As moms, we have a huge responsibility of not only capturing our children’s youth, but also figuring out how to preserve all those memories in an organized manner. I’ve compiled a few of the methods I found that work for me.
Scrapbooking – manual and online
I love to take pictures. I love looking back at pictures from when my kids were young and I love looking back at pictures from when I was young.
Taking all those pictures is one thing, but what to do with them is a whole other ball game. There is no sense taking all the pictures just to have them sit on your phone or camera for no one to enjoy. Thanks to great advances in technology the options are unlimited when it comes to what you do with your pictures.
Im a big scrapbooker so I make scrapbooks of all varieties. I used to print off the pictures and scrapbook each page by hand. To me, these are the best looking albums out there. I love the detail you can put into each page and all the decals and embellishments available. They make one picture say so much. However,
I’ve gotten away from manual scrapbooks mostly due to the fact that I just didn’t have the space to do it anymore without the kids being able to get into everything, and taking it all out and packing it all up for one hour of work, just became too much. I found some great online scrapbooking sites that make it so simple. Its just a matter of uploading your pictures to their site. Some sites have templates already set up and you can autofill your pictures, add a few captions and your done. Other sites have all the options of manual scrapbooking, including pages, embellishments, and lettering. My favorite for this is artscow.com. Its very affordable and the selection is unlimited. They have themed pages, embellishments and a large selection of layouts.
Grade school folders
Besides pictures that we have taken ourselves, there is also so much other keepsakes that the kids accumulate throughout the year. Whether its a craft or workbook from school, medals or badges from sports or achievement awards from other activities, we are in charge of making sure these things get collected and preserved as well. Every year at the beginning of school, I purchase a zipper top file folder. I label it with the year and grade of school. All throughout the year, when I have something I want to save, I can place it in the folder. I like to make a note on the back of the craft or schoolwork about why I’ve chosen to save this if the reason isnt obvious. Those added notes will also add sentiment to the piece as they get older. It keeps everything all together, yet separated for each kid and separated by each grade. Each of the kids will have this own collection of memories when they get older. I know I love to look back at my old report cards and crazy crafts from when I was a kid so I hope they will too.
One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to capture our story for the future. My random thoughts and collection of stories is just as much for them as it is for everyone else. They will be able to look back through the archives forever and will see not only themselves but my thoughts, feelings and values. This is a big one for me, since as the mom, I’m usually the one behind the camera and not present in a lot of photos. My kids may not see alot of photos of me with them, but there will be no mistaking how I feel about them and how I’ve enjoyed them.
Annual professtional pictures
When the kids were babies, I would try to take them in for professional pictures at least once a year. Now that they are in school, this is taken care of, so we try to get group pictures or family pictures done. My kids are the worst for taking pictures, so this is something I hate doing, but I do it for them. I’ve actually stopped looking for the perfect pose and started buying all those shots that are crazy. Because that is who they are. Whether their face is dirty, they are sticking out their tongue or bulging their eyes wide so they won’t blink, those are the pictures I buy and give out. To give a picture of kids who are sitting pretty and smiling nicely is not who they are, so why lead people on. I’m brutally honest like that. I can’t wait for them to ask me why they never had any “nice pictures taken when they were kids…
While a picture is a simple moment in time, a video is so much more. Sound, emotion and attitude all comes through. I try to get at least one video for each activity, each on stage performance and try to get random video clips at least once a month. I have just started to play around with iMovie, and so far I have made a trailor with a bunch of clips that we love to watch over and over again. I am currently working on a longer version with more and more videos. It has the highlights but not all the boring “in between” moments.
I hope one day my kids will appreciate the effort I’ve put in. As they get older and older, Im really realizing how quickly they are growing up. But at least I will always have them preserved for me to look back at.