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Holding on to my most special memories with Legacybox

This post is sponsored by Legacybox, a wonderful resource for preserving your memories through digitization. If you’d like to preserve your old tapes, films, photos and audio, CLICK HERE and the first 25 people to use code RUN at checkout will receive 40% off their order. Offer expires 11/15.

Over the last couple of months I have been working behind the scenes on a project with Legacybox. It’s a service that preserves old tapes, films, photos and audio and digitizes them so that you can have them easily accessible to find, revisit or send to friends and family.

Legacybox Review

It was quite a project to sort through 30 years worth of photos and videos. I spent the better part of two entire afternoons doing it.

Legacybox Review

Luckily, I had a very eager helper and good company.

Legacybox Review

Zoey enthusiastically nosed her way through all of my boxes and photos and waited at the bottom of the stairs for me whining every time I went up in the attic to bring down boxes.

Legacybox Instructions

After you order your Legacybox, you receive a kit that includes a how-to guide, round-trip shipping and a crush-proof box.

Legacybox Review

You organize and bar code all of your media. Each tape/video/film gets one sticker and each set of 25 pictures gets one sticker. I sorted my photos into groups by travel, family, college, cheerleading, etc. and then placed them in separate bags with bar codes.

Legacybox Review

I packed up my Legacybox (be sure to save the shipping box it comes in because it fits perfectly back in it to send off) and dropped it off at FedEx. I had a moment of panic as I left a box full of some of my most cherished photos and memories to be shipped off to the Legacybox headquarters in Tennessee but I trusted it would arrive back to me safely. You have the ability to track your box and your bar coded items throughout the whole process. Legacybox is also extremely communicative about the status of your order and makes the whole process so simple.

Legacybox Review

Just two short weeks later my box returned with all of my original photos and videos along with digital copies of everything saved to both DVD and flash drive.

Legacybox Review

I sent my completed box in for digitization on September 15. On September 19 I received the call about my brother. On September 27 my box arrived back to me.

To be honest, I almost pulled the plug on this post and the partnership. So many of the photos I had sent in were from my childhood and were full of family memories with my brother. But as I shared with you all when I initially wrote of his passing, focusing on the happy memories is a way that I can hold onto him closest in my heart. I am grateful to Legacybox for helping me preserve these special memories. The timing is both terrible and perfect all at the same time.

Here is a small glimpse into both my childhood and my memories of my brother.

Home Life

Family Memories

My brother and I were both born in Milledgeville, Georgia but moved to Dublin, Georgia when I was five and he was just a baby. We lived in the same house until my parents moved away in 2007.

From top left clockwise:

Always playing something together. // I come by my love of animals honestly and there was never a time when we didn’t have dogs in the house. Here’s my dad with our three dogs Scooby (a golden retriever who basically decided to move in with us and started the golden retriever love in our family), Big Foot and Star. We also had two cats at one point. // Junior prom. //Christmas. // Church youth choir performance. // Random Georgia snow day. //High school graduation.

My Grandparent’s House

Family Memories

We all spent so so so much time at my grandparent’s house growing up. My heart bursts with memories of all the happy times we shared there.

Cousins piled up on the couch on Christmas // Sunday school with my grandfather (always). // Cheering in my grandmother’s back yard with my best friend. I was always putting on some sort of dance/singing/cheer performance. Note my grandmother’s 1983 Toyota Tercel in the background. My grandmother LOVED this car and I can still remember every single thing about it down to how it smelled and the noise it made to remind you to set the parking brake. // Will with my grandmother’s cat Rascal. That cat was crazy full of personality. // Easter.

The Beach

Beach Memories

Beach trips are some of the best times of my childhood. I went with my grandparents to Surfside Beach on spring breaks.

Fishing with my grandfather in Surfside Beach on a trip with my grandparents for spring break. // Destin, Florida where we spent two weeks every summer. I met a girl there from Indiana whose family vacationed at the same time as us every year and we became such good friends. I even flew up to Indiana to visit her when I was in high school. // My brother with my grandmother and my dad in Surfside for a family reunion one summer. // My brother with my Indiana friend and my best friend from home. // Happy.

Cheerleading

I started cheering my freshman year of high school and it quickly took over life. I cheered varsity football and competition.

Cheerleading Memories

Saturdays mornings were all about competitions. Huge props to my family for driving all over the state of Georgia to watch us compete. We won state my sophomore year! // Friday nights were spent either on the sidelines of the Shamrock Bowl cheering on our team or on the road if we were playing away. // I’ll never forget the electric feeling in the stadium when the team ran out on to the field. We would paint a huge crash through sign and some of the cheerleaders would hold the sign while others ran ahead of the team and back handspringed our way down the field. High school football was so fun. // We spent countless (seriously countless) hours painting signs to hang around the field. // After a cheerleading competition.

Post-High School

Family Memories

Memories from trip to San Antonio with my mom and my brother.

In closing, I am so appreciative to have had this opportunity to work with Legacybox. It offered me a very special and accessible way to save some of my most cherished and sweet memories. Although emotional, I had a great experience with Legacybox and I would use the service again and also gift it to friends and family. (I think it’s a nice gift idea to keep in mind for holiday as well.) My mom and I are planning on sorting through old family photos in the coming months and I’m going to suggest Legacybox to her as a way for us all to share the photos.

If you’d like to order a Legacybox for yourself or someone you love, CLICK HERE and the first 25 people to use code RUN at checkout will receive 40% off their order. Offer expires 11/15.

Now, your turn. I would love to get to know you guys a little more. Tell me something about your childhood…

  • Where did you grow up?
  • Do you have siblings? What’s the age difference? Were you/are you close?
  • What sports did you play growing up? (I’m totally calling cheerleading a sport here!)
  • Did you family have an annual trip tradition?
  • Did you grow up with pets?

And finally, I just want to thank you all for reading. It’s been really nice to share a little more lately and to feel like I’ve connected with so many of you on a more personal level. We’re all on this crazy journey of life together.

Love,
Jen

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Katherine October 17, 2016, 12:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Jen, what special memories!

    I grew up in Midland, Michigan.
    I have one sister 2.5 years younger who is still in college. We are close and live about an hour apart.
    I was all about soccer and dance team! I totally know what you mean about the electric feeling during a Friday night football game ๐Ÿ˜‰
    My parents have a lake home in Northern Michigan that we spend as much time together at as possible each summer.
    My parents have a 15 year old Vizsla and my husband and I just got a Vizsla puppy. They passed on their love of that breed to me much like your goldens!

    • 2
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:33 pm

      Hi Katherine – so wonderful that you are close with your sister. That lake home sounds AMAZING. There is nothing like having a retreat like that to escape to. Love the Vizsla connection. They are fun (energetic!) dogs. Great running partners. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • 3
    Alaina October 17, 2016, 2:04 pm

    I’ve been considering this for my mom for a long time! Maybe I’ll finally pull the plug this Christmas! Out of curiosity- which size order did you do? I think we’d need at least a closet size! Also did you do videos or just photos? Thanks for help!

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:32 pm

      I did closet size and could have kept going. I did a few videos – they turned out great!

  • 5
    Lindsay E October 17, 2016, 2:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing Jen. For some reason, more so than the other posts you’ve made surrounding your brother, this one made me tear up. Maybe it was seeing the two of you so innocent and young. Its such a crazy/scary thing to see how drugs don’t discriminate. I meant to write you before and tell you that we have also been fighting this battle with my little cousin for years. It makes you feel so helpless. You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers!!

    I grew up in Snellville, GA – good ‘ole Gwinnett County
    I have a 1/2 brother from my Dad, 10 years older. I didn’t meet him until I was 13 years old – my Dad is a Vietnam Vet and met a women there when he was serving. He now lives in Midtown Atlanta and we get closer and closer every year ๐Ÿ™‚
    I was a cheerleader from 2nd grade through college (but you knew that!). I tried just about everything when I was little though! From t-ball to ballet (terrible) to tennis.
    We took a family girls trip with my Mom and good family friends every year to Amelia Island – some of my favorite childhood memories!!
    I grew up with Dogs ๐Ÿ™‚ My Dad had an Irish Setter when I was little that was his baby. He died when I was 6 or 7 – it was the first time I ever saw my Dad cry and I remember it vividly!! We’ve always had at least one dog in the family since! A Golden Retriever has always been on my list!

    • 6
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:29 pm

      Hi Lindsay – it is so great to hear from you. Thank you for your comment.

      I’m really happy to hear that you and your half-brother are developing a closer relationship as adults. I can only imagine what a complex situation that was for you, especially not meeting him until you were 13.

      Ahhh….Irish Setters are so sweet. My grandparents had one when I was young.

  • 7
    Claudia October 17, 2016, 2:56 pm

    Grew up in the best neighborhood in Campbell, CA (near San Jose) โ€“ seriously, it was the best! Life revolved around the neighborhood cabana (swim) club.

    I have three older brothers (7, 6, and 4 yrs older) and a younger sister and brother (2.5 and 6 yrs younger).

    You want to talk sports? Sis and I were the swimmers in the family both synchronized and racing at the aforementioned swim club and through high school and college (me). I also played a little softball and soccer in high school. Brothers were all about baseball, basketball, track/field, tennis, and soccer. We didnโ€™t really do an annual trip what with all the sports, seasons, play-offs, synchro shows, etc. Who had time! Though my parents did take four of us to Disneyland one summer โ€“ the two eldest were already out of school and working

    As for pets, my youngest brother was finally able to wear my parents down and got a dog. The puppy was tossed out of a van when they were playing kick-the-can and my brother rescued him and named him Ike (like Eisenhower) who was with the family for about 17 years. We all joke that Ike was momโ€™s favorite kid. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 8
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:28 pm

      Claudia – how fun to grow up in such a great area and with such a big family!

      I don’t know that I’ve ever met a synchronized swimmer! SO COOL!

      And the rescue dog story…my heart. That is wonderful.

  • 9
    Tara October 17, 2016, 3:08 pm

    northeast ohio
    1 brother / 1 sister – both younger (4 years and 2 years)
    closer to my brother growing up, way closer to my sister now
    i do technically have a stepsister but we are not close at all.
    i had a dog growing up – Brittany. a bazillion cats (my fave was Alex) and horses (Mika and Paka).
    I played softball forever and volleyball and basketball in middleschool/some of high school.
    My family went to Surfside every summer when i was a kid cuz my grandma had a condo there. i loved it. we also went to cedar point a bunch and camped.

    • 10
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:26 pm

      Oh so cool that you came to Surfside for the beach! We always get a lot of Ohio vacationers at Carolina beaches.

  • 11
    Elle October 17, 2016, 3:18 pm

    What a cool way to preserve memories. Thanks for sharing!
    Where did you grow up? Minnesota
    -Do you have siblings? Whatโ€™s the age difference? Were you/are you close? 1 brother, he’s 3 years older. We’re very close and it’s so fun to go through different stages of life together. We got married one year apart from each other and now he’s expecting his first baby this winter!
    -What sports did you play growing up? (Iโ€™m totally calling cheerleading a sport here!) Basketball and soccer. Basketball was my real love and I ended up playing it in college as well on a scholarship.
    -Did you family have an annual trip tradition? Martha’s Vineyard for 2 weeks every summer!
    -Did you grow up with pets? Yes, dogs! We have named all of our dogs in alphabetical order (Allie, Bessie, Checker, Della, Evie, Finn, Gwen and Howie) the last two are my first dogs – it’s a fun way to remember all of them!

    • 12
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:25 pm

      Oh wow to growing up in Minnesota! I’m really happy to hear that you and your brother are close and how wonderful that he’s expecting! Very exciting for your family. I would love to see Martha’s Vineyard one day. And I LOVE the alphabetical naming of pets. That’s hilarious and smart!

  • 13
    Lauren C October 17, 2016, 3:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing this post and this partnership. No doubt this was difficult for you in so many ways; grief ebbs and flows and I’m sure this post and box could’ve made it feel fresh. It’s truly wonderful that it also helps you hold onto happy memories, too!

    To your questions:

    – I grew up in Western Massachusetts – otherwise known as “that big area 90-100 miles west of Boston” with lots of farms, cows, and colleges. I spent most of my young life near Mount Holyoke College, which was beautiful but boring.
    – I have one younger brother, and we’re almost 2.5 years apart. We played together all the time when we were little, then drifted as we got older and were interested in different things. We’ve made a strong effort to get closer and more in touch in recent years, and have discovered some shared interests we didn’t know about (e.g., a love of nerdy sci-fi and comic book movies/shows)!
    – I played soccer as a young child until I started swimming competitively year round at age 11/12. I did that into college, until I quit before senior year due to burnout, and had an awesome senior year doing other things!
    – We’d make an annual trek to the beaches in Delaware (Rehoboth and Bethany) to stay with family who lived in Maryland. It was awesome. It’s funny y’all went to Surfside Beach – my parents live about 5 mins from there now, so we’re down there several times a year to visit.
    – The only pets we ever had were a goldfish that lasted about 4 days and a hamster that lasted a few months. My mom never wanted us to have a dog, and my dad hated cats, so we didn’t get to have either!

    • 14
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:22 pm

      Hi Lauren – thank you so much. It definitely scratched the scab off a bit but it was really good to see these photos.

      Having also grown up in a small town, I can relate to being a little bored! I’m really happy to hear you’ve reconnected more with your brother lately. That’s awesome. Wow, I can’t even imagine how much time and dedication that swimming in college would take. Good for you that you had the experience of doing it but also a year to yourself as well. I’ve never been to any beaches in the northeast, I’d love to see some!

  • 15
    Jodie October 18, 2016, 7:37 am

    Yes I have siblings, 2sisters and a brother. We are very close.
    Grew up in ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Jamaica:) . Oh yes to pets, at one point we had 2 Siamese cats. Always had dogs, no less than 4 at a time.

    • 16
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:14 pm

      So amazing that you’re close with your siblings. What was it like growing up in Jamaica? And I love the four dogs comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 17
    Kelly R October 18, 2016, 8:18 am

    Thank you for sharing your photos. My heart hurts for you. I can not imagine the loss of a brother. Addiction sucks!!!! I have experienced too much loss from the disease. Thank you for being so open about the situation and your feelings.

    • 18
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:13 pm

      Thanks for the support and encouragement Kelly. <3

  • 19
    Joy October 18, 2016, 8:58 am

    Thanks for sharing so much, Jen. It’s so nice to see you had so many happy times with your brother. I know that when I lost my mother years ago, looking through photos helped immensely. I loved seeing her happy times.

    As for me…I grew up in Connecticut and have two older sisters. The oldest is 4 years older than me and the middle sister is 2 years older than me. They were really close to each other growing up and I was usually left out, but we are all close now.
    I played basketball in elementary and middle school and ran track in high school. Mostly I just did what my sisters did because I wanted to be like them. ๐Ÿ™‚
    We ALWAYS had pets growing up, and sometimes quite a few of them. We always had at least 2 cats and a dog, but in high school I also got a rabbit.

    • 20
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 3:12 pm

      Hi Joy – thank you for the kind words. The pictures are so nice to have. I hear so many people say they weren’t close with their siblings growing up but are now in as adults. I’m happy to hear that. I can’t even imagine being the youngest of three girls! I’m sure you did look up to them so much.

  • 21
    Julie Running in a Skirt October 18, 2016, 9:15 am

    What an amazing thing to do! I’m sure the timing was hard, but I’m sure you will love having these.
    I have one brother who is also younger. He’s almost 4 years younger than me and lives in Charlotte now!
    We grew up in Orlando, Florida and my Dad still lives in that home. We had one crazy dachshund growing up named, Heidi. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 22
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 2:33 pm

      Very nice that your brother is so close!

  • 23
    Chris Cashion October 18, 2016, 9:30 am

    First, let me express my deepest sympathies on the loss of your brother. I cannot imagine how hard this has been for you. I have two brothers–one older and one younger–and I can’t imagine losing them. Second, thank you for sharing this journey with all of us. Your strength and your generosity are inspiring!
    I love this idea for preserving memories! It’s such a great way to make sure you don’t lose any of those precious photos and videos.
    As for me, I mentioned I have two brothers. My older brother is 12 years older, and my younger brother is 1-1/2 years younger. I was in cheerleading, gymnastics and softball in my younger years–it’s sure fun to go back through those photos:)
    Wishing you much love as you continue to go through the healing process. Sending you virtual hugs!!

    • 24
      Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 2:32 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s been a tough few weeks.

      This is a great way to preserve memories and nice to have the ability to share them easily with family and friends.

      Very sweet that you’re between two brothers. Big age difference between you and your older brother. Are you close?

  • 25
    Laura Stern October 18, 2016, 10:06 pm

    Hi Jen-
    This post brought tears to my eyes seeing your many special memories and great times spent with your brother. I’ve actually been meaning to write you and send hugs and support your way- I just didn’t know the words to say. I truly can’t imagine the shock and pain you and your family are going through. We are complete (well, sort of) strangers and when I opened your post when you first told us, I was literally in shock and practically gasping out loud. I am glad to know this blog and community has brought you so much love and support. Enjoy your legacy box and all your amazing memories!

    • 26
      Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 4:08 pm

      Hi Laura,

      I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you took a moment to express yoru condolences regardless of not knowing what to say. I have been so grateful for the support that I have received from this community and I’m appreciative of all the prayers, thoughts and kind words.

      Love,
      Jen

  • 27
    Natalie October 18, 2016, 10:44 pm

    Jen- your posts have brought so much emotion to the surface lately. I have a family member who struggles with addiction and it is so difficult to watch and to live through. It wears on my poor aunt like crazy, and just reading how strong you and your family have been offers much encouragement. I have read your blog for 4-5 years and I swear, I love it more with each season that passes. Your writing is so very real and raw, yet refined and comforting.

    I have a sister who is the rubber to my glue and I love her to the moon! We grew up vacationing each summer in Destin and I am from a small town in Arkansas. Now I have two sweet kiddos and a precious husband who all enjoy orange beach and also Mexico each year! Those memories are priceless and I intend to make sure my kiddos have them too. Pets- always a weimeraner! We have had several and I love their breed!

    You have been in my thoughts and I hope your healing process continues.

    • 28
      Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 4:11 pm

      Hi Natalie –

      I just wanted to say thank you for the comment and for reading. I’m sorry that your family also has to deal with this terrible disease. I will send my prayers to your aunt. It’s the hardest thing to try and help someone but to have no power to actually help them.

      I appreciate the kind words about my writing. I find that as the years go by and I learn more about myself, others and my place in the world that I feel more comfortable being more open. It’s a blessing to have this outlet to share.

      Very cool that your family also vacationed in Destin! It was a great little beach town back in the day. Nothing like the Emerald Coast.

  • 29
    Nikki October 19, 2016, 9:16 am

    Catching up on your posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Now, your turn. I would love to get to know you guys a little more. Tell me something about your childhoodโ€ฆ

    Where did you grow up? Travelers Rest, SC. What used to be a quiet town nestled in Greenville, SC, is now a lively, trendy place to visit thanks to the Swamp Rabbit Trail and lots of great restaurants.

    Do you have siblings? Whatโ€™s the age difference? Were you/are you close? I have 3. (I’m 31) Older sister – 35, Brother (my best friend) – 29, Younger sister – 18. I’m really only close to my brother at this stage in my life. He has come a long way in his hard life, and also used to struggle with substance abuse, and was just a little lost. I’m so proud of how far he’s come – he’s now a green beret, married, with 2 kids, and the happiest I’ve ever seen him. Gives me chills to even write this. I couldn’t be prouder of him, if he were my own son!

    What sports did you play growing up? (Iโ€™m totally calling cheerleading a sport here!) First, cheerleading totally counts as a sport. I played basketball.

    Did you family have an annual trip tradition? No, but everytime we tried to go on vacation we got a flat tire. Every. Time. Looking back, I think it was the universe trying to tell us to turn back (we didn’t always get along/have the happiest of vacations).

    Did you grow up with pets? We briefly had a dog named Petey, which my parents never let in the house. It always bothered me, how they didn’t treat him as part of the family, and I was relieved when he ran away. For the last 9 years I’ve had my golden, Callie, who is one of my great loves (and definitely lives inside!). I also have a golden/lab mix, Lily, and they are best friends and bring me happiness every day. Nothing like them!!

    • 30
      Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 4:13 pm

      Okay first…super interesting to hear about Travelers Rest! I can’t tell you how many times I drove by on trips up and down I-85. I had no clue it had changed!

      Thanks for sharing about your brother. I am happy for your, your family and him that he was able to turn things around. โค๏ธ

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