Simple + No-Fuss Memory-keeping
As you may have noticed, I blog significantly less these days. I began this blog in 2010 (what!?) and have been pecking away at it for about 6 years; basically, my blog is an internet dinosaur.
Between adding a new baby, starting a business, and just general life upkeep, the blog has been a bit dusty and vacant. For a while, I felt a self-imposed pressure to keep up with the blog at the pace I used to have. Honestly, I didn't love that pressure hanging around and curiously questioned why I felt guilty about not blogging as often (because I certainly don't have thousands of followers waiting for my next post...). It boiled down to this:
For years, my blog has been my memory-keeper. My 775 (yes, 775) blog posts have filed away motherhood thoughts, captured the essence of Luke's early years, and collected favorite recipes and projects. My blog has been the digital journal for hundreds of thoughts, stories, and ideas.
It has been the pictures and words of my life.
But life is transitioning to a less digital and more tangible season. A season that sorting through pictures while sitting on the floor is easier than having eyes focused on a screen. A season that I want to protect our family by not sharing everything online. A season that simply feels more private.
I'm far from saying "adios" to blogging, but I decided to start working in other mediums to collect our family memories. I tried to design a fancy photo book online, but I got so distracted by choosing fonts and lay-outs (even though it was fun!) that I knew it was time to try something else.
So, I'm preserving memories in two ways that are simple and fuss-free.
First, I'm going all 1985 and putting pictures in a picture album. I love that I can take out the pictures, rearrange them, and add little notes to the back just like my mom did.
I found a giant 3-ring binder (a honking 12x12 one). The one I found was on clearance at JoAnn's (it's actually a Project Life album), but this is the one I originally planned to buy.
I've printed loads of 4x4 prints (trying my best to stick to my favorites). Right now, I'm using the Shutterfly app on my phone, and it's worked so well. Plus, they often offer free 4x4 prints and you just pay shipping--so that helps keep cost down :)
Then, I grabbed these 12x12 photo inserts on Amazon and started filling them up. The other day, Luke and I did some simple watercoloring on 4x4 pieces of card stock to use as little inserts for jotting down dates, notes, and memories. I loved how it was an easy way to involve him and add a little artwork to the album.
I do plan on adding some 8 1/2 by 11 clear plastic inserts/folders to include Luke's artwork or other mementos. I may also print out some of my past blog posts to add to it as well.
The second thing I am doing is journaling 5 things about everyday. I take a little time at the end of the day (usually about 5 minutes) to write in a simple, lined journal. I don't have any set guidelines--but I try and think of details, moments, feelings, etc that made that day unique. I've written about milestones, hair cuts, Luke's sayings, frustrations, things I'm thankful for, observations, etc.
I also jotted down a list of prompts because sometimes as a mom my brain is mush at the end of the day and I need some prompts to encourage me to write more than: The kids took naps or What did I do today?
If you are interested in trying out this kind of journaling, you can download the prompts here.
It doesn't replace a good, process-it-all-out blog post/writing, and it's certainly not as fancy as a cool bullet journal, but it works. Right now, it's a manageable way for me to keep writing and stockpiling memories and thoughts.
These methods are not prettiest or most creative ways of memory-keeping, but they are simple and easy enough for me stick with them. Right now, that's more important to me than fancy + pretty albums. Maybe that will come in another season :)
What about you? How do you preserve and record memories?