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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Our 2017 Family Yearbook

The year Ford was born I started making family yearbooks as a way to chronicle the happenings of our year. I know you mamas can relate with the mountains of photos we have (okay not physical mountains but digitally, the number of pictures we take is Everest level, thank you iPhone 8+ camera). I do traditional baby books for each kiddo but wanted a way to keep track of what our family did, where we traveled, and how we grew over the years. I've been using Shutterfly for the past couple of years for our family year book (2016 yearbook) and Christmas cards (2017 Christmas card) and it is pretty much one of my favorite days when our yearbook arrives! Here is a peek into our 2017 family yearbook.

If you know me at all, you know that I am 100% type A and an organizational freak, so I want to share some tips on how I plan/create/execute our family yearbook. The last thing I want is to be drowning in photos and overwhelmed with the task of making the book, I want to pour into it, smile, and savor the memories as I create it with Shutterfly.
  • I upload photos from my iPhone to my computer 1-2 times a month. When I do this, they automatically go into a folder by date (for example, February 2017 imports into a folder 2017-2). I also have a folder for each year that the monthly photos go into. When I upload from my iPhone, I get on my computer and filter through the photos, deleting random screenshots or pictures I only needed temporarily. This helps cut down on random junk and simplifies the photo book making process. If I take pictures with my DSLR, I upload them and slot them into the folder that the photos were taken in.
  • I try to work on our family yearbook photo book in Shutterfly every month or every other month. Photo books have a 100 page maximum and I wanted to keep it to 1 book per year so I have a rough outline in my mind of 8 or so pages a month with a few extras for the months with holidays (Halloween, Christmas). My yearbooks are 8x10 books with the simple white theme, but you can always change as you go. Some pages are dedicated to certain events (birthdays, vacations, holidays), but there are also a lot of pages I just have random photos on. 
  • Wait for a good sale in the New Year to order your book. Since standard books come with 20 pages, I recommend waiting for a "free extra pages" sale and also to choose the lay flat pages option. It is so worth it. Shutterfly is offering 50% off all photobooks through Sunday January 21st!
  • If you are new to family yearbooks and want to create them for years past, don't get overwhelmed. Start by organizing your photos and work on the book little by little. You will be so happy you are taking the time to curate your memories because as years go by, they get smaller and smaller and it is truly incredible how a group of photos can take you back. 
May 23rd, 2017 was one of my favorite days of 2017, the day we finalized Gideon's adoption. I could have never prepared for the emotions I felt standing in Jon's office, the same office we stood in on November 8th, 2016 and heard about a baby boy who had been born in Las Vegas the night before. A judge in Carson City, NV declared Gideon Aaron Hart our son, always and forever. Our house was on the market and I remember getting a call right after that about a showing at 6pm so we loaded up the kids in the rain and ate dinner at Sonic. The most special and memorable days for me aren't the fanciest or the most extravagant. They are the ones where I can vividly remember the love, the emotions, the hugs. 

Our trip to Breckenridge, CO last summer also topped the list of best parts of 2017!

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