Layout Share: This Boy

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking22 Comments

Because I did one featuring my girl, I figured I could also do one for my boy.

I’m going to be honest with you: this one was trickier than the former. Why? Well, there are a few issues.

Issue No. 1: I don’t presently have a willing male photo subject for 99 percent of the time. That’s part of being a teenager. That’s part of thinking your mom is annoying. I’m working with this.

Issue No. 2: He is a teenager. And a boy.

Issue No. 3: See issues No. 1 and 2.

I am certain many of you who are mothers of teenaged boys (and girls) can relate to this. While many of you may think, “Oh, Cathy… I bet you’re a totally cool mother,” (and I have to admit, you are mostly correct in your assumption), I’m still going to hit the uncool mark frequently because of Issue No. 2.

And also because I mess up at parenting some times. Nothing erodes good will like making poor parenting choices. Oh sure, the good choices can erode good will, too. Imagine that. I’m learning as I go.

But I still want to document his life. I still want to record the little traits, nuances, and habits that make up who he is right now.

The photo was taken with my iPhone in our wonderfully lit basement after he’d gotten his new bass guitar for Christmas. I wait for my opportunities, then I pounce.

Here is the finished layout.


(Click on the image to see a larger, more legible version.)

Last week, I recorded a video showing you the process of turning a digital template into a hybrid scrapbook layout. It’s the same template, so, you know, the same steps apply.

Using a Digital Template to Make a Hybrid Scrapbook Page from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

I’m not sure what memory keeping will look like next Fall when Aidan heads off to college. I know I want to record our lives but it may become more of a personal reflection, capturing glimpses when and where I can.

But enough about the future. We’re here now. The document exists.

And that’s good enough for me.

Note: I used some patterned paper and a wooden letter from Studio Calico. I don’t have product links for those items.

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Cathy ZielskeLayout Share: This Boy

22 Comments on “Layout Share: This Boy”

  1. #1
    Leslie Shelton Price

    Love your writing voice, Cathy, you’re spot-on about boys/teenagers! Loving your MMEL class, too, it came at the perfect time. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Holly Corbett

    I have three boys. Two are full fledged teenagers, one is almost a teenager. I understand issues 1-3 completely. I carry around my phone all day waiting for that moment when they are actually smiling in natural poses without me asking them to. Pounce is a good choice of words. Sneaky is too.

  3. #5

    Cathy, I, too, wondered what my photos were going to look like when our daughter moved into the dorm two years ago. What I have found, is that I probably have more photos from her now than I did when she lived with us! I follow her Instagram, we’re friends on Facebook…so I see the photos she posts there and I always ask her to text them to me! We also text in photos a lot! She sends me photos of the food she has made, of whatever she is doing with her friends, and of course, the most awesome selfies!!! And when we are together now, we are always taking group selfies! And, of course, I have screen shots of our texting convos!

  4. #6

    I love this! I’m definitely going to make a page like this about my son (and my daughter).

    Let me just say I TOTALLY get it. I’ve got a 14 year old daughter and a 17 year old son and why I just know I’m a super cool mother, for some reason they don’t always agree with me. Weird, huh?

    And my daughter … who used to LOVE to have her picture taken sometimes get annoyed with me when I want to take her picture. (Not all the time, but sometimes.) It makes me sad!

    I’m starting to think of some of my son’s “Grantisms” (his name is Grant). He has so many things he says all the time. I’ve got to include it on a page!

  5. #7
    Lynn Lynn

    I love your tutorials! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!! 🙂 I have 4 boys so I totally know about waiting for the opportunities…and then pouncing!!!! 🙂

  6. #9
    Erika B

    Your boy is my boy minus the music piece! I’ve gotta do this one for Gabe! Thanks for the inspiration. Does your boy also have caveman-like responses to your questions??? Lots of grunts at my house. I sometimes look down to see if his knuckles are dragging on the floor!

  7. #10

    Love this, Cathy, as a mom to FOUR boys. :O It’s funny, they constantly change between being semi-willing photo subjects (including making goofy faces half the time, though, so does that count??) to putting their hands up in front of their faces whenever I get the camera out (or hold the phone up!) to posing gracefully. And then my youngest (age 9…so he’s still got time to go goofy on me :P) wants me to take photos constantly – the more, the better!

    So like you, I “pounce” whenever I get the chance with the camera-shy and/or camera-goofy ones and sneak in photos when I can – usually when they’re busy doing something, of course.

    This is timely because I just did another round of “Boys Right Now” journal capturing of what their current passions and activities are right now, but I haven’t scrapped them yet. I’m trying to do this about once/year because it’s just priceless to look back on. Love the format you used, may have to steal it. 😀

  8. #11

    My oldest just went to college last fall….I capture screen shots of instagram and facebook of his posts to add to our life story right now….lots of change but it is good.

  9. #13
    Abby P.

    What Shawn said above is true – if your kids will let you follow on Instagram and friend you on Facebook, you’re good as gold. I especially love that, with my boys’ permission (17 & 21), I get to see “their world” through their eyes. They will tag me in photos they know I’ll especially love. Their girlfriends let me into their world, too. I always ask if it’s okay for a certain picture/text to go in the album. It’s a joke around our house…”Oh yeah! This is DEFINATELY goin’ in the album!” I also find they are more comfortable with a cell phone pointed their way than big-girl camera. Sometimes I have to turn the volume off the cell phone if I need to be sneaky!

  10. #14

    My own children are still small, but my best friend has two teenagers, and she finds that so much of their lives is documented in social media. She is trying to work out a plan/process for making a Project Life-style album that captures all the Instagram/Facebook/Twitter stuff. Her two are both girls, so maybe it is different with boys. But maybe something like that would work for you? That way, Aidan’s day-to-day could still be included too? It may not have such a reflective quality, but it would certainly capture their voices and interests.

  11. #15

    Different clothes, different music but otherwise Yes, Yes and Amen to that says this mother of an 18 year old senior boy.

  12. #16

    Hi Cathy, I’ve missed coming here and happy to finally catch up. Most days find me off the computer but I need to get back into saying hello more often.

    LOVE LOVE this layout and scrolled down to Aidan’s and LOVE hers too. You are so awesome with layouts, clean and simple, love that about you. See all the LOVE in this paragraph. Must be close to Valentines day, lol.

    I know you will miss Aidan when she’s gone at college, we will miss seeing her too. What I did with my oldest is kinda like what you do already, granted it’s not the same as her being home but it’s something.
    Have her send you pictures and use the text messages you have with her. These are two ways to share things about her life, I’m sure she will be sending you lots of pictures. Anytime she does come home or you go there gets lots of pictures and any of her paper type stuff too. Hope this helps a little.

    Winter is still crazy here in Ohio, the snow just keeps coming and the temps stay down. We might actually be getting a bit of a warm up this weekend, YAY!!

    Saw your PL pages below too and they look great!!

    Take care and see you soon!

  13. #18

    You are spot on with the analysis of the teenage boy. I have two…the older one didn’t really appreciate how cool we were as parents until he graduated high school and started seeing his girlfriend. He got an intimate look of life in another home environment and he realized he didn’t have it as bad as he thought he did. Sure, he still gives me a hard time when I whip out my camera but I think he is starting to come around. He will be leaving the nest next year to live on campus and I feel the same way you do…it will be totally different without him here.

  14. #19

    Oh yes teenage boy syndrome – Mum taking pictures is not cool and “reluctance” is my middle name. I also have a nearly 21 dd – Mum taking pictures hasn’t been cool for a very long time, in fact when Mum whips out said camera make sure you scowl and pout and make the most unpleasant face possible.

  15. #20
    Kathleen D

    Love this template Cathy and I’m buying it at the DD sale. Is there any chance of getting the word art that says “This Guy” or “This Dude”. This boy just makes it seem for a younger guy, rather than teenager to adult.

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