(All names removed from all photos.)
The year is ending and I look fondly through the pages. I am amazed at how strongly the recorded memories stick, no matter how little and unremarkable they seemed at the time. Some weeks I recorded daily, while busier weeks were summarized on a page; it is the detailed daily entries that best capture those ordinary moments. If I don't write it down, I will forget.
Our trip to the farm, where the boy sheared a sheep.
An unexpected soak in the local splash park.
A friend's fifth birthday party.
But it's not just my journal; it's our family's journal. Often the boy joins in, drawing his own memories of the day. Sometimes he labels them, asking me for help with the spelling; other times I record his descriptions and commentary.
"It's smaller because it's far away."
The day's fort.
Our trip to Playland, including riding the helicopters and the log water ride.
Sometimes even the husband can be persuaded to lend his artistic talent to our journal;
my dinosaur would have been far less impressive than his.
Collages of family vacations record our favourite memories of our time together. Little things, like a shared conversation over a cup of
Thanksgiving with the in-laws.
Summer vacation with the in-laws.
Summer vacation with my parents and sisters.
But as valued as those times together are, the silence upon our return can be just as golden.
Sometimes the unexpected happens, and the entries become even more precious than I initially imagined they would. Only hindsight reveals the true importance of an enjoyable yet seemingly unremarkable day.
Our last visit with Granddad, only a week before he passed away.
New favourite recipes are occasionally featured, memories of not only the ingredients and steps, but the time spent together making and then eating them.
Delicious pretzels, along with the boys' collaborative city.
Some days, Mommy just needs chocolate.
The most precious entries to me are reminders of the lessons these boys of mine have taught me. I seek to raise them in the knowledge and love of God, but it is they who teach me, opening my eyes to wonder and beauty and oh, freedom.
Because, after all, it truly is okay to colour them the wrong colour.
Quotes, verses, and summarized blog posts remind us of the things that had been on our hearts and minds.
"...what he most needs from me then is...strength and clarity..."
"He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake."
"...proclaim the excellencies of him who called you..."
"Seek peace and pursue it."
I am no artist, but the memories remain anyway.
Truly, the boy wasn't leaning precariously off the edge of the stool,
nor does he have a hunchback, nor are our countertops bright purple.
But he sure was proud of himself for making breakfast for the family on his own that day.
Pictures and words, hopes and prayers, achievements and gratitude, menus and quotes, tragedy and comedy, daily celebrations of our life together - this family journal of ours is our place to get it all down. We collect these bits of our lives between the white pages, seeking, as always, to find the extraordinary in the most ordinary of moments.
I would love for you to share: How do you record your family's most precious memories?