When my youngest daughter was born, we started this tradition of taking a picture to mark each New Year. We have now taken pictures for six straight years, and it’s so fun to see our girls growing and changing right before our eyes.

While I try (key word: *try*) to take the picture on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, the 2017 picture wasn’t taken until March! Better late than never! Our family loves traditions (find more posts about our favorite traditions here), but I don’t let the idea of staying on top of them create stress for me. (This is apparently a theme in my life… it’s almost March and I’m just now sharing this New Year’s idea here on my blog! Whatever… I know you guys get it. We all feel like there’s never enough time in the day!)

See below for how simple this tradition really is…

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The first time I did this, I bought a shiny silver “foam board” – find one here or look for one at just about any drug store or craft store. I also bought an X-acto knife. (That has to be one of the best words on the planet. Let’s say it again: X-acto. That is one cool word.) Find an X-acto knife here. They are also easy to find at a craft store.

I used a Sharpie to draw my numbers freehand, but you could also find numbers to trace. I then dragged the X-acto knife along the lines I drew to cut out the number.

IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you put catalogs underneath your foam board because the knife WILL go all the way through. You don’t want to gouge your table!

Once you have the number separated from the board, you can work on cleaning up the edges with the X-acto knife. If any marker lines remain that you’d like to remove, they will come right off with a Magic Eraser.

You could also hold wooden numbers that you purchase if that’s more your speed.


Remember that cutting the numbers for the first year is the most time-consuming because you have to cut all four numbers. After that, it’s easy! You only have to cut one number, and you can keep using the same foam board for a few years.


The numbers are also handy for other uses – we sometimes use them for birthdays. This little princess was turning four here. And yep, this pose pretty much sums up four for her! (Read one of my most popular posts here where I describe how I struggled with the decision to have one more baby – and how her arrival changed me as a mother.)


Now, the fun part. You get to watch your family grow and change over the years. You could use each picture to mark the first page of a photo album every year (I love to create albums at Shutterfly when I can find the time – they make great gifts, too). Or someday you could create a collage of the photos. See how I had a custom collage made for our own home a while back – I love it! This heart-shaped collage is also one of my favorites!

Or of course you can just file the pictures away on your computer and know that you have them there to enjoy. You can always do something special with them one day if you’d like!

Here’s a glimpse of how our family has grown and changed in six short years! In those early years, we were doing the best we could just to get that little one to hold her number. The outtakes are priceless! My husband was typically sweating bullets behind the camera as he worked to get her to smile (and to stay in one place!). Ah, the memories…


I hope this post has inspired you to start taking your own pictures each New Year! I look forward to seeing how long we can keep this tradition going.

Happy New Year, everyone! (Even though it’s almost March…)


Don’t miss this post about the Happy Jar we start each year. It’s our favorite family tradition!! Such a great way to encourage your kids – and remind yourself – to focus on the good things in your life.

We also enjoy making a list of resolutions/goals each year. Read more in the post about how those goals help keep our kids (and us) on task throughout the year.


This was the day after we took our very first picture to start this tradition. My kids were so little then! Time flies.

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