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Layouts, Scrapbooking

Bond (James Bond)

This month’s Story Kit theme is Bond, which meant I obviously had to scrapbook about JK and Nora – in my completely non-biased opinon, they are the cutest daddy/daughter combo around, and their bond has grown even stronger this past year. JK helped me out so much with childcare when I was sick and down in the dumps during pregnancy, and now that he’s on his epic parental leave from work, he’s pretty much in charge of all things Nora while I nurse and nurse and nurse and do the little baby things.

J-K + Nora (Ali Edwards Bond Story Kit)

Now I have a whole list of other relationships I want to scrapbook with this too – Nora and Wellie! Wellie and Basil! And, of course, Nora and Lily. Aaaw.

Baby, Layouts

Lily’s Birth Story

The theme for Ali’s February product release is, unsurprisingly, all about luuurve! I used the opportunity to finally get Lily’s birth story down on paper for her baby album. I’m glad I had jotted down some notes a couple days after the big event, otherwise the story would have read something like “I coughed and then this amazing baby came out”.

I loved the gradient LOVE YOU journaling card, so I used this Photoshop trick to turn the background transparent, then just erased the part that went over my shoulder. Ta-da!


I spent the day before Thanksgiving in bed with what was either bronchitis or pneumonia – whatever it was, I felt sicker than I have in years and years. I had just coughed so hard that I sprained an intercostal muscle and had to get help just to go to the bathroom, so I hoped that my body would know to not go into labor just then. But nope. Another coughing fit (while watching Shameless on my laptop in bed – sorry I don’t have a more romantic story for you, kid) broke my water and I knew there was no turning back now – I was going to have a Thanksgiving baby. I called the midwives and just tried to get some sleep.

I woke up at 2am with contractions, and stayed awake the rest of the night. They were spaced pretty far apart until they suddenly, out of nowhere, started coming every 2-3 minutes. I freaked out, picturing a baby-born-in-car scenario, and woke JK up so we could rush off to the hospital at 5am. Bessefar stayed home to wait for Nora to wake up (I’m so glad she didn’t see me in that state).

I vividly remember thinking that I would give birth within an hour and that I could make it that long, but the second I laid down in the hospital bed, the adrenaline wore off and my contractions became very spaced out and erratic. On top of that, I had to get intravenous fluids and nutrition since I hadn’t been able to eat or drink much the last couple of days. There was a contagious disease warning sign outside our room and almost everyone who came in wore a mask, which didn’t help the whole I-feel-like-death thing.

I knew my contractions would come faster if I were standing, but I didn’t even have the energy to get out of bed…and eventually realized I didn’t have the energy to get through the contractions much longer at all. I talked it over with Kim, my midwife, and decided to go for the epidural.

It felt bizarre being so numb during labor, but this time it was definitely better than the alternative. I was even able to rest for a couple of hours while JK watched a Manchester United match. I really didn’t like that I wasn’t getting any natural cues from my body anymore and I was worried about having to do coached pushing this time, but it was fine – I let Kim know that I was starting to feel some pressure, pushed for about 15 minutes, and then little Lily was born.

I immediately gave Lily a big hug, but she wasn’t crying and she was this awful grey/blue color that really scared me. The nurse started rubbing her until she finally cried, but she was a gurgling mess (not unlike her mamma) and suddenly a bunch of people were there to help suction a ton of fluid out of her. They considered whisking her off to the nursery for extra observation, but once we did some skin to skin and nursing, she perked up.

All throughout the pregnancy, I was worried about how I could possibly love another little baby as much as I love Nora, but the second I hugged Lily, all those concerns were gone. I know it was Thanksgiving, not Christmas, but my heart grew three sizes that day.

Layouts, Scrapbooking

More baby layouts

I’m slowly but surely chugging away on Nora’s baby album, mostly focusing on the must-do pages for now…but I also have lots of cute filler page ideas I want to make so I can include the very best super adorbs photos we’ve taken of her.

First up – the birth story! I’ve actually made this before, but I hated how it looked, so for the first time ever, I redid the layout. This one works much better with the other pages I’ve made from the hospital.

When you were born

Here’s an obligatory page about the exhaustion/bliss of the newborn period…

Up Early, Up Late

…and one about Nora and pappa – this one is old, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared it here.

I love you

I think this is my favorite page of the entire album; it’s so cool to have all the important milestone information in one place on a timeline like this! Also: so many cute faces on one layout.

Little Details

I really do love making these little tidbit pages full of Nora’s little habits and quirks that I am bound to forget if I don’t write them down. This was her at 18 months.

18 months

And here’s a quick one about her second birthday celebration…


…with a corresponding tidbits-at-two page using the same papers (like I unintentionally did on her first birthday combo).

Love You

As for further must-do pages, I definitely need to make something about her relationships with all of her grandparents (and with me!), and maybe one where I use a photo from every month of her first year so you can see her growing from a wrinkly little peanut to a big girl. And then it’s on to just getting all of those massively adorable photos into her album. <3

Layouts, Scrapbooking

Me | A Story of Right Now

October marks my one-year anniversary as an Ali Edwards Story Kits subscriber, and I love it as much now as I did back then! The classroom content alone is worth the price in my opinion – Ali really makes you think, and sometimes even functions as a papercrafting therapist of sorts.

I always end up with so many ideas for stories to tell – deep stories, silly stories, important stories. This month’s kit, Me, couldn’t have come at a better time for me to document my feelings right at this moment, coming out of a challenging summer.

Me right now

It’ll fit perfectly into my hiking/memoir album, like so many Story Kit pages before it.

Nora turns two 118
Layouts, Scrapbooking

Working on that baby album


Nora turned two on Friday! That was my impetus to finally make a scrapbook page about her first birthday. Heh. My scrapbooking mojo is finally returning now that the seasons are changing, and I want to spend the autumn filling out the most important missing bits and pieces of Nora’s album before another wee babby appears on the scene.

To help me keep things fresh (since I tend to fall back on my same old favorite designs), I’m following Jen Schow and Tracie Claiborne‘s sketches from their new class, Ready Sketch Go Volume 2.


I used scrap papers to make this page, and I couldn’t remember where I had originally used those papers until I saw the page this will go next to in the album – things I want to remember about Nora at one year old. It’s fate! Also, I am so glad I wrote all of those things down a year ago, because I had totally forgotten about most of them until I read this again. They change so fast, these little ones.

Remember This

Another recent addition to the album is this page that I made using Ali Edwards’ Food Circles – I grabbed the journaling from this post, it’s about how happy we were with baby-led weaning and introducing Nora to our family’s food culture.

Family Dinner

I have a glorious collection of your typical, adorable photos of baby-with-food-smeared-all-over-her-face/body/hair that really ought to go along with this page, so I think I’ll add them in a divided page protector like I did with the snowshoeing layout in this post. I want this album to be a good mix of layouts with stories, memorabilia (from the hospital and well visits with the pediactrician), and lots and lots of photos.