I’m extra fun with caffeine.

Sundays with family are my happiest days. 

My perfect morning consists of an early morning sunrise, coffee, and quiet time with Jesus. 

I could binge on chocolate, cookies, and “The Office” all night long. 

Grease and Mamma Mia are my jam.

My ideal night is sitting around the fire pit and pool with my girlfriends.

My favorite trip has been to the Big Island, Hawaii, but my dream trip is Copenhagen, Denmark.

I want to say I love living out in the country, but I really enjoy picking up a latte at the Starbucks on every corner.

Get to know Bethie

Ways to Preserve Your Family Legacy

The other day, we were having dinner altogether as a family. My dad pulled the steak off the Traeger and my mom pulled the baked potatoes out of the oven, as we sat down my dad goes you know what my grandma used to always called this meal, “meat and potatoes.” 

And that started a whole conversation of my great-grandma, and who she was, and who her mother was. We talked about where she grew up, how many siblings she had, her work, the family she raised, her heartaches and hardships, and so on and so on. 

And after dinner, my mom quickly pulled out a photo of our family tree, photos that my mom had collected and saved from 3-4 generations before my parents, on both sides of the family. And I thought it is such a gift that she preserved all of this. To be able to hear stories, and see the faces of the women that have lived generations before me. People I may have never even had the chance to meet and yet the way they lived, has shaped my life. 

I’m really grateful for the way my mom and grandma have worked to preserve our family’s legacy so well and the way they pass the stories on and share them. It’s a gentle reminder that our time on earth is short, but the life we lead matters and it impacts generations to come. 

vintage stamps and ribbion, preserve your family legacy

I’ve found that when you preserve your family legacy, it naturally turns your house into a home. It gives a sense of history and belonging to the people that live within its walls. And it makes you feel welcomed the minute you enter the home. And each home shares a different moment of the story based on the perspective of the homemaker. But more on this later…

In this blog, I’m sharing ways that you can work to preserve your family legacy and treasures, a few of my favorite resources to do so, ways to display them in your home, and how to leave a life-giving legacy through your photos, treasures and memories. 

Preserving Your Family History

Start with collecting as much family history as you can. Interview family members, maybe even record it for an audio record keepsake. Put together a family tree (Etsy has some nice options for displaying your family tree). Find any special photographs, journals, letters, special treasures, keepsakes from trips, bibles, etc. This is a great starting point to preserve your family legacy!

Bethie Grondin Photography, preserve your family legacy

My sister has a pretty special collection of letters that she’s sent and received from our grandma over the years, each written in their own hand. Just simply catching them up on each other’s life, she has them all saved in chronological order and she’s able to go back and peek at what life was like for each of them.

Any old films, reels, photo, DVDs, cassettes, etc. that you can’t get into because the technology is dated, you can send to Legacy Box and they can update and digitize it so that you can access it once again. 

Another resource that I’ve heard of for collecting your family’s stories is Story Worth. You can gift a loved one with a subscription and they will email them a question every week for them to answer with a story from their life. After a year, Story Worth will compile all the stories you and your loved ones have written and told, you can add photographs and print it into one nice hardcover book.

Displaying Your Legacy Throughout Your Home

Like I was saying, I feel that this is where you can begin to see different moments of your family’s history and legacy highlighted throughout different houses in one big family. 

My mom has her grandmother’s fine china displayed in the kitchen. And then she displayed my dad’s grandfather’s hat and old bible with notes scribbled in the margins in the family room. 

My cousin’s home shares another side of the same story. She received other treasures after my great-grandmother passed away that are showcased throughout her home. And it brings just as much joy when we walk through her house.

My grandmother has a hutch full of albums and special moments in her home. She even has the top of a post with our family name on it from the Lakehouse in Michigan on display. And then she has a special collection of small things that she’s saved from her childhood, all throughout her home.

Go through your treasures that have been passed down from generation to generation and see if there are any that bring you lots of joy. And then find where to display it. 

great grandmas's old recipe on display in a kitchen, preserve your family legacy

That may be stacking old journals or Bibles that have been passed down to you on your bookcase. Maybe you put out blankets, hang paintings, keep old photo albums out for everyone to flip through. Displaying china sets. Create a gallery wall with some of your favorite photos or notes that have been found. Display your grandma’s old recipes and cookbooks in the kitchen. 

Get creative with this.

A little tip: Framebridge might be a huge help if you’re looking to frame something that won’t fit into a traditional photo frame.

Find ways to display anything that brings you joy when you look at it! Fill your home with the history and memories of your family. And let it serve as a gentle and quiet reminder of how good God has been to your family and how their life has shaped and impacted yours.

Leaving Your Life-giving Legacy

The problem we run into when it comes to leaving our own legacy is that we have way too many photos!! Like WAY too many!

Nancy Ray talks about how we cherish our grandparents’ photos because there are so few of them. Now we have a completely overwhelming amount of photos! 

black and white photo of vintage roller blades

It wasn’t long ago when we used film cameras and you had to decide what was ‘photo worthy’ because you could only take 24 or 36 photos before you ran out of film. 

Now, we snap photos all the time! And we don’t think about it! Next thing we know we have 10,000 photos that we LOVE living on our phones! (Which by the way weren’t ever designed to be storage devices… This isn’t new news but, your photos aren’t safe there!)

But if we don’t do something with all these photos, our children and grandchildren will be left to sort it all. Or worse, never even deal with them!

So, how do we clean up our digital mess and begin actually enjoying our photos?

First, download all your photos off your phone. Save and organize them on a hard drive AND back them up online. You can do this in dropbox, google photos, or another online software.

Nancy Ray has actually created a course called The Legacy Photo System where she walks you through how to sort your photos, get them off your phone, and how she organizes her old photographs that have been passed down to her! It’s such a simple course that you can easily follow along with her! Definitely worth looking into as a good first step to preserve your family legacy!

Once your photos are sorted and safe, find ways to actually enjoy them. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Print family yearbooks (maybe even group 5 years together at a time to make it less overwhelming) and scrapbooks. 
  • Take professional photos every year and purchase an album from the session. This is such a simple way to actually enjoy them. (My mom took our family photos every year growing up and they are such a treasure! Highly recommend)
  • Print both your professional photos and your iPhone photos and have those around to enjoy
  • Organize your videos and have them sent in to a professional and made into home movies of your year. I follow Vanessa Shenk and she announced just a bit ago A Story Film, where she turns your iPhone videos into home movies! And they are sweetest thing ever!
stack of photo albums, preserving your family legacy

I’ve created a free checklist to walk you through printing and *actually* enjoying your photos! You can grab the checklist here: 

Lastly, the other tip I have is just simply to simplify.

I mentioned this already, but this is a big project sorting through literally thousands of photos!! And honestly, nobody really wants to have that many photos.

Nancy Ray suggests that you sit down and realistically write out what albums and photos you want to have at the end of your life. Which ones are the most important? And which ones can go? Write out a goal that is doable.

My poor future husband…I’m so Type A, I have this list written out and saved. It looks a little something like this: 

screenshot of a list of albums and photos

Okay, I’m Wrapping it Up…

I hope this helps you to just simply get your gears turning when it comes to leaving a legacy. This is worthwhile, friend. And the thing is, there is no one way to preserve your family legacy! You can approach this however.

Bethie Grondin journalling

I know that just the thought of jumping into a project like this is SO BIG! But here’s the thing, even one small step is progress and makes a difference. Start small, do what brings you joy, tweak it to your family and what works best. Anything (big or small) is good and you will be glad you did it!

If you have any questions or just simply want to share what has worked well for you and your family, feel free to leave it in the comments below. Or you can email me at bethiegrondinphotography@gmail.com.

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I'm an open book in my blogs. I share everything that has taken me from living in sickness, anxiety, and depression to having life abundantly. I don't share for pity or as a way to vent, but rather to encourage other women to live a peaceful and simplified life. I'll only address things when I can look back and with clear thinking decide what has helped me throughout this journey. 

If you are looking for resources to bring peace and health back into your life and help you leave a life-giving leagacy, head to the shop the blog page!

I can only speak through experience, but I'll share every step of the way... 

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