Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Not skipping Thanksgiving

I did it, I set up for Christmas really early. Probably too early, but I have loved having my house decorated. I looked at the calendar last week and realized Thanksgiving is so late. I am leaving town. The weekend before I will be getting ready to leave town. So last weekend I decided to decorate. It has been so fun to sit and read or check social media by the tree lights.
 The thing that takes so long about setting up Christmas is that I like to clean as I go.

My aunt Virgina made me this adorable quilt and Target provided the adorable pillow.
I totally bought a train for around my tree because I knew Andrew would love it. YES, I KNOW I HAVE PROBLEMS.....it's fine!!!! Moki is not so sure about the train.
Andrew loved it though.
He kept telling me thank you over and over. He is so sweet.
I seriously am in love with this boy. Then we went to Dan's for dinner. After Andrew, Amanda, and I decorated a gingerbread house. Thank you Costco.
 Andrew was not allowed to eat the hard candy but I let him lick all the pieces. So funny.
He might be a little young for this activity but it gave us something to do since it gets dark so early.

Moki and I have enjoyed quiet time in the living room every night.
Yes we are bundled up because I don't turn up the heat.

Even though my house is all ready for Christmas I am not one to skip Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving and the opportunities to reflect on blessings....oh and eating all that yummy food. I am just relieved I can more fully enjoy the holiday season now.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Weather Has Been Amazing!!!!!!

I have never had such an amazing fall in Utah. The weather has been sooooooo perfect. I will probably need a reminder of that come January and February but seriously I am loving it. This week I was able to get out and enjoy the sun everyday after work with Moki. I am took a few pictures to document the wonderful days.

I started trying to hike above the Y. It takes me a little under 30 minutes to get to the top of the Y so for some reason this week I thought I should just hike up an hour and see how far I could get. I did that two times. On Monday we hit some snow.
 I just like this shot of Moki. I went in the crawl space and she is always curious when I do that. I love how her hair is finally getting a little longer again.
 On Wednesday we went up above the Y again. This time we got even further than Monday. It really is a gorgeous time of day to be out.
 Thursday we switched it up and went up Rock Canyon. Moki was thirsty because she had been in her crate all day. Good thing I taught her how to drink out of a fountain. She thinks she is human sometimes.
It was seriously a beautiful night in the canyon.
 Hiking up above the Y during the week made me realize I wanted to see where the trail actually goes. Amber, Moki and I hiked it on Saturday. It was a steep climb to the very top of Y mountain. You access the mountain from a little canyon that eventually takes you up the back face.


There was one little spot before the top that allowed us to see squaw peak and Mt Timpanogos. We were higher than squaw peak. That was surprising to me. 
Power posing on a rock. That is how I roll now days!
 The view from the top was amazing.
 It ook us 4 hours so I am guessing it was between 8-9 miles. It was really steep. I was super tired the rest of the day and a little tight today after sitting in church.
It has been so nice to get outside and enjoy fall.

This week I also voted. That was a bust. I realized I had not studied up enough on the issues. There were several things I left blank because I was ignorant. I was so proud of myself for voting and then when I left I was dissappointed in myself for not studying all the issues. Lesson learned, I need to do better. Even though it was a bust I was able to reflect on the amazing priviledge it is to be able to vote. I love the freedoms we enjoy and I need to be better at not taking them for granted.

I also had the opportunity to attend relief society training. It was so good. It helped me better understand my role in my calling and how I can be better. It was just great to have some guidance. The sister that taught the training touched on a few things my presidency has been talking about. I am excited to try and apply the principles.

I went to Deseret Book yesterday. I am purchased this:
Instead of buying the book I got the book on cd so I could listen to it in the car. I am on chapter 5 and it is really good. The author is the one that reads the book and it is just fun and so many good things. I hate not having the book because I like to reference things but I love being able to listen to it whenever I am in the car.

As you can see this last week was great. I am excited for this week because there is still good weather in the forecast and much to be accomplished!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Back to real life

After a week of backpacking it was surprisingly hard to get back to my routine. One really hard thing was that my body has just been so tired. Unfortunately life didn't pause while I took a hiatus and so there has been a lot to do.

The Wednesday I got back I had an all day meeting up in Murray for work. I was really close to Sam and Amanda's so I stopped in and visited Andrew on the way home. He tried on his Halloween costume for me!
 He loves to play the drums and so this costume was perfect. He is seriously so adorable. I can't even stand it.
Another reason I may have been tired is because I hung out with these guys for quite awhile and missed my normal bedtime.

Somehow I made my way up to Murray two more times the same week. Once for Amanda's Halloween concert, she plays in the Murray symphony, and then again on Sunday for Andrews birthday party.

Here we are at the concert.
The concert was really fun. Andrew is good at recognizing the different instruments and trying to find his Mom.
Somehow I don't have any pictures from Andrews birthday. That was really fun too, except Andrew was very tired. I am excited to visit him again and play with some of the activities I got him. He is so much fun these days.

Moki and I got out to rollerblade a couple of times. The weather in Utah this fall has been remarkable.
 I love all the colors on the Provo River Trail.
 Moki and I have also hiked the Y a few times the past two weeks and we have even done a couple of trail runs.
 I would like to do more trail running but that is a topic for another day.

This year I dressed up for Halloween at school. My first time ever. I am not a lover of Halloween so this was huge for me. I was Po from Kung Fu Panda.
I love my co-workers. This year has been great and it is so fun to work and associate with such amazing people.

Other noteworthy things:
  • I forced myself to go to a mid-singles Halloween party. I am still alive!
  • Moki and I hiked way above the Y today
  • Google fiber was installed in my house today
  • Dinner with co-workers
  • made caramel apples at Andrews birthday party. Katie taught me how to make my grandma's caramel. Let me tell you that they were AMAZING!
  • Skyped with Ben and Katie's family. Ben and Olivia had birthdays this week!
 I spent Halloween with Jana. I don't have a picture of that either...BOO! I always enjoy visiting with Jana. Her kids and Ben looked amazing in their costumes. Then I even get to go hang out with Ben's parents and siblings when all the cousins go to show off their costumes. Ben has a great family and they are really fun to be around. So glad I have one longtime friend that lives so close. I am very lucky!

Hoover Dam and Vegas

On the way back to Utah we stopped at the Hoover Dam. It was a really nice evening and we were there right as the sun was going down.
 There is a welcome to Arizona sign right by where we were taking pictures of the dam!
I was so tired but I decided to call Katie Call and see if she was in town anyway. You can sleep anytime so might as well visit with friends when you are close to them. Luckily she didn't have plans and we were able to have dinner and watch Meet the Mormons. So fun!
 I don't get to see this girl enough. We spent so much time together in college. I miss our late night chats and all the laughing we did.

We had the theater to ourselves. Yes I wore my ugly flower shirt. I don't really like this shirt without a jacket but it was the only clean shirt I had.
I was so happy I met up with Katie. I was so so so tired the next day but it was worth it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Havasupai....again

I have been really spoiled this year as far as backpacking trips are concerned. I was able to go to one of my favorite places twice. I went with two completely different groups, in different seasons, but loved every minute of it both times. I have never been to Havasupai any month except July so going in October was new to me. I can report that it was just as awesome in October as it was in July, some things I think I even like better.

This was the tail end of our hiking adventures. Lou and Cody had never been and I was so excited to show them on of my favorite places. Amber was able to meet us at the trailhead since she had a few days off of work. Here we are at the start of our hike.
The nice thing about hiking in October is that you don't have to start hiking before sunrise. We started hiking around 11am and were just fin.

Another great thing about this whole trip was having Cody along. he takes a ton of pictures. I don't have very many of them yet but he took more than quadruple what I took. Can't wait to see them all. He also got some fun shots of my that I normally would not have.

Me and Amber as we head into the canyon. I love this one.
 Ant then me and Amber again as we are walking through the Indian Village. This is 8 miles into the hike, only two more to go.

 Here is a shot of the village. There are so many reasons I would not want to live an 8 mile hike from civilization, but the view they wake up to every morning is breathtaking.
For the first time ever I saw missionaries in the village. That would be a crazy place to serve. There was an elderly couple and two elders that I saw. I had previously seen the little church building in the village but I had never run into the missionaries. Kind of fun.

We got in to camp just in time to set up our tents and eat dinner before dark. We didn't really do anything else the first night.

On Friday we woke up with some big plans. We needed to see Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, and I really wanted to hike to the Colorado river. Mooney Falls is 1 mile from camp, Beaver falls is 3 miles one way, and the Colorado river is 8 miles one way. I had recently seen photos on the internet of what it looks like where Havasu creek and the Colorado meet I knew I had to try and see it for myself. Luckily Cody and Amber were game. This was my 4th trip to Havasupai and I had never ventured that far down stream. It is a long day especially when you know you have to hike out 10 miles on the following day.

We started at Mooney Falls.
  I loved watching Cody and Lou soak it all in. Amber had been before so she had seen Mooney falls. We took a few pictures and then continued on to Beaver Falls. I was the only one who had previously been to Beaver Falls.
There are some river crossings and some crazy ladders but the hike itself is not too bad. The nice thing about October is that the temperatures are perfect for hiking, in July I was always more interested in swimming because it was so hot.
 We made it to Beaver Falls. Instead of hiking down to swim we just continued on the trail to the Colorado.

I was grateful to the Ranger that gave us some helpful tips about how to stay on the trail. There are 8 river crossings and he gave us advice on how to know when to hike back up the steep walls when coming back. he very helpful.
 The scenery was amazing and the weather was perfect for hiking.
We finally made it to the area before the Colorado River that looked amazing to me in pictures. It was even cooler in real life!
 I was pretty excited. I took too many pictures but what do you do.
 The canyon is truly amazing here.
 And then you can see the Colorado!

 It was crazy how separate the two rivers seemed.
 We even got to see some rafts in the river.
 We got to watch a raft head down the river. really cool. I have heard it is really difficult to get permits to raft through the grand canyon. Apparently there is a high demand.
 Another shot as we were leaving.
I love this shot of Cody taking a picture.
 We ate lunch and enjoyed the view before heading back to Beaver Falls to swim. We knew we were close to Beaver Falls when we hit the sign about Leaving Indian land and entering Grand Canyon National Park.
Finally made it to Beaver Falls. Amber and I were ready to swim!
The water was refreshing as always. I didn't have a desire to stay in long though. We made it back to camp tired and hungry. After 16 miles of hiking we were ready for an early bed time.

Saturday we woke up ready to hike out.
 One last shot of Havasu Falls.
I was determined to explore the waterfalls that our new since the 2008 flood. The river was re-routed and there are some new falls called Little Navaho. Cody and I checked them out on our way to the hilltop.
 They were beautiful.
 There are the back falls and then some smaller falls closer to the trail.
 It was a gorgeous day on the way out. A little warmer than I had anticipated.
The switchback were really hot, but we made it. Like always I was very happy to put my really heavy pack down. It had been an amazing week but my body was exhausted.

But not too exhausted for a power pose at the end!
I was shocked at how tan I was after hiking all week.  Lou is 67 years old and hiked all week with us. I hope I can do that when I am 67.
 So happy to be done.
 A panorama from the hilltop.
 Such a beautiful place. Cody loved this shot of me because of the reflection in my glasses.
And this is the unhealthy way I ended my hike. A cold Dr. Pepper.....it was delightful!
 It was truly an amazing week of hiking. It has been two weeks and my body still feels tired. I may post some more pictures when I get some from Cody. It was a great experience. 62 miles in 6 days!