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Monday, December 9, 2013

Memory keeper pressure. Help.

I don't give myself a hard time about much. I'm a right brained thinker, so--if you know anything about that, or, well, you're right brained--you know that life is more about the artistic process, that your brain is always churning the next thing, you're dying to write/create often--and you could care less about forming a proper sentence. Ahem. That last sentence was a great example :)

I don't tend to focus on organization or to-do lists. Ok, I don't at all. I don't beat myself up when I don't finish stuff. I plan ahead sometimes, but I procrastinate often. If you dropped by my house would probably be a semi-wreck, and while I might feel a little bad about it, I get over it quick. If I mess up with my kids, have a bad mom-day, I think, meh--tomorrow will be better. I don't toss and turn and keep myself up about failures and ways I can improve.

That being said. The one thing I constantly beat myself up about is pictures. Photo-taking. Being the memory keeper.

It literally weighs on me like a brick on my chest. My kids don't have albums. They literally just have one book, of their "birth-day" and few days following. I feel guilty about this all the time and know I don't have the time or organization of my past photos to even properly put them into books now without spending days upon days of which I don't really have. I can't even tell you how many times I've started said books. Gotten a few pages in. Threw in the towel and decided it wasn't worth it. They can go back and read my blog. My photos are on facebook. Hopefully they won't hate me for not keeping their pics better organized.

Sometimes I miss the day of film. Where you get every single roll developed, and put them directly into an album. Not a fancy, printed book. An album. But at least they're guaranteed to be somewhere physical, versus off in space, on some external hard drive, or backed up to joe schmo's company, in which we hope will still one day be there when we need them. It's kind of exhausting to think about.

Oh, and then there's the whole, will their life just be documented in little 2x2 instagram photos-thing? And I beat myself up over not taking out my real camera for them more often. I was so good with Emeline. So good. Everyone told me it would get harder as you had more children. I scoffed. But it turned out to be true for me. Poor Lucy. I mean, there's no shortage of instagram photos.

Anyway. Even as I'm writing this my stomach is in a big knot because I know I need to Do Something about this. To have more physical proof, somehow, in an album, of my photos. Of their little lives. Somewhere, someplace, other than the big ole internetz. But, sheesh. It feels so overwhelming now.

Enough of the sob fest over Not Real Issues. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the weekend. Not on instagram.



(all of these pics got blurry and disgusting once put in collage format. Gross. So now my kids will only have blurry, gross photos to look back on--awesome :) )

***

I normally wouldn't do this, because the advice would overwhelm me---but I'm gonna ask anyway. What's your way of staying on top of your kid's photos? Do you print books? Do instagram books? What is your favorite company to use (please don't say shutterfly...their book format overwhelms me, unless I'm an idiot)?

I need to take baby steps to get better. I guess I'm just more worried about starting over from the past, versus just working with the present and on. Does that make sense?

Anyone else feel this Memory-Keeper pressure, too?

47 comments:

  1. PSH I made ONE book for KP when she was like 2 months old, and swore I'd do it every 3ish months. Nope, never made another. And at least you use your real camera sometimes! I couldn't tell you the last time we took a "real", non cell phone, pic. Thankfully my MIL is the camera obsessed and brings her big nice camera EVERYWHERE we go and even prints off pics for me often. Otherwise we'd nave NOTHING. Heck I still haven't printed pics from when James was born nor updated any of our frames in the house w/pics of him :-(

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  2. I have no advice... but will be following other responses closely! I am in the exact same boat, and now with number 2 so close... I am having ridiculous anxiety attacks about how far behind I am already. Seriously... totally miss the days of film... seems so much easier. Is there by any chance someone out there that is reasonably priced and would love to come in and do all this for me ;)

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  3. Project Life! It's kind of a majorly simplified scrapbooking system, and I love it. I just started this year and actually kept up, which is kind of a miracle. http://beckyhiggins.com

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  4. This post gave me anxiety. Seriously. I can't even begin to tell you the anxiety this gives me.

    So lately this has been huge over in my head. I set out to do yearly books for me and had all these great intentions. Well.. she has a birth book and a one year book. She's closer to four than three. Yea. I get SO overwhelmed when I sit down to work on them. Then I start but get distracted five minutes in. My head is all "my blog is behind" "my folders aren't organized","oh gosh I'm behind on Flickr!!", "well lets get them on Facebook first" and before you know it I have fifty windows open and no pictures in the book I got on to start. So clearly I have no advice...

    In my head, I would like to do a month at a time. Sit down at the end of the month and do a monthly spread for her yearly book. I would also like to print an Instagram book at the end of each year. I have no idea when or if I'll ever get around to doing a family book...

    I need a pill now. Pretty sure my heart is racing ;)

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  5. Oh Katie, you are my long lost twin. I could have just written that whole post, especially as my daughters birthday was yesterday and I didn't take out my camera. (Did have a friend helping which was Amazing) But I use MyPublisher. I download the software to my computer it syncs with my iphoto and i double click all the cute picture I want to add and hit auto-make. Boom Book DONE! I just finished the last two years as I was super behind. The can be a little pricier $100, but the books are great. One book a year and I have the pictures. You can get all fancy with the books adding templates and sticker things but I like the 8 or 12 photos on a page, works great for instagram pics. Obvi facebook and my blog are there but its nice to have something and I don't change the frames in the house..ever.. So the book works for us.

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  6. I just wrote a comment and it didn't post... so short and sweet. I use MyPublisher. I download the software connect my iPhoto and double click all the pics I want. They have an auto-make feature if you don't want to make the pages yourself. I like the 8-12 pics per page and I don't really write a ton. Bam. Done. Just did the last two year about a week ago because I was two years behind :)

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  7. I revamped the way I keep my photos organized in Lightroom to make things easier on myself. It's all by dates with titles on days that call for one. Some are just random so no title. As I edit the photos I flag the best ones for photo book purposes and put them in the favorites collection (also labeled by month). Once a month I upload these to Shutterfly, my external hard drive (also sorted by year, then month, then date) and they are constantly being backed up by Crashplan. I do the same for videos and make a monthly video recap. No music just the important clips because no one will ever watch the amount of video I take.

    Up until last year I always made an annual photo book. I did use Shutterfly and did all the fun little scrapbook pages that I created myself. I got half way through my 2012 book before I gave up. I always do them in January and with a new baby, I just couldn't get my act together. The amount of pictures I take now is overwhelming. I'm planning on just doing a simple black and white photo book now with no descriptions (or very minimal). I just want to make sure what I'm doing is tangible for the kids someday. Otherwise what's the point? And yes, it is a lot of pressure! Can't wait to see what everyone else says.

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  8. Gingerbread house, so well made..
    You little girl looks so cute in red Christmas dress:)
    Have a great week
    Kisses
    www.beingbeautifulandpretty.com

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  9. UGH! The thought if this makes my belly turn and my little one is only 14 months. However, just last week I found fifty two pages. http://shultzphotoschool.com/fifty-two-pages/ I plan to start this in January. I can use some instagram pics-- some REAL pics and then just put them in a book when the year is over. Easy Peasy!

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  10. I use mixbook. Yes, you still have to take the time to pick photos and put them in, but they make nice books (and have frequent sales). I spend and hour or so every few weeks and eventually end up with a book for each year for each kid (although, I am 2 years behind on child #1 and 1 year behind on child #2, but mat leave is coming up soon for child #3 so maybe I can catch up).

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  11. It is so so hard to keep up with. I have a book for each of my kids from birth-1 years old of just random pictures that I love. Otherwise, they are all saved on a hard drive. I also have photo albums with misc pictures that I have printed then printed something different for the wall or whatever. Don't beat yourself up about it, you are taking pictures so they will always have a way to look back!

    Kate @ www.raisingtherogers.blogspot.com

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  12. I know I don't have kids, yet, but I still stress about memory preservation. *ESPECIALLY* since I don't have kids, I do a lot of traveling and work-related things. Each year, I make a "Fun Parts of Radio" yearbook and a Travel book on Shutterfly. Right now, I'm slowly starting the 2013 books. As in, uploading the pics I want to use.

    Also? They have a great template for IG photos. I recently made a book from all my random cell phone/IG pics, which made me feel better.

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  13. You just inspired me to write about this myself later. I was always that person taking pictures. I worry all the time about my life just being iPhone photos on Twitter and IG. I get the anxiety. Just make sure you have an external hard drive to back everything up...it's a start, right? :)

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  14. I skip the whole "book/photo" thing. I wanted something different. I make a yearly video through iMovie. I import clips of him and our family/daily life plus songs and photos. Every year it is about an hour long. I work on it about once a week. I upload the videos and photos and just keep it as a year long project. That way, when his birthday rolls around I'm basically done with it. I burn it to DVD and always keep one in our safe. Plus, it's way inexpensive…. which I like too. :)

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  15. As a new mom, I've thought about this a lot too! After searching Pinterest, I came across this blog post and I love this concept. http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/02/february-challenge-project-photography_18.html

    I thought I had to put pictures in a book or scrapbook them, but what's better than sitting down & going thru physical pictures with family? This keeps them organized by event or time frame - however you decide to group them. I also back my pictures up on a CD and external hard drive (all in my safe) so my kids will have them in the future!

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  17. Lol I must be your worst nightmare!!!! In my world you do the best job of documenting life. It's all perspective my sweet friend :)!!! -Says the girl who's life wouldn't be documented at all without you hahah

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  18. I am so LEFT brained so I'm a little obsessive with this! If I take a picture with my phone and it's one I want to keep, I will email it to myself right then. I have a "pics that need to be printed" folder on my desktop and every few months I take all the pics from the good camera and put them in that folder then I save all the pics from my email to that folder too. I upload them to various sites (whoever has a special because every few months I have several hundred pics that need to be printed). I don't do anything fancy because that would give me too much anxiety and it would be so time consuming, instead I put them in normal photo albums, in chronological order of course :) then I write what number album it is and what year the photos were taken on the inside cover. I wish I were more right brained like my husband because I'm pretty sure he wouldn't care if I ever got another picture printed, but I'm a momma on a mission!

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  19. My parents had a day during the month, which was usually towards the end, where they went through pictures (after they got them developed); chose the best ones and scrapbooked many pages from our huge albums. It was their date night. . I like that idea so I'm thinking on doing the same once we have kids--not getting them printed for say but picked and digitally scrapbooked and getting them printed in book formats every 6 months or so via some website (not sure which one yet.) Do you think something like that might work for you and Declan? :-)

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  20. At least your pictures are amazing! I'm obsessing over a good tree picture and it's so hard! I blame the 3 strands of color lights on a tree in front of the window. Do you have indoor lights on in any of these pictures? I used to scrapbook and I haven't made a scrapbook of our wedding 4 years ago. I had someone online make us an album. Chase has a baby book I've printed a few pictures for and written in and that's it. I'm overwhelmed by the disaster that my house is. I would feel guilty working on a scrapbook when my house was a mess so it doesn't get done.

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  21. Same boat! I NEVER print pictures or make books. I save everything on my computer, my husbands computer, on a cd & on Shutterfly. I need to print my favorites and stick them in an old fashion album. Those photo books are too time consuming to make.

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  22. I wish I was more like you in the forgiving myself department, I am so hard on myself (something I am working on).

    This is so funny because I had a panic attack about this very thing this weekend and spent the entire weekend uploading photos to shuttefly and printing them out. Not the best plan for so many pictures (almost 2,000...kill me!). Although I have them backed up on an external hard drive I feel better about having albums. I wish I had some sort of advice but just know you are not alone and most the moms I know feel the exact same way. I do find some solace knowing that my sisters and I are totally fine with the fact that my parents didn't document even half of what we do now for our families and we totally don't feel like we missed out on anything.

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  23. I wish I had some real advice but I'll say, at least we have the pictures somewhere! My daughter is only two months old and I have over 1000 pictures on my phone and about the same on my camera and I only printed a couple random ones, which were originally to give to my grandmother but I forgot. What a mess! I feel like I need to document them somewhere and I stopped updating on my blog regularly because my husband doesn't like the idea of her pics being on the internet when they aren't even posted in our house. Makes sense but now I really don't know what to do!

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  24. Unfortunately, I have no advice to give on this subject either! My blog is strictly a little kiddie diary for the girls to eventually be able to look back on as their 'memory books'. I plan to get it all printed out in blog books, but not only have I still not gotten one single book printed after almost 5 1/2 years of blogging, but I am now almost 7 months behind on said blog. Having baby 2 and the oldest starting school (you'd think that would help), has put a real cramp in my record keeping style here. I try not to beat myself up over it as I finally publish some random pictures from 7 months ago and most of the time I'm okay, but sometimes, yep, I get that huge knot in my stomach too. But, I'm still optimistic that eventually I will get caught up. Eventually.

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  25. I love project life! I started feeling bad about not documenting our newly married life and I dove head first into project life. Takes me about 20 minutes for 2 pages and it looks incredible. So much fun and little effort!

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  26. Well, I'm in the same boat. little to no time and I started using Becky Higgins Project Life. It's simple, cute and easy to manage. I do one yearly book. I'm working on 2013 right now. Granted I don't have alot of time but I tend to large amounts of pages at a time. You don't have to be creative. You just slip the pictures in the slots and use the cute little cards that come with it.

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  27. I do a yearly shutterfly book. It was actually my plan all along but like you I was overwhelmed with it. But, I sat down and did one and it really was simple! So I have all three years of Connor done. I also do the iMovie video montages of photos with video clips within for the year. Easy, inexpensive, and I just keep a folder on my desktop for photos I toss in there as the year goes along. The hardest part is picking music. That takes me a while!

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  28. I printed 900 pics from Shutterfly a few months ago. I am asking for cute little photo boxes for Christmas this year. My siblings and I LOVE going through old pictures at my parents house, so it is nice to have the physical pictures to flip through later on. I think I will make one for each of my girls, and one of the whole family. Then the girls can keep their own, and we still have family ones that I can hang onto for keepsakes. The photo books are so cute, but kind of limiting for later on. When your child needs a cute baby picture for a project in high school, are they supposed to cut one out of a Shutterfly book, or sift through a photo box and find one they love? :)

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  29. I struggle with this SAME thing! Usually I will just print a bunch off using either shutterfly or snapfish, maybe once a month whenever they have deals. Snapfish has penny prints often which I love. I have been torn about this though lately because photo albums can get so pricey it adds up and I think..all these totes full of albums are just gonna pile up in the attic and rarely get looked at..whats the point!? So I thought of maybe starting to do the photo books instead, maybe make one for each year of the kids' lives? But that frustrates me too because I think, well what about all those random pictures of the rest of my family or friends?! And like Jillian says, they are very limiting. I have this "thing" where I just like to have my pictures in hand, sounds weird I know. So as of now, I am continuing to just print and put in books when I have time, if ever. I'm about a year behind right now :/ And I know you said not to mention shutterfly but if you DO ever try them again, I found that if you just do "auto fill" it works soooo much easier!! I freaked out trying to design my own at first too so I just did the auto deal and then rearranged the pics. Like night and day! I've only made ones for my wedding and honeymoon so far.

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  30. Oh and one other thing....have you ever printed your blog!?? I make mine into blog books and LOVE it! Sometimes I think I am better about posting my pics to the blog than I am printing them off, so it works both ways. Its a great keepsake I think. I use blog2print.com

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  31. I make an annual blog book of all my posts once a year - it documents everything our family did and it contains all my favorite pictures (the ones I post). I use Blurb. I have also made an instagram book that my kids (ages 4 and 2) LOVE to look at. Otherwise as soon as we get back from a vacation I make a point to print out a bunch of pictures, buy an inexpensive album and stick them in it so that we at least have albums from the trips we take. Good luck!!!

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  32. I do an annual blog book using blurb. It tells the story of what we did that year and contains all my favorite pictures (the ones I post). I usually get a copy of copies and give them to grandparents as well. I made an instagram book that my kids (ages 4 and 2) LOVE to look at. Other than that I try to force my self to actually print out a ton of pictures after each family vacation and stick them in an inexpensive album, that way we at least have pictures from our big family trips.

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    1. where do people make instagram books and is blurb hard to do on your own?

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  33. I use snapfish for all my prints..although I have to admit since my wedding I haven't printed much because I just post it all to facebook. I do use postal pix for a few instagram pictures that I wanted to have on my desk, but otherwise, I have the same mindset that you do, my future children will have facebook, or my blog to see pictures, and if they really wanted to, it all could be easily printed out for them to physically have. I think that you have absolutely nothing to fret over. Instead of filling your home now with a bunch of big ol photo albums that no one will look at and will just collect dust, why not wait until they are older and then as a graduation gift or a wedding gift you can select a few of your favorites, or theirs, over their life. That way they have the most meaningful ones to hang on to...plus if you do it together you can reminisce about the great times you had!

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  34. I've only used Shutterfly and I love it! It can be overwhelming at first but I've done so many now it's not hard at all! I made one for my pregnancy with Jamie and another for his 1st year. Since then have just done a family yearbook but since we just have one child it's basically all him! If we have more kids I will make a pregnancy and first year book for them.

    I haven't done anything for 2013 yet. Plus I hardly ever use a real camera anymore. The one upside is all my phone pictures automatically get uploaded to shutterfly.

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  35. Last year, I was so frustrated with myself for a lack of printed photos that I vowed, in 2013, to break it down so it was more manageable. I am now doing a January-June photo book, and then July-December. Two photo books a la Shutterfly per year, and it's just a collection of photos, in general...my favorites from that timeframe. I did one back in July, so, I'll be making the second half of 2013 in January, if all goes well. It's definitely time-consuming, but Ethan, of all people, just loooooves to look through them again and again and again, and there's something about having those physical books/photos to go through!

    I categorize my photos monthly on my desktop, then transfer them to my external hard drive. I have a December folder on my desktop, and any photos go there. I also go through my phone videos/photos at the beginning of each month for that previous month and put those in there. So, that's my organization method, if you will. :) It's time-consuming, but it's worth it to have them all in some sort of order.

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  36. I do Instagram books three or four times a year through Blurb. Honestly, their format is also a little wacko to learn, but I like their end-product the best for the price. And I do three or four smaller books because the idea of doing a whole year at a time overwhelms me. Plus, if one of the books gets damaged, it's a lot less expensive to replace than a whole-year book would be.

    The girls and Justin LOVE the books, and look at them all the time. Lizzy amazes me with how much she remembers about each and every photo even though there's no text or caption ("Oh, I was throwing a fit because you gave me pie for breakfast and I wanted cereal."), and I think that's kind of fun. I like that I can also go through and remove any photos that I don't necessarily want in a photo book (like screen-shots linking to blog posts), and in theory I could/should add in any dslr photos that I really wanted to. I haven't actually done that yet, but I keep thinking that I should. I really do like the Instagram books...the quality is lesser than my dslr, obviously, so I cram 4+ photos per page, and don't feel pressure to do the full-page photos like I do with "fancy" photo books, so I feel like we get a really good overall feel of the months!

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  37. I use my publisher and create a photo book each year for each of my kiddos. It's very easy to do-just download their software and plug in the pics! Good luck!

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  38. Hey Katie! I know that I am not a mom yet, but I am the memory keeper in my family also so I understand the pressure. Then there is the thought "if I take these with my phone I can send them right away but they will be crappy, or if I take them with my good camera they will be better but I have to sit down and edit them and then send to people (drag)." It's a big job to have! ---- Anyway, my sister has three kids now and she makes a yearly photo book. I know that books are time consuming but maybe just printing out pictures once a year will work for you. I love photo albums! My sister also feels badly that she has WAY more pictures of her first born, but I keep telling her that a few GREAT pictures are better then 1 million just ok ones. So don't feel badly about Lucy because your pictures are amazing!

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  39. I can't wait to read all the comments on this.. because I am the same way.. I would love to have albums.. heck the first 2 years of Alex life ( my blog ) I got turned into a book and I love it but damn it was expensive.. wish I could do one for every year... I take tons of photos, not nearly enough with my big camera anymore.. and have recently just became obsessed with printing photos and getting them in frames.. I think Alex counted 36 frames in our dining/living/kitchen area.. everything 5x7 and smaller and I am in love it with .. Cant wait to get some bigger ones hung on the walls.

    I have never done the books.. so I am interested to see what people say.. I like the idea of just taking the blog and turning it into a book.. all the pictures I really care about and want to remember and have, everything we have done is on the blog so it makes perfect sense to just take the blog and turn it into a book but darn its expensive.. but then again so are frames and printing pictures.. it all adds up!

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  40. Hey girl, I haven't used the "memory keeper" phrase before but I love that -- definitely describes what I feel is my role as a mom. I do my best to keep up with our family blog, and at the end of each year I use blog2print.com to download the blog posts into album format. It is AWESOME. Takes less than 15 minutes to download, set preferences (titles, colors, etc.), and you're done. You *could* get fancier with it but the default format is great. I basically have a family yearbook every year, and I look at it as my legacy to leave behind for my kids. If I don't write the memories down in our blog, I honestly won't remember in just a few months. Sometimes I read back through my blog books and am flabbergasted at what I've already forgotten despite writing and publishing it on the blog! Hope that helps!

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    1. This is the same I use, I love it! It is so easy :)

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  41. It's okay. the good thing is that you have the pictures. putting them in an album is the easy part.
    I take the photos off my camera and store them in folders by month. Then at the end of the year (i go day after birthday this year to birthday party next year) I go to mixbook.com (waaayy less complicated than shutterfly) and do 2 pages or so of my favorite pics for each month and title the book Third Year or Second Year, etc. Then i make a copy for us and two smaller ones for the grandparents using a coupon code or sale, of course!

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  42. Even though you said you hate it I do a yearly Shutterfly book. I find it easy to use and I try to do a little each month. With the said I think I stopped in June, so I always play catch up at the end of the year. One of the great things about Shutterfly is they almost always offer a code for a free book at some point in January so you can order your book from the year before, the super frugal deal makes me choose Shutterfly every time.

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  43. Seriously, your girls are starting to look incredibly alike these days! I had to really study to figure out it was Lucy girl in the black coat!! :)

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  44. I am right there with you. The idea of going back 2 1/2 yrs overwhelms me. And now I have baby #2

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  45. http://www.artisanstate.com/little-black-book.html

    Simple, easy, and cost friendly!

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