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  • I keep a diary and make countless scrapbooks and photobooks. I'm obsessed with recording my life.
    I am aware that there's a great deal of ego involved with this: I don't want to be forgotten. I want to be more than a name on my Great, Great, Great, Grandchildren's family tree. I want them to know who I was as a person, for better and/or for worse.
    For the most part, I prefer making traditional paper scrapbooks to digital ones because you can add true scraps from your life. For example: when I made my wedding albums, I added a piece of one of my stockings, which had become stained when I danced with no shoes. I wanted to keep it so I could remember the joy of dancing at my wedding.
    When I scrapped my baby shower, I cut pieces of the packaging my gifts came in and glued them next to the pictures of me opening the gifts. That may seem silly and obsessive now, but in 50 years it will be fun to see how things were packaged years ago. I would love to see the packaging from my parents' baby toys and clothes.
    I've also scrapped my David's Bridal credit card - the one I used for my wedding, the shirt I wore to my bridal shower, and even a Nirvana shirt I wore so much, it grew holes. I'm going to use it as a background image with a picture of me wearing the shirt at Christmas when I was in college.
    My digital photobooks have also come out quite nice. So far, I have made ones for Hudson's birth, Hudson's First Visit with his Great-Grandpa Harrsch, Hudson's First Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving with the Ashley Family, Christmas at Lambert Castle, Christmas with the Haberman family, Touring the Christmas Caverns, and our trip to Turtle Back Zoo and Thomas Edison's factory. I have given some of them as gifts and they are always a big hit. They are something people treasure.
    One of the things to keep in mind with scrapbooking is to not just scrap the obvious, such as holidays and birthdays. I want to capture the moments many people overlook as insignificant, but say so much about a person and their life. Here are some examples of fun things you can scrapbook that I think you will cherish years later:
    -The inside of your closet, with pictures of your favorite clothes. Write why they are your favorite, where you got them and where you have worn them out.
    -Your beside table - what's on it? Anything significant? Do you use it for a glass of water? Or do you rest your book there, seconds before you fall asleep?
    -The interior of your car. Is it usually messy, super neat? Do you listen to the radio, cds, an MP3 player or audiobooks? Do you have leopard print seat covers or a Tinkerbell steering wheel cover?
    -What kind of car do you drive? Did you buy it because it was affordable and practical? Or is it your dream car? If you don't drive a car, how do you get around? Scrapbook pictures of your bike, the streets you walk, or the bus you take.
    -The inside of your fridge. What's in it? Is it usually fully stocked or does it have just a few take out containers? Do you drink soy or almond milk? Are you a vegetarian or a vegan?
    -What are your favorite pair of shoes? Do you prefer sandals, boots, flats, etc? (Personally, I prefer boots in the Winter and sandals in the Summer).
    -Do you have a special place that makes you happy? Under a tree in your backyard? Or an armchair in your living room where you sit and read?
    -How about purses and bags (boy, do I love them!). I have one that makes me smile just because of it's sheer cuteness and another that fill me with sweet, happy memories because I used it when I first met my husband. I wore it to on hunts for obscure records and books and to countless rock shows incredible stories. I've put it away from time to time but I always go back to it.
    -What was your favorite toy (or toys) as a child? If you can, find a childhood picture of you playing with it and write who you loved it so much.
    -Take any childhood photo and ask family members about it. What do they remember about that day or you from that time?
    Scrapbooking things like this are often more interesting than the traditional “Here we are eating Thanksgiving Dinner.”
    Don't get me wrong, I still think those events are important, but when I am gone, I'd like people to know I had a nervous habit of pulling on my ear, that I loved to browse through blank journals at bookstores, and that I hated buying gas for my car. I want to record the funny little details about my life and put them in a beautiful scrapbook. And as morbid as it may sound, I want people to look through them at my funeral with joy and laughter because at that time, they will be the only things that are left of me, other than my diaries, and the memories of my loved ones.

    ((This will also be published in my zine "Emily's Heart")
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