Lily turned one (what??) on Black Friday, but she was so miserable with four molars coming in that frankly none of us were in the mood to celebrate quite yet. Our baby deserved to actually be able to enjoy her cake, dagnabbit!
Fast-forward to yesterday, when Lily was back to her happy, normal self, the sun decided to make a mysterious December appearance in Washington, and JK was able to take some time to give our little girl the birthday she deserved.
Of course we had to go to the mountains. Man, even the drive was gorgeous.
We hiked the two minutes (for reals) to Gold Creek Pond, our trusty old destination for when we desperately want views but have no idea how long the preschooler will last.
Lily definitely enjoyed her cake, both as a meal and as a face mask.
I cannot believe she is already one. I thought Nora’s first year flew by, but that was nothing compared to this. I could have used some more sleep, but it has been such an honor, a privilege, a joy to get to know this affectionate, smart, hilarious, easygoing girl.
And of course Nora hit the big sis jackpot with cake and a ride in the sled.
This might have to be her main transportation on snowy hikes this season).
Nora had her own mountain birthday this year when she turned three!
This was back in early September, when it was hotter than the dickens and we wore swimsuits instead of snowshoes.
My parents were visiting, and we packed the car full of cake and balloons and headed to Naches Peak Loop, another short-but-glorious family favorite.
Nora’s favorite part was swimming in the little tarn, of course.
I can’t believe Lily is one, and I definitely can’t believe Nora is three (except I kind of can, whenever that whole threenager thing rears its ugly head). This girl is feisty and hilarious, so smart, and fully bilingual at this point. She speaks English with a thick Norwegian accent, which is just about the cutest thing ever when it comes out of the mouth of a three-year old.
Nora and Lily, I love you both so much. Thank you so much for happily indulging us in our mountain baby fantasies – hopefully this brainwashing will work long-term.
This year I decided to make an autumn album. I ended summer in a really stressed out, sleep-deprived place, and I wanted to use the album to help me really focus on some of the beautiful moments that life has to offer that time of year. It definitely served its purpose – I love having a little project like this to work on, an album with a beginning and an end but no other constraints. It’s like December Daily but without the time crunch issues!
I opened the album with this quote because it’s one I’ve always loved, and felt even more true than usual this fall. I used this free printable.
I mention this later in the album, but our weather this fall was absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t expect to have many photos to work with, but I ended up with an overabundance of autumny pics…so I ended up printing a whole bunch of little 2×2 versions and just putting them in this pocket page next to an intentions page.
Our farmers market runs through October, so thanks to our glorious weather, I was able to continue my Saturday ritual of having a giant salad with fresh salsa from the market for lunch on the deck.
Brené Brown had a special Q&A at Microsoft and I got to go!
We went on a surprisingly beautiful hike to Twin Lakes with some friends that I came *this* close to bailing on, which is always a life lesson for this introverted homebody.
Hiking through fall colors, staring at a big volcano, baby snoozing away on my chest…this is bliss.
That baby and I had lots of fun weekday adventures while big sis was in preschool. She’s such a big girl now.
This is from one of those really good days at the market…
…and with the market came tomatoes, which inevitably ended up as roasted tomato soup, one of our favorite meals this fall. I wrote the recipe on that little card that’s tucked into the pocket.
This one is basically me just rambling and trying to make sense of my anxiety around the shootings this fall.
And here I’m just 100% proud of myself after running the Oregon Coast 30K.
All year long I’ve cycled between feeling super energetic and super exhausted, so here’s some word vomit on that. I have a feeling it’s going to last until Lily weans.
Another hike, another life lesson.
These photos are all from one absolutely gorgeous day in October. I cannot believe the weather we had, for reals.
I slipped a 3×8 gratitude list in the middle using an Ali Edwards digital journaling card – the card was originally 3×4, so I used Photoshop to elongate it to fit my writing. (I later noticed that I had forgotten to close that parenthesis. Gaah! Normally it wouldn’t bother me – there are sooo many typos in my scrapbooks – but something about this was so annoying that I ended up reprinting it today.)
Our pumpkin photos get cuter and cuter every year. And of course I had to write an ode to the weather.
Thanksgiving deserved its own spread, of course.
The album was missing a back page, so just quickly added a digital stamp to a family photo and glued it to some paper.
Tada! I still have some things I can add later: our date night when we went to the Susanne Sundfør concert in Seattle, the night I went to see Where Dreams Go to Die with a friend and JK was in charge of bedtime for the girls (he sent me the CUTEST photo of Nora giving Lily a bottle), Halloween!!!, the freak snow we got in early November…but this was never meant to be a comprehensive album for documenting everything that happened this fall, it’s really just a collection of moments. For now, I’m calling it good and done(ish) so I can turn my focus to December Daily.
(Most of the stuff I used is from Ali Edwards, plus a couple of papers from my local scrapbook store, including this beautiful cut-apart sheet. The album is 6×8. Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment if there’s anything else you’re wondering about!)
Is it just me, or is the excitement around December Daily extra crazy this year? I for one can’t wait to experience Christmas with a 1 year old and a 3 year old, and working on a project like this one honestly makes me live life more fully and take notice of all of the little magic moments. It feels like it’s going to be an integral part of the Christmas celebration for me this year.
I’ve only completed one December Daily album so far, back in 2015, and I decided to record a little album walkthrough for fellow enthusiasts who are excited to get started on December:
I wanted to make one last year too, but Lily was born on Thanksgiving and somehow I had forgotten how all-consuming having a newborn is. Hah. So I’m going back and slowly but surely putting that album together now. It’s an excellent warm-up to the main event which starts later this week (eek)! I’m using a mix of Ali Edwards products from 2016 and 2017 – I had the honor of contributing to Ali’s newest class, December Daily Product Play, and have been using a bunch of ideas from the other contributors to that class too.
The album opens with our Christmas card from 2016. It’s so weird that Lily wasn’t even born when we took that photo! It’s hard to remember life without her. (Someone on the December Daily Facebook group shared a cut file for those little attachers back in 2015 and I cannot for the life of me remember who it was! I hope someone else will remember because I use them all the time.)
…and then comes my “intentions” page, where I explain why I decided to go back and make the album one year later.
Day one is an homage to my dad, who came over from Norway to help us out during the birth and the newborn period. He wrote emails to my mom every day while he was here, and they are absolutely hilarious to read – they truly capture the chaos we were living in. I printed a handful of them and put them in that pocket, along with a photo of him holding Lily.
Even I recognize that I should include my own handwriting once in a while, so here’s my token contribution to this album. Now you can see why I choose to type my journaling 99.9% of the time.
I wanted to make a cluster of circles similar to what Ali made in the Product Play class, and the natural story choice was this one, of Nora making a cluster of circles on our tree. #toddlerdecoratingskills
For day 8, I used one of Ali’s ideas from the Product Play class. I’ll be using a similar half circle as my opening page for 2017!
The papers in the background are just random ones from various Ali Edwards kits that I put in there since I haven’t made days 7 or 9 yet.
On December 10 I took this selfie while I was watching Gilmore Girls with Lily sleeping on my chest while the rest of the gang were out picking up pizza. I look so happy (and tired). Loved those rare moments of calm in a crazy time of our life. (The photo of Wellie and Lily behind the 3×8 journaling page is for day 11, which isn’t quite done yet.)
Okay, so this is one of the coolest things I have ever made. It was all Pam Baldwin‘s idea from the Product Play class, so I can’t even take any of the credit for it. I love pages and elements outside of the page protectors, and this one has an interactive spinning circle! I’m totally going to have to make another one for my 2017 album. A spinning star, maybe?
It spins! It’s aliiive! I love it! The messy circles around my journaling are from a free cut file from Scrapbook & Cards Today – scroll all the way to the bottom to find it, but there are some other cool holiday-themed files there too.
You know that 4 lb bar of chocolate they sell at Trader Joe’s? The one that’s literally larger than a human infant? Yeah, we ate that.
On the 15th, grandma finally arrived and grandpa could exhale and relax after all his hard work! This is one of my favorite spreads in the album and it came together super fast, so it will have to be a reminder to myself to keep it simple – this really doesn’t have to be complicated.
Nora holding tiny little Lily. Oh man. Feels. I printed two copies of that Jasmine Jones card and mirrored them. The little onesie is an old wood veneer from Studio Calico.
Last but not least, here’s the obligatory annual cookie baking page. I ended up using photos from different days (hence the different outfits), which might bother some December Daily purists, but (a) it doesn’t matter too me and (b) LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS I COULDN’T POSSIBLY PICK JUST THE ONE THAT WAS ACTUALLY TAKEN ON THAT DAY.
I still have a ways to go, but this is a solid start. I’ll hopefully finish it alongside my 2017 album. Only a couple more days to go before December begins!
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:
…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:
…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):
…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*
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.
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.)
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.