Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



lessons from cherice’s story


It’s not the news anyone would want to get on Christmas morning—or ever! But for my friend, Cherice, it’s what happened last year. She and her family were out of town for Christmas when they got a call that their house had been broken into.

Along with the annoyance and trouble of having possessions stolen, Cherice lost some irreplaceable things, as well. In her closet, she had tote bag where she kept journals written during her pregnancy with her daughter Emmry along with two years of monthly letters she had written to her. She was good about keeping everything in one place and was planning to transfer all the notes into a Shutterfly book. But, unfortunately, during the break-in, the thieves used the bag to shove things into. They didn’t take it for what was inside and, sadly, probably had no idea what was in there, but now it is gone. Thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions she had recorded were gone just like that.

Cherice felt sad, angry, and depressed over the loss, but eventually felt peace, gratitude, and blessed that she didn’t lose Emmry. She also was so kind to reach out to me and wanted me to share with all of you what she learned from the ordeal.

She learned that it’s great to put all your papers + photos in one place, but she recommends putting them IN albums and backing things up on the computer. Natural disasters, fires, burglars—while they are not fun—they are all a possible part of life. And if you happen to be lucky enough to have a little warning, it’s easier to grab an album or a hard drive than it is to gather up piles of papers scattered everywhere.

Let’s use Cherice’s experience as a reminder to back things up or to transfer things that you are planning to do someday. Do it before “someday” is too late.

Note: In a recent Good Life post written by my brother Kevin, a guru of all things techie, many of you asked him questions related to backing up data, photos, etc. You can find his answers and what you need to know about backing things up here.


18 Responses

  1. remaining unnamed says:

    I’m choosing to remain nameless on here because I too, have experienced this terrible incident. My family and I had gone out of state for the holidays when I received a call after we had all gone to bed by my aunt. She explained to me that our house was broken into and lots of stuff were taken, some more valuable than others as well as the mess that was left behind. The police had come and fingerprinted, took down the report and said there was nothing I could do if I were to rush home. It was hard to try and enjoy the remaining part of our trip. We came home and I was devastated. The thiefs had taken my laptop and hard drive where I do most of my scrapbooking work or journaling and had stolen our back up drive where all of my pictures were on. This was before we had backed up our computer onto an off site location so that meant we had lost a lot of pictures. To this day, when I come across something I need to work on, it’s hard with the limited amount of stuff that I need to get that were in the past. Because of this incident I have never been the same, I do back up my stuff now and am very guarded with my belongings, things I know that can never be replaced. This hurts my heart for Cherice and her family, it will take time to get pass this.

  2. Jade says:

    I had backing up all of my photos, files, photoshop actions, etc on my to-do list for a long time. I finally did it last week. Well, this morning my computer crashed and won’t turn on. I am so grateful I finally listened to that voice in the back of my head telling me everyday to back up everything!

  3. K.C.Creations says:

    I also will choose to comment without my name. As an avid scrapper and scrapbook store owner, I am always promoting backing your photos and memories online and to external hard drives. Printing your photos is the most important. Just with time going so fast I got behind on doing this.
    Feb 14, 2014 my husband suddenly passed away. While we were at his funeral, our home was broken into and my laptop & 2 external hard drives, with around 30,000 family photos was taken. Not only was I heart broken that my husband was gone but now of of our memories were taken too.
    I have since had those items returned and the hard drives have been recovered. Needless to say – back your memories up online.

  4. Irene says:

    It is so hard to read these stories without feeling so sad. We are all guilty of getting wrapped up in the now & forgetting to do the back ups. As i write this I have pics on my phone that i have been meaning to get printed – I will do it as soon as i get home & listen to my husband when he gives me the ‘download to the hard drive’ lesson. TFS ladies. Your pain is a lesson for all of us.

  5. dawn says:

    Thank you for sharing this and I’m sorry for your loss of special memories. I too need to back up my photos, always saving it for another time. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Donna says:

    Had the same thing happen. They stole family DVDs thinking they were something valuable, then I guess trashed them. They took a necklace I just had made by a jeweler with my Mom’s wedding band diamonds, with the intent of the necklace to be given to my granddaughter as an heirloom from my Mom down the chair to her. Most of what they took meant nothing to anyone but us. So sad to have this regret to not have burglar alarm before these scuzbags decided to vacate our residence before we bestowed videos and other items to family we loved.

  7. Melissa says:

    We had a storage unit fire which destroyed everything in there and then two years later our home was broken into & many valuables were taken including my grandmother’s wedding ring. It takes a while to get past losing photos, yearbooks & mementos, but it’s important to remember those are just things. You can re-remember memories & still hug your loved ones. Relationships are the most important.

  8. Tammi says:

    I’m good about backing up my photos but I’m a paper scrapper/Project Lifer – what is the best way to back up paper pages? Any advice is appreciated.

  9. I’m sad for her but grateful she shared her experience. I wanted to share something I do that goes along these lines. I keep separate blogs for my children where I write letters to them (including milestones, adorable quotes, etc.) and I include a handful of photos to represent each month. It’s not the full picture but it’s something. I then refer to the blog posts when I go to do my journaling in Project Life. That way I have a lot of my children’s history online in case something happens to their albums or the “waiting to be put in albums” pile. This also works for me because I am very busy, exhausted and overwhelmed right now (I have two very energetic little boys and a baby on the way) and it’s easier to quickly type a few thoughts on their blogs and then sit down and use that info for PL when I’m able to do so.

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