About 12 years ago while at my husband’s parents house I found a framed picture of the family where my husband was about 4 years old.  I asked my mother-in-law to send me a copy of it.  It was the only picture I had ever seen of my husband as a child.  It was supposed to be a posed, family Christmas picture, but if you take a good look at it you can see that my father-in-law is tickling my husband making him squirm and wiggle.

I wanted to do something with the picture and at that time I was really into photography.  I decided to put a family album together using that old picture as the cover of the book and all of the family pictures I had taken throughout the year for the rest of the book.  At that time, Kodak was the site to use.  It was pretty easy, just upload pictures, drop and drag them into an album of your choice and voila! an album was made.

I gave the book to my in-laws for Christmas.  When they opened it I was there to take a picture of their reaction, and so the cover picture for the next years book was taken.

After the second year some kind of tradition had been created…my mother-in-law was showing the books to all of their friends and she started really looking forward to each year’s book.  The book started to become a chore!  My husband has 4 siblings and combined they have 13 children.  I was running around trying to get pictures to represent each family unit for each year and couldn’t do it.

Around the time I was ready to call it quits (year 4 or 5) my husband suggested to his siblings that they send me pictures of their years-in-review.  Oh, how much easier my life became!

Since then every November I sent out an email, “Hey! It’s that time, get your pictures to me” and after a couple of reminders they started coming in.  Kodak is long gone and I now use Shutterfly.  My November emails are now, “Hey! It’s that time, upload your pictures to Shutterfly” and after a couple of reminders they all get uploaded.

Today was the day I put the 2016 Family Album together.  Two of the kids are married now, one of them has a baby (so a great grandchild for my in-laws), a couple are in college, and all of them seem very grown up.  A lot happens in 12 years, and looking back is fun.  It’s no wonder my mother-in-law loves these books.  I do, too.