Tell Your Story Check-in #1

It’s been about a month since I posted my 2021 documenting goals. Here’s a quick recap of what I’m planning to do this year:

  1. Finish documenting 2020
  2. Print 2020 pages
  3. Document 2021 as it’s happening
  4. Keep a weekly journal on my phone
  5. Work on 2015 photos, then 2014 photos

Finish documenting 2020 & Print Pages

I am so very proud of myself! I finished documenting 2020 on January 11th and ordered a HUGE stack of completed pages for my 2020 album that very same day. A couple of days later, a box full of gorgeous, carefully packaged, perfectly-printed pages from Persnickety Prints arrived on my doorstep. I paired them with sheet protectors from Hobby Lobby, and a We R Memory Keepers 12×12 album.

I absolutely LOVE the little thank you card that comes with my prints. I love that it says “Your Story Matters.” That’s why we’re all doing this, right? We’re trying to tell the stories that matter to us, the stories we want to pass on. Under that cute green tissue paper, there’s an elaborate system set up to protect your prints. Look at that tape! I love how much care they put into keeping my prints safe and my corners crisp & sharp.

Just looking at my pages in the plastic packaging brought tears to my eyes. There are photos from the summer when my niece & nephew came to spend a day with us. There are pages of photos of my bruised & swollen face when I had a laser procedure done this fall. There are pages and pages of portraits I took of my beautiful daughters because I want to remember their faces this way forever. There are pages of photos of friends and family members we’ve lost in the last year. There’s sadness and so much joy.

I sorted the pages into chronological order and slipped them into sheet protectors and put them in the albums. When I ordered my We R Memory Keepers album, there was only one in stock, so I put the rest of the pages in a less expensive album from Hobby Lobby. One day I’ll replace it with a nice faux leather album. The photo on the right shows why I prefer the faux leather album. With a dog and dusty house, the cloth albums collect every dust particle and loose hair.

Document 2021 as it’s happening & Keep a Journal

I’m not doing very well at keeping a weekly journal. I did one entry, but that’s all so far. I did decide to use my Google Docs app so that it’s accessible anywhere. I typically have a couple of minutes while I’m waiting for my daughter to come out of school in the afternoons. I’m going to try to use that time for journaling instead of opening Instagram.

As far as documenting, I have through January 24th documented so far. And I have big Super Bowl Sunday plans to get caught up with the last couple of weeks tomorrow.

Getting caught up

At the beginning of January, I was only finished with the first three months of 2015. I have now finished April and the first half of May! I’m really excited that I’m getting caught up! My Life in Pockets templates really are helping speed things up!

Look at this fun field trip I went on with Hannah while she was in 5th grade. The 5th graders take over a miniature city and run it for a day. They have real-world responsibilities like jobs, paying bills, and running errands. It’s such a fun field trip!

I’m obsessed with these fun pictures of my girls eating dinner at one of our favorite local pizza places. I miss the days when my kids would make silly faces at dinner. And my little niece and nephew are so adorable! I love these photos of my daughter with our dog. They have a special bond.

I’m looking forward to reliving these memories! Looking back at my kids when they were little makes me nostalgic. What are you scrapbooking right now? How are you doing with your scrapping goals?

Cuddle Up & get cozy

Growing up in the southeastern United States, I can safely say I’m a warm weather fan. I spent some of my high school years outside Washington DC, so I can definitely appreciate a snow day, but I prefer to do so from the indoors. We’ve been in Utah thirteen and a half years and I can also safely say that each year I pray the snow will stay in the mountains. My kids love snow, so they’re pretty pleased about this week’s weather forecast. Seven straight days of cloudy, rainy, snowy weather. Me, not so much. But, I’m trying to stay positive because we desperately need the precipitation. I’m trying to remind myself of all the cozy socks, sweaters & sweatshirts I can wear and the lovely electric throw blanket I keep near my desk for work days. I can wear my still-warm Uggs the dog used as a chew toy a few years ago and just stay home. See? Now I’m looking forward to taking some pictures and documenting our story with my new Cuddle Up Collection. It’s so new I haven’t even had a chance to scrapbook with it yet!

There are a lot of fun, whimsical details in this collection. It’s jam-packed with 26 patterned backgrounds and 15 solid backgrounds. I love the plaids and the confetti-style heart pattern. There are 108 embellishments in the kit, including several hand-drawn sticker-style illustrations. There are 3 full alphabets including uppercase, lowercase, numbers 0-9, some symbols & punctuation. The first one is a beautiful gold glitter-dusted alpha, with a deep matching green alpha in the same style. The third alpha is designed with an illustrated knit pattern in pink. I think you’ll love all three. If you decide to go for the collection, you’ll not only get the Cuddle Up kit, but you’ll add 24- 3×4 cards in jpg format. There are cards to fit the winter lover in your life as well as those who are a bit more skeptical about the white stuff. As always, you can buy the packs individually, the kit (papers, elements, alphas) together, or the collection. They’re all 25% off this weekend, thru 1/24/2021, but the Collection is the always the best bargain.

I’m slowly chipping away at my goal to document both 2021 and 2015 this year. To that end, I created new versions of my This Year cards for each year. Yes, I know how odd it is to release a set of 2015 cards in 2021, but I can’t be the only person in this boat. They’re priced to reflect the absurdity of releasing them this year. And, I have plans to release other years as I need them for my scrapbooking. If you’re looking for a particular year, just let me know and I can add it to my design schedule.

The 2021 Cards include two options for beginning 2021. I began my Week 1 on January 4, 2021. There weren’t any business days before that, just a holiday and a lazy weekend. January 4th marks the Monday we got back to real life, or as real life as we can in a Covid world. I do have a card for Week 1 covering January 1-10. The week dates run Monday through Sunday so that all of our weekend adventures stay together.

Here you can see that the 2021 Cards come in 4 sizes: 3×4, 4×4, 4×6 & 6×4 to fit in various size card slots. Each size comes in ready-to-use jpg format as well as “With Bleed” jpg format. That basically means that each card is 1/4″ larger, with the design staying the same size. It’s best used for situations where you’re printing the cards to use in physical projects. It allows for the image to shift a bit due to printer limitations and then be trimmed afterward to the correct size.

The 2015 Cards are designed the same way, and in the same sizes: 3×4, 4×4, 4×6, and 6×4. We once again have a partial week with Week 1 covering January 1-4, 2015. This leaves us with a partial week 53 at the end of the year, too.

This is how I’m using the This Year 2021 cards in my documenting. I use a lot of screenshots. Lots of them. There’s no reason for me to try to put the Covid counts into words when the charts & graphs do a better job. Why journal about the importance of getting vaccinated when I can include a screenshot of the Utah Corona Virus post and a picture of my kids’ aunt, who’s a healthcare worker, getting vaccinated? I did include some journaling about that, but I think the picture is meaningful. And my kids like seeing their aunts, uncles & cousins included in our story. They’re a big part of our lives.

And our 2015 story… I can’t believe how tiny and cute my daughters were. I mean, they’re still cute. But come on… I can’t handle how cute this little girl is in her dripping wet coat under her soccer uniform. It was so cold that day. She’s wearing a sweatshirt under her coat, which is under her soccer jersey. And all dressed up for Dad’s graduation – drastic weather change?! Gotta love Utah weather. And Hannah’s “Elsa braid” on the way to church. Ainsley wore fairy wings when we went to see her cousin (and a bonus neighbor!) in a production of Peter Pan Jr. I had completely forgotten about that, but she still loves to accessorize! I even journaled about seeing my baby sister’s cute friend, who was serving as a missionary near us, walking down the street in a neighborhood near mine. We knew she was in our area, but hadn’t seen her. I yanked my car into the middle lane of the road, ran across the street yelling her name and made her take a picture with me. She was pretty gracious about the entire situation. Looking back, I’m sure she was a bit scared at first. Hidden under the Week 19 page is a picture of our dog, Alfie, who has since passed away. I treasure those photos! I’m so glad I’m going back and telling these stories about the random bits and pieces of our lives.

You can find my Life in Pockets Templates on the first couple of pages of these search results at SnapClickSupply. I modify the templates to see more of the patterned paper underneath. I’ll share how I do it quickly in a tutorial another time.

And because I’m a huge fan of Erica Zane, you can find her products here. They’re sweet and fun with a little bit of sass!

That’s all for this week. I’m working on some Valentine’s products. Hopefully I’ll get them finished before Valentine’s Day!

Stay safe & healthy. Wash your hands. Keep making memories with the people in your life, and document them!

Have a great week!