David likes to joke that we have the most photographed children of all time. I giggle sometimes and other times I feel like I haven’t captured enough. I know I have a tendency to romanticize the past and err towards the packrat side of things, but memories are incredibly precious to me. Especially with time flying by the way it likes to do. Though I’m constantly striving to let go on my need to hold on, I do have special keepsakes of my kids and our family that are incredibly special to me.
Since I know we all look back at pictures of our kids on our phones and smile (after they are all tucked into bed and sleeping), I thought I’d share my keepsakes with you. If you have any clever ideas, please leave them in the comments!
Real creative, I know. Hear me out. Life is busy during the phase of life and piles of stuff gets tossed in the trash just trying keep the counters clear. However, I never want a special piece of artwork to accidentally get tossed, so I have bins.
If a special piece of art comes along, I date it, then put it in either Hailey’s or Kaitlyn’s designated bin. One day I have plans to organize and categorize, but for now, I at least know my favorites are tucked away safely. In the bin I have other momentos, like favorite outfits I can’t part with, hospital bands from their birth, etc.
Birthday Interview Videos
I remember when Kaitlyn was born I heard a mom say she always wish she took more videos. So I listened. I take a ton of pictures, but I also try to make sure I’m videoing something each month. Sure, the events are fun to video (Thanksgiving/Christmas) but since I adore our day to day, I do that too. I seriously videotaped 8 minutes of a typical morning one day, from me getting Kaitlyn out of her crib to us all eating oatmeal at the table. Those moments are so precious to me. I also have a list of 25 questions that I video them answering each year on their birthday. I start at age 2 (which is usually hard to get them to understand/pay attention/participate), but it guarantees I have their sweet little voices and funny answers forever captured.
I Snap Un-posed Pictures
The sweetness I appreciate about life really is in the day to day. Sure I want to see a picture of the kids dressed up on Easter, but I really want to remember the silly moments, like my kids’ preference to be just in undies and how Kaitlyn loves accessories and raiding the raisin tub.
That’s what life really looks like for me and that’s what I want to remember.
I love Dropbox with all my heart. It is how I keep all my blog and family photos organized. It allows me to access photos and videos from any computer (David’s computer is the one with lightroom) and/or my phone. It serves as a back up for paper documents (we scan them in). It’s the bomb.
Because I like to make sure I have more than one back up in place (I am nothing it not prepared), I also put all our photos and videos onto my external hard-drive. It’s quite large (1TB) and I update it roughly every month so it stays up to date.
Family Photo Year Books
I have always made annual photo books from Blog2Print, printing a private family blog I have. However, this past year, I fell behind on my private blog and decided to switch it up by making a family year in review with MixBook. I’m still a little behind for 2016 (I think I just finished October), but I do like to colorful layout and look forward to having a family album with a little more pizzazz!
Have you guys seen these My Quotable Kid Books? I keep them in the kitchen where I can easily grab them when my kids say something funny or sweet. They are little moments I know I’d forget eventually so I try to write them down as soon as they happen. I have one for each girl and Hailey often asks me to read her book to her, then she giggles like crazy at the funny things she has said.
Apologies for my handwriting scratch- again, I often grab it quickly to jot it down before I forget. #mombrain
That’s all I have for now, though I suppose you could add holding my kids close and putting big books on their heads so they stop growing to my list of ways I try to hold on to those precious moments.
What about you- any ideas to share on fun ways to hold on to these sweet memories?
Oh my goodness those birthday interview videos are brilliant. I’m trying not to look back now on the 11 years I’ve missed and think: I guess I could catch up from here on out?? Such a great idea!!
About 6 months ago, I started using the phone-ap “1 second everyday” to create a video collage of moments from everyday life (because like you said, having a photo of them dressed up for holidays is one thing, but the really precious part of having little kids comes in the everyday moments). I LOOOOVE this project. It has been so fun to take tiny videos of them, and it’s super easy to incorporate into every day life. I pretty much watch it nightly, and I know it will be something I watch in the future too.
John J. says
You are wise to be so diligent in creating and maintaining precious family memories. You will enjoy them forever, as I do of our family life over the many wonderful years.
P.S. Bet you have some good ones going on right now!
I also do family photo books for each year. I like Shutterfly, but mostly because after using it for years I am very proficient with their software! They also have good promotions, photo books will be at least 50% off with the right coupon or sale and when I was ordering maternity clothes online from Motherhood, my package always came with a $20 Shutterfly card. My hubby takes thousands of pictures each year and uploads them onto a shared drive for me to access from my computer. With so many pictures, my best trick is to try to update the photo book every month throughout the year, otherwise it is just so overwhelming plus this way the memories are fresh in my mind! The quotable kids book looks very cute, thanks for the tip!
I love the Quotable books idea! I have an ongoing note in my phone where I record funny or sweet things my kids say or do so the book is such a nice tangible version! I also love the Timehop app to see what I posted in the past (even the terrible/crazy ones from college)!
Oh my gosh! I love these ideas…especially the short videos of the everyday moments. For me, those are so much more special than the posed and planned ones. I have started using bins for my kids, too. I have a box for both of my girls (3 YO twin girls). They accumulate so much stuff! I’ve heard from other parents that they keep one or two special things each month and then take pictures of the other items before tossing away. I’m not quite at the point where I can part with anything, but I do like the idea of having an image of some things (or giving artwork away to family and friends). Thank you for sharing!
What great ideas! I definitely want to get one of those quotable kids books when my little guy is old enough to talk.
I love making photo books too. We also upload photos / videos to a shared album on Google Photos. This way our families can see photos of our baby almost daily and it only takes a few seconds on our part!
I do yearly photobooks for the kids until they’re five. I just decided that this year as we’re adding #3 soon and the thought of doing three yearly books seems daunting 😉 now that my daughter is five, I’ll just be doing a family photo book, and once the younger two hit five it’ll be much easier!
Mandi S says
I have tried to think of a great way to store videos from my i phone. Do you tranfer and store your videos on drop box. I don’t have a computer at home to put them on.
Love reading your blog and have been meaning to pop on here for a while to say hello! I totally identify with your desire to document everything. My husband laughs at me too! I make yearly albums too, but my biggest dilemma is what to do this year because we have a new baby. For my first daughter I did a “year one” album for her, and then started family albums for the following years. Now that I have a son, I want to do a “year one” album for him too, but then I keep wondering whether I should also do a family album, or skip it for this year. Decisions, decisions haha. Thoughts?
I love your family books, great idea, I did a scrapbook for us for our first year together, regret it now that I didn’t carry on, it is lovely to go back on all the old movie tickets, and dates.
I saw someone once take photos of their kids artwork and turn that into a book too, my OCD side says that’s a great idea but my sentimental side is but awe, I would love to hold that drawing, LOL 😉
My favorite memories to look back on are quick 30 second videos of a regular “day in the life” of my girls at any age – it totally transports me back! I love all of your ideas
I love all of your ideas, and I am definitely trying Mixbook for last year’s family album. I usually use My Publisher, but am curious about Mixbook.
I like writing the kids a letter each year on their birthday. I include the letter in the annual photo book. I love looking back on those times!
I need to start writing down the kids’ quotes. The things they say sometimes!
Brittany Dixon says
I adore the idea of writing a letter to your kids each year on their birthday! I have a folder of notes my dad wrote me through the years and it is so precious to me. I started to the same thing for my girls, but as our days are so busy, I often forget. The annual birthday reminder is a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂