savoring story

Yesterday morning, during our first minutes of spring break, the kids opened our albums and were remembering. I love when they pull the albums off the shelf, open them up, and point and giggle and smile and remember. It reminds me how important it is to help young children build a story.

The pages I create for scrapbooks have about the same systematic approach as my blog topics, which is to say there really isn’t much reason to the choices I make. I simply sit down and am moved. I let the moment decide what I should write, what I should collect, what photo I should anchor in our memories. I often wonder if I should be more responsible about the moments I document. They act as a frame for their childhoods, a place for them to begin making sense of the world and their places in it.

I’m coming to realize perhaps it isn’t the moment that is so important, but rather that there are moments collected. Daily moments. Ordinary moments. Small moments. A life is built around moments, and it is these moments — the daily, ordinary, small moments — that I believe reveals the most about a life.

You might notice that I don’t document chronologically. Our albums are organized around topics, not years. This allows me to tell stories as I am moved. My kids inspired me to get my photos in order. I’ve let them slip. Today I filed them in folders, backed them up, and got the masses ordered. Now I’m ready to organize the prints (when they come) and be ready to be moved by the stories. Until then, I have my photos organized on my computer in order to inspire my storytelling digitally. I love that I can tell stories through paper and through computer clicks.

(I learned my system through the book Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian. Woah! It’s a good thing I got the book when I did, because the price has skyrocketed! Here is a link to a blog post she just wrote along the same lines about an order other than chronological.)

Story wraps around my life and I’m constantly looking for more ways to document it and savor it. There isn’t a single right way…the only wrong way is to not document this perfectly imperfect ordinary life.

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  1. Love the idea about scrapbooking via the story versus chronologically. I have waited too long and now have forgotten dates, but remember the story!

  2. I loved seeing the spines of your scrapbooks. I had been using Creative Memories albums but recently started using We R Memory Keepers (like yours, I think) as well once I started doing some other projects like Week in the Life and Project Life.

    Over time my scrapbooking focus has shifted more to the text side or the importance of the written stories to accompany the moments. I am really excited for Ali Edwards' Hello Story that will be offered through Big Picture Classes this summer:

  3. Your kids will have the stories, in the albums and through your thoughtful blogging. You tell stories in the best way. Keep telling so I can keep learning.

  4. I ditto elsie. You do a beautiful job of story telling. I've been reflecting on story this year due to our oldest being gone. I didn't realize how much his stories sparked the rest of the family. We still have our own stories, but his voice is missed. Love the picture.

  5. I have never even considered keeping my photos organized in anyway other than chronological. Hmm, something to ponder. The remembering of moments, rather than just special moments, resonates with me. As I reflect on the pictures my little one likes to linger over they are of the ordinary moments much more than those 'special' ones. Great reminder that the time we spend together, in and of itself, is important.