I have never been sentimental about “stuff.” All of those cute little scribblings and yarn necklaces my son brings home each week from Sunbeams go right in the trash (while he’s not looking). I condensed my entire array of childhood yearbooks, awards, programs, and memorabilia down to one box. If I don’t think I’ll use an item again, I donate it or get rid of it. I just can’t stand to have all the clutter around with the thought of having to move it from house to house over time.
But there is one thing that I couldn’t bear to get rid of.
If I ever lost my records, I would be heartbroken.
In fact, a few years ago, my favorite Christmas present was a fire and flood proof safe to store my journals and external hard drives full of digital files. If our house ever burns to the ground or fills with water, I want those records to be protected! The safe is already filled to the brim with my personal journal arsenal.

I am passionate about keeping records. Once a thought or idea or memory is in writing, I feel such a sense of relief. I don’t have to keep it in the forefront of my mind anymore, worried that it will slip into never-never land and be forgotten forever.
There have been so many times that I have wished that I could read journals that don’t exist from my great grandparents. To read about their opinions and fears and joy and trials. To know of the memories that filled that dash I see on family history records in between their birth dates and death dates.
I want to be sure that there is a record of my life and my posterity beyond birth dates and death dates. I want to be able to look back on the good and the bad and have all of the important (and not-so-important) events documented.

Therefore, I am a record keeper. I am so thankful to have my memories in writing (at least most of them…some make me roll my eyes).

At the top of my list of records to be preserved are the two humongous binders chock full of every letter Troy and I wrote to each other while he was on his mission.

Yes, we used to be really cheesy. After five years of marriage, we certainly aren’t as sappy as we used to be. Some of the love-sick things we used to write to each other make me pretty embarrassed now. But one of my favorite things about Troy’s weekly letters was how he addressed his envelopes. He never wrote my actual name. He always came up with a creative (and sometimes embarrassing) title. I treasure each and every one of those address labels.

I hope that someday our children and grandchildren will enjoy reading about our courtship and how we grew closer letter by letter.

I keep records in a few different ways now. Everything has gone digital, and I don’t live in the dinosaur era, but sometimes I still like creating with actual prints. I have a Christmas scrapbook that I add a few pages to each year, including our family Christmas card. The album is always fun to pull out and look at how much we have changed and grown from Christmas to Christmas.
Then, I have scrapbooks for each of the boys. They only document from birth to one year old. I feel like realistically, the first year of life is about all I will be able to keep up with for each child in scrapbook format.  Nash’s book is already about half as thick as Blake’s. But, it is complete, and I am satisfied that his life thus far is documented.
Especially since I started his book two weeks before his first birthday. I brought my supplies to Arizona and created layouts with my favorite crafting buddy (who happens to have many more supplies on hand than I do). The dining room turned into our project room for the week.
The nice thing about how I did the boys’ books is, sometimes, I created full 12×12 pages, but often, I just slid pictures into 4×6 slots and called it good. The most important parts to me are the journaling clips on each page.
I am so happy to have Nash’s book complete. I enjoyed using my scissors and paper cutter for layouts even if everything has gone digital. I enjoy digital design as well, but sometimes, I just need to take a break from my monitor and work with my hands.

Since I determined that the cut off for scrapbook documentation is age one, I continued Blake’s records with a blog of “Blakeisms” where I record the funny things he says from time to time. Eventually I’ll have a blog of Nashisms when he starts talking as well.

Then, of course, there is this blog where I keep the most updated records. I am slightly paranoid about my blog accidentally being erased one day or Google crashing, so I import all of my posts every once and a while to a back up blog. I also have each post automatically emailed to me for back up. I’d like to have a hard copy of all of my blog posts someday, but I haven’t found a program I love to turn our blog into a book. I tried using blurb a while back and gave up after a few hours because I had to reformat every page to make it readable. I feel like there will be better technology in the future for blog-to-book transfer, and I’m no rush to have it all printed out.
I love records.


  • Mamacita Chilena March 8, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Oh my gosh, does one of those actually say "To Hot Girl Nash,"?

    I LOVE that! I'm going to start calling you that from now on ๐Ÿ™‚

    Troy is really sweet. I love that you have all of that documented. I think I still have the first email that Seba ever sent me saved somewhere.

  • Linz March 8, 2011 at 5:28 am

    So sweet that so much of your courtship was in letters. This makes me want to do better with my records!

  • Stephanie March 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    The scrapbook pages look great-almost a shame that you only do a year. However, I totally hear ya on one year being manageable. I definitely had to give up the scrapbooking…

  • Kimberly March 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    So cute! I love your scrapbook pages. I really want to get better at journal keeping and scrapbooking. Maybe we should get together and scrapbook one day, ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kelly Jean March 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    (Steph Hock's sister here)

    AMEN! I am so pro-record-keeping! I've always loved to write, but as I get older, I realize just how important/valuable it really is! I have like 12 journals from my growing up years, a couple of blogs, an online email-journal (which I write in everyday), and a physical journal that I still write in from time to time. That fire/water-proof safe is sounding really nice right now.. ๐Ÿ™‚ And that's a bummer about Blurb! I keep wanting to print off my blog/online-journal… maybe I'll hold out for a better program ๐Ÿ™‚

    Awesome post!

  • Steph H March 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    (I love that my sister commented ๐Ÿ™‚

    Amen to this whole post! I used to get overwhelmed keeping journals as a kid cause I felt like if I missed one significant thing I couldn't write until that thing was covered and then it would all stack up and overwhelm me. I love blogs so much better for that reason because I can write a little or a lot and save drafts to come back to later and post in any order… it's perfect.

    I love that you and Troy wrote letters to each other! How classic. And I have a feeling that your posterity will eat up all the mushy, cheesy stuff. It's why we all watch chick flicks or get caught up in love stories. I think they'll be thrilled to see how much their grandparents (or great grandparents) loved each other.

    The scrapbooks for your boys are SO cute! I kept calendars for my girls, but now I kind of wish I went back and made books. (only kind of).

    Amen about Blurb. I started to import my blog but had the same problem with having to reformat everything. They'd make one post take up four pages or weird things like that. I don't know the answer, but I do want to print blog books for each year and keep a hard copy back up (I too fear the blogger crash).

    I need a fireproof/floodproof box.

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