Friday, December 12, 2014

How I keep up with my Christmas memories...

My art room looks like a bomb went off in it.  Well, actually, this pile is looking better now. It was packed in my suitcase so I could take all of this to the beach with me where we are having a little weekend celebration of Mary Allison finishing her finals. 
But... before I left town, I snapped a collective group of my Christmas mini albums to demonstrate WHY I take the time to do one every Christmas.  Well, ok, not Everrry Christmas, but in recent years, since I've had my girls, I've worked a little more diligently at it, despite having very little free time to do it.
The way I look at it, there are choices to be made in how we use our time.  I just choose to use mine doing this.  Because it is important to me.
Would anyone like to take  a little trip down memory lane this morning? !  Well, if so, hang on!  Cause I uploaded 90+ photos to this blog post.  So sit back and enjoy.

This is our first Christmas with thte Gabster.

Apparently it was also the Christmas when I laid on the couch and watched everyone open their gifts.  I would've never remembered that if I hadn't documented it.
Anybody remember me catching Ellie sitting there staring at this pencil drawing of Jake? !  He'd been gone just barely a year when this happened.

The first trip to visit Santa occurred in Memphis while we were there to cheer on the runners for TEAMJAKE.

Oh wow.  Remember that little sling I wore across my chest?  Gabbi LOVED to be swaddled.  She rode in that puppy for about a year.

Proof we've been decorating trees for the Festival of the Trees for years.
Ellie made this picture of her daddy entirely out of makeup!  Haha

And remember when she went through her Snooki-loving phase?!  Well, this is a package she decorated to send to Madi.

And then, I try to always make sure the Christmas card photo shoots are in the books.  I need to go back and put the cards, themselves, in there too!!
(Seems I did in this book.  I think this was 2012.  I had it on the cover, but didn't take a pic of it.

These two girls were mesmerized by Santa's feeding his reindeer live online!  Reminds me we need to find that website again this year.

Now that they're older, I like to put in a few of their own drawings and I like to include their wish lists.

Sometimes I include my own wish list too.

I have memories of December of our MMPT Christmas parties.

And paintings I work on in the month.  Some of you might recognize some of these as ones I've mailed to you!
There are reminders to myself of my blessings.
And pictures that totally warm my heart.

I LOVE pics of Christmas morning, when the girls are in their sweet Christmas pjs and have sleepy eyes.

And then, this one goes Waaaaay back.  2005... the last Christmas we got to spend with Jake.
It's a fat one.

We knew we were very blessed to have this time with him... at home, feeling good, not cancer-free, but taking a break from the toll the chemo was taking on him.  It was a good Christmas!

And to see the "big boys" then and now... wow!

I have memories of Christmas with my mom's family in Olla, and with aunts and family members who are no longer with us.

Including my sweet Poppa, who used to get out his Bible and read the Christmas story to us every Christmas eve.

Those buddies.  Oh those buddies.  I can never forget.

And I think Jake loved Todd as much as Todd loved Jake.  They were pretty much inseparable when they were together.
I love that picture bottom right.  Jake was walking right behind Todd and trying to mimic how he was walking.  This was right after church one Sunday.  If I didn't have these documented like this through pics in these books, I would never have that recall!

I still have this sweet ornament that Jake made.
Needless to say it is treasured.
And then there is this tiny book.  It was Ellie's first Christmas.

This kid was so jolly!!
And she had mischief in her eyes even then.  I should've seen it coming.


I love that they all capture the time my girls have spent with their grandparents.

And to see my niece and nephews and how much they've changed over the years.  I really sort of stand in awe.

And so.... I am now working on my 2014 Christmas journal.
I'll post it on here when it is finished, but I want you to know it is the easiest one I've ever put together.  I hired a lady to sew the cutest books specifically for MoJoy, and now all I have to do is put the pics in.  I am basically doing the whole thing with an ink stamp pad, tape runner, scissors of course, and wash tape.  Oh... and letter stickers.  I love letter stickers.

I plan to upload a few videos on Facebook, on the Mojoy page.  If you haven't liked it yet, go check it out.  I hope you'll try to do your own book this year.  Just do it when you have the opportunity, and don't let the times that you don't have time stress you out!!  It's supposed to be fun.  If I am telling the truth, I still have Christmas 2013 in a shoebox, incomplete.  And that is ok.  It is on my to-do list for the holidays when I have a little time off.

Give it a whirl!



Unknown said...

Loved the trip down memory lane. I can't believe how long we've followed your family!!

Mbeaty19 said...

So excited that you shared these. Love looking back on all the kids as they've grown. Can't get over how Hayden & Hunter have grown. One reason I take so many pictures is so I can remember the 'little things' that truly mean so much. Looking back on pictures that remind you of the memories that might slip away otherwise is the best.
I know these pages will be very inspiring as I work on documenting this wonderful time of year. Keep up your creating and continuing to share your gifts with us. We are all so blessed to 'know' you.

Amy K said...

Sweet and bittersweet look back! I love your mini-books.
I couldn't agree's so important to document, and I remind my kids of that every time they groan that I'm taking another picture. One day they will thank me (or so I tell myself)!
It made me smile to see your pictures from the beach on Facebook and Instagram. Enjoy!
My "baby" turns 12 today, and looking back at our memories chokes me up. So many blessings to relive!
Great post!!!

Nana said...

I LOVED this blog.. have been through all the pictures several times!! You are amazing... I do not see how you do half of what you do...but these are so special. I loved the memories of Jake.. I still have the big chunky wooden star ornament with a picture of Jake and Staci..with BELIEVE, the painted cross, the little BELIEVE on a ribbon, his wrist band from St. Jude's the time we went to see him there, and much more. That sweet boy touched more lives in his short life than anyone I have ever known. I love seeing the boys when they were young too... AND, of course, seeing Ellie and Gabbi and their growth. It has been such fun to follow their lives and live vicariously through you as I SIT quietly and read!! Thanks for sharing your lives and family. We are praying for Sam daily!! Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

Holly said...

I love these! My grandsons are 13 & 17 and no one's happy taking pictures anymore! :( I just have to wait for them to come around again. Now days, with digital cameras and cell phones it's so much easier to get great pictures. When my son was little you had a roll of 12 or 24 and they were expensive to develop, you couldn't just delete the bad ones!

Thank you for being a blessing to me every day! I look at these pictures and I realize just how long you have been a part of my life! You bring me a smile always , and make me want to do better and be better! (and move to West Monroe!)

I wish you the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years! You are a shining light in this world, and are doing His work everyday!

Holly & JakeDog

The Mommy said...

I always enjoy when you share your memory books! They are so fun and creative. I also enjoy creating the mini albums! They are quick and fun, and my kids really enjoy them too! It gives them something to enjoy while I continue on the bigger and individual albums!

Thanks for the inspiration!