I have always loved to reminisce. When I was a kid, I used to pour over the family photo albums, on a regular basis. I’d stand in my Grandma Kay’s hall looking at her photo collages and marvel over how much my cousin Kayla looked like her mother. I loved the pictures of my parents, aunts and uncles, from their high school days, when they were young, fit, and wore trendy clothes. Most kids would have been bored out of their minds by home videos, but I adored them and would often sneak off with a VHS tape and watch it alone in my room. After my home life soured, my interest became more of a longing. I’d dig through the boxes of loose photos my mother had accumulated, remembering the days when our family was intact. My mother had long since stopped compiling albums and wouldn’t display any family pictures that included my dad.
In high school, I began to make my own memories. It was 2002 and I was the only teenager who had a camera with her at all times, first film and then digital. I took photos of friends wearing goofy clothes for AP English theme days, school field trips, and teenage sleepovers. I compiled them all into my own album and put it away after graduation, when my life… took a bit of a detour.
After the dissolution of my teen marriage at 23, my life once again became one I’d want to remember. I had family, friends, hobbies, and accomplishments I’d want to look back on one day… and I took pictures of all of them, frequently reminiscing over even recent history. Finally, at 25, I realized that this facet of my personality was not going away. I was a records keeper, an archivist, and I wanted to remember everything. That’s when I started this blog, where I’ve been recording my life ever since. That’s also when I came to the decision that I needed to do something with all these photos. At the time, I had a wall in the dining area of my apartment, covered in $3 frames from Wal-Mart, that I’d regularly switch out with photos of my life. A single wall in an apartment, however, was quickly outgrown. I considered scrapbooking, but knew it to be both time-consuming and expensive. Furthermore, the books themselves didn’t seem to hold up, as bits and pieces would frequently fall out. So, I searched the internet and considered Shutterfly. I didn’t like the interface or the themes, though, and landed on the much lesser known Mixbook.
In 2013, I began compiling my photos from 2010 forward, into annual albums. It took me a year or two to catch up to current day and even longer to be able to afford to have them printed, but I managed. I even scanned and uploaded all of those high school photos and created an album out of them. I now have albums from 2002-2006 and from 2010 to the present, including a wedding album, honeymoon album, newborn photo album for the girls, unique baby book for Violet, unique baby book for Scarlet, cake smash book for the girls, aaaaand newborn photo book for Thomas. I’m also working on his baby book.
It has truly become a compulsion to catalog all of my family photos, but that is apparently not enough. Once we had children, it wasn’t just pictures I was constantly taking, but video as well. I never wanted to forget how small the girls were as newborns, the silly noises Scarlet made while I tried to get the perfect picture, or the way Violet refused to crawl, instead just dragging herself on the ground Lieutenant Dan style. Naturally, I recorded it all, as other parents do, but the videos weren’t easy to enjoy. The frugal side of me refuses to pay Google for additional storage, which means I have to download them to my computer and watch them individually. No one does that. So, in addition to the perfect photo album software, I found a one time license video editing software, Filmora.
It’s taken some time, but despite having a new baby during the holidays, I’ve managed to catch up with my Mixbooks and compile all of the videos I’ve taken since June of 2021 into watchable annual home movies. All this to say, that’s where I’ve been for the past two months. Every time I’ve had the chance to sit down and write a blog, I’ve instead opted to work on my Mixbooks of family videos. I’m here, though. I have not abandoned my blog, nor will I, because it’s one my many DeLoreans, taking me on trips through time. Now that I’ve caught up with the others, I’ll be able to service it as well.