Twin Cities Mom Collective

The Birthday Book + Free Printable!


I hate scrapbooking.

Actually, I’ve never really tried scrapbooking. So I guess I can’t hate it. But I suppose I could say I strongly dislike the idea of scrapbooking. Too many pages and pictures, decisions and die cut and decorative edges.

But then I stop to think about it, and start to feel guilty.


You know, that “mom guilt” we’re all familiar with. My kids don’t have scrapbooks for each year of their lives. They don’t all have their proper monthly/yearly pictures either, even though I’m a professional photographer. I am starting to forget  at what age Callie’s first tooth came in, and what month did Clara start to crawl again? I never wrote down Cooper’s birth story.

Cooper Newborn

Heck, I can barely keep up with their baby books.

I am finding that I remember less, and write down less, about each child as the years go by. As much as I want to freeze them in time, to remember the smell of their baby soap, the squishiness of their little hands, and the sound of their little voices singing around the house, I can’t.


So I came up with The Birthday Book.

This is one tiny little thing that I’ve been able to actually keep up with (so far).  I only have to do it once a year, on their birthdays. It is like taking a snapshot of their life right now, their favorite foods and friends.  I simply do a mini interview at each birthday (starting at age 3), write down their answers to twenty questions, and tuck the pages away in their baby book.

Easy. No scissors required.


I will print off fifteen of these pages (for each child, starting from age 3 through 18). I guess that adds up to quite a few interviews, but we’ve been doing it for three years already and it is so much fun to look back and see the changes.


I put together a free printable for you to use too, my friend!   You can download both the 8.5×11 size, or the condensed size (7.75×7.25, pictured above) below.

I hope you enjoy this scrapbook-free way to document the details of your child’s life! Go ahead and print-off 15 pages for each child and put the pages somewhere where you can easily get them out each year. Enjoy your Birthday Book!



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mary timmers February 19, 2014 at 10:02 PM

What a great idea, Nealy. Now you have 15 birthday pages for each kid, PLUS, and it’s a BIG ONE, all those gorgeous photographs that capture them perfectly. Their eyes, skin, smiles that lead right to their personalities, and clothing trends. Someday they might say to you, “Mom, for Pete’s sake, why did you dress me like that?” So there you have it. You’ve captured them beautifully in the best ways!

You know me, I love your stuff, so thanks for a great post!

I want to come over soon and squeeze on that Cooper! He’s at just the right age!


Nealy February 20, 2014 at 8:04 AM

HI Mary, Thanks so much for the comment. 🙂 You are always so encouraging. Callie is already asking me why I dress her the way I do – she has such a strong will (and opinion)! 🙂

Congrats on the wonderful news yesterday. Praise the lord, what an amazing answer to our prayer!

Karina Crockett February 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Love this idea. We have been doing this for 3 years now, and do it for each family member. I even did it for my dad when he turned 80 (which turned into a 45 minute recounting of his life, that I was lucky enough to capture on my phone!).

Jill February 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

I’ve done this for my children but unfortunately, the answers are written on a scratch piece of paper! Thank you for the print-outs! This is the motivation I need to get it in a book. My son turns 5 in 2 weeks! Another fun thing I’ve done, too, is have them write their name each year. It will be fun to see how their handwriting progresses (improves!) as they get older! 🙂

Sarah Darr February 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Fun idea, thanks for sharing Nealy! We gave it a shot last night even and Calvin surprised us with his answer even though we weren’t sure he was quite old enough. Best response –
What do you want to be when you grow up? “THROW UP??” 🙂

Karri February 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I love this idea, thanks Nealy! In April, with my oldest, I will be starting at 10 years old so I guess I will be “interviewing” him well into his 20s to get 18 years in! Love your precious pictures too!

Nealy February 22, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Thanks Karri! 🙂 Better late than never, right? Have a good weekend!

Heather February 20, 2015 at 11:53 AM

Fabulous thank you! My daughter’s “baby” book was from 0 to her 3rd birthday. You’re right, scrapbooking is SO time consuming even though I did eventually finish. Her 4th bday is around the corner and this is a great idea!


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