About seven and a half years ago I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was really a big, life changing moment in my life, and in a lot of ways, I felt like that was when my life really began, and when a lot of great and positive things started happening for me. After I got baptized, I became obsessed with taking pictures, and then told everyone that they were going to go into my "First-Year-of-Being-A-Mormon-Scrapbook".
It kind of turned into this big joke in college, and whenever I took a picture of anything people would always say, "oh, this is going to go into her scrapbook!" After my first year, I had over two hundred pictures of really meaningful things all chronologically organized into a really pretty photo album that I'd spent a couple hours putting together.
Because I'd had such great success with the first year book, I decided that I would make a new photo album every year, from September 12th through September 11th of the following year, and each book would document my life as a "Mormon".
I did a great job with staying on top of these photo albums the first three years, until Jay was about a year old. Then I became pregnant with Em, and her entire pregnancy, and then raising her the last two and a half years, and a blogging career... all of a sudden four years had passed by without me making another album. Luckily, I've always had the intention to go back and make more albums, so I've organized my pictures very meticulously over the last several years.
A few weeks ago I found out about Shutterfly's "Make My Book" service, where you simply upload your pictures to their site and they literally put an entire photo book together for you. It was seriously the most amazing thing in the world. Since my pictures are so well organized, all I had to do was upload all my pictures, which took about 10 minutes, and then pick a color scheme for my book. Shutterfly's designers took over the rest with laying the pictures out in chronological order, and then sent it back to me within a day to review.
I was able to go in and type in a few notes or details next to some pictures, make color choices for the text, and the cover, and move a couple things here and there if necessary, and then my entire book was complete. It made this overwhelming task of catching up on four years worth of photo books so much easier. Now that I have my fourth book complete, I want to get the last three done before I have to start making year eight in September.
I loved watching Jay and Em flip through this book together. Jay loved looking at pictures from "when he was a baby", and Em loved shouting, "DADDY! DADDY!" each time Jay turned the page. I remember how much I loved looking through photo albums when I was younger, and it's so fun to get to share that magic with my kids now too. There really is nothing better then getting to relive fun family memories again and again.