Last Thanksgiving | Nerd Nest Challenge 1

This month’s Nerd Nest Challenge is Memorialize. I wanted to share a second take with you.

Last week, I shared a page I made about missing my grandmother and talked about using memorial pages as a way to give lost loved ones a presence in current memory keeping.

But I also want to use the idea of memorializing to motivate me to document events from the past that I needed to leave blank in the moment. I love weekly+ pocket scrapbooking to give me a current perspective on my day to day life, but I often need time and distance before I can tackle emotionally heavy subjects.

I leave blanks to come back to for when I’m ready. Some topics take longer than others, just as some types of grief stay fresh for longer.

I don’t feel like all of these types of stories need to be told, but I do want to push myself to document the things I want to remember, even though documenting death can be very emotionally difficult.

Last Thanksgiving | Nerd Nest Challenge 2

I want to begin documenting losing my great-grandpa Ray last December. I have in-the-moment spreads that include him from last year, but after his death, I struggled with working on projects about him that I hadn’t gotten to yet.

This spread, about our last big extended family gathering before he passed away, felt like a good place to start because it’s such a happy memory. The event being Thanksgiving helped give me a perspective for my journaling, so I could easily write about being thankful that we were all able to be together one last time.

Finding a relatively “easy” starting place will help me work up to things that will be more difficult for me to record, like how hard it was to see him loosing his memory to dementia and how wonderful it was to hear some of his old stories. Going back and working on my lovely childhood memories with him will help too.

Selected Supplies:

Last Thanksgiving | Nerd Nest Challenge 3

This family photo is very special to me, so an enlargement was a go-to. I mounted the photo on white cardstock and added a strip of patterned paper to give the whole page a half inch white boarder. This is a trick I use often to make up for 8.5×11 being the largest print size avalible to me at home.

I got stuck on what to include on the patterned paper, but figured it out quickly after finding the “Giving Thanks for this Day” tag in the Summer Die Cut Variety pack. Large embellishments are great for simple pages like this one.

Last Thanksgiving | Nerd Nest Challenge 4

The journaling reads:

I am so thankful for this last extended family gathering with Grandpa Ray. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner at his assisted living facility, joined by his long-time friend Al Gatton. It was wonderful to see all of my great-aunts and uncles and watch the kids run around with their cousins. It is so special to have these photos and these memories.

Last Thanksgiving | Nerd Nest Challenge 5

I included a companion pocket page so I’d have room to include lots of action and family shots in addition to the posed big family picture.

Last Thanksgiving | Nerd Nest Challenge 6

I worked on this spread over several sessions, giving myself time to go back and decide what I wanted to write. I am trying to be gentle to myself, and I hope you will do the same if you decide to memorialize this month.

I want to see your take on the challenge! Share a link in the comments or use the hashtag #nerdnestchallenge on social media!

Remember that you can do anything you’d like for this challenge–it doesn’t just have to be scrapbooking! Just insert your documenting area (art journaling, videography, etc.) for the word scrapbooking in the challenge!

Check back on Mondays throughout the month of November for takes from the Nerd Nest Creative Team.