15 Things I learned While Scanning
Personal History

15 Things I Learned About Myself While Scanning

I have been holding on to this post for some time, waiting to release it when the time was right. In 2012, blogger Sarah and the Goon Squad wrote a great piece entitled Things I Learned About Myself While Scanning Old Photos.

She featured 8 things that she learned and I loved the idea. I’m amazed that she kept her list to less than 10 things. In reviewing my list, I could have come up with hundreds of things. I’m sure that would be super boring, so I decided to cut the list off at 15.

1. I used to smile as big as my second daughter.

2. I have always preferred my hair long

Power of personal history

3. This perms destroyed my hair

4. I wore a lot of dresses for a girl who hated dresses. Perhaps I didn’t like ugly dresses.

5. I didn’t know much about fashion.

Hmm… teddy bear sweater in Texas?

6. But sometimes I had winners (okay, for the time…)

7. I enjoyed pageants when I was just having fun

8. I like having my pictures taken but doing it full time would not be fun.

9. I had more fun at activities with friends than with boyfriends.

High School dance with my
best friend Joe Buffa.
Best dance ever!

10. I really do miss being in color guard.

11. High School became more fun when I cared less about grades and more about people.

The point is… I would never have enjoyed these friendships if
I didn’t learn the time I spent studying with the time I spent
with people. These girls made high school rock!

12. I am so glad I went to Texas A&M

13. I love being married to this hunk!

Andrew and Devon Lee

14. Motherhood has been the most difficult blessing of my life.

The day I became a mother for the first time.

15. I’m so blessed to have these folks call me mom. This is the best career move I have ever made.

My fabulous kids!

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to think about your story, your personal history. Record your story in equal proportion to your ancestors.

Preserving your family history can reveal many lessons that build your self-esteem and improve your relationships. #genealogy #preservation #therapy

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.


  • Devon Lee

    Dawn, exactly! We will be the ancestor and our family will be so glad to have these little gems we leave behind. I can't wait to see what you share, assuming you post it online.

  • Devon Lee

    Wendy… sometimes it's hard to turn the spotlight around on ourselves, rather than just our ancestors. I love finding fun and simple ways to write personal history. I hope you'll give it a try and then leave a link when you do.

  • Dawn Westfall

    Nice post! Thanks for the willingness to put so much of yourself into it. It does inspire me to tell more of my story rather than just my ancestors. After all, I will be an ancestor one day 🙂

  • Wendy

    As a family historian, I keep running across blogs that emphasize the importance of telling our own story, but I never know where to begin and often feel overwhelmed by suggested questions to answer — they're just too heavy and introspective. But your approach with pictures and a few captions make it all seem much easier and doable.

  • Devon Lee

    Thank you Ann. I do envision my kiddos and my future grandkids enjoying all the things I preserved for them. Sometimes, I just have to remind myself, there is much I can learn as well. This was fun. I'm so glad Sarah and the Goon Squad gave me the idea.

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