However, last year I did "make" a pretty good gift for my mom, so in the interest of sharing something this week, I figured I'd blog about that.
My mom had a cabinet filled with boxes of all of our family photographs (and the negatives - ha!). The last time she had even attempted to organize them was probably when I was a baby. Thus there were years and years of jumbled photos all shoved into boxes. Not convenient for browsing, and probably not the best way to preserve them.
I really don't blame her for not tackling the problem. It was daunting. However, early in 2010, I decided I was going to organize them all into albums for her for Christmas. Starting early spring, I would sneak small portions of the stack home with me when we would go visit. By late summer, I had them all at my house. She never noticed, of course! :)
My first task was to dump them all out and get them in stacks. Then I organized them the best I could, since chronological order was not happening. I sorted into kid pics of my sisters and I, pics of my parents from pre-kid days, misc. photos of their past houses and projects, pics of vacations, and pics from our teenage years and up. That. was. challenging. It took me many, many weekends to sift through them all.
|Claire, Courtney, Caitlin. Thank goodness we got a little better looking with age... I was going for the shriveled look.|
|Handmedown dress up clothes = awesome.|
Remember back in the hard-copy photo days, you would get doubles of your roll of film? Well, that just meant I had to separate doubles and put those aside. I even kept all of the negatives and boxed them up for her, just in case!
|My parents' prom picture!! White suit!|
Next I went through all of the school photos that were still in the white envelopes from the school picture company, and attempted to make a master list of which photo was which school year. There were some gaps, but it was nice to have that record, and still be able to throw away the envelopes.
|Two great things about this picture: |
1. I was the world's biggest nerd, but clearly an early-adopter in the computer gaming world.
2. My mom's glamour shot on the desk.
|Yes, I still look this good in a bathing suit.|
I did a horrible job documenting this process, but here are a few pics of the early stages. Sandy helped.
The best part was I was able to scan a lot of the good ones of my sisters and I, so I forever have those images backed up (scattered throughout for your viewing pleasure).
I had begun to buy black photo albums as I found them at Ross or Target throughout the year. In total, there were 11 albums. I stuck with all black for consistency, but the albums themselves were different. I hauled them all up to Tennessee at Christmas in big rubber totes.
My goal was to make my mom cry. Mission accomplished.
Here they sit in my parents' living room, ready to be looked through and enjoyed, instead of hidden away in a box. :)