I have a confession to make - I’m a baby book drop out.
While I absolutely LOVE journaling, and all things stationery related, when it came time to grab the baby book and write down all the milestones, I fell completely flat. With each child, I had the best of intentions to capture every detail of their little lives in a beautifully preserved book, but it simply never happened. As a result, I now have three beautiful, but empty baby books… And some mommy guilt.
I’ve been grappling with this for a few years now - I mean, will my kids ever believe I loved them to pieces if I don’t have the dates of their first teeth, when they laughed for the first time or the date they took their first steps? All I can say is, “I hope so,” because those dates have come and gone. In the moment, I chose to comfort their pain as they cut teeth and cheer them on as they began to express themselves and move around with some independence, and it just didn’t occur to me to get out the pen and paper. Hopefully, I’m not alone here.
About a year ago I figured the most important thing I could do to start preserving their memories was to get a box (like these) and begin saving the big ones, like their newborn ankle bracelets, art projects made using their hands and feet or special story books they created. Actually, that has worked out surprisingly well and the entire project investment was about $30. These boxes have been large enough to hold all of the necessities for the last 18 months or so, with room to spare (but remember I’m only saving the big stuff).
Once I had been doing the box method for a while, the mom guilt subsided, but I found myself wanting a memory book again. I already knew that a book with “rules” wasn’t going to work for me, and I wanted to create something that was totally open-ended, yet still felt special enough to hang onto for life, and flip back through the years. After doing some research, I found a company, Epica, who makes beautiful Italian journals. These books are gorgeous to look at, and made well enough to be a life-long keepsake - perfect!
The box it came in was stunning, so if you’re looking for a gift idea, be sure to remember Epica - what a presentation! We chose a large, unlined book and had our last initial “S” blind embossed on it. I loved that we were able to give it a little family personalization, and the detail came out just right. After that, it was time to open it, and get to work on the actual journalling part. I'll be honest, this was HARD for me to do.
In as much as I wanted to have one book for our family to go to, write down memories, doodle, and design a transformer recycling machines, letting those tiny hands make the first marks defied every OCD bone in my body… But I did it! Now we have a free-for-all family book where we can take some time every so often to stop, and journal together. The only rule I have is that every entry must be dated, and every picture must be signed by the artist. Other than that, have at it kids!