T wo years ago, I started documenting our weeks via Project Life. It’s a GENIUS memory-keeping system developed by Becky Higgins that consists of clever photo pocket layouts along with journaling card kits. The basic premise is that it marries these two things: old-school photo albums (consisting solely of slipping pictures into plastic pockets) and hands-on scrapbooking; so you get the ease and convenience of the old version while adding in the component of journaling and some artistic flare.

The huge bonus in my mind is that, unlike traditional scrapbooking, I don’t have to come up with a new layout every single time and embellish and fill up a white page. I rode that train for awhile but it became so daunting. Plus it was slow and, looking back on some of those albums, it doesn’t look as clean and sleek as I’d like. Thus, Project Life has become my thing (along with basically every other crafty blogger out there – it’s a phenomenon right now and for good reason).

When I first started, I was SO GOOD about staying on top of it. I did a two-page layout for each week and found intense satisfaction in being able to document both the highlights and the more day-to-day details of life.

But then LIFE started to get in the way of Project Life. Can you believe it? I truly think there would be a fairly quick way to undertake this system if you just stuck to slipping in photos and cards – to be fair, this is how the system was designed. My guess is that it would take about an hour per week if it were done in this manner.

You can probably see where this is going, though. Did Grace choose the simple route? Nope. I started adding in little do-dads and letter stickers and mini pages etc etc. This made our albums fun and beautiful to look through but also took up at least 3 or 4 hours every weekend. And sometimes, I had to buckle down and lesson plan or devise a new behavior system instead of doing Project Life (you’re welcome, first graders. Just FYI, you were totally worth it.).

All this to say, I ended up getting really behind. But I still believe in this system! Bobby and I love looking through the album from our first year of marriage and remembering what we were doing on a weekly basis. I know the albums will only become more and more treasured as time progresses. (What I wouldn’t give to have a Project Life album from my parent’s first year of marriage. It would be the COOLEST THING EVER.)

I know, I know, I could just start with a fresh slate and say “today is the first day of the rest of my life!” and not worry about these last 11 (yes ELEVEN) months that slipped by, un-Project-Life-d. Who knows, maybe I’ll do that if this becomes too crippling. Before I call a truce, however, I want to see if I can spend a couple weeks of laser focus on documenting those months as best I can. I think it will be worth it.

Here are some of my tools…journal cards, date stamps, pens, photos (obviously a crucial element), washi tape…the works.

(This photo proves how much I have to catch up on…because it is Mardi Gras next week…but we are in Miami…so yes, those photos are from an entire year ago. They WILL go into an album, mark my words!)

Here are two entire boxes stuffed with memorabilia and birthday cards and love notes that I will try my best to include, too.

If you’re feeling up to it, I hope you’ll join me in spending a few free hours in February to document some of your precious life, whether that’s via Project Life or some other system.

It’s going to be a wild, intense ride but I’m ready to kick things into gear. Thanks, 12 Months of Making!