When we were married, we asked a special mentor couple of ours to share some words of wisdom and encouragement to us during our wedding ceremony. Brenda shared many wise words with me, but what I remember most was her saying to “Be a Memory Maker.”
To me, that meant setting up the scene for wonderful experiences as a family and capturing them in pictures or words so that we can relive them and reflect upon them.
Now for me, as a photo/scrapbook lover and a “precious moments” kind of gal, it seemed like an easy and enjoyable charge.
But as the years pass, our family grows, bills pile, calendars fill, and work demands. “Memory making” has definitely become more of a challenge.
However, it is still so worth the effort. It’s one of the more fun priorities in life, for sure!
Family Culture and Traditions
There are so many ways to be a “memory maker,” set some fun traditions and create a general atmosphere of joy and fun in our home.
I have friends who have weekly family movie nights or who throw huge themed birthday parties for their kids. Other families escape to the “farm” where they go 4wheeling and skeet shooting. Some people go all out with holiday decorations, and others just put up a few things but relish the traditions of setting them out.
As part of our “family culture,” we like to always be ready for a hike or for a spontaneous visit to friends.
It really doesn’t matter what we do, I’ve learned – what matters most is our attitude when doing it. A cheerful fun attitude is what counts . . . and what is remembered.
Living out these times together can be incredible, but I’ve also seen that it is almost just as enjoyable to RE-live them through photos and videos. Our kids could reply a fun video hundreds of times without getting tired of it!
I’m not that different. Looking at the past offers us a privileged lens of perspective. What a gift!
I’ve found that clicking through past photos and videos together helps solidify family culture and values. As I watch old videos, I realize, we’ve always loved trails and adventure and exposed our kids to them at very young ages. It wasn’t something we just woke up and decided to do. I see that “we are who we have been becoming,” and it’s neat for our kids to notice that as well.
Keep It Simple
We don’t have to wait for a big Disney vacation to make some wonderful family memories. Our favorite times together have been on local trails or around the dinner table. We just need to be creative and take initiative to DO something to make it fun for the kids. As long as there is laughter, there is fond memory.
A couple simple tips that might help in capturing the memories:
Take a couple photos and videos regularly, especially of the kids talking or performing. Upload quickly to your hardware or cloud device and spend a few seconds deleting the extraneous footage. You can create videos with music as a way to organize a whole chunk of photos or seasonal footage. This does take some time, but my sister will attest to its value. It’s more fun and easy to share with family and friends, and her son loves watching them over and over as well.
Write down your thoughts periodically in a written journal or online. For some people this is daily, for others it’s monthly or yearly. It doesn’t matter. Just try to do it as a mom when you have a moment to reflect.
Allow yourself time to actually reread journal entries or blog posts, and to look through photo albums and watch videos. The whole point of saving these is to be able to relive them. We don’t have to wait ’til the kids have left the house to do this.
I’ve been spending the last few days going through old photos and videos, pruning away the extra’s that just take up unnecessary storage space and looking for efficient ways to keep them organized and shareable moving forward.
It’s been the best way to close out a year together as a family and look ahead to the next!