Let’s be honest. I have a lot of kids. Six of them to be exact. And despite my best efforts, they refuse to stay small. I beg them over and over again to JUST. STOP. GROWING. But they won’t listen. When my son was three, I asked him, “Can you please stay little forever?” His response? “Sorry mom. I have to grow big and change numbers!” Sigh. I suppose he is right.
And so, along with those six children and their refusal to stay little, we have a lot of birthdays. In fact, all six of them have birthdays in a three month period. And yea, so do my husband and I. That means that in three months (from January 30 to May 1), we have EIGHT birthdays to celebrate. That’s a lot of cake! And what’s more, in the years that these six are in our home, we will celebrate a child’s birthday 108 times. Yes, 108 times. So not only is that a lot of cake, that is a lot of photos!
And even though I am much more of a moment scrapper than an event scrapper, I do try to scrap some big events. Birthdays are one of those events that I just can’t seem to not scrap. But how do I capture and scrap 108 birthdays?
It’s actually easier than it seems.
I’ve noticed over the years that I have come to a point where although I often take a lot of birthday photos, there are five that I take on every birthday. If I get those, I call it good. These are the five photos that I just don’t want to miss:
1. The Birthday Boys or Girl: On (or around) each birthday, I try to take some individual shots of the child. I love to see the progression from year to year. I can then use these photos on a birthday layout or any layout that is about that child at that particular time.
2. The Traditions: Over the years we have developed some birthday traditions. I always try to make sure I get some photos of these, especially if it is something we have done for each of the kids. It is fun to see the consistencies in our celebrations over the years. For example, on all of our children’s second birthdays, we have filled their crib with balloons. Everyone looks forward to this….so much so that this year, when our sweet Bethany turned two and was already out of a crib, we actually put her in a crib she hadn’t slept in in months and filled it with balloons! We also always let the child choose the meals for the day and I try to document those as well.
3. The Cake: The birthday cake (or cupcakes) is always a big part of our celebrations. I always let the children choose what kind of cake they want me to make (and the colors!) I see them growing up just by looking at their cake choices! I also always take photos of them blowing out their candles (being sure that any number candles face the right way for a photo and then if desired, turned around so they are “right” for the child blowing.)
4. The Presents and Decorations: What is a birthday without a few gifts for the special boy or girl? I always try to take a few photos of the wrapped gifts and then of the kids opening the presents. It’s fun to see what they asked for and what they were excited to open. I also take pictures of any decorations we put up (often handmade by the other kids).
5. The Activity (or party): Each our children gets to choose a birthday activity for our family to enjoy together. Usually, we do this in lieu of a party. They spend months agonizing over what kind of activity they want to do. When the day finally arrives, they are so excited. I always make sure to document this activity well. They are treasured memories of our time together as a family as well as a visible reminder of the things they were excited about at specific ages. Just this year we went horseback riding, the to Children’s Museum, on a walk in the park, to Pilot Mountain, to a trampoline park, and camping!
I feel that if I get photos of these five things each birthday, I will have captured the essence of the day and the age of the child. It’s that simple. And with those photos properly saved, scrapping birthdays is quite easy. In just a few minutes I can throw together layouts, all centered around one of these five things. I often create two page layouts to summarize the entire celebration. Also, I love to add pages to our birthday books!
Is there anything that I have missed? Do you have special “must have” photos or layouts for birthdays?