5 Things I Realized When I Took The Pictures Off My Phone

I recently finished my college scrapbook. Y’all, I’m closer to 40 than 23. My closet housed an “in-progress” bag full of scrapbook paper, printed pictures, a slew of other scrapping materials … and I finally decided that I had to finish it up.

Let me tell you; I had an absolute blast!

It wasn’t the best scrapbooking, and it’s blatantly obvious which pages I completed when. But something pretty special happened in the process, and I immediately got on the phone and texted the friends whose faces appeared within that scrapbook with comments on our fun, and only slightly scandalous, college tenure.

That’s the thing about having all of your pictures in the same place. They talk. And their stories are powerful, whether standing solo or as a composition. I believe in both capturing memories and keeping them alive through their visual representations. Today, so many of these moments are on our smart phones, and here’s what I seem to realize every time I take them off for memory keeping…

My cup runneth over.

Social media makes it all too easy to get caught up in what we don’t have, where we haven’t been, or where we aren’t going. Taking a quick glance through my own photos, I can’t help but take a deep breath of gratitude and realize just how full my life really is. Sure, I might see photos from an amazing weekend getaway, but I am more likely to see a random Tuesday afternoon where we rediscovered the dress-up masks and had a blast parading through our halls. Gratitude is powerful, and pulling those pictures from my phone and putting them together thoughtfully in a scrapbook helps me view our story with grateful eyes.

I am enough.

I am not a fan of taking pictures of the worst. You won’t find many mid-toddler-fit pictures on my phone. You won’t see “sass” or frowns. But you will see smiles and perhaps pictures of togetherness with a few blurred arms because they can’t sit still. There will be toddlers on a carousel, preschoolers with fresh haircuts, silly Snapchat saved selfies that I send to my nephew, or big kiddos at a pool play date. There’s so much life in there, and life done right. Pictures can be such a pick-me-up. We are doing a good job, Mommas!

I should just do it.

I hope you find within your scrapbooks that memories are worth making. So keep going. I hope your pictures show that when it’s hard to pack pool bags and snacks, you do it anyway. Pictures reveal that when you feel called to sit on the couch next to your little ones to watch Paw Patrol instead of tackling dishes, you will just sit. They call you to leave the grown-up conversation on the bench at the park to slide with a toddler who has asked for a park companion 37 times, and you just answer it. A moment to pause and see the love within your pictures can be such encouragement to step outside of daily parenting duties and live in the simplicity.

Let them be little.

I’m guilty as charged — guilty of aging my kids, especially the younger two. When I take a peak through my scrapbooks I see just what I’m missing. I’m reminded that the three-year-old is trying to follow so closely in his bother’s footsteps with Star Wars and superheroes, but really, he loves Mickey and a good train track. I see the two-year-old with yearning in his eyes to be a part of whatever it is those older two brothers of his are doing, and I see him owning his place too with the wonder of a jump into the pool or ride down a simple slide at the park. They grow … change so fast. I can’t pause time, but I can remind myself through these images to appreciate where they are.

Leave a Legacy.

Our kids seemingly love looking back as much as we do. And what better gift than a way for them to take these cherished moments with them? Scrapbooking is a priceless family legacy to pass along. If you are like me, you take pictures like it’s your job and have so many moments stuck on your phone unsure of just how to piece these memories together creatively and effectively.

Thankfully, I just discovered our new sponsor Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Conventions though.  They have been around for 20 years and help scrapbookers preserve memories for years to come. For 9 years they have been hosting a show in the Houston area that gives moms the chance to break from the stress of their day-to-day lives and focus on the keepsake process. The convention is a chance to get together with friends, learn tips and techniques for bringing those phone {and real!} camera photos to life, shop for all the best products, and enjoy themselves at the show. From learning Photoshop tricks to classes helping portray “everyday moments,” the convention has classes for everyone to not only guide in creating lasting memories, but also have fun while doing it!

And just for Houston Moms Blog readers, Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Conventions is offering a $3 off promo for online registrations through August 22, 2016. Use the code CITYMOM16 at online checkout to save money and join friends at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center for two days of learning the latest in the scrapbooking world. Try something new if you haven’t jumped this far into the scrapbooking scene or find out the greatest new products and techniques if you are are a scrapbooking pro.

Creating Keepsakes

Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Conventions – Houston

The Woodlands Waterway
Marriott Hotel & Convention Center

August 26th & 27th, 2016

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A picture is worth a thousand words, right? You didn’t need me to tell you though. Your phone pictures do the talking, so pull them off and take your story to the page. 

Please Note :: While this may be a sponsored post, we are so thankful that Creating Keepsakes makes it way to Houston every year — and that they pass on coupon codes exclusively for our readers too!

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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


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