We are entering Week 4 of quarantine in the State of Washington, but my family has been self-quarantined for almost five weeks. Five weeks at home, we are running out of innovative and exciting things to do around the house and are tackling bouts of cabin fever, anyone else? But the other thing that has been happening in our house... things have been much more simple. We have found joy in the tiny things and we have shined the biggest light on all we have seemingly taken for granted until now. The biggest highlight for me is memories. I have spent most of the last decade committed to memories and savoring the big moments, like international trips and special events, but haven't spent much time on the day-to-day, quiet and special moments of our life.
Last week, in an effort to push myself, I captured a few "normal" moments and when I shared them with my best friend, she encouraged me to share them with you. This quarantine, this global crisis that we are facing, is scary no doubt. It is impacting us in ways that we will probably not even begin to realize for months and maybe even years to come. There are so many questions and uncertainties, so many circumstances and people feeling the weight and the heaviness, but it is also changing hearts. It is causing us to look outward towards the needs of others, to be still and know, to hunker down, to reflect and to be present.
I never want to forget what it felt like, when for the first time, the world stopped.
This is an unprecedented event in our global history, our nation's history, in our state's history, in our community's history, in our family's history... where for one moment (or a million moments) we paused and we were content to just be together.
How will you remember it?
Below, a few easy ways and means that you can begin to capture your family during this time and it can ALL be done from your phone (the device in which you're using to likely view this blog) and just in case you're reading this and you're single, or don't have children yet or your children are older.... your memories matter too! This time is important and introspective for you and for those who you love. Take the time to give others a peek into what you are learning, feeling and discovering, so much of memory making has very little to do with the memory maker and more about all of those who will benefit from your efforts.
Make Daily Videos
Take 30 minutes a day to pull out your phone and take videos. The videos don't need to be long 5-10 seconds of dinner time, or reading time or homeschooling. Record interactions, or special meals or funny moments. Be honest, share your feelings and frustrations - just share.
It's so easy, day in and day out, to feel like what is happening these last couple weeks is regular, but there is truly nothing regular about it and what an opportunity to slow down and record your day to day at a time where there is more than enough time to stop and reflect.
A few tips for recording:
keep your phone charged and close by at all times
record videos in short spurts (set a goal of the number of videos a day that you want to take and do it)
set timers to remind you to pull you phone out and film
try different angles
make sure to show up in some frames (use a tripod, lean it up against something, use your Apple Watch if you have one, or have someone film you)
Below a quick video I put together of a day in our house during Quarantine. The whole video was filmed using and iPhone and edited using iMovie: (go easy on me, its my first video)
Keep a Diary
While the world is literally stopped, your life is still going on. Kids are still growing and changing. People still need you. Life is still happening. Sometimes its hard to manage all that you are feeling and it needs to come out. Keep a diary of this time and encourage each member of your family to jot down their thoughts from their perspective.
My diary, is this blog.
It is a place where I can come and share, give and record and one day my children will be able to come here and see what we did during these crazy times.
How will your kids remember you during this time? Are you creating space for them to? This is a time unlike any other in our history. It will make it into history books and they will tell their children and grandchildren about the time the world stopped, will they be able to remember you? How you were? How you calmed them? The crazy things you did to go out of your way to make them laugh? The day you realized that you weren't cut out for homeschool.
These are your memories friends. Make them.
Every day spend 30 minutes writing about your day, your feelings, what you did to pass the time. Any thing that stood out: the foods you cooked, activities you did, special moments, funny moments, the mood of your home, the nation, the world and collect them into once place to reflect on this time for years to come.
Record Voice Memos
There's a highly underrated app on our phones called voice memos and I am positive it doesn't get the recognition it deserves, but has become one of my most coveted and appreciated app. When Wisdom was born nearly 8 years ago, my best friend recorded her first breath and sound. When she was learning to talk, I would record her ramblings and our conversations. My second daughter, Courage, who just turned one, since being on quarantine, has picked up some new words and I have appreciated being able to use the memo feature to record those moments. To save the funny conversations. To play the voices of people we love (especially the singers in our lives).
Take the time and use the voice memo feature of your phone and interview your family. If writing isn't your thing, voice memo to the rescue. Ask them how they are feeling. Let them freely talk and see what comes up. Set your phone on the table one night during during and just record. Those memos will become cherished moments in the future of who you were and who your loved ones were during this time.
Take More Pictures
As I mention above, as a photographer, I am hired to capture the MOST important moments of people's lives but this is an important moment I would have never thought to tell the story about. These little daily moments are what the BIG moments are built on. Don't let them pass you by. Whether you're a photographer like me, or just a person who loves to take pictures of special moments, count this as one and bring your camera out. Don't worry about cleaning up your house or makings perfect. The magic is in the messy. It is in the imperfections and when you look back on these memories, you won't care that your house wasn't Pinterest perfect, and to be honest, I don't care now.
To check out the pictures that prompted this post, see the scroll below
Make A Bucket List
In one of my earlier blog posts on the onset of this quarantine, I talked about creating bucket lists for when the quarantine is over, but had no idea we would be waiting a month plus to make those things happen, so I am amending that post to say, think of cool things in your house that you can do and create a NEW kind of bucket list of fun memories you can make happen within your four walls.
Some fun examples, courtesy of Wisdom:
swim in your bathtub
do a virtual picnic with your cousins/ best friends
take sidewalk chalks to your fence and write a message to neighbors
bake a cake
do a fashion show
create a scavenger hunt
have a living room picnic
create a scrapbook
Take Note of Gratitude
Even with all that is happening in our world, there are still so many things to be thankful for. In my family, we have our health, our needs are met, we can still smile and mean it, our bellies are full and our ability to be creative has not been interrupted and our peace and joy is intact. Keep a journal, and if that isn't your thing, take time once a day to really think about all that you have to be grateful for and publicly list it on a calendar for the day. You can do this solo or you can include the whole family. With so much happening, it is nice to really search our hearts and see how blessed we are and to make note of it and to put that thankfulness in a place where you can see it often is a way to practice gratitude daily. How fun would it be to see the answered prayers, the new ideas, the blessings of the day and to have it as a memento when all of this is over?
Print out a calendar, tape it to your fridge or bathroom mirror and get started today. Two things I am most thankful for are below, Courage & Wisdom.
As we start the next 30 days inside, I hope this post will help to start to see the blessing in being home and that you will take the time to tell your story. I would love to see it, if you're willing to share. Let me know if any of these ideas helped you and if you plan to do one in the comments.
with strength, courage and wisdom (and practicing social distancing from indoors (kinda),