I did it.
Four days.
Two hundred pages.
Six hundred and twenty seven photos.
One big, beautiful book.

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

Our Shiny New Blurb Book

It was worth every darn penny ($128 + S&H) to finally get this done. It’s amazing. I added in bits, pieces and quotes from my blog over the last year. We’ve all looked at it a dozen times and we’ve only had it for 14 hours. My mom and dad both have one and I’m already looking forward to making another one next year, and every year from here on out. If I’m being honest, if you’re going to get a book as big as this one (13″ x 11″) you should probably have some pretty good photos, the point and shoot and phone photos are pretty obvious compared to the rest (the Blurb bookmaking software tells you when a photo isn’t big enough or high enough resolution to fit.) Not big into designing a whole book yourself? You can have Blurb design it for you. My very most favorite thing about Blurb? They let me use the photos I already have uploaded to Flickr, no sorting and uploading from my hard drive necessary.

Get 15% off your first blurb book with code BLURBBOOK15OFF

This is not sponsored or endorsed by Blurb at all. I made the book on my own and paid for it with my own money, those links up there are affiliate links (which I did use when I bought my book, full disclosure) and I used the 15% off coupon just like you can. I mean, hopefully Blurb sees this and is all “YOU’RE AMAZING! BOOKS FOR EVERYONE!” but that isn’t really why I did this. You see those little girls up there looking at the book? That’s why I did this. You need to do it too, no sense in having all those wonderful pictures sitting on your hard drive or in the cloud where no one can touch them, look at them and enjoy them. Do it, do it, do it.

Comments

  1. Your book is beautiful. How fun to see and feel those pictures. Turn the pages in a real book.

    I love this.
    I need to do this.
    I will do this… eventually.

    Casey Reply:

    @Sidnie, It’s so worth just buckling down and doing it. SO WORTH IT.

    Sidnie Reply:

    @Casey, I’m looking back at your pictures…

    Can you imagine year after year starting the next book with the pictures of your kids looking at the last one? Would be amazing. :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Sidnie, I JUST GOT GOOSEBUMPS.

  2. crystal says:

    i make one every year for my twinnies’ birthday/christmas! (they’re 2.5, so I’m working on the 3rd) Love them! Yours turned out gorgeous!

    the 1st year we gifted a book to all the grandparents at the 8×10 size. I was going to order the same one in the 11×13 for us, but they didn’t have a way to do that yet without starting from scratch. I was so bummed. Then last year I just did the 8×10 size again so it matched the first one. This year, it’s not happening. I wanted the big one from the start, so I’m getting the big one darn it! :) Even if I have to go re-order the first 2…

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

    Casey Reply:

    @crystal, Oh yes, I do wish there were ways to do minis of the same book. The one saving grace is I have the photos already picked out and in order so doing another one wouldn’t be a COMPLETE nightmare.
    Go for the big one, they’re amazing.

    Samantha Howe Reply:

    @Casey, Hi – you can change your book size with Blurb at the flip of a switch and order a smaller version without having to re-import all the images (and not lose the original size). You will need to check it to make sure aspect ratios of images are still good but its a lot easier than starting from scratch!!

    Get more info here : http://blurb.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/155/kw/changing%20book%20size

  3. Okay, this is a sincere question…what about Addie? I have a two kids with about the same age gap as yours. When my son was a baby, we had no money and there was no way we could afford one of those. Now, we are better off and I would have the means to do something like this. However, I’m torn about doing it because I worry that my older one will feel bad or question why we never did something like that for him.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jen B, Totally valid question, Addie is in this book as much as she lets me take her picture, while it’s called “Vivi’s First Year” it’s more about our first year with Vivi collectively.
    I have much smaller version of a book for Addie’s first and second year, let’s be honest, to be able to do this 7 years ago cost A LOT more money and the options were much fewer and farther between. I also didn’t have the camera I have now. I also have books filled with printed 4x6s of her, I didn’t even have a digital camera until she was born.
    Technology has changed so much in the seven years she’s been alive, I have to believe that she’ll understand that this kind of thing just wasn’t possible when she was little (because unless you were rolling in the dough or a professional photographer, they just weren’t possible.)
    It took almost an hour and a half to upload my finished book to Blurb on the fastest connection I can get in my house, can you even imagine trying to do this on dial up? Oy.

    Jen B Reply:

    @Casey, Yeah…we had dial-up 7 years ago :)

  4. I love it. And now I really need to come visit so I can see it.

    Casey Reply:

    @Avitable, You’ve been saying that for, oh, three years.

    Avitable Reply:

    @Casey, I know! I suck.

  5. Gorgeous! I use Blurb for printing my digital scrapbooks (I know.), but I’ve never done one of the giant ones before.

    Casey Reply:

    @Nichole, Hey, I don’t judge. At least you do it! That’s all I care about!

  6. Your book looks AMAZING! It reminds me of how much my 5 year old loves looking at photo albums of herself I have in her room. I started getting sad that it’s too late for a book like this and then it came to me – I will create this type of book documenting my daughter’s first year of Kindergarten. Thank you!

    Casey Reply:

    @Nellie, It’s never too late. I think I’m going to go back and do one of the big 5 year gap between this one and Addie’s two year old one.

  7. I want to do this. Your book looks wonderful. My kids are 7 and 9. Any suggestions on how to get started? Should I start today and just do a years worth like you did or should I go back through my old photos and do a 2003-2007 book and then a 2008-2012? I almost want to just start today. I would think there was something special going on when you would take your photos KNOWING there were going into this book. I think some of that magic might be lost with using old photos.

    Casey Reply:

    @Stephanie, Thanks Stephanie! If I were you, I would just gather as many pictures as I could and group them together by year (since kids don’t change as much as babies to in one year.) Get them as close to chronological order as you can and as you go through them group them together into “themes” like there’s a page in my book of just self portraits in the mirror holding Vivi, a whole group of holiday-ish ones and our trip to Florida. I knew what ones I wanted full page going into it and I filled in the other photos around them. I would just see how big my book got. I wanted mine big and luscious, but there’s nothing wrong with a bunch of smaller ones, our family photos from last year are all laid out in a smaller portrait style that is only 20 pages.
    I think it just matters that you get them into a book, kids don’t care how good a photo looks, they just care that they can look at it. I don’t especially care if a photo is amazing as long as I captured the moment and the feel of what happened. If you could also write in little stories about some of the photos, for posterity, it makes a big difference between just looking at the photos and really experiencing them. It certainly doesn’t have to be much.

  8. OMG Casey, it is beautiful. Can I just buy that one of YOUR kids, because I will never make a book like that on my own?

    Casey Reply:

    @RookieMom Whitney, Of course! But can I be there when you tell your kids “Mommy bought this big $100 of some other kids because she couldn’t bring herself to make her eyeballs bleed staring at the screen doing your own.”?

  9. I swear. I get annoyed and bothered with people who are all, “Do you feel sad that you’re 25, single and don’t know if/when you’ll have kids?” To which I respond, “My life’s pretty awesome. I’m sorry you can’t see that amidst changing diapers and sleep-deprivation.” And then I read your posts and look at your pictures and think, “WANT. CHILDREN. NOW.” While getting teary-eyed. Oops.

    All to say…beautiful book.

    Casey Reply:

    @Megan N., Ha! Just tell them “I’m holding off so I can watch you screw up your kids so I know what NOT to do.”

  10. Love this! I think I need to do this for Attia’s first year. Great idea. :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Sarah, Plan for it now and it will make it easier when it comes time to actually make it.

  11. My mom or husband has gotten me a blurb gift certificate for the last two Christmases. Then I make a book out of my blog (which is basically a journal detailing our lives since we live so far from family). I love having the book with this stuff recorded. I just wish my pics were as good as yours.

    Casey Reply:

    @Vickie, I wish I would have made one out of my blog before WordPress deleted half of my old entries. Wah.

  12. That book looks amazing! I love it! And its sooo big! I need to get better about making my photo books its been 6 months since my last one and Bella is so different six months later!

    Casey Reply:

    @Marta, Oh man, if I did one every six months I’d be broke.

    Marta Reply:

    @Casey, My free shutterfly ones that you just pay shipping for? No you wouldn’t be broke :-D

  13. I need time. I will do this. That’s it – making a book a la blurb is my summer goal. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

    Casey Reply:

    @Kylee, Let me see it when you’re done!!

  14. I LOVE it. I have been meaning to do one but just haven’t gotten around to it. ALSO I LOVE THE HAT SHE IS WEARING!! :)

    Steph

    Casey Reply:

    @Stephanie Precourt, It was made by one of my most treasured friends.

  15. That’s amazing. Like, I want to have a baby NOW for one, amazing.

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