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Family... loved ones....

In the last few weeks four babies have joined our ranks and three dear friends/family members have moved on. My heart aches for those that recently lost loved ones. So much history goes with them. My grandparents and my dad are all gone. They left years and years ago. My beloved sister is also gone; I miss her daily. She was the glue to our family. She always knew where everyone was and what they were doing. I loved getting phone calls from her and catching up on everyone. When she passed the fine threads that held us all together shattered. I often think of her and her contagious laugh! She taught me that a good server deserved a good tip and a bad server needed to be told so they could earn the good tips! She taught me love of family, a genuine love and acceptance. She loved her family unconditionally, even when she didn't agree with their actions, she always loved them. She left suddenly, without warning, and left a huge void in so many lives. For years I was going to get with her and we were going to work on our family tree and locate missing family members. We never did. She left before we got to it.

Now here I sit, super restless and feeling a friends pain at her loss of a beloved family member. Words can not begin to ease the pain and I know that. I have another acquaintance that lost her mom over the weekend, and yet another that lost her son. My heart goes out to all of them! This is why I scrapbook.

In those beautiful photos are the memories. That is where our loved ones come back and visit! We see their smiles, we remember their laugh, we feel their love in our photos and in our memories. Time fades those. All of them, always. Unless we make a point to hold on to them! This is why I make albums.

In my albums are the people I love, even the ones I don't have anymore or don't spend time with. I still have the memories of better days! I can look at the pages and hear the laughter, feel our special bond and experience the love again. I've lost people, a lot of people, but I still hold them dear and visit them often through my albums! When I'm feeling down or sad, I open up my books and look through the pages. That's where my happy thoughts are! My birthday when my kid brothers got me the best fishing pole ever! I could not wait for them to take me fishing! My wedding photos always make me smile. It wasn't a huge wedding, but it was amazing! I giggle every time I see the photo of my husband smearing me with cake! That twinkle in his eye, oh I just want to hug him! This is why I'm passionate about photos - this is why I scrapbook!

I hear:
I don't have time
I don't have the money
I am not creative
I don't know how

All false. You don't want to take the time, spend the money, or put in the effort because it's not important to you. What is? Twenty years from now, what will be important? The dollar you earned? The flower you planted? The booze you put away? No, those things won't even be remembered. Neither will the moment you spent with your loved one because either you didn't do it because you were busy with the above mentioned items, or you didn't document it.

I'm not saying document every single moment of every single day, you really wouldn't have time! I am saying three times a year make the time to document your loved ones. Do something with them and journal it. Take a photo! The first year of a baby's life, wow, it goes SO quickly! Then they are walking and talking and in school and before you know it, it's time for prom and then graduation and they are gone. Where did the time go? The memories are fading, the giggles are but an echo and life moves on. They are grown with children of their own and life moves on. You sit alone missing times gone by, people that have moved in and out of your life, and all you have is what you remember. This is why I scrapbook.

This is why I am so passionate about what I do! It really does matter to me that you get your photos into a photo safe album. Yes, there are many choices out there. Yes, you can run down to the dollar store and get an album to hold your precious memories. There is not a photo safe task force that prevents non-photo safe products from hitting the market. They are out there and you do have access. There are online outlets for making albums, they are out there and they are easy. You might save a couple of bucks going that rout, but to what expense in the long run? If it's worth doing, isn't it worth doing right?

I don't have time - a few hours once a month would do the trick! There are albums with photo safe pockets for you to simply slide the photo in and add a little journaling, voila! You have a layout done!

I don't have the money - Purchase or download the software and spend the time over the year of doing one, two page layout a month for a year. At the end of the year, your investment would come out to about $5 a month, that is less than ONE Starbucks venti mocha!

I am not creative - most often the digital software has templates and embellishments are ready for you! Just drop in the photo, add the journaling (story) and send it off to be printed! Tada!

I don't know how - All it takes is you having a desire to save your memories and record the ones you love. It doesn't need to be fancy. It just needs to be. First, purchase a photo safe album and double sided adhesive. The important components are the photos and the story behind the photos. Answer who, what, when, where and why. That's it! You have successfully learned the steps to creating an album! Still stuck?

If you read this far, thank you! I really am just this passionate about you preserving your story, the people you love and why you love them. The pain of losing someone is so intense, having an album(s) full of memories and laughter will ease the pain and will make the loss not quite so unbearable. This isn't meant to add to anyone's pain or to cause guilt. It is simply meant to inspire and give hope and to encourage you to save your memories :)

hugs to you

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