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Monday, January 24, 2011

Honeymoon Photo Book

I'm super excited about a new project I'm halfway finished with -- a honeymoon photo book!

I contemplated just going the traditional route with our honeymoon photos by printing them from Snapfish and putting them in a normal photo album, but I wanted to learn more about the other options that are out there.  Since I've made two photo books before (of our wedding pictures for our parents' Christmas presents) with the help of, I was definitely interested in pursuing that route again.  But with a project this extensive (TONS more pictures than the fifty or so chosen for our parents' albums) I knew it would take a little more personalization than Shutterfly had to offer.

Front cover of the wedding album we made for my parents
I've been avidly browsing for about a year now, and a few posts written by the bloggers have been dedicated to wedding albums, or photo books.  Someone mentioned, and although it took me a bit to finally check it out, I'm pretty happy that I did.

Blurb offers so much more customization plus the ability to tackle large projects with many pictures.  I downloaded their free software, BookSmart, and I was well on my way to designing my album!

I broke our pictures into two halves since there are roughly 600 pictures in total.  The first part will include the beginning of our trip all the way to our first excursion from Monte Carlo, and the second part will pick up after Monte Carlo and end with the end of the honeymoon.  I'm currently constructing the second part, but the first part has been polished up and just recently ordered!
Here's the cover of the first book:

I'm pretty excited about actually getting the book in my hands and seeing how it looks.  The best part was that the total for one book was only about $34 (with a free shipping code), so if it's terrible, I won't feel as upset as if I'd ordered an $80-100 book.  It isn't scheduled to ship until the first of February, but you can bet as soon as I get it in my hands, I'll be ready to (in true blogger fashion) take some detail pictures of it and review my experience with Blurb!

Going through this process also made me realize that I've never properly recapped our honeymoon.  With our one year anniversary getting closer and closer, I think it will definitely be appropriate to tackle honeymoon recaps in the near future.  It'll be a neat way to bring back some fond memories of one really awesome trip, so expect those soon!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bellingrath 2010

Every year since Mr. L has been stationed close to Mobile, he and I make it a point to attend Bellingrath Garden's Magic Christmas in Lights event around the holiday season.  I love walking around the grounds and looking at all of the lights BG's employees work so hard to put up and maintain -- they're so gorgeous.

This year, we had the pleasure of showing our tradition to our friend Joe who flew in to visit us for a couple of weeks!

Mr. L and Joe with some of the decorations at Bellingrath

High fivin' Santa!
He's so cool.
Mr. L and I also participated in another tradition at Bellingrath -- purchasing our annual ornament.  However, we kind of did this backwards!  Instead of going on the last night with Joe, we went earlier in the month to ensure we got our ornament if we for some reason missed taking Joe this year.  Here are some pictures of our pretty 2010 BG ornament:

Since it was our last holiday season home before we move to Hawaii, I was super excited that we were able to extend this tradition into one more year.  I was also very happy that we got to share the Magic Christmas in Lights experience with Joe!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh hey, it's January -- Time for Christmas recaps!

So due to my lack of posting for like...over a month, I think it's pretty obvious that Mr. L and I have had a busy holiday season!  I'm sorry about my lack of blogging :(  I'm going to try to do better this year, especially once the Hawaii ball gets officially rolling later this year!

So let's see if I remember everything we've done in the past month... (all photos mine!)


Christmas Eve was the beginning of our two-day Christmas celebration.  We began the day driving up to Mr. L's grandparents home in northern Mobile County to celebrate with his mother's side of the family.

We ate yummy brunch food:
Shrimp bisque!  =)

And then proceeded to dig into all of the presents under the tree like there was no tomorrow!

We ooh'd and ahh'd over Mr. L's cousin's baby and his new toy:

And Mr. L's sister got a kick out of her Play-Doh:

Afterwards, we relished in the happy yet bittersweet haze of "omgChristmasisoverandnewpresentsareawesome" with the family.

Two of my and Mr. L's gifts were these beautiful ornaments:

Our First Christmas Together
USS Alabama Christmas on the Coast ornament =)
Eventually we had to head on back to Mr. L's parents house in mid-Mobile County and celebrate there with a fried turkey dinner and more presents.

Mr. L loves his momma!
By this time, we were pretty stuffed and content, but we still had to make an hour and a half drive to Gulf Shores (southern Mobile County) to get to my family's beach house.  So we kept ourselves out of a food coma and made our way down to the beach.

The next morning, we woke up to lots of rain and overcast skies:

Oh, hello again, BP equipment...

I walked around the house and took random pictures while we waited on my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew to arrive:

Yay, more presents!
Sweet puppy!
Another sweet baby!

My dad reading the morning paper
My mom finishing up breakfast in the kitchen
What else would we be watching on Christmas Day?  =)
Everything's ready to go for Christmas!
My brother and Mr. L playing video games, of course.  Mr. L is so intense!
Once the rest of my family got there, we began sorting and opening presents!

Bryant opening one of his presents
He loved it!

Grandma got a gun for Christmas!  Haha =)
Cocoa was SO exhausted after playing with her new Kong ball all morning:
Sooo tired!
And Izzie posed for my camera:

Sweet Izzie!
Bryant also got a nifty little remote-controlled car:

Which, of course, Buck had to play with and ultimately end up driving it down the stairs.

After playing with the car, Buck decided it would be a good time to break out the gift his sister had given him the night before:  a remote-controlled helicopter!

He looks pretty scary, haha
CiCi was not happy with this little intrusion by any means:

Bryant watching the helicopter
Bryant absolutely loved watching the helicopter buzz around the house...he kept saying "Bye plane!" every time it zoomed upwards or away from him!

Waving bye to the helicopter!
It looks like it's about to shoot me!
We enjoyed the rest of the day and evening spending time together playing cards and hanging out during what would be the last evening we would all stay in the beach house.  It was a great experience, and I'm so glad we got to spend Christmas at the beach with the whole family!