I am the memory keeper in our family. I have kept a journal since I was about 8 years old. I created scrapbooks before scrapbooking was even an industry. It's seems to always have been part of me. When I formally left the industry in 2006 I was burned out. There was drama and I had enough of my own drama at home that something had to give and that ended up being scrapbooking. However I still kept our memories in a written journal and here on the blog. It's so wonderful to go back and see all the changes and memories.
At the beginning of December Tank was in the bat cave (the children named our basement storage room the "bat cave"... not sure why other than it's the most underground room we have. Makes me smile.) and he pulled out one of his scrapbooks. He came running upstairs and asked, "Why don't you make books about us anymore?"
As I tried to reply that I was just in a different form, the blog, the realization that they little people don't read the blog. They don't see their own stories. They don't see the wonderful photos that we capture.
When we moved into this home several years ago all the photo albums and scrapbooks found their home in this back dark storage room. The albums are stacked two deep on the shelves and yes I realize there are a lot. I suspect that most of those albums are my journals dating back to my childhood, but still that is a great deal of space that I was suddenly feeling the need to find upstairs where the boys could have access to them.
I immediately started organizing, rearranging, and my favorite de-junking. Things that I have kept thinking someday I might need them and years later I have not, so out they went. Hidden in the the bat cave closet were three bins full of mini albums and I smiled thinking about how much joy Brick was going to get from seeing for the first time his "Wild Thing" album. I cringed knowing that Dash and Loaf would have nothing tangible from their first years to hold and look at.
I spread all the mini albums on the table and the boys poured over the photos and written word. They smiled, laughed, shared the fun pictures with one another. "Dash, look at this!" "Tank, did you see this?!"
I had to explain to them why I stopped making these treasured memories. Dash didn't understand. All he knew was that there were only a handful of stories and photos. He looked at me with his huge brown eyes trying to hold back the tears. I wrapped him in my arms and promised him that I would start again. That I would create a scrapbook that with photos of him. He snuggled in tight for a quick hug and then was off to see what adventures were had in the pages of our books.
One of my favorite comments from Tank and Rock was, "We must have been good friends when we were little". I tell them all the time that this is true, but they don't believe me. They now have visual proof. I don't know that it's helped their friendship right now, but someday they will be best friends again; at least that is my hope.
The second John came home from work the boys eagerly shared their favorite moments. As you can see they snuggled in for a long review of life in the Kimball home. I wish I could express the love that was in the room that day, but simple text will never convey those feelings. I am however to thankfuly that I pulled out the big camera to capture these tender moments.
Promises have been made, supplies are in hand, I've even begun editing and printing photos (the part of the process that I dread the very most). 2014 will be the year I jump back into scrapbooking. Not like before when I was working within the industry (you can read a little bit about that time here), these books are for my family. For my children to sit and laugh and learn how much they mean to me.
I also plan to get the last 7 years of the blog printed. As I was looking back today I realized that these is so much that I need to clean up around here. Perhaps this will give me the incentive to make the changes.
I will probably also be creating project life type printables to add to our books. I know many of you know me from those first scrapbooking days. Thank you for sticking with me all these years. For those who are digital scrappers, I don't know how many digital kits I will make this year. In all truth, I am a paper gal. I made a layout last night (which I will post soon) and the tags for Whitney all confirmed to me once again how much I love the tactile part of this art. I'm sure there will be something because I am still slowing working through the classes and learning, but look for a increase in paper scrapbooking sharing.
After I did all this I came across a class by Becky Higgins, the creator of project life (the system I am going to try using) that she was offereing via her facebook page (but you can see it here). She expressed many of the same feelings at the begining of her presentation that I have been feeling. When she told the class to get their album down from the closet shelves I smiled knowing that a beautiful thing it was. When she talked about the scrapbooking industry and all the designers that left, I completely understood because I was one of them.
So to Becky I say.
Many years ago (about 10) I worked with you on a few of your sketches with Creating Keepsakes. I worked within the scrapbooking industry quite heavily during this period of time with manufacturers and publications. One day several years into my work I stopped scrapbooking all together, I quit everything and walked away. I was tired of the drama, the stuff, and the overall feeling within the industry.
Then last month one of my children asked about their photos and scrapbooks, they were either on the computer or in the farthest storage room shelf. I pulled them out and watched their faces light up with the stories that they had forgotten or missed. My children born after I stopped had nothing so I decided to purchase your project life products to quickly pull something together and realized that you had a class offered on your Facebook page.
Your words resonated with me and my situation. My family, especially my little ones were hungry for the the stories and photos that I was still collecting. I look forward to having tangible stories for them to enjoy. Thank you for all that you do to champion the cause of scrapbooking. Thank you for continuing when so many of us walked away.