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Scrapbooking

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Layouts, Scrapbooking

Scrapbook Therapy

Not gonna lie – as much as I love my kid, 2.5 isn’t my favorite age. There’s a lot of Jekyll and Hyde-ness going on. On Sunday, I ended up googling the phrase “Exorcist tantrums” (and, much to my relief, found that many many parents before me had put those two words together). So I’m doing my best to focus on and treasure the Jekyll moments, because Jekyll is the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful little being there ever was.

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Now that Ali Edwards finally released her 6×8 Story Books, all my random little 6×8 pages finally have homes! And something about that size makes scrapbooking less intimidating than if I were to make a bigger layout. I bought one album for me/the family, one for Lily, and one for Nora. This page will go in my own album, not hers, because she doesn’t really need to see it until a time where she might have a toddler herself.

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I like that my album is going to be full of little thoughts I have that I probably wouldn’t have bothered to make a full 8.5×11 page about. Having kids is wonderful and fulfilling and fun, but sometimes it’s very hard work, and this album is turning out to be pretty therapeutic to me during those times. I thought I would use Ali’s May release kit to make a sappy page about Mother’s Day, but since Mother’s Day just happened to fall during my most challenging week yet as a parent, it felt right to focus on how I cope with that instead.

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Layouts, Scrapbooking

Through the lens I see life

I’ve struggled to get back into the groove of scrapbooking after Lils was born, but this month as I was making my pages for Ali Edwards’ April releases, I think things finally clicked back into place and I felt inspired again.

Participating in a simplified version of Week in the Life was part of it – every time I start focusing more on our everyday life, I get really excited about being able to look back on these pictures and notes in the future. Another reason, and this will probably sound dumb, is that I had a really vivid nightmare in which I was told I only had a couple of days left to live. Of course I woke up all sweaty and sad and couldn’t for the life of me fall back asleep. I spent the rest of the night thinking about what I want my girls to know if that were ever to happen. First and foremost how much I love them, but also what my feelings are about certain life situations that they might end up in some day. I’ve always just scrapbooked with my future self in mind, because there’s no guarantee that anyone else will be interested in looking through these albums, but if something does happen and I’m not around to talk, my girls will have a chance to sort of peek inside my brain and see how I handled things like depression, infertility, and the ups and downs and stress and joy that come with raising little kids.

Lens

Ali’s Story Kit theme this month is Lens, and it’s one I think I’ll be using for a long time, both for literal interpretations of what I’ve seen through my camera lens (because I have a never-ending backlog of gorgeous hiking adventures I want to document) and for pages like this one, about how I choose to look at life (complete with real-life giant bags under my eyes and unkempt mom hair).

As for Week in the Life, I was just too tired last week to participate fully (because apparently I choose to spend my nights envisioning depressing scenarios instead of sleeping), but I did make a mini version that I adore. It was supposed to be one photo and one story per day, but then I ended up with too many photos I loved and had to change it to two photos and one or two stories a day. Much less time-consuming than a full-on WITL, but I ended up with a really good overview of our everyday life right now along with my thoughts and some cute quotes and stories from Nora.

Week in the Life Tuesday

Week in the Life Wednesday

It’s coming together really quickly since it’s just a matter of adding the date boxes and a transparent white box onto my photos and printing the journaling I had written each day, but since I decided to double my stories, I still have to go through my notes and finish those last bits of journaling before I can share the whole thing.

Easter

Of course scrapbooking shouldn’t be all heavy thoughts, after all, this is a hobby I do for fun, so since part of the April release was Easter-themed, I went all in with a good old-fashioned event page. Because sometimes you’ve just gotta share how cute your kid looked in her dress. Or while devouring a giant chocolate bunny.

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Nutritarian, Scrapbooking

These are a few of my favorite things…

…namely FOOOOOD and scrapbooking! This month I’ve had several opportunities to document our new food philosophy, which has been a pretty big part of our life so far this year. First up, the new Story Kit from Ali Edwards, Eat.

I obviously had to write about why I joined the Nutritarian Women’s Health Study. Since the study team sent out a surprise packet of goodies and info last week, I even have some memorabilia to go with my layout for once. You know, the way scrapbooking was intended.

The Eat kit is going to be used a lot. I keep seeing pages from the other design team members that I want to scraplift, like Pam Baldwin’s – how did it not occur to me to use one of the circles as a dinner plate between the adorable wood veneer cutlery? Genius.

This is going into my personal book, which is a 6×8 album that pretty much functions as my journal these days. It’s also the home of my One Little Word – this year I picked FLOW. More on that later.

Eat Story Kit

I’m also putting together a Week in the Life album for this spring. Ali is doing the “official” WitL the week of April 17 if you want to follow along, but I decided I would rather document this magical time when JK is on parental leave instead. (He goes back to work on Tuesday. Sob!)

Food is going to play a big part in that album too, of course. Having two adults at home most days has allowed us to spend lots of time cooking and trying new recipes. Now begins the real challenge – staying on track when we’re back in the real world.

Week in the Life

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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.

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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!