Before Your Story | My List of Stories to Tell

Part of my goal with “balance” in my scrapbooking this year is not just documenting the “current” moments with Project Life and the Currently challenge — but also documenting moments from the past that I need to “catch up” on.

Even though I don’t have kids, I’m looking forward to Jennifer Wilson’s workshop with Big Picture Classes, “Before Your Story,” for helping me fill in some of the “gaps” that I’m missing in my (and my husband’s!) lifetime memory keeping … before we have kids, and I know a lot of my memory keeping will shift to their documentation.

To celebrate the launch of her class, Jennifer is throwing an extended blog party where she’s sharing 34 things about herself… and she invited me to play along (and there’s a chance to win a spot in the class at the bottom of this post!).

Jennifer chose 34 Stories to celebrate her 34th birthday– but I decided to choose 10 moments to share, because thinking of 34+ stories I still need to tell makes me panic and is not so “balanced.”… and we all know I’m working on that 😉

this is my story

Here are 10 Stories I want to tell… a list of stories that I need to document as a part of MY story: 

  1. I actually “met” my husband twice-– once in June of 2004 and then again when we ended up in the same newspaper class… and then didn’t start dating until December of 2004.
  2. One of my all time favorite places on Earth is Hidden Hollow Camp-– the summer camp where I spent at least 2 weeks (usually 6+) every summer from ages 10-18. I can’t describe the connection that I still have to this amazing place.
  3. I’ve spent a week every summer in my grandmother’s hometown, Spring Lake, Michigan, since I was born. It’s my other favorite space on earth. Sitting on the beach watching the sunset in such a familiar place is one of the best feelings in the world. I feel like Spring Lake is a “second hometown” for me.
  4. I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember. My parents (and our local library!) could barely keep up with the amount of books I poured through. While it’s a bit nerdy (I have no shame in my nerdyness) I think constantly reading has helped me in so many areas of my life– including being able to read through tons of college text books in record time and still know the material! :)
  5. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I spent a week in Washington D.C. as a part of Presidential Classroom. My high school had a grant to send two students every year — all expenses paid–to this amazing program where we got to experience our government in action and see all the sites of D.C. I didn’t realize how much of an impact it had on me at the time, but looking back, it influenced so much because it allowed me to get out of the “box” of influence that I’d had before and challenged everything– the experience really made me think… and still makes me think!
  6. I am so proud of what I accomplished in high school. While I think I could have pushed myself more, I was one of the top 10 graduates in my high school class of over 200, and … well, OVERLY involved in extra-curriculars. It’s the nerdiest things ever, but I’m so proud of it.
  7. … which led to one of the other “proud” moments for me:  I received a full-tuition scholarship to college through a program from the Alumni Association.  The Alumni Laureate Scholars was such a great program that really pushed me to be the best I could be in college.
  8. My dad was stationed in Germany my junior year of high school, so for Spring Break, my mom, brother, and I spent two weeks where he was stationed… and also toured Germany, France, and Luxembourg. It was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken,full of history, and further fueled my desire to live in a castle someday. (My favorite castle (of the gazillion we toured through in Europe) was a small (ha!) castle off the Rhein river called “Burg Ramstein.”) I can’t wait to go back.
  9. I’ve always loved being creative, artistic, and doing DIY projects. Always. I always had a few shelves in the pantry that were  devoted to my art supplies. I didn’t get to take a dedicated art class until my senior year of high school (our Honors track didn’t leave much “wiggle room” for fun classes.) but I loved learning new mediums and honing skills.
  10. One of my favorite movies of all time is You’ve Got Mail. It has everything I love: the internet, bookstores, New York City, and romance. Does it get any better than that ? I don’t think so. I put the movie on in the background when I need to do “serious” work. I can quote every line, but it’s still a thrill to watch and listen to such a great movie.


I’ve shared a few stories about myself– it was actually a lot of fun to compile these stories about myself. I can’t wait to write down and document more of my stories… and I’m really excited for Jennifer’s class, because I know she will be sharing awesome ways to help document those stories!

Jennifer and Big Picture Classes are kindly giving away a spot in Before Your Story to one of my lucky readers–Come join in on the fun of documenting BEFORE YOUR STORY.  Read about the class below and enter via the Rafflecopter widget. Entries close on 2/12. 

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About the Class:  There are milestone events in life, such as marriage and motherhood, that divide us permanently into a “before” and an “after.” It’s easy to become so immersed in the after—the glorious here and now—that our “befores” rarely appear in our scrapbooks.

In this 6-week workshop with Jennifer Wilson of, you’ll have all the guidance you need to tell your growing-up story in one gorgeous 12″ x 12″ pocket album. Her class combines the ease of slipping photos and journaling cards into photo sleeves with the brilliance of Stacy Julian’s “Library of Memories” scrapbooking categories.

Jennifer excels at making big goals reachable and overwhelming projects finish-able, with her step-by-step processes and detailed planning worksheets. You’ll complete a simple, streamlined album that will help your spouse or partner catch up on the years leading up to the moment you met. Or, it’s the perfect answer to that age-old question, “Mom, what were you like when you were my age?”

Learn more and register here! 

What stories do you still want to tell? I’d love to hear some of them in the comments! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About Allie

Allie Trumpower of Alexandra Rae Design is a God-loving designer,  photographer, and a memory keeper. She loves list making, snail mail, great design, memory keeping, pinterest, twitter, and instagram.


  1. Brenda says

    I would love to win a spot in this class! I have so many that I need & should tell. My oldest is making me a grandma in Sept. so now the urge to share with her and new baby is even stronger.

  2. Kaitlyn W. says

    I want to show my son stories of myself before him, and stories of his dad and i before him, and same with his dads story. I think it is such an awesome idea.

  3. Brenda Smith says

    There are so many things about my childhood experience that I wish to share with my kids and this class has me intrigued for this reason. My three year old daughter is so remarkably like me that I think it would be fine to have my story documented as well as hers so she can see all the striking similarities as she grows.

  4. says

    Anytime I start thinking about my ‘before’ stories, I go completely blank. I think I need some prompts, this class, or something to get me moving. Thanks!

  5. says

    This sounds like such a wonderful class! I have a lot of my college life documented (when I started scrapping) and after I started Project Life, my husband’s life is now documented too. But I have nothing from when we were younger. I’d love to start documenting that!

  6. Maria says

    I would love to tell the story of my parents, how it was to grow up in Greece, about my pets, my grandma’s house, my cousins and friends and the story of how I met the man I’m marrying this summer 17 years ago and I knew we would end up married from that first moment and all the stories explaining why it took us so long!

  7. Jamie says

    I love You Git Mail. In college every single time my roommate and I came across that movie on the tv, we just couldn’t not watch it. I swear that year we watched it at least 20 times. Which is kind of impressive and shows you how often it was playing on TBS at the time :) thank you for the chance to win a spot in the class!

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