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Keepsakes for your Child
Family and friends gathered round’ as we sang “Happy Birthday” to my daughter. She wore a crown headband on her head and her strawberry outfit was perfect for our “Farmer’s Market” theme. She approached the birthday pie (apple, yum!) with caution, but then devoured it, gracefully, of course. Water balloon fights and a flower planting activity kept the children entertained as well as the nearby playground. It isn’t often we get to travel back to see family, so this day was extra special. The memories we made on my daughter’s first birthday will be treasured for many years to come.
Looking back on the first year of her life, I can’t believe how fast it flew by. I took so many pictures and videos of special moments and milestones. Speaking of memories, I wanted to share with you some keepsake ideas for throughout baby’s first year. Now, there are countless ideas to “freeze” these moments in time, but I will just share a few. A calendar of baby’s first year, a time capsule, special book and a hope chest are all unique ways to cherish these moments in time.
I love to dress my daughter up, especially on holidays! Each month I took pictures of my daughter with the monthly stickers, but I also took themed pictures. As my daughter grew, she quickly ripped off the monthly stickers. I like the idea of the chalkboard with the milestones written on it and then you can pose your baby beside it. I also like the idea of posing them in the same spot so you can get a better comparison throughout the months!
For the calendar, my idea is to put each month’s picture, together, to gift to relatives for Christmas! I will share my themed pictures below! Yes, I know I’m missing a few months but I was in a sleep deprived haze the first few months of motherhood (haha!). There are many different websites to use to create these mementos, so take a look and find which one you like best! Don’t feel like you have to spend a bunch of money on these themed pictures either! I used what was gifted to me most of the time and used Dollar store items for props and backdrops. By the way, I cannot take credit for the last picture of my daughter at the beach. Michelle Frederick Photography took our family pictures and this is just one of the beautiful images. (You can find her on Facebook! She is truly an artist and worth every penny! She shoots in the Upstate New York area and has availability in New Hampshire.)
A book of Memories
No, this isn’t a photo album I’m going to talk to you about, but a children’s book. My daughter was gifted the book, “The Wonderful Things You Will Be” (by Emily Winfield Martin), for her first birthday. This book talks about all the different option that the child may be when they grow up, and ends with “And then I’ll look at you and you’ll look at me, and I’ll love you, whoever you’ve grown up to be”. I may or may not have teared up reading this story. As Maddie grows older, starts school and plays sports, I’d like to get her teachers and coaches to write a little note to her in the book. The plan is to gift this book to her on graduation day. As we recall the memories of her, from important people in her life, I’m sure I will be ugly crying. Another great book for this keepsake, is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss”. Holy cow, I can’t believe I’m thinking this far ahead in time but what a treasure this will be!
An activity I wanted to do for my daughter, on her first birthday, was a time capsule. The idea of this time capsule is that family and close friends would write a letter to my daughter for her to open on her eighteenth birthday. The letters could include advice, hopes and dreams and whatever they wanted to write. On my daughter’s birthday, I had this cute sign printed from a designer at Etsy and put it in a cute frame. I found a decorative box to put all the letters in and had paper and envelopes available. Now, because we live far away and you do want people to put a lot of thought into the letter, I would offer to send it home with them and have them mail it to you. You can only imagine what letters you would get, from relatives and family who may or may not be with us in this world any more. I don’t mean to be grim, but what a beautiful gift to give to someone; the words of someone no longer with us, a piece of them stamped in time. Okay, enough sappiness, I love this keepsake so much! I can’t wait to see what advice and hopes and dreams my family has for my daughter!
I want to create a Hope Chest for my daughter! I know many of you are familiar with the notion, but for those who are not, it is a chest full of trinkets and treasures that will be sent off with your child when they leave the nest. Some things you may choose for her but it is mostly items she chooses and wants to take with her when she is grown up. Examples could be a tea set from a relative or a special city she visited, an afghan from a treasured country, a photo album, jewelry from a family member, and so on. I especially love this idea because I can only imagine the wonderful treasures my daughter will find, from of being a military child and traveling so much.
Thinking back on how many memories I’ve made with my daughter, so far, I am so excited what each new day brings! Sometimes, the days seem to drag but the years go by fast! I might not be able to change time, but I can do my best to remember the moments and to treasure them with keepsakes. I’m curious, do you have any keepsakes you have done with your children? Share in the comments!