For the past week we’ve been barely keeping up with all of the children’s ‘end-of-year’ events. There have been carols, concerts, award shows, discos, Christmas markets and so on. I suppose a bit of chaos is normal this time of year when you have five kids, but it seems like everything fell into one week this time around. AND, it’s suddenly 10 December and we’ve hardly spent a second thinking about our Christmas plans. The Christmas decorations and stockings remain packed away in the garage, there’s no tree in the house (or even on order), and no Christmas music on the stereo. And it looks like next week may be just as hectic as we play catch-up!
We did manage to do few things in advance though. Before leaving for London on my recent work trip, I hung and filled the advent calendar with sweet, little surprises for each of the days leading up to Christmas. We also asked the kids to make a wish list for Santa that had to include some shared items and experiences. Most impressively, we managed to design and order a gift for the whole family — a Layflat photo album from Artifact Uprising.
We’ve written before about how much we love real photo albums around our house. We keep them on display in the living room and on our bookshelves. We find our kids leafing through them weekly — the younger ones really enjoy seeing what the bigger ones got up to before they came along. Friends and guests enjoy them too when visiting. Albums are just such a nice way to reflect on past experiences together, whereas digital albums tend to be a solo experience.
With the past year being such a big one for us (a ‘sea-change’ is what they call it down here — as in, moving closer to the sea to slow down), we thought it was worth commemorating it in print. The result is a hardback album we’ve called ‘A New Home: Our First Year in Australia’. Having just received our full visas a few weeks ago, the title felt especially poignant.
Like most Christmas plans, we’d been talking about making this album for a while. We procrastinated, as usual, but when we finally got around to it we were pleased by just how quick it was to create. We went for the Layflat style as we thought it would be easier to view as a group, and to make life simpler, we decided to only use iPhone photos. I keep an album of my favourite photos on my iPhone, so it was a cinch to upload those for our photo book. The album we chose is the largest of five sizes at 14 x 11”, but our iPhone7 Plus photos held up well and the imagery looks great. We also opted to leave out any text to speed up its creation and keep things simple. The result is a beautiful book filled with happy images from our first year here in Australia.
Now we just need to get our album wrapped up and placed under the Christmas tree (that we don’t yet have). It will be such a fun gift to open on Christmas Day!
This post has been sponsored by Artifact Uprising. All words and images are our own and we are proud to partner with this innovative company.