Do you have one of those projects that you really want to complete, but it is too overwhelming to start? My project is the photo albums. Now, I said photo albums, not scrapbooks. I am not trying to make it fancier with colored paper, ticket stubs, large headings and cute sayings. I don’t want to write what was going on outside of the frame, how we were feeling, or any other special details. I just want to put pictures in an album and write some vague information like who is in the picture and when and where it took place. I also want them in close chronological order – the same year in one photo album.

My problem started in 2003 when my oldest child was in Kindergarten. My husband bought me a digital camera. Always thoughtful, he knew my love of taking pictures and the frustration I had while trying to take pictures of kids with a film camera. When my middle daughter was born, I had to take 2 rolls of film to get one good picture of the girls together. A digital camera seemed like the answer to my prayers.

I took hundreds of pictures with my new camera. I downloaded them all to my computer and then backed them up on CD. I was organized at first, naming each folder to the matching event. As time went on, I put the sub folders in a larger folder named with the year. Years went by. I have since gotten 2 more digital cameras. I have now taken thousands of pictures in the past seven years.

Somewhere during that time, my husband bought me a photo printer. He researched and told me we could save so much money with this photo printer and it would be so easy to print them myself instead of going to Walgreens. Great! So I printed a couple and they looked nice. I was going to print all my digital pictures on this printer. Guess what? I never finished that project either. The printer became my “emergency” printer when the kids came home to say they needed pictures for All About Me by tomorrow. Then I ran out of ink. I priced the new ink and then shelved my photo printer.

I have started my photo albums a couple of times since 2003. I have completed both 2007 and 2008 (those were the years I started the projects). Now the project is out of control. I still back up my pictures, but there are no sub folders. They are dumped in a large folder named with the year only. I have taken so many pictures that one year does not fit on a CD anymore. Now they are broken up into multiple CD’s. Honestly, I hope I backed them all up. In the past seven years I have also had three computers. I have printed out many, many pictures at Walgreens, but because of the huge cost of seven years of pictures, I only print out 100 or so at a time. And then weeks go by and I print more. I have probably printed duplicates. I don’t know for sure because the prints are shoved in a cabinet while I wait for the rest of them to be printed. And more weeks go by.

On top of my own pictures, my mother has added to the pile. She has given me TONS of old family pictures from her albums, and my grandmothers’ albums. Some of them are more current and are pictures of my kids. Most of them are from when I was a kid and when my parents were kids. These pictures are in large envelopes stuffed in the same cabinets. They are all different sizes and I don’t even know how to put them in albums!

I am usually a very organized person. It is disturbing to me that I have let this get so out of hand. By admitting this to you, I hope this will force me to get this photo albums up to date once and for all! I am challenging myself to get this project done by the end of the summer. I want to start the school year fresh and up to date. Yes, the summer is busy, but honestly, there is never a good time. I’ll let you know how I am doing as the summer gets rolling.