Monday, May 18, 2015

a summary

 Jana and Michelle (and their husbands) were nice enough to allow Shannon and I an opportunity to have a girls night out with their REAL Salt Lake Soccer tickets. I have been so busy and so tired but it was so fun to have something to look forward to:) They have great seats. Notice those clouds rolling in.
We ended up spending an hour huddled together with all the other fans while we waited out the lightning. Yes, it was a school night! That made for a late night but it was still worth it.
 Speaking of soccer we are just working on training the next great little player. This guy gets more fun every time I see him.
 This was on Mothers day. We got to hang out while his Mom and Dad went on a walk.
 Mothers day was great. I am so glad I have an amazing mom. I love that lady.


Moki and I try to get out and go for a nice long walk on Sundays. Recently it seems to be the only day without rain. I know we need rain but man I hate it.
 I needed to borrow a tool that could cut a lock. I went to my neighbors and they were butchering chickens that day.  I had to do this chore as a child and I seriously hated it. Well we just had to pluck the feathers off the dead chicken. AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR CHILDHOOD WAS BAD!!!! Gross. My neighbor had this machine that pulled the feathers off. I feel like this would have been much more convenient. This picture is mainly for my dad....sorry.
 I usually weed my backyard twice a year. This year spring came so early that the weeds were huge before I took care of them. It was a big project

Oh you couldn't see my grow boxes. It is so nice to look out my window now.
  Dan had a birthday so obviously we had to celebrate. It fell on a super busy day but we all sacrificed a little and made sure the celebration happenned.
 I ordered the worst nachos ever. That was super disappointing.
 Provo now has a dog park one mile from my house. I am so happy.
 Moki and I still usually get out and exercise in the morning but I can take her to the dog park after work for a half hour and then not feel bad about running errands or doing other things, like go to the gym.
 Every 5-10 minutes she always runs back to me and checks in. One day I moved and she didn't see me. She had a little emotional barking breakdown until I realized she was barking because she thought I left her. She has issues. The park is only a mile from my house and so when there is time it is awesome to walk there and back.

Dan and I made some pizza in a dutch oven pan. So delicious. Can't wait to try it again soon. I love pizza. Homemade is even better.
So this personal training company offered one month free training to any teacher because of teacher appreciation in May. A co-worker and I finally signed up and went today. It will be three days a week for a month. It pretty much kicked my butt. I am good about doing cardio but I am horrible with strength training and stretching. It showed today. My entire body is rebelling as I type this. I am excited to see how I feel after one month. Since I have had Moki I have done a lot more jogging and hiking instead of fitness at the gym. Recently I started going to the gym again as well. I have been trying to bike, run and swim at least three days a week, usually all three in one day. It has been so good for me. Sometimes I like to stay a little too comfortable in my workouts so I am excited for these changes! Two weeks left of school!!!!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Payson Temple Open House

The hoorah for Virginia's vacation was shopping in Park City and attending the Payson Temple open house. I couldn't do the shopping because I had to work. I was fortunate enough to attend the open house. The tickets went so fast that I wasn't able to get any reservations, luckily a co-worker was able to get me some because I really wanted to take Virginia while she was in town.

For those not familiar with Mormon (Latter Day Saint) Temples once they are dedicated only recommend holding members are permitted to enter. This is not to keep secrets but rather to keep the temple sacred. Before a temple is dedicated an open house is held and for a period of 3-4 weeks and  the public is allowed to enter and view the building. Temple open houses are not very frequent so it is a blessing to have the opportunity to attend one.
I will preface my pictures by saying my day at work was stressful and I was grumpy. Probably the long weekend is to blame in part, but I snapped at undeserving people and I was not happy with myself when starting this experience. I am always amazed at how the temple can calm my troubled soul. Just watching the ten minute video reminded me of what really matters in this earthly experience we are trying to have. The temple changed my mood for the day and for that I am grateful. Maybe my mood was foul because I forgot to pack church shoes in my school bag this morning.
The Payson Temple is beautiful. If you want to see pictures of the interior you can go to www.lds.org. They have posted pictures there. It was such a treat to show the temple to Virginia and visit a little about the importance of the temple and the covenants made there in. I think my favorite part was showing her the Celestial room and the sealing room. With my siblings we were able to share some of what takes place at a temple sealing and allow her to see these sacred rooms. I hope she felt the power that is held within the walls of the temple. It is so much more than a beautiful building!
After the tour we enjoyed the grounds and took some pictures. Some of our group didn't come to the back and so they were not pictured.
 Andrew being a good sport for me.
 This little family has been sealed for time and all eternity! I love them so much.
 So grateful they made that choice when they were married 6 years ago today. I love what it means for them and their children.
 Andrew stole everyone's heart when we were walking from the chapel to the temple and he kept saying, "We get to go to the temple!" I can't get enough of his enthusiasm for life.
 From the back.
 I somehow took way too many pictures again!!!!!
 Me and Virginia.
I hope Andrew is always this excited to see a temple. I hope he plans to go there someday.
After the tour we enjoyed Cafe Rio before heading home. What a wonderful Monday evening activity.



Canyonlands National Park

We probably tried to fit way too much in one weekend. That is always dangerous but you only live once! I really wanted Virginia to see all that this part of Utah has to offer. I know that isn't possible in one weekend but we lived it up.

Andrew was an amazing traveler, he even did the majority of the trip with no screen time. What a trooper. This picture is on Saturday while we were waiting to get into arches.
 This was Sunday heading into Canyonlands.
 This was almost home to Provo!
He really was a champ. Now back to Canyonlands. We didn't really hike we just observed. This first shot is from the Green River Overview.
 Same view just added me and the pup.
Then we headed to see Mesa Arch. It is a 1/2 mile roundtrip walk. This little dude walked the entire 1/2 mile, well he jumped a lot of it.
 Gorgeous view. Don't get too close to the edge this one has a crazy drop off.
 Mesa Arch is a must do if you visit Canyonlands.
Someday I need to spend more time here but this weekend we ran out of time.
 Thank you Moab for the fun filled weekend!

We headed home and went straight to a family dinner. It was a packed weekend and I still don't feel rested but I wouldn't have traded spending this time with people I love for anything.

Corona Arch

This hike came highly recommended from a co-worker. It did not disappoint. It was easy to find the trail head and it isn't in a National Park and so it was free (oh and dogs are allowed)! Virginia and I woke up super early Sunday to take Moki on this little adventure. Since we were the only ones on the trail at 6am Moki didn't have to wear the Halty for long.
 The hike is 1.5 miles one way and very easy. Gorgeous views the entire time. Must have selfie with dog.
 The arch is 140 ft tall and 105 feet wide. This is a panorama from standing underneath the arch.
 The view as you approach Corona Arch.
The view after you walk through the arch.
 The sunrise was provided some amazing colors and views.
 I need some kids to take pictures of....too many selfies.
The pictures don't do this arch justice. It is huge. Can you spy Virginia in this one?
  The view from the parking lot. It overlooks a campground on the green river.
The hike was easy and didn't take much time. I feel like it is a good one for kids but then again I don't have any kids. I love being in nature and enjoying the beautiful gifts Heavenly Father created for us. I can't enjoy a place like this and not constantly have my thoughts turned to the Creator of this world.

Arches National Park

Saturday we spent the day at Arches National Park, well after Virginia and I walked Moki three miles in the morning. Spoiled dog. We were so pumped to go hike delicate arch. We did not anticipate the line we would have to wait in to enter the park. One hour in line. I tried to tell everyone it isn't that cool they should just go home, no one listened. Cars for days.
Jana came to the rescue and let me borrow her child carrying backpack. That saved us on our longer hikes. Andrew prefers to walk but we didn't give him the option on the longer hikes. This arch is so inspiring.
 I know I am posting a lot of pictures but it is my blog so I can do what I want!

This thing is huge, especially when people are standing underneath it.
 This was looking through some rocks to the east of Delicate Arch.
 I love the blue sky and the red rock. A wonderful combination.
After hiking we headed back to the house to let Moki out, eat, and rest. It was very hot on Saturday! The house Virginia rented had the perfect outdoor patio. There was lots of shade and it was perfect for hanging out.
After dinner we headed back to Arches for a little more hiking. Our goal was Double-O-Arch. We made it to landscape arch but not quite to Double-O-Arch. The views were spectacular.
 Landscape Arch has seen better days but it is still hanging on.
For our evening hike the temperature was perfect. I only fell once. I recently got trekking poles for a trip this summer. Occasionally I use them to practice. The verdict is in and after tripping myself while hiking upstairs and falling I need more practice. Note to self: if using poles it is critical that you pay attention to the placement of the poles. I didn't let two scraped knees stop me from enjoying the scenery!
 The clouds were amazing.
 I took too many pictures.
 Sometimes when you hike you must run back to the bathroom!
We met back up with Amanda and Andrew on our way back.
 This child was obsessed with my trekking poles.
 He was much better at using them once I lowered them to his size.
The sky was beautiful as we were finishing for the night.
I finished off my night with this:
 Seriously the best ice cream ever!

Saturday was a great days! If you have kids and want to give them a hiking experience Arches is seriously the park to do it in. They have lots of little hikes that can be enjoyed by all.