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Travelling with my wife is always an interesting experience.  Like anyone on vacation we always carry a camera with us.  And, also like many others, we pick up brochures and postcards to remember our trip.  Most people take these things home and they either get lost in the shuffle or get stuck in a photo album.

Not in my house.

That’s because I live with a scrapbooker, and when you live with a scrapbooker these things can take on a life of their own.

The sheer volume of papers, punches, pens, and other miscellaneous tools available out there for this hobby is truly an incredible thing to the uninitiated.  There are whole stores dedicated to scrapbooking with rows upon rows of papers in every hue and pattern imaginable.  And, that’s just a tiny fraction of the store.  Punches that can punch out everything from a circle to a snowflake to Mickey Mouse ears.  Scissors and cutting tools that can cut anything from a stright line to a lace edge.  Stickers and brads and embellishments, OH MY!

The sheer variety is breathtaking.  The sophistication, incredible.  Yes, there are your typical scissors you’ve used since you were in grade school.  But there are also machines that can hook up to a computer (or even stand alone) and cut from paper anything from letters in hundreds of fonts to holiday shapes.  And that just scratches the surface.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  At least if you’ve never seen a scrapbooker at work or their finished product.  Why all this effort for a glorified photo album?  Why all the expense and tools and work for something to hold my pictures?  If that’s what you think a scrapbook is, then you have another thing coming. 

I have had the scales drop from my eyes on this one.  The creations my wife and her fellow scrapbookers craft with some photos and their arcane implements of scrapbookery are really works of art.  Even better, they are works of art starring you and your loved ones and all the things you have done together.  In the hands of a scrapbooker a few bits of paper, stickers, and a couple tools creates a lasting memory complete with journaling to remind you of the little quirks that make those times truly memorable.

It is an incredible thing to witness.

So, no, I don’t mind grabbing a hundred brochures, scores of postcards, filling up memory cards with photos, or jotting down memories of the day in a notebook at the end of the day.  Whenever I start to roll my eyes or sigh in frustration I stop and remember why we are doing those things.  I remember the beauty my wife crafted out of our honeymoon pictures.  I remember the smile remembering birthdays and road trips through her scrapbookers eye has brought. 

And, I smile because I know, in her mind, the pages are already being laid out.

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