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In 2011, my husband and I made an effort to decorate a main wall in our tiny apartment on a budget. We filled the space with rows and rows of our favorite pictures. We loved passing by the glossy 4×6 images and remembering the very moment each picture was captured.

When we moved, we realized that the task of moving the pictures from house-to-house was going to be extremely tedious. So with our still-limited budget, we glued the images to black foam boards. Each board represented pictures for one year.

This turned into an annual tradition. Each year on New Year’s Eve, Jake and I would print 18 of our “highlight” pictures from the year. Events we went to, vacations we took, funny moments we had- anything that we would look back on and smile at.

Like our first picture together.

2011

Cow Appreciation Day.

2014

Our annual visits to the fair.

State Fair 2015

Our first cruise.

Bahamas 2018

We take these pictures and make another highlight board.

These boards, now made of thin, stained, wooden sheets, hang in our bedroom. We are about to complete our 8th one.

I really look forward to this tradition. It allows my husband and I to look through all of our photos from the year and remember all that we did. We see the changes in ourselves and in our family that are too subtle to notice without the pictures to show us. And even though we focus on the highlights of the year, we come across memories of the low times, which I think are important to remember as well.

I always come away from completing our highlight board feeling gratitude for the past experiences I had with my family and a renewed excitement to create more memories with them. I can’t wait until my husband and I have filled our room to full capacity of these special images.

What New Year’s traditions do you have? Don’t forget to whip up one of these delicious mocktails to sip on while you party!

-Mariah

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