October 06, 2010

I hate scrapbooking…

or at least, I hate TO scrapbook.
I love to look at what others have done, I enjoy being presented with scrapbooked things, I even make a few pages for Bear’s GreatGrandparent’s each month, but- truth be told- 

I. personally. hate. to. scrapbook.

This became a bit of a problem when Bear was born.  Apparently ALL new Mamas keep delightful records of their children (or at least their first one); complete with clever sayings and appropriate rick rack and stickers.  My friends had gorgeous ones, but I was the rebel. The weirdo. The one without any picture collections of my baby.

I was pretty much destined to be a terrible Mama until…

THANKFULLY! INGENIOUSLY! 
My sister-in-law’s Mom created a gorgeous scrapbook for me to document Bear’s first year.  Such a smart smart gift!  Some pages were fully created, and some sheets were left blank for future moments.  It was perfect and served me well until Bear started to grow and there were memories I was supposed to be capturing, but wasn’t.

Hmmm…

I figured out a loophole though.  You see, I already had been keeping  “yearbooks” since we moved to Vermont.   My yearbook idea is a photo album that I keep in our Great Room and into which I put any photos that carry significance for us.

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Whenever one book gets full, I move on to another (so calling it a “yearbook” isn’t exactly accurate since sometimes I can get more than a year crammed into one).

The rules for photo entry are simple:
1) events must have happened in Vermont.  Occasionally I’ll slip in a singular picture of say, our beach trip or Bear being a Ring Bearer, but only for timeline help.
2) share the wealth- document lots of faces and good times.  Don’t focus too much on a singular event or person.
3) include notes about the who and when so that the yearbook will be a bit of chronological family history.
and now, with Bear in the picture, I’ve added a 4th rule:
4) document Bear’s life as much as ours, but don’t turn the yearbook into a babybook.

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We have about 4 yearbooks in our possession.  I always keep our two most current ones in the Great Room and the rest put away, but within close enough reach to grab should an occasion of need arise.  These moments usually occur with friends or family gathered around the dinner table and someone asks “Remember when?”

Long story short: I have a first year scrapbook of Bear.  It is stunning.  I have travel scrapbooks (I use that term sooooo loosely) in which I’ve pasted vacation photos and  “stuff” from the trip (maps, brochures etc).  And I have an ongoing system to document life as Bear grows with us through it.

I even have a plan for the future thanks to a tip I read  in “Toadstools and Shooting Stars” by Sharon Lovejoy.  She suggests keeping a basket for photos.  Each month as you receive or print out photos, put them into the basket.  Allow visitors, family and children alike to explore the photos.  At the end of each month, sort through the pile of photos and pick out your favorite “keepers” (mine would go into the yearbook) and find new homes for, or recycle, the remaining ones.

Isn’t that a great idea?  And it would totally cut down on all the photo back stock that you and I both have!!!! 

Ok  folks, I’m still trying to figure out how to readjust my blogging.  Comments are closed, but only to make my life a bit easier, NOT because I don’t want to hear from you.  Contact me by e-mail whenever you want to chat or have a question.  :)

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