Monday, February 3, 2014

2013 Photo-A-Day

Last year, I decided to take a photograph a day for the entire year. The idea was to capture all kinds of moments - everything from momentous occasions to mundane daily life. I wanted a complete visual representation of a year I knew would be full of crazy chaos and toddler fun. I was a few weeks late finishing it, but it's finally complete... and I'm so excited that I finished it.

Lauren loved looking through the book - little by little as I worked on it throughout the year - and actually told me he wished I could do it perpetually. I adored recording all the little things that would have otherwise been forgotten. The day Brayden realized his giant teddy bear had a face and sat in front of it giggling for 10 minutes... my first long run after having Brayden (it probably came much later than it should have, but it was still a great accomplishment for me!)... the horrible day when I came home to chewed up tissue paper everywhere (thanks, dogs) while carrying groceries and a screaming baby (somehow it made the day better to sit Brayden down in the mess and take a picture of the chaos of the day). It was a great project... probably one of my favorites. I'm just really happy that I managed to complete it.

For anyone interested in the format I used, I can't say enough great things about Project Life. I stumbled across the product a few years ago (when it was just a woman trying to establish her company) and thought it would be perfect for my photo-a-day goal in 2013. Essentially, it's scrapbooking without all the cutting and pasting and gluing and craziness. Everything is in sleeves so you just put your photos in some of the pockets, add journaling cards to the other ones, and you're done. I'm a bit of an overachieving perfectionist (what, you're surprised?) so I couldn't leave it there. I added embellishments and other fun things... but it's great that you don't have to.

I loved working on this and am really excited for my 2014 project. I'm trying out a different format for a "scrapbook-type project" this year and then will decide which I like better between the two. I'll still be using Project Life, but just in a different way. While I'm shamelessly promoting a favorite product, I might as well add the other project I've been using it for: Brayden's Toddler Book. Most moms make some kind of baby book for their child's first year (though admittedly, I'm not yet finished with Brayden's). It seemed strange to only document the earliest time in your child's life though, when so many amazing things happen during the toddler years. They're full of fun and excitement and discoveries and quirkiness... and I really wanted to document and remember that.

So what I've done is used the Project Life mini-album (a much smaller scale than the big binder I used for Photo-a-Day) to record monthly highlights for my little guy. At the end of each month, I pull out a few favorite photos (it usually ends up being 4-6) and then I type up some notes about the month. Milestones Brayden reached, funny things he started doing, exciting activities we did that month, favorite books, etc. I liked that it was more detailed than the Photo-a-Day project (and solely focused on Brayden) but still a breeze to do. Other than printing a few photos each month, all it takes is for me to make two cards and add embellishments... and I get to remember all the special parts of Brayden's toddlerhood.

I've really loved doing these photo projects. I get to use my creativity, reflect on all the fun from the last few weeks or months, and have something I can give to Brayden to allow him to see how amazing he's always been. ♥


  1. I got a Project Life kit for Christmas! I was just thinking today how I should get started (I plan on doing a month-to-month 2014 book, but should plan on making some for the girls at some point too. Geesh. overwhelming to think of how far behind I am. :)

    1. That's awesome you ended up getting one! :) I like the month-to-month format a lot. Brayden's toddler book doesn't stress me out nearly as much as when I was behind in photo-a-day.

      I know what you mean though... there's so much you can do with the kits that your mind starts feeling behind even before you've done anything. ;)

  2. I can't believe that you didn't even MENTION that you now have a facebook "like button" at the bottom of your page thanks to several painstaking hours of your husband trying to retrieve his "programming brain." Thanks.

    Thanks for that.

    1. Aw, honey. You never get the credit you deserve, do you? What a hard life you lead. ;)

      (Thanks though... you know I appreciate it)

  3. Holy Moly this is awesome! I just finished Alison's first 15 months in pictures using Mixbook but I realize that I've stopped documenting her monthly accivements, that are kept in her baby book, at one year. I actually typed them up a few weeks ago (months 12-15.. now I have to do 16!!) but I have no idea how I wanted to do them. I also saw a huge stack of these albums at AC Moore just last night but didn't have time to really see what they were all about. (I was there getting supplies for our felt board). This looks really fun and manageable and I think I could retroactively make one for my girl. You've got me thinking, Krystin!