Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I do what I do...

I scrapbook a lot. I am constantly sacrificing sleep for scrapbook time because I love it so much. I find it relaxing, I love the creative side of it, it challenges me to learn new things AND it is a great way to preserve our family memories.

Today we went to the beach in the morning and then after lunch I was out mowing the lawn. The kids were inside. I had no clue what they were doing. Ellie came outside to get me and says "Mom, you have to come and see this". I'm usually worried when I hear this statement. She takes me downstairs and I find all of my "paper scrapbooks" spread out across the basement floor. The kids had been going through their scrapbooks. Ellie wanted to show me pictures and quickly asked "do you remember this..." A few minutes later I went back to mowing the lawn with a smile on my face.

A little while later I went in and found them in the same positions except now they were laughing hysterically. Ellie was reading Amelia's baby books to her. I always did a monthly recap for each the first two years of her life. Ellie was reading to Amelia how she liked to put Ellie's underwear on her head and crawl around with it on. They thought it was the funniest thing ever. Honestly I don't remember this but I looked and there were pictures to prove it. I often think of scrapbooking as "my outlet" because it brings me so much joy but it was fun to see today how it brings them joy.

There are so many different ways to scrapbook. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. The most important thing is that you are getting the stories down and passing them on to future generations. My scrapbooking journey has changed a lot over the course of the last 20 years. My style has changed, my approach has changed, my subjects have changed, my life has changed, technology has changed....there have been a ton of changes and yet I am doing the same thing that I did twenty years ago...telling my story.

I thought it would be fun to share with you how my albums have changed over the last seven years. I am a little hesitant to show you because I worry that the "OCD officials" might show up at my door to get me. I certainly wouldn't argue with them. I guess the first step is admitting it.

I wish my albums all looked the same but they don't. The albums in themselves are a representation of the changes that have occurred in my scrapbooking world. Here is a look at the first set of albums for my kids. I have albums before this time period but they are all random albums put together using traditional paper. When Ellie was born, I used all dark blue Close to My Heart albums. I did all double page spreads. She has a significant amount of traditional paper albums. When Amelia was born, I started with green albums and then Quinn arrived and he got a different shade of blue. He only has two traditional paper albums because I went all digital shortly after his arrival. Quinn has more than made up for it in the digital world.

Once I decided to go all digital, I used only Shutterfly albums to document our memories. Each album contained all two page spreads. Each of my kids got about 3 albums a year....some of the layouts would be included in all three of their albums. This was another bonus for the digital world. When I was doing the traditional scrapbooking, I would make the same layout three times. Thank God for digital!

Then I decided that I liked making single pages better than spreads and focused more on the "little stories" of our lives rather than just the big events and holidays. This is where I am today. I use We R Memory Keepers 12 x 12 D Ring Binders and absolutely LOVE them. Each of my kids has their own album(s) and I also have a family album as well as art journal and heritage albums. These need to be labeled...Ellie reminded me again today.

As you can see, my scrapbooking has gone through changes but the idea stays the same. All of these albums contain portions of our story...a story that is worth preserving. I hope that my children and their children will be able to look back and know how we spent our days. It doesn't matter what kind of scrapbook you are creating or even if you are scrapbooking at all. I just think it is important to record the details of life because you are important and you have a story to tell.

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