Hiking, Layouts, Mount Rainier, Scrapbooking, Top Trips

A Weekend in Paradise

A Weekend in Paradise

Back in July, I was able to join the Alpine Trails Book Club for a night of camping in Mount Rainier National Park! The premise is so simple but genius – pick a book to read, then gather to discuss the book in a place that is somewhat related to the book. In June, we read Dirt Work and joined a trail work party with Washington Trails Association. This time, the book was A Year in Paradise by Floyd Schmoe…so naturally, this amazing, impressive, bad-ass group of women met in Paradise on Mount Rainier.

A Weekend in Paradise

We stood together underneath Comet Falls, the spray a very welcome shower on a hot day, in awe of the sheer majesticness of it all. I’m not usually a waterfall person, but this place? This place was cool.

A Weekend in Paradise

We traipsed together through blankets of avalanche lilies in Van Trump Park.

A Weekend in Paradise

We saw the sunset together from Pinnacle Saddle.

A Weekend in Paradise

We camped together in the Cougar Rock Campground, sharing food and stories and gear.

For me, the camping was the biggest part – it meant that I spent my first night ever away from Nora and Lily. A bittersweet but oh so important rite of passage of motherhood.

A Weekend in Paradise

On Sunday morning, we headed out on the main event – hiking around Paradise while stalking marmots discussing our book.

A Weekend in Paradise

I had read A Year in Paradise over ten years ago, back when I first started hiking. This was during a period when I was binge-reading anything I could get my hands on about hiking or mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest, so I couldn’t really remember many details. Rereading it, I was surprised by what a charming, inspiring book it really is – maybe I am just able to enjoy it more now that I am old and grizzled. Walking around in Floyd Schmoe’s old stomping grounds while discussing his book with fellow outdoorsy bibliophiles was nothing short of magical.

A Weekend in Paradise

This weekend meant a lot to me, so I wanted to give it lots of real estate in my scrapbook – I absolutely did not want to whittle down my photos too much, because looking at them brings me lots of happy feels!

Book Club Camping Weekend

There’s a lot going on in the photos, so I didn’t want to detract from them by using lots of embellishments. I made the opening page with the Adventure Story Kit from Ali Edwards, and for the rest of the pages I just used photos, typed journaling, stamps, and handdrawn lines. (In case you’re wondering – why yes, I did in fact attempt to draw those lines straight. #talentedartist)

Book Club Camping Weekend

The stamp set I used is Roam from Kelly Purkey. I knew I wanted to use it for this trip even before I left, because the “widen your boundaries” sentiment worked perfectly for my mom’s weekend away.

Book Club Camping Weekend

I collected some memorabilia, but didn’t feel like doing anything more creative with it than stuffing it in a page protector. S’fine.

Book Club Camping Weekend

…and I was pretty stoked to be able to legitimately use the bears from the stamp set because we actually did see a bear! I haven’t seen a bear in the wild since a couple of weeks before Nora was born, so I’m happy that my ursine drought is over.

Book Club Camping Weekend

We stopped by the Paradise Inn, of course, the place where Floyd Schmoe and his wife, Ruth, spent the winter essentially snowed in (picture The Shining, but with adorable, adventurous honeymooners). I picked up a plush marmot for the girls (okay, so really it’s for me, because…I collect plush marmots) in the gift shop – I managed to make it back before bedtime, and Nora and I decided that Schmoe would be the perfect name for this particular marmot.

Loved the book, loved the places we went, loved the companionship of other women, loved the widening of my boundaries.

Book Club Camping Weekend

Hiking, Layouts, Mount Rainier, Scrapbooking, Top Trips

Kelly Butte

One of my favorite things about having kids is how everything feels like an adventure now. Ever since my pregnancy with Nora, we have explored lots of trails that our previous snooty selves looked down on because they were “too short”. We didn’t think they were worth the drive. Well, whatever, Former Self, these trails rock. Especially this one: Kelly Butte. 3.4 miles, 1100 feet of elevation gain. Oh, and at the top, you’ll find a fire lookout with a view straight to Mount Rainier (Rainier was hiding a bit this time, but that just gives us an excuse to go back).

Kelly Butte Father's Day 2018 Kelly Butte Father's Day 2018

But even cooler than the lookout was the trail up through the rocks to get there – steep, rocky switchbacks climbing between rock spires that gave me massive Picnic at Hanging Rock vibes (aka the creepiest movie in the history of mankind and the reason why hearing even one note of pan flute music gives me the shivers).

Kelly Butte Father's Day 2018

I was worried about how Nora would do and almost considered turning back, but I’m telling you, that trail made her come alive. She loved it. On the flat trail out of the parking lot, we had to bribe her with crackers and sing songs to keep her moving, but on this rocky stuff she turned into a little mountain goat who was living her best life. It was so cool to see.

Kelly Butte Father's Day 2018

So these days, a 3.4 mile hike is not a too-short, hour-long jaunt. It’s a full-day adventure, filled with mind-blowing experiences for the girls and memories I will try to hold on to forever. This one is definitely in the running for best hike of the year.

Father's Day at Kelly Butte Father's Day at Kelly Butte

Speaking of trying to hold on to memories – of course I scrapbooked this. My favorite way to document things like this right now – because it’s fast and it allows me to include lots of photos – is the ol’ regular layout + pocket page combo. This time I ended up with two 9×12 pages in order to have room for all the words as well, plus enlargements of my favorite photos. I used the Adventure Story Kit from Ali Edwards – the adventure/outdoor theme combined with pink was a really refreshing change from the typical grungy greens you usually get with outdoorsy scrapbook products.

Adventure Story Kit

Adventure Story Kit

Albums, Layouts, Scrapbooking

Actually finishing albums

Depression came sneaking back up on me in June, and I am handling it in my usual ways. More exercise (I stopped running for a while after Sun Mountain due to a sore foot, which is what I suspect triggered this bout of depression), better food, attempting to sleep more, and prioritizing more time to myself. Another thing I find really important is to set little goals for myself, which serves double duty: it adds a sense of purpose to my days, however small it may be, and it gives a small but very important boost when/if I complete it. Having to complete an entire album for Ali’s travel class actually helped me a lot in the first half of June, and the sense of accomplishment was so good (if you have ever been depressed, you might know how huge something like that felt for me at that time).

I wanted to keep that feeling going, so inspired by Ali’s other current workshop, Stories of Travel (registration closes tonight!), I decided to tackle an old, half-finished album. This was one I started in 2009 and that I really loved, so it has annoyed me to no end that I never got my act together to finish it.

Here’s what it looked like last Tuesday:

Here are some of the spreads I made for it in 2009:

Cable Mountain

Petrified Dunes

Hiking Among Hoodoos

Ephemeral Arch

I <3 You

Luckily it’s a very simple album, which meant that I could finish it very quickly. The only supplies I needed were:

– white cardstock
– fonts (Century Gothic for journaling, CK Becky for the “handwritten” titles and Modern No. 20 for the rest of the titles)
this butterfly design for my Silhouette machine

I made a cover and an opening page:

Southwest '09 album finished at last

Southwest '09 album finished at last

I created more spreads using the same kinds of designs I used in 2009, and tried to make sure my journaling flowed reasonably well as a continuing story versus just the random pages/memories I had gotten down back then.

Southwest '09 album finished at last

Southwest '09 album finished at last

I found some extra bits of memorabilia to add between the pages.

Southwest '09 album finished at last

(Heh, that photo of us at the restaurant is actually two 3×4 photos of us sitting on opposite ends of the table, but I printed them together to fit in the 6×4 pocket and at first glance it totally looks like we’re sitting next to each other, albeit with awkward body language!)

Southwest '09 album finished at last

I cut out a bajillion of those butterflies with my Silhouette and stuck them everywhere, pretty much.

Southwest '09 album finished at last

I filmed a walkthrough of the entire thing if you’re interested too:

I really can’t believe how fast it was to finish this thing once I got going. Why oh why did I wait nine years to get it done?

This week I am tackling this baby, which I started in 2016. Feel free to play along if you’re like me and have a shelf full of unfinished albums!

Albums, Scrapbooking

Scrappenings

(Get it? Scrap happenings? Snurf.)

I just wanted to jump in here quickly and share some things that are going on in my corner of the scrapbooking world. This year Ali Edwards came out with brand new 3×8 albums, and I used one for my Week in the Life. I loved loved loved working with this size – it made what has traditionally been a daunting project for me feel really doable.

Week in the Life 2018

Week in the Life 2018

Week in the Life 2018

Week in the Life 2018

So I was super honored when I was asked if I could contribute another 3×8 album to a class called Travel Product Play, in conjunction with the new travel release that just came out. I chose to finally put together an album from my all-time favorite vacation: St. John 2013. Aaah!

Ali Edwards Travel Product Play Class

Ali Edwards Travel Product Play Class

Ali Edwards Travel Product Play Class

Ali Edwards Travel Product Play Class

Ali Edwards Travel Product Play Class

The class started today if you are interested! I share a video walkthrough of my album and a technique along with fellow Creative Team members Pam Baldwin, Amy Gretchen, and Lisa Varshine, and of course Ali Edwards herself has made an album too for the main portion of the class. I got a second of those gorgeous navy linen albums so I can play along with the class and try to get St. John 2014 done too!

December Daily 2017

I never finished December Daily from 2017 (I only have a handful of days left though, woot), but I plan to finish that and 2016 at the December Daily Prep Party in Eugene in November! I’m so excited to go hang out with everyone in person. This time I’ll be flying solo, which will hopefully lead to more socializing and more sleep (alone! in a hotel room!) than when I went to Story Camp with the whole family in tow, including a nursing baby. Cannot wait.

Cabin Trip, Layouts, Running, Scrapbooking

Sun Mountain 50K

Apparently all my focus is on scrapbooking rather than blogging these days, but there’s no way I’m not coming on here to brag about finishing the Sun Mountain 50K. I did it! So many huzzahs!

Sun Mountain 50K, mile 7

I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish under the cutoffs, especially given how much the heat affected me during the Sun Mountain 25K last year, but the mountain gods smiled upon my viking self and sent in an awesomely timed cloud cover that kept me from melting.

Sun Mountain 50K

The sense of achievement I felt after that race was up there with childbirth, for reals.

Sun Mountain 50K, mile 31

I see that last time I posted here, I mentioned that Lily had started walking. Well now she has run her first race!

Sun Mountain 50K

…and Nora loved the kids’ 1K so much she ran it twice.

Sun Mountain 50K

(All professional-looking race photos taken by the wonderful Glenn Tachiyama)

The entire trip was just such a wonderful vacation for our family that I got the whole thing scrapbooked within a week. Click to embiggen for journaling if you want to read more details of the race.

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

My trick for getting it done so quickly was to (a) limit my supplies – I used the Grow Story Kit from Ali Edwards, which was perfect for this trip both in theme and design, since Winthrop in May is all about the flowers, plus those really cool transparent days of the week titles that I had left over from the Week in the Life kit – and (b) follow a really simple design – one 9×12 page plus one pocket page for each day.

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

Friday was a travel day, with the traditional picnic at the Diablo overlook in the North Cascades. When we arrived at our cabin (the same one as last year!), the girls ran straight into the water and would honestly probably have stayed there all weekend if we didn’t make them come out for meals and sleep.

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

Saturday was my race day, and in the evening JK went for a run while I relaxed my achy legs on the porch.

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

On Sunday, the girls ran their race and we went for a family hike among the wildflowers.

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

And on Monday, we squeezed in some extra time in the lake before driving home.

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

I also added some 6×12 inserts, one about our evenings and one about the phase Nora is in right now (she earned herself that cactus).

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

And of course I had to make room for my race bib and the shredded remains of my course map, which looks like it has been through war.

Sun Mountain 50K // Grow Story Kit

Super thankful that I got to have this experience, and also that I have this other hobby that is going to help me remember that experience for a very long time.