Scenes from the trail

Well, this winter has been very wet. And very cold. The last time we had a shitty weather year like this, I was just about ready to defect, but this time around, I am as in love with Washington as I ever was. (In fairness, that blog post was written in mid-July and now we’re only in April. Ask me again if we’re still living inside a cloud come summer.)

Redmond Watershed

(This photo is titled ‘Pacific Northwest Child Sees Sun’)

What’s changed? I’ve embraced the magic of (a) lowland forest trails and (b) trail running. It started back in 2013, when I grew tired of depending on sunny days for my mood to lift. Instead, I hit the trails on Tiger, Cougar, and the Redmond Watershed no matter what the weather or month, and learned to love the feeling of soft rain drizzling on my face. Running and hiking the same trails over and over and over again may not sound very interesting, but it feels really rewarding to see the changing of the seasons, especially these days when the trees are a little bit greener with every visit and the trails are, uhm, fragrant with the arrival of skunk cabbage. Spring is definitely running late this year, but I finally saw my first trillium of 2017 yesterday.

Winter trails 2017 Winter trails 2017
First trillium of the year TMT

I’m finally able to run again after the bladder prolapse, thanks to five million kegels and a bit of structural support from my trusty ol’ Diva Cup. Sun Mountain is less than two months away, so I won’t really have the time to get into the kind of shape I had originally hoped, but I want to at least get to a point where 25K won’t feel miserable and I won’t have to walk too much of the course. I “ran” ten miles yesterday, but it included a lot of walking (and trillium photo breaks). But! I did focus on actually running the uphills, and was shockingly successful, something my thighs keep reminding me of today.

Winter trails 2017

(This photo is titled ‘Pacific Northwest Adult Sees Sun’)

I’ve spent a lot of time on the Cable Line this winter, slogging up and running a variety of longer trails back down, but lately I’ve decided I should probably focus on more runnable, rolling trails, like my favorite Shy Bear loop on Cougar Mountain or, closer to home, the Redmond Watershed.

Winter trails 2017 Winter trails 2017

(Mud and ice – all in a day’s work on the Cable Line)

I also suffered another minor setback that fortunately turned out to be much less of an issue than I had originally thought – I got shingles! That was the last illness I expected I would ever end up with, but in hindsight it makes sense – almost a year of hardly any sleep and a pretty serious bout of depression can do that to you. The Norwegian word for shingles translates to hellfire, and man alive is that accurate. Luckily for me, it was really only that painful for a day and a half, and then the lesions disappeared a couple of days after that. Hopefully that means that my immune system is finally on the mend, which would come in handy since Nora started daycare three times a week and is bringing home every virus under the sun.

Winter trails 2017

(Finding beauty in the puddles)

JK is back to work now which means that from now on, most of my running will happen on my old friend, the Powerline Trail, after the kids (it still feels so unreal to use the plural form there) are tucked into bed. That means the days are getting longer, friends! In the good way, not the dreary way.

Winter trails 2017

(Drenched and happy)

I usually like to listen to upbeat music while I run, but this drizzly, muddy winter called for a more mellow soundtrack. My constant auditory trail companions have been:

These songs are so mellow that they need to be listened to on headphones, loudly (especially Jupiter) – preferably while running through the forest, enveloped in an ethereal Pacific Northwest mist.

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

Cabin Trip, Nutritarian

To Sequim on a whim

Earlier this year, while I was getting myself reacquainted with the specifics of the nutritarian lifestyle, I was clicking around Dr. Fuhrman’s website and noticed that he was scheduled to speak in, of all places, Port Townsend. Since we haven’t been out to that area since 2007 when we stayed in Port Townsend the night before our very first hike to Shi Shi Beach, we decided we would make a real trip out of it and, gasp, take the girls on our first vacation as a family of four.

(Side note: major LOLs at that blog post. Canned beans and soy dogs as backpacking food! Describing the trail down to Shi Shi as a cliff! Aaaw.)

Weekend in Sequim

We rented a house in Sequim (for you out-of-staters, that’s pronounced “skwim”, not “seekwim” like I thought when we moved here) and obviously chose to get there by ferry, because if there’s one thing toddlers love, it’s BOATS, plus it offers a timely break in driving that can be used to feed the baby.

Weekend in Sequim

We lucked out with a house overlooking the Dungeness Spit, so after unpacking all our stuff (there’s so much stuff) and feeding Lily again, we drove a couple of minutes over to the trailhead so Nora could get some energy out on the trail and beach after spending half a day in the car.

Weekend in Sequim

We’ve never bothered to go to the Dungeness Spit before because…well, to be honest, it sounded kind of lame. But it totally isn’t! It’s actually really cool – miles and miles of ever-expanding beach (with bonus views when it’s not…February) – and now we want to go back again.

Weekend in Sequim

In true toddler fashion, Nora inspected every grain of sand and bit of driftwood in the first five square feet of the beach and then we had to get home for dinner, so there’s lots for us to explore yet.

Weekend in Sequim

We knew it would be hard to cook in a house that isn’t toddler-proofed while one parent has to watch the baby, so we brought pre-made dinners (lentil soup and cabbage rolls) in a cooler to make life easier on ourselves. I think this is the way to travel while the kidlings are still little! Rent a house. Bring food that needs next to no prep. Relax.

Weekend in Sequim

Once the girls were in bed, we sat down and enjoyed the last little bit of daylight in our beautiful garden, then did non-tv or computer-type things like reading books! and talking with each other! in front of the fireplace!

(This photo was actually from the morning, in case you’re wondering why the sun is in the east.)

Weekend in Sequim

In the morning, Nora had ample time to explore the house. Her favorite part was our friends in the garden, of course.

Weekend in Sequim

Then I was off to see Dr. Fuhrman while JK kept the girls entertained. I showed up crazy early since it was first come first serve, and it turned out to be a good decision even if it made me feel like some sort of insane fangirl. The room was packed! Dr. Fuhrman’s talk was really, really good, informative, and funny, and I took a bunch of notes to share with JK afterwards. Big thank you to the Port Townsend Vegan Meetup Group for arranging it!

Weekend in Sequim

Afterwards, I was nursing Lils while watching Nora suddenly and out of nowhere conquer her fear of the cargo net climbing thing on the playground, and I experienced one of those perfect, gushy, “I love my life” moments. I’m sure the combination of oxytocin and my newly re-energized, super-inspired mindset played a big part in it, but man, I just felt so lucky to have my family, to be able to bring them on a trip like this on a whim, to have a husband who supports my needs to go and do non-mom things, to have the opportunity and the means to raise our kids on all this good food…the list goes on and on. Life is good.

Weekend in Sequim

We were scheduled to go home the next day and briefly considered contacting the rental owners to hear if we could extend our stay another night (because we kept finding new stuff to do in the area), but in the end we decided that we should just come back again some time this summer for a longer vacation.

Weekend in Sequim

Buuut we couldn’t leave the peninsula without driving up to Hurricane Ridge for the first time. Srsly, ten years of hiking and this was our very first visit? For shame! We didn’t get much in the way of views, but what we were able to see whenever the clouds would part made us want to return fo sho.

Weekend in Sequim

Of course I, I mean Nora, had to buy one of the exclusive Olympic Marmots they sell in the National Park store.

Weekend in Sequim

We didn’t have snowshoes or anything, so we just stayed close to the parking lot. I wandered around to help Lily sleep in the Moby Wrap, and Nora climbed up and down a little snow bank that she called “Olympic Mountains”.

Weekend in Sequim

We spent so much time taking photos and playing in the snow that a guy came up to us and said “Aaaw, is this your first time in snow?” – sheepishly we had to tell him that no, we’re actually from Norway…but I guess there’s something about seeing your kid enjoying something that brings out the overly excited n00b in all of us.

Weekend in Sequim

Since the visitor center was closed when we went to Mount Rainier earlier in the month, Lily was overdue for her first National Park passport stamp! I can’t wait to collect stamps with her in Yosemite, Zion, Virgin Islands…all of our happy places.

Weekend in Sequim

I know I talk a lot about what an easy baby Lily is, but man alive, we just cannot produce kids who will sleep in the car. The last half hour of our drive home was pure torture for everyone involved. But after a weekend like that, we weren’t going to let a little (or a lot) of screaming in stereo get us down. We survived our first vacation as a family of four! Parenting achievement unlocked!!

Weekend in Sequim



Nora turns two and a half today! Our tradition is to celebrate half birthdays with a somewhat ugly half birthday cake, and this year is no different.

Okay, so it’s a little different since we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try out Dr. Fuhrman’s famous Healthy Chocolate Cake recipe. We kind of expected the worst (knowing that Nora wouldn’t mind either way, because this kid’s favorite snacks right now are seaweed and dried beets), but you guys, this cake is good. I’ve never been a fan of healthified baked goods, so my endorsement actually means something here.

Half birthday = half a birthday cake 1.5! 2.5!

Anyway, back to what really matters today – our big little girl!

Recipe for 2.5:

2 tbs infuriating boundary testing
1 quart hilarious chatting
2 cups heartwarming displays of affection towards other family members
a sprinkle of adorably mispronounced words
a good dash of all manner of emotions, adjusted to taste based on the day (or minute)
omit all naps because apparently someone is allergic to them (eye roll)

Bake at 98.6 degrees for nine months, let rise for 2.5 years, and enjoy.

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.