Preserving Memories for our Girls: Our Family Yearbook


Team Lyle Yearbook

Team Lyle Yearbook

Pictures can have such power and meaning. Sometimes, they convey emotions that are hard to articulate and remind me of memories I’d forgotten. And they’re so fun to look at! Since having the girls, we’ve amassed a ridiculous amount of pictures. I often wondered how to organize them. When I was younger, we’d pull out my parents’ ginormous bins of pictures and pour over them laughing and remembering and questioning. My siblings and I still do that sometimes, but the more recent pictures (like 2000 and forward) aren’t printed; they’re stored digitally. And there’s something community-building and fun to pass physical pictures around with your spouse and siblings (usually there was a sinister giggle connected with the picture passing).

I wanted to preserve our love and memories in a physical form, so two years ago, I decided to create a family yearbook. It’s called Team Lyle. And it is so neat to make. The first year it was a surprise for my husband and daughters. It ended up being a Christmas present. It’s pretty easy and reasonably priced. I use Costco because it’s basic and cheaper than other photo books. It cost about $40 for our 75 page book (I’m going off of memory here). We make the 11” x 8” leather cover version photo book. It’s simple and perfect for my non-creative, don’t-wanna-spend-much-time-on-this, not-tech-savvy side. For mamas with littles, it’s great. My creative friend with awesome photography skills has used Shutterfly for her photo books and they look beautiful.

So here’s how I make our yearbook:

  1. Take pictures throughout the year. All my photos are automatically uploaded to Google Photos, so I don’t have to manage my pictures at all, except to delete photos that are blurry or duplicates or whatever.
  2. Find a site that makes photo books. I chose Costco because I wanted more pages and it was cheaper than Shutterfly.
  3. Follow the program instructions to upload pictures, add captions and clip art, change backgrounds and colors, etc. I also organized mine mostly chronologically so we could see our growth throughout the year.
  4. Ship it to yourself. Wrap it (if making it a Christmas present like we did). And open!

Another benefit (for parents of little kiddos) is that you can talk about memories and people they may have forgotten. This is important now that we’re in Alaska away from family. We’ve talked about people and things and events we loved. And Mira, my three-year-old budding fashionista laments about the clothing she no longer gets to wear, “Oh, mommy, I miss wearing that dress! I can’t wait until it’s Spring again and I can wear dresses and short-sleeve shirts again.” I kinda get it….little girls look super cute in pretty much anything they wear, especially dresses and tutus.

Anyone else make photo books or yearbooks? Please share any ideas below!


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