a day in the life of becky
Well hello there.
I think most of you know we’re one of those companies that thrives on customer feedback. We work hard to produce products and conjure up awesome content on a daily basis, but we certainly don’t think we’re the only ones with good ideas. *wink* We love to ask YOU — What do you want to see?
Interestingly, that’s what brings us to today’s blog post! We’ve heard it over and over — Becky, what’s a typical day like for you? How do you get it all done? — and so today I’m walking you through a very, very typical day in my life. This is how it went down: We had a team meeting on Tuesday last week. This is where we discuss and solidify upcoming content ideas (blog posts, videos, Periscope, social media). It was decided that I really should (finally) do this day-in-my-life blog post and so … I did! I did it the very next day, in fact. I didn’t want to plan ahead or overthink anything or subconsciously try to make my day “special” or anything. I just … went for it!
So here we go. A girl and her iPhone on a random, ordinary day. No tripods. No big cameras. Lots of selfies. Lots of typical stuff that happens in my day-to-day. And because I’m naturally such a documenter, this was NOT a stretch for me to take lots of pictures – ha! I thought I’d narrow down a ton and then I figured that hey, you asked to see a day in my life. So I’m going to give that to you … as a full enchilada.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016. A day in my life. Peoria, Arizona.
Awake at 6:00. I open my Gospel Library app on my iPhone and pick up reading where I left off the day before: Mosiah, chapter 2, in The Book of Mormon. A favorite scripture that stands out and one that I’ve read so many times in my life:
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
Reading from the scriptures first thing in the morning totally sets the tone for my day. I haven’t always been great about this habit, but lately I’ve been doing pretty well and boy, it makes a difference. I love the scriptures. Oh — and — I did sleep with my makeup on. More on that in a moment.
6:15. Wake up the kids. I’m the gentle-waker-upper type, so there may have been some snuggling involved. And I always say to the kids (and I really mean this literally), “Time to RISE and SHINE!” I hope my children always reflect on little details like this with as much fondness as I do. My mom always said the “rise and shine” line. I kinda love that I carried that on.
Claire’s average number of stuffed animals in bed with her these days: 3 to 5. I totally did the same thing when I was her age.
As we all make our way to the kitchen, one of the kids had let Pippa out to go potty and as soon as she pounces back inside, it is a love fest between these two. Oreo and Pippa are pretty much the cutest together. Watching them wrestle and play together is quite entertaining, actually. Am I seriously saying this out loud? #DogMom
This morning’s breakfast menu: cold cereal for everyone. Except David. He grabs a much yummier breakfast at the hospital most days. (He’s an anesthesiologist, for those of you less familiar with us.)
The kids and I like to watch “I’m a Mormon” videos over breakfast on most mornings. Seriously uplifting. And such great storytelling about ordinarily extraordinary people from all walks of life, but there’s a common thread: they all love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Good stuff.
The sun is finally starting to brighten up our corner of the planet.
I turn on the shower and step into my closet for a minute while the water gets warm. I scan through my clothes and think about what I’m wearing today.
On our bathroom mirror we always have a scripture taped up and it’s also in 4 other places throughout the house. Each week we choose a scripture to focus on and ponder about for the week, and each week I change whose font is showcased because the kids love seeing their own handwritten fonts being used. This week it’s Claire. (Anyone can make a font out of their own handwriting here.)
I wash my hair every other day and day 2 is usually a ponytail because I can’t stand it being down when it isn’t “fresh”… but because of my recent choppity chop, I can handle my hair a little better the second day this time. I literally tousled my hair with my fingers, added a little hairspray, and it was done. I don’t obsess over my hair — like, ever. Low maintenance for the win. Oh, and here’s a video of my typical hair-styling routine.
Now let’s talk about my makeup. We actually did a fantastic and comprehensive blog post breaking down the step-by-step of my makeup routine a few years back and that content is literally – poof! – GONE. : ( Maybe that’s another video idea we should explore. Anyway — my makeup routine takes about 10 minutes and my dirty little secret is that sometimes I don’t wash my face (gasp!) and I let my makeup last a second day. Which it totally does — like, for real. #LifeHack
So basically, I am saving myself LOTS of time this morning by not dealing with hair or makeup. #Boom
Finishing touches for everyone and then we are scooting out the door at 7:30. Styling Crew’s hair is pretty much the last thing I do before we leave. Water + styling gel + hairspray. He always holds his breath in the very cutest way when I do the hairspray, walks away, then takes a dramatic breath of air once he’s out of harm’s way.
I’m a carpool mom in a minivan and I wouldn’t want it any other way. And yes, I was parked for this selfie. And since the sun was still pretty low and working its way above the horizon, I was able to catch the sun flare in this selfie sooooo … that’s cool. We picked up a couple friends and off we went to school! I dropped off 5 kids with messages of “Kindness always wins” and “Remember to be helpful to someone today” and “Crew, please make good choices so you don’t have to be grounded for another week, okay buddy?”
Filled up said minivan between the kids’ school and my office.
Pulling into my parking spot at the office, and because I’m documenting heavily today, I notice my name. That’s what documenting does, right? So cool how taking pictures helps us to see things a little differently and notice things we often overlook. And so this is one of those, how-on-earth-did-my-name-end-up-being-painted-on-a-handful-of-parking-spots-outside-an-office-complex? moments. And then I had a flashback of a couple decades worth of really, really hard work. And then I put that thought out of my mind, feeling so very grateful for my journey, then Pippa and I walk inside.
This morning is crisp and cool and completely beautiful. Pippa (now 4 months old) comes with me to the office most days because we’re still training her and I have to take her outside several times a day. She pretty much loves it here. We all do. It’s a home away from home.
I’m often the first one to arrive to the office.
Being the first one in the office, I make the rounds and turn on all the lights and open all the blinds. It makes me happy.
As I’m getting everything prepared to let “sunshine in our souls,” Pippa immediately finds something to chew on. She loves this spot on the rug in my office.
I don’t waste any time and always wake up my computer and get straight to work.
And I. Love. My. Work! No, seriously. Some days are tough. Some days are just plain fun. But every day it is a blessing and a privilege to do what I do and I never want to take that for granted.
Always by my side is my trusty little notebook and the 3 tools that help me stay completely organized with my tasks: a Pentel R.S.V.P pen, a highlighter, and a Sharpie marker. My entire list-making system is outlined right here in a video. This is how I’ve been keeping track of my to-do’s for years now.
Pippa is settling down. She likes to rest a lot during my work day.
Work, work, work, work, work. In any given day, we plan + strategize + create + dream + fix + solve + build + listen + share. Here, Race and I are having a look at some analytics he wanted to share with me.
I mentioned that Pippa has several potty breaks. Without fail, she is making new friends every single time. We have several other businesses in our complex (doctor’s office, occupational therapy, karate studio, insurance, etc.) and today I think Pippa and this sweet little boy made each other’s day.
I pop into the product closet to snap a picture of a couple packaging details I am in the middle of discussing with my product manager (Kari) and our American Crafts partners for something we’re working on right now. I started this company 6.5 years ago thinking I’d do one Project Life® kit — maybe two — each year. We now have hundreds of SKUs. #InsertSurpriseFaceEmoji
I knew when I came to work what I wanted for lunch today: Culver’s! Turns out I wasn’t the only one with that craving, so I ask who wants what and I drive just down the street to pick up deliciousness (a.k.a guilty pleasure).
My trusty Hobo wallet (a very generous gift from Kari for my birthday last year) … in my lap. In the drive-thru line.
One of the kid’s toys left in the car will surely keep these bags from flying off the seat, right? And yes, there are a couple kids meals in the mix.
I step out for two minutes and uuuugggghhhh! Pippa!!! : (
More work, work, work … and taking a breather to clean some dishes in the break room. Note: I set the iPhone inside the cupboard for this shot (selfie mode), and supported it with a mug.
Another break for Pippa. She gives me the good excuse to stretch my legs and soak in some Vitamin D. It’s 84 degrees today. Too hot for early March if you ask me, but whatever. That’s how we roll in the Valley of the Sun and I’m not complaining. Pippa always wants to eat leaves (or anything else she sees in the rocks), silly girl.
We launched the Project Life App for Android on Monday … and our shop has been way low on inventory the past couple months because our supplier has been going through a massive warehouse transition … so Wendy and Toni (who handle customer service for the app and the shop) have really been feeling all the pressure lately. A quick break for deep breaths and meditation and a puppy in your lap can certainly help one to refresh. *wink*
Something very common that I hear pretty much daily in the office:
“Racetifer!” (That’s what Wendy calls Race.)
And Race literally jumps out of his chair and hops down the hallway and says, “I can fix it!”
And he always can. And he always does.
I do my best to stay hydrated. Today I refilled this water bottle several times.
After a 7-hour work day at the office (much, much, much better than my crrraaaazzy long work hours in the first few years of running our business), I head home around 3:00 today. Because my carpool friend picked up the kids after school, I had the car to myself so I listened to a talk on LDS.org — A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It wasn’t quite done when I pulled into the garage, so I paused the audio recording, knowing that I would connect with the kids for a few minutes and then finish it.
I find Crew like this, talking to Claire on the other side of the door. They had just gotten home a bit ago and were disagreeing about which game they were going to play together. Oh, how I love the way these two play together.
I feel a headache coming on and all I want to do is be comfortable and relax for a bit. So I change out of my work clothes and go for full-blown comfort clothes.
Then I go horizontal for 20 minutes so I could nurse my headache and finish that talk I was listening to on my phone. Such a good talk.
As I laid down, Porter comes running into my room, chasing Pippa who had jumped into the pool — haha! Crazy pup.
So yes. The kids are swimming this afternoon. On March 2. #BHLovesArizona
Pippa dries off in hardly anytime at all because of the warm sun and running around with Oreo in the backyard.
Apparently it is warm enough to be shirtless for basketball. Porter and a neighbor boy lower the basket and work on their slam dunk techniques for quite a while. I got this shot by holding down the shutter (rapid fire) and deleting all but the one I wanted to keep. One of my favorite features of the iPhone camera. And PS — I share all kinds of photo tips on Instagram and Facebook. Just search the #BHPhotoTips hashtag.
At this point, I am done with my hair being down and even as short as it is now, a ponytail is forever and always my friend. Oh, and David and I recently did some decluttering and organizing in the garage so I’m feeling really good about that.
Time to be thinking about dinner. We plan a week’s worth of dinners most weekends (when we’re being good about it) and I knew that we were having these delicious sausages with a new Brussels sprouts and squash recipe David found, so I went to grab the squash from the counter where it was sitting this morning and… it wasn’t there! Because my awesome husband went ahead and got it all cut up that morning and I had no idea. My hero, I swear. This is actually such a love language thing for me and I am so grateful.
“Alexa, play Imagine Dragons” — my go-to dinner making music these days. We kinda love Alexa.
Current touch of Easter in the kitchen niche (you can catch this video from a few years ago which describes those TVs with rotating pictures).
David is home by now and we are making dinner together, which doesn’t always happen … but always makes me happy. Sometimes it’s on me. Sometimes it’s on him. Once in a while his mom whips something up (David’s parents are currently living with us). David will claim that he cooks more than me, but I disagree. I’m pretty sure it’s 50/50.
The recipe calls for mixing ingredients in a bowl, but David thinks it’ll be easier with Ziploc bags and I agree. We’re noticing a few small adjustments we want to make to the recipe, keeping in mind that if we love it, we’ll want to preserve it. (More on that in a moment.)
The first selfie showed all 3 of my chins so this was take two (using the timer feature of the camera, which was set on the counter and propped up with one of the ingredients) and even though it’s slightly cheesy, I do love that it captures us making dinner together… complete with olive oil action.
Okay, so I’m a documenter (what gave it away?) — and I have this little “hobby” of preserving our favorite recipes. It goes like this: while we’re making something, I take a few pictures of the process and a picture of the ingredients… and then later that night I bring those pictures into the Project Life App, whip up a quick page where I include the actual list of ingredients and instructions and BAM! Another page to add to our family recipe book. You can see all of these on Pinterest (I have a Recipes board on Becky Higgins LLC) — or you can search the #BHRecipes hashtag on Instagram and Facebook.
The Cox guy showed up because we’ve been having issues with our internet connection, so David is now dealing with that and I am finishing up with dinner preparations and calling the kids away from playing and setting the table. We’re eating outside this evening. It’s way too nice outside to not.
Those sausages I mentioned? I grilled them because mmmmmmm.
Dinner was a success! Well… the kids aren’t huge fans of the vegetables, but the 4 of us adults are pretty much in love with the blend of flavors and textures and this means that yes, I’m for sure making an app page for the family recipe book. This will be yet another recipe page that I print through the app and slip into an 8×8 page protector which goes in our 8×8 album. As soon as the photo book feature is added to the app, I’ll be printing a photo book version of the recipe pages I’ve been making ever since the app came out a year and a half ago. So excited about that.
Time to dash out the door and get Porter to scouts (via his awesome scout leader). Tonight they’re preparing for the upcoming “March Madness” with other 12 and 13 year-old boys in our area. He loves it.
After dropping Porter off at our friends’ house, I stop by the grocery store. We need milk, eggs, cottage cheese, and Fritos.
Ahhhhh. That Arizona sunset that I love so much. I oftentimes find a good spot (sometimes pulled off on the side of the road) to capture a great sky picture, but today I’m just all about documenting what’s going on so I’m not worried about the pretty picture. Just getting the parking lot view.
Always return your cart to the right place. It’s the courteous thing to do. *wink*
Pulling back into the neighborhood, I remember that we need to grab the mail for the day. Come to find out — David already got it. Sweet.
While I had stepped out for those couple errands, David and his mom cleared the table and did the dishes. But no one seems to value wiping counters quite like I do, so I immediately put on my kitchen gloves and did my thing. And I like to wipe counters, so there’s that.
While Claire and Crew play, I rotate some laundry.
David finds a comfortable spot in our bedroom to sort through mail. There’s a “role thing” in our marriage. In 20+ years of togetherness, we’ve settled into certain things that we each do. He definitely is better at managing our mail pile and I’ve got our laundry system down. And the kids help with the latter.
Bath time! And, oh man, that smile with the two front teeth missing. *sigh*
Crew and Pippa play this little chasing game most nights where Crew (sometimes fresh from his bath) will run as fast as he can down the hallway and Pippa goes crazy chasing him. They both love it. The giggles and barking remind me why we have dogs.
Finishing touches on homework, which happens after baths and showers, allowing Claire’s hair some time to air dry before bed.
Meanwhile, Crew falls asleep a little early — in our family room, close to where Claire is doing homework in the office. And Porter is now home from Scouts.
She loves him.
I carry Crew upstairs to his bed and the rest of us gather in our bedroom for scriptures and prayer. Same scripture app I mentioned before but as a family, we like to airplay it on the TV and have the audio read out loud. We pause and discuss along the way. And I’m usually scratching someone’s back. Usually Porter’s back. And then we kneel in prayer as a family and get everyone tucked into bed.
See? I do wash my face. Just not religiously every single day. And I’ve been removing my makeup and washing my face with these exact same products since I was 15 I bet. Because that’s what my mom used. And I still love it and can’t see any reason to change.
Back in my closet again, I’m pulling a few outfits to bring to the office tomorrow for pictures and video work. I always have options at the office.
Most nights, David and I love chillin’ out with Jimmy. He’s often working on paperwork / mail and I’m often sorting laundry on our bedroom floor.
At the end of an ordinary day (or any day), I like to write in the kids’ journals. I call these “We Noticed” and I blogged about the details here. It’s something that only takes me a few minutes and it’s such a meaningful part of my routine and something I hope the kids value forever.
Goodnight moon. Goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere.
I’m not sure if this is what you guys had in mind, but there it is. A typical day in my life. And because I’m a girl who never minds looking to kill two birds with one stone, you may be wondering how I’ll be “scrapbooking” these pictures for myself / my family. Truthfully, I kinda want this little collection of photos to be in their own little Chatbook. I have my ongoing family yearbook (you can learn all about that here), which I’m totally still digging for our 2016 memories. But I do love an occasional theme book and lately I’ve really enjoyed the adorable little Chatbooks service, so I’m going to look into that for this particular theme. I’m always up for experimenting with memory keeping.
There are several other fantastic ways to preserve a project like that. Obviously using the Project Life App is a fantastic avenue because it all happens in the palm of your hand. For those of you digital scrapbookers, you’ll love bringing it all together with Digital Project Life. For those of you who love the tangible scrapbooking best and you want to do a layout (or several) to add to your larger album, the physical version of Project Life is perfect. We even have smaller albums (Mini Albums or the smaller sizes — 4×4, 6×8, 8×8) that could easily be filled with a day in the life concept. Check out this video that overviews the distinctions of each approach.
In the mood for more creativity? My friend Ali Edwards has been promoting the Day in the Life concept to scrapbookers for years and it’s awesome. She has products designed specifically for preserving day in the life memories and fantastic inspiration that has helped countless scrapbookers in that type of project.
Regardless of whether or not you do a photo project like this, I just want to remind you that your story is worth recording. Your current life situation, whatever it entails at the moment, is part of who you are. These experiences we’re having help to shape and mold us. The way that we handle the challenges and successes? Well, that’s what defines who we are. Everyone struggles in some way… and sometimes in many ways. Everyone has days and weeks, months and years … seasons … that are just plain hard.
May you find joy in cultivating a good life and recording it. When we take the time to take the pictures and preserve the memories, it’s inevitable that we are able to be that much more introspective about our life… and that much more aware of our blessings.