Well, I think I have managed to escape the recent bout of illness that has wound its way through my family. Erin (youngest daughter) and Marc (darling hubby) got the worst of it. I had a few days of general "feeling crappy-ness" and Makenna (oldest daughter) ended up with nothing more than a sore throat. Now, I know the cold and flu season is only just beginning, but seeing just how many sick people there are around me, I was quite happy to escape 3 or 4 days of bed-ridden yuckiness.
For the first time in several weeks, I am sitting alone in the peace and quiet of my basement office, and I have NOTHING on my agenda for the entire day. NOTHING! I am quite excited about this prospect, but I know that even though I have nothing planned, laundry, house cleaning and cooking are sure to find their way onto my day planner. SIGH. I will enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts.
One of my favourite things to do on a "lazy day" is scrapbook. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I started scrapbooking. I found it an incredibly relaxing (if a little expensive) hobby. My kids love nothing more than pulling one of their scrapbooks off the shelf and reading a story that is just about them.
My childhood memories are mostly jumbled in a box in my mothers basement. We rummage through a shoebox full of old pictures, half the time we can't remember where or when the picture was taken or the particular memory associated with it. The wonderful thing about scrapbooking is that it offers you the chance to journal those memories (as they happen!) right into your scrapbooks. When your child (or grandchild!) looks at those photos years later, they will know exactly what was happening at the exact moment that photo was taken. It is a wonderful gift for future generations.
Now, with the age of digital photos upon us, we are no longer faced with shoeboxes of memories, but rather file folders of pictures stored on a computer. They are trapped in a technology that, while reliable, can be somewhat unstable. What would happen if your computer crashed and you lost those files? What if your CD full of photos got stepped on and broken? Also, what good are those photos if you can't pull them out and share them with others?
I know that scrapbooking is not for everyone. Many people consider it to be "too crafty", "too time consuming" or "too expensive". While all of those things can be somewhat true for traditional scrapbooking, I have recently discovered "digital scrapbooking" and I have to say - I am HOOKED!
Creative Memories offers an absolutely amazing software package for creating and printing your own digital scrapbooks. You can download a free version of their "Storybook Creator" software right from their website. They do have another version that you can purchase that offers more options and design flexibility, but you can create a lovely, and inexpensive, memory book simply using the basic trial version. (I created my very first digital scrapbook using only the "free" version). For around $65 (including shipping!) I received a beautiful hardcover 8 x 8 bound book that looked like something I would buy at Chapters. It contained over 100 images (just to print the photos alone would have typically cost me around $25) as well as my own journalling and a personalized cover with a photo. The entire book took me around 2 hours to create and they had it shipped to me within 4 days of placing my order on the website. If I decided I wanted to have another copy of the book for my mother, it's as easy as re-ordering the same book online. How cool is that?
I have since created many other memory books (of couse, I upgraded to the "fancy" version of the software for $55 - totally worth it for a crafty nut like myself) but I still have so many more photos to go through (I really have to stop taking so many!). I have made it my goal to at least complete one family "yearbook" for each year. I really want to make sure that my kids are able to look back on their memories without having to search through old boxes of photos and ask "who is that?" or "where was this taken?"
Tomorrow is my 7 year wedding anniversary. It really is true what they say - once you have kids, it is almost like you wake up one morning and they are heading off to university. Time flies by so quickly. It seems like only yesterday I was planning my wedding, and now here we are, an "old married couple" with 2 kids. Even though you think you will remember every detail of yours or your child's life, as time moves on your memories fade. I have already forgotten so many things that I had thought were engraved in my mind forever. If it wasn't for the memory books that I had created, so many of these milestones would be lost.
If you have ever thought about giving scrapbooking a try - I encourage you to go for it! It is easier and cheaper now than ever to make scrapbooking a hobby, and it is a great way to pass a lazy Sunday. I guess I have now found something to do to fill the rest of my afternoon!