I purposefully ignored the drawer with all the pictures when I cleaned out the linen closet last October. I went to Michael’s on Wednesday and told myself I would tackle the picture drawer if I could get what I needed on sale. I had specific items in mind or my plans wouldn’t work. Of course, everything was 40% off. There was one very important item I needed that they didn’t carry, and without it I couldn’t organize the drawer. I went across the parking lot to JoAnn’s and found it for 50% off. Stupid good luck.
Organizing the pictures ended up being the most depressing, infuriating William Morris project I have done to date, and not because the contents of that drawer filled my dining room table and a small console table.
The first item I needed was an album for 4×6 images with a small area for me to make notes. I will never be a scrapbook mom. The boys don’t have baby books and they never will, aside from what I am doing now. And this blog, of course. If I didn’t have this blog, I might be more concerned about having a proper baby book for them. The few times I did try to scrapbook, I became far too obsessed with everything being Professional Level Scrapbooking. Everything had to be perfect-perfect, and I could see it wasn’t a hobby that would bring out the best in me.
I bought these stuffy, kind of goofy photo albums because I thought the would look nice all lined up on a shelf in our bookcases. I bought two in red (seen above) and a green one and blue one as well. Each boy has his own separate album of pictures, both starting with red. I was going to combine them, but I thought this would be nice for them to have (and take) to their own homes one day in the very, very distant future.
Because I hung pictures of Nicholas’s first 4 years for his 4th birthday party, I had all of his pictures ready to go. Putting them in and getting a chance to revisit some memories made me wonder why I didn’t do this sooner. Oh, that’s right, I didn’t make the time to buy the albums. I love that I will have these pictures an arm’s length away (once we buy that final bookcase). What I didn’t love was that I have no pictures of Mikey printed out. Everything is on disks or hard drives. I love digital cameras, but I hate that they have made me so lazy about printing and displaying priceless family pictures.
It’s my goal to have their 4×6 albums current by the end of this summer.
This is the album I bought at Joann’s. I bought two, and two more in navy. This is a great storage idea I got from my sister in-law’s mom. For each of her children she had an album that held 8×10 pictures. The album holds every 8×10 baby or school picture taken, all in one handy location. I started this when Mikey was born, but the album I bought didn’t hold many images and it was babyish and trendy. This is simple, discreet, and will last forever.
The first picture is the hospital picture, in this case Mikey’s. Next, there are baby pictures.
One close up of the face and full body shot. For Mikey, there are both for every month of his life until his 1st year. Then I spaced them out to every three months or so until his 2nd year. And every 6 months after that until he started school.
Then, the school pictures. I start with the class picture. The next picture is his fall picture (head and body, I guess they still do that even for school age children!), and then his spring picture. I love these top loading sheets. They are archival quality and safe for pictures–not just regular old sheet protectors. My favorite part about them is that they allow me to store the extra pictures and image files behind the large 8×10. Now, if someone wants or needs a picture, I know exactly where to look.
(All candid shots go in the 4×6 albums, and we’ll have vacation albums once we (1) take vacations and (2) buy those albums.)
By this point, I was getting pretty excited about my progress. I had finished Mikey’s 8×10 album and Nico’s 4×6 album (which he flipped through repeatedly while I worked on Mikey’s 8×10 album) and was eager to start on Nico’s 8×10 album. I figured it would go quickly since Nico doesn’t have as many pictures. I went through the piles once, twice, three times. I came up with two years of pre-school pictures and a 9 month picture. Everything else is gone. I went out to the office and rummaged through the crazy messed up cabinets but couldn’t find anything. I checked and checked all my files and came up empty. I looked everywhere, but it’s like they never existed.
No hospital picture, no 1st month picture, no 3rd, 6th, or 12 month pictures. Nothing. I don’t know where they can be, and I’m sick over their loss. I plan on doing 5 days of William Morris next week to try to find them somewhere, somehow.
Like the Mister said to me while I was adjusting the dials on the oven so I could stick my head in, it’s not like they were tossed out (hah! not even) or walked away, or lost in a fire. They’re here somewhere.
I soldiered on, even though my heart was no longer in the project. I didn’t even bother wiping the table clear of clutter so I could fool you into thinking I work in a pristine environment. The navy albums I bought were for the athletic pictures. Same concept as the school pictures in the cognac albums. Here is where you store those photo packages your child gets every season. Again, you can store the smaller sizes (and buttons!) behind the larger 8×10. It really is something to flip through these books now that they are all together. With every season they change, grow up.
Since we don’t have the final bookcase yet, I placed everything back into the drawer, although now it’s much neater and organized.
Beyond the embarrassment of losing three years of pictures is the sad, infuriating fact that all of these pictures languished in a drawer because I was afraid to put holes in the wall, too cheap/lazy to go buy frames, and too willing to wait for the “perfect” picture to hang. I found pictures I distinctly remember not hanging because they weren’t good enough. I looked at them on Wednesday and couldn’t believe I worried about that hair out of place or that foot that was accidentally cropped out. They look fine.
Take it from me, folks. Hang your pictures. Pull them out, buy some frames, and hammer the hell out of your walls. Make them look like Swiss cheese because I promise that the lurch in your stomach that comes from hammering a misplaced hole feels better than the sting of lost pictures or missed opportunities. And I have plaster walls, so that’s saying something.
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