This time 2 years ago my summer holidays were looking very different, instead of lying by the beach as I was supposed to be doing I was being rushed into hospital. Because, 2 years ago I was given the news that all women dread to hear. Waiting in a lonely hospital room, I knew what I was going to hear, because the results were in and instead being sent to the public waiting room with the rest of the worried women, my husband and I were being ushered into a private room with flowers and lots of tissues on hand, and while we made small talk with the nurse about camping holidays (I know?!!) the doctor came in and advised me I did indeed have the suspected breast cancer- punch to the stomach- ouch!
Within a week life changing surgery ensued and then I was being told- good news you don’t have breast cancer anymore. Hang on, I thought, I’d only got my head around the fact that I did, I can’t process this!
What came after, while I lay convalescing, and family and friends rallied around shipping my kids off everywhere, was deep thinking. First, came the thank goodness. Because, out of all this, I knew that I was one of the lucky ones. I had and will survive this. I made it. And with that realisation, was that lots of people don’t. Lots of people just like me. Lovely, happy, healthy women with young families and way too much to lose. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my family, how would these special mum’s cope if they already knew they wouldn’t make it? How could life be so cruel to others when it has actually been kind to me.
I thought a lot about my children, because I knew from a young age being a mother was my destiny. I had only just produced these amazing little things- they were only 6 and 4. The thought of all the effort and love that I had showered them with and then- damn it- if I didn’t make it they wouldn’t even remember me. How unfair!
And, there we come full circle. Because, you see, there was this little idea that myself and Marie had been floating around. We knew that keeping memories for our children in a special way was important. We wanted to produce something for the modern family, so they could keep these moments in time and look back on them, enjoying quality family time while they do. And, I knew that when I got better I was determined to make this idea a reality. A special case for my kids, to know they were loved by me beyond words, started to feel even more significant. If my diagnosis had been different I would have felt a huge amount of comfort knowing that I had saved all these glimpses of their lives, that even if they have no memories of me they would have pieces picked and touched by me.
I am so pleased we made our dreams come true and actually made these gorgeous Memory Cases. Although they came about because of a huge life changing moment in my life they are now positively changing lives everywhere as families spend precious moments with their children looking in their Memory Cases now and in years to come.
It’s Sports Day time at your child’s school. As our generation fondly remember the egg and spoons, the hilariously impossible potato sack race, and the ‘oh no I’ve been partnered with stinky Johnny’ 3 legged race, what will take place at your school?
We remember school sports day as fun in the sunshine. Topped off by the ever competitive Dad’s race at the end. The coolest kids got to watch with pride as their Dad came first, mine usually hobbled up from behind somewhere but at least he gave it a go.
It was with interest that I read every school in the country is having to be encouraged to hold a Sport Day, as apparently there is an alarming fall in the number of sports fixtures at school. The government have even provided a detailed guidance on how to stage a Sports Day!
All they need are some parents to advise the schools on how much fun we had. Whether we won or lost, we know that this fantastic day was significant in providing those special ‘Remember When….’ memories.
So this year, I really hope your school is encouraged to put on a sports day, how about suggesting a nostalgic 1970’s style day. If they get a certificate for taking part, win a medal or even get the trophy you need to make sure you have your Memory Folder to keep it safe and special. Because those kind of school memories really do hold a special place in our grown up hearts.
Isn’t naming your baby the hardest thing ever? The responsibility of a lifetime! I am sure we all felt the same- it needs to be perfect, strong, not too popular but not too whacky either. I was lucky the first time round and knew that my Teddy was and always should be a Teddy (though he’s Ted for the moment as that makes him feel older!) But Betsie, well, if I’m being 100% honest I am not so sure any more. I loved the name before she was born, but then after about 6 months I kept looking at her thinking- oh dear I just don’t think she’s a ‘Betsie’, and by then it was far too late to change my mind. And on top of that I spelt it completely wrong- in my post pregnancy haze I spelt it with an ‘ie’ not realising that everyone else in the world except in my head spells it with a ‘y’. So she will spend the rest of her life telling everyone ‘no it’s ie not y’- urgh how annoying! To top it all off even her Grandma spelt it Betsy on her first birthday card- I mean honestly!!!
Then once we were over that hurdle of baby names we had to find a name for our new business. Oh the time that went into that decision. We have been many different names before we got to where we are today. First off it was My Mini Memories but that had to go, then we were stuck on Maisie and Ted for a really long time, perfect we thought, our older children’s names and that’s why we set up the business in the first place, to find the perfect way to spend time with these lovely little people. Then, to mix things up, we decided that the elephant just had to be part of our brand. We always have loved elephants and love the ‘never forgetting’ connotation that they evoke to us all. So, we became Maisie, Ted and The Elephant. Cute, or so we thought. Only to be knocked back by the trademarkers!
So there we were, ready to go without a name!! More hours of discussion ensued. We went from everything like Auntie Mable to Remember this!
However, the moment arrived. Let’s think outside the box, let’s try and find something unique. And meminio jumped out at us. This means remember in Latin and that’s exactly what we do. We want you to spend family time remembering special moments, creating new special moments with your children and have this lovely circle continue. Hurray we said. The only stumbling block now is whether you guys can pronounce it. But, really who cares, whether you say ‘mee mini o’ or ‘muh mean io’ it’s all to everyone’s own interpretation and we just love that you’re on this journey with us!!
Our first attempt at branding:
What are the right things to keep for your children to look back at when they are older? Since starting meminio this has been at the forefront of my mind so it feels natural to share it with you. After losing a parent at a young age the keepsakes from my past are pretty much non existent which makes me even more determined to keep special things. I want my daughter to have those stories and remember her journey.
When Maisie was a baby I really enjoyed filling in the baby book to start with and then that got hidden under a pile of plastic toys to look back at later and feel guilty about! That’s when I started to keep just a few things that I could show her. The baby cardigan that I adored her in, her hospital outfit and hospital band. Every year that goes past a few more things got collected first scribbles, her first shoes…. The most amazing thing is that I didn’t have to wait until she was older with her own children for her to appreciate what we had kept for her. She absolutely loves opening her Memory Case and asking me questions, smiling, laughing at amazement at how small she was and what made her special – what she loves best is the story that goes alongside every item and I cherish that time we have together.
There is no right and wrong of what to keep for your child, it is just the fact you have kept something that was so special and still is.
I think we all feel a little sense of anticipation this time of year. What will this year hold for you? How will it turn out and what will we be looking back on at the end of the year! What is on the horizon for me and my family? Maybe it’s also the time to make some changes- new year diets are everywhere and dry January is still very popular, or the very new Veganuary!
Apparently, for 2016, materialism is out and experientialism is in. This is a new way of living that James Wallman, the very interesting journalist, is championing. His mission statement is “memories live longer than things”. The outcome is that you will be happier and healthier as a result. With less stress and anxiety we will look for happiness in experiences rather than buying stuff.
We love this at meminio HQ as we have the same ethos. We want you to have those experiences and save the momentoes that come with them somewhere special so you can look at them again and again. We imagine your family sitting round the table with your art memories folders or memory cases sifting through those tickets, certificates, first baby grows and reliving those wonderful experiences. Bouncing different memories off each other, listening to each other’s stories and really enjoying that special family or friends time. I am looking forward to reminding Ted that he thought Elf the Musical was “absolutely awesome!” or that Betsie got “the bed of her dreams” for Christmas.
meminio are definitely planning on making 2016 a year of experiences. We are going to say YES to every opportunity that comes our way. We are going to take the kids camping, watch movies together, play Sunday board games and come up with lots of other wonderful ideas to capture and cherish those memories from your life experiences.
Watch this space and wishing you a happy and healthy 2016.
Don’t know about you but I always remember when growing up the traditions that my friends families had that I really wanted to be part of!!
My friend Tamsin who always had cereal for dinner on a Sunday night without fail and Alison who had this amazing quiz on every birthday that her dad made all about her with pictures round the room from when she was little.
After having kids I knew that I wanted family traditions but there is never time to think about it! Little did I know that they happen anyway. When I sit and think of the things we do as a family that are special to us it always makes me smile.
Playing silly games after dinner on a Sunday, eating mixtures on the sofa (this is the name given to a snack bowl that consists of whatever you can find in the cupboards or fridge) the kids love it!
When talking about Christmas traditions at meminio HQ we shared our own; Marie for the last 4 years has taken the family to a musical in London a few days after Christmas where people actually dress up for the theatre like the old days. Ali’s family give any present encased in tissue paper a round of applause- ‘clap the tissue paper’ they shout (she said the first time her husband observed this he was quite worried about the family he had joined!).
Not to forget the daily traditions of reading books at bedtime, group hugs and one from when I was little “time to go up the apple and pears”. All so important for us and our children to know that their family will always be there for them and having fun.
I spend from 18th October until 1st March, that’s 17 ½ weeks, of feeling slightly on edge the whole time. Because during this time I have all of my 17 immediate family birthdays to remember in those few weeks. My brain capacity just cannot cope! And, I would be in the dog house for years should I forget even one so there is no getting away with being lazy. But for some reason, I cannot think about the next birthday until I have dealt with the last which leaves me about 5 days to arrange cards and a present for the next one. I think I need a new system! My Grandma had the right idea and would go to a shop on the 1st January and buy everyone’s birthday card for the rest of the year, I need to take a leaf out of her book!
And, in the middle of all this time there is the small yearly occurrence that is know as Christmas, aaagh. How am I supposed to think of something new for Betsie’s birthday when she’s just had everything and more the week before!
I was joking with Marie the other day that we both have the ability to be thoughtful, we buy the cards, write them, stick the stamps on but then walk around with the card in our handbag for days until we realise it’s too late! Marie, once had a written card on her kitchen side for a year, in the end she just took a photo of it and emailed that to her friend instead!!
I was quite surprised at Teddy’s birthday party this year, over half of his gifts from his school friends was actually money in an envelope. I still can’t decide if that’s just really lazy or total genius. Let’s be honest, he’s at an age now where a re-gift (you know we all do it!) just won’t do but what do you buy an 8 year old boy? At least this way he can get something he wants, but it just wasn’t as exciting as the big pile of gifts he normally receives.
So, in the end this leads me back into what we all need- lovely but easy ways to keep things special. That is why I love the meminio ethos so much, we want to make stuff for those of you who are like us- thoughtful people who are just so busy we just can’t keep up!
Halloween, it’s a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. Gone are the days of a sheet over the head with holes cut out for the eyes, the fail safe ghouly ghost. Now, we have costumes beyond our wildest dreams. The streets are full of excited children and pumpkins now come with instructions on how to carve the most amazing works of art. Facebook competitiveness at it’s highest!
My parents reminded me that when we were little it was a turnip that was used to carve holes out of, we didn’t even dream of anything as fancy as a pumpkin. Like much of the Halloween we know now, the pumpkins are an american import. How life changes.
At meminio, we whole heartedly embrace this import. A perfect day for making memories. Arts and crafts galore, special family times and fun with friends. Betsie can’t wait to go ‘triple’ treating, I think she may be a little disappointed she might not get triple the amount of sweets and a few tricks instead! Cute comments like that make us wish we didn’t forget all those special little sayings. As we often say, we should write these things down, so we can look back when they are older and remind them of how cute they were. If only we were organised enough to actually do that!
Welcome to meminio’s blog page. Hopefully you will have read Our Story so you know a little bit about who we are.
We are two mum’s on a journey and we guess if you are reading this you are probably on the same page as us.
It’s a life less ordinary and we want to help all of you to cherish all the special moments as they happen.
Here we plan to keep you updated on our news, from everything to starting a business to how to keep those precious memories.