Monday, July 8, 2013

photo book dilemma

When I was 11-ish, I went to a creative memories get-together with my mom at her friend's house.
I had never really even heard of scrapbooking.
Wait a minute... I could cut up pictures with crazy zig zag scissors, glue them on the page and add stickers!?!
An 11 year old girl's dream activity.

Well, I went to town and made my own baby album, all the way up through 5th grade, and kept adding to it through middle school. If it wasn't packed away in a storage room (with all the rest of our earthly possessions... mad props to my in-laws for letting us store it ALL at their house, including a piano), I'd take pictures of it so you could see the pleathora of uneven oval shaped pictures cut with zig zag and wavy scissors.

Off I went to high school - the braces went on, the awkwardness increased, and it turns out one of my new BFFs loves scrapbooking too.  So my dad let us create a space in the basement for it with a huge old table and we scrapbooked our high school years away.  Pages and pages of showchoir competitions, sleepovers, and musicals.

College - yeah. These years are not really documented in photo albums. I don't know why. Never got around to it.

So, here we are. 3 years into marriage. 6 months into motherhood.
NONE of our married life is any kind of album, except a facebook album.  If we are facebook friends, you know I am not shy about my family pictures.
My mom threw a baby shower for me and people made scrapbook pages for a baby album, which I got to pick out.  I loved that this one wasn't a traditional 'baby girl' album.


I've started working on this because I have approximately 2,368 pictures of sweet Adelyn Joy's first few months of life (that is no joke), and I think it'd be fun to give her a good ol' baby album some day.  Plus, it's fun to make.

But, this type of scrapbooking is no longer sustainable for me anymore.

Annnnnnnd it only took me 6 paragraphs to get to the dilemma. Here we are. I could use your input.

I do LOVE pictures. I love taking them and looking at them. Reminiscing through them.  And I love the opportunity to journal, record, remember.  So, what makes the most sense for this season of life?  (Stay-at-home-mom-possibly-moving-a-lot-young-baby(maybe more babies in the future)-trying-to-make-some-money-on-the-side-etc... season)

Project Life?
I bought a kit to do 'project life' by Becky Higgins.  You can check out the gist of it here.  Basically, it's a binder with page protectors that are slotted for pictures.  And you can additionally purchase precut cards to journal on and label.
Pros: I love the photo-journaling aspect of this.  It was reasonably cheap compared to making an entire scrapbook album and the stuff to complete it takes up very little space. I can leave it out and update it regularly pretty easily. Real printed photos. call me old fashioned, but i love them.
Cons: the name is cheesy; the binder is huge. So as I fill up binder after binder, I am left with a ton of 12 x 12 binders to store somewhere.
 sample project life page

Mix Book
Pros: Small; easy to store; I have made a couple digital photo albums for people and I really like this too. Very customizable.  Or you can click and drag into a decent template; you can print multiple - easy grandparent gifts.  or blog give-aways. [you can win a free photo album of my kid!! haha jk] Theoretically, you could work on a project over a period of time and update it regularly as you take the pictures. I've only ever done them in a short amount of time when I'm coming up on a gift deadline.  It'd be easy to add fun phone pictures, like from instagram.
 Cons: I've only used shutterfly and I haven't loved the quality. Real printed photos are way better. But, a friend of mine uses mixbook and those turn out great.  I haven't done the math. I wonder if it's quite a bit more expensive if you want to do a lot of pages and print good quality ones.

I'm loving THIS 'summer' theme from mixbook. (They won't let me copy a picture) :(
I could blog instead.
Or record my kid(s)' memories "Dear Sophie" style...
Have you seen this?
(get out the kleenex box.)

So, what do you think?
Any other moms have something easy, efficient, fun and creative that I missed?
What's your preference and why?

Thanks for your input!!!


  1. Okay. This one I can provide an experienced opinion on (vs the camera bag and photo op search ones!)

    I am an avid scrapbooker. I have been since I was about 16. I have at least 5 albums full. I pr-made our wedding one... and just added the pics later. And, I also pre-made Braydon's and added pictures later.

    But, once his birth-age 1 book was full, I was also faced with the dilemma of what to do now. So, here's what I did. I might not work for you... but it works well for us!

    I continue to scrapbook (12x12 pages) the important life events and special occasions. But, I still print ALL my pics! The ones that do not get put into the album... are meticulously identified on the backs and then put into photo boxes for safe keeping. Plus, I have all our digital copies stored in at least 2 places in case we'd ever have a fire, tornado, etc and wipe our our hard copies. Plus, I have my blog.

    I figure with these things, our married life and Braydon's childhood is pretty well documented! :)

    Again, good luck finding what works for you! Whatever you choose will be awesome!

  2. 'mama fujan!!' thanks for your input. that's a great idea to double up digital storage. i would say your life is VERY well documented. i need to get on it. oh, and thanks for commenting. that's fun!!