What I wouldn’t do for a Project Life type of book from our newlywed life. Sure, we have pictures and scrapbooks and I am so grateful for those. But we missed so much of the “little stuff” with our camera back then. It would be remarkable to have something similar of my parents’ younger life. And oh, to imagine what it would be like (!) to come across a book of my grandparents’ lives, not just about the trips and family portraits, but the little details in their world during the time they were, say … raising a young family just as we are today.
This is on my mind because I think of Jason & Kyra (our niece) — freshly married two months ago. They remind me a lot of what we were doing at that stage in our life. They’re both working, both in school, figuring out married life, figuring out how to cook for two, making all sorts of memories. This is a unique time for them. It’s the beginning of their life-long journey together.
I don’t want them to forget the little stuff. I want them to remember the details about their jobs — what they like & don’t like about working there. I want them to remember their favorite take-out food and what they do on dates and details around their first apartment. I want them to remember what classes they’re taking and what they do with their spare time and what they’re reading outside of school. I want them to remember the flirty texts they send each other and the preparations they’re making for the future.
So I gave Jason & Kyra Project Life before they got married. In fact, we’ve given Project Life to several newlywed couples lately. This is their story. And guess what? They’re really doing it.
My heart sings.
And not just because of all of Aunt Becky’s mini lectures about “If I knew then what I know now…”.
They really get it. They know that record-keeping like this is not only a fun project to do together, but they get how valuable this will become over the years. Jason & Kyra are ambitious enough to do the picture-a-day format (good for them!) but remember — Project Life doesn’t have to be used this way. So far they’re keeping up. They’re both contributing. They both add journaling. They both take pictures.
I’m seeing some emails and comments from readers that aren’t sure if Project Life is for them because they don’t have kids. Um. Now would be a good time to clarify: Project Life is for anyone that lives a life. Young or old. Kids or no kids. Newlywed or empty nesters. Homebodies or world travelers. Single or married. Male or female.
I’ll also mention this: I was scrapbooking for 9 or 10 year before our first child came along and I have oodles of scrapbooks filled with pre-kid pictures. It has always surprised me when I hear of people who think scrapbooking is just for moms. No, it’s not just for any one group of people. Scrapbooking is for anyone who wants to preserve their story with pictures & words.
As I step down from my soapbox, I want to leave you with a little tip from our newlyweds.
I asked Jason & Kyra what the trick is for them. How do they personally find success with their Project Life? First of all, they always have their camera on them. Kyra carries her little point & camera in her bag everywhere she goes and they both have built-in cameras in their phones. Sure, the quality isn’t always the best. But who cares? They’re capturing life.
And secondly, they keep up with their little journaling cards. So even if they only print pictures every week or every other week or so, they’re always caught up. Anyone who’s doing Project Life knows it takes only a minute or two to write a quick something on those little cards.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have thought of Project Life 15 years ago.