I spent some time this weekend walking around some of the local Christmas craft fairs and marveling at all of the incredibly talented crafters and artisans we have among us. The time, detail and effort they put into their pieces is absolutely incredible.
I started thinking about my own talents and how I would answer if someone asked me what my hobbies were. Obviously writing is something that I’m pretty passionate about but I think I’d say that my main ‘hobby’ is actually collecting memories.
In fact, I think that photographs and capturing our family over time is probably very high in my top ten list of things that make me happy.
I’m that annoying person who is never without a camera – and tend to choose them based on their ability to easily fit into my purse. I’m the Mom who has a Word document on my desktop called “kid stories” where I write down all of their one liners (along with their ages) to make sure I don’t forget those moments that made me smile or caught me off guard. I have bins for the kids where I keep some of the things that I identify with each of them – the outfits they came home from the hospital in, the shoes they first walked in, blankets, some of my favourite outfits, their swimming badges and anything else that I think they may be interested in having when they get older.
My most prized possessions though, are my family yearbooks. When our oldest was born in 2006, I started using www.shutterfly.com to create photo books to display all of the digital pictures I was taking. I decide on the style and create the book at the beginning of the year. Then, as the year progresses, I add photos and captions on a monthly basis. I even take pictures of my favourite crafts or artwork that the kids do and include them in the book too (rather than saving all of the paper). In addition to the day to day, there are photos of tooth losses, the first time they wrote their names, their letters to Santa and anything else that seems like ‘a moment’.
By the time the next January comes around, I have a 100 page online photo book chronicling all of our family milestones and adventures from the previous year. In a lovely twist of fate, Shutterfly tends to have a 50% off sale in January so I can send the book to print and a few weeks later my beautiful hard-covered family yearbook arrives in the mail. The nicest thing is that I can order four and save one for each of our three kids. That way, when they’re older, they’ll all have their own sets of our annual family albums to keep.
So even though I don’t have art, music or sewing talents, I think I can confidently say that I’m a skilled memory hoarder. Hopefully our kids will appreciate it as they get older and not call any TLC television shows on me.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller