Thursday, February 13, 2014

Documenting life

Saturday February 8th 
I am home with just Liv and myself because she is sick again. Everyone else is at my best friends daughter's birthday party.
This means I have a lot of time to actually think, let my mind wander and come up with ideas. One thought entered my head and I just couldn't let go of it, my biggest joy in life. Documenting life. Sometimes it seems that I spend so much time trying to preserve and document all the wonderful things going on that I miss everything while it is actually happening. I don't live in the moment because I get so much anxiety over getting the right picture, blogging it, putting it on Facebook or some other way to keep the memory alive for future entertainment. I have always wondered these few questions 
1. what is the point of life if you don't share life  2. What is the point of taking pictures if you don't share them with the ones who will enjoy them. And worst of all 3. what is the point of taking pictures if you are not going to protect them? 

So, to discuss all of this I am going to start with how I protect the thousands and thousands and thousands (and thousands) of pictures I take throughout my life. 
First I have all of my devices,  iPad,  phone,  my husbands phone,  all uploading to Dropbox. They all automatically sync with every picture I take. 
All the photos I take on my Nikon DSLR I upload to my computer's hard drive. Once I cull out all the bad shots and very amateurishly edit the good ones I copy them over to drop box as well as copy over to an external hard drive that I keep in a fire proof safe. I change the filename to indicate that they are on my harddrive so there's no confusion when I'm looking back through all of my folders what is on the hard drive what is in Dropbox what is on the computer. 
Dropbox is my primary go to when needing a photo.  My dropbox setup and hard drive setup mirror eachother.
I organize all my photos into folders. I have a folder for each year, and each year has sub folders for each month, and each month folder has sub folders for event as well as one sub folder for random pictures that are not tied to an event. 
I know this all sounds ridiculous if you're not used to saving photos, but I promise you it comes in handy especially when your daughter's school project is to bring photos of a certain age or activity. And it is especially worth it if you have ever experienced a computer crash losing everything you have. It has happened to me!!
So now that I have all of my photos saved and protected what do I do with all of them? Here is where I struggle. Do I leave them to live on my computer for no one to ever see or do I share them on Facebook to only be seen that day or do I try to find the best of the best and make wall hanging out of them? 
Once upon a time, before kids, before 1000's of pictures and before social media, I used to print them out and put them in photo albums. I did an album per year. But now I am so far behind that it would cost a pretty penny that I don't have to print them all out and put them in photo album. Not to mention, pretty sure I couldn't put an entire year in one album. 

I need to do something before many more years pass by. My desire to do something was validated the other day when one of the twins pulled out a photo album I made especially for their 1st birthday party. It was probably the only photo album I've made since 2006. They were both looking at it giggling, laughing, talking to each other. It made me realize that that is exactly what photos are for, to be shared and enjoyed. 
But what do I do because I am so behind? 
I found a Pinterest idea of year books using a photo book application such as social book, or shutterfly. I love that idea because I do my photo albums by year anyways. But then I also saw another idea, turn your facebook into a printed book. What a great idea! All of my thoughts, comments from the kids, photos, places I've been, in one book, awesome! But then what about all the photos that I didn't put on facebook? Or stories that deserved a little more elaboration. 
So then I thought, I could make a book out of my blog, what a great idea! But what about all the things that I've posted on Facebook that are definitely memorable. And not to mention I go months without blogging, so I'm just going to not have any document of those memories? 
So then I thought, maybe I can do all 3? But then I got realistic. I can't even make a simple photo album, let alone three major projects. All this went through my head this morning while I was in the shower and I came up with an idea that I think may work and actually got me excited enough to write another blog. 
I'm going to change the direction of my blog, not that I ever really had a direction to begin with. I'm going to make my blog solely for yearbooks for my family. A combination of all three ideas, in a way.
I am no longer going to worry about how many visits I get, or post recipes that will get pinned over a hundred times, or hope that I get some business for my yarn therapy products, or to be so witty and entertaining for everyone to read and think I'm such a super awesome cool mom. Though if any of those things happened then so be it, but it is not the purpose of this blog! 
Instead, my only goal is documenting the wonderful life that I have been blessed with for my children to read laugh and cry over one day. 
Each month I will blog each memorable event (birthday parties, outings, snow days, big news, little news, etc.)  Make them short and sweet. 
At the end of every month I will wrap up the month which will include Facebook posts that are worth remembering, random snapshots and moments, updates on the kids, and maybe any other thoughts that enter my mind that I want my children to know. 
At the end of every year I will already have my book all put together requires no laying out, no typesetting, no missed pictures, no missed event. It will be ready to print using a blog to print application. 
So, wish me luck I hope this works because I'm ready to continue to document my life while enjoying every moment that I'm actually living it.

I would love any feeback from others on how you document life and how do you preserve photos? I am always up for suggestions!

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