project life layouts through the years

For the last few years, I've been documenting our family's story with Project Life. I discovered it while pregnant with Ben. I bought the Design A pocket pages, some 3x4 grid cards and the turquoise edition binder, which were the only products available. Recently, we pulled out that first album and flipped through it with some friends. The layouts aren't fancy and the photos aren't great, but going through the album was amazing. We were gushing over how little Ben was and just loving seeing all those memories captured. It reminded me how much I like this project and how worth it it's become to me to make sure I document our story. I thought it might be fun to share a layout from each of the last few years.

November 2011 / The layout above documents Thanksgiving week, 2011. I was super sick. Ben was three months old. Nick had his last flight with VFA-22. I can't believe that insert. My little sister and her husband drove down to be with us for Thanksgiving. It was classic. We both had newborns (Charlie was three weeks old!), and everyone was completely exhausted. Ben looks so big next to Charlie! That wouldn't last long. The journaling cards were my first ever purchase from Paislee Press. You can still buy the photo collage and the cards!

August 2012 / I think I actually completed this layout in early 2013, but it's a fave of mine and it's from 2012, so I had to include it. We found out Nick would be leaving for an 8 to 10 month deployment six weeks to the day before he had to go. Normally we'd have months or a year to prepare, so this was a really quick turnaround even by Navy standards. We basically had to time get Nick packed to move onto the boat, order whatever he needed on Amazon, and tie up loose ends. We'd made a resolution that year to go on a family vacation, and suddenly those plans had to happen fast. So we got online, rented a condo in Mammoth for a long weekend, packed the car and hit the road. It was such a great weekend. We watched the Olympics and went hiking with Ben in the Ergo and just enjoyed the time away before we had to say goodbye. 

September 2013 / One of my favorite layouts ever and probably the most popular I've ever shared. I was twelve weeks pregnant with baby number two. I love the pictures of Ben sitting at the kitchen counter next to his best friend, Molly. Oh, I remember those days vividly! That's my friend Courtney's house, where I spent many a night for the three years we lived just a few blocks apart. We spent that weekend in Lake Tahoe with my sister and her family, another place that's very special to our family. Nick and our brother-in-law rode the Tahoe Century, and I remember it being kind of rainy but mostly gorgeous. I shared the full layout as a guest artist over at Paislee Press.

April 2014 / Another layout, another insert. This one's so precious to me since Ben got close enough to Owen for me to take some photos of the two of them. Owen was just a few weeks old here. So tiny! Owen will be a year old next month. I honestly can't believe it. I blinked and a year just went by.

January 2015 / Well, the photos are from December, but the layout is from January this year. It's a page from my December album, which I'll share... when it's done! Simple, grid pattern, lots of white space, minimal captioning. Looks familiar. These photos remind me to relax. I got so frustrated with Ben that day (you can see him slumping in the bottom-left-hand photo). It was our third attempt at getting a Christmas card photo, and Ben wasn't cooperating. Sometimes I feel badly for the older siblings. I think having a baby suddenly makes the older one the "big kid." But I have to remember Ben's only three! Sweet little guy. I'm thankful that kids are resilient.

If you use Project Life, have you been doing it for awhile? Or are you a newbie? How has your style changed over the years?