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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!

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.

Health, Layouts, Life, Running, Scrapbooking

Friday Five

I keep thinking of little things I want to blog about but it seems like so much work to actually sit down and do it, so I decided to try a Friday Five post to give a couple of little updates about the parts of life I seem to be most into right now (I can guarantee that this won’t happen every Friday):

Running:

Aah, running. I was going to call this section “training”, but that sounds too organized for the flying-by-the-seat-of-my-running-skirt thing I’m doing. I’m having so much fun upping the mileage on my weekend runs, because those are usually on real trails with no external motivation needed, but I’m not doing nearly enough on weekdays down here on the Powerline Trail. I really should try to get out for some longer stroller runs. (Writing this post motivated me to take Lily out for six miles today, woot! *high-fives self*)

Spring 2018

…however, I did do one really fun thing on the Powerline on Sunday – I ran the Thrilla in Woodinvilla loop! This is a classic bike loop that connects the Powerline Trail, the Sammamish River Trail, the Tolt Pipeline Trail, and the Redmond Watershed Preserve. I’ve wanted to bike it ever since I found out about it in 2012, but never got around to it…so now I ran it instead! Very cool to be able to access this kind of a course two blocks from our house. It’s a little daunting to think that this isn’t even 2/3rds of the distance I’ll be running on race day, but at least I’ve reached the point where I think I’ll be able to cover those miles without literally dying.

Spring 2018

Pilates:

That’s right – I’m voluntarily doing strength training! And I’m loving it! A while ago I noticed that there was a new Pilates studio next to the craft store here in Redmond. I’ve always wanted to try Pilates with an actual reformer, so I signed up for a free class…and was immediately hooked. This is huge, you guys – I have not found any form of strength training that I actually enjoy since my Ashtanga yoga obsession 14 years ago. I go twice a week, and since I run to and from class, it’s a really good way to keep my lazy self moving on weekdays. I think my main challenge during the 50K, apart from the heat, will be to keep running on very tired legs, and running back up the killer hill to our house after Pilates classes seems like a decent way to practice that. Pilates has made me feel much stronger already, especially my core and glutes, which I’m hoping will protect me from a running injury now that I keep (somewhat irresponsibly) upping my long run mileage.

Spring 2018
(Awkward first ever attempt at a gym selfie)

Nora is really fascinated by Pilates and the teacher let her watch the start of my class yesterday. I think it’s so cool that her first experience of a gym is seeing me do something because I truly think it’s fun – it’s not something I’m doing as some sort of punishment or a means to an end. I’m really enjoying this process.

Food:

I’ve been focusing a lot on running nutrition lately, since I’ve finally realized how important it is to eat not just before an activity, but also during and after. Back in my hiking days, when I was not in very good shape and was working extemely hard climbing those hills, I would wait until I was already exhausted and bonking before having some food or gummies or something. At that point it’s already too late, really. I wonder how much more energetic I would have felt on a lot of those trips if I had just fueled properly.

Food!

So these days, if I am going out on a run that will last longer than 90 minutes, I make sure I eat something every half hour – usually dates, oatmeal/banana cookies, or gels. (I’m trying out gels that have more natural ingredients than GU – so far I really liked the Canaberry and Long Haul ones from Spring Energy, and I ordered a sample pack from Muir to try out as well.) I also eat something right after I’m done, then have a big, nourishing, replenishing meal ready to eat when I get home.

Spring 2018

Scrapbooking:

Oh, scrapbooking. I have unfortunately been suffering from a bad case of Reverse Midas Syndrome, which means that everything I touch turns to crap. Luckily(?) this isn’t my first time fighting the ol’ RMS, so I know that (a) it’s part of the natural ebb and flow of life, (b) it will go away eventually, and (c) the only thing that really works, at least for me, is to step away for a little bit and then return refreshed. This time around, Ali Edwards unintentionally swooped in and helped me along, because she created these cool videos featuring the latest creative team projects (February and March) – turns out hearing Ali Edwards talk about your layouts is pretty much the biggest creative confidence boost ever. So I’m inching my way back into things by making pages so simple that I can’t really mess them up too much (which is honestly my style anyway).

Here are some of the ones I have liked lately:

Winter wonderland

Super simple, really just a big photo and those story cards from the Details Story Kit from last year.

January details

Little details I want to remember about my girls, using Ali’s February kit. I actually got a little wild and crazy and STAMPED on this one.

Hard change

This one was from the Change Story Kit. Those thoughts have been gnawing on me for a while now so it felt good to get them down on paper.

Home sweet home

I made this one with the March kit after we had spent some time (yet again) discussing whether or not we should move back to Norway. Gaah. So many places to call home.

Orcas Island details

I scrapbooked the race part of our Orcas trip here, but there were more things I wanted to remember. So I took my favorite easy way out – an enlarged journaling card for the title/journaling lines (this card was from the Details Story Kit too), journaling in bullet point form, a handful of photos in pocket pages. Done.

Young’uns:

In kid-related news, Lily started walking! She took her first steps on Orcas Island in January, but it wasn’t until these last couple of weeks that she decided she was comfortable enough to make walking her main mode of transportation. I LOVE THIS AGE. I forgot how cute wobbly toddlers are!

Spring 2018

Spring 2018

…and Nora turned 3.5! She asked for a beetroot cake for her traditional half cake. I truly don’t know where she got that idea, but we made Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Chocolate Cake which actually does have beets in it, and we added beet powder to the frosting as well. It was pretty epic.

20180302_155543541_iOS 20180302_155825729_iOS

To sum it all up, life is hectic but it’s oh so good.

20180318_014656880_iOS 20180309_230437150_iOS

Layouts, Running, Scrapbooking

Running updates in scrapbook form

Looks like I’m never going to get around to any real race recaps from Deception Pass and Orcas, but I’ve managed to get them into scrapbooks.

Deception Pass 25K is the first big race I’ve done that didn’t involve a weekend away. We just woke the kids up early, which went against every fiber of my being (the night before, I realized that I literally didn’t know how to set an alarm on my phone – I didn’t get an iPhone until after Nora was born, so kids have been my alarm clock this entire time), and drove up there that morning. I made this page about it for December Daily:

Deception Pass 25K

In January, we returned to Orcas Island! This was my first time repeating a race, and I am happy to report that I ran it 40 minutes faster than I did in 2016. I made it just under 4 hours, which was my goal.

Run

My brain isn’t really functioning now because it’s full of mucus, so here are some running/health thoughts in bullet form:

– Regarding that mucus, I am sick again. Both girls were sick all last week and now it’s my turn. I have been eating terribly, which when combined with a preschool virus and lack of sleep, always leads to me getting sick. I want to start eating well again! I should probably read my own blog from last spring to remember how good and energetic I felt. I’ve signed up for a Facebook challenge to eat 100% nutritarian during the month of March, and I’ve already started, as of yesterday afternoon. W00tz!

– Given that I ran Orcas Island 25K in just under four hours, I am kind of panicking about the fact that the cutoff for Sun Mountain 50K is 8 hours. Gaah. Sun Mountain doesn’t have any hills that are quite as evil as the Powerline climb on Orcas, but it does have heat, which is my kryptonite. So my odds of finishing under the cutoff are kind of low, but as long as I have fun (type 1 and type 2) and I cover 50K on my own two feet, I’ll have met my goal.

– I ran a 13 mile training run on Cougar Mountain on Monday, which has been my longest non-race training run since last summer. It felt really, really good, especially after being cooped up in the house with two sick kids for a week. Slightly annoyed when I came home and realized that if I had tacked on an extra .1 mile, it would have been a half marathon.

– I had a crisis of confidence in January when I realized how little I am training compared to everyone I know, but then a friend reminded me that I’m not actually *racing* these races, I am doing them to make sure I get out of the house for regular alone time/trail therapy and, in the case of the 50K, to see if I can actually make it that far on foot. The second I start even considering something that resembles an actual training plan, it removes all the joy of running for me.

I’m super bummed that I’m sitting here coughing instead of running through the woods, but on the other hand it’s snaining and kind of awful outside, so maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world.

Cougar Mountain 20180224_171355729_iOS

Layouts, Scrapbooking

2018 – Let’s do this

Aah, I love this time of year when we’re all resolutiony and motivated. Unfortunately this time of year also brings motivated bugs, and I was out with the flu for over a week. I’ve managed to fight of all the viruses Nora has brought home from preschool except one, but this time I think I paid for a December of little sleep and lots of sugar and pepperkaker, plus my immune system was busy battling an inflamed clogged duct. Not the best start to the year, but the silver lining is that at least those extra pepperkake pounds disappeared.

2018

I did manage to make some quick scrapbook layouts while I was sick too, a bunch of December Daily pages (I’m so close to finishing! I WILL DO THIS!) and the opener for my 2018 album. This year I’m using a 9×12 album so that I have the option to include more pocket pages if I want to, but most of the pages I make for it will probably still be 8.5×11.

For the opener, I grabbed my favorite family photo (taken this fall at one of Hannah Marie Photography’s mini sessions – 15 minutes is about as much posing as Nora can handle, so these sessions are working really well for us) and one of the journaling cards from Ali Edwards’ January digital kit. I elongated it to go all the way across the page so I could fit in journaling for all of us. I cut the title out with my Silhouette, using one of these files.

Family portraits by Nora

On the back, I put these adorable portraits Nora drew of all of us. I love this with all my heart.

New Year

Next up is this welcome to the new year spread where I talk about my big goal of the year – running the Sun Mountain 50K. Eek! I took one of the 3×4 cards from the kit and turned the background transparent using this trick in Photoshop so I could use it as an overlay on my big trail photo.

New Year

I’m planning on doing all my One Little Word stuff directly in this big ol’ album this year, so I’ll probably be documenting my training efforts in between all the family stuff. I’m really excited to have everything in one place this year instead of working on five different albums simultaneously.

As for training, so far in 2018 I have walked around…two miles. Yay flu! But today I’m finally feeling like myself again, so I’ll take Lily out in the running stroller after her nap. It’s gonna hurt oh so good.