I’ve been wrestling with the concept of scrapbooking a lot of my old photos that I never got around to documenting in their time, it’s a topic I spoke about briefly on Episode 006 of The Digi Show. My main hang-up is that I can’t decide on what voice to use in the journaling.

The majority of the pages in our albums are written in a present-tense voice using phrases like “You are…” and “I feel…”. When I scrapbook photos from 5 or 6 years ago I want to tell stories from that same perspective in order to have continuity in the albums (I don’t want an abrupt change in voice to “You were…” and “I felt…”) I’m just finding that I have a difficult time getting into that headspace – it feels odd.  No one else would know when looking through the finished album whether I wrote it back in 2005 or I wrote it in 2011. It’s purely a roadblock I run into right after I activate the text tool on these older pages, and it’s one I’m determined to get over.

I am working on it.

But while I work on it, a comparison page is a great compromise. I can visit the past in order to compare it to the present. When I laid eyes on this new collaboration between Paislee Press and Three Paper Peonies I felt as though they were designing just for me.

Then & Now

JOURNALING | 2005: man alive you were a ball of energy in constant motion. your eyes opened in the morning and your feet hit the ground within seconds. “a little downtime” was a concept you didn’t even want to try to understand – why would anyone want to sit still and observe the world around them when the option to run through it at warp speed was available? i found myself frequently exhausted just watching you go through your day, and could never understand how you didn’t collapse at the end of it. because you didn’t collapse, nicholas, not even once. people would watch you and say things like “i bet that’ll tire him out, he’ll pass out on the way home” but no, not you. you were always great about going to bed but it was more like a last resort at the end of the day – a battle of wills that your parents eventually won.

2011: in all honesty, i never really thought you’d slow down and appreciate the concept of utterly vegging out. people used to say things like “when he gets older he’ll BEG to sleep in” but i always just figured it was like all of the other little kernels of false hope for the future that parents share with one another – the ones that keep us from losing it completely. there are some people who seem to get by with very little rest, and i was beginning to fear that you were going to be one of them. little by little, though, i started to notice that i was the one waiting around for you in the morning, and you were the one who was starting to retreat to your bedroom to chill out for a while in the afternoons. isn’t that supposed to be my routine? some mornings i see glimpses of what will eventually become our new normal – me standing in your doorway, nagging you to get out of bed. i’m not sure that one scenario is better than the other, but for the time being i’m a little thankful for the break.

MATERIALS | Then & Now by Paislee Press and Three Paper Peonies; frame from Conversation Piece no. 1 by One Little Bird & Paislee Press; border from In The Loop by One Little Bird; photos processed using Fable by My 4 Hens Photography.