You’ve heard of “photo albums” before, right?

When I was still pregnant with NikkiZ, I was trying to put together some photo albums to leave out on the coffee tables before one of our showers. Of course, by “photo album” I mean just that: Photo Album. No scrapbook. I’ve made one scrapbook and I just don’t have the patience to really stick with it. I prefer the slot-for-the-photo album. They lazy man’s scrapbook.

I have always loved photo albums, but the digital camera age has kept me from keeping them as up-to-date since printing isn’t habitual. We don’t use photo printers because; with the amount of photos we print, it is much more economical to make Wal-Mart or Target print them for us. I can get a pint of blood cheaper than I can printer ink.

Since I didn’t have a lot of recent photos in any of the albums, I sat down and essential went through every digital photo I had take in two years and sent over 100 photos to be printed at Wal-Mart. This was when they were the only store locally with the online one-hour service. (I feel like I have to justify using Wal-Mart or Target will think I cheated on him and dump me.) I put the albums together and they were a big hit at the shower.

After NikkiZ was born, I decided I needed to be more disciplined about printing pictures. I got into the habit of going through my photos at the end of every month and sending the album-worthy photos to Target to be printed. Since I have to crop the photos to a 4×6 ratio for printing (the photo labs do that for you if you don’t – but it’s an automatic process so inevitably heads get shaved or appendages get clipped) it can be a lengthy process sending in a batch of photos. A typical month had me printing 70 photos to place in our albums. That might be an overkill, but I’m nothing if not the Queen of Photo Albums. Or maybe the Queen of Overdoing It.

I also take that time to print photos up for family. My Mom and Dad check my blog and my Flickr account, but both of them appreciate The Photo. It’s like the Glass Ketchup Bottle. You just don’t see them that often anymore. I used to send them copies of pictures all of the time back of LilZ when he was a baby, back in the 35mm days, so I try to send them a batch periodically of NikkiZ too. My in-laws, who live locally, like to have copies as well since they have a few albums around the house to stick pictures in. Essentially, it is my way of contributing to our Weekly Sunday Dinner. Since I don’t do the cooking or the cleaning since it’s not my house – I bring photos. And the grand-kids. And the beer.

So, at the end of November I just never found the time to go through the photos from that month. We had gotten the d80, so we took a lot more pictures in November. We also traveled to Louisiana, so there was a huge batch of photos from that trip. I knew the total would be a lot higher, and I just never found the time to get to it. Then December came and went. I had the daunting task of going through November’s photos looming in front of me, and with Christmas and my trip to Tucson, December’s were just as intimidating. So, just like I told myself I wanted NOT to do, I let the two months stack up well into January.

I finally sat down this past weekend and went through November’s photos. It took several hours. I submitted them to be printed yesterday. Do you want to know how many I printed? 186. That’s almost an entire album to itself. I told you: Queen of Overdoing It. December’s batch isn’t quite as huge (the trip to Louisiana did us in) but it will be well over 100. After that, January should be relatively normal since there’s nothing big going on this month. But at the end of today, January is officially over. Tomorrow I will be two month’s behind again. BAH. This is exactly why I told myself to be disciplined about doing it at the end of every month, it becomes too easy to let them pile up if I get behind. Being disciplined is hard. Ask me about the untouched ice-cream cake in the freezer. That thing calls out to me all hours of the night, yet I’ve not yielded to it’s powers.

The Cocoa Puffs on the other hand…