It's probably no surprise to you that as a photographer, photographs have a special place in my heart. And photos are especially important to me now that we're far away from our family members — they serve as fun reminders of the last time we got to see some of our favorite people!
Although digital photography makes capturing memories so accessible, I'm really terrible at printing photos out, and I don't think I'm alone there. I love printing out photos to hang on the wall or display in frames, but there is such a limited amount of wall space our house contains, much to my chagrin (you would not believe how many gallery walls I had in my last apartment).
One of my friends and fellow bloggers, Stephanie Howell, is all about some memory keeping — which I think is the new term for less-involved scrapbooking — and sort of got me into it. I scrapbooked when I was growing up and really enjoyed it, but it's a very time intensive hobby, building pages from scratch. What piqued my interest about memory keeping was it that it seemed a lot simpler — many of the pages have multiple pockets that you can just stick photos into, so the design aspect takes a lot less of your creative juices.
When I saw that A Beautiful Mess, one of my favorite blogs, was starting a memory keeping service, I was sold. I bought their 9x12 black & white striped album, which came with a starter kit of 10 assorted 9x12 photo sleeves. I then ordered a ton of prints from the last year of my life from Persnickety Prints, who offer a wide range of photo dimensions (and the prints came out beautifully!). Lastly, I signed up for the first Messy Box, which arrived in March (I also received the April one), and patiently awaited the arrival of everything in the mail!
ABM's Messy Box was pretty great — they sent a ton of fun, colorful paper and journaling cards, cut to 9x12, 4x6, 3x4, and 3x3. Over the course of two months, there was also tissue paper confetti, various washi tapes, plastic hearts, letters, and even a rotary stamp in the April box. I think my favorite item was the acrylic 9x12 "life is beautiful" insert, which I added onto one of my favorite photos from our honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast. I assembled pages from the last year of our lives, starting with mine and Tyler's elope-wedding the day after Christmas, and chronicling our move to Italy, plus my last days of summer and fall with my friends and family back home and the new trips we've taken here in Europe.
After two Messy Boxes, I definitely have enough paper and supplies to keep me going for another few months, so I didn't sign up for the subscription service, especially since I was just doing a test run to start with. But I can't wait to buy more photo sleeves get a physical reminder of all the special trips we've taken lately. Having a physical way to look at all of the special moments in your lives — even just little things, like lunches or documenting what it's like to live your everyday life — is really nice and I can't wait to do more of it.