Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Organizing Memories

Can it really be February already? My goodness the days, weeks, months and years seem to go by faster and faster every year. That is why it is important to reflect, and preserve our past memories.
I've always taken photos, but they were in assorted albums on my computer, or tucked away in photo boxes at our parents' homes. Then about two years ago I decided to take on the project of collecting all the photos, spending weeks scanning them all onto an external hard drive.
The project turned into more than anticipated, as we started doing our family history research and collecting those memories and photos also. Which has left me with an enormous organization project.
The Ancestry Memories
We built our family tree on ancestry, with both of our sides, then printed a page for each generation for my binder. The binder is convenient for me to look up an ancestor quickly, and to make edits or notes. We have six of the trees done, and have six to go.
On ancestry, along with family pages I've found a lot of ancestor photos. I saved them all onto a  thumb drive into organized folders and printed them all out for my photo binder. I use the 12x12 project life binders as I like that you can re-arrange pages if you find more photos, also they hold a lot of photos.
Nana and Grandad's Wedding Day December 12th, 1954.
Nana and Grandad's Wedding Day December 12th, 1954.
After printing the photos, I sort them into time categories for each ancestor, then place them into the inserts. I'm still a long way off labelling all of them, but hope to eventually.
The ancestor photos that are our favorites we frame around our home. We have a running list of all the different ancestors that have/haven't got a frame so it's balanced and we don't miss anybody out.
Since we have the tree, binder, and photos of memories we've been working on a website, where we can store our findings so they can help other cousins in their genealogy search.
The Childhood Memories
The photos of our childhood memories came from our parents. We scanned them all in, and like the ancestor binder, I've sorted them all into some semblance of a chronological order. They all need labeling also.
Me aged 3, in 1989.
Secondly, about a year ago I wrote up a small 100 page book of all my childhood memories up until we met and got married. I may be an amateur, but I've been water coloring all the pages as I feel it personalizes my story more thoughtfully than a 300 page novel. To organize it I have a binder with sleeves to organize my pages as I go along. It's a work in progress, as it has lot's of post it notes with other stories, and memories I've remembered over time.
The Happy Ever After Memories
These are my most recent memories. I have an empty project life binder waiting for me! It may be some time before I get around to printing all our most recent pictures as the other two projects have taken over right now.

Cory, Kiki
Our wedding day, July 31st 2013 in Port Charlotte, Florida.

I have all our photos on an external hard drive and conscientiously keep them organized as I go along; Each year I start a new folder on my desktop like "Family Photos From 2015" and then each month I make another folder on my desktop like "January 2015". Every time I upload my photos I put it into the monthly folder, then every month I drag it into the years folder and create a new one. I've done this for about three years, and it's such a timesaver. I'm also starting a new folder for each year called "Print" where I select favorite photos each month that I'd eventually like to print.
A favorite program for an amateur like me is Picasa. I use it to easily view my photos and videos, as well as make minor edits like straightening.
So that is how I'm currently organizing our memories. It is a work in progress and doesn't happen in one afternoon, but when we think all the extraordinary things we've learn't in the process from our ancestors, or childhoods... it connects us and helps us ruminate our life's purpose.

What ways do you organize your memories?

Linked up to: Coastal Charm #248 Share Your Cup #136 Imparting Grace #141


Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

I want to do an ancestry scrapbook one of these years (I belong to ancestry.com) but I've been scrapbooking since I married in 1980 and, so far, the number of my albums average one per year. Funny how that worked out.

I'm expecting my first grandchild in a couple of weeks. I can only imagine how crazy it will be in the photo department then.

Found you via Jann's party.

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

P.S. You're my daughter's age. Love your little childhood photo. So cute.

A Joyful Cottage said...

I so admire you taking on a project like this. I wish I had the patience you have. The photo of you is adorable. What a cutie!

Wilma said...

How great to be that organized.
What a huge project you're working on. I'm impressed.
Your childhood photo is lovely !

Blessings to you,
Wilma. Shabby Royale.

Decor To Adore said...

What wonderful memories. Your grandparents wedding photo is a neat treasure.

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Oh how I love reminiscing with old photos. A few years ago I made a heritage scrapbook of my ancestors and childhood photos. I love getting it out and looking at it now and then. I also made one for my hubby and his siblings. My sis is super good at doing lots of research. I don't take the time to do it right now. She teases me and says, you blog I do family history. So very true! lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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