Short Stories are Scrapbook Journaling


When I used to put my daughter to bed each night, she would ask me to “tell her a story” to help her unwind from the day. She liked it when I made up stories about pretend events and people, but she really LOVED it when I told her stories about her own life. She wanted to hear the stories of when she was a baby, or how I met Daddy, or what I remembered most about my own childhood. It’s the same thing when we pull out the scrapbooks…she wants to know the stories. They don’t have to be long, it’s just important that the experiences are shared. I’m quite certain that if you ask your own family members what they love most about your scrapbook layouts, they will tell you that it’s the stories that mean the most!

Even if you don’t feel like a writer (I promise that you CAN do it!), there are many ways to use your digital skills to tell your stories.

Pick a picture and describe it. Feel free to be creative! In this case, I was inspired to try a different mode of storytelling to describe what I saw as I walked behind my children.


Carded frame by Katie Pertiet.


She reached for his hand like she had done so many times before, and gently guided him on the winding path before them. He talked of imaginary triumphs, video game battles, and weary feet. She listened patiently, and with interest. Their parents feel back a few extra feet and soaked in the beauty of the simple act of siblings holding hands.

Tell the story directly to the person who it is about. When I scrapped about the ultrasound I had taken when I was expecting my daughter, I told her the details by using a conversational tone and addressing her specifically.

Xo by Fee Jardine, Template by Janet Phillips. Calibri font


In June of 1996, we went for a checkup and ultrasound at Dr. Hansen’s office. We couldn’t wait to find out if you were a boy or a girl! Dr. Hansen used to do the ultrasounds himself, but now that he has gotten busier he has an ultrasound technician do the honors. The technician was not very friendly and she rushed the whole exam. She told us that people should not want to find out the sex of the baby before it was born! Daddy finally asked her “Well, is it a boy or a girl?” She answered “it sort of looks like a girl” and that is all we could get out of her. We weren’t sure what to think of that. When we showed the pictures to Dr. Hansen he thought it was maybe a boy. Even though I was relieved that you were healthy, I was disappointed that we didn’t find out what you were going to be. I really wanted to start planning and shopping!

I’ve never been good at being in limbo and the whole thing was driving me a bit crazy so Daddy suggested I get another ultrasound. We didn’t have much money so I was worried about spending $50 at Fetal Fotos, but Daddy said it would be worth it. He was so right! He also was very generous to suggest that Grandma Kathy go with me for this one as she had never seen an ultrasound before. I know this was a special experience for Grandma. Fetal Fotos was located on the top floor of Cottonwood Mall. They took a lot of time with us and made it a special day. The ultrasound was detailed and even recorded on a video tape with music playing in the background. The technician there could definitely tell you were a girl and she said that you were cute already! Both Grandma and the technician said that you had “a cute profile.” We even got to see you sucking your thumb! I have to say that it was totally worth every penny we spent. It was nice to hear that you were very healthy. We knew all along that if you were a girl, we would name you Riley Kate. After the ultrasound confirmed that you were indeed a girl, we all got to start shopping for pink and dreaming about the little lady that would soon be joining our family. What a wonderful blessing technology is. I feel so lucky that I got to take a peek at you even before you were born!

Let the subject of the photo tell the story in their own words. You can have someone write out the journaling for you as they tell their side of the story. Or you can give a voice to a young child, or even an animal or inanimate object and let them do the talking. When our family vacationed in Oregon, we found that we had a frequent visitor at our door. This little squirrel begging for food became one of the most memorable parts of our vacation as my daughter couldn’t wait for him to come around each day. I wanted to include this experience in our scrapbook but I had a hard time knowing what to say about it. When I stopped trying to tell the story, it turns out that Mr. Squirrel did a pretty good job of explaining the whole thing.


Century gothic and CK easy goin font. Heidi Heidelberg template. Doris Castle Sunday Love kit

Journaling :

Aha! New tourists are here. Bet they will come to the sliding glass door if I wait here patiently. Time to turn on the ultimate “cute” pose, it gets them every time. No one can resist my sweet little face and innocent begging.
Score! These saps are pushovers! And I just love pistachios. I’m amazed by my own power, I always get my way!

When you think about scrapbook journaling as simply telling a story, it can feel a lot less overwhelming. Instead of worrying about writing the “perfect” journaling, just enjoy some story time instead!

katie big

P.S. Sandy_in_MD was the random winner chosen from Veronica Sprigg’s post yesterday! Congratulations Sandy! You won $10 in product from Veronica!