Remember this post? I am guessing you don't, but a BIG thanks to those who commented because I have taken your advice. I am happy to report I am (pretty much) up to date with my photos being printed out (besides the ones I have taken in the last month).
I went ahead and used Shutterfly. I ordered a variety of types of books so that I could get a feel for what each was like. In retrospect I wish I would have stuck with my gut instincts and stuck with the all black hard-bound for all of my pics, but it was an education and now I know what I want for the future.
Shutterfly was running a promotion for 50% off of their photobooks for Father's Day, and because I was a new member I got 75 free prints. So I got all 5 books and 75 free prints for about $100- a steal in my opinion.
I was really happy with how many options Shutterfly had, how fast they uploaded my pictures, and how easy it was to put a book together.
What I've decided for the future- photobooks are the way to go!! I think I want to go ahead and just do thick 12 x 12's (I decided I would much rather pay for extra pages than have a bunch of little books) and stick with basic black. I will order them whenever they are having a good promotion (I am thinking I only want about 2 big ones each year) and I will back up all my files on cd's for my kids. In the future I would like to order soft-cover books for my kids when money isn't so tight. I am so happy about finding this solution and feel a little relieved even!
I think the smaller soft-cover books are going to be my new go-to grandparent gifts!
Another cool thing about Shutterfly is you can do digital scrapbooking, upload your pages to their website and just have them all printed out for you in book form. I think I may have to do that in the future too. Do you digital scrapbook? I hope to do a post about that soon. Stay tuned:)