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When Is Scrapbooking More Than Just Craft?

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Elizabeth writes for Mom It Forward today. She is a super-busy mother of three boys, with one new baby due in April. When she’s not chasing after her children, she’s getting paid to sing at weddings, she's knitting, or she's scrapbooking. Elizabeth has been a Creative Memories consultant for two years (MyCMSite.com/egrant). Her blogs are: Suzy Q Homemaker and Suzy Q Crops.

The very first time I sat down to scrapbook, I was probably about 10 years old. My mother had all her old theater programs in a pile with an empty scrapbook and I asked her why she never put them in it? So I offered to do it for her. I spent time organizing each program by date and gluing them to the pages, fascinated that she had done so much before I was ever born. So of course, I had to ask for my own scrapbook.

Over the years, I only added my school awards, concert & theater programs, and movie tickets from my soon-to-be husband’s dates. It wasn’t that I planned to make scrapbooking something I do, I just found it hard to let go of things that meant a lot to me and I wanted all of those things to be in one place.

These days, scrapbooking has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Not only do I use scrapbooking as a means of preserving memories and stories of my growing family, I use it to connect with the people closest to me. Scrapbooking is not “just a craft.” It’s a social event, a reunion, or therapy.

My oldest sister and I are not close in age at all. I was still in elementary school when she graduated high school. We shared a room a few times while growing up, but there really wasn’t much that we had in common other than being a part of the same insane family. But we both started our own families around the same time and she was the one who introduced me to Creative Memories. At that time, I had no idea women actually scrapbooked together. It was always a private ritual to me, something that I never would have thought to do with other people around.

I realized then the importance of scrapbooking with others: it’s about sharing our stories. When my sister and I get together to scrapbook (and we do so on a semi-regular basis—meaning: when our children aren’t sick or driving us crazy!), it’s a time for us to catch up on each other’s lives. Even if we only get one page done during the entire time we’re together, it’s time that we’ve spent together. There’s something special about sitting down to remember those good (and sometimes horrible) times.

Scrapbooking brought me and my sister closer than we would have otherwise been, I think. Sure, we have 7 (going on 8) children between the two of us, and they all drive us crazy. Sure, we both have “interesting” family members to dish about. Getting together to actually create something with those stories is what makes our relationship even stronger.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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