I have been a scrapbooker since January 18, 1996. I know this because I remember random dates...and because the sweet consultant who got me started on this journey gave me an invitation she found from that party. That means that this hobby isn't fly-by-night, or even any longer an obsession. It is just something that I do for my own satisfaction or as a gift for someone else. Judging by how many supplies I still have, I'll be doing this for awhile...
Through the years I've made close to 30 albums for myself. I've also made them for people who have either asked me to (two of three years of a son's high school plays), I've volunteered to (a 5th grade class), friends or family. It is something that I can do that cannot really be replicated, and it is something that is never outgrown. I have always liked the fact that it is an excellent point of reference guide (ie. I know when Brian had chickenpox) and a record of our lives as a family for future generations. Oh, you can order photos in neat little books now, but in my opinion, these are best for events such as weddings. The old fashioned scrapbook with paper, stickers, and embellishments is a little mini-masterpiece that people normally appreciate immensely. Each page is unique and reflects the artistry of the scrapbooker. Yes, I know that digital scrapbooking is changing a lot of this, but I will always love the fact that I've invested a lot of hours being my family's historian. And I will never tire of looking at other scrapbookers' masterpieces.
While not as active as I used to be...when this hobby bordered on obsessive, including a stint as a consultant myself...I still have enough supplies to scrapbook for the next five years at my current level. In one way, this insures that I'll keep at it. In another way, I am amazed that I've spent so much time, energy, and money on this through the years!
Last night, during a visit from one of my "other daughters" from Jill's high school days, we were looking through some old scrapbooks. They were attempting to find some hideous photos from 2000...when the girls were together celebrating her 10th birthday. This was as Jill said...before she found her way to a hair straightener and her way out of the Limited Too. Oh, we found them. And they were as funny to look back on as we thought they'd be.
What I realized looking at the pictures is that this hobby has provided a record of the family and those who have been in and out of this house. Forgotten connections were there in living color. There were even a number of photos in the graveyard of boyfriends past, of braces on and off, bangs growing out, and fashion "don'ts"...just as you'd expect.
What got us motivated to search these photos out was seeing a rehearsal dinner video I've been finalizing of a young man from their school who graduated five years before they did...but someone that they remembered. The photos of seeing the two of them growing up inspired looking for a few photos that would provide equal enjoyment one day. I laughed to myself thinking of the ironies of life...and realizing that with Jill's wealth of embarrasing photos to choose from...she'll probably end up with someone who has twelve photos of his entire growing up years because he is the third child and Mama was way too busy to be bothered with a camera or lost them in a move. It happens.
I don't know who the other person in the girls'rehearsal dinner videos will be. I just know that within the next couple of years, they will begin seeing people that they know well pairing off, setting dates, and picking out china. On one hand, I am ready to see this. On the other hand...it is quite terrifying. Right now, I feel like this is eons away, but when I looked back last night...it was a longer trip looking back than watching their rehearsal dinner videos will probably be.
The scrapbooks transported me back to a time when life was simpler and it seemed that time moved slower. Some of the photos were from ten years ago...when my biggest worries were getting the tuition paid and paying for braces. At age 14, she met her high school sweetheart, and we looked at a picture of them from October 2004. I was amazed to realize that he has now been out of her life for the past three years. Wow. The pace of life is dizzying. That hardly seems possible.
Perhaps in a few weeks...after the taxes are done, the rehearsal dinner video is delivered, and a few other loose ends are tied up around here like spring cleaning and the dreaded search for a formal dress for me to wear this summer, I'll sit down and catch up on my scrapbooking. Maybe I'll be able to recapture those elusive fast moving moments from right now that seem to be running on overdrive. And perhaps we will sit down again...the girls and me...and look at what is going on right now ten years from now. And laugh...and laugh...and laugh.