If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know one of our favorite TV obsessions is Downton Abbey. I mean, heck, we named our cat after the show’s butler. So, yeah, we really love this show. In a recent episode, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, the head butler and housekeeper, are reflecting on love lost and life lived, when Mr. Carson tells Mrs. Hughes,

“The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that’s all there is.”

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When we got married, we realized that in our 21st century digitized world, fewer and fewer prints would be made, less scrapbooks would be assembled, and even though we’d see more digital photos of ourselves, our families, and our friends in real time than any previous generation via social media, we also wanted a tangible way to go back and reflect on the collection of memories we made as a couple. So, our first year of marriage, Amy created an album of our first year as husband and wife together, complete with everything from scanned photos to digital ones, and she’s done the same thing ever since. We’ll celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary in June, and that means we’ve got five years worth of memories in five different albums that we display prominently in our living room for everyone to see.

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We love looking back at each year in photos because the memories aren’t just the symbolic, milestone ones, they’re also the small, everyday ones. We always tell people that the best camera is the one you have, and we really take that to heart. While people may think we live the glamorous photographer lifestyle and shoot professional-grade, mind-blowing photographs every time step out of the house, we’re really no different than you. If we’re out for the night with friends or something cool happens at church, our phones end up being the best camera we have a lot of the time. We never let photo quality prevent us from putting a memory in the book. With our iPhones handy everywhere we go, we have a stockpile of memories, and it helps us remember so many things that we’d forgotten about and might not’ve remembered again without seeing it, laughing about it, reliving it, and enjoying it. From iPhone photos taken in dark restaurants over dinner to professional photos taken in incredible places across the country, it’s all there. It’s fun, too, to go through the book with people when they visit us. In fact, it’s the thing most of our friends reach for when they come over.

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We have this romantic idea that, one day, when we’re very old, we’ll be able to relive our life together, just one more time, and feel the way we felt in the moments that we acquired while we were here on this earth, that we’ll be able to feel proud of the things we’ve done and the people we’ve loved. If you’ve never done something like this before, maybe 2014 is your year! Bust out those iPhones, start snapping away, and create a memory book of your own!

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4 comments
filed in: Personal

    Heidi Bartlett

    Stop the cuteness! I love this as much as our "Heart Files," inspired by you two, of course! Where do you get your books made?

    Heidi Bartlett

    Stop the cuteness! I love this as much as our "Heart Files," inspired by you two, of course! Where do you get your books made?

    Amy & Jordan

    Since we order a new book every year, use the maximum 100 pages, and are printing mostly iPhone photos, we don't invest in a professional-grade album -- which we ALWAYS recommend for weddings! Instead, for these, we use a retail company called My Publisher. They offer a coupon once per year for 70% off the normal price (which is a steal), so that's when we design our book every year! You guys should do it, too!

    Amy & Jordan

    Since we order a new book every year, use the maximum 100 pages, and are printing mostly iPhone photos, we don't invest in a professional-grade album -- which we ALWAYS recommend for weddings! Instead, for these, we use a retail company called My Publisher. They offer a coupon once per year for 70% off the normal price (which is a steal), so that's when we design our book every year! You guys should do it, too!