Screen shot 2012-04-22 at 6.00.44 PMAs you know, I'm in Mexico on vacation. Or maybe you don't know because you don't follow my life as closely as I do. That's totally understandable.

I'm on vacation in Mexico.

But, Mother's Day is just around the corner, and as per usual, I am behind on getting gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law.

So when Snapfish offered me a chance to try their new Mother's Day photo book designs, I jumped at the opportunity because that seemed like a great way to make a meaningful gift even while away from home. You know, instead of buying an "I Heart Mexico" magnet at the airport.

The only thing is— photo books are usually the source of great stress for me. Mike asked for one for Father's Day last year and I have still yet to make it for him.

There are two reasons for this:

1. I take a ton of pictures and don't weed out the bad ones like I should, so going through my iPhoto library can take days. 

2. I am a total control freak when it comes to photo layouts and get so caught up in designing my own pages that I never finish them.

But in the interest of a great Mother's Day gift for Mazzy's well-deserving grandmothers (one of whom is making it possible for Mike and me to go on this child-free trip), I decided to give Snapfish photo books a shot and perhaps, finally succeed at completing one.

But can I do it and make it back to the pool before sundown?

First, I made an album in iPhoto of all the pictures of Mazzy worth printing from the past year, paying special attention to photos with the Grandmothers.

Unfortunately, here is one of the only recent photos I could find with Mazzy and Grandma Toby (my mother-in-law):

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Grandma Toby shouldn't feel slighted though because here is one of the only recent photos I could find with Mazzy and my own mom (Grammy):

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And just as a further point of comparison, here's the only recent photo of Mazzy with my stepmother (Nonna):

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At least, Mazzy treats all grandmothers equally.

But good photos be damned, this Mother's Day gift was going to happen!

Next, I uploaded all the pictures (Snapfish can access an iPhoto album directly which is super helpful) and waited for them to process. I expected this to take several days but it actually only took about one chapter of the Hunger Games.

Then I selected the "Letterpress for Mom" template and did something totally crazy for a photo control freak— chose the vacation-friendly "autofill" option.

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Thankfully, the autofill doesn't just place pictures at random, it places pictures together according to time and event. So even though I didn't categorize Mazzy's 2nd birthday party in any way, all those photos still stayed together on their own pages.

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I ended up spending a little bit of time rearranging (deleting photos, reshuffling the photos on the page) plus some photo editing of individual photos, but it was definitely a lot less time-consuming than placing each picture myself.

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About an hour later, my perfect Mother's Day gift was ready to order. 

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And I was ready to rejoin my husband at the pool. (Hallelujah!)

If you want to create your own photo book for Mother's Day (what else do Grandmothers' want, really?) than I urge you to check out Snapfish's Mother's Day templates.

The only thing Snapfish can't do is magically produce a good photo of your children with their Grammy, Nana, YaYa, Nonna, Bubbe or Memaw. So hopefully, you have taken better pictures than mine.

Maybe they can have that technology developed by next Mother's Day?

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This post is sponsored by Snapfish as part of their support of the LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER SHOW 2012 series of Mother’s Day performances. I am reading at the NYC show on May 6th.