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Albums, Baby, Scrapbooking

Lily’s Baby Album

I wasn’t actively scrapbooking when Nora was born, so I never kept a good in-the-moment baby book for her (oh, and there was that whole overwhelmed and exhausted brand new parents thing), and when I did start scrapbooking again, I started a full-size 8.5×11 album for her. It’s an album full of mish-mashed pages and random stories, which is kind of nice, but if I want to be able to keep up with a good album for Lily, I’m going to need more structure.

So 6×8 it is. I’ve fallen in love with this size after finishing December Daily and Week in the Life projects – it’s such a neat little album if you want to actually finish a project, while 8.5×11 albums tend to go on indefinitely for me. There’s also not that much room in most of them, so I’m forced to keep things simple and structured, which is just what I need right now. So far I’m thinking: opening page (birth announcement), a spread about the pregnancy, a spread about midwife visits/how excited Nora was to become a big sister (I have some cute photos of her at my checkups), the birth story, and then I’ll jump into monthly updates.

Lily's album

(I just realized that I sent out like five of those birth announcements and then forgot all about them. Egads! Where are they even??)

I’ll stick with a really easy setup for the monthly updates – one main photo, four smaller favorite photos from the month, and a 3×8 page protector with written highlights from the month. I’m so bummed I didn’t do something like that in real time for Nora, because her first year is just a blur at this point!

For Lily’s two-month update, I used the digital version of Ali’s Numbers Story Kit, including the beautiful patterned paper from one of the journaling cards. It was finished in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, if you don’t count the 743 hours I spent looking at photos of Lily to decide on five favorites.

Side note: I really wish I had photoshopped out that gigantic, fugly WARNING label in the car seat in the main photo. Oh well.

Two Months

If there’s room in the album, I think I’ll add a couple of extra themed spreads like bath time, food explorations (when that time comes), and whatever other special things that may pop up. She’s growing up way too fast already!

Albums, December Daily, Scrapbooking

December Daily 2015

It’s not quite December yet, but I really should get this post up now in case I suddenly go into labor or something. So without further ado, here is my December Daily album from last year!

(Some of these photos are really bad, but I refuse to redo them because that would involve crouching and bending over and other things I’m not into at the moment.)
When we left off last year, I had almost finished up November with a secret page…which I can now reveal was a pregnancy announcement! Our perfect nephew was born in June and we got to meet him this summer. Aaaw. I put the actual announcement in the album along with a photo of Nora skyping with the expectant parents and a photo of us celebrating the good news with champagne.

On November 30, we had a day that was so chilly and frosty that it almost looked like we had snow in the neighborhood for once, so I documented it on a stroller walk.

December Daily 2015

Now onto December! We made Nora an advent calendar last year, and on the first day she got crayons! It’s hard to see in this photo, but the background paper is the result of her very first crayon art.

The next day, we met up with Hike it Baby Seattle and went to see the Christmas lights in the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

December Daily 2015

Nora turned 15 months on December 2, so on the third, I dedicated a page to her current habits and whatnot. It was a good excuse to include a photo of her in her Christmas jammies plus one with a Santa hat. Squee!

December Daily 2015

December 4 is about sending out Christmas cards, so naturally I journaled about it on one of our Christmas cards.

On the fifth, we wrapped presents and watched Christmas with the Kranks, my annual guilty pleasure, so I just snapped a pic of our wrapping supplies. (I was supposed to get a photo of us doing the wrapping, but I had let my hair dry naturally and looked like Weird Al Yankovic, and nobody needs to see that.)

December Daily 2015

On the facing page, I added some bits and pieces of the actual wrapping paper we used.

December Daily 2015

December 6 was a two-story day! First we bought our Christmas tree, and then Nora stood up entirely on her own for the first time while we were decorating it!

December Daily 2015

On December 7, nothing much happened at all, so I took the opportunity to write about how we had lost our dog Basil earlier in the fall. I added some extra photos of him, Wellie, and Bobby wearing their festive holiday garb.

December Daily 2015

Still not much going on on the 8th, so I wrote about our tradition of always watching a Norwegian advent calendar show.

December Daily 2015

On December 9th, both Nora and I were sick. Cue photos of Nora picking her nose (sorry, kid) and eating her first bowl of magical, healing pho.

I also added a pastry bag from Starbucks, and when Christmas was over I used it to store the cards we received.

December Daily 2015

We were still sick the next day, so I just ended up writing about my favorite Christmas albums.

December Daily 2015

On the 11th, we were back to normal just in time to go see SANTA!!1! Nora wasn’t quite as enthused as I was.

December Daily 2015

Closeup. We’ll see how she does this year…

December Daily 2015

The next day, we went to a book signing by our friend Tom – he wrote The Lego Architect which has done so well and is super cool – the perfect present for geeks young and old!

December Daily 2015

On December 13, we celebrated Sancta Lucia by baking lussekatter. Nora was a fan.

On the 14th, I took a photo of our living room from the outside and wrote about what Christmas really means to me.

December Daily 2015

The 15th was a big day since it involved both a visit to Santa Story Time (Nora still wasn’t impressed, but this time she just ignored the big guy) and the arrival of grandma and grandpa from Norway! I ended up doing a day in the life kind of thing.

December Daily 2015

Closeup of this classic photo of Nora crying and Wellie expressing his feelings about that.

December Daily 2015

Of course the 16th had to be about Nora and her grandparents.

December Daily 2015

Nora and grandpa spent much of December singing songs from her songbook, and at one point Nora ripped out one of the pages. Instead of taping it back into the book, I added it here.

On the 17th, I needed an excuse to use this adorable photo of Nora, so I just added a speech bubble with some of the new words she had learned that month.

December Daily 2015

I think this is my favorite spread of the month – we went to JK’s office where they were hosting a Frozen-themed holiday event for families, and Nora got her first taste of gingerbread.

December Daily 2015

She just looked so adorable on that ice throne!

December Daily 2015

On the 19th, we all went snowshoeing! We obviously took way too many photos to limit this to a single spread, so I just kept going until I was done. I also added a Christmas card from a friend that fit right in.

December Daily 2015

Family photo!

December Daily 2015

Nora LOVES the snow. That’s my Norwegian baby!

December Daily 2015

This was another two-story day since we had JK’s office party that night, so I added the invitation…

December Daily 2015

…and on the back I stuck some photos of the gorgeous decor at the party (plus a big photo of us all dressed up for once, not wearing convertible pants and puffy jackets).

December Daily 2015

On the 20th, I used another photo of Nora opening her advent calendar and wrote about how much she was enjoying getting another piece of a Duplo set every day.

The next day, JK and I went trail running and then it started snowing on us as we were going up the mountain. We hit Starbucks afterwards for a peppermint mocha to warm us back up, which was an excellent excuse to use this super cute red cup gift card. (Apparently this year they have ugly Christmas sweater gift cards!)

December Daily 2015

One of the best parts of the season is obviously baking (and eating) cookies, and Nora is already talking about how she is going to bake gingerbread cookies with grandma this year! Last year we made them into marmots, because I’m the boss.

December Daily 2015

We call December 23 Little Christmas Eve, and it’s almost as important to me as the big day. JK snapped this photo of Nora looking totally mesmerized by the tree lights, so I used it write about my feelings around her first “real” Christmas.

December Daily 2015

Bonus cute photo of Wellie and the tree.

December Daily 2015

We open presents on Christmas Eve, so the big day had arrived! Nora opened presents throughout the day, and I think the big highlight for all of us adults was seeing her in the bunad grandma had made her. (I can see now that I forgot to stamp a word or phrase on the little tab I attached to the journaling half page, oops!)

December Daily 2015

Random adorbs photos from the day:

December Daily 2015

…and last but not least, I had to include the story of my favorite present – JK got me a giant Mukmuk! That boy knows me so well.

December Daily 2015

To finish up the album, I filled one of the 2×2 square pocket pages with little bits and pieces and wrapping paper and cute tags people had made us.

That’s it for 2015! I’m hoping to put an album together for 2016 as well, since it’s definitely going to be a very special Christmas…but it definitely can’t be as detailed as this one was. But man do I love this album – so many happy little memories captured forever – it really does feel priceless to me. If you’re on the fence about trying a project like this, just trust me and go for it.

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Albums, Layouts, Scrapbooking, Southwest

Southwest Vacation Album

In the fall of 2011, Josie and I surprised Karen with a birthday trip to the Southwest. Almost five years later, I am finally scrapbooking that trip. Many huzzahs!

Southwest 2011 Album

Unfortunately I never really blogged about this trip, which is a shame – we visited some mighty beautiful places. I also can’t find the journal I kept on the trip, so I had to rely on my aging brain for memories. Luckily Jo and Karen were able to fill in a few blanks for me as well as provide me with extra photos. Thank you, ladies!

Now, for the design – we’ve already established that I suck at finishing albums (really, what on earth am I even doing starting another one), so in order for this to become a doable project, I decided on a clean layout (which is yet another variant of one of my go-to designs) that is repeated throughout the album.

Ali Edwards released these handwritten Travel Words this month, and they inspired this whole project! I cut them out with my Silhouette and I’m going to use them as my titles for every section of the trip. As for the rest of my supplies, so far I’ve really only used white cardstock, two old sheets of feather patterned paper, and a pack of wood veneer feathers.

Southwest 2011 Album

Oh, and a sheet of vellum with feathers on it too! And these ancient state dies from Quickutz. Behind this vellum opening page, I added some emails I had printed out – some rather hilarious correspondence between us and Karen’s husband when we were planning the trip behind her back.

Then the introduction page, setting up what would become the theme of the trip:

Southwest 2011 Album

Every highlight of the trip will get its own spread, like this one from White Pocket:

Southwest 2011 Album

(Side note – the photos look so much better in real life, I’ve totally blown them out here in an attempt to make the background look white. Photographing layouts is the worst.)

I’m going to just stick to this design since it’s so easy and quick to put together and adds a nice sense of continuity throughout the album. Here’s the spread from Coyote Gulch – same design, but flipped:

Southwest 2011 Album

In addition to these spreads, I also have a bunch of memorabilia that I want to use. Here’s the adorable prairie dog adoption certificate from Bryce National Park – of course I adopted one, those things are basically marmots:

Southwest 2011 Album

The prairie dog postcard was an actual card that I sent home to JK, so I’m leaving it open on the back so you can read it. Well I can, because it’s in Norwegian…and JK and I are probably the only people in the world who can decipher my horrid writing. This is why I use computer journaling on my pages, people.

Southwest 2011 Album

Josie and I always go bananas collecting park stamps from ranger stations, so here are some of those, keeping with the design of the previous pages:

Southwest 2011 Album

The last page of the album is another printed email thread – a really wonderful thank you note from Karen followed by us gushing about how much fun we had. Aaaw.

So what do I still need to do to finish the album?

– make a bunch more section spreads (from the Narrows, Peek-a-Boo & Spooky Canyons, Bryce, Valley of Fire etc)

– make a pocket that will hold a DVD of this video that Karen made from the trip (and a QR code that will take you to the Vimeo link)

– put together a couple more pocket pages filled with memorabilia

I can totally finish this.

Albums, Layouts, Scrapbooking

Turning a scrapbook into a memoir

I recently returned to the wonderful world of scrapbooking, and while I immediately fell back in love with making pages, I was a little frustrated trying to figure out where those pages belonged. Fortunately, I stumbled across this blog series by Noell Hyman about finishing albums, which in turn led me to purchase her excellent audio course with Shimelle Laine about Story-Centered Albums, and I became massively excited and inspired about this whole idea of turning my scrapbooks into memoirs.

I mainly scrapbook hiking pages, because, well, that’s my obsession. I’ve kept my regular, event-based hiking pages in one album and my more introspective, life-lessonish hiking pages in another, but when I put them all together in one place, I realized that those albums tell a bigger story than just “look at all the pretty places I’ve seen!” – they tell a story of an Ingunn who was extremely depressed, but who found a new hobby that got her out of the house and made her healthier both physically and mentally. An Ingunn who was so scared of heights that she started crying on the way to Noble Knob because of the exposure (if you’ve ever been to Noble Knob, you’ll know how ridiculous that sounds). An Ingunn who faced that fear and overcame it to a certain degree (but then realized there was a limit to how far she was willing to push it). An Ingunn who gained so much confidence in the mountains, both hiking and backpacking on her own. An Ingunn who made friends on trail. An Ingunn who to this day uses hiking as a way to handle the difficult things in life. An Ingunn who now has a new little person to introduce to the outdoors.

The first volume of hiking pages is kind of a separate entity since it’s a post-bound 11×8.5 album. It already had an opening page, so I didn’t have to change anything there.

Hiking Volume I

Here’s our very first hike, to Shi Shi Beach. I was a little worried that I was assigning way too much importance to this trip looking back on it, but my journaling back then was just as sappy and loving as it is now:

Being outside in nature is proving to be far more beneficial than any anti-depressant or therapy session I have ever tried. I don’t know if it’s because of the fresh air, the exercise, the views, or the sunshine, but being out there just clears my mind, something I am rarely able to do otherwise. It makes me feel like I can be happy again…and now I know that I can.

Hiking Volume I

(It was also cool to look through this album and see that my style hasn’t really changed that much, so it’s not embarrassing to look through these pages anno 2007 – even though I used those ridiculous die-cut bears!)

Hiking Volume I

Hiking Volume I

Hiking Volume I

In 2008, I switched to 8.5×11 three-ring binders, which means it’s way easier to move pages around (since I don’t scrapbook chronologically). That means I can now go back and add framework pages, like introductions to the albums. I decided to make my intro to Volume II about that very first trip to Shi Shi, where it all began. One of Ali Edwards’s Story Kits from the fall, Spark, fit perfectly.

Finding My Spark

On the other side of the page protector, I put an interview I did for the Wilderness Society, which is about that same trip and how it affected me.

Album insert

This album covers personal victories, like my very first hike up the steep and unforgiving Mailbox Peak…

You've got mail

…our scramble up Besseggen in Norway (which wouldn’t even faze me now, but at the time I thought it was so, so scary)…

Besseggen, part deux

…and some of the trips where I ventured into the wilderness by myself. I should definitely write more about those!

Memories of Wonderland

I also made an opening page for Volume III – I’ve reached a point where I am less obsessive about my trips to the mountains but have even more fun when I do go.

New adventure

I’m still pushing my limits, though.

I Hiked This

There are still plenty of just-for-fun pages in these albums, they’re not full of me being all self-involved and navel-gazing, but it feels important to have those parts of my life documented. There are ups and downs in life, and the outdoors is where I work through those ups and downs.

Our haven

The following two pages were also made with Ali’s Story Kits. If you’re interested in getting your authentic stories told, I cannot recommend them enough. The class content alone is worth the price. This month’s theme is Tough and next month’s is Wild, so it’s pretty much like they were made for hiking pages, yes?


Golden Lining

Last but not least, my current pages show us adjusting to life with our wonderful little lady and introducing her to our favorite pastime. My hope is that she’ll gain as much confidence and joy from the outdoors as I have.

Here & Her

Wild Child

I have a whole list of page ideas: trips I don’t want to forget, trips that were in some way important to me, even if the destination wasn’t jaw-dropping, some of my pregnant hikes and all the expectations that came along with those, and our favorite hikes with Nora. This list is pretty long, so, hey, at least I know I’ll never run out of scrapbook material!

I love, love, love this project and the sense of direction it has given me in my scrapbooking. Even if I am the only person who ever looks through these albums, that’s fine – my story has been told, and it’s going to be an amazing collection of pages to look back on when I’m old and grey.

ali 032
Albums, Running, Scrapbooking

I’ve got the runs

…is what I really shouldn’t call this album, but I probably will, because now it’s in my head and there’s no turning back.

For my first month on the Ali Edwards Creative Team, I decided to use her adorable little encouraging phrases to make a scrapbook of my races. Since I’ve only participated in two so far, it came together quickly.

Running scrapbook

I love having a home for my race bibs! The 6×8 pocket size was perfect to show off the fancy one from Beat the Blerch, but I cut down my Orcas 25K bib to fit a 6×4 pocket since it didn’t have anything around the edge.

The little take the next step speech bubble is from the Encouragement Bubbles set, the all the feels heart is from Valentine Hearts, and the you got this card is from Encouragement Journal Cards.

Running scrapbook

…and because this album deserves to be thicker than these two measly spreads, I signed up for the Beacon Rock 25K in June, which looks gorgeous but dreadfully hard. I fear I might end up using the struggle is real for that one.