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Hiking, Hiking with baby, Top Trips

A White Christmas

We haven’t experienced a white Christmas since 2008, when we had to ski through Redmond to get to the grocery store (okay so maybe we didn’t have to, but we did), but thanks to a recent huge dump of snow in the mountains, we could at least drive up to Snoqualmie Pass and create our own snowy magic.

Gold Creek Pond

My parents are visiting from Norway again – there’s been a mysterious uptick in the frequency of their visits ever since Nora was born – and they agreed to go snowshoeing with us. They couldn’t get over the size of our trees. Everything is bigger in America!

Gold Creek Pond

We made our way to the pond where everything was a wonderland. This hike is all flat and won’t make you break a sweat (unless you’re breaking the trail), but that’s okay – I was all smiles even without endorphins. It’s so, so pretty for something right off the freeway.

Rampart Ridge

From the pond, Rampart Ridge rises in the east, all massive and imposing and deserving of its name. It’s beautiful from below as well as from the top.

Gold Creek Pond

We wandered around the pond for a bit before going back to the picnic area where we let Nora out of the carrier so she could play in the snow.

Gold Creek Pond

She calls snow “sssss”, which is adorable, and she really does seem to love it. I think we need to get the ski attachment kit for our Chariot stroller so we can bring Nora cross-country skiing and bring oranges and a thermos of soup and sit there in the sun and just generally bask in our desperate Norwegianness.

Gold Creek Pond Gold Creek Pond

As the sun dipped behind the mountains, we let Nora the Red-Nosed Baby guide our way back down to our warm house in town, brimming with Christmas spirit.

I think she likes snow

For me, Christmas is about finding and creating light during the dark times…and if a white Christmas won’t come down here to us, we go in search of it ourselves.

Gold Creek Pond

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Gold Creek Pond

Life

God jul!

Christmas Eve Christmas Eve

I hope your holidays have been fantabulous and that you’re all good and toasty and cozy and full of cookies and general merriment. I’ll go into greater detail about our Christmas when I post more from my December Daily album, but I’ll leave this here for now – Nora in the bunad my mom made for her. It’s so cute that I don’t even know what to do with myself.

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Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hiking, Hiking with baby

Trips I missed

I’ve been so caught up in the scrapbooking world that I’ve neglected to talk about hiking – whaa? Almost all of our hikes this fall were chanterelle hunts, and there’s not much more to say about those beyond “we went to an undisclosed location and found mushrooms and it was steep and it was fun and finding chanterelles is a modern gold hunt and once you get going it’s really hard to stop because dopamine and everyone should do it but just don’t come to our undisclosed location“. But as for normal hikes, here we go:

SNOW LAKE

Aah, the most overrun place in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. But you know what, it’s overrun for a reason – it’s a damn nice place that happens to be damn close to Seattle. So everyone goes there, and we go there.

The problem with not blogging about trips right away is that I tend to forget things very fast. This is why I love blogging. And scrapbooking! I remember three things from this hike:

Snow Lake

1) Because of the wildfires, it was so hazy we could hardly see across the valley, and we ended up feeling guilty for bringing Nora and her pure, unspoiled, tiny little lungs out there.

Snow Lake

2) We had a really good lunch break and Nora got nice and dirty rolling around in the dust.

Snow Lake

3) She finally took a much-needed nap as we were hiking out, but after 20 minutes or so, a woman who was passing us yelled, actually yelled “Oh my god look, that baby is sleeping in a backpack!!”, thereby waking her up. I don’t know why people do this, but it has happened so many times.

MARGARET LAKE

This was supposed to be a mushroom hunt, but we couldn’t find anything good (much to the delight of the anti-fungal friend we were hiking with that day).

Lake Margaret

Lake Margaret

Instead we dropped down to Margaret Lake and had lunch in the pouring rain. It was one of those days where everything was so wet and grey that the fall colors stood out like magic.

Lake Margaret Lake Margaret
Lake Margaret Lake Margaret

LODGE LAKE

As I mentioned in the previous post, we kicked off JK’s Thanksgiving break with a hike to Lodge Lake.

Lodge Lake

Last time we went to Lodge Lake, I was all pregnant and waddly. And it was summer, and really hot. And Basil was there! Aaaw.

Lodge Lake

This time our main objective was to get a Christmas card photo of the three of us together, but Nora was way too into the snow to cooperate (see the pic below of Nora’s limbs flailing every which way). We didn’t mind, because seeing her enjoying herself that much outdoors makes us so happy.

Christmas card fail

Lodge Lake Lodge Lake

We gave up on the photo and hiked through the winter wonderland forest, singing Christmas carols and not getting over how gorgeous it was.

Lodge Lake Lodge Lake
Lodge Lake Lodge Lake

I hope we can get out on another trail or two before the year is over, but if this ends up being our last hike of 2015, it was a mighty good one.

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Albums, December Daily, Scrapbooking

Decemberish Dailyish

I’m always excited about Christmas, but this year my cheer level is off the charts – it’ll be Nora’s first Christmas as a somewhat functional human being, and I can’t wait to share all our traditions with her (and make some new ones, too).

I want those memories documented in an album we can pull out every year around this time, so for the first time ever, I’ll be participating in December Daily. Except I started it in November. And I’m focusing on the highlights, which might not necessarily happen every day. So… Decemberish Dailyish it is!

Decemberish Dailyish

I’m using a gold 6×8 album with divided page protecters from Seven Paper, and I’ll be using a mix of new products and stuff I’ve been hoarding for years. Looking at what I’ve made so far, I’ll just assume that some recurring themes will be gold, stars, and oh so many deer heads and antlers.

Decemberish Dailyish

I was planning on starting my album with Thanksgiving, but then we went on a really fun hike in the snow the weekend before. We sang Christmas carols as we walked through the woods and Nora played in the snow, and I just couldn’t not include it.

Decemberish Dailyish

Found this old Studio Calico card with gold and stars. Score.

Decemberish Dailyish

Decemberish Dailyish

This little conversation I had with two friends who have kids about the same age as Nora made me crack up on one of those kind of long tiring, nap-refusal days, so I printed a screen capture of it. It’ll be cool to look back on in 15 years – will we still be using our phones for everything? Sending text messages? Using emojis?

Decemberish Dailyish

I found this star transparency in my stash and added it in between pages for some breathing room. I tend to use too many photos in projects like this, so I’m trying to add some white space and breathing room here and there.

Decemberish Dailyish

Nora is in love with the star we got at IKEA. We had one when I was growing up and I’ve been looking for one for years, but never found one in the U.S. until now. It hangs in the window and she’s obsessed with it.

Decemberish Dailyish

The next page covers Thanksgiving. We’ve really embraced this holiday even though it’s not celebrated in Norway and we don’t have family here. It’s just a really good excuse to get together with our fellow geographically orphaned friends and eat pie.

Decemberish Dailyish

Something very special happened the day after Thanksgiving, but it’s not my story to share, so I wrote it down on a tag and hid it behind the gold arrow paper.

Decemberish Dailyish

Black Friday was #optoutside day! We went for a short hike in a local park, and Nora got to play on the freezing beach. I added the #happy button to go with the whole hashtag thing. I also had to mention Dansgiving, which this introvert sees as the highlight of Thanksgiving – every year on Black Friday, JK and I snuggle up on the couch, watch Dan in Real Life, and eat leftovers. It never gets old. This page wasn’t very Christmasy. Maybe the #happy button needs antlers?

Decemberish Dailyish

The next page was supposed to be about the first Sunday of Advent, but then something really awesome happened that I had to write about instead. Once again it is not my story to share, but this is turning into one amazingly joyful album already – and December hasn’t even started yet!

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Layouts, Scrapbooking

Autumn scrapbooking

Thanksgiving is tomorrow which means Christmas is pretty much here already, so I should share my autumny scrapbook pages while they still feel relevant.

Given how much I love autumn, it’s kind of bizarre that I haven’t scrapbooked more of it (the same goes for Christmas, actually), but I did find this page from back in 2009. Look! Young, dark-snouted Wellie! Aaw.

Leave it, Wellie!

This one is new, but the photos are from my favorite hike of 2012. I’ll never have time to scrapbook all of our hikes (nor would I want to), but I do want to document my favorite ones from the years when I wasn’t scrapbooking. (I took a photo of the layout in the shade on our deck and the colors look bizarre – the iPhone photo in the header of this post is more accurate; apparently I just don’t know how to use an SLR. It’s much cuter in person. And Basil was there!)

Thankful

I made this one for the Black & White Story Kit workshop by Ali Edwards. She prompted so many page ideas for me, and one of them was this – about finding that grey area between the black and white thinking, finding the silver lining. Or in this case the golden lining, since this cathartic hike happened on a trail full of golden larch trees.

Golden Lining

Happily, luckily, amazingly, I can move on from scrapbooking about infertility and instead make insipid pages like this one that has no meaning beyond “look how cute my baby is next to these pumpkins!” – and that is what I am truly thankful for this year. (I was thankful for that last year as well, but I spent that Thanksgiving on a beanbag in a dark room in our friends house while said baby screamed on my chest for hours and my friends were eating pie and watching football in the other room, so it’s even easier to be thankful this year.) But seriously, how cute is she with those pumpkins??

Pumpkin