I have already shared with you that the profile book is a project that is not bringing out the best in me. As in, it's pretty much bringing out the worst in me. I want to control it, but I kind of suck at this sort of graphic design-oriented project. I want to work on it all the time, but I also want to do it together. But, as I've mentioned, we handle these sorts of challenges differently. And I am really, really bad at letting things out of my tight, sweaty little grasp.
So I've been a rat bitch lately.
Which is why today, after going to see Juras.sic World at the fancy leather-recliner theater with a friend (so much fun, not too terribly scary, but terrible cliched script writing...if you can overlook that and Bryce Da.llas Howa.rd's constant heavy breathing, you will have a grand time), I picked up this strangely apropos card for Bryce:
|Art by David Olenick|
It was basically an apology card for being such a monster lately. I just want us to be parents as soon as possible, and now the profile book is the last thing standing between us and going live, being able to be profiled and get this show on the road. This exciting, terrifying, exciting-terrifying show on the possibly long and twisty road.
I think my angst over the profile book is multi-layered. It is a creative effort, and while usually I love me a good creative project, it is kind of surreal to be encapsulating your life into a photo book when I have only made one photo book, for our wedding, and I wasn't really all that happy with that one. It has to be perfect. Not for everyone, but for the person who will ultimately choose us to parent her baby. We don't know who she is or where she is or if she is baking that baby right this very minute, but she's out there somewhere and we don't know what about our book will attract her to us. Will it be me with my violin? Bryce with his guitar? A picture of us taking advantage of our beautiful woodland backyard? A picture of our cats? A picture of the gardens, or us in the kitchen? Will it be the montage of us making the same stupid silly face on every outing/hike/trip we've ever been on?
|This year, in Ithaca|
|Last year or possibly the year before, here in Rochester.|
Just a smattering of the many photos we have like this.
Attractive, no? Endearing or crazy?
Caveat. We do not have a lot of photos with others that do not involve some sort of booze. Bryce's 40th birthday party? Well, lots of friends there, but it was a classic cocktail party, Frank Sinatra style. So it was classy, but there are cocktails in virtually every shot. Dinners with friends? Dinners out with family? Wine, cocktails, champagne toasts.
And we are not supposed to have pictures with booze in them. Which again, makes us look like antisocial people who live in the woods, the workshop, the kitchen, and the garden. And there's the question of: should we hire a professional photographer to do a small shoot of us around our home and the park nearby? Or are our photos (some professional, some not) enough?
So the pressure keeps building up, and I get overwhelmed, and then I get so super cranky that I can hear the tone coming out of my mouth and I cringe inwardly as it comes flying out like sarcastic daggers, but I have had a hard time stopping the onslaught until the damage is already done. All I can do is say I'm sorry and hug deeply and give Bryce apology cards with ironic dinosaurs on them, and a contrite packet of his favorite strawberry licorice.
I felt loads better after talking with a friend of mine, who I haven't spoken with in AGES, who adopted her son through the same agency at the end of last year. She told me everything about her process, her journey, and it was twisty for sure. But, she said that she was hideous during the profile book process, too. (Not that this makes it better, but at least I'm not alone.) She basically said that it's a miracle they survived it. Maybe the profile book is a way to gauge the strength of your marriage before you really get past the turnstile and are on the road to adoption, truly. My friend said that she used a different program than Publisher or Shut.terfly, that she used Mi.xbook. And that she basically wrested all control and spent 6 weeks on the thing until it was perfect. And then after it was live, she found a typo and recalled her books, reprinting them all. Yeah, that sounds about right to me.
So, I spent yesterday evening and this morning messing around in Mix.book, and basically love the program. But right now, Bryce is in his office working away at his version of the book in Publisher. And that is okay. Maybe his version of things will be better. (It probably will be, from a design standpoint.) He has an incredible eye for color and pattern and space. It's what makes him a great engineer, a great designer of woodworking projects, and a great decorator of our home. Every renovation that we've done to our home has been masterminded by him, to the point where he uses a CAD program to do up his own blueprints and designs down to fractions of an inch. It's why finding the right contractor is so important, because... oh my god... HE IS A CONTROL FREAK TOO.
So it becomes control vs control, and for the time being I have relinquished mine. I am curious to see what he comes up with. I don't hear him sobbing and swearing in the other room, so he's obviously got a better hold on this than me. Maybe giving him control over the design and then tweaking the drafted product and providing the written copy is enough. We did select pictures together, and maybe after we see what we have it will help us decide whether or not to have that professional shoot done.
We will get this done. It will get done sooner than later. And when it is all done I will share with you advice (if you wish to take it from a person who has admitted being a crazy cranky overwhelmed bitch throughout the whole process), the stuff that we decided to take and use and the stuff that we chose to ignore, and how our book turned out. Probably not the actual book, because of confidentiality and stuff, but maybe some pictures and spreads that we chose.
Those of you who have already done this, recently or not, please please please share your wisdom on what worked for you and how you tackled this beast. I am feeling like I have it mildly tranquilized, but it still has the potential to pull the dart out, rear up, and bite me. Or Bryce. Let's hope this divide-and-conquer strategy will work for us!