Wednesday, July 6, 2016

600 Something...

600 is the total of my latest scrapbooking endeavor but before you judge me, I really wish you’d hear me out.

So what am I talking about...  Pictures?  Pages?  Types of albums?  Dollars?

part of my stash
Yes, I mean dollars.  The answer is definitely dollars.  600 of them.  And before you ask, I’ll just tell you how this whole debacle came to be…  I’m an avid scrapbooker who has always been up to date with my photos and albums.  ALWAYS.  I used to start scrapping an event before the hubster had all of the SD cards unloaded.  I’ve been caught up with our albums since before the kiddo was born and I’ve even gone back and worked on the eight years the hubster and I were married before our duo became a trio—that honeymoon time in our lives we refer to as b.k. (before kiddo).  Done.  I was always done.  And boy was I ever proud of myself as I scrapped my heart out and chronicled our lives and kept my photos out of tubs and totes and digital shoeboxes. 

Then one day I looked up and realized I was behind.  Way behind.  Like several months behind.  Somewhere between the time I’d worked my last page and the moment I realized I’d fallen off the pace, the entire scrapbook industry had changed.  Gone were simple pages that told a story and in were multi-layered works of art that barely left room for a picture on the page, let alone a double page spread featuring six to eight pictures.  Gone was the company (and the pages and albums) I’d always used.  My son had fourteen custom made, perfectly matched albums at this point.  How was I supposed to just run to the craft store and cobble something together? I’m a planner.  Things match in my world, especially when they decorate a shelf in my living room, which is where our albums live. 

Lo and behold my despair was quickly remedied when said company announced they were moving into digital scrapbooking and creating new software and albums for we loyal few.  So I migrated and learned a new way to create pages and albums and I loved it.  These weren’t your photos on paper bound books like you can create at Shutterfly or Snapfish.  While those make great gifts and I utilize that product every holiday season, they aren’t what I want to sit and sift through with my grandkids.  I want archival quality memory albums and digital scrapbooking met my need.  So I got caught up a bit and felt pretty good about the state of scrapbook affairs in my world.
our albums

Until I got behind again and the next time I looked up from life, I realized while I’d been looking through our pictures each year to make those grandparent albums, I hadn’t actually been doing much scrapbooking of my own.  It was then it hit me that I was farther behind with chronicling the story of our lives than I’d ever been and I was so mad at myself for falling off the pace, I carved out a few hours the next day to get caught up.  You can imagine my surprise when I plopped in front of my computer only to learn the company had gone bankrupt and taken their software with them.

At the start of 2016, I was thousands of pictures away from being able to catch up with my photo life.  There were more questions than answers and I couldn’t see a path forward.  What system would I use?  What albums would ever match what I already had?  How would I just pick up in the middle of a year in progress and blend in new pages?  How much was this going to cost?   How far behind was I really?  Was it even possible to get caught up?  Would the hard drive fail?  Would it still work?  Did I save all of the pics on my phone through numerous device upgrades?  What would I do with all of the phone pics the hubster takes?  The more I thought about the task at hand, the more I wanted to abort the mission.  Who needs these ridiculous creative goals, anyway?

more of our albums
But I stayed the course and found my answers.  Many of them I didn’t like, but they were there waiting for me and now I’m ready to share them with you.  It turned out I was seven years behind by the time I decided to do something about the problem.  I would try several systems before finally settling on Project Life only to learn I didn’t care for their traditional scrapbooking as much as I like the app driven digital Project Life version (LOVE is a better word).  My pages don’t blend like I wish they did.  They don’t match at all, actually, which is something that drives my OCD up the wall.  I did have a hard drive fail but I was able to get the photos I needed before it had to be trashed.  I’m pretty diligent about backing up my phone so those pics were present and accounted for.  I even managed to snag numerous pics from the hubster’s phone.  To date I’ve spent just over $600 between printing pictures, printing 12x12 digital pages, procuring albums and pages, and other needed supplies, like Project Life kits and the Project Life app (LOVE this app)!  

Now before you freak out—yes, I know $600 is a lot of money.  But that’s truly only $86 a year to preserve our family memories had I been keeping up with things.  Some might ask if it’s worth it and the only way I can answer that is to say this…

today's bone pile
Just this afternoon as I was putting the finishing touches on the last album, our 2016 album, the kiddo came in and grabbed the newly minted 2012 album.  “I remember that haircut,” he said with a huge grin on his face as he stared at a picture of himself taken during his long-haired, aka Bieber, days.  “What in the world was I thinking?”  We had a good laugh and as I hugged his shoulders and watched as he walked down memory lane, I think I landed on the biggest answer of all.  It is entirely possible to get caught up with that thing you’ve been putting off and as of three hours ago—I’m caught up with my scrapbooking. 

Seven years worth of photo memories in seven months of catch up isn’t for the faint of heart and it isn’t easy on the checkbook.  But is it worth it?  It only takes seeing the smile on my son’s face to know that answer.  Absolutely.

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