I am so excited to finally be showing you all some progress on my baby album for Holly. (I am not all that excited for you to see how terrible I am at photographing paper layouts–good golly I don’t know how you paper gals do it!) As most of you who read this blog know, I am a digital gal when it comes to scrapbooking. Up until the Baby Edition arrived at my doorstep in January I had never even seen a real-life Project Life kit. To say I was excited to get started was an understatement, but boy oh boy was I unprepared for the length of time it would take me to get a system down!
The day I received the kit happened to be the same day I had my once a month scrapbooking date night with a friend, oh how I wished Becky’s post on setting it all up had existed then! I managed to do a bit of what she suggested on my own that night, and even reported in a few days later on how I had figured out a system, but let’s just say it didn’t always go according to plan. I learned very, very fast that planning pages were imperative for me–I don’t know if it’s because I am used to being on the computer or what–but I cannot for the life of me figure out how you can do this without a lot of pre-thinking. I was constantly printing pictures in the wrong orientation as well as not enough in number for this, that, or the other thing….and ick. It was just a mess!
I am happy to say that I now use planning pages faithfully, and it’s made a huge difference in the time. So without further ado–I present the first eleven pages of Holly’s babybook:
Page One, Left Side. I chose to start out with The Story of Us. I am not sure why, it just seemed to make the most sense to me. (She wouldn’t actually be here without us, right?!) I would have loved more than anything to make this part of the book a two-page layout…but I couldn’t. There are NO photos of us at all–save a wedding photo, and engagement photo, and a picture we took of ourselves on our last trip prior to baby in 2007. I am always worried about how I look, and am I too fat…and blah, blah, blah so I never let anyone take my picture. Big time regret here. And a reminder that I need to keep getting in front of the camera now.
Page One, Right Side. Next up was the heritage page. I had originally planned to do a grid of the great grandparents in the bottom right pocket, but while I was digging through my printed photo drawer I found a gem. A photo of my mom pregnant with me! I have no idea how I have this photo, but in it went! I think it’s awesome!
Page Two, Left Side.
Page Two, Right Side.
My expecting you section is incredibly light–putting this page together was a real eye opener for me. I have always considered myself a person that takes a lot of photos, so I was incredibly shocked to find less than 5 (save the day of my baby showers) photos of me from the time I was pregnant. No pictures of me holding a cute “month __” sign, no photos of shopping for her, no everyday photos of any kind. I now know more than ever that those are the photos that mean the most to me. Sure it’s nice to see the photos of me with family and friends the day of a celebration, but really? I want to know what it was like to be pregnant for the first time. The feelings, my thoughts…all sadly gone now in the empty alleys of my memory.
I did come across a few treasures though. As I was rummaging through my photo drawer I found two 8×8 scrapbook pages of Holly’s ultrasound photos. Told you I used to paper scrap!!! Honest to goodness I am 99.9% sure these are the last paper layouts I made. I am so glad I kept them (I actually remember once thinking of tearing them apart and tossing them) because they made quite a cute insert. I bought 8×8 page protectors at Joann’s and put a hole in the right place with my crop-a-dile. It’s one of the very few paper tools I have left–glad I kept that too! Here is a look at the two pages with the inserts on each side:
Incidentally if anyone knows where I can find more little tab things like you see on the side of this 8×8 insert (it’s red and says love)–please let me know. I found it on a page of embellishments from Creative Imaginations I had kept that was probably bought in 2006. It’s a sticker in the shape of a tab that folds onto itself that is a nice heavy weight–I think those things are perfect for inserts and I only have about six left!
Page Three, Left Side. I had to combine a lot of things because, again, it would appear at this point in my life I was more of an “event” picture-taker than an everyday one. I just didn’t have very many photos to choose from, so I combined information about setting up the nursery, other names we considered for her, and why we chose the name we did. Fishing in my old photo drawer scored me two photos I am glad are preserved now–a photo of me and my grandmother in Italy together and a photo of my Grandma and Aunt Holly. They were both the inspiration for Holly’s name (her middle name is Elizabeth after my grandmother) so I really love having this photo of the two of them together…even if it is from the 90s! Oh and the foot–yup, it was that bad. Can you believe how swollen I get?!?! Same thing happened with Marie. Hurts just looking at it:)
Page Three, Right Side.
I chose to put all of the shower photos together. (I had a friends shower here in St Paul and a family shower back in New York.) Again–I wasn’t very creative back then so I didn’t have any decor photos, or photos taken from unique angles…it just amazes me how much I have grown as a storyteller. It gets me excited too–so glad I am like that now, as I document the lives of my girls!!
Page Four, Left Side and Right Side. These are the time capsule pages, I loved the concept so much it became a two page spread! I didn’t have a layout dedicated to our house because we no longer live there so info on that went into this layout as did local news, national news, where we traveled that year, pictures of our boys (dogs), and a bit about Saint Paul and why we love it so much.
Page Five, Left Side.
Now we are getting to the good stuff–The Birth Day!! I am so glad I have as many photos as I do this day–I remember so much about it…including the washcloths on my head. That tub was HOT, and anyone that personally knows me knows I do NOT like the heat–so I had to counter balance that heat with something and that something was an ice cold washcloth!! I still laugh about it to this day. For about twenty hours of my labor I was without drugs, laboring in water is just that amazing!! But they made me get out of the tub, which caused me to undilate if you can believe that…and in the end I had to get a c-section. Our doula was still able to come in with us, where she sort of took on the role of photographer–which was awesome. I wouldn’t have these photos otherwise!
Page Five, Right Side.
Our doula also took notes all day and all night (with “time stamps”) that she emailed to me right after the birth. I kept that document in a file labeled “Baby” for years now and yesterday turned it into an insert. I just added a text box on top of a digital paper from the kit and sized it all to 8 1/2 x 11 so I could print it with a photo sheet on my home printer. Not really all that creative, but I think Holly will find it all pretty fascinating someday when she reads it. Here is one side of it, the other side looks exactly the same except where I added an additional title text box that says “Labor Notes recorded by Mom” that details out what I remember during that time period.
Page Six, Left Side. Still telling the story of The Birth Day, I have to add in the scan of her footprint once I hook up the flatbed scanner. It was a looooonnnnngggg day, but I was not idle. No sir. I was a real estate agent at the time and believe it or not I sold a house that afternoon after I received my epidural. I told that story at every listing appointment after that–sure was a great answer to the question, “How hard are you going to work for us?”
Page Six, Right Side. I chose to do the Your Arrival section next. Honestly I wasn’t sure what that section was meant to entail, I defined it as our time in the hospital. There is an insert I want to add in here, but it requires husband participation, so it’s not done yet. He has the funniest story about carrying Holly down the hallway without her cart (a security no-no at our hospital) that I definitely want recorded.
Page Seven, Left Side. More fun in the hospital.
Page Seven, Right Side. This is where I recorded a little bit about the first visitors. Multi-photo 4×6 templates come in really handy on these types of pages!!
Page Eight, Left Side. Bringing her home:)
Page Eight, Right Side. I chose the Your Very First Days of Life title card here, just so I could detail out those first few days in their own special section.
Page Nine, Left Side. We finally made it to Month One! As you can see, I keep it very simple–slip in photos and journal on the cards.
Page Nine, Right Side. I used the Our Family title card here to record about the day we had all of the visitors come to the house. I am nowhere to be seen this day, if I remember right I had slept an hour the night before and was exhausted!
Page Ten, Left Side. I have a bit of journaling to add in here, oh how I wish I would have saved a birth announcement. I really should contact family members and see if anyone saved one.
Page Ten, Right Side–with insert showing, and then without.
The insert is a 5×7 enlargement of my mom rocking Holly. She stayed with us for two weeks after her birth to help me out as I was on bed rest after my c-section, and I knew I wanted to do something special to tell that story. As I was putting the album together last week I emailed my mom and asked her to write a letter to Holly about what it was like to be with her those first few days of her life, and what it meant to her to be there. I told her not to worry about being eloquent and to write from the heart. When I got the email I cried. I am going to type it up and put it on the back of this photo. Can you imagine Holly reading that someday?! Makes me tear up even now. I would give anything to have a letter from one of my grandmothers about what it was like to be with me when I was born. This is a great example of thinking about creative things to do after the fact. Don’t let the fact that your baby isn’t a baby anymore stop you from doing a baby album. It doesn’t matter if it was 5, 15, or even 20 years ago….when you start looking at all of those photos you would be amazed at what you remember and what you would like to add. Never thought of having her write a letter then, but now that I am wanting to record Holly’s story…makes perfect sense! My mom might not have remember every little thing that happened those two weeks, but she remembered enough to write a beautiful heart-felt story.
Page Eleven, Left Side. The beginnings of Month Two. This was the day I played around with posing the poor girl and actually turned my flash off to use some natural light. These are some of my favorite baby pictures. I still have a little bit of journaling to do.
Page Eleven, Right Side, with insert and then without.
The other side of the insert can be seen here:
And that’s where I am right now. It will probably be April before I get another update together, unfortunately these photos were never edited so I not only have to choose which ones I am printing I have to edit them too. (I wish I could say to heck with that part, but the color is so bad and the photos so dark 90% of the time in these old photos that I have to.)
I hope you enjoyed this peek, and I hope it gave you some ideas about what to include if you are thinking of starting a baby album or are working on one.
I can’t say it enough–I am so incredibly happy that I have found a system in Project Life that works for me to record the stories, the quotes, the photos, the craft projects, the life I want to remember.
It’s one of my favorite things in the whole world:)