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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. kybarb says…

    Thanks for posting this! I'm just getting started on making a little book for a friend who is about to have her 2nd baby girl and I got some great ideas from you here!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Donna B says…

    Absolutely beautiful and so very inspirational! LOVE.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Amanda says…

    What an amazing post! Thank you so much, Ali. I am finally expecting my first after a three year IVF journey and am completely overwhelmed as to how to document this whole process. This is so incredibly inspiring and helpful to me. I hope my finished album looks half as gorgeous as yours. Just beautiful!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. hannahk says…

      hey Amanda, I'm in a similar position expecting our first early September. I love that there is a whole lot more to the journey and I intend to use it. I made one or two very personal LOs during my IVF which I think I shall put in this album. they captured my hopes and fears at the time, and I think give a solid backdrop to how loved and wanted this little one is already even though we have yet to meet face to face :) Now I've added one about the scans and I have a couple of ideas for the pregnancy part of the story. I hope that by starting the story now I'll be a step ahead and ready to keep going once the little one arrives.
      Wishing you a restful wonderful time for the duration and good luck :)

  4. Nicky from Canada says…

    Isn't it amazing how quickly they grow!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Kristen says…

    Hi Ali, Can you let us know what albums you are using for Anna after this one and what albums you are using for Simon? As I recall, you are continuing with separate albums for them. Thanks!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…

      Sure - I'm not using 12x12 We Are Memory Keepers like this one: (I'm thinking about getting the purple or pink one for Anna's first year - the rest are all black).

  6. Lauren says…

    Thanks for sharing this Ali! It's neat to see how it all comes together and I found some new page designs of yours I'd like to try out - they inspire me to scrap right now! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Sue TR says…

    Great post Ali...I cracked up at the point in the video where you were "unearthing" things...We're packing to move after 15 years and I've found a number of boxes of "treasures"!!

    Thanks for the post, has reinforced that I want to go back and tell more stories above and beyond what went in the scrapbooks at first...I have twins (now almost 10) and I"m amazed that I was able to do anything at all!!

    See you in Gearhart!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Jackie Pocock says…

    This is wonderful to look at. I'm having my second child in September and this is definately something I would like to do. I have a baby book for my daughter and completed lots of layouts about her but I love the mix of your album. This has really inspired me to complete something different for my second child, a boy this time.

    Thank you Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Liz says…

    wow is that lovely!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Becky says…

    Hi Ali. I have been a fan of yours for a very long time. Thank you for all of your inspiration! Would you ever consider designing for a die-cut company such as the Silhouette? I thought your designs would be so great on that machine. I think you have such great style -- I especially love your journaling ideas and your templates on designer digitals. Just wondering! Thanks! Becky J.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Sharon Dryjanski says…

    Ohh Ali!
    Looks like Anna has great keepsake ....Your post so fits into my plan....I am getting ready to do my great neice Mia's book....I have one problem...very few infant photo's All I have asked the family for some help in locating photos( was not in her hometown at her birth)see I am the geek with the neice's and nephew snaping pixs.....But I thought to journal some of the memories they told me without photos just so that I can add later photos she is 19 months now and want have for her2yr birthday. Luckily Ihave photos and journaling of her first birthday because I moved back near the the idea of onesie in the book! thanks Ali you are awesome and so inspiring...I would love to meet you at Creative Escape and have you sign my books!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Amanda says…

    What a great album. Thanks so much for the video walk thru. I love the envelope u used for the ultrasound pictures and cd. Any idea where I could find that or something like it. Also any ideas on how to keep a lock of hair from a baby first hair cut? Thanks:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Melanie L. says…

    I have to tell you that you inspire me! I love your pages. I love how they're a fairly simple graphic style but you incorporate a lot of cool elements. Your patterned paper accents the page and doesn't compete with it. Your digital elements add that extra oomph. Your stories are the best part! I wish my baby books were half this amazing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Brenda in Sunny SoCal says…

    Ali, tHankyou so much for this long awaited post I have lacked the inspiration to make Alan's album mainly because fir 3 years U scrapped nothing but baby no.1 album. I now feel full of ideas to get this album started!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Two-Oh-One-One-One Summer Of Fun! says…

    [...] not sure yet if it’s going to be completely digital, as I covet Ali Edwards albums like these. They’re so beautiful, I might attempt them. So what are YOUR plans this summer? Filed [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Marsaille says…

    This was wonderful. I would love to see more video tours of your albums. I am sure it is a bit of work to do a video, but it makes for a great post!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Jocelyne says…

    Loving this! I am in the final days of my pregnancy and look forward to documenting year 1 :) Seeing this makes me even more excited!!! And that photos of Simon with her make me look forward to seeing Parker's reaction to his new brother (I too will have a 7-year spread between my kiddos!).

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Marie-Pierre says…

    Oh my God, so grateful for this post, Ali! I was waiting for this since a long time!! :) Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Kristi says…

    It's so sweet to see Anna's newborn pictures again and watch her growing up in to the girl she is now <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Lindsey says…

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been desperately struggling getting my daughter (who is almost the exact same age as Anna)baby album started. It is such and important album to me I have been too afraid to start in fear of it not being perfect. Your album has inspired me to just do it! Can you tell me if you will continue to create a seperate album for Anna or do you make one "family" album? Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Kristen says…

    Just beautiful! I'm new to your blog and am working on 2 baby books. I am using Heritage Makers post-bound albums and doing some digital pages as well as "traditional." I'm very inspired by your work! Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Megan says…

    I'm grateful for this post it has given me a little more motivation and definitely some inspiration to start my little boys book. He's is now eight months old and I just can't seem to figure out how I want to go about it. I bought Becky's baby kit a long time ago, but I am loving PL so much I considered switching gears and going that route. But I also have so much I want to use, hopefully I can get it together soon and get his pics into a book. I'm sure it will be fine however I go about it but for some reason I'm stressing about this one.

    Anyway thanks for sharing so sweet!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Sue says…

    WOW, this is amazing! As you probably know, here in the UK were are light years behind the USA when it comes to scrapbooking. It has only just come to the UK and still in its most basic form. I get so much inspiration from your blog and your videos.
    My babies are now 22 and 18 - is it too late to make such a book? Well, I don't have all the little bits and bobs but I do have some photos and my memories and I'm certainly going to give it a go! Thanks Ali for sharing,

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Ann says…

    Hi Ali!

    I was just wondering where you got the page protectors for the long journalers. Maybe you noted it somewhere here on your blog but I just can't find it.
    I love Anna's baby book! So beautiful!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ann says…

      Ok, that's what I thought I was seeing in your pictures. Thanks for confirming that!

    2. Ali says…

      I make them from 8.5x11. I slip in the long journaler, use the sewing machine to make a long line right next to the long journaler and then I cut off the excess.

  25. Tania says…

    I am so grateful I follow your blogging. This post is awsome - I love the way you complete a whole cycle in your thought process and are able to share unconditionally. Thanks Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies

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