I’ve always been diligent about having my children’s portraits taken at different ages; 3 months, 6-7 months, 1 year, 18 months, and then every year up to age 5 when they start kindergarten and have annual school portraits done. I have a 4-drawer dresser in my office where I stash all the kids’ artwork and school papers throughout the year, and when we get new portraits done this is also where I put their old ones. Every summer, the kids and I pull out each drawer and go through it, putting the artwork they want to keep in their art cases, their outstanding schoolwork in their binders, and their portraits…nowhere. I’ve always just left them in the drawer in a large envelope because I wasn’t sure how to display them, but this year I decided to change that. I bought 3 of these very nice 8 1/2 x 11, leather 3-ring scrapbooks and put all of their portraits in them in chronological order.
As I was working on DJ’s book, I had a realization. I was like, “Wait a minute….how long has he been 4 now? What month is this?”
Yeah….his birthday was in February and I still hadn’t managed to get his portraits taken. Every year I get later and later, and I had a moment of minor panic. I very much wanted my niece, who has a talent for photography, to take his portraits this year, but time really seems to get away from me. I realized that I can still have her take pictures of him, but in the interest of capturing what he looks like now, (before he gets closer to 5 than 4), I made a last minute run to the mall portrait studio.
I was worried because historically DJ has not been the most cooperative of my children during portrait sessions. This time he was simply awesome. The photographer actually said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a little boy who was this easy and photogenic!” I replied, “Well, I’m as surprised as you are!”
I’ve been desperately trying to catch up on scrapbooks this summer, but I finally came to the realization that with three kids, I will never keep up if I try to complete exhaustive individual books for them. While scrapbooking is a fun, creative outlet for me, I don’t do it for creative expression. I make scrapbooks (and write this blog, and take zillions of photos) because I want to remember stuff, and as I get older this becomes more and more difficult. So, in the interest of remembering (and actually feeling like I’ve completed something), I’ve started making hardcover family albums for each year on Mixbook. With a coupon code, I’ve been able to get them for around $25 each, and I can basically complete an entire year’s scrapbook in a day, which is pretty incredible considering that I just now managed to get DJ’s birth announcement in his book, and he’s 4.
So, instead of printing and cropping and arranging all of my many, many HUNDREDS of photos (a truly impossible dream, I now realize), I will instead use the kids’ scrapbooks to display a few photos, and any ephemera we accumulate, such as school/dance programs, tickets, newspaper clippings, etc. This seems much more reasonable and manageable, and makes me feel far less panicky and overwhelmed (also, it’s much cheaper, and easier to organize!) Another advantage is that if we ever have a disaster, such as a fire or tornado, or if the kids someday want copies, I can always have more printed.
I have only completed two years so far – 2013, and 2012. Here’s a sample of each.
So, that’s what’s new in our neck of the woods. I must get back to work now because I only have….let’s see….6 more years of scrapbooks to make. At least. Probably more, but I’m gonna try to not think about that. One year at a time.[print-me/]