Hobbies and Things


I'm going to try to write a "newsletter" of sorts on here once a month for the rest of the year and see how that goes. Obviously I fell hard off the blogging wagon and haven't been able to catch back up, but I really miss sitting down to write, and I still feel like this is a friendly place, waiting for me whenever I want to come back.

Another reason I'd like to try to keep at least a month recap going is because I've gotten super into scrapbooking lately, and my blog has served as a great reference, and I want it to continue to be a reference for future scrapbooking! 

My grandma got me into Creative Memories scrapbooking when I was in junior high, and it's been a passion and hobby of mine ever since. I love photography and editing, and then creating stories with those memories with physical and digital books. I get sad thinking about photos only living on my phone, and I regularly print out photos and make books. The majority of my digital books are created through Shutterfly or Chatbooks, but I also truly love making physical scrapbooks. I know that's not everyone's cup of tea, but for me it's a super calming, fun activity that I do after the kids go to bed.

I won't bore you with the backstory, but basically I started to run out of supplies and ideas, so I hadn't worked on my scrapbook in a while, but I recently discovered the rabbit hole of--not joking--scrapbooking instagrammers. Who knew that was a thing?! I immediately drove deep and am not mad about it. So the past few months I've spent most evenings working on my 2016-2018 and 2020 scrapbook. Unfortunately for 2019, it got skipped somehow, and I think at this point I'll probably just end up making a Chatbook with all my 2019 pictures.

Yes, I am a crazy picture person. I regret nothing.
I just want my photos to live outside of my phone! It's weirdly important to me.

When I'm not scrapbooking, I've also taken on a very labor-intensive project: training for a full marathon. I won't bore you with the backstory on that either, but the long and short of it is, I'm registered to run my third full marathon (26.2 miles) in Chicago in October. I started training at the end of May, and my monthly mileage has pretty quickly been increasing as my runs have gotten longer. In August I ran 115 miles, and September should top that.

It has been harder than I thought, and harder than Jordan thought. My previous two marathons were both in 2013, pre children, when I could leave the house basically whenever I wanted to run as far or as long as I needed. Fitting 1-3 hour runs into my day with 3 kids and a full-time job is a real challenge, and I guess maybe it sounds like, "well duh," but honestly I didn't think it would be quite so demanding on my time and energy. As I often end up saying about things I sign up for, it's possible I didn't fully think this though.

Nevertheless, I'm only just over a month away from the race, and feeling excited and nervous and ready to not run so dang much. In June, July, and August I've run 4x a week except for a few weeks, and that's the most consistently I've run in the past 11 years of my running "career." And it's been so.stinking.hot. I do have a time goal because that's just who I am, but my main goal is truly to enjoy the experience. I doubt I will ever do anything like this again, and I am so excited to be back in my favorite place ever doing one of my favorite things!

The past year has been crazy hard. Everyone has their own different circumstances, their own different challenges, their own opinions and beliefs and thoughts. But the one thing we can all agree on: it's been unanimously hard for everyone. I'm thankful to have had this race as a goal and something to work toward this year--something that's gotten me out of the house now that I'm working from home; something that's kept both my mind and my body active; something that is challenging and hard and something that I can be proud of just for myself.

I hope the summer has treated you well. There are a lot of very scary and sad things going on right now, and I don't want to act like it's all been easy and fun. There have been hard decisions and lots of questions, more questions, and more hard decisions. To be honest, I'm very tired of all the arguing and noise, people shouting at each other with no intention of trying to listen to what the other person is saying or where they are coming from. I read a post recently where the writer said that we need to "posture yourself with charitableness." I love that. Take up a position of grace, of kindness, even when you don't agree.

To anyone reading this, I'm glad you're here! It felt so nice to type out some words in this space again. Happy September, friends.

Kaity B. said...

I can't imagine the challenge of balancing all that you do (and somehow still have time to scrapbook?! Lol) Cheering you on from afar! ❤️

Jen B said...

Oh, Amanda. I am SO HAPPY to read a few of your words again. Happy September. And good luck racing!

AnneMarie said...

I hope your marathon goes well! What an awesome goal to have. It has been so hot lately, I admire you for getting out there to run. I hope that you guys have a good start to falltime :)

Sarah said...

good luck with your marathon!! training is no joke, especially with kids. most of my marathons were before kids, but i ran one when my son was 2 and it was so much harder to fit in training. so rewarding though!!

R's Rue said...

Good luck.

Torrie said...

Wow, you're taking on another full!! Good for you! If my back ever allows me to get into running again, I think the most I'll ever train for is a half, just because I liked the distance more. Running 26.2 is no joke!! But you will do amazing because you've put in the necessary effort and hard work, and I'm sure it's been a good way to funnel your energy over these past several (stressful) months. That's basically how I feel about us starting the flower farm this year---I feel like it's saved my sanity on so many levels.

Best of luck with the upcoming race!!

Nadine said...

I am awful about printing pictures, organizing them and scrapbooks. I want to be better. Do you have any favorite instagram scrapbooking accounts?

Jenny Evans said...

I love the idea of once a month blog updates but holy cow, you make me tired, woman! Good luck with the marathon.

Callie said...

I'm glad you plan on doing monthly updates! I miss keeping up with blog buddies on Instagram, so monthly posts is perfect for keeping up!