Friday, August 17, 2018

How to Preserve Your Summer Memories

Summer memories!  They’re some of the best kind.  The next several #familyhistoryfridays will be a series called “Giving from the Heart.”  These ideas will connect families and preserve wonderful memories, stories, and photos to look back on when summer is gone.
"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”  -James M. Barrie

What Do You Want to Remember?

Some summers consist of special family vacations, others of family reunions or just evenings on the patio sipping lemonade.  Did you attend a wedding this summer?  How did you celebrate Independence Day?  What pictures did you take?  If you took a poll among family members, what would the Top Ten Memories of your summer be?

Taking time to write down memories is good for the heart and soul, and it’s especially beneficial when coupled with photos.  Too often photos of special moments just float around in the cloud or stay on phones or cameras indefinitely.  Instead of letting your summer memories fade, preserve them.  It’s a way to give from the heart both to yourself and your family.

Unfortunately, we take pictures because we want to remember and then we treat them like we want to forget.  Let’s change that this summer!

Memories can do powerful things for us.  Here are three articles everyone should read about memories!
What to Do First

Memory-keeping is one of the first things to go in our busy society.  If our memories didn’t matter, it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But our memories DO matter.  We benefit from sitting down to put our experiences to paper, and we benefit from our photos in tactile (hand-held) form just as much.  Memory-keeping in this way is cathartic and even increases happiness!  Studies show if you want to {be happier instantly, look back at happy times}!  There are lots of {other benefits}, too.  So let’s get you started!

The first thing to do is to set aside time.  Like all worthy endeavors, memory-keeping doesn’t just happen on a random Tuesday when you unexpectedly find yourself with a couple of hours of free time.  (I mean, how many times has that happened to you so far?)  If the thought of making time for preserving your summer memories seems a little overwhelming, I would first suggest thinking outside the box a little.

For example, have you ever thought of this:  What makes memory-keeping Mom’s job?  Why not make it a family activity?  You could even make it a family tradition!  In fact, here are some {steps to making memory-keeping a family tradition}.  

Another great way to make time to preserve your summer memories is to do it with someone else!  If you make an appointment with a friend or sibling or a group of friends, it’s on your calendar and much more likely to happen!

If you need a little more help finding time, I have some really fantastic ideas and suggestions for you {at this link}, including:
  • how to make time for the things you love
  • how to actually create time
  • ways to look at time and “time management” differently
  • why we’re sometimes too busy to be productive and what to do about it
  • what a digi-crop can do for you
After you’ve set aside time, choose how you want to preserve your summer memories and photos.  If you need photo organization help or help getting your pictures from your phone to your computer, {go here next}.

Options to Preserve Your Summer Memories

Photos are a fantastic guide to trigger memories.  It’s important to preserve photos in a way that allows you to write out your memories, too.  It’s one reason that {digital photo storage is not really the goal}.  Why would you focus so much on STORING something that you actually want to SEE?  What good does a photo in the cloud do us if we can’t tell its story?  Writing out what you remember about the event or the person in the photo is how we get the roses in December.

Back in March we looked at some of the most popular ways to preserve photos and memories these days:  {digital scrap pages}, {digital storybooking}, and {paper scrapbooking}.  (Didn’t you love the history of scrapbooking in that last one?  I thought it was so interesting!)  Of course, there’s also the decades-old tradition of {printing up your pictures} and putting them in a simple album from any craft or big box store.

Quality has come a long way in recent years, but it’s still one of the biggest things to look for. You definitely don’t want to spend the time (or money) to preserve your precious summer memories and photos only to have it fall apart 5 or 10 years from now.

My Favorite Methods

Although some people prefer a more hands-on method for preserving photos and memories, I like digital books and scrap pages for two reasons.  First, you get to skip the extra step of printing photos.  Second, digital allows for multiple copies (to give multiple kids, for example) without extra work.

This fun 12x12 hardbound Disneyland storybook template can be personalized {here},
and even the template is 100% editable so you can adjust whatever you like!

My usual method for preserving my own pictures is with Heritage Makers scrap pages.  Quality is a big reason that I choose this method for my own memory-keeping, but heirloom quality and the 200,000+ pieces of FREE digital art are others.  Because this is what I do for ALL my memory-keeping, I preserve my summer photos this way, too.  If scrap pages interest you, you can see how I make them {here at this video} (where you’ll watch me preserve my summer 2017 photos and memories).

2021 UPDATE:  For other heirloom-quality options besides Heritage Makers, click here to see 3 videos about additional platforms to help you find a memory-keeping method that fits your style and available time, from push-of-a-button simplicity to beautiful done-for-you templates to creative and flexible digital scrapbooking.   

If you’re looking to preserve only your summer memories and photos in one place, go for books! 

This other template is just perfect for a collection of summer memories, I think.  This summer memories book is a little 5.5×5.5 size.  It’s softbound.  (If you like the idea of a softbound book because they’re cheaper, be sure you’re getting one that uses {PUR binding} like this one from Heritage Makers does.  Most companies use glue, not PUR.  Glued-in pages can crack over time, causing the pages to fall out.)  At $9, it’s a pretty wallet-friendly way to give your summer memories and photos a good home, too! 

NOTE:  The other options mentioned above (in the 2021 update) from Forever also use top-of-the-line PUR binding. 

Whether heirloom-quality books or scrap pages are your thing, simple options or detailed digital scrapbooking, I’ve got a variety of videos to help{get you on your way} right there at that link.

What to Do Now

Set aside time, decide if you want to preserve your summer memories as a family or by yourself or with friends, then choose your favorite method.  Then GO!  Whatever high-quality method you choose, it’s the best one–because you’re doing it!

When you’ve given your precious photos and memories a home that will be treasured for years to come, show it off!  My Facebook group is just the place!  {Request to join here} and then take photos of what you created and post them in the group.  We’ll congratulate you on being the hero of your family and celebrate with you.  I can’t wait to see what you’ve done.

Everyone has summer memories!  Save and share this post on social media.

This post was originally published at on August 17, 2018, by Jennifer Wise.  You can read more #familyhistoryfriday posts about photos, memories, stories, family, and connection by clicking the hashtag below next to Labels.


  1. I have not yet tried digital scrapbooking but I do like the idea of being able to print multiple pages. I am still scrapping the old traditional way and while I love it; it can be a bit much scrapbooking the same vacation page for all three boys. Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Summer Fun party. Pinned.

    1. That was exactly my experience--I paper scrapped for a long time and making 4 copies of the same page was just a bit much! I enjoyed it, but once I transitioned to digital pages, I fell in love. Since I had a lot of paper supplies, I actually did "mixed media" books--some pages hand-scrapped, others digital--until I fully transitioned to digital. Definitely give it a try. It's pretty great. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting--and for Pinning! :)

  2. I used to scrapbook then got into genealogy then got into blogging. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to do all we want to do. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 4. Shared.

    1. Scrapbooking and genealogy are (or can be) intertwined. So good for the heart and soul and for both individuals and families! Thanks for sharing. :)


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