ForeverJoy Designs


I like to think of myself as a memory keeper- a documenter- and a storyteller. I take hundreds of photos of my life and everyday each month.  Many candid- some planned. Life in NYC these days has been full of stories I want to document and preserve , because quiet frankly, we are living in historical times.

Yet, I have found myself hitting a block when I sit down to document my family’s journey through this Pandemic.  Maybe because the news is so grim, maybe because I am a little scared- and quite frankly I wish it was a story I did not have to tell.

But, I think this is a story I must tell.  Beyond the reason of documenting. And I think many of you can understand where I’m coming from on this: as a mom, I am the one who sets the tempo, the spirit of our home.  I put on the upbeat music and tune down the news, I put the decorations up to remind the family that seasons change, and each comes with a little joy, I try and wear clothes a little brighter than usual, (and pile on a little under eye concealer lol) so it does not seem like I have given up- and I smile and encourage and nudge the family on in their routines, because they bring comfort. That’s what we do as moms. Bring light, bring comfort, and make the days happier by focusing on the happy little things that happen.

So- after all that cheer-leading- truth is- I find myself full of news and thoughts and concerns and frustrations that I don’t want to share with the family. That’s where the importance of memory keeping and journaling comes in. It helps me get all those thoughts out onto paper- in words and photos. I get it out and it helps me make a little sense of it all and get a bit of perspective. I may not share this documenting with the family right now- but it;s there for me. A crafty sort of therapy you could say.

I have been photographing our every days of sheltering in place here in the city- and been taking tons of screenshots of items in my social feed. The screenshots are of headlines, posts both serious and light hearted, texts and face time calls.

I tried something new on Sunday that I think I may carry through for a month.  I like to call it #screenshotsunday .  I made a simple grid template in photoshop- and then clipped screenshots I had saved and  collected through the week- and if I missed a few, I did a quick web search.  I didn’t journal on it this time around- maybe that’s something I will circle back to. I think what will be the most satisfying will be seeing how things went from bad to better- proof that storms always pass.

Have you been documenting these days? Is it something you’d like to do?  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks! Just leave a comment below!






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  • Reply
    Kim Smith
    March 30, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    This is wonderful Renne! I am documenting in a Traveler’s Notebook, culling screen shots and some news articles as well. Using some of the freebies that have popped up specific to the pandemic, and basically journaling my thoughts and experiences on it all.

    Stay safe and thank your Husband for his service! Many hugs, Kim

    • Reply
      April 2, 2020 at 7:18 pm

      Kim! Thank you so much! It has been a little scary here- but I know this will pass, right? We all just need to do our little part- and that will add up to a whole lot of needed strength. I’m glad you’re documenting! Journaling has been a little hard for me- but I know it’s important- who knows. maybe all our layouts will be in the History books 50 years from now! LOL! Stay safe xo

  • Reply
    Glenda Duncan
    April 4, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Why didn’t I think of doing screenshots?!!! That’s a great idea, Renne! You’re right, we ARE living in historical times. I’m 70 yrs. old, and have never seen anything like this. I was trying to type notes and dates every few days. Things started getting so bad, I quit doing it at all. You have inspired me to start back. I don’t normally read blogs, but I wanted to check back on yours today! You seem so sweet, like the type of person I would like to know and be around!
    (I lost all of the kits I had purchased since last February 2019. My computer completely crashed. I didn’t have the last year backed up. I doubt if TLP will let me download them again.) I want to check the challenges for this month and see if I can get motivated to do some! I agree with you that we have so much to be thankful for. Just look outside at nature! I have a tiny back yard, but there are birds and squirrels and an occasional cat that visits. We have water to drink and food every day. I have a house and a car. My kids and grandkids are healthy. My special son is always happy. I can thank God for a long time every day! I love your cheer and your upbeat attitude! Have a great day and be safe!!!

    • Reply
      April 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      Hey Glenda! Screenshots have definitely made documenting the gloomy news easier- I prefer to journal the happy times and let the photos tell the story of the scary stats- I’m glad you like the idea too! And YES! There is a lot to be thankful for when you open your eyes to it all. These days especially- I try and incorporate a list of a few great things that I got to enjoy in my day when my thoughts are running as I try and fall asleep.

      BTW- You should definitely reach out to TLP and see what can be done- if any of those kits were mine- drop me a note at foreverjoy.studio@gmail.com and let’s see what we can do 🙂

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