Thursday, May 23, 2019

How to Preserve All Those Baby Pictures (plus some encouragement for moms, too)

Oh, baby pictures!  There's nothing like them.  Chubby cheeks and sleeping smiles.  First steps and first foods.  If there's a baby in your life, your phone is probably full of pictures of him/her.  Digital images are easy to share, from texting to social media, but if you want those precious pictures to last, they need to have more to them than a jpeg file name.


You probably already know about the risks of anything digital, such as {hard drive crashes and stolen phones}.  So what is important to know about digital photos and preserving them?  What's the best way to store these cherished photos for years and years to come?  Shiree and Michele from {Confessions of Parenting} asked me delve into these questions and give some advice on what to do with baby pictures to make sure they are preserved.

Here at my guest blogger post you'll find answers to those questions, solutions to photo concerns, and four fantastic ideas for making those photos last.  And some encouragement for moms (of all ages), too!  Click and read:


By the way, if you don't know how to get your pictures off your phone and onto your computer, this quick video walks you right through it in about 5 minutes.

This post at Confessions of Parenting went viral, so it's clearly something a lot of people need to know about.  Be a pal and share this post by Pinning, Tweeting, e-mailing, or sharing on Facebook!  Then tell me in the comments below what your biggest takeaway was from my "What to Do With All the Baby Pictures You're Taking" post. 
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Monday, May 13, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp ... is Moving!

Did you catch last week's linkup?  Did you find a new favorite blog post that's good for the heart and soul?  I find posts every week that inspire, educate, and make me smile.


We have some big news today!  But first:

Let's highlight the most-read posts from last week.  I'm including links to them, too, in case you missed them last time.  I personally loved each one of these posts.


from Flossie at Super Mom Hacks


from Maria at Krafty Planner

from Alicia at My Plant Strong Family

If you were a featured favorite today, you can celebrate by sharing on social media or your blog using this image:

I want to give a special thanks to each blogger who has participated in the Heart & Soul LinkUp!  If you've been a reader, you know what interesting, fun, and important things have been shared here at the linkup since November. If you found a new favorite blogger here, be sure to follow her/him on social media, or bookmark their blogs so you can always read those posts you love.

Thanks to:

We've had 6 lovely months of Heart & Soul linkups here at LifeTales Books and lots of great blog posts shared from some of my long-time blogger friends and a good handful of new ones.  More great things are in store as Heart & Soul moves from LifeTales Books over to Love My Little Cottage, hosted by Kristie!

That's right.  Heart & Soul LinkUp is moving.  With the move comes a name change, too.  Today, the Heart & Soul LinkUp becomes Little Cottage Link Party.


So instead of leaving links (if you're a blogger) and reading posts at Heart & Soul LinkUp today, head on over to   https://lovemylittlecottage.com/ to find the Little Cottage Link Party.   Kristie is leaving each weekly linkup open from 7:00am (Mountain) on Mondays until 7:00am (Mountain) on Wednesdays.  You can find rules for participating AND the very first Little Cottage Link Party right here at Love My Little Cottage.

I don't know about you, but I'm heading over there right now to leave my own links to some blog posts I'd love to share, and I'm looking forward to what others share, too.  See ya at Love My Little Cottage...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

How Heritage Makers Does Digital Scrapbooking Better (and how I know)

I have always been what I call a {memory-keeper}, but I wasn't a digital scrapbooker until the Perfect Storm of 2009.  Here's what happened and why I'll never go back.  



A LITTLE BACKGROUND and WHAT CHANGED

I've always been a picture-taker and a picture-preserver.  By that I mean that I took pictures and then put them in a book (not a box) and written a little memory next to it.  I didn't even really realize that "scrapbookING" had become a thing until long after it had.  I was quite late to the {scrapbooking} party.  When I learned about fancy papers and shaped scissors, I joined the bandwagon but was never one to spend hours and hours on one page.  I would say my scrapbook pages were fairly cute, but they were also practical.

I'm one of those people who enjoys scrapbooking because it brings back good memories, both while I'm creating pages and when I look back at them later (especially with my kiddos or husband).  I always prioritized keeping up on my scrapbooking because it's more fun to preserve photos when memories are fresh than it is when it feels like a chore.  In addition, I had a good friend who was also a scrapbooker.  We had kids the same age, so we would get together for Scrapbook Days.  The kids would play together and we would work.  It was both fun and productive.

That worked for me for about 12 years.  The Perfect Storm of 2009 was three-fold.  First, I moved 2,700 miles away from my scrapbooking friend.  Second, I spent a lot of time that year preparing to move, moving out, house hunting, house buying, moving in, unpacking, getting kids registered for school/doctors appointments/play dates/etc.  (I took a lot of pictures but didn't touch them for months, which was highly unusual for me.)  Third, Heritage Makers, previously just offering high-quality hardbound books, came out with individual digital scrap pages.  It was the perfect storm--a perfect time for a change.
By the way, I'll talk about individual scrapbook pages here, but all of this holds true for hardbound books as well.

NEVER LOOKING BACK

Because I'd been a traditional (paper) scrapbooker for years, I had a system.  I liked the loose-leaf system because I could add in my kids' schoolwork or class pictures, etc.  Although I'd been using Heritage Makers personal publishing for 4 years at that point for precious things like {family cookbooks} and {vacation books to give as gifts} to family members, I continued paper scrapbooking because it fit my system.

After the Perfect Storm, though, I was so excited to have the ease of working digitally and still being able to use my loose-leaf binder system.


Digital scrapbooking with Heritage Makers has been saving my bacon ever since.  It is very literally what is 100% responsible for me always being caught up on my scrapbooking.  I have 3 kids, so I always made 4 copies of the same page.  (Gosh, that sounds so onerous now, thinking back on making each paper page by hand, but I really did it.)  With digital scrapbooking, I now just click "copy" and then make adjustments for each kid.  That alone cuts my scrapbooking time--digital scrapbooking now takes me 1/4 of the time that paper scrapbooking used to take--not to mention the simplicity of just using the "copy" and "paste" functions instead of physically cutting out multiple borders and picture frames for multiple pages.  That makes it tons faster, too!

HOW I KNOW HERITAGE MAKERS DOES DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING BETTER

A year ago now, the print partner Heritage Makers had been using went out of business without any warning!  The home office went searching for a new print partner, but since quality is a high priority for Heritage Makers, and because they have such a wide variety of products, it took longer to find a partner than expected.  During that time, I became a little impatient.  I had a couple of projects I really wanted to do, and I'm the type of person who can't get something off my mind until I just do it already.  So I did something I had NEVER done in 13+ years of being a Heritage Makers consultant.  I looked elsewhere.  (*gasp*)  I just wanted to find something temporary, but I wanted it to be just as good.


I knew of several "digital photo book" companies that I did NOT want to use.  I've heard enough stories from my Heritage Makers clients about poor quality and {photo privacy issues} with certain popular digital photo book companies they used to use that I knew where not to look.  I wondered, though, if there was anything even similar to Heritage Makers out there.  I just wanted to print a few things until Heritage Makers got up and running again.  (It was only a matter of weeks, but I'll say again:  I was impatient.)  So I went looking.

In all my looking, I could not find anything as good as Heritage Makers.  Nothing.  

Here's what I was used to in Heritage Makers that I didn't want to give up and couldn't find anywhere else.
  1. Quality.  I know I already mentioned that, but it's a big deal.  If I'm going to spend my precious time and my precious money on something, I want it to last.  I don't want something as important as my photos and my memories to fall apart a few years from now.  I couldn't find a lot of information on other websites about quality, but I knew there are a lot of bargain-bin type companies out there, so I was wary.  
  2. Flexibility.  The templates I saw out there were not change-able.  I would be stuck with whatever pre-designed items that company offered.  I am so used to being able to create EXACTLY what I want to create in a book or scrap page that I just couldn't handle the idea of not doing that.  There's a build-pages-from-scratch option with Heritage Makers, but even templates are completely edit-able!
  3. Free photo storage.  Some companies these days really tout their photo storage (how you'll have digital photos stored forever), but that's a paid service!  I couldn't get over that.  I'm not going to pay someone to store my digital photos when Heritage Makers stores ALL the photos I publish in a book/scrap page/other project FOR FREE.  There's also no fee to download them from my Heritage Makers account back to my computer!  (Not always the case with other companies.)  
  4. Heirloom Assurance.  I couldn't find another company that offers Heirloom Assurance like Heritage Makers does.  In fairness, Heirloom Assurance is not posted on the Heritage Makers website, so maybe it's not posted on other companies' websites, either.  But I can't stand the thought of not having all my digital scrapbooks and scrap pages and other projects saved in my account forever with the option of getting a replacement at half price if those precious projects are ever damaged (fire, water, dog, toddler, etc.).
  5. Digital art.  I didn't realize how accustomed I was to (okay, spoiled by) the Heritage Makers digital art collection.  It is to die for.  I couldn't find anything out there that would hold a candle to it!  New collections are being added every month.  PLUS, IT'S FREE TO USE!!!  There is no way now that I would consider using any company that made me buy digital art.  (See?  Spoiled.)  Let me show you a few collections.  (Videos are about 1 minute and represent just the new art added that month.  There are over 200,000 pieces of digital art available in Heritage Makers creation program, Studio.)



I always thought Heritage Makers was the best, otherwise I wouldn't have become a Heritage Makers consultant back in 2005.  But after this experience of looking around for something I might actually want to use as a (temporary) substitute, I was convinced.  Heritage Makers just does digital scrapbooking better.

Are you ready to start digital scrapbooking?  Whether you're upgrading from your current digital scrapbooking method or you're looking to transition from paper to digital, Heritage Makers is your answer.  To help you get started, I made you a video myself to show you exactly how to scrapbook digitally with Heritage Makers.

If you'd like to learn more about digital scrapbooking, you can always host a class.  The way this is outlined, you also end up with a Tribe--a group of people to do your digital scrapbooking with. 

 I also host online scrapbooking work times (digi-crops) in my Facebook group, so {click here and ask to join} so you can find out about the next one(s).

Digital scrapbooking in general is faster and less expensive than traditional (paper) scrapbooking, but digital scrapbooking with Heritage Makers is the best there is.  Get started by following the instructions in the "HM Digital Scrapbooking" video above or contact me if you want to host a digital scrapbooking class and let me teach you and your friends more.  You'll thank yourself!

Who do you know who would love digital scrapbooking?  Share this post with her/him!
Love this post?  Pin this image to Pinterest or Tweet or share on Facebook.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp #24

Happy Birthday to us!  Our LinkUp is now six months old!  Thanks to all the contributors who share their blog posts and all you readers who show them some love (and some comments!)  That makes a blogger's day.  :)


Bloggers can leave links to their blog posts all day today (Monday), so this collection might not be complete until tomorrow (Tuesday).  Before we get to those new posts to read and enjoy, let's first look at the most popular posts from last week.  I'm including links to them, too, in case you missed them last time.

from Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti

from Maria at Krafty Planner

from Jennifer at LifeTales Books

Thanks to the bloggers who shared their links last time.  If you were a featured favorite today, share your excitement on social media and/or your blog using this image:

And now it's time for Heart & Soul LinkUp #24!  Enjoy.  :)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, April 29, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp #23

Welcome to another edition of Heart & Soul LinkUp, a collection of blog posts that are good for the heart and soul, contributed by a variety of blogger friends.  Did you know our LinkUp is almost 6 months old now?!  Thanks to all the readers and contributors who make it a lovely little place to visit.


First things first!  These were the most-read blog posts from those shared at last week's linkup, with links included in case you missed them:

from Jennifer at LifeTales Books

from Jennifer at LifeTales Books

from Flossie at Super Mom Hacks

Thanks to all the bloggers who participated in last week's linkup!  Featured favorites can share their excitement on social media and/or their blog using this image:

Now it's time to find new blog posts to love.  Bloggers will be leaving links to their blog posts all day today, so the collection will grow until Tuesday morning.  (Bloggers, remember that if you leave your links, you need to read and comment on at least 3 posts shared by others here.)  Feel free to show extra love on posts you enjoy by sharing on social media.  :)
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Solve Your Photo Problems Once and For All

Pretty much everyone I talk to is overwhelmed with their pictures.  It's a crying shame because pictures are SO GOOD FOR YOU.  (Remember my post from January about {the self-care tradition of hygge and how to use your pictures and memories to hygge}?  Pictures have been shown to {actually make us happier AND help us relax.}  In fact, if you read the article in that last link, you can see the studies that show this.  Viewing your photographs has been shown to lift mood and increase relaxation by 22%--which, incidentally, beats out other go-tos for relaxing like chocolate and wine.

So why aren't we seeing and loving our pictures more than we are?  Bad habits is all.  People often just take photos and then send them to the cloud, never to be seen again.  Unfortunately, I think the cloud is quickly becoming the Junk Drawer of photos.

One way I love to help people out of Photo Overwhelm and help them actually ENJOY their photos instead of just dumping them is something I like to call Solve Your Photo Problems Once and For All.  Here's how it works.



The first step actually has two parts: choose a class and choose some friends.  Choose a class you're interested in, such as "How to Catch Up on Your Photos," "How to Stop Being Overwhelmed by Your Photos using Yearbooks," or "How to Transition from Paper Scrapbooking to Digital Scrapbooking." 

And guess what.  If you have an idea for a different spin on those main topics, I can actually create a class specifically for you and what you'd like to learn.  I'm cool like that.  Once you have decided the class you'd like to take, choose a group of friends who would like to learn about it, too.  I always suggest choosing about 20 because about 1/4 respond, and you'd ideally like to have a group of about 4-6.

The class is free!  We can do it online or in person, depending on how you want to go about step 3.  We can chat more about that.

After having learned strategies for conquering your mountains of photos (or whatever class you choose) and the highest quality ways to preserve your photos, step 2 is to just spend some quality time with friends working on photos and your individual projects.  I will have given suggestions for high-quality memory-keeping methods during the class, so after the class we'll spend time actually making it happen!  We can start opening accounts, sorting pictures, uploading pictures (for digital methods), etc.  Let me know ahead of time if you'd like to talk about digital methods only at the class or digital and paper memory-keeping methods, too, because that will influence how we spend our work time.

The two digital memory-keeping methods I would recommend at the class
are a step (or many steps!) above average "online photobooks" for several important reasons!
These two steps--taking a free memory-keeping class with friends and getting started actually putting that knowledge to work--give you something WONDERFUL:  a tribe.  Yes, you get tips, directions, strategies, high-quality products, and solutions to make your goals reality.  But you also get a group of people you already know and love working towards the same goal.  Now you can set up regular times (I suggest monthly) to get together as friends so you continue to catch up and stay caught up preserving your photos and memories.  Digital is always my suggestion because it's simpler, and all you need is a laptop and internet.

If you'd really like to Solve Your Photo Problems Once and For All, give me a shout!  My contact information is at the "about me/contact me" tab in purple at the top of this blog, or it's on the graphic above.

And, you know what?  If you just need a memory-keeping partner, I can do that, too.  I can help with everything from photo organization to making the actual book (or digital scrap pages, if you prefer) FOR you!  You can find information about my services {at this link}.


This is something just about everybody I know needs, so be sure to share this post via email or social media! 

Looking forward to hearing from you soon so we can start solving your photo problems once and for all.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp #22

Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of the Heart & Soul LinkUp.  You'll find a lovely collection of blog posts that are good for the heart and soul at the bottom of this post.  Bloggers can leave links to their posts all day Monday.  If you're a blogger and would like to leave links to your posts, too, just {read the rules for blogger participation} and then share away!


First let's see which posts from last week's linkup were the most popular.  Favorites are featured below with links so you can visit them if you missed them last time.

MOST POPULAR:

from Flossie at Super Mom Hacks

from Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti

from Jennifer at LifeTales Books

Thank you to all the bloggers who shared their blog posts with us last week!  If you were a featured favorite, celebrate with this image on your blog or social media!

I'm excited to find out what I'll love this week!  Remember to show our blogger friends some love by reading and commenting--and sharing on social media, too!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, April 15, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp #21

Welcome to Monday and our 21st blog sharing linkup!  This is the place each Monday where you'll find blog posts that are good for the heart and soul, from creativity and photos to personal growth and family.

And we welcome new bloggers, too!  The rules for leaving your own blog links today are at the bottom of {this post}.


First, let's feature posts that were the favorites from last week.  I've included links to them in case you missed them or want to revisit them.

MOST POPULAR

from Kristie at Love My Little Cottage

from Jennifer at LifeTales Books

from Debbie at Debbie-Dabble Blog

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their posts with us last week.  If you were a featured favorite this week, you can use this image to celebrate on your blog or on social media.

See what your favorites are this week!  (Because bloggers can leave their links all day on Mondays, the collection might not be complete until Tuesday morning.)
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Storing and Transporting Your Photos (with tips on just plain loving them)

Are you planning a move?  Do you know someone who is?  While it can be daunting enough to pack up pans and side tables and board games, it can be downright scary to consider moving the most precious thing you own:  your photos.

Amy from {Needed in the Home} has moved many times!  I consider her somewhat of an expert.  She always has lots of great moving tips on her website.  As it turns out, she considers me somewhat of an expert when it comes to photos, so I was thrilled when she asked me to write a guest post for her blog.  Amy wanted some pointers on moving your photos.  With so many options and opinions out there, photos these days can come in many forms, so my article addresses all of them.  I'm so excited to share it with you--and there are some helpful ideas for storing and loving photos even if you're not moving, too!

Here is {How to Safely Transport the Most Precious Thing You Own:  Moving with Your Photos}.  You're going to love my very last tip at the end!

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp #20

It's the 20th Monday we've shared blog posts that are good for the heart and soul here at the linkup!  If you've been here before, welcome back and thanks for reading.  If you're new here, a linkup is just a fun way for multiple bloggers to share their good stuff all in one place.  You might find recipes, personal growth, home decor, or digital photo ideas in the blog posts today.


Before we see what's new this week, let's look at the featured favorites from last week.  Links are included if you'd like to read them.

MOST POPULAR

from Lori at Choosing Wisdom

from Jennifer at LifeTales Books

from Kristie at Love My Little Cottage

If you were featured, show off on your blog or social media!

Now on to this week's linkup.  Bloggers will be leaving links all day today.  If you're a blogger and would like to add links to your own blog posts, just {read the rules for participating} first, then add your links below.

Remember to show our blogging friends some love by commenting on their posts and/or sharing them on social media.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, April 1, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp #19

Welcome to the Heart & Soul LinkUp where various bloggers share posts they've written that are good for the heart and soul.  Remember that bloggers will leave their links down at the bottom of this post all day today, so if you're here early, don't forget to come back again to see the completed collection.  We're here every Monday!


Everyone visiting today is welcome to read any post that they feel drawn to.  We're always looking for new blogger friends, too, so if you're a blogger who would like to participate and share what you've written, just read the {rules for participating} first, then leave your links later on in this post.

Each linkup day we first highlight the most popular posts from the previous week.  If you missed these posts last time, I'm including links so you can click right over and read them.

MOST POPULAR

from Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti
Congratulations to these featured favorites!  If your blog post was one of them, celebrate on social media or your blog using this image:

Ready for some new blog posts to love this week?  Here they are!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Are You Too Busy to Be Productive?

It used to be that when you saw a friend and asked, "How are you doing?" the reply would be "Fine."  Maybe "Great." Things are different now.  A more common response to "How are you doing?" these days is:  "Busy."

I'm interested in this because one of the most common {memory-keeping myths} I find myself having to bust is: "I don't have time for my pictures and my memories.  I'm too busy."  I have seen a big culture shift in the 14 years I've been a Heritage Makers storybooking and memory-keeping consultant.  Most people I meet seem to be busy and overwhelmed, and--oddly--they seem to hold onto it for dear life, as if being in high demand (or busy) makes them important.  Sadly, over the past 14 years, I have seen an increase in general busyness, a change in priorities and attitudes, and a decrease in connections with loved ones and actually being in touch with our own hearts.


As I started looking into busyness, time management, productivity (and whatever other catch phrase you know of that fits) as a way to help my clients and potential clients out of the "I don't have time" hole, I came across a lot of insightful and helpful articles and ideas.  I began collecting them, so to speak--and you can find them at the {"don't have time?" tab} at the top of this blog.

BUSY IS THE NEW STUPID
One of the first articles I came across was on LinkedIn, and it's called {"Busy is the New Stupid"}.  I was taken aback by the title, so of course I had to read it.  The author, Ed Baldwin, says that as a society we have come to glorify busyness, as if that makes us more valuable or important.  He proposes that most of us waste a lot of time, aren't engaged in anything fully because we try to multi-task, and have become more short-sighted.  Baldwin states that busyness increases careless mistakes and results in more missed opportunities.  He says we treat busy as if it's cool, but busy is actually stupid.  Then he shares a quote that hits most of us close to home:

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."  -Sydney J. Harris


Baldwin recommends that instead of saying, "I'm too busy for ________," we change our verbiage to, "________ is not a priority for me."  That can apply to everything from "My pictures and memories are not a priority for me," to "I meant to call you, but it wasn't a priority for me."  Anything we're "too busy" for is really not a priority.  When it comes down to it, we make time for things that are important to us.  "Busy" parents at Christmastime find time to go shopping; they make it happen. It's not REALLY about being busy--it's about what is or isn't a priority to us.

THE BADGE OF BUSYNESS
One of the more recent fabulous articles I read about busyness is from Bree Weber where she actually conducted an experiment about busyness!  I'll tell you about it, but I also recommend the whole article to you: {The Badge of Busyness}.  She talks about how acceptable "busy" is and how easy it is to use it as an excuse to not even exchange pleasantries in passing or to avoid going to an event you don't want to go to.  Saying we're busy is easier than saying, "I'd rather not go."

We draw more and more inward when we can present as our face to the world a badge of busyness.  As an {introvert}, I'm totally cool with drawing inward, to be honest, but I also know it's not always good for us.  From not sharing our gifts with the world to spending too much time with Netflix or Facebook (which has been shown to {increase depression}), looking outward and making good use of our lives is vital to our well-being.

Bree's busyness experiment was two-fold.  The first part was to try different responses when asked "How are you doing?" by both colleagues and strangers during business and professional phone calls.  She would respond with either:
  • "My week has been so great!  I went hiking with a friend on Saturday and had lunch with my mom yesterday.  I'm going out of town next weekend, and I'm really looking forward to it."
  • "Oh, my week has been so crazy.  I have deadlines approaching and have been working nights.  I am so busy, and I have so much to get done."
Interestingly, both responses yielded almost the same result.  The first response yielded silence or else a quick return to a business topic that would lead to comments on being so busy.  The second response, Bree found, always yielded the same thing:  a one-upping statement about who was busier.


I was amazed at how little patience there was for any personal communication, how little time was allowed to actually listen to another person.

The second part of Bree's experiment was even sadder, I thought.  When people would reply with something busyness-related, Bree would respond with something like, "Wow, it sounds like you're so overwhelmed.  I'd love to help you.  I bet there are at least 3 things on your to-do list today that you could drop.  Tell me about what your to-do list is today."  Bree found that every single person she talked to was very protective of their to-do list.  They wanted to keep all their action items (and in some cases became rather defensive of them) to prove how important they are to their work and all the things that make them busy.  Some, she said, used the fact that they were too busy to trim down their action items as proof that they are indeed crazy busy.  And, therefore, important.

TOO BUSY TO BE PRODUCTIVE
Something that both of these articles have in common is that they found that many people are too busy to be productive.  How is that possible?  Doesn't busy mean we are doing things?  Well, not necessarily.  Yes, doing things.  Not always useful, helpful, meaningful things.  Not always things that matter.


WHY WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BE TOO BUSY FOR OUR PHOTOS AND MEMORIES
I've talked to a handful of people lately about photos and memories who say, "Oh, I really need to get some memory-keeping done--my kids keep asking me for it."  Memories and photos matter a great deal to kids.  It helps them feel loved, and it gives them something happy to remember and look to when life is hard.  Kids need to know they are a priority.  They need to know that their life's experiences count for something.  Kids love looking at pictures of vacations and birthday parties and first days of school.  They enjoy reminiscing.  It helps them know they belong.  It validates them and makes their little hearts happy.

And guess what.  It's not any different for adults.  Looking back at your life's experiences makes you the owner of them.  Reminiscing increases happiness!  It increases a sense of purpose and belonging.  Memory-keeping even reduces stress, so if you're "busy" and need something to relieve stress, look no further than your own camera.  Yes, a massage or an hour of Netflix may cut down on stress, but why not do something that will be as meaningful to you next month and next year and ten years from now as it is today?  Why not do something your kids or siblings or nieces and nephews will appreciate for years to come?  Why not do something stress-relieving that actually lasts?

DON'T MAKE IT HARDER THAN IT REALLY IS
Many people get tripped up on the idea that memory-keeping (preserving photos and memories in a tactile way) means scrapbooking--sitting down for hours and hours with stickers and scissors and paper and pens and pictures spread across three tables.  For some people, this creative outlet is fun and meaningful, so it's their preferred memory-keeping method.  And it works!  But if that's not you, there are other options!  Don't make memory-keeping harder than it really is.  It doesn't have to be complicated, and it doesn't have to take a lot of time.  

Quality is my number one recommendation, though, so make sure your memory-keeping method isn't something that will fall apart 5 years from now.  I have {four high-quality memory-keeping suggestions for you right here}, from digital books and scrap pages that are heirloom-quality to simple paper memory-keeping like Pocket Pages.  Choose whatever method will work best for you!  You'll see my recommendations at that link, too.  And don't forget {my services if you need a memory-keeping partner or someone to do the hands-on parts of memory-keeping}.

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THE TWO-PART "BUSY" CHALLENGE

Did these perspectives on "busy" make you think of things a different way?  They did for me.  So I have a two-part challenge for you going forward:
  1. Stop saying "Busy" as a response to "How are you?"  Look for positive things you're doing or looking forward to that you can say in your reply.  Make your responses upbeat instead of beaten down.  I've been doing this for several months, ever since I read Bree's article.  I think it makes me feel more positive and less overwhelmed.
  2. Stop thinking you're too busy for your photos and memories and start making time for them.  You'll find yourself with a little more peace and a little less stress.  And you'll also have something tangible that will be meaningful to you and your family for years and years and years.  I'm a regular memory-keeper, so I actually enjoy all those benefits I listed above about why memory-keeping is good for adults, too.  It's REALLY good for me--I can tell.  If you need some help setting aside time to prioritize your pictures, join me for my online work sessions.  They're free, and you can find information in the "don't have time?" tab in purple at the top of this blog (under the header).
After implementing each of these, come back and let me know how things changed for you!  (by commenting below)  I know you won't be too busy.