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It started as a gift for grandparents…  It was Nathan’s idea.  We had zero idea of what we would do for Christmas for our ‘rents.  Here were my qualifications for a gift:

  • Something affordable (dammit, there goes the 48 bottle wine fridge)
  • Something thoughtful (which meant that a round of winter formula windshield washer fluid was out)
  • One-size-fits-all (my 6’1″ stepfather and 5’5″ father-in-law probably would not appreciate Christmas-themed Isotoner gloves)
  • Something “from the kids” (and we’ve already given obligatory coffee mugs or mousepads emblazoned with the kids’ likenesses)
  • Something easy to ship (wow; that wine fridge really never had a chance)

All of this left me with a big, fat goose egg.  No dice; I was stumped.  Nathan thought maybe we should document a normal day in the life of the kids…. Since our parents don’t really get to see what these little monsters do when no one else (but us) is watching.

open book

It was after the fact that I realized that a regular day for one parent is VERY MUCH like a regular day for many others.  In short, our parents have already experienced this.  And they are now grandparents, and have realized what a joy it truly is to hand your grandchildren back to their parents after you’ve stuffed them with sugar, chips and toys with a bajillion little pieces.  This, however, is not something that most parents think of when they are in the trenches with their own children.

My children are unique.  And special.  And poop rainbows and cry unicorn tears.  My experience is so novel and new; there isn’t a parent in the history of the world that has been blessed with angels such as mine or the meaningful tribulations I deal with as their parent.


But in the end, all that was important was that they got a book of damn cute pics of their grandchildren.  And that it arrived on time in a standard Priority mail envelope.

A Day in the Life of Alice and Finn PAGE 2

A Day in the Life of Alice and Finn PAGE 7

A Day in the Life of Alice and Finn PAGE 19

I went around all day with my camera around my neck and went about snapping away.  This was actually the EASY part.  Once all the pictures were taken, it took me an entire day editing them in Photoshop.  Of course, if I was a better photographer, I wouldn’t have had to fake it with Photoshop.

I used Snapfish to make the books; they have their own templates that you can drop pictures in and add text, but their platform is sluggish and one of the worst I’ve encountered in the photo-book-making arena.  I opted to design the pages offline in InDesign (but Publisher or Photoshop works just as well), then upload jpegs of the whole page.  When it came to designing the photo book in Snapfish, the only thing I had to do was make sure they were in the right order.

While Snapfish is usually pretty well priced (compared to the superior Shutterfly in my humble opinion), they gouge you on the shipping.  Even though we ordered multiple books and they were all shipped to our house in one box, it was still $8 apiece to ship them.  Oooh, we’ll give you a killer deal on the books, but once we’ve got ya over a barrel when they are done, we’ll charge you an exorbitant price to get them to your door.  Nice.

We had the kids sign them (as did Nathan and I), and then sent them on their merry way with all the trappings of a well-wrapped package.

We didn’t order one for ourselves, but after they all left the house, I feel like we should make some kind of tradition of documenting one day each year.  Not for our parents (because do they really want a new book every year?), but for us.  We commemorate each year with a family yearbook, but methinks this might make a nice little companion to our annual recap of the previous 365 days.  (Shhh.. Secret: I still have not finished 2012’s book.  I’ve only gotten as far as August.)

If you care to take a peek into the monotony of Finn and Alice’s lives, you can see the whole book here.  Beware; there are many a naked baby tush in there.