A memory keeping idea

Hi everyone! I'm Ronnie, and I'm really excited to be doing a guest post here on Trish's lovely blog. I'm even more excited for Trish and this next stage of life that she is about to embark on. With four little boys of my own at home, I can say for sure that motherhood makes my heart sing (and cry) every single day.

As an avid memory keeper, I love documenting the lives of our little boys - from the things that they say to the things that they do and how they grow and change every day. Today I thought I'd share with you all the memory box that I've put together for our three year old. Hopefully, this might help give Trish some ideas for her own memory keeping endeavours when her little bub is born!

Each of our boys have a memory box (or two) filled with journals, scrapbooks, keepsakes and other memorabilia from their first years. This one belongs to Pete. He is our third son, he is three and a half and he is the sweetest boy around. I will always remember what a dream baby he was – always laughing, always grinning, always ready to sleep and always ready to eat. Nowadays, I call him my ‘Peter Butter’ and he loves it.

I've bought the same box for each of our boys because I love consistency and I think it looks great as a set on our shelves. It's the A3 cloth storage box from kikki.K, and I've always bought the grey one because I love the neutral colour. I've recently seen some comparable ones from Officeworks which are worth a look as they are less expensive than the ones from kikki.K. My biggest tip when it comes to memory boxes is to find one that is big enough to store all the stuff you have now with ample empty space left over for more things to be added over time.

Here are the contents of Pete's memory box (clockwise from top left):

a) Cards we received when Pete was born: A memory box is a great place for storing all those cards and notes of congratulations that people send you when you have a baby! I like tying ours up with a piece of string to give it an added tactile touch (and also for keeping them together).

b) Cards Pete has received on each of his birthdays: I group these by the birthday. I started tying these up with string as well, but ended up just using white rubber bands because it was so much easier. (Those cute animal rubber bands that you can get from stationery shops would be a fun option too!)
c) Pete’s first year journal: This is a notebook with 365 pages (one for each day of a year), pre-numbered with Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. on each of the pages. My approach for this first year journal was quite simple: On any given day, if we had the time and energy, either Rick or I would write something to Pete on the page that corresponded with that day. Some days we would write a whole page. Some days we would write just a few sentences. Some days our handwriting would be nice. Some days it would be messy. The important thing was not to stress about how often we wrote or even how neatly we wrote. The important thing was simply to write when we could, and not to feel bad when we didn’t. This is so crucial when it comes to memory keeping for little ones, because the reality is that when you have a young family to look after, there will be so many days when you simply want to fall into bed and crash. And that’s okay. The key is not to let the blank pages get you down but to just keep going! Every few months, I would then go back and fill the empty pages with small photos of Pete. I've done a first year journal like this for three of our four boys, and it is probably the most precious keepsake from their childhood. If you want to find out more about my process, you can read about it here.
d) Hospital memorabilia: In a simple Kraft envelope, I've kept Pete’s cord clamp, his hospital bracelets and the hospital card with all his birth details.
e) Peter Rabbit baby book: We were living in Newtown, Sydney, when I fell pregnant with Pete, and one day whilst walking down King Street, I came across this Peter Rabbit baby book in a book store and I just couldn’t resist getting it (we already knew we were having a boy and had already decided on his name). It’s extra special that Pete actually really likes Peter Rabbit now and just the other night at dinnertime, he was saying how he was eating carrot like Peter Rabbit!
f) Pete’s brag book: This is a simple slip-in photo album from kikki.K and it holds approximately 36 photos. I simply chose some of my favourite photos from Pete's first year and slipped them all in. Our other boys all have one too. If the boys are ever after something to play with from their memory box, I usually just give them their brag book and they end up having lots of fun looking at their own photos (and getting themselves confused with each other because they all looked so similar when they were babies).
g) Pete’s second year scrapbook: I blogged about this here. Basically, it’s filled with my favourite photos of Pete from his second year with handwritten notes and captions. Really simple. No embellishments. Just photos and words. That's how I like to do memory keeping!
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this little giimpse into Pete's memory box and perhaps it might inspire you to do something similar for yourself or your little one(s)! Thanks for having me, Trish, and I can't wait to see photos of your precious bundle.
About Ronnie: A graphic designer by trade, Ronnie's first loves are writing, photography and memory keeping. She is the founder and writer of the blog Pink Ronnie, where she shares (almost) daily posts about memory keeping, photography, organisation and family life. She has been blogging since 2003 and loves how it keeps her sane. A neat freak of sorts,of sorts, Ronnie lives in the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia, with her husband and four of their five little boys. More recently, Ronnie has been working with Trish from Tealily Photography to create LIFE:CAPTURED - an intensive one-day workshop that's all about memory keeping and photography. Together, Ronnie and Trish believe in photography that's real and honest, and memory keeping that's simple, beautiful and tangible. The first workshop was held last month, and the second one is scheduled for 23 October 2013. You can find out more about the workshop here, and you can see photos from the first workshop here.

10 Responses to A memory keeping idea

Tammy Chrzan said...

This was a great post!
I love any ideas I can gather on memory keeping... and making :)
Thank you!
Tammy x

Tina Bradley said...

Lovely idea! Poring through treasured items is such a treat! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

My Garden Diaries said...

This is so lovely and beautiful! What a great way to keep all of these little trinkets and memories together! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

aliceinbo said...

Ohh what a surprise

curly purplepig said...

this is so cute! nice idea!

Loz said...

Each of my four children have a keepsake box :) I agree, make sure they're big! My oldest is now 7, so I stopped keeping the b'day cards after she was 5. We've got first shoes in there, first mail addressed to them, the newspaper from the day they were born, all the hospital bits and bobs and lots of random cute things! MY children all have the same 'baby record' book too which will go in when they're all five. Get keep-saking Trishie :) great post!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

What a great idea!

cleartheway said...

This is so sweet and intimate! I am totally doing this with my kids. =]

Kate from Clear the Way

Susannah said...

Hi Ronnie. What a lovely idea. We have a family memory box but you've taken it to a whole new level. Good on you. Kids really treasure things like these and it is a lot of fun reflecting on moments from years ago. It's so easy to forget little details, but with items like these they will always be remembered. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing :D sparkle2day.com

cquek said...

As you watch your baby's first smiles, his first steps, and even his first grimace when tasting mashed peas, you'll want to remember those moments forever.