From Jeanette: Stories from the Heart

jeanette-lynton

Preserving memories is my life’s work. It’s at the heart of everything I do, from my own personal scrapbooking to the vision I have for this company. The milestones, the every day routines, the light in a child’s eye as they discover the world—these are the moments, stories, and images I seek to capture. And when I do, I carefully place them in scrapbook albums for safekeeping. Though they may just look like pretty paper and photos to someone else, they are my most prized possessions. The stories they tell are my personal history and the history of my family.

It is because of my passion for memory keeping that I’m excited to launch a new series of blog posts called “Stories from the Heart.” I want you, my readers and dear friends, to look through your old scrapbooks, find a page or layout with a story you want to tell, and then share that story with the world through our blog.

Stories from the Heart is a celebration of memory keeping, a reminder of why we do what we do, an opportunity to share the beautiful stories that fill our scrapbooks.

To launch this series, I want to share the story behind one of my favorite scrapbook layouts. 🙂

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelyntonWe were doing a photos shoot for the 1998 September & October edition of I Love Remembering, a magazine subscription we published back in the day.

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelyntonThe photo shoot was in western Utah (basically in the middle of the desert!), and we were taking pictures of my daughters, Aubrey and Rachel, in an abandoned pioneer schoolhouse. They had on these adorable matching outfits, including hand-stamped sweaters and backpacks, which were back-to-school crafting projects we’d be featuring in the magazine article.

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelynton

The two photos on the right page of my scrapbook layout are some additional photos taken from this photo shoot. I loved all the pictures we took that day, and I wanted to preserve some of them in my own scrapbook.

The photo of the girls hugging absolutely melts my heart. It perfectly captures the love these sisters have for each other to this day. No matter how different they may be, they always have each other’s back.

In contrast to these professionally staged photos, the big photo on the left page was completely unplanned! It was a scorching hot day, and after wearing those hand-stamped sweaters, Aubrey and Rachel were melting like popsicles! They went to find some shade in the schoolhouse, and when they came back out, they had taken off their little sweaters, and this beautiful scene appeared: The rustic blue door, the sunflowers Rachel was still holding from the shoot, the sweet, tired looks on their faces—it was such a perfect moment, so I had to take a picture.

I think part of the reason I loved this shot was because it captured their cute little personalities. Rachael is staring at the camera head-on with confidence, holding the bouquet of flowers like a professional model. My sweet Aubrey is more shy and subdued, and you can see that in this photo by the way she is holding herself, legs turned in, arms tucked behind her back. She is my gentle, darling girl.

It’s still amazing to me how grown up they look in this photo. I remember being there and thinking, “I can already picture what they will look like as young women…my goodness.”

Those are the stories behind these scrapbook photos, and I hope you enjoyed hearing them. I know I loved going down memory lane as I remembered the stories of how these photos came to be.

I want to hear your stories now. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I want to hear your thousand words! Your stories are beautiful and deserve to be shared. Help me celebrate memory keeping—and help others realize the full value of this art—by submitting your stories to us. Read the bottom of this post to find out how.

Before I sign off, I just want to take a moment to thank you all for your friendship. One of the beautiful things about memory keeping is that it brings people together, and I’m so grateful for all the wonderful stories and memories I have with you.

Wishing you my love as you tell your stories,

Jeanette


If you would like a chance to share your story on our blog, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Find one scrapbook page or layout (please just one!) that you’d like to share.
  • Tell us the story behind the photo. What was happening? Who is in the photo? Is there something funny that happened before or after the photo was taken? Why is this photo meaningful to you?
  • Take a high-resolution photo of yourself (you can even be holding the pages or your entire scrapbook!).
  • Take a high-resolution photo of the layout or page on a flat surface (use natural lighting to improve the quality, and take the pages out of the protectors so they don’t reflect in the flash).
  • Email the photos and story to us at ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with the subject “Stories from the Heart.” If we decide to share your story on the blog, we will contact you!

We can’t wait to start reading all your stories! 🙂

Leave a comment

It’s Tradition!

December at Close To My Heart means celebrations that come in all kinds of wrappings. Following tradition, we celebrated our annual company Christmas party this week, and with a delicious feast catered by Tucanos Brazilian Grill and gifts aplenty, there wasn’t a Scrooge to be found.

Employees

As part of the festivities, we surveyed some of our Yule-enthused employees to gather some of their personal favorite holiday traditions. Here’s what they had to say about this, the most wonderful time of the year:

What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?
For Christmas Eve I go with my husband and girls to my sister’s place and we have fondue, eat until we explode, play lots of games, and laugh. The family has gotten quite large with nieces and nephews, so it is exciting. Throw in a bunch of dogs, and you can officially call it crazy. After doing that, my husband and daughters go to the Cathedral of The Madeleine for midnight mass. We love enjoying the religious side of Christmas. Sometimes we go to other churches to see how they celebrate the season. That is really one of our favorite things to do, sharing the season with every denomination. – Roxanne B.

We put a lot of emphasis on Christmas Eve as a family. We get together, open one of our presents (frequently pajamas), and we watch a Christmas movie while snacking on holiday treats. We also have a contest to see who can make mom cry (in a good way!) with the presents we give her. I like my chances this year! –Jen P.

We don’t do presents for Christmas. Instead we go on a mini vacation as a family. We also get “Christmas Dollars,” usually twenty $1 bills that are crisp and brand new from the bank! –Katelyn J.

Awards presentation

What is one of your favorite holiday childhood memories?
My dad was really into Christmas and he always tried to do something to make it extra special every year. One year he put a red bulb in a flashlight, hooked it to a fishing rod and bobbed it by my bedroom window. The next morning, he asked if I was awake when Rudolph pranced around the house. But my favorite Christmas memory happened when I was about 7. The house I grew up in had super steep gables and I was really worried that Santa wasn’t going to come because he wouldn’t have any place to park his sleigh on the roof. My dad reassured me that Santa would just park his sleigh on the front lawn, but I wasn’t too sure. In the morning, though, when I woke up, there were sleigh tracks, reindeer hoof prints, and boot prints leading to and from the house. I remember being so excited that Santa found a way to make it work. As an adult, I asked my dad how he did it, and he told me that he carried a ski and a crutch (compliments of my sister’s broken ankle) out to the lawn wearing his boots. He used the ski to make the sleigh tracks and the crutch to make the indentations for the hoof prints. –Carlie R.

My parents surprising us Christmas morning with a trip to Disneyland. We left that afternoon. –Yvonne D.

When I was very young we had “elves” that started leaving gifts for each member of the family on the doorstep on Christmas Eve. They had gifts for everyone, hand-addressed to us from Twinkles, Beardsley, and Stardust. We kids were ecstatic, and my parents were completely clueless as to who it was. They’ve returned every Christmas Eve for the past twenty years, leaving gifts for whoever still lives at home. It’s not Christmas until the elves have come. –Mimi W.

Catered meal

What is the best present you ever gave?
The Christmas after my father passed away, I made a scrapbook for each of my siblings of pictures of my mom and dad when they were young, along with copies of a series of love letters that they wrote to each other during a few month period of time that they were separated before they got married. It was sentimental and loved by all. –Lorraine T.

I took a picture of the house my dad grew up in and created a poem to go along with it. Then I put it all together on a canvas for Christmas. –Gina C.

I made everyone in my family write inside jokes and reasons we love my mom on papers and then I put them in a book for her. She cried. It was awesome. –Erin N.

When I was pregnant I started making my daughter a family quilt. I made my brothers, sisters, including in-laws, embroider an animal to put on the quilt. Each of them also had to come up with a saying that could help her get through challenges. Oh, how fun it was to see grown men trying to make little crisscross stitches. The blanket hangs on her wall today. –Kami W.

IMG_1411

What is the best present you ever received?
A handmade velveteen rabbit. –John Y.

Drawings from kids. –Travis B.

One time my daughter spelled out M-O-M out of Legos and gave it to me. It was awesome. –Jen S.

A quilt made by my grandmother the Christmas before I graduated from high school. I still have that quilt. –Lorraine T.

My husband wound 375 skeins of embroidery floss on plastic bobbins for me—amazing, right? –Cindee L.

Employees

What New Year’s resolutions will you make this year?
I don’t usually have that figured out until about March. –John Y.

I want to eliminate or simplify. There are so many things in my life that make it way too busy and hectic. I spend my time on some things that are pointless. So I want to eliminate things that are a waste of time or energy and focus on more important things. –Lindsie H.

Document more! –Katelyn J.

The same I make every year: lose weight, get healthy, watch less T.V. This year it will be different, right? –Becky L.

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I make goals on my birthday that I know will help me stay well-rounded. I do, however, pick a word of the year and find ways to focus on it throughout the entire year. It’s a great practice on intentional living and for me has evolved into a really meaningful and important exercise. –Laura B.

Employees

Whatever your own holiday traditions may be, we hope you have a season full of very happy memories made with those you love!

Leave a comment