos, Alicia!

  2. Beautiful Photos...Im sorry for the trouble your son is receiving from the bully...wow didnt school just start...??..I run bullying prevention programs in the school...its overwhelming now.. the reports of bullying...at least parents are reporting it and keeping tabs on what... at other times... may have been passed of as "kids being kids"..I never subscribed to that kind of mentality..!

  3. something else to smile about- PHOTOSHOP! your pictures are beautiful, despite not being what you planned!

    and they liked your bread- so who cares how it got into their mouths. Just enjoy that it did. :)

    and DATE NIGHT!?!?!?!?! howd you get one of those? we havent been out together since our anniversary. Last november.

  4. I'm glad you found ways to fix the mistakes. When I saw the photos of the bread, I just thought, "Cut off the bottoms--that's what I do!" LOL!

  5. The color in the photos is beautiful and just "softens" them up!

    I have my Project Smiles list already started!

  6. I know how frustrating burning food can be, you feel defeated and like you failed at something. I tend to burn food so much that I have almost completely given up on cooking.
    I still think those photos of your kids in the wheat look amazing.

  7. I think that the pictures turned out beautiful, just like your kids and the banana bread I would have been non the wiser if you never told me they didn't turn out the way you wanted them too! I am so sorry to hear about your son and the bully! It makes me so mad to hear about kids being bullied, but that is because I know what it is like to have been bullied as a kid! I hope everything smoothes over and he wont have anymore problems with that kid anymore!

  8. Hey, the pics look cool! And I love how you took the lemons (burned bread) and made lemonade (with great texture, apparently!).

    Every day there are things that just don't go as planned, and sometimes it gets the best of us. You made some smiles with that burned bread...when you chose to turn it around instead of chucking it in the trash.