Our story: A year in review
I mentioned a time or two on here (and a quick link one night) that I'd made a book about our year. I adore this little space on the web and like to spend an evening now and then looking back over the posts and pictures. But to be honest, I really don't want it all printed out. Yet there is such value to our family in having pictures and words and stories printed. In our hands. Pages to turn, emotions to embrace.
And so, I began looking through my photos (which are organized on my computer by date) and picking out my very most favorites. The ones that reminded me of a good memory, or a miracle, or a moment where I knew my creativity had been utilized or stretched.
I ended up with over 200 photos. A few weeks ago I was feeling quite under the weather (we all were actually) and so I needed something to sit on the couch and do in the evenings. Making this book became the perfect project! I used Shutterfly and was very, very pleased with their service. This particular book was especially fun because it was a Project Life design book. What that means is that I got to design the pages myself and choose the background, layout (how many photos and words I wanted and where I wanted them to go), and add digital scrapbook stickers and labels on the pages as well.
So for example, on the page above I chose the number of photos, where I wanted them to go, and the number 4 and yellow scrapbook tag. A bit overwhelming if you don't enjoy creative things. For me, it was a bit tedious, but fun.
I ordered the book and the girls and I happily anticipated its arrival in the mail.
A few days later the bright orange box arrived.
I'm proud to say Anna Ruth said "Hey, there's pictures in there!" because we've ordered photos so many times it's a very normal thing in our house. (mission accomplished)
The book arrived on a rather ordinary day. The girls and I immediately began flipping through each page. Anna had distinct memories associated with a lot of the pictures (most of them), and Betsy Grace just jabbered and chattered non-stop, her index finger pointing at every little thing.
The quality of this book is fantastic. Much, much better than I expected even. I used a coupon code for this (found by googling "Shutterfly coupon code") and the book was on sale for 40% off as well. It still wasn't cheap (a bit over $50) and for us....that's more money than we usually ever spend on something "unnecessary." But, for us, it's a good, good thing to have our story printed out.
It's a good thing to look back and remember the moments and miracles we've experienced because of our faithful God. Like the time we were down to the wire, needing Betsy Grace to take her bottle for the first time. We gathered prayer warriors and saw God work.
This book is a treasure to our family. The truth is, we sometimes can feel so tired in this season, just like anyone else with small children. Or really, anyone else living! Life is wonderful and rosy and full of sunshine and memories....some times. The rest of the time it's work. It's laundry and chores and teething babies and discipline (for ourselves and little ones).
The important thing to me, is to wake up with the purpose of finding the rosy, sunshine, and memories that are tucked in between the other, mundane moments. They're almost always there...a ray of light peeking out from behind a dark corner.
Looking back at this combination of pictures is like turning on a very bright light,
on our (sometimes) very dark days.
It's a reminder of the beauty God has filled our lives with,
the joy He's woven into each square inch.
This is what I'm passionate about.
Telling stories. My hope and prayer is that somehow through my blog I'm able to free other people up and instill hope and confidence in them to tell their story. It doesn't mean it has to be a Cinderella story. But tell, say-something. We live far too long with far too much left in the dark,
when I know that God is wanting so much to bathe our lives in sunlight.
Just today I told a very good friend how this morning I was in a bit of a slump and wanted so desperately to eat a huge waffle with PB and syrup, just because it would feel good.
(I didn't....I prayed and had oatmeal) It felt so freeing and wonderful to be able to admit that. That I'm not perfect and I'm childish and want to drown my tiredness in syrup sometimes.
So you see friends, as I'm encouraging you to tell your stories, I'm encouraging myself to do the same. I encourage you to create a photo book of your own, pick the moments that tell of the moments, miracles, and memories that have made life rich and rosy.