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What is scrapbooking?  The official definition is probably something like "Preserving your pictures and memorabilia in acid-free, archival safe albums for future generations."

What is my definition of scrapbooking?  FUN -- ADDICTING -- A necessity in life to aid you in passing along your history, pictures, and stories to future generations!

As a child, I remember sitting on my mom's couch with her huge box of old pictures.  It was so much fun to hear her stories and see a glimpse of what life was like for her in her early years.  She lived in Milwaukee near a naval base during World War II, so there were numerous photos of Mom with her current beau -- usually a sailor.  Times were tough in those days, but you could see in the pictures that she was enjoying life -- she always had a smile on her face, even though money was scarce and they were in the middle of a war.

Tragically, Mom died unexpectedly at age 47 and through an unfortunate set of circumstances, all her photos and memorabilia were destroyed.

It wasn't until later in life that I realized how much I missed not being able to look back at those pictures, or hear anew her stories of life when she was growing up.  In an effort to recapture some of these memories and memorabilia, my sister Helen and I have been searching for pictures and stories to pass along to our children and grandchildren.

I was introduced to scrapbooking in April, 1999.  It was obvious from the beginning that I was destined to be a "scrapaholic".  I created 17 albums in my first 13 months of scrapbooking. 

After  6 months of scrapbooking, I decided that the best way to pay for my habit was to become a consultant.  Becoming a consultant has been one of the wisest decisions I've ever made in my life -- not because I get my supplies at a discount (though I enjoy this aspect), and not because of the potential to earn money, awards and recognition.  Being a consultant has greatly enhanced my relationships with family and friends.  When I look at my client's albums and see the stories and the details, it's gives me a great sense of pride to know that somehow I've helped enable them to pass along their wonderful memories to their loved ones.

If ever I question the amount of time (yes, and money) I've spent in creating these precious albums, I think back to our recent visit to Iowa.  We visited our cousin for the first time in over 30 years.  I left my album with her the first night so she could skim through it if she were interested.  The next morning when we returned, she told me that she'd spent three hours looking over the album -- laughing, crying -- and remembering the good times with my mother.  She apologized if she'd left any tears on my pages.  Little did she know that those tears are a blessed enhancement to my pages because they'll be a reminder of how much joy and pleasure she received in going through these pages of history.   God bless you Mary for giving me this wonderful gift.  And bless you for providing over 60 historical pictures of my mother and her family that were lost to us so many years ago. 

So when you think that you "just don't have time" for scrapbooking, think again.  You can invest one evening a month, get together with your friends, leave the hubby and kids behind, and come away with the most wonderful gift you can ever leave anyone -- a little piece of YOU and who you really are.

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