Don’t underestimate average everyday memories.


When I was packing my childhood bedroom, before moving into my wonderful new house a few weeks ago, I was drowning in nostalgia. I kept finding little bits and pieces of my past, of everyday things that meant the world to me as a child. It was an interesting experience because it opened my eyes to what I remember most for the past and what memories really mattered to me.

I have a lot more memories of playing with my mom as a child then I do of going to Disney as a child, that isn’t surprising, because we only went to Disney once and played on the regular, but those Disney memories hardly even show up. They meant a lot to me in the moment, but looking back? A scattered memory or two made it through, and none of them stand a chance against my mom and I’s weekly tea party.

We make a big deal out of these once in a lifetime experiences, and some of them really are truly remarkable. I’ll never forget visiting Rome, just like I’m sure I’ll never forget my wedding day. But the everyday moments can mean that much too. We don’t realize how much we enjoyed our crafts with our grandmothers until we are no longer doing crafts with our grandmothers, then we realize that it was some of our most valuable time spent together.

This might not be news, in fact, I hope it isn’t. I hope you’ve looked back at life enough to really enjoy those amazing and seemingly average memories. But that isn’t all that this post is about. It’s not about just looking back, it’s about how we are living right now. How we are making use of our time at this moment.

Chances are we are looking forward to the next big thing and letting the day to day grind get lost in the mix. Chances are even if we know that our daily memories are important, we are still neglecting them, because we’re busy. We have a lot to do, sometimes too much. So we let them pass as if they are unremarkable. We don’t enjoy them for being the special and wonderful things that they are.

And honestly it’s tragic to only enjoy these memories in the past tense when they are here to be enjoyed in the present.

So I pose this challenge to both myself and others, enjoy the mundane, find wonder in the everyday, don’t let these beautiful things only be enjoyed years from now. Embrace them. Rejoice in them. And love them now, while they are in front of you.

The Past and the Matter of Perspective:


When I have something bad happen to me my mind changes the way it looks at things, and it changes for the worse. One bad thing leads my mind to all the other bad things that I have had happen in my life. It makes me look back at my pain and think: this is more than normal. Or worse it makes me think: there has been more of this then there has been of the good.

It gets dangerous when that second thought surfaces, because it leads me into the kind of sadness that lasts for days. A kind of self-pity and resignation that just isn’t healthy. It changes my perspective and makes a single negative worth a life time of negatives. It’s a kind of mindset that can alter your life if you hang onto it for too long.

I’ve been in and out of this state for the last few months. Recovering from Lyme and Mono hasn’t been easy, and sometimes it drags me down emotionally.

So how do you shake it? It seems almost impossible when you are sitting under it.

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Rainy Memories:

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I have a childhood memory of building a fake campfire under the slide base in my backyard. The rain was pouring down and we were laughing. It felt like we were on a real life adventure out in the real wild. My childhood best friend and sister all got called in half and hour later, soaking wet and smiling.

I have a elementary school memory of sitting on my grandmother’s back porch listening to the rain and her stories, lightning flashing in the sky as I tried my best to remember every word I could.

I have a middle school memory running bareback on my horse through the pouring rain. Knowing that power felt like this. Lightning was flashing, my hair dripping down my back, and I just kept pushing faster and faster. I wanted to live like that.

I have a high school memory of running and jumping into my then boyfriends arms, being spun around as the rain hit my cheeks. I remember saying “this could be our best kiss yet.”

I have a college memory of driving down a back road at dusk, with the drivers window down and the rain hitting my hand, that one album playing in the background, realizing that I felt God for the first time in years.

Smash it All:

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Everyone likes the idea of a scrapbook because everyone likes the idea of having memories you can hold and flip through. But the act of scrapbooking is stressful, you’re always worried you’ll ruin it, printing pictures is expensive (not to mention the paper and the stickers). It’s these reasons and more that we normally choose not to make a bound book of our memories.

So, roll in the idea of a smash book. They’re a company that sells all these premade books and paper, they’re pretty pricey too. But the idea of a smash book is one that I like much better than a scrapbook because it’s much less formal. You do more than just pictures and words and stickers. You can put in recites and movie stubs. You use stuff like construction paper and washi tape. I print my pictures on regular office paper – is it high quality? No! But it gets the job done. Making your own smash book is as easy as getting your hands on an empty notebook with an elastic band (the thing will grow, you’ll want the elastic). I buy post it notes out of the target dollar bin and use wrapping paper if I’m using background paper at all. It’s cheaper and there’s a lot less stress about messing up.

So… SMASH IT ALL.IMG_0855 IMG_0856 IMG_0857