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Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing, and she works full time in digital media with a large cable network. When she isn't at work, blogging, or washing someone's socks, Katie enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large and totally impractical, 113-year-old Victorian house.

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GIVEAWAY: Who Wants to Win a Supercool Sony Handycam?

By Katie Allison Granju |

sony handycam giveaway

We have not one but TWO of these supercool Sony Handycams to give away. Yeehaw!

A big thanks to Sony for sponsoring this discussion and the fun HANDYCAM GIVEAWAY (see end of this blog post for details on how to enter to win one of the TWO Handycams up for grabs.)

 Click here to see more of the discussion.


I was definitely an early adopter to the digital video and still photography trend, and my very first digital camera  - back in 1999 or so – was a ginormous Sony Mavica. I absolutely loooooved the wonderfully boxy and magical thing, was thrilled to have it (my employer at the time provided it), and despite its size, I carried it with me everywhere. At a very early age, my kids became used to Mama’s constant digital capture of every (semi)cute and (even moderately) interesting thing they did.

My next digital still/video camera – the first one I  bought with my own $$$ – was also a Sony. I had been very happy with the Sony Mavica, but did want one of the newer, smaller models that used the “memory stick” instead of a big ol’ floppy disk, and after doing a lot of research (and also at my father’s recommendation, since he was a skilled amateur photographer who had just bought his second Sony digital), I upgraded  in about 2003 to a Sony Cyber-shot model. I couldn’t believe how sleek and small the thing it was, and it had a whopping 3.2 megapixels! Yowza!

Not only did I love the Cyber-shot’s still photo capabilities, I also loved that I could shoot and store little videos of my children with the Cyber-shot memory stick, and even though I shot quite a few photos with the Mavica, the Cyber-shot was a game-changer. I was soon somewhat obsessed with taking digital photo and videos and learning to use various editing tools that were becoming increasingly available to even amateurs like me.

Below is an example of one of my little digital video creations – a mash-up from our clan’s 2011 annual trip to the beach – to  Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. (We alternate between going to Edisto and Pawley’s each year, although with my little sister Betsy so very sick right now, I don’t know if we will get to go at all this summer…)

Check out how much fun we had last year, and how cool is it that we now have this digital video memory to keep and enjoy forever?  After I edited the video snippets together, I overlaid it with a “vintage” editing effect, to make it look like a Super 8 video (something I am aware lots of folks,  like MY HUSBAND (!!), find tremendously annoying). But I had fun doing it.

For your reference, here are the various “chapters” in my little video from Pawley’s Island 2011:

Part 1 – NC and C playing in the sand

Part 2 – C doing what she calls her “freeze dance”

Part 3 – Cousins, C, NC and N jumping the waves

Part 4 – (best part!) – NC’s daddy trying to teach her to skimboard. She’s only THREE!

Part 5 – Our family did some special things together to honor and remember our Henry at the beach last year – our first beach trip together since he died. One of them was the “First Annual Henry Memorial Pablo the Seagull Calling Contest.” Henry looooved feeding seagulls, and for some inexplicably Henry-humor reason, he liked calling many of them variations on the name “Pablo.” Our contest – which will now be an annual event with awards given out – involved having all the cousins go out onto the beach with bread and attempt to get the seagulls to behave in various ways. I caught snippets of the start of the event.


While I am no “real” photographer by any stretch of the imagination, I do truly enjoy taking pix and video, and editing and sharing them, and I like to think that one day, when my kids look back at the tens of thousands of still and moving images I have saved for them in various places (you can find me on Flickr and Instagram and Facebook and YouTube and Pinterest…), they will be really glad that I made them pose for all those shots!

And now for the truly fun part of this blog post; I already mentioned that we are big Sony photography fans in our family (I actually forgot to mention that my husband Jon also really loves his little Sony compact digital), which is why I am so psyched that along with several of my Babble Voices compatriots, WE HAVE NOT ONE, BUT  TWO SONY HANDYCAMS TO GIVE AWAY to two lucky Babble readers! Woohoo!

As much as I am legitimately a longtime Sony fan, I’d never actually had the chance to try out one of their line of Handycams. However, Sony was nice enough to recently send Jon and me one of their  newest line of  Sony Handycams to try out, and I am being completely honest when I tell you that both Jon and I are blown away by how much we love this camera. (Jon is slightly obsessed with the thing, actually.) It’s by far my favorite digital camera I have ever used.

Not only is this camera about the size of my (small) hand, making it easy to port along in a pocket, diaper bag or purse, it shoots unbelievably high quality stills and videos, plus – and this is possibly my favorite part – it can PROJECT the photos and video you shoot if you want to share with others. So, like, you can actually use the Handycam to create home movies, and then project them onto a wall, screen or even a sheet hung up on a tree outside to have family movie night. How neat-o is that?

And here are TWO ways that you can enter for the chance to win one of these awesome Sony Handcams:

1 –  Leave a comment below this post or below any of our other Babble Sony Handycam Giveaway posts telling us about your own favorite family memory, and what makes it so special to you. The Sony Handycam Giveaway contest runs through 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 30th, 2012, and you may enter with ONE comment on each of the Sony giveaway posts at Babble (but remember, that still means you can leave one comment on each of them!) The contest is open to U.S. residents only, and each of the winners of the two Sony Handycams will be selected randomly from all qualified comments/entries on all of Babble’s Sony Handycam Giveaway posts.


2 –  Enter to win here for weekly prizes like a Sony Handycam or a $200 Disney shopping card.

 So what are y’all waiting for? Go enter to win! I want one of my readers to bring home one of these awesome Handycams.





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About Katie Allison Granju


Katie Allison Granju

Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing. Katie also enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large Victorian house. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie Allison's latest posts →

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61 thoughts on “GIVEAWAY: Who Wants to Win a Supercool Sony Handycam?

  1. Cristina says:

    I can recall as a child & teen spending many father’s day at the park or the lake. When on the lake we would spend hours on the boat, soaking in the sun feeling the splash of the water. At the park we would play games, BBQ and lie in the sun on the grass. Good Family Memories, for sure.

  2. billie hinton says:

    All my early beach memories have the smell of Coppertone suntan lotion mixed into them – at that point it wasn’t called sun block – but was supposed to prevent burning/enhance the tan. I also remember the sensation of beach sand in my swim suit!

    When my own two children were very young we started an annual beach-going vacation tradition. My son would stand as far out in the ocean as we would allow and try valiantly to “hold back the sea.” Daughter was not fond of going past the first little breakers, but she loved playing in the wet sand and looking for sea creatures.

    Thanks for the chance to remember some of these wonderful family memories!

  3. Krystan says:

    My favorite family memories are the little snippets of everyday life. I love that my phone can catch my daughter and husband playing in the yard, watering the plants, , blowing bubbles together, or any of the everyday things that I look back on in just a few short months and am amazed at how much she’s changed. We will be welcoming a son in a few weeks, so I would love to have a little camera that takes amazing videos of my babies as they grow.

  4. Tané Tachyon says:

    I don’t have *a* favorite family memory any more than I have one favorite book or favorite food or any of that, but certainly my favorites of the things I’ve filmed are performances my children have been in, and music videos that I made in collaboration with my children.

  5. Sharon Flair says:

    I would use a great device like this to record lots of family menus to show my dad in the Vets Home. He’s missing out on so much. Thanks for the opportunity.

  6. Nenette Seaux says:

    I dont see family often because of distance, so when we do all get together, it means alot to me.

  7. ClaireR says:

    I have so many favorite family memories, but only a total of about 12 minutes of video taken on borrowed cameras over the years. I’d love to make up for lost time with my adorable new grandson.

  8. Amanda B. says:

    My favorite family memories are of our annual family reunion at Rough River State Park in Kentucky. I remember my uncle’s fruit salad, my great aunt’s blueberry pie, and playing with my cousin in the pool. It was a really special time each year.

  9. Cara says:

    Oh -what a prize! I am obsessed with photographing my little family but don’t have a video camera! Constantly am faced with things that a still photo just can’t capture!

  10. Brenna Randolph says:

    My favorite family memories are the ones we are presently making with my own groaning family. We travel, celebrate and play everyday. My favorite stuff is the everyday stuff.

  11. Meg W. says:

    My favorite family memory so far was bringing our baby boy home from the hospital after a rough 4 months of treatment for his heart condition. That day was scary, exciting, overwhelming but mostly just happy and my husband and I had smiles plastered on our faces the whole day. To see our 4 month old son see his new home and to put him in his crib that had been made and ready for him since before he was born… well it was one of the best days ever. Since then we love capturing that same curiosity and amazement he has for new things… they are all so so special!

  12. suburbancorrespondent says:

    I think my favorite family memories are of bringing home a new baby and seeing how excited the other kids were. Too bad we never had a video camera to record all that. It’s in my heart, however, and perhaps that’s all I need.

    I don’t know if I could even figure out how to use this thing, technological dinosaur that I am…

  13. Jenny says:

    My favorite family memory from childhood is going to a little beachfront motel in Florida — every year of my life. It wasn’t the ritziest of locales, but it held so many memories for me: homemade doughnuts in the morning, riding the ocean waves, swimming in the pools, going to the same restaurants every year. In fact, it’s still open and I take my family sometimes, when my husband will agree. The place has been open since the 40s and is still going, even though it isn’t quite the fashionable place to be now. Anyway, thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Jennifer says:

    I love making new memories with my family every day. My favorite one today was my 7 year old miming washing my van window while I was sitting in it with the window open.

  15. Amy Purcell says:

    I think some of my favorite memories are of vacationing with my grandparents. They were brave (and apparently very energetic) souls who thought nothing of throwing 4 grandchildren in the backseat of the Oldsmobile, packing the trunk and a trusty cooler (that I think was dark green and metal), and taking off for Florida, Sea World, Disney World, and of course, the beach. We never ate at restaurants and somehow Grandmother managed to keep 4 kids happy with pimento cheese sandwiches, Nehi grape drinks, and whatever else was stuffed in the cooler. This would have been in the late 70′s, early 80′s…I guess my memory is a little hazy. We surely must’ve driven them completely insane but I never remember either of them just completely losing it. I’m ashamed at how impatient and annoyed I get driving just my two small children…across town. I wish they were here to tell me how they did it. :)

  16. Heather @ It's Twinsanity! says:

    My favorite family memory was watching my children’s faces when my husband returned from Iraq. It was a day we’ll never forget and was the culmination of 20 months apart and a 7,000 mile cross-country journey in an RV with 6 kids, a cat, and a dog.

  17. Val says:

    My family used to go to the Bahamas every Easter and as we got older we were allowed to bring a few friends with us every year. Those trips are definitely some of my favorite childhood memories!
    More recently though, my favorite memories are just little clips of my day to day life. Simple things like watching my husband pushing our daughter on the swings and watching her fall more in love with her new baby brother every day.

  18. Raylee says:

    My dad is a huge video fan! I remember his first video camera, one where he would carry the actual VCR for the recording with at least 2 cords from the over the shoulder camera to the vcr bag. There are boxes of VHS tapes of my brother and I doing silly things. He also took it snow skiing with us and would have one of us tied to a waist rope, teaching us to ski with the VCR bag slung over one shoulder and the camera on the other actually skiing down mountains! I don’t ever remember if there were any good wrecks, but the potential was certainly there!

  19. Jennie says:

    One of my favorite memories of my son is the first time he saw fireworks at 11 months old. I thought they might scare him but he loved them. He would point at them and look at me like “Can you believe this?” He just gazed up at them for the full 45 minute show. I wish I had a video camera that day to record it.

  20. Sydney says:

    My son was born in Santa Cruz and lived there until he was three months into his second year. We went back to visit friends when he was 8. I was amazed at how much he remembered! He recognized our old apartment building and several parts of the downtown! I would have loved to have a camera (video or still) to record that trip.

  21. Robin says:

    I remember a family trip to Jellystone Park. My dad was a so vacations were rare. I was so excited when my family told me about the trip and it didn’t dissapoint.

  22. Manda says:

    I remember exploring Borders Books with my parents and siblings, each picking out one title to take home, hours of browsing leading up to that important decision

  23. Toni Trainor says:

    Our favorite family memory is our annual Apple Picking event that all the extended family come out for. We bake apple pies, make a pork roast dinner with homemade applesauce, and everyone can bring home their own homemade apple pie.

  24. Jen says:

    Our favorite family memory is Christmas…any Christmas! Last year I had the joy of spending Christmas with my four-year-old nephew for the first time. It was really the first time he thoroughly understood Christmas, which made it that much more special. We tracked Santa on Norad, wrote him a note and left cookies out for the reindeer.

  25. TEN says:

    My favorite memories are as an adult sitting outside talking and watching my nieces and nephew play with each other. It brings back memories of when I was a child playing with my cousins.

  26. Holly says:

    Some of my favorite memories are from our family vacation to Florida last year (the last time we had the family all together!). I love the photos and videos we have from that trip.

  27. Lauren says:

    My favorite family memories are all the adventures we took growing up- even the small ones. Camping, beach trips, having picnics- it was all so magical. Just spending time together in a new setting was exciting and different. I hope to carry on those traditions when I’m a mom!

  28. Pattie says:

    My favorite family memory is giving birth to my daughter because it was the start of my very own family. A very close second is seeing my parents meet her for the first time.

  29. MJ says:

    I have quite a few, but this time of year makes me think of trips to the beach with my family. I grew up near Lake Ontario, which has some lovely beaches. I remember being with my parents and siblings, coming home late evening covered in sand and a little sunburned.

  30. Deborah says:

    We bought a Hi8 video cam ten years ago (still use it now) in anticipation of the birth of out first born. To test it, we took some video of us on a walk. The three minutes total video that we ever took of ourselves prechildren was outside of our apartment with our cat on a leash (apt. Rules – boo). I love to see that tiny glimps of ourselves before our five children came along . Simple and sweet :)

  31. Mrs. Bennett says:

    Favorite memory? Let me try to pick one out of the millions running around in my head….We try to take an annual camping trip each summer. Putting up the tent, meals over the fire, hiking and swimming in the cold, cold lake. These are a few of my favorite things…. What makes it special is that I have been going to the same campground since before I was married. It is fun to look back at all the trips, which included my husband and now my children. I hope this will be a fond memory for them and one day they will take their children to the same spot.

  32. Kendra says:

    My favorite memory as a child was when my dad (who was a teacher) would take us up to school after hours and let us run around in the gym. He’d get all the toys that the gym teachers didn’t let us play with on a regular basis, like the parachute.
    My favorite new memory now that I have children is being woken up by my 4 and 5 year old crawling into my bed for snuggles and to watch a cartoon while my husband and I try to sleep for just a bit longer. It only lasts about 10 minutes before my son can’t stand it anymore and starts to wrestle.

  33. Sharon says:

    I have too many wonderful memories to choose just one but all of them involve family and, aside from a couple of 8 mm films, none of those memories were captured on video. With 3 grandbabies and another due soon, I’d love to start videotaping memories.

  34. Dana says:

    My favorite family memory was bring home our little girl and finally starting our life as a family of three.

  35. paula says:

    my son started playing the tuba this year at school & is loving it watching him play and improve so much since those first horrible notes to top of his year makes me burst with pride

  36. Heidi says:

    The birth of my children, and their creative play. Laughter is good for the soul.

  37. Meredith K. says:

    My favorite family memory is my grandmother’s kitchen. I have a memory with every cousin, aunt and uncle in that room. From all 11grandchildren tearing bread for Thanksgiving dressing, to making peach pies or canning strawberry jelly, that room was the heart and soul of our family for many years. Grandchildren learned to walk there, weddings were planned, pregnancies announced, and hearts were mended through grief…and coffee in that kitchen. When G&G ran a BnB for years, the kitchen was where we welcomed visitors, often making them honorary family members by the end of their stay. Family never stopped at a blood line, but if you weren’t invited into the kitchen, you weren’t worthy of being called family .

  38. Jennnifer says:

    My favorite memories are the little moments, like a moment I captured yesterday with my husband and daughters. Looking back I realize I don’t have enough of those little moments, and video would be a great way to capture those moments to share and keep.

  39. Tara Foley says:

    My favorite family memory is actually of a road trip we took to Northern California to attend my grandmother’s funeral. My whole family was getting along and it turned into a really great trip even though it was for a sad reason. Twenty years have passed since then but I still have photos and great memories of that week.

  40. Heather 3 says:

    I have two. When our first born visited his just born brother in the hospital and our picnic on my hospital bed. The second…watching the same big brother laugh at his little brother eating his first birthday cake just a few weeks ago. Oh how he laughed and egged him on.

  41. AppleTree says:

    My best memory is lying in bed with my baby boy, husband, and dog yesterday.

  42. Miranda says:

    My favorite family memory was when we took all 3 of our boy’s to Disneyland for the 1st time. The excitement and joy on their faces was priceless!

  43. Isma says:

    My favorite family memory is nothing!
    Because i love all my family memories. i love when we sharing each others. i love when we doing all stuff together. i love when we ate some food together, even it just one cake divided by 7! (yup, i have 3 sister and 1 brother, plus my parents and me! ). even i love the moment where we are fighting about a little thing. i really love every single moment that happened in my family. Seems boring, but i miss them so much when i go far away from them.
    Love you all :)

  44. LBH says:

    One of my favorite (recorded) memories is that during our wedding, we didn’t have a professional videographer–we had Uncle Walt holding handcam. Ours was a very informal wedding–held outside on the lawn of my inlaw’s farm. Our dog Flo was our ringbearer. She was smaller than Henry the barncat who stalked her throughout the ceremony. Interspersed with our vows you can hear the rrrrooooowwwrr of the Henry and the nervous looks to the side from Flo. Cracks me up to this day.

  45. Shanna says:

    looks like you guys had so much fun! now i REALLY need a beach trip!

  46. JD Northwest says:

    So many great memories, one favorite is watching my kids run along the beach chasing each other in that toddler run that takes them as far left and right as it does forward.

  47. amanda c says:

    So many thanks to my wonderful parents. Probably our first trip to Disney…and the weeks and weeks of anticipation leading up to it. We stayed at the campground and my dad was going from sunrise to way past sunset. I wish I had a video of the night he jumped up to help Chip ‘n Dale lead a sing-a-long.

  48. Mills says:

    When I was a kid we used to spend a couple weeks a summer in Cape Cod. I was 6 when Hurricane Andrew hit. My dad walked me and my 13 year old brother into town to look at the ocean. The streets were partially flooded and the sky amazing. Today my father would probably be called crazy for bringing us out there, but this experience gave me my first truly vivid memories, as well as an enduring respect for the force of nature.

  49. CJ says:

    A couple of years ago my mother had the brilliant idea that she, her daughters, and her granddaughters should make sock monkeys. She bought all the supplies and we spent an entire hellish day making sock monkeys for everyone. It was fiddly with all the little pieces and all of us poked our fingers on needles more than once. The first one that came off the production line was completely lopsided – ears at different angles, mouth not quite right – and ugly as sin. My daughter picked it up, dubbed it Monkephant (a cross between a monkey and an elephant) and claimed it. When I asked her why she wanted such an ugly thing, she said, “It will remind me of how much fun we had this day putting all the monkeys together.”

  50. Jamie says:

    My favorite family memories are from my second trip to see my relatives in Greece. So much of the trip was recorded and it’s wonderful to relive the memories over and over again!

  51. Lacey Jane says:

    I kid you not, my favorite family memory is making movies with my 5 siblings. I love watching them today, too! We were pretty dang adorable. And really silly :)

  52. Melissa says:

    My favorite family memory is the Christmas my husband’s entire family traveled from Texas to Colorado. Nineteen of us spent several days in his grandparents’ three bedroom cabin. Of course, quarters were tight and most of us slept on the floor, but we played games, cooked together, and made wonderful memories. It was a once in a lifetime holiday!

  53. Dan says:

    My favorite memory is our last road trip…my wife and I, and our three kids, driving from Dallas to Destin, FL.

  54. Anelieze says:

    My husband and I were just looking for a simple video camera to capture moments like those. My family has tried to take one trip a year together (out of state every other year, out of the country the rest) and I will always remember the fun time we had in Cancun! We have family there and I got to see my great-grandmother for the last time before she passed away. It was wonderful!

  55. Megan L says:

    My favorite family memory are vacations at the beach on the shores of Maryland in the summer. Lots of great memories!

  56. Heidi T says:

    I love remembering the fireworks on Independence day. Just sitting back on the blanket and letting the colors take me away to another world.

  57. Elena says:

    This is a great prize. I use my still camera, but it’s not as good as this one looks.
    My parents did not take any videos when I was a kid, but I have some great pictures.

  58. Anna says:

    favorite memory is watching the sun set on Martha’s Vineyard with the 2 older kids (well before we decided to spring for the 3rd kid). My husband snapped a great picture with his iPhone, so we at least have some physical reminder of that day.

  59. Jen D. says:

    Heh. My current favorite memory happens to be on video; my husband and I were just watching it again last night!

    My husband had just introduced our toddler to the joys of Ferrero Rocher. After dinner one night hubs held up a shiny gold-foil wrapped treat and my little one went NUTS. I had to grab the camera and capture the hand clapping, squeals of delights and a suddenly quiet, reverent “Wow”. Cracks me up to the point of tears every time. I love seeing how his personality started shining so brightly in that moment.

  60. Jayme says:

    My dad was addicted to the video camera when they first got popular and were the size of a small suitcase. He recorded EVERYTHING. Now that he’s gone, I wish he were in more of the family movies, most of them have only his voice as narrator. But I love them all.

  61. Sonya says:

    My favorite family memory so far is honestly seeing my daughter come out of her first day of Kindergarten and declare that ‘Kindergarten is awesome Mommy!!’ Her skipping and the smile on her face is something I won’t ever forget!! There are so many memories and I know I need to be capturing them on video!!

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