I occasionally share tidbits about my journey through motherhood and random "mom-type" posts ... but only if I think they'll be helpful for you. This is one I know you'll want to read!
Let's start with this:
As I talked about recently, I'm a lover of documenting certain moments of life; those moments where you know you have to whip out the camera to capture a memory you never want to forget.
I also know that sometimes our experiences in life are best kept undocumented, and rather, experienced... and those ones I also hold most dear. But documenting things through pictures also brings me a lot of joy, and helps me to relive certain emotions, or memories.
And how in the world do I manage to keep up my life's documentation with a toddler, busy schedule, limited time, and another baby on the way?
S C R A P B O O K S .
More specifically, Blurb.
My scrapbooks are my main way of documenting today. They fall at the top of my "most valuable possessions" list; the type of thing I know I'd grab first in the event of a fire. I mean, don't you treasure those old photos you have of your childhood? ...the Christmas you got a puppy, the time you aced your spelling test, the grass-stained knees and brown-covered jersey from your neighborhood soccer match and mud fight...? Pictures are such a fun way of documenting life's moments; the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly.
I'm SO grateful I made the switch from paper to digital. Not only do these scrapbooks from Blurb store so easily on the shelf, but they end up costing me less, taking MUCH less of my time to put them together, and I think they look better too. Forget having to find the cute paper, adding applicable stickers and embellishments, etc. etc. etc. Heck, if you still aren't convinced, check out other books done by others for inspiration. It's a no brainer!
Wanting to do it, but feeling overwhelmed to start? Well, you're not alone. We've all been there. First, download Blurb to your computer FOR FREE, and here are five easy ways to get started.
1. JUST START NOW
If you haven't started scrapbooking, it can be extremely overwhelming to think, Man, I have 5-10+ years to catch up on. Where do I start? Here's my recommendation. Just start with what you have now. I usually spend around 20 minutes every Sunday updating our scrapbooks if we did anything eventful that week, and that way it's not taking too much of my time. When I devote just a little bit of time once a week to stay updated, I don't fall behind. Set apart some time each week to do a little bit at a time.
2. FOCUS ON DOCUMENTING THE MAIN EVENTS
I think about my iPhone pictures and all the hundreds of "every day" type pictures I have on there. Do I put every single one in my scrapbook? HEAVENS NO. I may pick a few here and there, but I usually try to stick to main events in life to document: Ellie's birthday party, a camping trip to Moab, a memorable skiing date I had with Bry, the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party... those types of things. When you stick to more "mainstream" events in your life, with some every day snapshots mixed in, it will seem a little less daunting. And honestly, it will end up looking better and not so "random" too.
3. DON'T TRY TO GET CAUGHT UP ALL AT ONCE
Back to what I talked about in #1, if you DO happen to have 10+ years of falling behind in documentation, and you want to document those things, make a goal to finish 5 pages a day, and don't worry about them looking "perfect." Maybe a blank black or white background with a simple layout for pictures (which Blurb provides FOR you). Small goals lead to big progress. Baby steps.
4. KNOW IT'S WORTH IT
Whether you are determined now to start, or you want to finish one in time for a Christmas gift this year, know that all the hard work is absolutely worth it. There's nothing more exciting to me than seeing these packages on my front porch and knowing that my family will treasure these for generations to come. I think it's the best gift you can give to someone.
5. Get Creative
I love the way Blurb makes it easy to create whatever you're looking for. Whether it's a scrapbook, a recipe book, a journal, or another type of photo book, Blurb comes with all the templates, lets you create your own, and really makes it easy for a "beginner" to figure out.
We take so many pictures around here, we do 1 scrapbook every year. I know that seems really overwhelming to a lot of people, but it's just what we do right now. I have split mine into years (Jan.-Dec.) since the time Bry and I were married, and I'm halfway through "2017" as we speak.
I also do something fun in the beginning pages of each scrapbook. I like to do a page that is filled with "styles of the day," "prices of the day," and some of those things so my posterity can one day be in awe at how "cheap" certain groceries or items cost, and laugh at the clothes that were in style. I love incorporating those additional things in my books. I also love to use them as journals when I feel inclined to. Most of the pages are just pictures, but I love that there are templates just for words, and some with pictures + words. It really brings a fun mix to the table.
Good luck and PLEASE let me know if you have other questions. I know this program inside and out. See some more of my quick tips below, and I hope this was helpful for you.
Meg's Quick Tips
Other reasons I love Blurb with all my heart:
I love being able to hop onto the computer (where all my pictures are anyways), and easily click and drag my pictures right onto the templates of my scrapbook pages. I love Blurb because it's free to download, it's one of the lesser expensive programs I've looked into, extremely user-friendly, they always seem to be having discounts going on or sending me discount codes in the mail, and they print in good enough quality for me to be satisfied. I can't say enough, honestly. They make it easy to create your own unique templates, or they even have an entire gallery if you're not the "creative type."
It's so easy to scrapbook on Blurb, you'll be wondering why you didn't do it sooner!
The other great thing is that they have all of my books saved on file within the website once I sign in. So, if I ever caught Ellie ripping out the pages (like she sometimes does with other books), or heaven forbid we have a flood or something happen to our house... I could just login and order another copy. That to me, is so comforting. The other cool thing about that, is if doing an individual one for each one of your kids seems like way too much work and out of the question... just make a combined family scrapbook and print off enough copies for each family member every year. Maybe even for Christmas...? How fun would that tradition be, to get family scrapbook under the tree every year? Once the book is finished, you just order however many copies you'd like. Easy.
We keep our most recent books on our coffee table and the older ones in a basket by the piano for people to pick up and read. They are always the first thing people look at when we have guests come over. I love being able to share them with others, and they bring up some good conversations. I also always make mine the large squares, (12" x 12") because I like having the pictures bigger. And, I like the look of the large square too. But if you'd prefer a different size, or are making a smaller one for someone as a gift, there are plenty of options to choose from.