our 2011 family photo books {Blurb}

The family albums I mentioned working on a couple of weeks ago arrived over the weekend! I have gotten a lot of questions about the details of my book, so I’ll try to bullet list a bunch of things you all have asked about:

  • Company – This year I created my book through Blurb.com
  • Size – I did the 12″ x 12″ book and am THRILLED! The photos are large and so is the book. It isn’t obnoxious big…just right. I like it so much better than the smaller 8.72″ x 11.25″ books I’ve done in the past.
  • Paper – I had to use the standard paper because my book got too big (250+ pages) and I no longer had the option for upgraded paper. However, I am very happy with the standard paper.
  • Text – My books are photos only. I plan to add some hand written text eventually. I know if I tried to add text while creating the books, I would never finish them. So, I opt to have books with no text verses no books at all. I also like the idea of the handwritten text – makes them feel a little more like my grandma’s photo albums with names written on the back of photos!
  • Design software – I used the Blurb BookSmart software and the Modern Family templates from Design Aglow. The templates are set up for a 10×10 book, but they worked just fine for the 12×12 book. I didn’t really understand the BookSmart software at first. Once I got the hang of it I started using it more than the other templates. Next time I’ll just use the BookSmart templates and customize them.
  • Cover – I did the wrap around cover and really like it
  • How are my photos organizedhere is an old post on how I organize photos, I still do basically the same
  • Extra copy – I always order 2 yearly albums. One is tucked away safely. The other is left out for us to enjoy. I don’t harp on the kids to be so careful that they are afraid the thumb the pages. I want them to enjoy the books…as they enjoy photos they are more willingly to continue to not mind my camera out all the time.

Overall, I am so happy with the bigger Blurb book this year. In the past I used a company that had a 100 page limit so I had to divide the year into two books. Though I really liked the product, I’ve always just wanted the whole year in one book. I’ll be sticking with Blurb.

Here is a look at our 2011 book…

A size comparison.


This year I added small square pictures in the very back of the book of all my projects from the year. I think it will be fun thing to look back on one day.

When the book arrived, the older boys began devouring each page.

They were joined by another little boy.

And a little girl wanted to join, but didn’t get her way.

I enjoy our family books for so many reasons. One of the biggest is how it makes my heart overflow in gratitude. To look back and see all that we enjoyed and overcame. To see a glimpse of the days gone by. To see how much we’ve changed and stayed the same. To be reminded of just how incredible the plain days of our lives are. To see photos of everyday life that capture incredible beauty – more than any exotic location travel book could. It isn’t the picture quality or the paper quality. It is just the culmination of so many of our ‘boring’ stories that together are anything but boring. It makes me thankful for all of it. And all of it is just so good for my soul.

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