IMG_3941I love to take photos of the kids doing just about anything.  I don’t just want to capture the special moments but everyday life as it happens, unedited, crazy hair, mess in the background photos so I never forget one moment of their precious childhood.  It wasn’t until A.J. received a virtually indestructible toddler camera as a birthday gift, that I realized what I had been missing. (Thanks mom!)  I have tons (not even kidding probably ten thousand photos) from MY perspective, but I don’t even have a handful from theirs.  What do they see, what strikes them as important at this time in their life.  What images do they want to remember when they are “old like mom.” Then along came this gift.  He charges this little camera up and fills it to capacity.  Then he runs to me and asks me to upload the photos so he can see them and go take more. Now reality, the quality is really poor, but he can take it anywhere.  So hand over the camera, or get them one of their own.  You might be surprised what little treasures you can find.

What do you do with all those digital photos you have saved on your computers?  I take all our digital photos and upload them to one of the many sites that allow you to produce a digital scrapbook.  I do one each Christmas, usually uploading the photos right after the chaos ends and putting it together, complete with memories of the day, while they are fresh.  Then I am working on an on going “yearbook”.  This one is more of a work in progress, because it hasn’t become “habit” yet.  Its great to upload and write about the moments as they happen, but at least once a month.  By the end of the year you have a priceless memento of the year.  If you place your order with a company who stores a copy of it, you can go back and have them reprinted, should you lose them in a fire or natural disaster.  You could print a copy for each of your children to have when they graduate or get married. Now I plan to put these “not so perfect” photos in with the ones from my perspective.  What a complete reflection of our life, their childhood, and my beautiful family then to include these gifts.

I have to give credit for the millions of photos I have and the love of looking back at these memories and sharing to my grandmother.  After her funeral earlier this year many of my aunts and uncles had brought with them photo albums they had been given by my grandmother, or some of the countless albums she had in her closet.  We sat and looked through them as a family, recalling our own memories and stories she had told us.  I remember getting them out and having her tell me the stores of the trips and holidays that she had photographed.  Such priceless and precious memories of her.  These yearbooks of mine are my way of giving these types of “trips down memory lane” to my children.