Friday, August 15, 2008

The Journey Begins....

I am leaving today to take my 84 year old Grandma (we call her Busia) and my 3 and 6 year old daughters on an 18 1/2 hour train trip to Colorado. It seems a bit insane, and I am not quite sure how I can carry everything we need with Kaya in the stroller and Busia with her walker... but I am sure we will manage.

I am very excited about this journey. Not so much the destination, but the thrill of experiencing something like this with all three of these people I love so much. When I was in College, me, my Mom, and Busia would drive to Colorado (to visit my uncle) on every spring break. We called it the generations trips! And we drove in the trusty station wagon with woodgrain on the sides!!  Oh the memories. We laughed until our faces hurt. I wish SO BADLY I knew then what I know now.

I have sadly learned how it all goes by so quickly. I have sadly  forgotten the details of all those things that made us laugh. Having SOMETHING would be so much better than nothing from all those incredible trips. I have switched my travel scrapbooking mentality to simply capturing the trips as they happen. I use a simple journal style notebook (I get them at Borders) and write in pen along the way.

We always have a space for everyone on the trip to write in "Their Favorite Part of the Day" at the end of every day of the journey. I always try to have someone with us write out some of their favorites so we have writing from our various family members. And we decide as a family on a "word of the day".
When we had an "incident" in an airplane a couple years ago in route to Disney....  the word for that day was PUKE. Another day caught in the rain and then swimming in a pool, the word was WATER....  just a little way at the end of a day for us to talk about what we did and select what we want to never forget about that day.
I carry the journal in a zipper pouch and take it with me everywhere.
Since I always have it with me, we had the characters sign their autographs right into pages of the journal in the back, and added in photos of that character later.

I have another smaller zipper pouch with Scissors (if I am not flying), pens, and adhesive. Super Simple, and it makes me SUPER HAPPY. I take notes on things we do, get the kids to draw in it while waiting for dinner sometimes, and I stick in ticket stubs, cut up brochures, and things like that along the way. I used to stuff these trip momentos into a ziplock bag so I could properly trim them and later create the most perfect vacation pages.....  you know what? I found so many bags of stuff that meant nothing to me anymore as I sorted out memorabilia from my life. In my need to make it perfect, I accidentally lost those memories in the process. I would give a LOT for even a journal entry from one simple day of our four amazing Colorado Generations trip with my Mom and Busia. I cannot get those memories back, and for that I am sorry - BUT, I am doing it now which I am grateful for. I love this process, too. My mind works like a memory - even as things are happening, I sometimes find myself feeling a little sad, like I will miss this when it is over. By taking a few moments throughout the day and about 15 minutes at night once the girls go to bed in the hotels....  I feel peaceful knowing I have not let these memories slip away. I enjoy every day of the trip a little as I re-live it at night taking small notes. I have captured SO MANY memories for them this way, and I feel this cool sense of peace, that what I am doing is more than enough to ensure they can look back at our lives and remember the moments.

I leave spaces while I write so when I get home, I can print some mini prints and add them into the day's journal pages....  I never know how much space I will need....  but that is OK - this is not about it being perfectly planned out - it is about it being almost DONE when I walk in my home from the journey. I can fancy it up and add it all my photos as I have time, but even without ever making time to do that, this journal comes home from the journey as an incredible memory.

I stuck in these photo booth photos almost immediately after we took them when we sat down for lunch! :)

So, what can you do a little differently to make it easier on yourself to capture moments from trips, family events, or everyday life. Please think about that question and take some small step towards simplifying your process. None of my travel journals are totally complete, but MAN, I am so glad I have them.  What would you give to stumble upon a journal your mom wrote about a random car trip you took as a family when you were small??? 
Added photos OVER the park map when I got home
Added in a photo of Kal coloring this later.
Letting Kalli write the title for our short weekend trip last summer (I used a smaller notebook style journal for this because it was only a couple of days) - tonight they picked the stickers for the Colorado trip journal cover. I try to always do that part together as it really gets them excited about the upcoming journey.  I hope us doing this as we go teaches the girls to remember and appreciate the little things along the way. I am a LONG TIME fan of Pebbles in my Pocket. I loved them before I ever had kids because I loved their concept. That scrapbooking and memory keeping is simply making notes on all those pebbles you find in your family's pockets....  years ago, Pebbles had a magazine I subscribed to called Along the Way....  again, what a strong concept - that this hobby is simply about capturing your journey ALONG THE WAY. That is what these travel journals mean to me - they are records of the pebbles we gather along the way. :) Nothing fancy, nothing that is going to win me any Hall of Fame awards, but I love them and they tell OUR STORY. No one but us can do that.
On the back cover of my journal from Argentina I purchsed various stickers in different places we visted and added them right onto the journal. I have loved doing this and now I frantically search stores for location stickers I can stick onto our travel journals.

Talk to you later next week as I have no room for my laptop with all the stuff I need to carry on the train! :) Enjoy whatever journeys you take this weekend.

See you at the monster garage sale on the 22nd from 6 - 8 PM if you are local. :)

1 comment:

erink88 said...

i totally love this idea. i have decided to do this with everyday things as well. thank you not only for the idea but for the pictures to show me how! hope you have a great trip!