The Memory Keeper

In my former life (pre-kids), I was a scrap-booker. I made scrapbooks all through high school, college and early married life. I am an avid journaler and love the process of recording life to look back on. I also have a bit of a paper obsession. I love, love, love the school supplies section of the store. Some gals like to get their hair done as a nice kid-free treat. Me? - You just set me free to wander a good stationary section and school supplies and I am happy. Scrapbooking was always a way for me to play with pretty paper.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had very grand visions of creating this beautiful scrap book of my motherhood experience and her childhood. I could just see her flipping through all those pages, recounting the memories that I had joyfully written out.

I can hear you chuckling. You know, don't you.

Yes, I started her scrapbook. It is lovely. She loves to look through the pages of her book.

All 6 months worth of pages.

She is seven years old. Ugh. I know.

And then, there is child number 2. He has a book, but it has yet to be started.

He is turning five next week.

But, in all honesty - I have not given up on the idea of this happening for them. I have things I want them to know about their childhood and I have photos that are way too precious to just sit in my computer's hard drive.

I just needed a better system. The traditional scrapbooking program was definitely not working for me.

I recently stumbled on Becky Higgins' blog. I think I read through her entire blog in one sitting. My eyes were burning, but I had a serious blog crush on this amazing mom who exudes creativity and killer style. [Her blog is seriously amazing and you must visit and check out all her fabulous ideas.] One of her greatest ideas is her Project Life spin on scrapbooking. It is like Scrapbooking for Dummies. It is definitely a method for those of us who want to be able to integrate photos with cute paper, and a journaling element, but may not have the time or space to scrapbook the way we used to.

The kits come with a very cool designer 3 ring 12 x 12 inch album. You can choose from the Amber (more girlie version, but my fave!) or Turquoise kits (also amazing). It also includes 54 divided photo pocket pages for horizontal pictures and the pre-cut journaling and title cards, hundreds of these cards, and hundreds of day and number stickers, and a date stamp for labeling photos and the journaling cards. Everything is organized in cute little card holders so that it all stays nice and neat.

How lovely is this kit? ...

[12 x 12 sheets of paper]

[journaling cards - also perfect for wee love notes, or gift tags]

[date cards to highlight specific dates]

[the kit in its entirety]

(all photos above are of the amber edition. to see the turquoise edition, go here. It is a more neutral and linear design. I really like it too, I am just a total sucker for the bohemian style of the amber edition.)

I was beyond excited when Becky sent me these Project Life kits to play with. Oh, and play I did. I have already started two albums for my kids. They are going to be their "School Years" albums, and we are going to create a few pages for each grade, starting with Preschool and leading up to 12th grade. Keeping it simple over here, people. Because, unfortunately, if we do not keep it simple over here, it will not happen! I am so excited to do this with my kids. I will do the bulk of it, I know. But, my daughter in particular, is in this phase where she is all about writing - making lists, creating stories, and leaving notes. She will love sharing a few tid bits about her school years. (And, if you want to create a very simple School Years scrapbook with your kiddo, Becky has already created some simple yearbook templates just for this... didn't I tell you that she is amazing! They are found here, in her FREE STUFF link. Look on the right side of that page for all the free stuff. )

Aside from the albums I have started, over the past two weeks, I have used the Project Life supplies in a variety of FUN ways:

[wine tags]

[gift tag for a friend]

[gift tag for a new couple]

[a tag for a gratitude box I made for 2 friends who just got married!]

[a pretty frame for a new baby's nursery]

[a gift for a friend expecting a new baby - I put together an album for her baby girl's first year. I set up a few pages ahead of time for her to just slide photos into, and fill out a couple of journaling cards with some anecdotal notes]

I have organized the smaller elements and cards from the two kits in a Trader Joe's clementines box. Fancy, I know. It was just the perfect fit and I can keep it all stashed for impromptu projects, as well as while working on our school years kits.

[the left side of the box has the "amber elements" and the right side has the "turquoise elements"]

This is a quote I love:

"Gratitude is the heart's memory."
-french proverb

Regardless of what we all choose to do with the photos that represent the memories that we have been blessed to experience - we can all walk forward with gratitude. I feel so blessed to have walked this road with my family. With the children that I was told I probably would not be able to have. With a husband that is truly my best friend. I am thankful for these good and prefect gifts and so excited to have beautiful materials to chronicle my gratitude with. Thank you, Becky, for sharing your inspiration with all of us. xo

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