Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Favorite Ways to Document My Kids' Birthdays

I am a big fan of birthdays.  Huge actually.  It kind of goes hand in hand with the good life.  Celebrate every day and really celebrate those milestones.  Birthday celebrations get huge hoopla in my household.  There is birthday week (for me, birthday month...) and then there is birthday morning...lots of great birthday traditions that my kids love and look forward to.  I could write a whole post on how to celebrate kids' birthdays (and maybe I will in a future post!), but what about when the party is over and the last gift is opened?  How do your preserve those wonderful birthday moments and capture the feelings experienced?  I have a few ideas and thought I'd share.  I must warn you that I am a scrapbooker, which only means I take a lot of pictures, know my way around a paper cutter, and am pretty good with a glue stick.  However, my scrap "prowess" did inspire most of these ideas below, but you don't need to be one or have any fancy scrap tools to do them too.   Read on...

Birthday card ring - I get these circle rings at my local craft store, hole punch the party invitation, and add it to the ring after each party.  My kids love to "flip" through them and remember their parties over the years.

 Birthday "cards" - I LOVE these!  I take an oversized playing card and cover both sides with thematic scrapbooking paper.  I add a birthday photo from the party on one side, and a party "rundown" on the other side.  It lists the where, when, theme, guests, food, activities, and favors from the party.  Then, I add stickers and embellishments.  I tie the cards with a ribbon and keep them in the kids' memory boxes so they can take them out and browse through them whenever the mood strikes.

Annual "Year in the Life" video - My husband makes one of these every year.  We usually show it to the family at the kids' parties.  We have a Mac, so we use iMovie to create a photo slide show to music.  Because I am super vigilant about downloading and organizing my photos right after an event, it is super easy for my husband to scroll through the photo library of the previous year, and select photos to document the birthday child in celebration.  My hubby always puts a lot of thought into the songs he'll use for the video, usually something current that typifies our child.  I also post these videos on our family blog so that out of town family and friends can see how much the birthday kid has grown over the past year.  

Birthday pages - As I warned, I am a scrapper. I do a one or two page layout that highlights the party, along with some journaling about the feelings and emotions of the day.  I try to include highlights or special moments that the birthday boy or girl expressed to me that day.  Journaling on your scrap layouts is so important.  Go beyond the pictures!  You can keep these pages in a special birthday book or add them to an annual album for each child.

How do you document the birthdays in your family?  I would love to hear your ideas.  Please share in the comments below.