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Moms: The guardians of our family memories

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By Melissa Blackett, Be Your Own Adventure

I’m so excited that Judah has joined the Booker family on the outside! As a mom to two boys, I know that Levi & Judah will share heaps of fun times, bruises & “problem-solving”!

It’s not news to anyone that kids grow up fast. They change every day & while we rejoice & delight in the milestones that they reach, we also want to put on the brakes, pause the changes & try to capture the moments that are so quickly part of the past.

I think about Mary raising Jesus. Luke 2:19, “…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” I wonder what Mary’s Tweets & status updates might have been as Jesus was growing up. We are the keepers of our children’s childhoods, the guardians of our family memories and moments.

I wanted to share a few ways that I use to try to remember these moments. Most are probably not ground-breaking, but perhaps they’ll trigger an idea for you.

  • Twitter & Facebook! I post a lot of my kid’s antics & funny things that they say on FB & Twitter. I do this for a couple of reasons – my main one being that my husband’s family lives in New Zealand & we live in the States. These daily moments that I share on a public forum help the boy’s family to feel connected to them. I try to be honest in my status updates, but always take care to honour & not embarrass or berate the boys.  I take time regularly to copy all of my status updates into a document that I call Family Moments – I look forward to sharing this with the boys when they are older. I supplement this document with other stories & sayings that I don’t post to a public forum.

 

  • Photos & Video. Pretty obvious, but it’s easy to overlook taking pictures of the daily things. The faces & hair covered in blue sand, the picture of their last night asleep in the crib, the grumpy face that they are perfecting. It’s a digital age – take lots of pictures. I also want to remember their funny voices & ways of saying things – we try to get those things on video.

 

  • Art work/creation archiving. Kids create an incredible amount of stuff. I had no idea. There are heaps of fun ideas out there of ways to display & save the works of art kids create.  I’ve been using a display idea that I found on Pinterest, you can see it here. I plan to do a lot of scanning, photo taking & repurposing of the boy’s art work.

 

  • Birthday letters and keepsakes. Another recent addition to my memory capturing is to write each of the boys a letter on their birthday & include with it some mementos, photos & keepsakes. Nothing too bulky, but enough to help us all remember what’s been happening that year. I actually thought that it was going to be a bit tough to write the letters, but once I started, the words, as well as the tears started to flow. My letters are full of mundane details, their likes & dislikes as well as praise, pride & prayers for their future. Have a box of tissues on hand.

I’d love to hear your ideas for archiving these moments of childhood & parenthood.

Blessings, Melissa

BIO: Melissa Blackett is a stay at home Mom to two gorgeous boys, four & two years old. She’s married to a New Zealander & lives in Bend, Oregon. Having spent much of her life living overseas in big cities, she’s adjusting to life in suburban America. She blogs about family, fashion, art, crafts, food & anything else that happens to take her fancy at Be Your Own Adventure.

 

Dear friends, I love these ideas – all of them. (Thank you so much Melissa!) I love the ongoing facebook/twitter document especially. I tried doing that once and never kept it up… but I’m inspired to try again and be more deliberate!! Those everyday moments splashed up on facebook are just precious and priceless… and so easily forgotten. How about you? How do you – the “Keeper of Your Child’s Childhood” – purposefully record the lives of  your kids?

7 Comments

  • Reply Rachel 20 November 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I love this article! Thanks Melissa. I have family all over the world too so I blog/facebook to keep them up to date. My little guy recently hit the one year mark and I did a 365 project of his first year (took a photo every day…phew!). I’m just starting to compile the pictures that I’ve been using my blog to document into a digital scrapbook. I also wrote letters to him on his monthly birthday and plan to keep that up (Ha!) on his yearly birthday from now on. I’ll probably just keep them stored on my hard drive due to our transient lifestyle that can’t afford me to keep memory boxes and such for now.

    • Reply Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos 20 November 2011 at 9:42 pm

      I write monthly birthday letters too, and post them on a private blog – one for each child. I plan to only do it their first two years monthly (phew – it’s hard to keep up! almost done with levi’s monthly letters!!!) and then after that maybe quarterly for the next few years while they’re still really changing so fast, and then yearly once they are in school. We’ll see how I go with that goal. 😉 All I know is, whatever precedent I set with Levi, I’m determined to do with subsequent children… so I have to be careful that I don’t aim unrealistically high. 🙂 Love the idea of doing 365 photos… but I know I’d never be able to keep up!

  • Reply Heather 21 November 2011 at 4:45 am

    I do a lot of these things too. My husband and I have written journals for our two kids since the day we knew I was pregnant with them. We also do the yearly birthday letters, we have tried to get their grandparents and godparents to do them as well, but they are a little less dedicated to writing the birthday letters, ha ha. I thought it would be nice to have them from their grandparents and godparents as well as from their parents. What I love about your birthday letter is that you incorporate pictures, I had never thought of that and I will be doing that in the future, thank you for the idea!

    • Reply Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos 22 November 2011 at 10:08 pm

      so cool that you and your husband write the kids journals! i love that. maybe you can ask your parents and their god-parents to write letters for special birthdays (1, 10, 13, 18, 21…….) Just a thought! Great ideas!!

  • Reply Katherine 21 November 2011 at 10:49 am

    I have a private blog for my kids, too. Scrapbooking has never appealed to me, but typing stuff out quickly, every other month or so- that’s a goal I can actually keep up with.

    My sister-in-law makes a photo book every year of their year in review- the vacations, birthdays, milestones, etc. She has four copies made- one for the family to look at, then three that she stores away (for each of her three kids). When they’re 18, they’ll all get 18 years of photo books. I haven’t implemented this idea, but definitely love it!

    • Reply Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos 22 November 2011 at 10:13 pm

      Wow, that’s awesome! I do a yearly photo book too – since photography is digital now I find they just get lost on a hard drive unless somehow printed. But to also print one for each kid? That’s amazing! Not sure I could afford that… but I love the *idea* of it. I am making a special photo book for each child that is their first year. It includes mostly photos but also some short messages/milestones/etc too. That one I make two prints of – one for us and one for our child to give them later. But can’t imagine doing it every year (and storing them every year!). Love it in concept though. 🙂

  • Reply Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos 22 November 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Melissa, thanks again for a great post! I really love these ideas!!!

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