What a lovely Thanksgiving we had, and there are some even more lovely pictures to share. But before I get to that, I must tell you what my husband did this morning.
He participated in his first Black Friday experience.
He got up at 4:30 (AM!), drove himself to Best Buy in Portland (no sales tax!), and stood in line in the dark (scary!). With 1000 other people (while it rained!).
That's a lot of people.
He got to the store 5 minutes before the doors opened, waited as they allowed 100 people at a time into the store, finally got in, and spotted what he wanted. He didn't see any to purchase amongst the boxes of stuff, but he did see someone who had one in her cart.
He was brave and asked her where she got it. Fortunately she didn't kick him in shins and run away with her prize. No, she was polite and told him he had to ask a sales rep to get it for him.
He asked the sales rep, who furrowed his brow and told Jason he didn't think there were any more left. "They went fast."
He waited as the sales rep went to the back room and checked the inventory. Finally he came back with four boxes. "Four left," he said. Jason grabbed one. A guy next to him grabbed another. No doubt the other two were picked up before Jason had even left the parking lot.
Jason calmly walked his purchase up to the front of the store, and no one elbowed him or knocked him to the ground. He bought his present, loaded it into the car, and would have been home before 6 am except that he thought he'd see what was going on next door at Target. The masses of mothers with jammied toddlers in tow eventually frightened him off, and he quickly made his way back home.
I, of course, was sleeping through all this. I, of course, did not even wake up when he left, nor did I wake up when he got home and unpacked our newest purchase. I finally woke up when I smelled breakfast (crepes, because Jason is amazing like that) and heard the girls chattering.
And what was so important that compelled my sweet husband to give up sleep?
A 42" plasma tv.
We're redecorating the office, and I suggested that we buy each other our Christmas presents early as part of the redecorating process.
I could get an electric fireplace (because an electric fireplace is better than no fireplace at all).
And Jason could get a tv.
I'm pretty sure I wasn't thinking 42", but I was not in charge of the tv buying process except to agree on our budget. Mr. TV came in under budget, so everyone is happy. We'll still have to buy the mounting hardware so the tv can go on the wall, but we didn't want to bother with that today.
(I try not to pay too much attention to tv information because I get confused easily about media technology and any information at all falsely gives me hope that I could participate in some sort of TV-centered conversation.
That being said, I can tell you that Jason got a plasma instead of an LCD because plasma is better for sports and the office tv will be the sports tv. Plasmas also perform well in dark rooms, which is good for us since most of the rooms in our house receive very little sunshine, the office included.)
We also still have to paint the office, but at least now we can watch tv while we're painting. Happy Black Friday to us.
And speaking of sweet deals, I have one for you!
No, it's not a tv. It's even better!
It's a book!
But not just any book. It's a photo book. Did you already figure that out? Because it's in the title of this post? Smarty pants.
Look at Addie. She's totally impressed. "Wow. That's one big book."
- The hardcover with the photo on the front? So cool. And totally gorgeous.
- The pictures print really well. I have looked at a lot of photo books and I'm very particular about grain and color. The colors--especially skin coloring, which can be quite tricky to get right--are right on.
- The quality of the book--the spine, the pages, the cover, the binding--are excellent. I don't expect that it will fall apart any time soon.
- The actual creation process was so easy. Naturally, you can download the pictures from your hard drive, but you can also log in to your Flickr or Facebook account and get the pictures from there. I loved this feature. Even though all my photos in Flickr are also on an external hard-drive, it was so easy to use the Flickr feature.
- You can create a photobook and then market/sell it through Lulu. I think this would be a fun feature if you created a photobook that you wanted a lot of people to have easy access in purchasing their own. Or, if you were someone like my brother, you could create a book of artwork (or recipes or photos) and sell it to clients/fans.
- Lulu's pricing is very competitive with other publishing companies.
- The turn-around time for printing and delivery is quick, so whoever wins the book will most certainly be able to print one out in time for Christmas. Hooray!
- If you want a lot of control over design and photo size, then Lulu's templates will feel quite restrictive. As far as I could tell, you can't switch between themes or change the size of photos on the templates. You have to pick a theme, and then use one of the many page templates that the studio offers you. I personally like to be able to manage the page's design right down to the smallest detail. On the other hand, having a lot of options isn't always helpful because too many choices can be overwhelming. So in that regard, Lulu's themes are great.
"If you take my book away from me, I'll cry."
Even though I'm sure you'd all love a copy of Life on the Family Farm, you'd probably much rather create your own photobook with, you know, pictures that took yourself. That will make both you and Addie happy. So! Here's the Black Friday deal--
Prize: An 8.5" x 8.5" 20-page hardcover photo book from Lulu.
To enter: Comment on this post.
Just for fun comment: In a poetic turn of mashing together both Jason's Black Friday experience with this one, tell me, What's your favorite book-made-into-a-movie?
Contest ends: Contest ends Wednesday at 8 pm PST. One entry per person.
Contest sponsor: Lulu.com
Have a great post-Thanksgiving weekend!