2010 Calendars / by Susie Lubell

No, I don't have them for sale. I didn't make an art calendar. I sort of missed the boat this year for seasonal merchandise. Even though working for Shutterfly for a year got me to think about Christmas in July and Valentine's Day in October, I still wasn't able to get the Mishmish Studio merchandising calendar on track for this year's rush. Alas, I'm a newbie. Come back next year maybe.

But as our family's resident Shutterfly expert, I'm in charge of the family photo calendar. This year I didn't anticipate how much the holiday season would affect my nascent business so between filling orders, researching kindergarten, doing another quick contract for Shutterfly and having my kids off school for the last two weeks of December, I decided to delegate the task to my husband. I basically set it all up for him and he just had to put the pictures in in a coherent order (birthday people get a lot of pictures on their page, that kind of thing). He did a stand up job and I'm just going back in for a quick edit. But we're missing some pics of my mother-in-law (this calendar is only my husband's side of the family - sorry ma, I'll make one for you too, but it might not be til February...) so I start going through the last few trips we've taken to Santa Fe when we've all been together, including my elusive sister-in-law who's in Israel and always studying for exams because her university goes on strike every three months. And anyway now she's in medical school so we may never see her again. And as I'm going through these pics I jump over to pics from my mother-in-law's Picasa site and it turns out that she has a zillion more amazing pictures. Meanwhile, I am listening to a new song that I love (on repeat, because I'm as obsessive as my own son) and I am sobbing because I love this family so much. The music and the images - what can I say? I love a good score. I hear so many horror stories about in-law antics and bad feelings and drunken blow-outs and, well, I hit the jackpot with this team. They do travel in packs, which can be tiresome, if you're, say, 32 hours postpartum, but I mostly love this style of full family love. It's what I'm used to from my side of the family too (um, you heard about the family band, right?). It's not even a big family, mine or his, but when we're together it's epic.

Here's the song. Play it while you browse through iphoto. Have a good cry.