If I had to recommend one shortcut to you mom’s out there, it would be Shutterfly and all the amazing products they offer to keep you one step ahead of the memory keeping. Photobooks, canvas prints, cards, invitations, calendars – the list goes on and on and on! You can use the formats they provide or get creative if the mood hits you and within a week a memory arrives packaged in a pretty orange box just waiting to be opened and admired.
I make a back-to-school calendar for my husband’s desk and a wall calendar for my grandmother with the whole families birthdays and anniversaries, but my favorite project has been the books I have created for my sons.
For their first birthdays I created and gave my sons their own ABC book full of pictures of their first year. Shutterfly offers a draft to work from, but I started from scratch and let my imagination soar. Weeks and months of time and energy pour into these special gifts and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I worked for months leading up to my babies first birthday. While I planned the party I waited for the book to arrive. I could have wrapped it. I could have waited . . . well, no, I was too exited to wait and, frankly, he was too little to remember seeing his birthday gift or understand I ruined the surprise. The book is a wonderful reminder and great way to celebrate not only him, but family and when his ABC book arrived in the mail, I dropped everything, sat my boys on my lap with daddy looking over my shoulder and took a trip down memory lane.
Each page is filled with adorable pictures, happy memories, and it teaches them their ABCs. What kid doesn’t like looking at himself in the mirror – well, seeing themselves in a book gives them the same feeling. It quickly became a favorite for both my sons.
I always catch myself wishing that time would slow down, but lately I have been enjoying the moments and those include spills, screams, snuggles, snot . . . and other things that don’t start with s.
If you are looking for an alternative, inexpensive way to capture memories, consider making a memory card bin. My momma jots down special memories on a calendar she has and emails me ‘trivia’ throughout the year. Milestones, funny stories, and moments she wants to remember are added to her calendar and shared. I love getting those emails and wondered how I might create my own way to capture the memories I don’t want to slip my mind down the road. I have one for each of my sons and they are two of my favorite possessions.
You can make your own by simply taking 3×2 note cards and writing each of the 365 days of the year on the upper line of each card. Then everytime something special happens, add the year and brief description to the corresponding date for easy keeping. As your child grows you add to the cards making the easiest memory book possible!!
I love my bin and decided to upgrade to a 5×8 card and keep them in a photo box. This provides more space on each card for more memories and will allow for more space in the box. The extra space allows me to add additional cards if the date fills up and pictures to go along with the memories.
Whether you try my homemade memory keepers or check out all the Shutterfly options, gathering your children’s memories does not have to be so complicated. As Nike says, Just Do It!!