Growing up I always felt excited. It is true, both my parents had this knack for making any and everything into an adventure. Even the simplest of days packed an exciting element. When we used to have to go to the laundry mat, my mom would play these made up games with us. We’d sneak around the machines and somehow we found folding clothes fun. Then we’d always get a frozen yogurt afterwards. I also remember when my dad used to work at the airport late at night, I’d sometimes go with him. We’d dream up travel destinations and I’d run through the empty terminals collecting left behind luggage carts and gain a quarter for everyone I’d put back. Collecting all my quarters to spend on our dream destinations, I used to think. It wasn’t until I had my own children that I realized my parents found ways to make everyday an adventure for us. The adventures didn’t just happen, they were created by my parents and gifted to me. Making for a pretty thrilling childhood. There was pain don’t get me wrong, but somehow our adventures and fun beam bright and stand out more.
When I became a mother nearly eight years ago it all clicked. My husband and I were fresh parents holding our new baby boy. Lack of sleep sagged our eye lids. Our tiny apartment was a mess. Somehow in those early infant days my husband and I decided to make a pact with each other. We vowed to make everyday an adventure and show our son Ryan all the grand possibilities life has to offer. It may sound like a daunting task. “Everyday?” you ask. Yes, everyday holds some sort of an adventure and we put our family up for the fun challenge. The days when nothing seemed to be going right I’d take Ryan on a walk around our block. But not just any walk, a nature walk where we had to find hidden treasures along the way. If we happened to stay home all day then we’d make a pirate ship fort and hide when Daddy came home to scare him. That was always fun. We’d make nothing into something in effort to see our son smile and laugh.
Life comes at you in so many different ways. Tossing great things at you and not so great things. Happy, adventure-filled days are mixed with really sad and tragic days. Though our family pact still stands. Unwavering in the midst of loss, grief and sadness. In fact, the pact has brought us out of some really dark times. “Let’s make today an adventure!” we say, it will make things seem better.
With Father’s Day coming up quick I wasn’t all to sure what I’d gift my husband Dan. I did know I wanted it to be something on the sentimental side. I also wanted to create something that put our past adventures into something tangible. I’ve been a huge fan of Artifact Uprising for a few years now and I reached out to them in hopes of working together on something special for Father’s Day. When they said yes I screamed with excitement! Though to be honest, it’s really me that would enjoy a photo memory book more than my husband. Which made me really think, how could I create a photo book that Dan would truly adore? I decided to create a softcover photo book that only held memories of Dan and our daughter Mila within its pages. I pictured the two of them reading and reminiscing the fun they’ve had together so far. I imagined them sitting close together looking deep into their photo book, their red hair peeking up from behind the pages. I titled their book ‘Dear Daddy …’ and ended it with a little personalized message from Mila. What I had imagined came to life when we gifted Dan his photo book early for Father’s Day.
If you aren’t familiar with Artifact Uprising then I’m so excited to introduce you to them! If you’ve heard the great things about Artifact Uprising then I urge you to create a little something for that special someone to celebrate Father’s Day. This company helps families create gorgeous printed photo goods. You can customize your own photo books of any size and shape, photo prints, wooden frames and calendars all with ease. Artifact Uprising is a place where every detail is thought out to perfection. They make it easy for us to put our memories and adventures alike into a tangible place. There isn’t anything better than gathering your family around a book that highlights a past event, season, daily adventure or vacation. In fact, our daughter Mila only wants to read our Artifact Uprising photo books before bed. They are also the first thing she grabs to show people who are visiting our home. The sense of pride and massive excitement these books give Mila (myself and now Dan) is infectious. We love Artifact Uprising and their ability to help create beautiful time capsules that we can open up and relive anytime we want. Head HERE to learn more about Artifact Uprising and their incredible, inspiring story.
For my husband’s gift I decided to create a Softcover Photo Book. I wanted something that could be loved day in and day out. Only because I knew Mila would be looking through it so often. Though the book has a soft cover it is quite durable. I added only photos featuring Mila and her Daddy. The photo pages include recent memories and also those tender first days with her. Their favorite pages though are when Mila first played soccer and when Dan took her river rafting at the ripe age of eight months! And although I favor photo books more than my husband, Dan was really excited and LOVED remembering when he went backpacking with Mila through the Redwoods. It has only been two years and he has developed quite a stunning relationship with his daughter. One he is very proud of and the photo book helps him see all that they have enjoyed so far. It also helps him realize that over these past eight years as parents, we’ve always kept our pact. You can see our adventures big and small run through our family’s veins and our photos.
One other item I created with Artifact Uprising was this insanely gorgeous linen covered Layflat Photo Album. I titled it ‘Life Is A Zoo & I Love It With You’ because our life really is a bit nuts and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course, in true Jacqui fashion there is more of a story behind this photo album. When our son Ryan was just barely one year we took him to the Los Angeles Zoo. It was such an epic day and a memory that will forever be burned into our brains. I remember him standing up in his stroller for the first time ever to get a better look at the giraffes. Ryan wasn’t walking yet and he crawled all over the mini petting zoo. And the three of us capped the delightful day with ice cream cones, naturally. We hadn’t been back to the zoo since loosing Ryan. The zoo was sort of this place that was untouched and within it lived that memorable day, you know? Just this last December we decided to take Mila to the same zoo, really because the holidays are hard and sometimes it makes us feel better to do things we once did with Ryan. We invited our friend Lily to come capture the day for us and it turned into another incredible zoo memory. The three of us again, topping off our day with ice cream cones. Four of us really, as you can see Ryan in our smiles and in Mila’s reenactment of an elephant. Two different days holding such wonderful memories. Our new photo album features those memories and highlights our days at the zoo with our children. Tucking them away to live forever bounded together on photo pages. To be pulled out and relived whenever we feel fit.
There isn’t anything I love more than adventuring with my family and capturing our moments as best I can with photos along the way. Until now. I love reminiscing and looking at the fun we’ve had. I love having proof that our family pact of making everyday an adventure still stands strong. The pain is ever present but the adventure and fun shines through, bigger and brighter.
If you’d like to create your own photo albums, books or treasured gifts, Artifact Uprising is offering you all 15% off your order when you use the code BBB15. Head HERE to check them out and let me know if you put together a photo book or album! (My code offer ends on June 11th 2018) Sending a huge thank you to Artifact Uprising for sponsoring this blog post. I am beyond grateful to work with such inspiring brands and absolutely love sharing them with you all.
Photos by Lily Ro Photography