The Good, the Bad, and the Bacon

Moms are often in charge of memories.  We plan the outings, keep the family calendar, buy the clothes, and work out all of the logistics to help our family create some amazing memories.  But what about the times that it doesn’t work out?  What about when the best laid plans are met with hangry toddlers, exhausted mamas, or husbands that are running late from work?  What are we supposed to do with the times when the memory-making doesn’t exactly play out as planned?

Memorable moments are not always going to be “Pinterest-worthy”.  Often times they are not particularly dignified and somewhat ordinary.  But those moments, the tough times, the everyday happenings, those are authentic.  Those memories make up a portion of our story, and they need to be remembered and shared just as much as the gorgeous pictures of birthday cakes and the smiling holiday photos.

Motherhood is hard.  Being the memory-keeper for my family can be hard too.  Sometimes the twins are so argumentative, I want to pull my hair out.  Sometimes my daughter’s level of drama is truly Oscar-worthy.  The words that go through my mind in the heat of the moment probably shouldn’t be documented for future generations.  But, those are the moments of our lives, and without them, my family just wouldn’t be the same….nobody ever accused us of being boring 🙂

This week, I documented two separate spreads in my children’s “Memory a Month” traveler’s notebooks. (For more info on these, check out THIS blog post.)  The goal with these spreads was to keep them simple.  One worked out that way, and the other not so much.  Such is life, and crafting!

To begin working on Madelyn’s spread, I pulled out some papers from Kelly Purkey.  I prefer to print my pictures in black and white so that choosing papers and embellishments to scrap with is a bit simpler.  For this month, I wanted to document Madelyn’s new obsession with all things Harry Potter, so I printed out a picture of her from our weekly family movie night.

After I pulled some primary papers, I selected a few embellishments from my stash and got to work layering.  The key to layering is experimenting, moving things around, and not being afraid to really go for it in combining patterns and textures.  I had a great time working with Madelyn’s photo, and was thankful not to have to go so literal with the Harry Potter theme.

I love the quality of the Kelly Purkey papers, and also how the different layouts challenge me to think outside the box.  On the right side of the spread, I appreciated the color scheme and journaling lines of the paper, but tried to manipulate some of the wording to make it work for what I needed.  I am very pleased with the result!


Bradley’s spread started in a simple manner, but the more I worked on it, the more embellishments and additions just came flying into the layout.  Truthfully, my desk was quite the mess by the time it was all said and done.


For Bradley, I wanted to document the challenges we have faced this month.  He is a sweet kid, but he is certainly every bit the opinionated and argumentative four year old. On a recent trip to the playground on a beautiful January day, he absolutely lost his mind over dropping his goldfish.  He stomped around, threatened to run away and then sat himself by a tree.  Like any amazing mother would, I took a picture.  I just couldn’t help it!  But, just a couple of mornings later, without prompting he offered his last piece of bacon to his twin brother at the breakfast table.  Bacon is certainly my family’s love language, so this sweet act was a moment to be recorded.


The challenge with Bradley’s spread was the limited amount of colors I had in the primary background pieces of paper.  Wanting to draw in a few more, I grabbed a multicolor sheet with handwritten words to use as a layering piece.  Once that door was opened, ALL the colors started pouring in.  The spread ended up being busier than I planned, but the truth is that a four year old is busier than we all expect.  Perfect match!


Do you document the bad times?  How do you prefer to share a story that isn’t happy, but still needs to be told?  Let me know in the comments below?

Keep it creative!

-The Scrappy Wife

Supplies Used:

  • Assorted papers from Kelly Purkey
  • Recollections alpha stamps from Michaels
  • Tim Holtz tile alpha
  • “And…” stamps from By the Well for God
  • Amy Tangerine roller stamps
  • Chipboard pieces from Illustrated Faith

Published by Elisa

I'm a mom of 3 who loves all things creative! My current passion is bible journaling, a creative outlet that has really shaped my faith journey. I'm also excited about diving into some memory-keeping projects and dabbling in a bit of art journaling.

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