Milestone Markers in the Life of a Teen

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking51 Comments

Is it just me, or does it seem like somehow the Under-10 Set gets the reputation of being far more scrappable than the 11-Plus Crowd?

You know how it is when you're 0 to 10. So many changes. First steps, first words, first tooth, first tantrum, first day of school. In fact, with the littlest ones, everything's a dang first. Ergo, supreme scrapability.

Then kids, as they will do, get older. Tweens and teens sometimes aren't as ready or willing to let you shoot them in action. Tweens and teens have what is known in the parenting industry as "mood swings." Sometimes, as scrapbookers, we feel as though it's a bit like pulling those teeth we so anxiously awaited in their earlier years just to get a few solid pages of scrapbook glory to continue documenting their lives.

I think the 11-Plus Crowd might be getting a bad rap. True, it can be trickier to document some of their firsts (first boy/girlfriends, first time hanging out at the mall with friends sans parents, first time getting caught doing something that maybe they shouldn't have been doing in the first place), but I'm finding that the firsts of these years are just as much fun to scrapbook about.

Like learning to drive.

See this child below? She just obtained a learner's permit to drive.


That's right. My baby girl is now legally approved to drive on state and county roads in a 3,000-pound motor driven vehicle while accompanied by a responsible person over the age of 25.

Holy crap.

You all know that my particular teen isn't all that sheepish about being documented. She seems to really like the idea of a camera following her every move at certain times in her life. Last Friday, the day we chose to go to the DMV and let her take the written permit test, was one of those days.

Rather than lug along my bulky DSLR, I chose to simply bring my shiny new iPhone 4 as I planned to document the event using the Instagram phone app.

Here is the ensuing digital page that took advantage of cell phone technology to tell a story I (and some day, my daughter) will always want to remember. (Click on layout to see it larger in a new window)


SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 90 (Cathy Zielske) • Just Linens No. 04 (Michelle Martin) • DejaVu Sans and Honey Script fonts (free downloads)

The excitement, the nervousness, the success—all the little details that otherwise would eventually slip away to time and memory are now saved in a simple digital document with a little help from a cell phone camera. I loved including the text message Aidan wrote to her Dad after she passed the test. Definitely a sign of the times in which she is growing up.

This template is available in my Designer Digitals collection along with another option for 8.5 x 11 scrapbookers. Last week, I featured the 12 x 12 versions of these templates, which are designed to house your cell phone photos and document a day, a week, or a chunk of your life.

Both templates use free download fonts so you can easily change and adapt a title to suit your needs. If you use apps such as Hipstamatic, or Camera+, you can easily change the names in your titles to reflect that.

Or, you can use any photos you like to document this blow-by-blow account style of scrapbooking.



Now if you'll excuse me, I have to try and convince Aidan that yes, she actually will be able to comfortably complete a right-hand turn at over 5 mph.


Cathy ZielskeMilestone Markers in the Life of a Teen

51 Comments on “Milestone Markers in the Life of a Teen”

  1. #1

    I love all your instagram photos! but I’m a little overwhelmed by all the options they have – which settings do you use? (and congratulations to Aidan!!)

  2. #2

    Congrats to both of you and hope it goes well. It’s making me nervous just reading this. My daughter is 141/2 and we told her we would wait till she’s 161/2 and has a job to pay for gas and insurance. Would rather just take her everywhere and get her a driver when she leaves home, lol love the layout and all the details you got on this amazing first day of driving.

  3. #7
    Jennie Hart

    What a milestone, Aidan looks so grown-up behind that wheel. I have enjoyed your posts leading up to this as well about this particular milestone!

    Am I now the only person in the western hemisphere without an iphone? I just know it will consume me when I get it though!

  4. #9

    OhMyGosh! This is adorable! My daughter just got her first license so this layout it perfect timing for that. Now I’m gonna have to go back and shoot some extra photos though. Wonder if the DMV will mind if we go in for some staged shots?! 🙂 Congrats to your daughter too.

  5. #13

    The one I use the most is EarlyBird. I still havent played with all the others, but EarlyBird is the one featured on todays layout the most!

  6. #16
    Holly S

    Awww…I remember those days oh so well…her nervous excitement (my fear) driving in a parking lot and hitting (of all things) a handicap parking sign followed by rubbing the tires against the curb while trying to parallel park OH and driving and doing 5 UNDER the speed limit with a s*** load of cars behind us getting really close to the bumper making her far more nervous than she already was. Then the REAL excitement begins…moving her in on the first day of college (she’s in her 3rd year in the fall)…it comes way quicker than you’d ever expect. Make the most of this precious time you two have together marking another mile stone into adulthood…”hold on loosely but don’t let go”

  7. #17

    🙂 Driving in the cemetery made me smile. Mega-church parking lots are good too. We were able to practice parallel parking at the high school – they have barricades set up all the time.

    My son just got his full license last week. We can choose any DMV to go to – we went to one out in the country. They even let him try to parallel park twice (which is the way it works in the real world anyway).


  8. #18
    Lauren Hershey

    What a cool page! You did well to document all these details. It really does get MUCH tougher to catch these moments when they get older. My 15-year-old just got her license a few weeks ago(that’s Idaho for ya). Life will never be the same!

  9. #19
    Ann Grounds

    The cemetery? Didn’t think of that being a place to drive. BTW, how did you get the screen shot of your phone text?

  10. #20

    I love this post! I have two teens, 16 + 14 so I agree about them being less scrappable. My problem is they are both boys and cannot abide a camera pointed in their direction. boo.

  11. #21
    Amy L

    I still scrap mine and they are in their 20s…love love this page and great milestone for Aiden!

  12. #22

    Ann, on an iPhone, if you hold down the top right button (the lock button on the top of the phone) and the Home button (front, center, bottom) at the same time, it takes a screen shot of your phone. Then, you can email it to yourself. It will store the images in the Photos library on the phone.

  13. #23

    Great layout! Mine will be getting a permit in the next month so this is perfect timing for me to see. I have a harder time scrapping my daughter now than when she was little. But not because I can’t think of the events…it’s because she’s NEVER home to take pictures of! lol

  14. #24
    laura ward

    I too have a teenager that just got his permit and proceed to cause 50 gray hairs to grow on my head within 10 minutes of his first drive. It gets better the more they drive and boy, does he love to drive!! I also agree that there are less scrapbook pages about him as compared to my daughter who is still in that younger stage. Lucky to capture his smile with my camera, it’s usually a hormonal filled grimace of tolerance for his mother.

  15. #25
    Caroll B

    They’re not harder to scrap, just hipper! Love the layout, might have to hop over to DD and download the templates!

  16. #26
    Donna Tullis

    wow…time flies! when teaching my daughter how to do all the different parking angles…i took her to a HUGE parking lot for a Kmart store, when the store was closed and she was able to learn all the different parking techniques…which is hard to learn, but without hitting anyone! i didnt realize till then how many different ways you enter a parking spot!

  17. #27
    Cindy E.

    Congratulations Aidan! A milestone, indeed! I’m really loving these templates for these types of photos … if only I had an iPhone!! Maybe someday …

  18. #28

    But if you don’t let them get a license or permit when they are still minors and you can set the rules they become a new driver as an adult and you have less control and teachable moments!

  19. #29

    Cathy you need to start scraping “the last time” things like the last mother’s day art project–(still got that and my girls are in their 20’s) Last day of school (Did a lo of 1st day of Kindergarten and last day of HS!) The last time anyone went to prom etc.. you get the idea!

  20. #33

    I am jealous of the timeline! We spent a mind numbing 4 hours waiting….. 2 of those outside in line….just to turn in paperwork and take a picture. I took a shot of him post wait and that was it. I do need to write up the experience though….and take more pictures of my older than 11 year old kid.

  21. #34

    Awesome layout. This has been the story at our house for the last three years. Every spring for the last three years I have been driving a son down to the motor vehicle office allowing my sons the opportunity to drive. Now I won’t look like the fool of a mom when I took pictures of the processes for my three boys. I even saved the “FAIL”. hehehe – yes evil laugh here, because I can scrap the ordeals. But, now that right of passage is done and I have three teen boys driving on the roads. YIKES!! How did the time go by so fast. Oh yeah….. now the arguments start as to who needs the care “more”!!!!

  22. #35
    Kary in Colorado

    Love this! I have a new driver too–our third. It is still as nerve-wracking as the first one was. I think teens are harder to scrap because they are so critical (and sensitive!) about what the layout says or the photos I take. Little kids are just happy to see pages about them, but my last two teens–whew! They are not happy campers at all. So I scrap in secret, keep the pages in my studio–I know they will be happy to see them when they are a little older (the benefit of having two already grown!).

  23. #36

    Yes! I have a 0-10 and a 11-15, and I do take a TON of pics of the younger son. I need to get more intentional with #1. He’s a handsome lad, just not as willing to show his teeth as he once was. : ) Love the Instagram layouts!!

  24. #37

    Teenage son…sees camera…refuses to have pic taken…snuck one at stop sign to remember his drivers ed days…sum total. Have to take all photos while he is sleeping….

  25. #38

    Love it! Congrats to Aidan. Yea, she even smiles with her teeth showing – I think there are just a few years in the middle where you never get any real smiles and those are just tough years for us moms! I photograph the backs of heads, faces peering into video games, scowls, my kids giving my lens “the hand,” and my kids sound asleep. Lately, I’ve been taking more and more photos of the dog.
    Question: what do you think of the camera in the iphone 4? I want a camera that’s smaller than my DSLR, but my iphone 3 photos aren’t great printed. Do you think the iphone 4 camera can replace a decent compact point and shoot? Thanks!

  26. #40

    You know, I dont know if it can replace a good point and shoot with an iPhone. I know its an improved camera over the iPhone 4, but… i havent taken enough photos with the regular camera (I keep using instagram). Not sure if im the expert on this to answer!

  27. #42

    Cheryl, I plug my phone into my computer via the Apple USB connector cable, and iPhoto opens, and then i simply import them from my iPhone.

  28. #43

    Congratulations to Aidan! I have a 14 year old son and am already stressing about him driving! I so stressed with my daughter (now 27 years). My son won’t let me take photos of him and my daughter didn’t either when she was his age…now she asks me why I didn’t take any photos of her in her early teen years!!!

  29. #44
    gypsy chaos

    It’s a fed requirement imposed after 9.11.11, designed to reduce something or another.

    In NJ you have to produce documents that total six points. A certified birth certificate or passport is worth four. Then you have to have another document such as bill in your name with address – oh so easy for a TEEN! Luckily school photo ID works.
    We have to produce six points of evidence when renewing our licenses too. sigh.

  30. #45

    Thanks for responding, but RATS, I have a PC and use Picassa. BTW hope your back gets to feeling better soon. I’ve been there several times and it seems that the “rest” is just what it needs. Enjoy the book!

  31. #47
    Christine H

    Congrats to Aidan. My son just got his permit yesterday. He was a nervous wreck and, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really believe he had been studying that book. I really thought this would be a learning experience and we would be making a second trip. Who knew? I guess he did! Now I have to convince him to actually drive! I don’t get it….I was begging my father to take me to parking lots at the closed mall before I was legal to drive so I would be ready to go as soon as I could. (and they were glad to give up the taxi driver role)

  32. #50

    cathy this post made me cry…lol…I know so dumb…my oldest attempted to get his permit today WITHOUT me there, his dad who is now the ‘stay at home parent” went and of course he doesn’t document like I would have… our lovely DMV they stop giving the test at 4:30, yup the line was to long and he has to go back tomorrow…ooo you just have to love CALIFORNIA dmv’s.

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