Monday, December 22, 2014

On Documenting Life

Growing up I remember my mom's countless photo albums and my brother and I from time to time would take this old photo albums off the shelves and page through them, laughing at the way our parents looked before they had us, at photos of my brother and I in our younger years, looking at pictures of family members who had passed away. We would look at pictures and remember our favorite toys and the clothes we would wear, our parents would sit and tell us stories of the people in the pictures and the stories behind the pictures.

My parents also were the proud owner of a big ol' VHS tape recorder and they proudly taped our concerts, our programs, and a little bit of everything in between. We loved watching these movies as kids and every once in a while they still get pulled out (however, now I am thinking we should get them converted to DVD as no one has a VHS player any more). 

I have always enjoyed journaling and have a box filled with old journals and talk about a trip down memory lane when I go back and read of trips and junior high, of sporting events and decisions about college. I love having these pieces of history. I continue to this day to journal a bit (not NEARLY as often as I would like, but from time to time my journal gets pulled out and I write). I also have this line a day 50 year journal that I bought a couple years ago - I LOVE it and the freedom to write two sentences a day. Now that I have written in it EVERY DAY (which actually surprises me) for a couple years it is fun to look back at what was happening on that day a couple years ago. It really is a treat. 

I take more pictures than I care to admit, and they all go on shutterfly. Every year I make a 12 by 12 photo book for our year. Throughout the year I will sometimes create a smaller 8 by 11 photo book for a special trip or event that just has WAY more pictures than I can allot for our yearly book. I make most of my pages on shutterfly, however, if you have an iPhone, I HIGHLY recommend that you get the Project Life App by Becky Higgins. I bought it when it was on sale for $0.99 however, after having it and using it some I would DEFINITELY buy it full price, it is worth every penny.

The Project Life app allows you to take photos from your phone and create BEAUTIFUL scrapbook pages that I can upload to shutterfly and just drop into my books. PAGES done effortlessly. 

I also love shutterfly because I never have to print pictures unless I want to put them in frames and the albums are nice and thin so they don't take up copious amounts of space on my shelves. They also give me a small piece of mind because God forbid a fire or something ever takes our house I would not worry about losing these albums because they are saved online and I can just reprint the books (while that would be expensive it would be worth every penny to me).

Now that we have Lucy of course it raises all sorts of questions as to how I want to document her. This is new territory for me and I am certain I have a lot to learn about documenting the life of a kid. I want to strike a balance between crazy over the top documenting and wishing I had more saved and preserved. I want to live in the moment and not always be behind the camera as well as being able to savor the memories to watch later.  I also don't want to set the standards craaazy high so that if we ever have more kids it is ridiculous to recreate for them as well.

Shortly after Lucy was born I did buy a small digital camera that we carry with us in the diaper bag and occasionally break out and make short videos. Marc and I also have iPhones that we make videos on from time to time. Currently I am compiling two movies on iMovie (I love Mac) one of what I am calling our mobile movies (which includes videos that our daycare provider has sent us) and one of the movies off the video camera. Our iPhone videos do get uploaded to youtube so grandparents and those not near us can see them. 

For Lucy, I am hoping (fingers crossed and lots of wishful thinking) to create one 12 by 12 photo book for each year of her life in addition to our family album. I have also created a book for her NICU days and her Baptism (which I hope to page through with her and be able to tell her about what happened that day and show her who was there and.....). I also have a journal for her that I started writing in while I was pregnant with her. I hope to record the funny thing she says, as well as some stories about her, and just my hopes and prayers for her. I am not certain when I will give it to her, but someday she can have it.

Who do I actually think will want to see my photobooks, read my journals, watch the videos, mostly it is for myself. I sat down the other day and flipped through some old photobooks and read through some old journals. It is crazy to see where I have been what has happened and where I am now. God is indeed good.

How do you preserve your memories?
How do you preserve your videos?
What do you do with your pictures?

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