I can’t say that I just LOVE the task of making a photo album, but I do love having them so I feel it’s worth the effort. I’ve never really been into scrapbooking, so creating memories through photo albums are my preference. I’ve always used Shutterfly for these projects because they send you 100 coupons and emails about Free this, and Free that, and __% off of everything! It makes you wonder what it REALLY costs for them to make this stuff when they can slap discounts left and right. It’s like going to Kohl’s when you check out the cashier circles in highlighter on your receipt that you saved $239.42! And you only paid $46.04. Who in the hell pays full price at these establishments?!
Before our Disney trip was over, every family member started uploading their pictures into Google Photos (side note- if you haven’t used Google Photos, you should. It was really easy to use and put everything in chronological order and every family member could see the pics and add to them). Anyway, I started working on uploading my favorites into my Shutterfly account to form the Baker-Taube Disney Vacation album! This. Took. Forever. Shutterfly offers you a “we’ll just do it for you” option, but I don’t feel like my favorites end up in the right spots, and then I have to add captions and move things and it takes me longer in the end. Shutterfly also gives you 500 options…backgrounds, fonts, font colors, embellishments, layouts, customizing, etc. and when I’m including an ungodly number of photos to my album (squeezing as many photos on a page as possible) it takes me a ridiculous amount of time to make the album perfect. Not to mention, as I’m adding page after page to my project my cost is going up and up and over $100 (before discounts 1, 2 and 3). When I’m finally finished with my project though, it is so satisfactory to hit the Order button! When that orange Shutterfly box shows up on your doorstep, and you get to open up and review all of your fun, family memories it is worth every minute you put into it and every penny you spent ($100 was knocked down to $40-something…thanks coupon codes). Do you know what is even better than getting the orange box? Wait for the cheesiness, because this will be cheesy but so true…the best is giving the orange box to someone else! I made our 2 (yes, I made 2 because I couldn’t fit everything properly into 1 photo album) Disney vacation albums and gave a copy of both to my parents, and getting to watch them flip through the albums and laugh and smile through all the good times made everything worth it all over again.
My parents are currently moving, so they are busier than ever, and mom has been unearthing lots of old photos, books and old items from our family lineage. Many pictures are marked with who is who on them and the date, but a lot are not. Who are these people? How are they connected to us? My grandparents have passed, so they can’t help us fill in the gaps. My mom remembers quite a bit, but putting the puzzle together is a challenge. It’s making me think about the future and how are our future grandchildren going to know who we are? I’m thankful that I have my photo albums, so at least ALL my pictures aren’t stuck on a jump drive that’s going to be obsolete in several years. I’ve labeled some of the photos I’ve printed, but not all. I have a ridiculous amount of photos saved on our computers that will eventually need to be replaced. What do we do to ensure future family members know who we are? I was even thinking about my sweet, precious, perfect photo books. They don’t really say who we are. I need to go back and write in the margins of the first page or 2 a background of who is who to help our future.
My mom gave me my great-great grandmother’s china, and her name was apparently Anna Davant Berrien married to Richard Noble Berrien. To me, it’s so much cooler knowing who the china came from and what they looked like. It makes me want to go back to 1st grade and do another family tree project. My mom came across a Bible that was printed in 1847 and had a “Family Records” section in it. One couple was married in 1811! So cool! It’s amazing how long ago that was and how their lives were so very different! I’ve also been fortunate enough to inherit some jewelry, and it’s cool to know who originally owned the items. I know I have boys, but I’d love to pass along the jewelry (one day…not any day soon…those pretty diamonds are going to happily sit on my finger for a long time before I’m ready to be sweet and pass them along to another female) to continue the family lineage.
So, moving forward, I will continue to keep Shutterfly in business since I’ve made albums for Mike and I dating, our wedding, baby books for the boys, 1st year books for the boys, vacations, and the books will continue. Fischer is already asking for a book from his first 5 years! I may just take some extra time to print and label more pictures in the meantime. We are all so guilty of trapping our precious pictures in technology and never turning the soft copy into a hard copy. I just want future families to know who we are and what footprint we left in time. OOOO just had a thought- maybe if we can get all of these photos pieced together on who is who, then I can make a photo album with all of the old pictures and explain who is who. You’re welcome, Shutterfly. Keep me around, and you will have no problem staying in business.