We received this email, and with Stephanie’s permission, I’m sharing it with you today.
I’ve actually been meaning to write for sometime. I have been in love with your products after my bestie introduced them to me starting with the release of the Amber Edition. (Yes, I mark years by Project Life Edition). I bought the kit and went to work. Editing photos, adding cards, etc. I was thrilled about this new way to scrapbook. But first let me rewind and give you a little history.
As a former scrapper before scrapping was cool I loved making books in the early to late nineties. Then mission, career, marriage, and kids and in a blink of an eye I have 10 years of nothing documented except via negatives and portable hard drives. (Believe it or not, snuggling up with your kids to cozy up with the laptop and view old pics isn’t ideal in my mind). Fast forward to now…
Time for honesty. Life is insanely crazy. We added a baby to the mix almost one year ago and he has some unique health challenges that keep us hopping and living around his med schedule. I work full-time and when you add eating and sleeping, there isn’t really anything left. My confession is that my good intentions have gotten me: 1 Amber edition half done but no journaling, 1 clementine edition with first and last pages put in but nothing else, 1 baby boy edition with first and last pages, 1 baby girl edition with first and last pages, 1 olive edition still in the Amazon box that it was delivered in last week, a secret desire to order a mini kit and album for my 7 year old, a half-taken Project Real Life class, and a whole lot of feeling behind, a little guilty, and not knowing where and how to start digging myself out without missing the sweet albeit sparing moments with my family as it is.
I know you have a balancing act with career and family, and we’re about the same age… How do you do it? It sounds silly because project life makes things so simple but I’ve almost wished that there was an answer for people like me that just want to be told exactly where to put what and simply don’t have time to think or be creative in the least bit at this stage in the game. I love the first and last page cards for that reason. I only wish the whole album was like that. Nothing to think about unless you wanted to. A quicker than quick solution to slap things in without much thought. Scribble down a note or two and move on. I know, you’re thinking, we’ve made it so simple already… But just letting you know that I am out here waiving the white flag (while meanwhile logging on to Amazon and buying the latest insanely cute edition). Love your products, love the concept, and love the passion you have for what you do.
All the best,
Stephanie in Texas
Brandi is our awesome Customer Service Manager who literally manages several inboxes for our company (I used to manage them all and I can not not tell you what a blessing it is to have Brandi helping to field the concerns, answer the questions, and offer the guidance as a representative of our company on a daily basis. I wanted to share with you Brandi’s response to Stephanie because it’s a message to so many people who feel similar to how Stephanie feels:
I wanted to let you know we received your email. Your story is so similar to so many of our customers, which is, as you know, why Becky created Project Life. Life is busy. Our priorities cannot be scrapbooking when our time should and is spent doing do many other things. We get that. Cut yourself some slack. Of course, we also get that you want to complete an album. As you said, there is something about snuggling up and looking through a finished album versus scrolling through the computer screen. I have a few suggestions for you, that I hope will help you feel motivated to get started (again) and will relieve some of the overwhelming feelings you may have when you look at how far behind you feel you are.
It seems silly to say, and it might be hard to do, but only think about 1 album at a time. As a long time Project Lifer, I have learned that if I think about the catching up I need to do, I feel defeated before I have even started. Realistically speaking, your family has survived this long without a finished album – they will continue to be okay, so don’t stress about the past photos, yet. Focus on your most current year – 2013. We are only 3 months in. This should take no time at all to get caught up (a few hours in front of the TV while doing your album will do the trick).
Once you are caught up, find a time system that works best for you. This might be adding your photos every day, week, month or (as I do) one time at the end of the calendar year. Yep, I take 1 day in December, when my husband takes the kids for the day, and bust my entire year out, because that is what works for me. Do what works for you. Once you have figured that out, begin to work backwards, one album at a time. So, while you are staying current on 2013, you will add 2012 to your plate also. Once you have completed 2012, you will start 2011, and so on until you are “caught up”. Keep in mind your past years can be a lower priority. So no need to stress over it, but know that if you are caught up on 2013 and are hanging out one night, you can always pull 2012 out and bust out a few pages/months. Eventually, you will be caught up. I am 100% current with my memory keeping, using this process, and it feels great!
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions on how to get started and I would be happy to help walk you through the process.
I whole-heartedly understand where Stephanie is coming from, and I whole-heartedly agree with Brandi’s response. You have to find an approach that works for you. As always, I encourage simplicity. Your family cares far more about being able to actually enjoy memories and pictures than how you think you “should” creatively display them. Let go of creative pressures. Seriously. Be creative if you have the burning desire or the innate love to do so, but please don’t embellish your scrapbook pages with a bunch of product because you think that’s what scrapbooking is “supposed” to be. Project Life is simple for a reason. It’s helping us get our scrapbooks done.
In light of what’s happening one week from today (Project Life makes its debut on HSN), I encourage you to tune in (or visit HSN.com that day, since you can also purchase online) and consider taking advantage of one of the two Project Life KITS we are offering that day. I know 99% of you have the desire to “catch up”. Me too. I get it. I want to be sure you know that what we are selling on HSN on March 25th is such an amazing deal that you will not want to miss out on this opportunity to use one of these kits (Blush or Jade – or both) to “catch up” and stomp all over those feelings of guilt.