Love & Marriage

Yearbook Pictures

We’re working on hanging our new pendant lights so we’ll be back to share those pics in the morning. In the meantime, let’s talk about something people ask about all the time: photo storage. Ever since seeing Katie Bower’s family photo book two summers ago, we’ve been drinking the photo book Kool-Aid – starting with our very first Family “Yearbook” that we made last summer (you can read about that here). And now that another year has wrapped up, well, let’s just say this arrived last week:

It’s one big glossy photo book stuffed to the gills with all of our family photos from 2011. Except the perk is that while it has around 600 photos, it’s only about a half-inch thick. Which is awesome for storage purposes (way less cumbersome than thick overstuffed photo albums that only hold 100-200 pics each). We ordered it through MyPublisher and thanks to a promotion they were running for free extra pages, we got to max out their page limit (100) and pay nothing extra. The discount (which has ended since we received our book – but they tend to pop up pretty frequently) actually saved us $79! And we’d easily pay $44.99 to print all those pics (not to mention having to buy a bunch of albums to put them in) so a photo book can actually end up being quite the deal. And no, they didn’t pay/perk us to write this, we just like our photo books. Haha.

We did our last “yearbook” way after the fact (like mid-2011), so it took a bit of backtracking to organize all of the photos. But for 2011 we planned ahead and kept all of our photos in one iPhoto album (which automatically kept them in chronological order for us), which is why it only took a couple of weeks into the new year to actually get this one done. So let’s take a quick look through all one hundred pages… just kidding. We’ll just take a peek at some of the highlights – like our opening page that we edited to include some text to summarize some of the, well, highlights from the past year. We think we’ll love looking back on it (and having a summary of the whole year on one page).

We also tried to group big events, holidays, and milestones – like the several spreads of Clara’s 1st birthday party. Check out how dark our kitchen was in the bottom left corner!

We also used the preset page designs to give some really special photos the layouts they deserved, like the ones Katie B. snapped when we visited the Bowers in June.

And since it’s not hard for these albums to turn into a Clara-fest, we paid special attention to making sure Burger got plenty of love as well. He even scored a few dedicated pages throughout (every album needs a good Burger-montage or three).

We also thought it was fun to put all of the photos we took for our Blogiversary “Day In The Life” post into the yearbook in order. That way in 15 years we can look back and sort of remember what a normal day was like way back when…

We nearly ran out of pages by the time we got to Christmas (darn 100 page limit!) but managed to make room. Heck, we even squeezed in a collage of a bunch of our holiday card outtakes. Yeah, we’re kind of into our kiddos.

So since we’re on a family yearbook high – especially now that our collection is two albums strong! – we’re already excited to make the 2012 version.

But because that’s not possible yet (unless we want it to be 3 pages long) we’re thinking that we may try to organize our old digital photos and make one or two books that’ll hold all of the photos from 2005 (when we met) to 2008 (right before our 2009 album picks up). Maybe we’ll work on those books once a certain manuscript is in the can.

Oh yeah, and here’s our favorite photo bomber again, just trying to get in on the action.

Anyone else making photo books or albums to document the past year? Or any other event or period of time? We’d love to hear other systems people have for organizing and displaying their family photos.


What Santa Brought Us

This was an exciting Christmas because in all of our seven December 25ths together, we’ve never woke up in our own beds to open the presents under our own tree as a family (i.e. we’d always traveled elsewhere).

We did meet up with a bunch of relatives later in the morning to open gifts as one big crazy Petersik family, but we snuck in some present opening time as just the four of us earlier in the morning. Especially since Santa brought one little Petersik something extra special this year (as mentioned in great detail here)…

Along with her play-kitchen Clara got lots of clothes, books, toys, and that favorite leopard hat of hers. But since we always get asked what we got each other, let’s get into that. First off, I stalked Sherry’s Pinterest page to learn that she wanted these Kendra Scott earrings – which look quite good on her, if I may say so.

She also got me a couple of dangly things in the form of two bicycle ornaments (well, technically one’s a moped) from Crate & Barrel to fuel my new obsession with bike art. It provided the perfect opportunity to pose next to my dad with the gift that we got him – a bicycle parts shirt from Etsy (unlike me, my dad’s love of bikes extends to actually riding them regularly).

Sherry and I both ended up getting each other art too, which was kind of funny. Sherry made me a very sweet Boy Scout merit badge collage for all the “skills that I excel at” that she was inspired to create after seeing some vintage badges on eBay for woodworking that she thought I deserved (they were selling for something like $80, so she called a friend whose son has tons of boy scout/eagle scout badges and just scanned and returned them). Then she printed the ones that “applied to me,” cut them out, and taped them in a grid on some navy craft paper leftover from our old living room art.

The sweet part is that she used the actual name of the merit badge to express something she loves about me, is thankful to me for, or that’s meaningful to us both.

She even typed up and framed a key to explain everything. I laughed out loud at letter P, which was a badge featuring a squirrel icon.

We haven’t figured out where to hang it yet, but I love how simple and graphic (and funny!) it is. It looks great with the curtains in the dining room, so it might end up there.  On the other hand, Sherry had my gift to her hung before the day was over. That girl is fast!

It’s there on the far left, and it’s a custom poster that I bought from A Vintage Poster. It’s a weird story, but this is a line from an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras (um, not that we watch that show – it was just on in the background one day). They introduced one little girl to the stage with this gem that perfectly epitomizes childhood innocence: “When Emerald grows up, she wants to be a photographer… or an octopus.” I altered the quote a bit and A Vintage Poster did a bang up job converting it into a fun little one-of-a-kind poster that only makes sense to us.

Who doesn’t need a refreshing reminder to dream big every once and a while? And the coral color looks so great with Clara’s painting next to it.

Speaking of big dreams, Clara, Burger and I also gave Sherry something to encourage her to pursue one of her former hobbies: art. She’s got her BFA and originally went to school to be an artist, but life has kinda pushed that aside. I’ve heard her say more than once while watching Work of Art on Bravo that she misses it, so we snagged her some paints and a gift certificate to a local art supply store (intentionally not Michael’s or somewhere she could spend it on house projects instead). Oh, and don’t mind my goof on the card – I’m so used to signing “John & Sherry” that I forgot she wasn’t giving this to herself. #ChristmasPresentFAIL

Let’s see – what am I forgetting? Oh yeah, Sherry got these funny little buttons that perfectly sum up our relationship for me here on Etsy.

Knowing my nerdiness, she also got me a “tech” gift  in the form of a remote for our camera (because I’ve often mentioned that it’d be helpful to have around). After all, the world needs more photos like this, right?

The remote also let me snap a pic of the other random gift I got Sherry, even though it’s really for me to wear. Ready for it? Check out the shirt that I bought from zazzle. Yes, I had to “design” it myself, as no pre-made shirts that say “white ceramic husband” seem to exist.  

Yeah, I’m a super dork. Ten bonus points every time you spot me wearing it while doing projects around the house. I figure I need something to round out the ol’ soda t-shirt collection.

Oh, and don’t worry – Burger wasn’t forgotten. He’s just not a morning person – er, morning pup (?) – so he had to have his presents delivered to him in bed. Here he is with the lion toy Clara picked out for him.

And there’s a great stretching/smiling photo of him here. On that note, I think we’ve more than exhausted our run down of Christmas goodies between this post and this morning’s play kitchen extravaganza. What’d you guys get or give his year? Anything especially awesome? Something DIY or house related?

Psst- We just shared a HUGE CHRISTMAS POST full of family pics and even more holiday details over on Young House Life, so you can check that out here.