Layouts, Scrapbooking

Best Story Kit

Egads, I’m so behind on blogging that I have actually scrapbooked about my race before getting around to blogging about it!

I was just going to make a quick 6×8 spread for my autumn album (more photos of that album here on instagram) because the ‘go me’ card from Ali’s Story Kit this month matched the tank top I’m wearing in my official race photo:

Go Me

…and then it turned into a whole series of other layouts. I have another album in the works, one that’s about all the different long weekend vacations/cabin trips we’ve been on since having kids. It’s my first ever 12×12 album, so that I can mix page sizes and pocket pages, and the pages for each trip has some design similarities so you can tell that they go together.

For this trip to Yachats, Oregon, that design theme is stars, the Rockwell font, and teal/aqua. I used those big awesome stars and ‘best moments from this adventure’ card from the Story Kit to create an opening page:

Yachats opening page

…and pieces from the tear-apart booklet on a quick page about my race (I’m going to be totally honest and let you know that I LOVE this photo of myself (thank you, Glenn Tachiyama!), so you’re probably going to see it so much that you’ll get sick of it):

Oregon Coast 30K

…and since I got a page about my 30K, Nora deserved a companion page about her 1K! That’s right, Nora ran her first trail race! That called for another star AND a ribbon. *so proud*

Oregon Coast 1K


September pages

I finally feel like I’m emerging from sleep deprivation-induced crisis mode. A little sleep, a little mountain time, some really good quality family time…I’m getting there. (Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice coffee deserves some credit too.) I even made it back down to my scrap space to make some pages.

Full disclosure: I really wasn’t sure about joining Ali’s creative team again this year since I knew my time would be limited with a new baby. But man, I am so glad I did it. Otherwise I’m not sure I would be scrapbooking now – those assignments that I need to complete each month keep me hooked. I don’t think I’ve ever been as prolific a scrapbooker as I am right now, and it’s all thanks to Ali (especially after Story Camp, where I apparently drank all sorts of Kool-Aid). Beyond getting memories recorded, her products and prompts inspire me to work through the sorts of stories and thoughts that help me get to know myself better, which is incredibly helpful in these upsy-downsy years of babies and toddlers.

Breathe in the change of seasons

I’m always excited to scrapbook autumn stuff because, well, it’s such a beautiful season. But the ‘breathe in the change of seasons’ badge in the September digital kit got me thinking beyond the actual seasons and into where I was last fall before Lily was born. It was such a bittersweet time of looking forward to our new baby but also trying to make the most of our last weeks together as a family of three. We did All the Autumn Things – pumpkins and hiking and baking and puddles and leaves – and got ready for a new season of life. (I made my own patterned paper by using a watercolor brush in Photoshop and then adding the leaf digital stamp from the kit.)

Much needed time out

When the Time Story Kit arrived, I knew how I would use the ‘much needed time out’ circle – it was perfect for our mountain sunset date night when my parents were here. We needed a time out from everyday life, we needed time out in the mountains, it was hella good timing that my parents were here for that particular TNAB destination, and JK and I had a fantastic good time together. This story was made for Time!

Now that I’m slowly but surely coming back to life, I have so much I want to share – birthday! hikes! scrapbook albums! DECEMBER DAILY! So I’ll keep chugging that pumpkin spice coffee and getting outside every day so that I can get these fingers to type a little bit in the evenings.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hiking, TNAB

The ultimate date night

I have a vague recollection of bragging online about the fact that Lily had started sleeping through the night. As any parent knows, the second one dares utter those words, the shit hits the fan in a major way, and illness or teeth or just general babyness swoops in to mess you up and leave you exhausted and probably take years off your life.

This is all to say that my parents’ visit could not have come at a better time. Raising two very young kids without any family around can be incredibly hard at times, and we really needed some kid-free time to just feel like ourselves again. Our first date night since Lily was born was spent at Cafe Flora, of course, but the next night we went big – we went to TNAB.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

…because there’s nothing quite as relaxing as hiking really fast straight uphill and scrambling up mountains and then turning around and doing the entire thing in reverse in the dark. Yay TNAB!

TNAB Rampart Ridge

Okay, so it might not be relaxing, but it’s definitely refreshing.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

And when it’s been a while since you’ve had a big mountain adventure, a night like this will make you feel incredibly high on life.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

There were delicious huckleberries, a distant marmot sighting, and reunions with old friends.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

And – this part is super-cool – hiking straight uphill just isn’t that big of a deal anymore. Man alive, I wish I had been in this kind of shape back when we used to TNAB regularly.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

I could not wipe the smile off my face.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

Rampart Ridge has always been my favorite TNAB destination, and I thank the mountain gods for lining up my parents’ visit to coincide with this very hike.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

(Interestingly, I was less comfortable with scrambling than I used to be. I guess it just comes down to lack of exposure? I mean I’ve always been afraid of heights, but I had tamed it to a certain degree before Nora was born…but I haven’t done anything like this since 2013. I’m out of practice.)

TNAB Rampart Ridge

Wearing my Progress not Perfection tank to celebrate all the strides I’ve made these past couple of years – taking charge of my health, parenting…neither will ever be perfect, but I think I am doing pretty damn good anyway.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

Especially if we can continue getting some time off here and there. We’ve been good about getting our separate alone time after Lily was born, but kid-free adventures together like this never happen. Maybe it’s time to look into getting a regular babysitter.

Date night

This is the absolute best kind of date night.

TNAB Rampart Ridge

Layouts, Scrapbooking

All the albums, all the feels

I’ve never been much of a scrapbooker in the summer months before, but the Story Camp stoke is still high and I am just cranking out pages left and right. I made a bunch for our vacation album (doing a walkthrough of that when it’s done), I’m fleshing out Nora’s baby album (doing a walkthrough of that as well), and I am caught up(!) with Lily’s baby album as far as photos and words are concerned, it just needs some prettification. I also started a big album for our cabin trips.

Because I apparently didn’t think those projects were enough, I attempted yet again to start Project Life…and fizzled out after a couple of weeks. I just don’t think it’s for me. I love the idea of it, but when it comes to sitting down and actually doing it, I’ve realized that I prefer to dive deep into a story on a regular scrapbook page rather than collecting a bunch of microstories. I know I would love to look back on those albums later, but it just felt like a chore, and the last thing I need right now is another chore.

But! On the bright side, Project Life made me start focusing more on everyday photography again, and I’ve enjoyed using some of those photos in my regular album. I think I’ll stick with Week in the Life and Day in the Life to capture the nitty-gritty of our everyday life, but photos like these work perfectly with all the thoughts (and all dem feels) I have these days, about life and motherhood and what it all meeeaans and all that jazz.

I noticed that I had a lot of photos of JK performing various dad duties for the girls, so I put some of them together on this page using the Details Story Kit.

Life's little details

…and this photo is from one of the first times Nora got Lily to start laughing uncontrollably. I’ve been having conflicting, bittersweet feelings about the girls not being babies anymore (well, Lily is only nine months but she’s not a sleepy little chest nap newborn), but moments like these make me excited for what’s to come. That ‘endings are beginnings’ title is from Ali Edwards’ August release and it fit perfectly with my thoughts.

Endings are beginnings

Speaking of bittersweet, I was putting away clothes that are too small for the girls (insert weeping emoji here), and there are some that just have too many good memories attached to them for me to give them away. So I’m keeping them safe in a box, but I also found photos of Nora wearing some of those outfits and put together this layout. (Totally unintentional bonus: the colors of the story cards and embellishments from the Details story kit coordinated with the different outfits!)

Nora style

So, TL;DR: I’m having many thoughts and feels and I am thankful for scrapbooking for helping me work through those thoughts and feels.

Hiking, Hiking with baby, Mount Rainier, Top Trips

Marmot Mountain Magic

Summer is coming to an end, I can feel it. As much as I love fall (at least the early fall, before the monsoon begins), I always feel a bit of ennui this time of year. It used to be end of summer hiking burnout, but this year it is the opposite – summer really just flew by and we just didn’t get around to doing a quarter of the things we had planned. Gaah!

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

So now we need to squeeze in all the things, starting with a trip to Paradise. We’ve been planning this all year but it kept getting pushed back due to bad bugs, then a heatwave, then two weeks of wildfire smoke, then sick kids. When we finally made it last week, Mount Rainier decided to hide from us the entire hike, but s’all good – we were there for the marmots anyway.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

Nora still talks about our marmot hunt last year so she was super excited for this trip. Luckily there were marmots everywhere, so she wasn’t disappointed. Fat marmots, raggedly ol’ skinny marmots, baby marmots, we got ’em all.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

Paradise was beautiful even without a big volcano backdrop, and there was definitely a feeling of fall in the air.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

The trees had that autumnal smell that I can’t really describe, and some huckleberry bushes were starting to turn. There was enough of a chill in the air for Nora to put on her adorable little puffy jacket. I see pumpkin spice in our very near future, friends.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

This was such a good family adventure. At one point, Nora turned to me and said “I LOVE hiking in the mountains”, which of course melted my heart.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

(She also said that she loves wet marmots, which means she’s obviously never smelled a wet marmot.)

Nora's Marmot Quest '17
She was so proud of herself for walking most of the steep hills, but the carrier was good to have when she ran out of steam at the end. At some point she’ll have to graduate to feet-only hikes so Lily can use the big carrier, so I’m thinking next summer will be the season of one-mile trails.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

All those steep hills led Nora to actually doze off in the car for once, so we had two glorious minutes or so of complete silence when the girls’ naps overlapped. Aaahhh.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

Over the dinner table that night, she was talking a mile a minute about our trip – finding marmots, eating berries, hiking the stairs, stamping Lily’s National Park Passport, forgetting her water bottle in the visitor center bathroom – JK and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I love seeing her so excited, especially now that I know that she remembers things for a looong time. I’m going to remember this one too, kid.

Nora's Marmot Quest '17

Nora's Marmot Quest '17