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After a recent trip to my parents’ house, mom and dad sent me home with 4 more large boxes labeled “Brittany’s memories.” For years, since we moved into our house, my parents have been gently urging me to get all my stuff out of their storage. And I get it. You guys, I have an unhealthy number of pictures, mementos and trinkets from my younger years stuffed into old beat-up cardboard boxes. It’s enough to fill up a small room and recently I’ve taken on the (not so small) task of sifting through it all and dividing it into keep-worthy: old diaries, pictures of my middle school friends, dramatic poetry I wrote of my teenage angst, the plane ticket from when David flew me down to Ft. Myers to visit him after he graduated college… and toss: picture doubles (did anyone else always used to get doubles to give to friends?), t-shirts of high school boyfriends, boxes and boxes of stuffed animals that were once too precious to part with. You get the idea.
My sentimental side isn’t completely self-centered though. It extends into a deep fascination with my family’s past too. I’m quite the genealogy (I’m related to John Adams!) nerd and have been known to sit for hours thumbing through family albums and asking questions about our family history. I love passing these tales on to Hailey, as I think knowing more about who and where you came from is really incredible.
When visiting my grandparents, I love nothing more than pulling out old pictures and asking them about the stories that go with them. I’ve seen so many over the years, but somehow always manage to uncover a few new ones while combing through old boxes. Apparently I’m not the only one in my lineage that appreciates holding on to keepsakes.
Sadly, some of the oldest gems aren’t the easiest to view. We have old film that I’ve never had a way to watch and slides that we can only see at my Nannie’s house with the projector.
I’ve always had a small pit in my stomach at the thought of losing these memories to the test of time. After all, film eventually breaks down, slides easily can go missing and forgotten boxes of memories are likely to get tossed in transition. What’s a family history lover like myself to do?
Well, I found the answer- Legacybox.
Legacybox is an incredible service that preserves any form of old pictures, slides, film, recordings, etc and turns them all into digital form that are easily accessible and simple to share. When they reached out to me about this post, I have no shame is admitting I ran screeching into the other room to tell David, as he knows what a pack rat, ahem, family history lover, I am.
The process is simple- they mail you a crush proof box that includes a packet with detailed instructions and UPC labels for every item. This meant the world to me, because the idea of mailing out my memories made me extremely nervous. I found comfort in the detailed tracking system that alerts you to where your items are through every step of the process.
The process went so smoothly for me and within a couple weeks I received all my originals back, along with a small stack of DVDs.
I wasted not even a second before tearing open the first one and shoving it in the DVD player. Then I sat in awe as I watched my Grandma Betty, as a young girl, doing cartwheels around her front yard. The quality was incredible and I called David and the girls in. We all sat and watched these previously forgotten images dance across the screen. I answered questions for Hailey as to who everyone was and we marveled at all the crazy differences from life in the late 1920’s versus life today.
I’m not sure precious even begins to describe how much it means to me to have these in my possession.
The fun didn’t stop there, I spent hours watching my 12 year old self make up dance routines in my childhood basement, watched my dad blow out the candles on his 9th birthday cake and confirmed that my mom has always looked just as sweet as she does today.
(mom on the left, my aunt Lynn on the right)
Now I have all these wonderful memories at my fingertips (or rather at the tip of my computer’s mouse pad) and have loved posting them on my relatives’ facebook walls and having everyone share in the fun of walking down memory lane.
My Grandpa Jake in Green Bay closing a deal in the 1950’s
My dad, the cutest little sailor I ever did see
That’s me in the middle with my mom and brother, hanging out with my great Granny
My Grandma Betty holding a one year old me
Snuggled up on my mama- I must have been about 3 it looks
And some sibling love circa 1980-something
I am truly overjoyed (not an exaggeration) at having all these memories preserved and already am making stacks of other old films, slides, pictures and VHS tapes to send in to Legacybox. They’ve been such a gift to me, as well as my family.
If preserving family memories is something meaningful to you too, then I have a great deal for you today!
The first 25 people to use the code SLICE at checkout will receive 40% off their Legacybox! Click here to take advantage of this awesome offer.
Are you a memory junkie too?
How do you ensure you don’t lose or misplace your favorite pictures, albums and video?