Traveling for the last two years with the family is starting to catch up to us.

Every place we go to has a very special memory. Like my first glimpse of the Grand Canyon (wow!), following the steps of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk (inspiring) and dancing in the Mediterranean with Sponge Bob (surreal).

To preserve these memories — and save space when packing — I don’t buy T-shirts, hats or shot glasses. I go for the lapel pins.

But now I have too many. Too many for a lanyard, fishing hat or vest. Way too many for a shirt. What’s a mom to do?

No, I won’t get rid of any. Most of my pins are closely tied to a precious memory.

In Tuscany, we stayed at the old stables of the Medici family and made pasta with the kids – a highlight on our Disney Adventure in Italy. The whole trip was amazing, but you can’t top the Italian countryside.

I sure hope the folks at Hertz were okay with us taking our rental on the ferry to Put-In-Bay on a trip to Ohio. Even after riding the Millennium coaster at nearby Cedar Point the highpoint of the trip came when we visited Perry’s Victory and the International Peace Monument. It’s one of my all-time favorite National Parks.

I had to throw in the old-fashioned buttons found only in Andes, NY, a place where I learned how to be a country girl. A place the kids have learned all sorts of life lessons. This year my oldest son’s frog won the July 4th frog jumping competition at the old Mill.

We stood at the sight of the Boston Massacre, looked down to the crystal blue waters from the caldera at Crater Lake, found bears in our backyard in Tennessee, caught snowflakes on our tongues in Lake Tahoe and wandered the squares of Savannah.

And I have the pins to prove it.

But if we keep going, I’m going to need a better way to display my pins. Or maybe my memories will have to be enough.

What do you do to help you remember your trips? And should we keep collecting pins, or is it time for a new hobby?

Should we keep collecting pins?

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