Day 3. Wednesday.
Rainy. Cranky. Tired. Working. Seems like we had more fun the last time we did this project....hmmm...
- 102 photos saved to my hard drive. 30 shown here.
- Paxton LOVES the self-timer. Thinks it's hilarious.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - pretty much nothing. Today was pretty basic and normal.
Day two..we made it through. Lots of work and things to do. :) Just click the image to see a larger version of our Tuesday:
- 96 photos saved to my hard drive (30 shown here).
- Don't be fooled. Paxton is NOT potty trained. He just likes to "try".
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - I went to lunch at Ayla's school because she was "Star of the Week" and Paxton joined Ben at Disciples Fellowship for "Lunch on Lorna."
Day one of my Spring 2011 "Week in the Life" is complete--at least as far as getting to the kids' bedtime. I may have to retire my camera at that point each night this week...I'm beat. A day full of activities (some normal, some extra) plus photographing them, and writing 'em all down will wear a person out. Now I'm off to watch some TV and veg...okay, maybe I'll get one shot of that. :)
Here's what today looked like at our house (you can click the photo to view the images larger):
- 128 photos saved to my hard drive (35 shown here).
- The first three lines of photos in this collage all occured before 8:30am.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - We went bowling & Ben gave blood.
If you joined me...how'd you do? If you didn't, why not? Give it a try. Do a "Day in the Life" instead of a week and give it a shot. :)
While I was pregnant with Paxton, I participated in a project called "Week in the Life", a token "Ali Edwards" style album. It was a lot of work, but continues to be one of my favorite albums - because it's SO REAL.
Since my last take on the project occured in the fall, and before we added Paxton to our family, I thought this week would be a good time to do it all again, since life will really be different next year when Ayla goes to school full-time. I wanted to document our daily life with a 4-and-a-half-year-old and almost-2-year-old in the spring.
So, get ready for lots of irritated looks from Ben (he hates this project in progress, but I'm sure he secretly loves it when it's a finished book he can look at), lots of mundane pictures of me at my computer, and plenty of photos of what the kids do ALL DAY LONG.
Charge those camera batteries, and take a crash course in how to use a self-timer. It's time to document! Starting first thing in the morning, I'm documenting A WEEK IN THE LIFE of the Steed's. I double-dogg-dare you to join me! :)
Receiving holiday cards from family and friends every year is the highlight of the season to me. Even in the new everyone's-connected world of Facebook, Twitter, smart phones and blogs, it's still nice to get a card, especially photo cards, in the real-deal-snail-mail mailbox. Don't you agree?
Every year, someone (or several someones) ask me where I get my holiday cards printed, if I'll help them make their family's card, etc. So, this year, I want to do a little holiday card tutorial and show you what I do to get our holiday cards DONE every year:
Get a good family photograph. Not an easy task. But essential, I think, to a great holiday card. Not that I don't appreciate the pretty greeting cards, (because I use those too) but mostly I want to see how much everyone has changed each year. And as you may have heard me say before...I strongly believe the WHOLE family should be included in at least one shot that you share. Because, yes, your kids are cute, but I was friends with YOU first so I want to see your smiling face too!
As far as what *kind* of photo? The sky is the limit. I like posed portraits and smiling faces, but candid pictures of a memorable event from the year (like a graduation or wedding) can give a fun little peek into your world. I also get a big kick out of the silly holiday photos - you may remember some of our past photo cards:
And a silly outtake from our 2010 photo shoot:
Establish a list. If you haven't already, start making your list and checking it twice. Who are you sending cards to? How many do you need? Are all of the addresses up-to-date? I keep a spreadsheet on my computer and update it each year, adding new people, checking addresses for people who I know have moved, and adding in the names of new babies, new spouses, etc. That way I don't have to start from scratch with a new list every year and risk forgetting someone. I also use this same spreadsheet later to import into a Word document to print the addresses directly onto the envelopes, which makes addressing the cards a breeze.
Pick out a holiday card design. We use Zazzle.com for our photo holiday cards. They offer great quality, a good price, and TONS of selection. Plus, you can design your own card if you don't like the designs you see online and are so graphically inclined. Personally, I like the long cards that leave plenty of room for a full photo and a greeting, but they have lots of sizing options and styles to choose from and they all include envelopes. My favorite designer at Zazzle is "The Spotted Olive." Such cute designs.
This was our card in 2009:
And here's what we settled on for 2010:
As a side note, buying through Zazzle also helps support our family directly. Ben's company is an affiliate marketer for Zazzle, so if you buy anything at Zazzle.com through a link from my site, you'll be helping support his business and our family.
Here's a little extra savings from us to you if you buy your cards through Zazzle this year:
a 50% off Cards: ALLCARDSSALE, good until at Zazzle.com until 11/27/12.
Add your greeting and text. Since our family and friends celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas, we usually stick to something along the lines of "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays." I also highly recommend including each of your names, first & last, as well as the year somewhere on your card. Yes, everyone you send a card to should know this information already, but not everyone will remember that you named your 5th kid "Brutus". A reminder never hurts.
Place your order. Make sure to order your cards in plenty of time for them to ship to you, and then for you to address them and add postage before you put them in the mail. I usually like to have our cards mailed out in early- to mid-December. So, by the first week of December 2011 (if not sooner) I hope to have placed my order. Also, if you're feeling really snazzy, you can add Christmas postage stamps to your order and really dress up the envelopes! Cute, huh? Especially if you ordered the photo cards to match...
Don't forget to use your 50% off cards code: ALLCARDSSALE
Write a letter while you're waiting for your order. (optional) Oh, I LOVE when people include a little update about their family! Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. It just depends on how much extra time I have when I'm getting these together. We've written top ten lists, made up songs, and done person-by-person updates. But last year I took the easy route and just included a url for my blog.
Admire your work. Whoo hoo! The mail came and there they are! A whole stack of photo cards, ready to be mailed to share with all your friends and family spread throughout the world. You did good. Pat yourself on the back. Okay, now get back to work.
Assemble the envelopes. Create a mail merge (with that spreadsheet of addresses you made) and print your envelopes. Don't curse at your printer or hit it with anything. That won't make it work better or faster. If it doesn't work to print them yourself, you can always hand-address each envelope, which is kind of old-school nice anyhow.
Stuff each envelope with your snazzy photo cards, adding that note or holiday letter if you wrote one, and then have your kids or dog lick the envelopes to seal them. No, maybe let them use a damp sponge instead. I don't want anyone getting sick over holiday cards.
Finally, stick your Christmas stamps on each envelope and they're ready to go! Be sure to separate any international addresses so you can add the correct postage for those cards. We send at least one card to Israel every year. Hi Medina family!
- Mail 'em! I think you can handle that. Especially if you've already added the postage. Then you don't even have to stand in line at the post office! Just stick 'em in a mailbox and go.
So there you have it. A holiday card from start to finish. I guess I better figure out our photo and card for this year now that I've raised all kinds of ridiculous expectations with this post...
*edited in 2012
This lens - Tamron Mega-Zoom AF18-270mm - has been at the top of my wish list for months. Unfortunately, it's also WAY out of my budget. Too bad I didn't get a surprise email asking ME to review it and give one away...
Oh, but the ease and versatility that this one lens could offer...
Since I can't buy one (yet) , I'm all for taking every chance I can to win one! How about you? Even if I'm just one in a sea of comments, for this lens I'm willing to give it a shot.
Here are several places you can enter to try and win one of your very own (works on both Nikon & Canon DSLRs):
Good luck! But not too much good luck...*I* want to win! ;)
I *so* wish I could find the website that inspired this idea -- because it was NOT my own. But I failed to save it, and now I can't find it. Just know it was from someone much more clever than me. :) Happy Halloween!
Ayla was on a sugar high, I saw this red brick wall, she had on a red dress and was eating a red sucker and wearing sparkly shoes -- and well, it was just a perfect time to take some pictures.
Sometimes when random events of the day converge, you end up with an art project. For instance, today I sorted through my printed pictures to give Ayla a good stack of extras to scrapbook with. Then, we got a sheet of happy face stickers in the mail with a Highlights flyer. Makes perfect sense that they should go together, right? Ayla and I thought so.
I think this would make a great "Nokes" Christmas card this year....
Thanks for all your great ideas about my wall collage. In order to fill those frames and take advantage of a $1.99 flat rate shipping sale at Scrapbookpictures.com (that ends Aug 31st), I decided to go ahead and order some prints! Including that $1.99 shipping sale and a 15 prints free promo code (which saved me $3.75), I got all nine 12 x 12 prints for only $12.10 -- shipped. Can't beat that.
I went with photographs of the kids playing outside. No special, fantastic, clever theme, just pictures of them having fun outside. And I'm *sure* I'll want to change them at some point in the future. But for now, I think this will do just fine.
That den/playroom project is *slowly* taking form...we finally got our toy cabinet fiasco taken care of (which involved re-cutting shelves, reordering doors, and lots of un-needed stress.) They are now assembed, with shelves and doors. Yay! The toys can finally be put away! Only took a month... Oh, but there are still a few more things to take care of before the "after" photos... coming soon...I hope!