Monday, July 6, 2015

Independance Day

I don't normally spend a lot of time reflecting on how grateful I am to be an American and so it is really nice that we have some Holidays that remind me to do just that. I started the day off cleaning and listening to patriotic music and I was emotional just considering how blessed we are to live in this country. I am so grateful for that. For the freedom and beauty I enjoy on a regular basis.

I joined Sam, Amanda, and Andrew at the Provo parade.
 When the sun was behind the clouds it was actually bearable.
 I am not a lover of parades but it is a lot more fun with kids.
 Costco provided some nice flowers.
 We tried out a snow cone shack I have been wanting to try. It was delicious.
 Moki even wore her patriotic handkerchief.
After the parade and snow cones we barbequed with the Provo family. It was fun to get together. I also took a very long nap. I was still recovering from hiking Timp. I finished the night off with a very enjoyable bike ride. I had intentions of watching fireworks. I thought it would be fun to watch them from the Y. I drove up there and there were tons of people on the Y. I decided I didn't care about fireworks that much and went home and slept. It was a great Holiday filled with lots of fun activities!

Trying to get back in shape after vacation

Last week was ROUGH! I was so tired and I just felt blah. I kind of took the previous week in California off while I had Olivia and Braxton. I was feeling it my first Monday back. It was also 100 degrees everyday last week. That is unusual for Utah in July and miserable. I was super not productive. I now have a ton to do this week before I leave again. Don't worry though I got in some great hikes and bike rides!

Last Monday Moki and I did Squaw Peak. It is just over 7.5 miles and you climb 2900 ft. It's a cardio climb!
 Poor Moki was so hot. She laid down for the first time ever on a hike and this was on the way up.
 The peak offers some gorgeous views.
Monday ended with a great bike ride in the evening until I got a flat tire....LAME!
 Tuesday I wanted to hike Y mountain. But after my hike Monday and an evening bike ride we only made it about 10 minutes past the Y. It was another hot day and I just didn't have it in me.

Wednesday was a biking and swimming day. The weather was so miserable and Sam and Amanda have access to a pool so I headed their way. I love me some Andrew time.
Thursday we hiked Stewart Falls. This is a less intense hike with great views. It claims to be 4 miles but I clocked it at 3.58. You barely gain 100 feet, so nice and comfortable. The reward at the falls is worth it though.
 It was great to have water access for Moki. It allowed her to cool right off.
Friday Amber and I hike Mt. Timpanogos via the Timpanooke Trail. It is 15 miles and you gain 4600 ft in elevation. It is a great hike. The scenery is amazing. It was another hot day but I love that hike. I felt really good for the hike except for the bottoms of my feet. Something about walking 15 feet are against it at about mile 13.
 It was a beautiful day on the trail.
 You can see so far from the top of the mountain. Love it!
Me and Moki on top. We didn't stay long. It was getting too hot.
Cameras just don't do it justice. Get out and hike this mountain, you will love it!
 Moki was grateful for the random patches of snow. She was soooo HOT.
She pretty much didn't move for about 36 hours after the hike. It wasn't until Sunday that she really had energy again. Poor pup.
 Saturday evening after all the 4th of July festivities I went on a nice bike ride. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not sore from the hike the day before.

Today I hiked Y mountain. Moki and I started a little earlier. This is hiking to the top of the mountain that houses the Y in Provo. Normally I just hike the Y for a quick work out but going to the top is some great training. It's 7 miles round trip and you climb 3500 ft. My only complaint is that the trail was way overgrown. It is obvious that it hasn't been used much this year. Some plant left both my legs with a nasty rash because I was wearing shorts. That is annoying but the hike was great. Another cardio burner in the bag.

Right before the summit there is a great view of Mt. Timpanogos and Squaw Peak.
 It was a gorgeous day and the weather was about 10 degrees cooler. It made it bearable.
 Can you spot Moki? In some spots the weeds were taller than me. That was a little crazy.
Today felt so productive. After hiking I worked for 6 hours writing some new tests and then I biked 28 miles. It was a great summer day doing what I love.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Nieces and Nephews in California

I seriously hate that I live so far away from Braxton and Olivia. Luckily I still seem them a few times a year but I wish my whole family could just live close.....although maybe that would be too much drama, I don't know. I got to kidnap Olivia and Braxton for a few days and spend lots of time with them. It was so fun.

I have decided that when I am in Oroville for the summer I really want to make an effort to visit my friends that maybe don't live right near Oroville. This year I wanted to visit Erica and Sariah. Erica is always so inviting. She let me drag my niece, nephew, and dog to her house.  She lives in a fun place and I am glad for good friends who let me intrude. It was so fun to catch up with her.

We went into the city on Monday night. As you can see the weather cooperated.
 The beach is just magical.
 I didn't get pictures of the whales that were spouting water in the air a ways off the shore. It really was the perfect evening.
We finished the night with dinner and ice cream. Braxton was asleep before we got home. VICTORY!
Sariah ended up having her baby the day I was supposed to visit her. That was a bummer for me so we hung out at Erica's a little bit longer. She made us breakfast and lunch and we got to swim and play in her amazing yard. Moki was in heaven.
Braxton was in heaven also.
  Braxton is obsessed with super heros right now.
 We headed out after lunch and the kids slept in the car. That was awesome. That evening we headed to the movies and watched Inside Out. What a fun movie.
 I am that mean aunt that really tries to limit screen time. Let me just say that it is so hard. I totally get why parents allow screen time, I allow it too but only when it is really hot. Wednesday we woke up and went to the park before 8am.
 Bubba loves the monkey bars. That kid is strong.
Luckily Caleb came too and he could do the monkey bars over and over.

We came home and painted nails. They both wanted to do their own so it was an outside activity.
We went to the river to swim after lunch. I don't have pictures but we had fun. Moki jumps off the dock and chases her toy duck. Braxton and Olivia did some swimming as well.

After dinner it was still hot and Olivia was begging for screen time so we went to the Townsends to swim instead.
 They have a beautiful pool and are so generous to let others swim. It was a great evening. Olivia got brave and even went off the diving board a few times.
 Thursday I took the kids back to Lodi. I love spending time with these cuties. I hope above all else they know they are loved by many. I think of how much meanness and cruelty is in the world and I just hope they always know they are loved! It is always so sad to say goodbye.

I am putting in a couple more beach pictures because they are the best.
Man it makes me wish I lived near the city sometimes.
 It really was the perfect evening.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


So my aunt Virginia and I are hiking the Swiss Alps in July.......I know the coolest thing ever. We wanted to hike a couple of times together while I was in California. She lives in Redding which is close to Lassen Natoinal Park which has some good hiking. I got to head up to her house for two days so we could hike. I also got to kayak with my cousin Cody. We hiked Lassen Peak.
 Don't worry this picture is after the hike. It was dark when we started. We woke up sooooooo early. They learned I don't smile or talk much at 4:30am. I am also not very happy. Once we finally got hiking and the sun came up I slowly started to let my personality warm-up as well.
It's a 5 mile hike that is semi steep. It was a good little morning workout.
I was awake by the time we got to the top.
There were beautiful views the entire climb. And on the peak we got a view of the gorgeous Mt. Shasta.
Someday I want to summit that mountain!

Redding is very close to a beautiful little reservoir called Whiskey Town. Cody and I kayaked there. The water was amazing.

 These kayaks are not comfortable but they go fast.....the end!

It was fun to be out on the lake. The next morning Virginia and I did a 6.5 mile hike by Whiskey Town. It was a fun hike and Moki got to come. She loved hiking and swimming.

It was so fun to get to spend a couple days in Redding with family.

Family Time

Not only did most of my siblings come home for Caleb we had a lot of extended family stop in as well. It is always a blessing to see so many people when I travel home. Lots of food was consumed and lots of games were played. And the weather was somewhat manaegable.

I don't know why you would ever want to take this picture again but it was important for these guys to do a recreate. We all got to laugh.
 Moki was less than thrilled that she was stuck inside while the kids were swimming.
 Bubba is seriously at the cutest stage ever. If only we could freeze him at his just turned three today phase.
My grandma Brown, Aunt Virginia, and Aunt Janice all came. I meant to get a picture of my grandma and her four kids all playing settlers. It was so fun to watch. Families are the best.
 I tried out these water balloons. They are expensive but awesome.
All the kids had a water balloon fight. It probably lasted 2 minutes.
The kids spent a ton of time in this pool. It made it so nice for the adults.
 We all took turns supervising.
The best way to end a summer day is with ice cream!
The next morning Virginia, Cody, Moki, and I hiked Feather Falls. It's a great little hike kind of close to Oroville.
 Northern California needs rain so bad. Not a lot of water and everything is so brown.
After the hike we floated the Feather River. We just floated from the fish hatchery to Riverbend Park. It is a pretty short distance but it took an hour and a half. The water is really calm and it was so fun to just hang out.
 It's always nice to enjoy each others company and to be cool.
 Moki loves my nephews because they seriously are always feeding him.