Monday, October 17, 2016

thoughts on memory keeping

Memory keeping is something I've been thinking quite a lot about since Caleb was born. I've never been much of a scrapbooker though I have been an avid journal keeper for most of my life. I've always been fascinated by other people's scrapbooks and the many different ways there are to keep track of memories, though for the most part, I've felt that journaling (and keeping up with this blog and Instagram) have been enough for me. 

However now that Caleb's around, I feel myself wanting a tangible place to store photos and memories of him. This is partly because there are many sweet family moments that I don't necessarily want to broadcast all over the internet but also because I loved the baby books and albums my mom created for us as children and I want him to have something similar. However, as I've been exploring this topic with other mamas, I've discovered that there seems to be a lot of guilt around this issue. It's subtle, but noticeably there- a pressure to keep up with yet another thing in this crazy business we know to be parenthood. 

I have several baby books (one in English and one in German) that I received as gifts and am so excited to fill out, though I haven't managed to get to them yet. Rather than feel guilty about this, I'm trying to jot down little memories as they happen and keep track of things so that at some point, when I get a good chunk of time, I can go back and record them in these books. I'm finding for us at this stage in time, the best approach seems to be doing small things that fit into our everyday routines. I've come up with three small things that have been totally manageable, and make me feel like I've got a handle on things until I can sit down and catch up with those baby albums. Here's what I've been doing: 

The Onesie Project

I first heard about this through Jules, who had been sharing photos on her Instagram of her son in the same onesie every month for the first year of his life. On the same day each month, I take a photo of Caleb in the same onesie (a size 6-12 month) and watch as he slowly grows into it. This has been so amazing, and something I would highly recommend. It only takes a few minutes and it's honestly incredible to see the changes from month to month. Of course, I'm always snapping photos of Caleb on my phone but this is just one way to be a little more intentional about it. I can't wait to see all 12 together at the end of the year.

Dear Caleb James letters

For me, it's really important to have written records and recorded memories. During the first month of Caleb's life, I started writing letters to him but quickly realized that I needed to create some structure if I was going to keep it up. I put a reminder in my phone for the same day each month (a different one than the onesie photo...) and have been using these letters to detail how he's grown and changed in that past month. My plan is to put these letters together with the onesie photos into a book for Caleb's first birthday.

One Line a Day Journal

Purchasing this journal has been one of the best decisions I've made in regards to memory keeping. I first saw this again on Jules' blog (apparently I get all my memory keeping ideas from her...) and knew right away that I needed to get my hands on one. It's a journal with space to write one line a day for five years. There's a version for moms but I decided to get the original one and it's been working out just fine. I love how each date has it's own page, making it easy to read through the past years as you write in it. I didn't start this in January but I'm glad I did start it and hope I can keep it going the full five years. 

So there are my humble ideas for memory keeping in this stage of our lives. As I mentioned, I've been thinking about this a whole lot recently and so I'm sure I'll be talking more about it in the future. If you have any favorite methods of memory keeping, I'd love to hear them! 

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