Simple joy of scrap-booking

“Three years I’ve thought of nothing except Titanic…”

So said fictional treasure hunter Brock Lovett in the 1997 film about his obsession in finding that bazillion dollar necklace inside the infamously-sunken luxury liner.

He was a man driven. Madly focused on the end prize. Completely obsessed, if you will, with the “Heart of the Ocean” diamond.

And that’s exactly how it was for me last week.

“Three days, I’ve done nothing but swim scrapbooking.”

I said to… well, to me, who chided: “You knew Kyle’s swim scrapbook was due by the year-end banquet since he was a FRESHMAN!”

I loathed myself from head to toe.


Why couldn’t I have put each item into the scrapbook in real time after every meet like the Carol Bradys of the world? #WorstMomEver

There they were, literally four years’ worth of newspaper clippings, professional and candid photos, heat sheets, programs, ribbons, notes, cards, certificates, awards, bulletins, announcements, letters, pins and proclamations. Strewn throughout several rooms of my house, they were my iceberg, people. It was like “Hoarders: Swim Mom Edition.”

And so, in true swim fashion, I took a deep breath and dove right in — without a life vest, yo.

For days on end, I was a newspaper-article cutting, physically photo-cropping, date crosschecking, roster-referencing lunatic, capisce? This scrapbook was going be completed if it killed me — which it almost did.

I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t shower. #TrueStory

I didn’t do laundry. I didn’t go grocery shopping. I didn’t watch the Cavaliers take on the LA Clippers. OK, that last one was actually not a hardship, as it turned out.


I didn’t fix my hair, my makeup or my nails. I didn’t go for a run. I didn’t check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Did I mention that the scrapbook contains 100 double-sided pages? “Holds 400 4-by-6-inch photos!” I remember its outer wrap boasting. At least, that’s what I think it said before I buried it under a wall of nibbled newspaper bits, construction paper crumbs, photo fragments and a veritable sea of shavings.

My eyes burned. My fingers hardened into the shape of scissors. My frame morphed into Quasimodo’s.

As the clock ticked closer to the Sunday evening banquet, hysteria overcame me.

“I’m misssssssssing two meets!” I said in partial-tongue like Harry Potter when he was taunting that big snake.

Desperate, I started taking photos off the wall, still within their frames, and shoving them into the plastic sleeves. I ripped one picture right off a family room collage. It still had some wallpaper stuck to it.

I continued adding bubble stickers and blue ribbon decals as we pulled into the venue, where I noticed my dress was on inside out.

I scooped up the plaque I’d ordered the week before for our beloved retiring coach (which accidentally shipped to Hawaii on its way from nearby North Jackson #AlohaMistypedZipCode) and the finally finished scrapbook. I set the latter on a table in the foyer where it’d likely be ridiculed by scrapbooks made by cool moms who had their crap together and were actually good at the art. #ItsHarderThanYouThink

And that’s when it happened: Nothing.

As in, no one else brought their kids’ scrapbooks to the banquet. Not a single one. #ImACompleteIdiot


Oh well, at least it was the “Heart of the Scrapbook Table.” Plus, it’s all ready for Kyle’s graduation party; which I’m going to start organizing … very soon.

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and world-class procrastinator. Check out her tips for narrowly making deadlines at