Browsing Category


Hiking, Layouts, Mount Rainier, Scrapbooking, Top Trips

From Life to Layout // 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!

Cabin Trip, Layouts, Running, Scrapbooking

From Life to Layout // 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):


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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