brooke’s baby book

i did it. i dove into the wonderful world of digital project life! and i started with a very special book that i made for a very special little girl’s 2nd birthday – which just happens to be today!

my niece, brooke, was born 11 week early. and my sister allowed me to use my camera to document her stay in the hospital for the week before her daughter was born. she also allowed me to slip into the nicu and photograph baby brooke for the two months that she was there growing and getting stronger. (you can read more about brooke’s birth here and here.)

so brooke’s 2nd birthday was the perfect time to put all of these photos together into a book for her to keep for always. it is so amazing to see her journey in photos over those two months. to see how she had lots of tubes + wire to breathing and eating on her own.

i used the digital project life templates and the baby edition for her kit to make a photo book in photoshop. (i did mix in a few cards from the baby edition too. i just love the yellow + grey colors in this kit!) i had the photo book printed as a 12×12 book from shutterfly. the process was simple. the only extra little thing that i did was to personalize a few of the cards with brooke’s age + the date.

here are some photos of the printed book from shutterfly:

my sister in the hospital…

just an hour after brooke was born…the first days…getting stronger…going home! i love these photos of my sister through the nicu door washing her hands for the last time. i scrubbed in with her every time we went to take photos of brooke.a healthy little baby girl…i included the two blog posts i wrote about brooke so she can read them someday…i made two pages of the baby edition for her prompt cards and left them blank so my sister can write in the book and fill them out. who says you can’t write on the pages of a photo book?

here are all of the digital pages:
















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Carla - This is amazing! What a great gift. She will love looking at this when she gets older.

Rhonda - What an amazing gift!!!?

MaryRuth - so beautiful!!

Brooke - Tracy this is just beautiful. Awesome gift, awesome story and awesome name *wink*. Happy Birthday to your niece.

Katy - Just love this book. And it inspires me to kind of redo my first son’s book, which I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. He also had a long NICU stay – his first two months (he has Down syndrome and required a few surgeries right after birth). I sure remember that scrubbing in everyday! It’s a lovely book that I’m sure mom and niece forever cherish!

Se'ana - I love the idea of including handwriting in a photo book! Such great inspiration! Thanks for thinking outside the box. Beautiful book!

EmmaJohns - Beautiful! I love the pages of blank prompt cards. Such a thoughtful gift.

Dani - Beautiful Tracy! Everything from the photography to the layouts and use of PL supplies! I’ve also thought of handwriting directly on the photobook pages! You’ve done it brilliantly! I love how the colors of the images work so nicely with the journaling cards! Thanks for continuing to inspire us through your work!

donya - This is so awesome, Tracy! I need to do this with my older son whose first 1.75 years were not captured in my Project Life albums.

Linda - This is gorgeous! I haven’t tried the digital project life (I do the paper version), but your book is inspiring me to try it for a gift!!

Nisa - this is AMAZING! Love the idea of including the blank cards for your sister to fill in later… genius. and totally gorgeous.

Holly - This is pure gorgeousness. I love that you focused on the photos and still gave her the space to write personally. What a treasure!

Sarah - Beautiful keepsake, she will love this so much when she is older. Such a treasure x x x x

Donna M - Absolutely beautiful! What a treasured gift this will be. I have 2 nieces who were born at around the same term – one made it and one sadly not, so I know your sister and niece will really appreciate this.

Lisa McLean - This is beautiful! I am so tempted by the digital baby book – I bought the actual kit to make my son’s actual album, but I secretly want to not use it and just do it digitally…hahaha

Lori - This is just SO beautiful. It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing gift you’ve given your sister and niece, and what a beautiful little miracle she is!

Donna G. - Tracy, you did a beautiful job on this book! What a treasure for your sister and niece!! PS. Isn’t digital wonderful? =)

tiffany h - Gorgeous album! What a treasure for your niece!

Margie - This made me cry! What a wonderful aunt and sister you are!
I used to follow Becky Higgins in the early 2000s but I quit scrapbooking when my 7th and 8th boys were born. I was too busy and too sick. I better go check out Project Life!

Fiona - What a gorgeous album! I’ve been meaning to do a similar album for each of my three kids, but I love your take on it. So inspiring. I especially love how you left the journal cards blank. A great way to get handwriting in the project! What a beautiful and thoughtful gift!

Lynn L. - What a beautiful gift…definitely a treasure! Love it!!

Mary - Simply amazing and so inspiring in it’s simplicity! Thank you for sharing such a personal journey for your family.

Karina K - Such a beautiful album! Your sister and your niece when she gets older will treasure it!

dana - so beautiful!!! my daughter was a 28 weeker so i know your sister’s journey. i only wish i had such beautiful documentation of our days in the nicu. they may have been hard but it was the start to her life and i never want to forget them.
your sister and her baby girl will treasure this book forever. what a gift!

she is two » tracy larsen blog - [...] weeks early (you can read about it here and here and see her one year photos here). the one i made a very special baby book for. the only little girl in the pool of grandsons for my [...]

Record It – Sharing Updates / Keeping a Journal or Blog - […] another example I found of a beautiful retelling of a NICU experience: Tracy created an amazing baby book of her premature niece, Brooke, including her birth and NICU stay, using the Project Life […]

Karri Windsor - simply amazing!!! What an incredibly, priceless gift.

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