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Anna's Baby Book | Thoughts, Images, & A Video Walk-Through

Peeking In

PLEASE NOTE: Most of my Memory Keeping Q&A posts are being presented on my main blog. I decided to put this post here on the Projects blog as it feels more at home here with the images and the video.

ANDI | I know Anna is 2 now but I was wondering if you ever did a baby book for her, you talked about it. I know that she will have her own set of books like Simon but I remember you saying that you didn’t like the “pre-made” ones that you find at the store. I didn’t buy one of those either and I was wondering what you scrapped and how you did it.

AE | I'm so glad you asked about this as it spurred me to pull out her album and see exactly what I had done with it.

It's been awhile since I've looked through this album - I've added layouts here and there but have not actually taken the time to see what I have and what I don't have.

Here's the original post from April 2009 where I talked about my approach to this album. I mention that there is no master plan and there really wasn't - which resulted in what I have here - a collection of stories from her first year of life along with some other bits and pieces I saved along the way.

Here's some things that came to mind as I looked at what's in the album right now: 

  1. I know if I go back to my 2009 and 2010 photo folders I'll find more stories I'd like to tell about Anna's first year.
  2. I'm seriously thankful that I have stories told. I'm not upset that I don't have every little thing documented. Many of the most detailed stories came from posts I did on my blog that document all the little things that were happening with her from month to month (not on a specific schedule necessarily, but enough to get a good picture of specific points during her first year).
  3. I like that I kept the well-baby visit handouts that include her weight and height.
  4. The pages are going to be re-organized in chronological order. For this post and video I just took pictures and did the walk-through "as-is" so you could see it just how it is off the shelf without being fixed up.
  5. I actually kinda like that I haven't looked at it in awhile. Looking at it again over the last couple of days I have a new sense of excitement about getting some more pages done specifically for this book to round out the project. It's a nice reminder that things can sit for awhile and all is not lost (and part of the reason it's not totally lost is that I've got content to pull from in the form of stories I've posted on my blog).


After looking at what I have, here's a list of layouts/elements I'd still like to add: 

  1. A layout (or more than one) about our childcare and the relationship both my kids have with the people who make a big difference in our lives.
  2. Maybe a month-at-a-glance. Using a multi-photo layered template (like this one or this one or this one) I could easily go back into my monthly photo archives and grab photos from each month of her first year. I'll share these as I do them.
  3. Title page/album intro.
  4. Gather up additional journaling I did on my blog and either create layouts or simply print out journaling pages similar to what I've done in Project Life using the Long Journalers.  This shouldn't take too long as the posts about her are tagged as Anna (oh how I love that simple little organizational tool).
  5. I also found, as I was looking through my Designer Digitals gallery and putting this post together, that I have quite a few other pages completed that belong in this album (both paper and digital). I need to see if I printed the digital pages already (which I think I did) and either get them printed or move them from the 2009 or 2010 family albums. Pages like this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.

Here's a video where I walk you through what's currently inside the album:

Ali Edwards | Anna Baby Book Walk-Through from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.


Here's a look at the inside of this album via the lens of my camera with links to more information about specific layouts when available.


A divided page protector opens the album and includes the notice of her birth from the local paper, our bracelets, the hospital photos, her newborn hat, etc.

Birth Story

BIRTH STORY. A few of these pages were featured in my Studio A column in Creating Keepsakes magazine in November 2009 (and other Studio A columns throughout the second half of 2009). The theme of the article was using your own past pages as inspiration for new pages. I used a bunch of page designs I had created that told stories about Simon's first few months as jumping off points for these pages about Anna.

Birth Story

The photo opens up to reveal her birth story.

Dad And Daughter

DAD AND DAUGHTER. Details about this digital layout can be found here. First featured in Creating Keepsakes Studio A column July 2009.

First Seven Days

FIRST SEVEN DAYS | THE JOURNEY BEGINS. I love this one. One of my favorites.



You = Love.

YOU = LOVE. Details about this layout can be found here. Words came from a blog post here.

Coming Home


Newborn Papers

HOSPITAL PAPERS. There's a bunch of these sprinkled throughout the book.

Waiting For Baby

WAITING FOR BABY. This one will be moved forward in the album.

First Photo Print + Baby Music

DOCUMENTING THE TUNES. Details on the layout can be found here. The opposite image was the photo my Mom printed out for Simon to take to school to share the story of his new baby sister. Story blogged here.

From A Blog Post


The Story Of Cloth

THE STORY OF CLOTH. Content taken from this blog post.


GENERATIONS. One of my favorite kind of layouts that shows photos from now and then. A photo of me and a photo of her and then one of us. I shared the Me & Her image on my blog here.

Saving A Onsie

THE ONESIE. The binder clip is working just right at keeping it in place.


SWEET BABY. Details on this layout can be found here.

And The Greatest Of These

AND THE GREATEST OF THESE. From a Studio A column in 2009.



Well Baby Visits




Hello You

HELLO YOU. Photos of Grandparents first meeting Anna and Simon being so excited to have a sister.

Remember This

REMEMBER THIS. More details on this layout available here.

Planning. Dreaming.

PLANNING. DREAMING. Another page about getting ready for her arrival.

Ready To Go








3 Months


Journaling From A Blog Post

ANNA AT 11 MONTHS. Details on this layout can be found here.

Thanking God

THANKING GOD. More details on this layout available here.

At the back of the album right now I've got some additional notes and things I'd like to include either on layouts or simply just included in the album inside a page protector.

Wow. This has been quite a little journey for me and I'm feeling really thankful for the question that spurred me to take a closer look at this album. I also really have to emphasize how thankful I feel tonight that I've captured so many stories on my blog in the moment. Those are the stories I love so much - the ones that talk about what she's doing, what I love about her at a certain stage, etc. Those are the kind of memories that are just that much more difficult to recollect as times passes.

This post is part of a 2011 Memory Keeping Q&A series. Additional posts in this series will be listed below as they are posted. Past Q&A posts are available via the Category Archives here.

Products | Photos | Inspiration | Motivation & Time | Anna's Baby Album

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105 thoughts

  1. elise says…

    so stunning Ali. Wow. Thanks for sharing all this.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Leah Larson says…

    Amazing. It is just so beautiful. I love how simply artistic your pages are. I love how you tell stories. You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. liz says…

    Seriously Ali? You are beyond amazing. This album is GORGEOUS! I love that you treat it like a working document that is constantly evolving.

    Thanks for pointing out that you draw content from blog posts tagged "Anna". I have a "the world according to audrey" tag that I was considering deleting because that's not a category that would interest readers. But you made me realize just now that it's ok if the tags are there so I can pull them up easily. Thanks!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      Thank you Liz - you should have seen just how happy I was last night when I clicked on "Anna" and was taken on a journey back through posts I'd written and not necessarily made into layouts. I was so, so happy for that tag :).

  4. Tere says…

    Amazing. You are amazing Ali. I have 4 kids and no baby books (and probably limited memory) to show. It makes me sad that I didn't take the time to do something for them then. Thank you for sharing your talents, you are inspiring and push me to do a better job now to document life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Debra says…

    This was one of the most inspiration posts I have ever seen for a baby album!!! It is gorgeous, and I love your easy-going attitude about it. Thanks for the great ideas.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Stephanie Reid says…

    Aw, I love Anna's album! I really like that your pages are all different sizes and that the album includes ephemera . Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Debbie S. says…

    Gorgeous! Thanks for doing a video...really inspiring.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Vicky says…

    Love this book - my daughter was adopted at 15 months and although she is well blessed with many scrapbook memories since then it still hurts that we don't have those first 15 months to share with her.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. tetcy says…

    So cool! I've been reading your blog for all of Anna's life and remember most of those layouts popping up. It makes me realize how much life has happened in our house this year too. Good times...

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. {vicki} says…

    I absolutely loved this video! Thanks so much for sharing such detailed info...

    I especially LOVE how you share your journaling!

    I like the onsie page--I think that would look good with a clothes pin holding it in--as foar as the yellowing goes---I think baby clothes tend to do that over time. I had saved some of my son's clothes that were not yellow when I stored them but they have yellowed some.

    I also save his check up papers from the doctor every year for the same reason as you---height and weight

    Thanks again for sharing with us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Susan says…

    Awesome memory book. You always amaze me with your creativity. On a side note: Something you said reminded me that I need to finish my Stories of Summer book 2010 - 'and all is not lost'. Thanks for the reminder because I was just thinking that ooh here it is summer 2011 and I never really finished my summer 2010 album.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. sarah says…

    such a gorgeous book ali! i love that it's not a "typical" book but that you add in someone typical stats in other ways (well baby check sheets, etc.).

    (also, i suspect the yellowing of the onsie might be a spit-up stain? it looks perfectly clean + stain free when first washed, but that spot yellows over time (spit-up ='s acid).)

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Kathy says…

    I love absolutely, everything about this album and am working on 2 similar ones for my grandsons! Just an FYI from someone who has seen memorabilia ruined by metal over the last 40+ years or so. Metal clips will leave rust marks on paper and fabric over time. Especially if you live in a humid area. (I'm in Fla.) I don't know if plastic binder clips are available, but I have seen plastic paper clips and clothes pins that may work. Or possibly, enamel coated metal binder clips.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      Thanks for that FYI Kathy - appreciate that.

  14. Stephanie George says…

    I've always wondered how Anna's book came together/ended up. My daughter is 21 months now, and I'm only about an 1/8 of the way through her album. Every time I read your posts or hear your videos about not sweating the small stuff, it really helps me! I tend to spend so much time resizing pictures, deciding what will go where, how pages will back up together. And then I see your album, love it, and realize, who cares what order it all happened in?! The point is getting the story told. THANK YOU for sharing!! Loved the video.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      yes - yes - yes!

  15. Sabrina says…

    Thanks Ali for sharing this. I'm expecting baby boy #2 in August and I'm totally lacking inspiration/creativity. This totally has me excited to get going on an album.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Jo says…

    Oh Ali, what a lovely album filled with beautiful layouts and memories. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Melissa says…

    The more photos on the blog, the better! (hint hint) Each photo of YOUR photos & stories is that much more inspiration for me to use with MY family. I don't "copy" layouts (FWIW), but I like to see what others scrap ABOUT and pick up little nuggets of creativity here and there. Thanks so much :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Delanie says…

    Between CK and here, I think I have seen most, if not all, those layouts previously. But I'm amazed the different sense and impression I have of them from these photos - both within the context of the album and photographed through page protectors. They seem to have a different emphasis somehow and my favourites have actually changed. :) Definitely a reminder not to get hung up on any single layout but consider the collective memories recorded. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Tracey Caudle says…

    Ali, I love the way you keep your memories. I have been scrapbooking since '93, or at least trying to. I am so behind, my daughter will be 6 this December and I have a drawer full of stuff for her, cards, bands, hat, etc. Seeing this really inspired me. So much that I went out to the scrapbook store and bought two 3 ring albums - one pink and one blue, my little boy just hit 3 months, so I can catch up with him pretty fast. I also purchased a bunch of the We-R-Memory Keepers page protectors. I wish I could find one of the smaller inserts that you had in the very beginning of your book. I want to put a DVD of all the videos that were taken in to the albums.

    I have to add I really like your style, it's a little bit of everything and a great way to hold on to those mementos, like the hat, bands, etc. I am excited to get working on the albums!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Angie Blom says…

    This makes me want to grab my kids albums to see what I have done and maybe add some things! Love it Ali . Anna is going to cherish this!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Julie says…

    Waking up to a video with Ali? Fantastic! I've been keeping my future layout ephemera in file folders but I have such a hard time with things falling out. I'm going to try the cropper hopper. Thanks so much for this idea.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Debbie says…

    Thanks so much for sharing the album Ali. I'd also wondered about Anna's album and would like to do the same for my two year old. It's never too late, is it! Debbie

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Emily H says…

    Ali, you are always such an inspiration to me! I love your work, and it always makes me want to get scrappin'!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. lindsey says…

    By far my favorite post. Thank you for sharing your rediscovered project, leftovers, and items to add. Always showing that you are human and it's a process yet everything looks fabulous! Listening to your commentary about the album was facinating as well. So humble. I'm inspired here everyday.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Brenda says…

    I love that you don't have the same size pages. Are the rings on a 12 x 12 album able to hold 8.5 x 11 pages? And are 8.5 x 11 albums able to hold 8 x 8 pages? Or do you punch the holes yourself?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      Hi Brenda - yes, the 12x12 album holds the 8.5x11 pages - no hole punching needed. I think there are a few brands of 8x8 that might fit - not totally sure on that one.

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