I am the oldest child in our family. I am a mom of three and a grandma of five. Life can get hectic, and keeping track of photos should not cause stress and headaches for anyone.

The Nixplay frames we have purchased have been one of the best investments we could have made. Let me tell you why.

As I was growing up I was always an organizer; cleaning cupboards, closets, and keeping mementos from trips and important events. I was fortunate to have a large extended family, and listening to their oral history was a wonderful way to spend a lazy summer afternoon on the breezeway eating homemade ice cream. I  loved hearing those stories but did not give it much thought to ever write them down. After all, there wasn’t going to be a test at the end, right?

So years passed and the storytellers began to leave this earth, and with them, their stories. I decided I needed to capture them so that I could pass them onto the next generations and incorporate them into my scrapbooks (when I would finally be ready). So I spent several days interviewing my Papa and recalling all the things he told me (I believed them all to be true). Because of this, I will now be able to share my father’s memories with my grandkids, even if I don’t have the pictures to “show” the story.

Fast forward to when my husband and I became parents for the first time and lived over 20 hours away from our families. Of course, we were taking tons of pictures to document our new addition, and Mom would be asking weekly for new photos. So I would dutifully head to the photo store to get double prints and then send one set off to Michigan.

However, this process started to become a burden. Chasing a toddler around took more time than I planned. A lot of times, the photos didn’t get printed or they didn’t get sent.  

I tried to keep it up, but it was not a priority for me and the next phase of sharing photos became a calendar for the upcoming year. And the photos were from LAST year. It was at least an easy way to send photos, but it was not very timely. Mom and Dad didn’t seem to care, but I was bothered by the fact that they were now seeing memories from over twelve months ago. It was not a perfect solution, but it was the fix of the day.

Our kids have since graduated, moved out, married, and started having children of their own. Now I was the grandma, and I WANTED those pictures to see my littles doing everyday things. And the funny thing is that we lived within an hour of our kids still, but did not see them on a daily basis. So I would ask them to email me some photos.

Usually, I would not get any (was I that daughter to my mom?). Then I joined Facebook to see the photos they would post (so I can blame my kids for getting me hooked on social media!) and then try to save the ones I felt were memory-worthy. It was a difficult task, as each snapshot fit the bill.

I was trying to keep up with sending photos to our family in Michigan so they could be engaged in our lives, but it was just not the most efficient way to do things.

Then along came Nixplay.

I bought a frame for my parents, set it up, and I kept control over the account so all they had to do was to plug it in and connect to the internet. I shared the email for the frame with my kids, my sister, and her kids.  I told them all to send photos when they took them. Now I did not have to be the middle man! 

And they did share. Maybe not immediately on the day when the photos were taken, but they would send pics from their phones when they had the chance to sit down and review them. And I was able to scan some older photos from our collection and share them. This was a gamechanger.

I can go into the account from my computer and remove duplicates (because my mom still adds photos she sees on Facebook when they have already been sent to the frame) and make sure photos are showing up on the correct frames. Yes, frames, plural: My family now maintains two frames, one in Michigan at my Mom’s, and one at our home in Indiana. I am able to add captions to the photos if the sender does not–it’s necessary as those little girls all look alike at some point in time. We love being able to sit and watch the frame, and it’s usually better than what is on television.  And it was such a wonderful way to keep my parents engaged in the lives if their grandkids and great-grandkids.

When Dad was battling cancer, the frame brought him great joy while it displayed photos of the people he loved, and I felt like my kids did a great job of keeping them updated. Now that he is gone, Mom is able to have family “moving” through her day on the screen.  

Our Nixplay is one of the first things our grandkids run to when they arrive at our house. They love to watch the pictures scroll through the collection. And this is how they have been able to learn the names of the members of our family and how they knew about their grandpa. Even though some of them have never met my dad, they know who he is and will talk about him.

I love to watch the kids watching the frame. It makes my heart fill with love. I am so glad I found Nixplay, and it is now like a member of the family. And because of our frame, other family members and friends have also purchased frames of their own and have brought them into their lives.

I am so happy to see that visual history is now being recorded, and that there will always be stories tied to these photos that need to be recorded for future generations. Photos deserve to be displayed–now, think about how many images would still be locked away in phones, online clouds, or boxes if we didn’t have Nixplay.

Jodi is a certified professional photo manager in Indiana.  She is also an educator and volunteer emergency medical technician.  She understands the importance of human connection and the telling of stories through image and print.  When she is not working on client projects, you can find her playing with grandkids and helping others to document their memories.