Hikes of the Year, Hiking

Favorite Hikes | 2018

We’re sitting here in the biggest snow event Seattle has seen in a long time, and while the kids chill with some Bubble Guppies in between romps outside, I figure it’s a good time to resurrect my blog. Starting with – since it’s already February, yikes! – my favorite hikes of 2018!

Heybrook Ridge

This was our first time on this brand new trail, and it became an instant family favorite. Short, pretty, snow-free even in January, and a shortish drive from home? So good.

Heybrook Ridge

Orcas Island 25K

Oh Orcas Island 25K. You are always freezing cold and steep and horrid, but I love you so. (Side note: I sold my entry this year since depression + illness = not being able to cover 16 miles, and of course this year the weather was gorgeous and the photos looked heavenly.)

Orcas Island 25K 2018

Paradise

We’ve snowshoed on Mount Rainier at least once every winter/spring since 2008, and ever since we had kids, these outings have felt epic. This year was no exception, and the addition of a sled made it even cooler. Nora even snowshoed up the first hill all by herself!

Paradise Snowshoe 2018

Heybrook Ridge again

We had to go back to Heybrook Ridge again in April, and I can tell that it’s going to be our default family hike. This was the week after Lily started walking! What an excellent place to practice that new skill.

Heybrook Ridge

Chirico Threepeat

Every year, a bunch of runners run up and down the Chirico trail to Poo Poo Point over and over again, mostly as a social event but also to try to earn the coveted tiger hat bestowed on the first person to reach ten. I did three, which isn’t too shabby – that’s still 12 miles and 5000 feet of gain. (Also, whoaaa, I’m kind of thrown by how fit I look in this photo, because…well, let’s just say that’s not how I look now. Heh.)

Chirico Threepeat

Ebey’s Landing

The recipe for a great day with kids? A ferry ride + beach. Aka Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island. At this point we’re just hiking the same trails every year and I don’t mind that even a little bit, because they are gorgeous and I love them.

Ebey's Landing 2018

Sun Mountain 50K

My first ultramarathon! This was such a cool experience, and I was (am!) so proud of myself. And I totally want to run more of these, and longer distances, once the kids are a little older so training will be less stressful. We took a long weekend at Sun Mountain and it was so good, just a delicious blur of running and wildflowers and sunshine and paddleboarding and happy little kids.

Sun Mountain 50K, mile 7

Kelly Butte

This hike was so cool. Seeing Nora climb up that steep, rocky trail like a little mountain goat more than made up for the fact that Rainier stayed mostly hidden in the clouds.

Kelly Butte Father's Day 2018

Mirror Lake

On the 4th of July, we headed to Mirror Lake, which has been a favorite of ours since I first hiked it when pregnant with Nora. Love all the short, beautiful trails we’ve discovered since then. The water was colder than Lily and Nora expected, but that didn’t stop them from going in!

Mirror Lake 2018

Melakwa Loop

Aah, the Melakwa-Pratt loop! This was my first ever solo hike back in 2009, and every year now I look forward to that premium bit of alone time in July.

Melakwa-Pratt Loop 2018 Melakwa-Pratt Loop 2018

Rainier Weekend

Speaking of alone time, in July I also spent my first night away from the girls! Eeep! I joined the Alpine Trails Book Club for their camping weekend in Mount Rainier National Park. We hiked to Van Trump Park, saw the sunset from Pinnacle Saddle, and were in marmot heaven on the Skyline Trail. So good, so good.

A Weekend in Paradise

Bitihorn

We went on a long (5 week!) vacation to Norway in August, and JK and I snuck away for two nights alone in a teeny tiny little cabin in Jotunheimen. We went for a run up Bitihorn, which (a) was jaw-droppingly gorgeous in every direction and (b) gained extra bonus points when we happened to run into Jens Stoltenberg, ex-Prime Minister of Norway and current Secretary General of Nato. (I’d like to see Trump try to hike up that thing!)

Bitihorn

Besseggen

We also hiked Besseggen, which we had also done in 2008, back when I was really scared of heights. Okay, so I am still scared of heights, BUT it is so gorgeous that I would gladly hike it over and over and over.

Besseggen

Beaver Lake

Back in Washington, the depression that had started to sneak in in June came into full force, but some really good family hikes kept me afloat. I need these ups to get through the downs. We went to Beaver Lake (which is south on the PCT from Snoqualmie Pass, basically just going up the ski hill) to look for fall colors, and with the swirling mist and fog, it was just perfect. And Nora found her first King Bolete!

Beaver Lake Autumn 2018

Snow and Bench Lake

A couple days later, JK took a day off work so that we could inject me with a good hiking antidepressant before his work trip to Japan. We drove down to Mount Rainier to hike the Bench and Snow Lakes trail, which was definitely my favorite hike of the year. Warm sun, beautiful fall colors, deliriously happy kids, a swimming snake, my favorite volcano…I couldn’t ask for more.

Snow & Bench Lakes

Frozen Lake

Of course we went back to Rainier again when JK came back from Japan, too. By this time it was October, and all but two little marmots named Nora and Lily had gone into hibernation.

Frozen Lake

Mushrooming with Lily

October is prime chanterelle season up here in these parts, so I introduced Lily to the fine art of the gold hunt on Tiger Mountain (I won’t get more specific than that because these are MY mushroom patches).

Mushrooming with Lily

Family shrooming

More Tiger Mountain, more family foraging. A good reminder that the best hikes don’t have to involve long drives or big mountains or good weather, as long as you’re with the right people.

Chanterelle hunting

Lily’s birthday

One of those right people, Lily, turned two in November! Somehow her late November birthday coincided with not just a Saturday but also beautiful sunshine! We went to Gold Creek Pond and had all the cake and lots of sledding. It was perfect.

Lily Turns Two!

Deception Pass 25K

In December, I had my first DNF (Did Not Finish) in a race. I had a horrid sinus infection and my face just hurt too much to run much, so I dropped at the aid station. But! I got to cover six miles of date time with JK while my parents, who were visiting from Norway for Christmas, watched the girls, AND quitting early meant I was first in line for pizza at the finish line.

Deception Pass 25K 2018

Albums, December Daily, Scrapbooking

December Daily Part Three

I finished my December Daily album on January 6! This is by far the earliest I’ve gotten it done. Woohoo!

(In case you’re wondering, I scrapbooked these out of order and photographed them as I made them, so sometimes you can’t see the correct pages behind them.)

Day 17: probably my ugliest December Daily page ever, hah. I just wanted to use all that ephemera, and really, who cares what it looks like.

December Daily 2018

Day 18: all about Wellie and how much love he’s getting from the girls lately. Nora picked up his poop for the first time and was so proud, hah.

December Daily 2018

On day 19, we took Lily to JK’s work for a Nutcracker even. She was enthralled by the fake snow! I just love that big photo of her.

December Daily 2018

Day 20: yet another carousel ride with the girls, plus a trip to an indoor playground that they love. I was honestly getting a little sick of the whole project at this point, so I kept this as simple as possible. Template, filler card, stars, done.

December Daily 2018

I love that I accidentally captured this reflection in the photo!

December Daily 2018

Day 21: no sleep, feeling crappy about all the things. We went for a hike and attempted to turn things around.

December Daily 2018

I put my journaling in the pocket behind the bah humbug card. I cut out an extra pocket and attached it to the page protector with red line tape.

December Daily 2018

Day 22: I scraplifted Ali for this one and decided to let Nora’s toilet paper roll santas speak for themselves. Really ready to be done with the album at this point.

December Daily 2018

Day 23, what we call Little Christmas Eve! Lots of things happened, so I used two journaling cards.

December Daily 2018

We showed Nora the photo of her in her stocking as a baby, so she crawled into it again!

December Daily 2018

Christmas Eve! This day is always kind of overwhelming to scrapbook, so I divided it into sections: first up, the girls and their presents.

December Daily 2018

Instead of patterned paper, I used a page from the Christmas edition of my favorite Norwegian comic. I also used a unicorn gift tag from one of Nora’s presents since the girls are playing with her My Little Pony castle in the photo.

December Daily 2018

Second section: bullet points of what I want to remember from the day, plus this cute (and totally serious) quote from Nora.

December Daily 2018

I got this idea of using the half circle templates for a dinner plate from Yolanda Lockhart-Lowe – such a cute idea!

December Daily 2018

So the third section is our Christmas dinner menu.

December Daily 2018

I usually end my albums on Christmas Eve, but on Christmas Eve we went sledding and had so much fun that it needed to be included.

December Daily 2018

I used the Joy Story Kit here, for obvious reasons.

December Daily 2018

And then ended the album with a big photo of my favorite peoples.

December Daily 2018

I still had lots of extra photos that I liked but that hadn’t made it into the album, so I used some of them on the interview tags that go in the pocket on the inside cover. Love these!

December Daily 2018

And then I added an extra 2×2 in divided page protector with lots of extra photos and ephemera from throughout the month.

December Daily 2018

I love including gift tags so that I get handwriting from loved ones who weren’t together with us on Christmas.

December Daily 2018

If you made it this far, thanks for following along! Now I’m 100% ready to get started on 2019.

Albums, December Daily, Scrapbooking

December Daily 2018 Part Two

Happy New Year! It’s January (2019!), but I am still plugging away at my December Daily, because that’s how I roll. As of right now I am only missing four days, which is definitely a record for me – however, I can totally tell that I am losing steam and part of me wants to put it away and finish it in November…but then again, four days…maybe I should just do it.

We left off at day five last time, so here is day six, when Fire Truck Santa came to our street. I actually used my handwriting here, because I feel like I should try to include it at least once in every album even though I don’t love the look of it.

December Daily 2018

The card flips up to reveal one of the lists JK made of the nice and the naughty things Nora did over a couple of days (a short-lived attempt at using Santa as behavioral motivation – side note: on Christmas Day, Nora mentioned how much she loved her presents and how she had been worried that she would get a lump of coal. Hah! I have to remember to put that in the album!).

December Daily 2018

Day seven: all the love for the grandparents.

December Daily 2018

Nora’s wish list, which she proudly put in the mailbox…

December Daily 2018

…and which I retrieved after she had gone to bed so I could include it in my album. I also included her illustrated wish list. She wrote this in Norwegian, so I’ll translate: she wanted a watch and shoes that light up, and according to her, Lily also wanted a watch, I wanted new clothes (is she throwing shade at such a young age?), and JK wanted a new computer.

December Daily 2018

Day nine: Deception Pass 25K! I still had a raging sinus infection at this point and running hurt my face too much to finish the race, so I dropped out at the aid station. My first DNF! But it was a great day on beautiful trails with JK (and excellent pizza).

December Daily 2018

I used the December digital kit from Ali Edwards for this one, keeping the tree theme going with a December Daily transparency and the logo from the coffee shop where we stopped for my annual peppermint mocha.

December Daily 2018

Day ten is one of my favorites: ten magic moments.

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

Documenting some of Lily’s firsts at Santa Story Time at our local shopping center.

December Daily 2018

I accidentally numbered this one 11, it’s supposed to be 12! With grandparents in the house, we of course had to have a date night and eat those amazing brussels sprouts we got hooked on last year at Cafe Flora. (How fabulous is that wallpaper, btw?) I kept it simple by using one of Ali’s overlays and a digital stamp from the Paislee Press set – I erased the part that went over JK’s head to make it look like it was tucked behind him.

December Daily 2018

Day thirteen is about how watching this tv calendar show with Nora every night became one of my favorite parts of the holiday this year.

December Daily 2018

(…and here you can see my clumsy attempt at turning that 11 into a 12, hah.)

December Daily 2018

Day fourteen: Nora, the budding food photographer!

December Daily 2018

…and day fifteen: Lily, the baker’s apprentice! I saved this one until I got my Joy Story Kit, because the look on Lily’s face just sums up joy for me.

December Daily 2018

On day sixteen, JK and I took Nora out on a date without Lily – she got a haircut and we went to see the new Grinch movie.

December Daily 2018

I scraplifted Ali for this one. On the right I included our Christmas card (gaah, I’m realizing now that I still haven’t sent all of them out).

December Daily 2018

Alright, I’m going to try to get those last four days done and then I’ll come back and share the rest of the album. Even though I’m losing my mojo a bit at the moment, I have to say that I love this project so much. It keeps me observant and mindful throughout the holiday season, and it (and the community that surrounds it) adds so much excitement in my life.

Let me know if you have questions about the products or techniques I used!

(In case you’re wondering, I scrapbooked these out of order and photographed them as I made them, so sometimes you can’t see the correct pages behind them.)

Albums, December Daily, Scrapbooking

December Daily 2018 Part One

Happy December Daily Season! I love how this has become an integral part of the holidays for so many of us. Anything that creates this sort of joy and excitement for us adults during the darkest month of the year = awesome.

My album this year opens with a tag book I made after seeing Ali’s version in the December Daily Product Play 2 class. I’ll get the whole family to fill them out soon! And I asked Ali to sign the inside cover for me at the Prep Party in Eugene like the groupie that I am. Thanks, Ali!!

December Daily 2018

Opening pages: some current family photos + an intentions page.

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

I’m trying to focus on family togetherness this Christmas after being sick and down in the dumps for way too long this fall. I added the lyrics to When We’re Together from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, because they’re so sweet and pretty much always stuck in my head (that + Baby Shark).

December Daily 2018

Day one: Alpine Trails Book Club meetup! I asked Laura (one of the book club leaders) to write the name of the club in her beautiful lettering for me, and made it into a tag along with the business card for the cafe we went to. (I ended up flipping the title card over to use the gold version.) The journaling card is part of Ali’s overlay pack from this year.

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

Day two, which actually happened on the night of day one, is about the tree-lighting festival in our town. This year’s was the most magical one yet. The journaling card and “magic” word are from Brandi Kincaid’s Mostly Magic kit from Feed Your Craft.

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

Day three: Lily’s two-year checkup! It occurred to me a little too late that it’s kind of confusing that there’s a giant number 3 on her two-year checkup, but oh well.

December Daily 2018

On day four, I used some patterned paper and a journaling card to create a pocket to hold Nora’s art and some journaling. I used that overlay design again – I like repeating stuff like this from time to time throughout the album to create some cohesion.

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

On day five, we pretty much spent the whole day counting down the hours until the grandparents arrived. I copied Ali’s idea of using the star stencil with some modeling paste on top of the giant cork number (and I also mixed pink and red, which I’m sure will disgust a fair amount of people).

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

December Daily 2018

I really love this album so far!

Albums, December Daily, Scrapbooking

December Daily 2017

I aaalmost finished my December Daily album from last year at the December Daily Prep Party (more about that later, I’m sure!) and then finally got ‘er done last week, just in time for another December Daily to begin. Many huzzahs!

December Daily 2017

Last year I made “let your heart be light” be my mantra of the season.

December Daily 2017

Both the half circle and the star cutout were inspired by last year’s Product Play class.

December Daily 2017

Day one was an Ali scraplift, but her’s is way better so go look at that one instead.

December Daily 2017

The backside is much cuter! It’s all about Nora’s advent calendar – Lily was too little still, but she still got all up in it. This was a good place for me to do my token handwriting page amidst a sea of typing.

December Daily 2017

Day two is one of my favorites from last year, from our town’s tree-lighting festival. I used one of Ali’s Slanted Layered Templates and I just love that big photo of Nora.

December Daily 2017

Day three! This was total magic. Last year, this guy in Seattle decided to build Diagon Alley in his driveway, and when we heard they were doing Dumbledore Santa photos, there was no stopping me. We stood in line for 1.5 hours and it was so totally worth it. It also gave me a good excuse to use my Potterhead stamps from Kelly Purkey (these aren’t available anymore, sadly)!

December Daily 2017

On day four, Nora was home sick from preschool and we had a cozy day at home with lots of movies and crafting. I took a photo of the girls waving at the garbage truck, slapped one of Ali’s overlays on top, and paired it with Nora’s drawing of Santa.

December Daily 2017

The day after that, we drove up to Snoqualmie Pass to (belatedly) celebrate Lily’s first birthday. I opened with a photo of me with the girls…

December Daily 2017

…and here’s my absolute favorite spread of this album. Lily living her best life, devouring birthday cake in the snowy mountains. Love love love spreading a photo across two pages like this. (We returned to this exact spot for her second birthday too!)

December Daily 2017

Day six is an homage to the good old cardboard box, aka the king of all toys. Look at those faces!

December Daily 2017

Day seven was about the pros and cons of growing up – Nora got to pick and help cut our Christmas tree, but she also experienced her first major disappointment in life when firetruck Santa was a no-show. (But for reals, how lucky are you when that is your first major disappointment in life?)

December Daily 2017

Not much happened on day eight, so I used it as an opportunity to use one of Ali’s templates and write about our tv habits at that moment. (YOU GUYS, THE SECOND SEASON OF MRS. MAISEL STARTED TODAY!!) On the right is a card from friend that was so beautiful that I just had to include it. Normally I include more cards from friends, but this album ended up way too obese for that.

December Daily 2017

Day nine, JK’s office holiday party. I used that same overlay again – I like to use things like that a couple of times throughout the album to create a sense of cohesion in the madness.

December Daily 2017

On day ten, I ran a 25K and Nora ran a 1K! I cannot get over that photo of her with her bear (who also got a race bib of course). Both of these photos were taken by Glenn Tachiyama.

December Daily 2017

Race bib + Christmas card!

December Daily 2017

Day eleven: Wellie’s confusion over our new lawn ornaments.

December Daily 2017

Day twelve – the arrival of the grandparents! This always feel like the true beginning of Christmas…and they just so happened to arrive today (as in now, 2018)!

December Daily 2017

December Daily 2017

For day thirteen, I made all the family members who were present fill out these little tags that I slipped into a pocket between the pages of day twelve. I really love having everyone’s thoughts and handwriting in there.

December Daily 2017

Day fourteen, ugh. Lily was NOT sleeping and JK and I were sooo tired, but we knew so well that this was a fleeting stage.

December Daily 2017

Oooh, the brussels sprouts. Day fifteen was all about our obsession with Cafe Flora’s brussels sprouts, which had us eating brussels every damn day in an attempt to recreate a healthified version at home. I have a feeling brussels sprouts will make an appearance in our 2018 album too, now that my parents are here so JK and I can go on dates!

December Daily 2017

I snagged a menu from the restaurant and wrote the journaling inside it.

December Daily 2017

Baking always makes an appearance in my December Daily albums. Day sixteen: pepperkaker.

December Daily 2017

Day seventeen was so cool – we participated in our first Gingermas scavenger hunt! The 2×2 pockets on the right are filled with random bits and pieces from the holiday season (gift tags, chocolate wrappers), including a piece of the Gingermas score sheet.

December Daily 2017

Day eighteen: Nora’s letter to Santa. Aaaw.

December Daily 2017

Day nineteen is another one of my favorites – turning disappointment (another Santa no-show!!) into a great experience.

December Daily 2017

Speaking of creating our own joy, day twenty is about how we decided to go for a run date in spite of epic tiredness (see above re: sleepless Lily) and ended up running through a glorious winter wonderland on Tiger Mountain.

December Daily 2017

December Daily 2017

…and on day twenty-one we got even more of that (plus drinks!) at the TNAB winter solstice snowshoe.

December Daily 2017

Day twenty-two is about how grown-up Lily suddenly seemed (using this circle template), and day twenty-three is about the girls “helping” grandma clean on Little Christmas Eve.

December Daily 2017

Day twenty-four is Christmas Eve, the main even for us Norwegians! I added a tag from Lily’s favorite present at the top, and tied some gift wrap ribbon around the number 24. Journaling about Christmas Eve tends to stress me out, so bullet points was the way to go for sure.

December Daily 2017

On the back I included a card from great-grandma and some more photos.

December Daily 2017

Normally, that would be the end for me, but on Christmas Eve it started snowing…it was a Christmas miracle for us Seattleites! So I added in a simple day twenty-five about the snow.

December Daily 2017

…and finished the album off with a photo of Nora and Lily with their grandparents.

December Daily 2017

On to 2018!