The Weekend Report

All in all we had a very good weekend. I had what I fondly refer to as a CRASH & BURN on Saturday night. I generally need to CRASH about every two weeks. This means I intentionally walk away from my to-do list so that I can relax and sleep and recover from my life. IF I do NOT get to deliberately CRASH for several weeks in a row, then I inadvertently CRASH & BURN in a very unexpected way. This is not a pretty thing and usually involves tears and a whole mess of emotion targeted at my sweet and steady husband. Luckily, my sweet and steady husband has learned not to retaliate, but to listen (without trying to fix anything) and then let me sleep. 

Sunday was a much better day. After church, the our friends, the Jensens came for Taft's birthday dinner, and we served nothing but "Taft" food.  We ate Kraft macaroni and cheese,
chicken nuggets, apples and peanut butter, rolls with butter and jam, smoothies and cupcakes. The kids played and we visited and I went to bed with a messy kitchen (not my preference.) I got up fairly early this morning and got the kids off to school, put on some music and cleaned. I'm still taking things rather slow and plan to get outside for some much needed sunshine.

Saturday morning was Taft's birthday party and everything turned out really well.

I never imagined before I had children how sentimental I would get on birthdays. I also never realized that I would automatically reflect back on the birth of each child and every single year feel that much more gratitude for the blessing of bringing a new person into the world. What a remarkable and wonderful thing it is to be a mother.

In an effort to support the Teach a Friend to Scrapbook campaign over at, I thought I would share my process for prioritizing and printing event photos.
I took 98 pictures at Taft's party.

Step ONE: Upload + Purge

I uploaded these photos on Sunday morning and did a quick run through, deleting not-so-good and duplicate shots. When I come across very similar shots (I call these duplicates) I view each image in full screen mode and pick the best one. I do NOT save lots of duplicates. After this initial purge. I had 68 photos left.  NOTE: The best duplicate is the one where my child looks the cutest!

Digital photography has done away with the tendency we had to curb our
photo-taking. Since we are no longer limited by  "24 Exposures" on a
roll of film, we can (and I believe should) take as many photos as we
want. The more photos I take, the more likely I am to get better photos!

Step TWO: Edit + Delete

Once I have purged my collection of event photos, I go back through them (not always on the same day) and do quick edits. For me, this generally involves a quick fix to adjust the exposure and/or use the cropping tool. As I go through photos again, I shift into edit mode and delete photos I really don't need. If for example, I have three shots of one party guest, doing different activities (playing a game, eating etc.)  I decide which shot is the best one and delete the other two. After this second step with Taft's birthday pictures, I was down to 50 jpegs. NOTE: I was NOT always able to edit or pare down my event photos in this way. After years of moving photos through my system, I am getting better at knowing which photos I really don't need. Once you get into a rhythm and realize how often you scrapbook and how many photos you realistically use, letting go becomes much easier.

Digital photography gives us the chance to snap away with the hope that we will get the best shots. We run into trouble, when we don't delete the shots that aren't the BEST. Remember this.

Step THREE: Archive + Print

The next step in my personal process is to move photos I want to archive and print from my main pictures folder or library to a highlight folder. Even though I have already pared my photo collection down, I don't always move all of the photos left to my highlight or print folder.  In fact, I try really hard to imagine which photos I will most likely scrapbook and move just those. Of the 50 birthday photos left after step one and two, I only moved 30 from my main library to my 2009 Spring highlight folder. At the end of June (or more realistically, sometime in July) I will upload this highlight folder to my account at Shutterfly and order prints.

When you Teach A Friend to Scrapbook,


She has MORE photos than she can possibly scrapbook in her lifetime. Tell her it's OK. Tell her that if she will purge + delete + print on a routine basis, she will be able to scrapbook LOTS of pictures. Tell her that every time she pairs a few photos with a few of the details she remembers she is celebrating life. Tell her that each time she creates a page, she is one page closer to telling an amazing story. Tell her that this is a story only she can tell.

Tell her she can scrapbook. Tell her you'll help!

Here are 10 of the original 98 photos I took on Saturday morning (remember, I have an additional 20 photos to play with)











Happy Monday!


  1. christine plaxco says:

    Glad you crashed and burned, so you can keep coming up with more fun things to share. You amaze me. I use to have fun when my kids where younger with themed birthdays. My son had Prom this weekend. A bunch of kids came over after, and of course I had a fun theme for them. I crashed and burned because I was up till 3:30am!! Write that book of fun ideas for kids so I can use them on my grandkids someday. Enjoy the rest of your day!!! Christine

  2. That party looks like a blast. I love your photo triage in a nutshell. That process, along with the storage binders, are the two biggest things I’ve taken away from Library of Memories. Just being able to see and “bond with” my photos has brought the fun back into scrapbooking for me. Knowing that the pictures that I’m looking at are the best ones, that I chose them and got rid of the rest, has really speeded up the process for me.

  3. TracyBzz says:

    Taft’s smile looks like my daughter’s. The 2 teeth on either side of the front ones missing. Those darn teeth takes months to come in. What a fun looking birthday party.
    This is exactly what I do with my pictures too. You HAVE to delete! The more you take the more you have to delete.

  4. Tiffany says:

    oKAY, love the mad scientist theme..what a cool idea!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your process of deleting photos. I am learning that I cannot keep nor do I need every single photo I take and that it is okay to delete or even throw them away. :-)

  5. Delilas says:

    Thanks for the wonderful tips that you made in how to purge photos. It is way helpful in know the rule of thumb of it. Steady husbands are the best, I have one that will do the same.

  6. aileen says:

    Thanks for walking us through your steps. It helps me to “see” what you would do. Cute, cute party theme, may have to try this one!

  7. Hi Stacy! I do all of those same steps and I have finally gotten to where I am ruthless about deleting photos. If it doesn’t thrill me, it’s gone! LOL My question is about your printing. Do you always print in 4×6? I have an Epson Picturemate with a variety of sizes available to print. Since I got that, I am printing less pictures because I like the options of making them smaller for a page. But that seems to keep me from printing most of my pictures. Do you find that you actually scrap your 4×6 pics or do you end up resizing some and reprinting? If so, isn’t that a waste of money to print them as 4×6 in the first place?
    (Sorry so long!) I still love ya! Tracie

  8. Heather says:

    I am so loving your mad scientist party theme. I may just have to steal that one.
    I too had a Crash & Burn recently after I had finished my daughter’s Amazing Race themed birthday a week ago. 2 1/2 mile course, 15 events, 3 teams with chaperones, 2 Game Masters. Plus a slumber party. All in all 32 human beings (children and adults) to coordinate and feed. It was a blast, but themed parties plus life really take their toll.
    Glad you are taking the time to rest.
    Loved the quick triage lesson. I am working towards setting aside some time to teach a friend or 2 to scrapbook. I hope to have some pass along sessions this summer. Thanks as always for the inspiration.

  9. Jacoba says:

    Thanks for the mini-tutorial on photo triage – I have a lot of trouble deleting (and printing!) photos. I hope to become a little more ‘brutal’ with my photos…neat idea for a party, btw, and Taft kind of reminded me of you in that one presentation you once did with the periodic table!

  10. Margot/NZ says:

    Thank you for that great summary of process – this will be SO helpful to me and to new scrapbookers. I’m going to print this off and keep it in a folder ready to share with others.
    Your birthday photos capture the fun, the colour and the enjoyment of Taft and his guests. Well done! (and you say you’re not a good photographer….!).

  11. OMGosh!! What fun photos! That table set up is AMAZING! You’re quite the party girl!

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this system. With my 23+ years of being a pro photographer, I probably have more photos than most people I will ever meet. My Ah Ha moment came when I realized that my kids are just as satisfied with whatever I print as opposed to waiting FOREVER to looks at the memories. I even let myself just slide pix into pocket albums. Whew, a job taken care of in a reasonable amount of time. Memories safely stored!

  13. what a great party theme and execution of it!

  14. Hi Stacy, where do you get the ideas for the party’s theme from? This is amazing….any book hints? links?
    (I am looking foward to scrapping in our LOM Class)

  15. Looks like a great party – love the colourful table and drinks.
    Thanks for the photo step by step, I’m teaching a friend to scrapbook and she had just asked that question :)

  16. The party looked amazing! You are such a super and creative mom!

  17. You got some really good photos! Looks like a good time was had by all! Really cute ideas!

  18. Stacy, thank you – my friend is coming over this week and I’m supposed to “teach” her to scrapbook. She has been gathering tons of CM product, but spinning her wheels. She looks at my scrapbooks and loves them, but doesn’t know how to start. And it’s something I’ve been doing for 7 or 8 years, so for me it’s like 2nd nature. How to teach? Of course! Keep it simple. I will follow your plan :) And you silly, you HAVE to take time for yourself, avoid the ugly C&B (although sometimes a good old cry is cleansing)- I, too, suffer from the *superwoman comples*, as my doctor calls it…

  19. I do the same intentional crash every once in a while. It is simply needed to recharge and keep my sanity. Today is one of those days. I didn’t go to work. I am not doing housework. I slept in really late. I am catching up on the internet. Yay us.
    Taft’s party looks wonderful. I love the lab table. My 9 yr old will love these pics. I am going to show her after school today. TTFN

  20. Stacy…looks like a wonderful party–my son wants the “scientist” theme for his party this July—what did you have under the cake in the trifle bowl….it looks cute, but what is it? I’m definitely using some of these ideas for our party—he’s wanted this party theme since we saw it in Family Fun!

  21. Awesome post, Stacy. Love that theme. My son would have loved that…he is now almost 15 and the themed parties are out the window…boo hoo! That cake frosting was the BEST color!! How did you get it so lime green?

  22. Crash and burn… I think all moms at one time or another do this.. NEED this. Take care of you!
    (BTW – the birthday pictures are great, reminded me of the first ever class I took with you at the first ever CKU! Professer Julian Loved it!)

  23. Could that table be any more colorful?? LOVE it!!

  24. How F-U-N does that look! Thanks for letting us have a peek at the celebrations :)

  25. shellbell78 says:

    I am the EXACT same way when I dont get to “crash and burn” myself. My hubby has dealt with many a teary tale, then I get some good sleep and the world looks brighter.
    Your sons birthday looks awesome! What a fun and great mom you are!

  26. Great tutorial on teaching friends to Scrapbook! We’ve linked it at

  27. Leora Henkin says:

    What a GREAT party!!!! Thanks for sharing. I didn’t realize that you uploaded and sorted your pics right away. Thanks for sharing your process. Leora

  28. thanks for sharing Taft’s party pics – love the bright colors! I also appreciate you sharing your process for reviewing and choosing which pics to scrap … I am still at a point where I don’t want to delete any pics, but I’m okay with that … I’m getting into the habit of copying pics to a “print” folder on my laptop and it’s working GREAT! (also going to check out the “teach a friend …” info!!)

  29. kimberly violett says:

    Very good advice and you’ve made some great points :)
    Happy Belated Birthday to Taft :)

  30. Joyce Teague says:

    Thanks for the tip! I didn’t think of that. I also love the crazy scientist theme party. My son past me by and you’ll never guess what he wants to do for his b-day this Nov. He wants to try to do the mad scientist theme party, too! I just wanted to see if you can give me some tips on how to do that. Hee hee! Thanks

  31. Oh! SO fun!! You are creative all around! Good thing you don’t mind us copying!

  32. Debi Boring says:

    ‘k… Those pics of Taft in the white coat and gloves brough flashbacks of YOU at CKU many moons ago LOL. LOVED that class! Love the party decorations! SO colorful!

  33. Brandy Russell says:

    I loved your pictures…I was thinking of doing a science party for my 6 year old sons birthday party and would love to know any ideas that you would be willing to share.

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