Christmas is officially done and 2017 is almost over too. If yours was anything like mine it will be full of highs and lows – some precious memories to be treasured always and some things you might rather leave well behind. The end of the year is always a good time to reflect and put it all together; the people that were important to you, the places you discovered, new things you tried and life lessons learnt. Whether there were more highs than lows, or vice versa, it was all part of a journey that has brought us to where we are now and who we will be next year and beyond.
Before you mentally put all those 2017 memories away into the relevant box, be sure to take some time to focus on the ones you do want to remember forever, the ones that you may want to look back on next year or in 5 years time and the ones that you know will put a smile on your face every time. For me those will include our trip to Australia to see my sister and her family right at the start of the year, our spring mini-break on Saadiyat Island and our summer family holiday to the Maldives with dear friends. It will include blowing bubbles in the garden with the kids, their birthday parties, their first and last days at school, mornings and evenings down at the golf course with Monkey, Missy dancing in her ballet gear, watching them play together, their hilarious conversations and their vivid imaginations. Add in afternoons and weekends spent relaxing in the garden or splashing in the pool with our tunes on in the background and the BBQ going for dinner. Even simply watching Monkey develop his love of drawing or Missy dashing around in her crazy fancy dress concoctions performing a song or dance! And of course All. That. Festive Fun!! From Ski Dubai to festive markets, from gingerbread house and cookie decorating to reindeer food making and sprinkling and visiting a whole bunch of Santa’s grottos in between, it was jam packed with the magic of Christmas!
On a more personal level 2017 is the year I started my journey back to fitness, the year I allowed myself time to explore my own creativity and hobbycrafts, to spend more time with friends (sans kids!) and the year I got back more of my old self (more on that another time!). There have been challenges and struggles, both in my life and in the lives of those closest to me but I feel so grateful to have had people to lean on, who have motivated me and kept me focused and to have been be able to support others through their trials and tribulations. Oh 2017, what a year!
A year goes by so fast, every year faster than the last it seems. Everytime my Facebook memories brings up photos from last year or the previous years I am always doubly hit by both joy at the memory but always also a twinge at how quickly my babies are growing up and how much my life has changed. It’s probably a bit more poignant this year as 2017 marks our 10th wedding anniversary and our 10th anniversary of living in Dubai. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we arrived here in the desert as young newly weds without a care in the world, working hard and playing hard, on a wild adventure and now here we are, a decade later, 2 young kids, a lot more grey hairs and seemingly a whole world away. I do love the photos though, I love looking back and remembering those times and appreciating how far we have come. I know soon enough even this Christmas that is so fresh in my mind now will be a distant memory, that I will be looking back at the fun we had and fondly remembering the kids at this age. So I want to make sure that I have properly recorded this time. Both in pictures and in words. While I love social media and the opportunities for online journalling that provides, the older I get (and the more times my laptop, computer or phone fail me!) the more I want something tangible. Memories I can hold, journaling in my handwriting for my kids to read long after I am gone, photo albums as I remember them from my childhood, only better.
This is where my Project Life albums are going to come in. Many of the best of 2017 memories I listed above are already recorded in my Project Life album, combining photos and journalling, but I still have a lot to catch up on. That always seems like a daunting task, when there is so much to catch up on, when your camera roll is literally full of thousands and thousands of photos to sort through (I currently have 13,000 and that’s only from March of this year!!) If you find yourself in the same boat, I would say start with the now. Start with the memories that are most recent and record them then work your way back. Starting somewhere is definitely better than not starting at all. Start with Christmas and the holiday season while it is still fresh for you.
To help inspire you here is a sneak peak at some Christmas Project Life memory recording I did for my latest Pretty Paper Studio Design Team project as a gift for my good friend Lidia from Sand in my Heels. The challenge theme was gold and since I didn’t have any Christmas themed or gold Project Life kits in my stash I took this as an opportunity to make my own using a number of the craft techniques I’ve been practising this year as well as some new ones! You can read the full post – 5 Ways to DIY Project Life Cards and see more photos over on the PPS Blog. While you are there check out the fab “Gold” inspired projects from my fellow Design Team members and don’t miss your final chance to join in this month’s Gold challenge theme yourself (entry details in the blog post).
If you are new to Project Life and want to learn more about the memory keeping process you can check out my PPS Design Team post from last month which walks you through why I like the system and my process for using it. It really is fab once you get into it. I’m hoping to use it even more in 2018!
Hope you all end 2017 in a good place and wishing you all the best for 2018! Thanks for joining us on our journey this year and hope to have you follow along with us next year too – Happy New Year!
What are your plans for recording your holiday season memories? Have you already started? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!