When the twins turned one I made each of them a book with photos of the immediate family members. Madeline's first year came and went. I realized I hadn't made her book. So I am technically making it for her second birthday, but will give it to her early.
They are simple books: embroidered felt covers with construction paper pages that are laminated with the photos. I punched three holes along one side and placed binder rings to keep them together. I also wrote in peoples names and their relationship to each girl.
I love these books for many reasons. Early on the girls used them to learn the names of family members that live far away. They are also a photographic record of our family and its changes over time. In the years since I made the books for the twins we've sadly lost some family members. But, with great joy we've also added a few too. There is also a quote, by Maya Angelou, that opens each book. It reads:
No one comes from the earth like grass
We come like trees
We all have roots
We do not practice or explore religion/spirituality in a formal, organized manner - this saying does, however, come very close to what I consider to be my faith. My faith that life and spirit endure; they were present before we were and will persist after we are gone. The saying is superimposed over a black and white photo of the gigantic catalpa tree that my husband and I were married under.
I've never kept baby books, not really even a record of things like first steps, first words or first foods. I feel badly about this, but hope that some of the other things that I've done for my kids during their first years of life will make up for this. One thing I do is take photos - lots of them - and I hope that they will fill in where memories fade.