Part of the festivities honoring my grandmother on her 90th birthday was a book full of all the things we love about Nina. Of course I forgot to take any photos of the book before I handed it over to my grandmother, so you'll have to make do with my PDFs. The cover was simply green with a big 90! on the front.
After checking out several printing options, we decided to go with blurb. I have made photo books with Shutterfly in the past, and have been pleased with the overall quality, but Blurb allows you to print directly from a PDF. Because I design books for a living, I can create the book using InDesign (a program I am very comfortable with) and then just upload the final PDF, instead of using one of their available templates. This gives me a lot of freedom with the design. I give Blurb a big thumbs up!
My grandmother has 10 children, over 30 grandchildren, and over 40 great-grandchildren so I wanted to do a book that counted from 1 to 90. I figured between all of us and our spouses, we could get 90 different memories or thoughts gathered. Luckily, several people contributed more than one memory.
Some comments were short and sweet, others went on for several pages. Some talked about a favorite memory (like my Aunt Penny above, remembering a trip she took as a newlywed with her mom and dad). Others talked about something they admire about grandma: the way she always makes Christmas special, or what an efficient household she ran, or how she makes the best strawberry-blackberry jam.
It was a pleasure to put this book together (though I admit it took longer than I thought!). It gave me a chance to see my grandmother in a different light. I now can see her as a young mother, trying to make ends meet. Or later in life, as a devoted wife taking care of my grandfather. I see her making dinner in the kitchen with her young daughters helping. I see her dancing with my grandfather to the music they loved. Or double checking that all the Christmas gifts for each of her children make it under the tree.
Of course I also still see her as my sweet grandmother... the one who sends out a family letter to each person in her large extended family each month. Who crochets a blanket for each new great grandbaby and never misses a birthday. She still makes it to the cabin each summer for our family reunion (she's the one passing out the toffee nut bars and making sure the great-grandkids have enough Otter Pops.)
90 years and going strong. Happy Birthday Grandma! I have no doubt we'll be celebrating your 100th birthday in no time at all.