We've never sent Christmas cards before. I've thought about it every year, but every year decided the cost and time weren't worth it until we had kids.
Well, we have a kid now. And it dawned on me a couple days ago that Christmas is right around the corner. So considering the time it takes to have the cards made, sent to us, addressed, and then sent out, I went into panic mode and told Jonathan we needed to take a picture NOW.
I was on a walk through our neighborhood the other day and noticed our friends Jonathan & Patrick (who just bought a beautiful house a few blocks away) had tons of Christmas decorations up. So we asked them if we could borrow their tree to take a family picture. We didn't realize we were also asking to borrow their awesome camera/photography skills, but they were more than happy to help.
Bates has always been a little overwhelmed around them (probably because they are loud and energetic, which they would self-admit [so don't think I'm talking badly about our friends]). But Jonathan and I wondered how the babe would do in our picture since he tends to get a "stone face" when overwhelmed in new situations.
After about 10 pictures with a stone face similar to this (taken at Halloween)...
Once we got home, I jumped on the internet trying to find the best deal on cards. I had been saving coupons for different picture card websites for the past month. Our four options were: Minted, Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, and Card Store. I wanted a cardstock card with room for one picture. I knew I could find a cute design on any of the sites, so I was searching for the best deal.
The prices were pretty similar except for Card Store. In fact, Card Store cost almost $100 less than the other sites. Some of the details were ambiguous (like what type of paper they used to print the picture), so I decided to skip them (when a deal seems too good to be true...). The winner in the end was Tiny Prints. I'm so happy with the way the proof looked on the site - hopefully it will look good in person, too!
I feel so proud of myself for finally making this happen! I can't wait to get them in the mail!