Sometimes This Hobby Makes Me Sad

Today I was leafing through some old 4x6" photos that haven't yet made it into albums (gasp!), but are rather sitting inside an old Cropper Hopper photo holder. I was looking for some baby photos of my youngest son, James. As I poured over the stacks of photos, I found photo after photo that made me sad.

It's sad that kids grow up. How dare they? After all that hard work we put into bringing them to earth, raising them, changing them, feeding them, and so on, how dare they grow up and not need us?

When did Kate lose that baby fat in her cheeks?
When did James' hair turn a dark golden color?

Those older photos are a constant reminder that my kids were once small, and they're not now!

Photos of Joey always make me sad. Photos with our arms around him. Why can't I still feel that closeness of him near? Photos of him looking healthy make me wonder why did he have to have so many physical problems?

There are photos of places we used to live and adventures we used to have, that we may never have again.

As much as this hobby helps me document nearly everything we've ever done in our lives, it doesn't do one thing. As much as I'd like to think that I can soak up every feeling and emotion that occurs in the middle of a memory, you just can't. I still struggle to remember the texture of Joey's hair as I run my fingers through it. James can't remember what Joey even sounds like any more. I can't remember exactly how it feels to hold James in my lap. That closeness. That physical touch. You can't document that. You can try, but it's not quite the same thing.

Thank goodness I have a million photos and layout after layout with journaling about those memories because I don't want to forget any more than I already have.

And all that just makes me sad. What items do you wish you could (or have) captured in your memory keeping? And how did you approach challenges like these?


  1. These photos are precious! I feel exactly the same way! And my biggest regret is that I found out about scrapbooking when my two oldest were about 3 and 5 - before that I barely have any pictures of them :(((

  2. I feel exactly the same way!!!
    These photos are so are you! :) xo

  3. Oh Jen, I think you have done such a wonderful job capturing/ recording your memories. You have so many beautiful pages with beautiful photos!!!
    I totally know what you mean though. I wish I had more photos of my oldest. Back then (almost 25 yrs ago), I didn't have a good camera. I have the least amount of pics of her as a child. I wish like you you could record how their hair felt, the soft baby skin, or how they smelled. Oh how I miss it all!! I have an envelope of their first hair cut clippings, but still not quite the same. I miss that fresh clean baby smell or how soft their little skin was, the sound of their baby voice.

  4. thanks for sharing your thoughts. i feel the same way. i'm so grateful for the documenting i've done, even though it's not comprehensive enough to really relive the memories. i can't imagine what life would be like without the photos and stories i've recorded--that would be really sad!

  5. From a parent's perspective there will NEVER be enough. EVER! We will always feel like we aren't getting or doing enough! But in 20yrs down the road as our children are looking through our albums and books we've created....they WILL RELIVE the memories again and be ever-so-grateful and filled with JOY for a mom who cared enough to document their lives. That's NOT Sad!!! That's amazing! :)

  6. I wish I had asked my parents more questions when they were living about their younger selves--about the parts of their lives that I wasn't around for. I wish I'd even paid more attention, kept a diary, taken more photos or had more taken of me with them when they were here. They died far too soon, too young--so I cherish the pictures and memories I do have and am working to get them onto pages while I'm still young so future generations won't feel quite so "cheated" of knowing about those two wonderful people.

  7. I'm really sorry. I do understand. Both of my parents are gone and sometime I get weepy and choked up when I scrapbook memories.
    God bless you in this journey!

  8. You are so right. Thinking of you!

  9. Anonymous12:47 PM

    How very right you are! I can't begin to imagine the pain you have experienced but I do share how invaluable our memories are in our journey through life. Thanks for your marvelous design sense that has helped me develop my own style. You and Nichol Magouirk are my two favorite scrapbookers -- I love how willing you both are to share. Sincere Thanks!

  10. Tanya Hughes Australia3:40 AM

    Dear Jen
    I love your blog and your videos and I thank you so much for your honesty - you are so incredibly talented and strong...I admire you for so many reasons. I live in Perth Western Australia a long way from where you are and yet I feel speak to me and I would love more than anything to sit down with you and share a cup of tea and chat and chat and chat...Take care and please know that you touch many lives with your blog and your videos. You most certainly have touched mine. Thank you
    sending you much love and hugs Tanya Hughes xx


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