Sunday, March 1, 2015

December Daily Album 2014

December Daily has become one of my favorite holiday traditions. I love documenting the special and ordinary moments each Christmas season. (Here are my past albums: 2013, 2012, 2010.)

Sometimes, though, pulling it all together--the words + photos + papers + embellishments--into an album takes time.

For me, it rarely happens in January, much less the end of December. And this year, it was Valentine's Day before I completed my album. But hey, it's finally done...and I'm pleased with it!

Before I share photos + snippets from my album, let me tell you a little bit about the products I used.

I fell in love with Simple Stories in the fall of 2014, so it's probably no surprise that I used a Simple Stories album and the Cozy Christmas paper line, also by Simple Stories. (I bought the album at Michael's--with a 40% off coupon--and I purchased the supplies online here.)

In addition to using a whole new product line, I also tried something totally different (and completely out-of-character for me): I didn't fuss about the dates.

Now, I realize it's kind of odd to call it a daily album and not see any evidence of dates--that is except December 25th. But as I was flipping through my past December Daily albums in late November, I noticed something: It didn't matter to me whether we went to the library on Dec 6th or Dec 12th. It didn't matter whether we attended Polar Express earlier in the month or later in the month.

In the same vein, it didn't matter whether I told one or two or five different stories each day. It didn't matter whether I took one photo or ten.

What mattered most to me was the whole: A record (in photos + words) of our everyday activities, our holiday traditions, the funny things Noah said, the adorable things Noah did, and the people we spent time with. 

There's no way I could share the whole album here--it's over 25 pages long--but here are some of my favorite features:

1 | "Around Here"
Basically, I just sat down during the fourth week of December, grabbed a piece of card stock, and listed out whatever I could think of that was going on in or around our home. As you can see, it's a smattering of everyday moments like frolicking at the park, painting with watercolors, playing at BusyKidz, and jumping in puddles--as well as special holiday moments and memories like drinking eggnog, opening up another door on the Advent calendar, decorating the top half of our tree with ornaments, and enjoying the lights with friends.

2 | "Counting Down"  
Here, I went into more detail about how we counted down the days until Christmas, and mentioned the outdoor decorations. 

3 | "Funny Moments"
I made a point to capture some funny moments with my iPhone or DSLR--like when I discovered that Noah had taken some of the lights off our tree (see photo above--bottom of the right page).
Photo caption: "Busted! I walked into the family room and there was Noah, lying on the floor, playing with the lights he had taken off the tree."

4 | "Overheard"
On this page, I wrote down anything funny or insightful or interesting that Noah uttered in the month of December. (Many of these were taken from an iPhone note I kept adding to during the month.)

5 | A Note to Noah
Dear Noah, 
One morning, as I was standing in the kitchen by the sink, I looked up to see you flipping through my December Daily album from last year. I sneaked over with my iPhone and snapped this photo of you. 
 Why? Because I was so excited to see you looking at the photos. This is why I take so many pics, why I journal, why I scrapbook. So you and Daddy and I can remember all the wonderful times we've shared together. 

6 | Favorite Stories

A. "The Stockings"

When I look at this photo, I don't just see three stockings. I see three stockings, which I bought with a gift card and two coupons at Pottery Barn. Stockings that I waited to buy until we had a child. Stockings that all match and look oh-so-grown-up. Stockings that have our names embroidered on them, just like my family did growing up. I also see a fourth hook with no stocking hanging from it. One day, there will be another stocking--a matching one--with a baby girl's name on it, hanging there. I just know it. That's what I see when I look at this image.

B. "The Balloon"

"Brian and Noah went to the market one afternoon. While they were waiting in the checkout line, N spotted this "Somebody Loves You!" balloon. He asked Brian if he could have it and B said, "No."
Seconds later, N said, "For Mommy?" Of course, Brian caved and bought the balloon. 
When N presented me with the balloon, I was so touched. I gave him a big hug and said, "Thank you!" Later on, Brian told me the back story and I was laughing so hard. Apparently, N really wanted that balloon!"

7 | Noah's Wish List
One morning, I nonchalantly asked Noah what he wanted for Christmas and then quickly jotted down his response on a pad of paper in the kitchen. Later on, I transferred the three items (a train, a tunnel, a track) to a cute tag and included it in my album.

8 | Letter from Santa
I found a Santa spiral-bound notebook at a rummage sale last fall and thought it would work perfectly for notes to Santa and notes from Santa. Since Noah is only three, I wrote the note to Santa (with help from Noah) on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas morning, we were delighted to read Santa's response. The notebook is now packed away with all of our Christmas gear, but rest assured, it will make another appearance on Christmas Eve 2015.

The majority of the photos above were taken with my iPhone 5S, while a handful were shot with my Canon 5D Mark III and edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. 

Your turn: Did you make a 2014 December Daily album? What gems did you collect? Please leave a link in the comments, so I can see what you created!

P.S. Want to learn more about December Daily? Check out Ali Edwards' website.

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