Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2015 Digital Family Yearbook: A Labor of Love

The ice still hadn't melted in remote areas of the county, causing school to be cancelled Monday and Tuesday. The roads were perfectly fine near us so we drove around and ran errands during these "snow days".  We also had plenty of down time at home.

The timing was perfect because MyPublisher, my favorite photo publishing company, was running their "Free Extra Pages" deal. I was able to create and order a 100 page photo book for the same price as a 20 page photo book. 

Unfortunately, my little notebook laptop could barely handle the project. I've created multiple 80 page yearbooks on this laptop with no problem. Apparently, the last 20 pages or so proved to be too much. There is very little hard drive space on a notebook so I kept having to delete and uninstall programs just so I could finish the photo book. I should have created the yearbook on Jesse's computer, but everything is done offline so I would have had to start completely over if I changed computers. After finishing 80 pages, starting over was not an option.

I spent 20+ hours going through over 10,000 pictures from the past year, arranging them in a custom photo book, writing captions, and waiting for the order to process. I would have liked to go back and delete some of the earlier mundane pages because there were at least a dozen photos I wanted to include from December but I simply ran out of pages. By that point, my computer was running so slow, my eyes felt like they were going to dissolve in my head, and the Free Extra Pages deal was going to expire in a few hours. I was over it! The program kept crashing because I had no disk space left on my notebook. Finally, after lots of cursing and Jesse's assistance, our 2015 yearbook was processed. It should arrive in 8-10 days. 

You can view our 2015 yearbook here

As I was getting frustrated, Jesse kept saying, "You don't have to do this. No one is making you do this." Of course he is right, but our family yearbooks are the most valuable material possessions I own. The photos tell our story, sharing the highs and lows of each year. They even help the trio communicate. All four of our kids climb on the couch and look through the yearbooks every single day. It's true that I don't love making the books, but we all love looking through them.

I know all too well that photos help preserve memories, and one day, our photos will be the only tangible thing for the kids to hold onto. That is why I will continue to take so many pictures, and spend so many hours blogging and creating photo books for our family.

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