Our Lives in Pictures

How can we remember a lifetime?

Thus far into my boys’ lives, I have taken several photos of them. Hundreds. Easily 1,000+. I show up with a loaded camera to all of the main events: their birth and subsequent birthdays, Halloweens, Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Easters. I have tried to capture many of their “firsts.” I’ve snapped a photo or two at summer BBQs, family vacations, trips to the zoo, or just about any moment that makes me think, “Oh, that is so cute. I need a picture of that.”

And what do I plan to do with all of those pictures? I put them into scrapbooks for the boys. I want capture as much of their childhood as possible. I have many parts of my own life as a youngster that I don’t remember. And yet I can see my childhood come to life through the pictures that my mom took and lovingly placed and scripted into a photo album. It’s almost like having a memory of it. Maybe better. Photographs from my childhood can trigger a deep sentiment and appreciation for all that my parents did for me as a child. I love going through the various photo albums and reliving pastimes of gardening with my grandma, riding on horseback through the Colorado Rockies with my mom, and admiring the homemade Halloween costumes (Rainbow Brite) and elaborately decorated birthday cakes (My Little Pony) that my dad created from scratch. These are from a part of my life that I can no longer recall, but having those photo albums brings the stories of my childhood to life. I want no less than that for my own children.

That being said, I am wonderful about taking pictures at every opportunity, but I am awful at making the time to print them, put them into an album, and document them. I started a scrapbook for my oldest son when he was a baby:

 

And here is as far as I’ve gotten:

He was eight months old in these photos. Eight months out of nearly six years is as far as I’ve gotten as far as compiling the photographs into an album for my son.

Where are the other 1,000+ pictures? Well, some are still on my computer’s desktop. Others are still waiting to be uploaded from the memory cards to the computer. And the rest are here:

With baby #2 now here and getting just as many photos beginning to line up behind him, I have my work cut out for me. It ‘s hard to make time to do everything we want to do for our children. However, I love having my life in pictures, thanks to the time my own mother put into the task, and I want my boys to have that as well. Will they appreciate it as much as I do? Maybe. Maybe not. But just in case they will, I’m getting to work.

If for no other reason, I want to be able to flip back through their lives and say “Oh, I remember that! He was always crawling after the dog food, trying to put the pieces in his mouth! He was such a funny baby.” The older they get, the harder it will be to remember the things they did when they were so small.

That’s what photo albums are for.

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12 Comments on “Our Lives in Pictures”

  1. My wife is the family photographer. I groan about her always taking pictures but am glad to have them.

  2. Photos are such a blessing often overlooked, I have my screen saver on my laptop as a slide show of all the photos in ‘My Pictures’ Often the kids and I get stuck watching them flick through that I forget what I had the laptop open for in the first place. We enjoy being reminded of our loving family and happy life. An album each is a great project. Hmmm One I may have to get started on I think! 😉

  3. muddledmom says:

    I’ve had this same post in mind for a while. Funny! I’m in the same boat. I take tons of pictures and then, what to do with them all? I managed to keep up with my son’s scrapbook until he was 5 and his is done. My daughter’s is done up to age 3. I still need to finish that to get it caught up to age 5. Then I switched to the digital scrapbooks that you can order online. They are just so much easier. I feel like it’s that or my kids will have nothing. And I still don’t keep up with those regularly. But places like Shutterfly always have specials. I still order prints and throw them in a box or album (mostly a box) just to have because I’m old-fashioned. But I only order my absolute favorites so we’re not swimming in prints. It’s not the most organized system but I feel like at least my kids will have some kind of finished albums when they leave and some kind of prints to take with them. I really didn’t have that.

    • You’re much farther than I am, sister! I have done a few of the online books by Snapfish or Shutterfly, and I also wait for the good sales! 50% or more for the photo books, and almost all of the pictures I’ve printed have been free prints, where I only paid shipping and taxes. (I’m cheap!) 🙂 I like the personal touches that scrapbooking lends, and it takes me FoR-EVer to do the online photo books, because I’m not super tech-savvy. Lol That being said, I think I would like to catch him up to pre-Kindergarten, and then do online books from then on as well. Thanks for sharing! Nice to know I’m not the only one who hoards photos!! 🙂

  4. When my sweeties were toddlers I printed out lots of photos and made them their own books. The first one for each was Who Loves You with pictures of friends and family (and pets). Later books had word labels under photos and were themed, like “Benjamin makes pizza” or “Claire loves cats.” When they were somewhat older (maybe 7 or 8) they liked to augment photos with thought bubbles, captions, or dialogue bubbles. We made ours but you can buy peel off, reusable stickers now. Great for reading/writing development and fun at the same time. That is, if you can stand the word bubbles a kid finds funny looming over your head!

    • What a GREAT idea! I printed more than enough photos for each stage, and that is a wonderful way to use the stack of “extras” that I have. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂 If I post about it later, I will certainly give you credit.
      PS-The more I read from your blog, the more open-minded I am becoming about schooling. When I was a child, grades were everything that mattered (or so it seemed to me from my teachers and parents), and part of me really, really wants my son to get good grades. But I want him to FLOURISH more so than getting good grades, and I’m beginning to realize from you and others similar sources that grades may not be such a big deal after all. Thank you for that!


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