It's Here! Eek! I'm so excited!
So every year I make a family yearbook. It started just after my husband and I got married. I decided I wanted to do something special for all of our memories. I know myself, and actually scrap booking, the artistic old fashioned way, was simply not in the cards for me. I also know that if I don't write things down right away, I quickly forget them. So, that first summer we were married, I went on the hunt for a way to document our brief dating relationship and engagement. you know, before I forgot the details of that year. This is when I found Mixbook! Online scrapbooking was still kinda a new thing, but there were at least a handful of sights that offered it. I really felt like Mixbook went above and beyond any of the others. It wasn't simply throwing pictures into a pre-made book and adding captions - though that feature is available- however, you could customize the book just as if you were cutting patterned paper, and adding themed stickers. I loved that aspect. It could be made as personal as you wanted. And also, they had a ton of awesome designs to choose from.
Anyway, I wanted to have an easy way to flip through pictures. I wanted it to be accessible and engaging. Something that would not only save the memories, but create new ones as years later we sit on the couch flipping through them, and laughing about days past. Also, by having it online, I knew I could always print another one, in case something happened to the original. Of course I try to take care of them, but I don't want my kids to feel like they can't touch them. These books are family yearbooks. That means as well as documenting the family, they belong to the family. So, the knowledge of being able to print a new copy, makes me less concerned if my two year old decides to flip through it a bit too forcefully. Or heaven forbid they were to get lost in a move, or damaged in a flood, the pages can still be recovered.
So, I make an effort to work on these books throughout the year. I honestly think it makes life so much easier for me. I know people that try to wrap up the whole year come December. More power to you guys! I however find that it doesn't work for me. Working on it gradually allows me to do a couple of things:
A) As mentioned above, I'm horrible with remembering details. If it's an important enough moment to remember, I try to get it on the pages within a couple of weeks. That means working on it when I get home from a trip. Putting down the details so I don't have to save those old napkins and ticket stubs. Sometimes it means staying up a bit later one night to document the goofiness that took place that day. But if I do it right away, I don't forget.
B) Not just forgetting the details, but I get lazy. I would decide, "yeah, that zoo trip was fun, but I don't feel like putting it in here. Even if the pictures were great." or "Ah, it was just another day in the backyard, that's not necessarily worthy of a page. I don't feel like doing one." So, the book would still probably highlight the big things, but skip over the little moments, and those are the parts that really make up life. So I want to include those whenever possible.
C) It's way less stress at the end of the year. I've been slowly building my book all year long, so come January, I simply finish up those last few pages, and press Print.
Now, every year isn't sunshine and rainbows. Honestly 2017 was awful when it came to my yearbook. I often documented months later, which made me have to hunt down the details or leave them out altogether. I was finally finishing my book in February, and my "End of the Year Review" was brief and boring. Years from now, I'm sure my kids will look at the 2017 book and go, "Oh! Mom clearly had a bad year."
Maybe it is because the family is growing. We have three kids, three and under, and are getting busier by the day. That would be a good excuse. But I'm not going to use it. I'm going to say it perhaps is a reason, for a bad book this year. But I won't allow it to be a crutch for years to come. Life is only going to get busier, but I feel like these books are not something I want to give up. So, I'm striving to get back on track with 2018.
So, in conclusion. My 2017 book came a couple days ago. I got out the old ones to flip through a bit, and then this happened....
...and this is why I do it. So they can look back at the family history. Reveling in the little moments. Laughing at the memories, and looking forward to future ones.