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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Memories, Sweet Memories

By Rachel H

I consider myself a pretty nostalgic person. When we visit my parents, I can spend hours looking through old photos, reading old report cards, and browsing through my old sticker collections. Some of you may remember my The Amazing Sense of Smell blog when I recalled all the memories that a specific scent can capture. I want my children to also enjoy reminiscing on their childhood. I want them to ask questions about their heritage and their relatives who passed on before they got to know them.

I have many ways that I try to create and save memories, but am always looking for more. Here are a few ideas I wanted to share today, and I would love for you to include comments at the end of this blog to give all of us more ideas on how to preserve memories for our children!

When both of my children were born, I never had an official baby book, but instead used many ideas from Creative Memories products to create a “First Year Scrapbook.” I included photos, stories, and other memorabilia in this scrapbook. I also kept a calendar during their first year of life, and then used this calendar to write about specific milestones in the scrapbook. As we got busier, my daughter’s scrapbook has remained stagnant at month eight, but I promise to complete it soon!

I have kept a diary since I was in the third grade! My first Hello Kitty diary looked very similar to the one above and had many entries about playing in the creek and making our girls only club. My entries transformed as I got older and were then about boys, crushes, jobs, colleges, weddings, and all of life’s difficult decisions. I think I am now on my fifth or sixth journal. The others are hidden away, and I am sure I would die of embarrassment if anyone read them now, but I smile when I think of the day I am gone and my kids can read the journals and know that the events and emotions they encounter in their lives have been experienced by their mom before. I hope they enjoy reading about how I handled difficult situations and decisions. It saddens me that I have not made time to write entries like I used to though. I bet I only crack open my journal once every four months now, as a life with children is much busier than it was when I was alone in my apartment and had all day to write! I hope to get back in the swing of things and write more so that my children can read about how much joy they brought to my life!

Another idea I have is to purchase an “All About My Grandmother” book like the one shown above. Both of my parents have their own book that has endless prompts for them to write a response. Questions can vary from, “Who was your first best friend?” to “Tell us about the house you grew up in.” My parents are graciously taking the time, little by little, to fill out these books and pass them on to my kids one day!

Recently, we had a photo session with one of TSP’s Favorite Photographers, Zoe Zen. Zoe captured the photo above of my immediate family and it is now on a canvas in my family room. We had never had a professional photographer take a family photo before, and I could not have been more pleased with the results. We also got shots of just the children, or just my parents, sister and I, or just the girls, etc. We got many combinations and many unique photos. I am excited to pass these prints down to my children one day. My mom has battled ovarian cancer for the past eleven years, and we were elated to get this family photo during a time when everyone was healthy and mom had a break from chemo. We’ll always cherish these photos!

Lastly, I bought a “Memory Box” for each of my children at Home Goods when they were born. We keep these boxes under their beds. I throw everything into these boxes! Report cards, ticket stubs, artwork, teacher notes, articles from the newspaper, first teeth, baby hair swatches, autograph books from Disney, photos, etc. One day I will organize them, but for now, it is perfect to keep everything in one place and I think my kids will have a blast going through these when they are older.

I hope I have given you some inspiration to start preserving some memories for your children. Please share your ideas below!


Ashleigh B. said...

Love the idea of the memory box under the bed!! I will be heading out today to get boxes. I keep it all but it will take me some time to find it and get it in the right box. Love it! Thanks!

Sarah said...

i have a box in each of my kids closets that when they outgrow a piece of clothing that has particular sentimental value (first soccer jersey, school t-shirts, that special dress they wanted to wear EVERY day it was clean) i throw it in there, and plan to make a quilt out of them one day

RLR said...

I need to get caught up on my kids' scrapbooks! It's on my big to-do list (that includes household projects!) because I think it's that important. I'm also have a small memory box, but I think I'm going to more to something larger that will hold lovies, artwork, special outfits, etc.
Great post!

maythi said...

oh goodness. i envy those of you with time for and patience for scrapbooking!! we also have memory boxes (i love them - i even go through them from time to time). and also, i try to organize photographs and make photo books from shutterfly/kodak gallery (wherever has the best price at the time) and organize pictures that way. i have both pregnancies/births documented like this and plan on making the ones for birthdays. i have one for my oldest's 1st/2nd birthday parties, but need to get caught up. one day they can go back and look through their books too. great post rachel! love your family picture!!

leigh said...

I like these ideas! Gorgeous family photo by zoe too.

Kelly G. said...

I am not a scrapbooker or a saver of things, but I do love to journal for my boys on the computer. I started keeping a journal for them in early 2008, and I try to write in it at least once per month. I talk about vacations, school stuff, what they are interested in, funny things they say, and also world happenings. Eventually, each entry will get its own half-page in an electronic book, and I will add pictures that correspond to the time period of each page. I will burn a copy on disk for each child, and also have a color copy for them. I hope to chronicle their entire childhoods. I am so glad I am doing this. Already, I find myself reading back and remembering precious things I would otherwise have forgotten.

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