I was looking back through my previous ‘How I Do It’ posts and realized I hadn’t posted about today’s topic in three years. I know I have some loyal readers that have been reading since the beginning (over six years ago), but this one I feel like I need to post about again, because it is so extremely important, especially during the holidays.
How I Do It: Remembering the Memories
In my previous post from three years ago, you can tell in the tech world that in three years, times have obviously changed. My first tip was about how you should always have your video camera charged and nearby. Clearly, no one really uses actual video cameras anymore, but use their phones instead. But whatever it is you use, recording your children is the most important thing. I feel like it’s the one thing I can do to savor so many memories I have, of my quickly growing children. There are so many times when I think, oh, I’m definitely going to remember that moment forever, but as time goes by, memories do fade. It’s no secret that I love to take pictures, but it still doesn’t do justice to actual footage. I feel like when you record little segments every so often, it gives you (and your children when they’re older) a glimpse into how they used to be, their mannerisms, their ever-changing personalities, etc. I just think it’s really awesome and really important.
Learning by example. My parents always recorded big events, and other random moments too (first day of school, first time on the school bus, etc.). I love looking back at them, especially when my sisters are around, and we can reminisce. My mom also did a wonderful job of organizing the tapes, even changing them over to DVDs for us (her six girls), and giving us all a set. That’s one thing I need to do, and haven’t yet. I need to organize all of my iPhone video clips by date, and change even my older movies we recorded with the older video camera to DVDs. I want that long continuous reel. Even now, my kids love to click on different video clips from my older phones on the computer, but they aren’t organized. They enjoy watching the two-minute clips here and there, but when they want to see something specific (Logan’s first steps, Effie eating solids for the first time, etc.), they can’t find it.
Don’t over-record. One thing’s for sure, DO NOT record for longer than thirty minutes, especially if it’s a sporting event or a school program. Those are the worst. You enjoy seeing yourself the first time hitting the ball in t-ball, but after watching yourself get up to bat for the sixth time, it gets old. If you’re at a program, record your child’s song or performance, don’t record the principal’s intro or every single student’s speaking parts. Consider even recording simple events like you and your children getting into your car. I know it’s something you probably do many times a day, but trust me, you’ll laugh at them later. My mom has a few of these and they’re hilarious. I can still remember one of all of us leaving a performance and I had a kazoo. Makes me laugh even thinking about it now.
I must admit, we have so much more footage of Wheeler, than we do of any of our other children. But it was the fact that she was our first, and I had so much more free time to record her every little milestone/movement. Now, life is busy, but I never make it too busy to forget about the video camera. Even just a short clip of Vaughn’s cute face, Logan’s run, Effie telling me about her day at school, Wheeler singing karaoke to one of her favorite songs, all of it will be that much sweeter when I watch these videos when I’m older, and they’ll love it too. But if you don’t record it, it’ll be stored in your memories. Our memories are amazing but they do fade, and it’s just so much better when we can actually see them in front of us after so many years, and share them with each other.
Live in the Moment. I know it’s easy to say you don’t want to record certain milestones because you want to live in the moment or just didn’t think to record it…or may not have even wanted to, and I think that’s completely fine. Just every now and then, pick up your camera and record. Honestly, the videos that my kids love the most are the most mundane ones. We have this one from a few years ago where I was in the playroom playing with Logan and videoed each of the girls coming into the playroom after waking up from their naps. Just listening to them talking to each other, talking to Vaughn (in my belly), their little tiny voices, ah, it’s just the sweetest. Actually, bittersweet is probably the better word. Time really does go by so quickly. Cherish your memories, but savor them too, by recording them…helping you remember, when later you may not.
Since my sisters and I don’t all live in the same city (although I wish we did!), it’s rare for all us all to be together. But on Saturday evening, we all got to celebrate together, at our cousin’s wedding in Greenville, SC. Don’t worry, I’ll share more pics on Wednesday’s Whereabouts post, but wanted to share this one of all of us. Aren’t they beautiful? My mom had all of us in 9 1/2 years. In order from left to right: 1 // 6 // 5 // 2 // 3 // 4
A really cool, really simple Christmas tradition. Every Christmas Eve, ever since I was a young girl, my parents would record us hanging our stockings. While it seems like such a sweet, short clip, my parents made it into something more special, and we still enjoy doing it to this day, and have continued on the tradition with our growing families. My dad would set up the camera on his tripod, and have each of us, one at a time, stand in front of the fireplace with our stocking. He and my mom would ask us questions (never rehearsed or written down, always questions off the top of their heads). Some questions were simple, “What’s your favorite color? Who are some of your friends? What school do you go to?” Even those were neat to see how our answers changed from year to year. Other questions consisted of “Who’s your boyfriend?” “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What big event in your life happened this year?” “Who are you going to marry?”
I’m sure you can imagine the chattering and giggling from the other sisters as questions were asked and answered. Many times the peanut gallery would go too far, and either something was edited out (a huge fight broke out – hey, we’re not perfect), or the camera was shut off for a moment (“Turn that thing off for a second!”), so we could regain our composure, many times after being disciplined. Whatever the footage was, it was hilarious, and we still love looking back at old videos, and watching ourselves at different ages. Sometimes we were way too cool for it, the teenage years (“Daddy, hurry up, I don’t want to do this anymore!”). Other times we were spastic, and couldn’t stop being goofy. Whatever it was that year, it was something we’d cherish. Not only was this just a fun annual tradition, it also connected us to each other, and made our family closer, as I’m sure it would for your family too. Oh, and the best part, was after we answered our questions, we each had to sing a Christmas Carol, before hanging up our stocking on the mantle. The younger years of the songs were the sweetest. And the finale is always all of us standing in front of the camera and singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas!” Try it this Christmas. You won’t regret it!
Jack Rogers started their Black Friday Sale early. Shop everything on sale here.
Love these Sparkle ones.
And these platinum ones. For sizing, Jacks fit true to size.
A New Necklace For the Nice List
I realize I posted this outfit on this weekend’s blog post, but I wanted to share an up-close pic of my necklace. It’s only $39.50 and I absolutely love it! It’s a great classic piece that can be worn year-round, but will be perfect to wear over the holidays too.
Sweater (runs small, go up a size; only $17 with code: WHYWAIT) // Jeans // Mules (on sale, I’m an 8.5 and wear a 9 in them) // Sunnies // Necklace (only $39.50!) // Rings // Crossbody (free personalization and free shipping) // Earrings
LLama, Llama, You Need These Pajamas
I hope y’all have a great start to your week! I promised my kids a day of fun activities, since they don’t have school today. We’ll see where that takes us!