Capturing Everyday Memories: A Day in Our Life

Thrifty Travel Mama | A Day in (Our) Life - Annual Photo ProjectOkay, okay, enough with resolutions and words-of-the-year.  If you really want to know, mine is “intention,” but I really like “go” and “focus” that my friends have chosen.  If you’ve selected a word like I have or written a few resolutions, have you considered a project or tangible action to correspond to or capture your efforts to reach your goals?

Last year, I committed to doing Project 365.  If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically taking (at least) one photo per day for an entire year.

Thrifty Travel Mama | A Day in (Our) Life - Annual Photo Project

Doc Sci took this photo of the boys’ morning vitamins. I find it hilarious!

It sounds easy enough, but I didn’t want to be stuck snapping pictures of my boys just because they were conveniently always there.  I wanted my final set of 365 photos to be filled with variety and unique views.  Since I kind of get lost when I don’t have an idea to start with, I used the daily prompts from Fat Mum Slim. They’re free and ambiguous enough that you can make them fit your life situation no matter where in the world you happen to be.Thrifty Travel Mama | A Day in (Our) Life - Annual Photo Project

I started out so well in January, but… by July, I wanted to throw in the towel.  It ended up being just one more thing on my to do list.  Many days, “taking photos” didn’t make the cut which turned into a source of frustration for my commit-and-follow-through personality.

Since I tried the same project 365 the year before and gave up after Big Foot was born, I wanted to press on and actually accomplish the goal in 2013.  I did.  But now, I am staring at 365 photos that I want to edit before I display, and in those famous words, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.So, I’m turning to my old faithful project, a Day in the Life.  I wrote about it back in 2011, and I’m still doing a book every year.  One photo a day?  Completely overwhelming at times.  One photo book per year?  That, apparently, is more my speed.

Thrifty Travel Mama | A Day in (Our) Life - Annual Photo Project

My weekly grocery shop – the backseat of my Phil & Teds loaded to the brim. If you’ve ever grocery shopped in Germany, you’ll know that this drives the cashiers completely mad.  See all my milk cartons?  And more are buried…

In the spirit of celebrating everyday moments (with “intention” and “focus” and boy, are we always on the “go”), consider doing a Day in the Life project.  It’s only one day, and then you’re done!

Thrifty Travel Mama | A Day in (Our) Life - Annual Photo Project

I homeschool T-Rex in the afternoons to get him ready for the possibility of entering first grade in the US. This particular day, he cut up a paper snowflake and turned it into a creepy Silence of the Lambs mask.  That wasn’t part of the curriculum, just in case you were wondering.

We recently found some old videos of T-Rex when he was one year-old.  We had forgotten how much he chattered away, how chubby he was, and what life was like with only one child (oh my!). Even better, the boys loved watching these videos and seeing younger versions of themselves.  My hope is that these annual day-in-the-life books (I’m renaming them A Day in our Life) will have the same effect.  Thrifty Travel Mama | A Day in (Our) Life - Annual Photo Project

Just to clarify, I’m not dissing Project 365 in any way.  In fact, I’m toying with the idea of committing myself to editing one of those photos per day as a way to look back on what we were doing on the same day last year and have 365 photos ready to print and put in a physical album.  But the enormity of the task is just not something my overflowing plate can handle at the moment.  Better luck in 2015!

So what do you do to preserve your everyday moments and family memories?  Do you have any keepsake ideas that fit into my theme of intention?Signature-Marigold

8 thoughts on “Capturing Everyday Memories: A Day in Our Life

  1. Oh hey, thanks for the shout out 🙂 I like Intention too. I have to admit- I am pretty awful sticking to a regular photo documentation. I look at my blog as my best effort- not sure if you can tell, but whenever I write a post I am writing it to the future selves of my family 🙂 Anyhow- we tried to keep the picture frames updated. Reallly we did. But alas….

  2. Thanks for the shout out. I’m really good at documenting our lives. I do project life (the idea is a photo and journaling card a day, but I just do 7-16 photos a week), make a december album, two anniversary albums (one with a photo, one with drawings of what we did the past year), have a baby album for each kid (that is only slightly behind), plus I’ll make trip books on big trips. I used to do it every trip, but it’s hard to do with kids… Anyway, you gave me a great idea. Even though I’m good at documenting and following through with pictures, I could sure use help documenting with words… I think I’m going to add “a day in our life” to my project life process with a strong focus on writing about what’s going on in our lives.

    And our kids use the same toothpaste!

    • Ann, so my problem with things like Project Life is what do you do with the big, bulky albums? The thought of paying to ship them overseas, getting lost in transit, stuck in customs, damaged in weather.. ugh. That – and where do you put them in such small apartments like we have here? Maybe I will be better about it and catch up after we are more permanently settled (though I can’t say I’ve ever been so)..

      I did manage to do baby albums (first 12 months only) for the older boys, and the other one is in the works. I admire your dedication to documenting. You will have such treasures to look back on years down the road.

      • I’ve written out several answers, but they all get long. I’ll try to keep this short. The way I see it is a million fold. I’m huge into having a hobby. I’m huge into me-time, and having a creative outlet. I love memory keeping because it’s about, well, the family. So, I’ve thought a lot about it and decided that memory keeping will be my one hobby that gives me both me-time and a creative outlet. I picked PL because it replaces so many things. Any memorabilia I collect from travels has to fit into the week spread I’m going to put it in. So, now I don’t collect as much. And my photos replace any souvenirs I want (in most cases). I put the kid’s artwork in there on ocassion and don’t save as much as I probably would have. For me, I feel like it saves me time, money, and space, but lets me have fun.

        That said, I have recently considered quitting my december album. I’ve done it for 5 years. It was the only scrapbooking-type project I used to do, so I like seeing how we spend our Christmases from year to year, but since I just finished my second year of PL I feel like the December album wasn’t as fun for me. Also, for special trips I plan to make a blurb or blurb-type book. Since moving here I’ve made one from our move and one from our recent trip to San Francisco… 2 in 4 years isn’t too bad. Also, the first Project Life book I did was digital which is a huge space saver. I’ll probably do those again when I get tired of the way I’m doing it now.

      • Ann, that all makes a lot of sense. I like your thought process and how Project Life accomplishes multiple personal and family goals. When we get more settled, I’ll have to look into it. Good to know you can do Project Life digitally. That would be a big plus for me. Anyhow, thanks again for your perspective :).

  3. I’m just procrastinating right now on something similar (it’s a gift, though – does that count?) but in general, it’s the thing with the too-long to-do list. I haven’t managed to get any prints from our wedding (we are coming up to fifteen years in 2014) so a photo a day for 365 days? I mean *to display*? I doubt it.

    If I could have the books you describe suddenly materialise it would be fantastic.

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