Review of cardstore.com graduation invitations

My oldest just graduated from high school. I may  have mentioned this a few thousand times before….

We are now in the process of planning her party.

Being a girl, my first concern is getting the invitations done right-with the right pictures and the right wording…. we had to wait for little details like the where and the when to work themselves out…. but finally agreed on a date.

I’m into convenience, I’ll pay you to make my life easier…. so ordering invitations I could customize online was the only option for me. Enter cardstore.com, who asked me to review the invitations I ordered from their site.

The site was pretty easy to navigate. There were several graduation announcements to choose from, and we debated over a few of them. There are cards with pictures, and without.

I had one all picked out, pictures in place, ready for the final approval from the 18 year old “adult” daughter.

does this look like blood to you??

does this look like blood to you??

She didn’t like that part of the background was a red colored swirly/scroll design…. looked like blood to her and she wanted it a different color. It DOES look a little vampire-ish I guess. Problem… you can’t change any of the background colors or designs. Put a damper on it for me, as we then had to find another card she would accept.

I didn’t realize how picky she was!!

Didn’t like the lettering over here, didn’t like how something looked over there…..

We finally agreed on a design and fought briefly over what pictures to use.

Tada….. our finished product:

awwwwwww

awwwwwww

Don’t pay attention to the horrible photo quality. This is just my crappy go-phone camera as my iPhone is still MIA.

My next dilemma was wording.

The front of the cards don’t give much room other than the basics of name, school, year, and a one liner maybe….

I needed options on how to word our invitation, given that our family dynamic isn’t the traditional mom, dad, 2.5 kids version.

We had agreed to have the party at my ex-husbands house instead of having 2 separate parties. We both still share the same last name. How do I make sure we look separate, but together for our daughter….and equally hosting the party at his house?

Would have been nice to have some guidelines or tips on how to phrase that whole thing. That might be asking for a lot though….

I did my best with free script on the back of the invitation. Once that part was figured out, the rest was a breeze.

Awesome things about cardstore.com…. they will either mail you the invitations and blank envelopes, or they will MAIL THEM FOR YOU!!!!  I could not actually use this service, as I am still compiling addresses, and doing my best to just hand deliver as many invites as I can. It is nice though to have the option, and I’m sure people more organized than myself would love to take advantage.

The site is incredibly easy to navigate. In fact, along with all the positives that go with that statement, that is probably also the only negative. There is so much ease of navigation, it seems like there is a little lost in the way of choice. The backgrounds and certain parts of the text can’t be altered. This can be a problem if you love the invitation, except for one part that you just hate but can’t change.

There are plenty of options however…. ranging from text-only, to one photo, even up to 12 pictures. The styles offered cover a wide range of tastes, it would be hard NOT to find something you like. You can also shop for graduation announcements OR invitations…. and thank you cards can be personalized and ordered as well.

After reviewing the front and back of our card–nice because you HAVE to do that before completing your order–I clicked to finish and check out.

They were in my mailbox in just a few days, super fast shipping.

see what I did here?

see what I did here?

All in all, a fun and very convenient experience. Gives me all sorts of ideas for upcoming birthdays, and I can even make up my own holidays and create cards for virtually any occasion!

Now is the time to check it out, I’m definitely happy we did 🙂

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She made it!!!

Didn't this just happen yesterday????

Didn’t this just happen yesterday????

How I feel about the oldest finishing high school.

I sat there today, watching the class file into their seats, a sea of green robes and hanging tassels.

How funny that I knew her right away, although she looked like everyone else from that distance. We were looking at the shoes actually, I knew I’d find her if I just watched for the sandals she stole out of my closet this morning. After I zoomed in, I made sure-yep, she’s wearing my shoes.

I started crying right away, surprising myself. I was so rushed this morning, and so excited…. I had forgotten that I might get emotional. I certainly didn’t expect it to happen before her name was called.

But the eyes watered, and the tears flowed as I let the truth settle in…. this was IT. In a way, a relief…. one out of 4 officially graduated, I could count myself successful with this one so far.

And little moments kept coming to mind, her birth, her preschool graduation (yellow robe that day), and the years of teen angst that seem to have magically dissipated by this time. How funny that all those hours sitting up in her room, studying (while watching equal hours of Netflix) is over. Her time here is growing shorter, and her room will be empty soon-waiting for her to visit.

And so they start calling the names. We are asked to all be quiet until the last name is called. At first this happens, but soon families and friends let out yells, whistles, claps for some graduates. I’m sitting next to my sister, and we debate for about 30 minutes about if we will yell out or not. I’ve NEVER done it. Even at the T-ball, and later softball games. I always wanted to be the parent yelling encouragement, but never could bring myself to do it. This is my last chance!!

So we agree. I’ll yell her name, and my sister will make some appropriate noise of encouragement. We’ll both clap. We shake on it, no one can back out. And……there she was!!!  We watched her as she followed the line of students, awaiting their turn to walk across the stage. And I heard her name called, and I yelled out to her, clapping and smiling like an idiot. But I wasn’t embarrassed in that moment, instead just bursting with pride.

I pushed her during school, always harping on her grades, talking about her future. She was in advanced placement classes, at times completely frazzled with the amount of studying and homework required while continuing to play varsity softball and keep up with her responsibilities at home . She would often be up late to study after a game. I knew her GPA… but it wasn’t until I saw the program, and saw how she had achieved every possible honor and was listed Summa Cum Laude, that it struck me. She DID that…. she didn’t give up, she struggled, she sacrificed, and she made it.

So, how do I feel??

Of course the expected happy, proud, excited, nostalgic…..

And a little awed.

All this time, I’ve been a little worried. Thinking she’s still a KID….worried she may not be ready to go off to college and be in the “real world”….

I may not have given her enough credit. She’s got her act together. She’s going to kick ass in college….and in life.

BAM!!!

BAM!!!