A few years ago when I was putting together ice-breaker questions for a small group of college gals, I came across the question, “If you found $100 in a store, what would you do with it?” I happened to be the lucky one who drew that question out of the hat and enthusiastically shared that I would spend it in a stationery store, proceeding to tell these girls who had just met me about my love for all things paper. Silence. And bewildered looks were on their faces. How come the conversation quickly halted? Then one of the girls boldly asked, “You wouldn’t take it to the cashier and said you found lost money?” Huh? Thoughts of how their discipleship leader just admitted she wouldn’t care one hoot or try in the least to find the rightful owner of a large sum of money probably quickly turned into, “Why did I have to get stuck with this girl for a leader?” My face flushed bright red having realized my cockeyed, yet innocent, answer. I laughed at myself, trying to regain composure and redeem the first impression that I just blew through an ice-breaker question. I thought it would be eye-opening to see what a person would spend $100 on. Who knows what those girls got out of that evening, but they undoubtedly knew I was a lover of paper, with a level of integrity yet to be determined.
But we live in a digital world. Everything is stored on the computer, which is wonderfully convenient. But this girl has to have something tangible, something to hold onto that is a physical document to touch, to pass down to the next generation. Because all of the pictures and blogs just don’t seem real otherwise. Anybody gettin’ what I’m sayin’? For awhile, scrapbooking was a main hobby of mine. Forget $100; I’ve probably spent at least $800 over the past seven years of scrapping. Once I completed Brennan’s baby book documenting my pregnancy through the main events of his first year, however, the srappin’, at least in a traditional sense, was a thing of the past. Don’t feel badly for the child. He is going to probably know more about his childhood than he ever hoped. Since his birth, I’ve completed a book called Love Letters to My Baby, which was a guided journal for thoughts from the beginning of pregnancy to a few months after birth. If we have a second child, I’ll want to get another copy; I loved that book. Then I kept a “Baby’s First Year Calendar” which marked all of his firsts, growth developments, special events, and daily happenings I wanted to record. I cropped my favorite pictures and had a collage for each month. Thirdly, I write briefly in a daily journal about my favorite moments of the day, what we did, or what I saw him do that was exciting. I even have the gumption of writing about the awful days, like this past Monday and Tuesday which led me to write, “If we have a second child…” just a few sentences above. Where has my sweet, sweet baby gone? He has morphed into a toddler. Granted, he’s been feeling awful, which doesn’t help matters. But since turning one, he is a new child. Oh, he’s still the sweetest thing on earth to me, but the jury is still out as to whether I like this new stage. I digress. Finally, there is the blog, where I record more than some readers would like to know.
Like I said, the boy is not short of journals, pictures and documentation about his childhood. I realize I went overboard. Way overboard! Please know it’s more about my abnormal compulsion for all things paper, and a deep-down desire to want future generations to know about our life, and well, a love for writing. And the four-fold documenting will not likely be repeated for the second child (if there is one) <grin>.
The thought of even the blog remaining in the nebulous place of cyberspace is unsettling to me though. If anything ever happened to it, I’d be heartbroken since it has, more or less, become my journal and scrapbook. At least the main one. <grin> So I turn it into a book! I know, I am crazy. That’s the “scrapbook project of sorts” I worked on in Houston during my down time. You may have heard of the program: Blurb. It has its idiosyncrasies and major bug issues that are nothing short of frustrating, at least for a Typepad user. It took me eight hours to fine-tune my blog imports from July-December, staying up till 1 a.m. I know, I know. I sure hope they improve it. But it’s the only software I know that I can use to turn the blog into a tangible book to take up more room on the book shelf. If anyone knows of something else I could use, by all means, let me know.
And as for my pictures, I still have the itch to have something for pictures all on their own, but traditional scrapbooking takes too much time. I’m so excited about something I came across recently through The Mom Creative: Project Life. Designed by Becky Higgins, her words describe it the best: “it’s a way to capture your memories in a format that is simple, pre-designed, and ready for you to add your personal photos and stories.” I’m trying it for the first time this year, and after receiving the kit in the mail this week, I am in love! I can still be creative, but it’s pre-designed in such a way that I am not drained by trying to think of something creative to do for each page, like traditional scrapping. For those that like to put pictures in an album, it’s basically that but with the option to add journaling cards and the provision to make it colorful and pretty. There are all sorts of ways you can use it. It’s a great deal, too! It only costs $40; that leaves me with $60 to spare after finding someone else’s money in a store!
The kit allows enough space in its page protectors to take a picture a day, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I haven’t succeeded in that yet, but I’ve already enjoyed the fruit of having it in my mind to grab a picture a day; it causes me to have my eyes opened more to the special, even subtle events of the day I’d like to remember. One problem I may run into, however, is deciding which picture of the day to choose, like yesterday’s options:
Brennan learning to brush his teeth
or Brennan’s first bubble bath
Which do you think?
Seeing as how Monday and Tuesday made me want to cry at the end of the day and bury my head in the sand, I might just end up using both of these pictures because I was in survival mode and forgot about the camera. Yesterday was better though. The little fella even crawled over a ways to me to give me a kiss because Momma asked for one. And that will be the favorite moment of the day to write about in my tangible journal.