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Capturing the Ordinary

I always tell new parents “Make sure you take pictures of your baby crying.”

The ordinary events of our daily life don’t seem very special to us. Instead, we take pictures of the rare things – baby smiling, birthday parties, Halloween costumes.

It is good to capture rare moments, but we need to also capture the ordinary because it represents a larger portion of our history.

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For example:

My child learned to walk this week. I called my mother (obviously) and she said “Emma, you have to take a video of her scooting!” My child doesn’t crawl, she scoots. Everyone thinks it’s hilarious. She sits on her rear and propels herself forward with her arms and feet. I had already taken a video of Avila walking, but it hadn’t occurred to me to take a video of her scooting because it was ordinary.

Years from now, I will want to see the video of those first few steps. But I will also want to see that unique scoot, the one I watched her do every day for months. The walking video is a milestone. The scooting video is a sample of our everyday life. Both are important parts of our history.

Think about the things you do everyday with your family. Make sure you capture those things.

Today, I made a pledge to myself to use a guest book. I have a guest book from my wedding that I have also brought out on special occasions, like our house warming party. I’m going to ask people to sign it on ordinary occasions too. The guest book is something that records both milestones and everyday life in one volume. It’s such a small thing, but by the time we fill that guestbook up, we will have notes from people who are gone. We will have the progression of our kids’ and nieces’ and nephews’ signatures as they learn to write. We will have our history, recorded.

If you are hosting a holiday celebration in your home this year, I encourage you to start a guestbook.