If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you I am a very organized person. I love my label maker and have a rather large collection of jars and baskets. In fact, our last movers actually laughed at me as they opened the tenth box of jars to be unpacked. But in my defense, no matter how many jars or baskets one may have, you just never seem to have the perfect one for what you want to get organized. Do you know what I mean? Please tell me I’m not the only crazy jar hoarder out there!
As you may know, we moved overseas and while abroad, ended up selling our house back in The States. This meant all of our Stateside belongings would go into storage for a few years until we returned. Not a problem, right?
Not a problem that is, except for a highly organized person like me. You see, for 19 straight years I diligently put together a yearly photo album of all the wonderful memories we had made from January-December of the previous year. Every year 300 photos were carefully selected from the thousands (yes, I take a ton of pictures) of family milestones, fun trips, and special events that happened that year. It was a big job but very manageable, if it was done only once a year.
We ended up staying overseas for almost four years and when all was said and done, I had five year’s worth of photo albums to catch up on. One year-big job. Five years-monumental task. But I decided there’s no time to tackle a big project like wintertime in antarctic, subzero Michigan since I would most likely be stuck inside every day anyway.
The big day came. I was going to sort through each year’s pictures and choose a mere 300 per year. Two weeks later, the task was done. It was so hard! We had so many grand adventures while overseas and experienced so many new things that narrowing them down was very difficult. But I persevered, yes I did! And when all was done, I had organized each year’s 300 photos in chronological order and placed them neatly into five separate folders.
Next came the task of uploading all the pictures onto a photo ordering website. People raved about Costco’s online photo ordering system so I figured I would start there. It took two days to upload all of my photos. Finally I was ready to place my order so I proceeded to select every single photo individually and put them all in my cart. All 1510 of them. Yes, 1510. As you can imagine, the online photo center didn’t like this one bit and told me this by going completely crazy. As in, the entire system shut down. I couldn’t upload anything and what I had uploaded couldn’t be placed into my cart. “Of course,” I thought. “Leave it to me to shut down the entire Costco online photo center.”
After a few more hours of trying different things, I finally managed to upload all my photos into my cart. Oh boy! So, once again I hand selected every photo and dropped them into my cart. Easy, right? Oh you’re funny to think so. Of course it wouldn’t be that easy. Wait, has this project been in the slightest way easy? Nope.
Oh, I sure do crack myself up!
As I scrolled through the photos in my cart, I realized they were ALL OUT OF ORDER. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way in which they uploaded. Not by year. Not by place. Not by anything that made any sense. I wasn’t laughing at myself too hard anymore by this point.
Now, I’m not afraid of hard work but this was too much, even for me. Can you imagine sifting through 1510 photos taken over the course of five years and trying to organize them all chronologically? Me neither! So I reluctantly emptied the cart that took two days to fill and started over by year. I decided it would be way easier to organize the photos if they were grouped by year so I created five different individual orders. Lo and behold they all went through and a week later, a huge bag-full of boxes filled with our treasured photos arrived at my doorstep.
All that was left to do after that was: go through all of the photos, organize them, put them into their respective books, caption them, and voila! Just like that it would be done.
I’m happy to say that I finished my “little” winter project yesterday, exactly one month after I started. But have no fear, we are an organized family once again (at least in the photo book sense). And although the Costco photo department took one for the team on this one, they came through and helped us preserve our memories. Thanks Costco!
On a final note.
If you happen to be reading this in February of next year, please don’t forget to remind me to do our photo album from last year. I don’t ever want to tackle a project this big again, that’s for sure. If I do, Costco may end up banning me for life. 😉