31 Days – Capturing the Moments {Day 10}

I’m participating in The Nester’s 31 Days Challenge, so for the month of October I’ll be writing each day about 31 Days of Christmas: plan a little now to enjoy it more later. You can see all of the posts here.

As simple as it may sound, one of the things that I really want to be more intentional about this Christmas is taking pictures. I have almost no pictures from last Christmas and I really don’t want that to be the case again this year. I want to capture the special moments so that we can treasure them in the future as well as share them with others.

I’ve realized that taking pictures helps ground me and keep me in the present. The act reminds me that these moments are precious and worth holding onto because (at least in my mind) when I stop to take a picture, I’m acknowledging that it’s a valuable event. For example, when Matt and I go pick out our Christmas tree I can choose to see it as a task that we’re completing or I can choose to see it as a memory that we’re making. Taking a few seconds to snap pictures helps the memory live on – not just on the memory card but in my heart and mind as well.

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t want to be obsessed with getting perfect pictures or to be so busy snapping away with my iPhone that I’m not fully present in the moment. If you see me doing that, please stop me. I just want to move towards intentionally collecting snapshots that will help us remember our special Christmas.

One thing that I think has helped me already this year is a journaling app called Day One. I downloaded it from iTunes this summer and I’ve loved using it ever since! (Quick side note – I’m not being sponsored by Day One. I just like the app and I wanted to share.)  I can create an entry (or entries) each day with text and photos, and Day One stores and organizes them. I can export the entries, email them to myself, or look at them within the app – one at a time, on a calendar, in a timeline, or in a photo album. Here are a few screenshots –

One day at a time

DayOne - MrsBomb.com

Calendar view 

DayOne - MrsBomb.com

Timeline view

DayOne - MrsBomb.com

Photo album view 

DayOne - MrsBomb.com

Over the last few months, this app has helped me develop the habit of writing down at least the highlights from each day and I have definitely been snapping more pictures with my iPhone to remember favorite moments. Having these pictures and narratives makes it easier to write about the highlights of my week in my High Five for Friday posts. I’ve also found that it’s fun to save screenshots of text messages, favorite emails, etc. to use as the “picture” to remember certain events. Like my text message to Matt after I got featured on Tuesdays at Ten June back in August –

Text to Matt

I have another idea to help me take more pictures, but it’s obvious and far from earth-shattering – I’m going to set our camera out where I can see it everyday. Right now we keep it in a basket on the bookshelf in the office, so it’s definitely an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. I’ve already told Matt that from Thanksgiving through New Year’s I’m planning on stashing the camera on the bench by the front door so I’ll be reminded to grab it when we set out for Christmas get-togethers or to do activities on our “don’t miss list” (like picking out our Christmas tree).

So I plan on toting the camera around more than usual this Christmas. And I’m optimistic that I will be more proactive and capable in capturing moments (in photos and text) because of the habits I’ve been developing this fall. I don’t expect perfect pictures because we’re not perfect people 🙂 but I do want to be more fully present in the moment, and to see each moment as precious and worth capturing.

How about y’all? Do you have certain Christmas pictures that you take every year? If you’re interested, here are a few sites about Christmas photography that I’ve bookmarked to read later –



31 Days of Christmas - MrsBomb.com



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  • Stacy

    Oooo, I love this Helen! I love your perspective on taking pictures to be in the present and to hold on to the memories you’re making, and not seeing it as a task. Someday, when I get an iPhone 🙂 I am definitely getting that app. It’s almost like a digital gratitude journal, and I love that!

    • http://www.mrsbomb.com Helen

      Thanks, Stacy! You do such a great job of balancing being in the moment while taking pictures – I need to learn from you! Oh and let me know how you like that app if you get it someday!

  • http://rachelmb.blogspot.com rachel

    This is such a great idea. A few years ago I started doing Project 365 where I attempt to take a picture each day. I find it easier to use my phone’s camera to capture the everyday moments. At the end of the year I make it into a photo album to look back on. The Christmas season pictures are always my favorite. Its such a blessed time of year!

    • http://www.mrsbomb.com Helen

      Thanks Rachel! I’ve been wanting to try Project 365 – maybe 2014 will be the year that I finally do it! Do you find it got easier after you did it for a while? I bet the photo album of the entire year is pretty incredible!