Monday, August 28, 2017


Well, I guess I was wrong that working full time would not stop me from living, doing projects and blogging.
I have about 3 blogs in my head that I might forget about before I blog them.
I'm tired.
The end.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


As usual, I have to tell a little story before I get to the topic of my post.

My husband can be kind of an antsy guy.  This is usually the explanation for the tropical vacations we have taken over the years...he just has to get away sometimes.  I don't have quite the same need but I go along with it (I mean, it's a tropical vacation...right?!)  But I usually would prefer to go the cheaper, closer, easier route.  I am a penny pincher at heart so big vacations are a little harder for me in that way.

Lately we have been talking about how we should be more active.  We have been walking in the evenings and talking about joining a gym.  Just still in the talking phase though. ha! But it is something we talk about fairly often, especially now that I am sitting at work for 8 hours a day.

And Frank has started getting into his antsy phase.  Every weekend he is like "why aren't we somewhere fun?" or "We need to go on a vacation" or things like that.

In an attempt to help out with both issues, I suggested that perhaps one weekend we could go up into the canyon and do a little hiking.  We have numerous places near us where we could go and find a lovely hike.  Exercise + a little bit of a get-away.  Take a picnic maybe!

I came home from work on Friday and Frank says to me, "Want to go to Bryce canyon for the weekend?"
Hmmm....Bryce canyon, though beautiful, is 3 1/2 hours away.  We have a lovely canyon that is about 15 minutes away.  Or we could get all enthusiastic and go up to Salt Lake to a canyon up there and it would be maybe an hour.  But, no, he wants to go 3 1/2 hours away, stay in a hotel,  and eat out for a weekend instead.  As usual, our ideas are similar but then again, oh-so-different.

Of course, I say yes.  And we pack up the car and drive to Bryce Canyon on Friday night.

Bryce Canyon is a gorgeous place.  We went there for the first time this last spring with our neighbors.  But it was quite cold and we didn't do any serious hiking on that trip.

We had a great time and really enjoyed the beauty of that place.  The weather was perfect.  I am still trying to break in my hiking boots so this was a good opportunity to get some miles on them.  I mostly enjoyed the hiking but I may have said something along the lines of "I think I'm going to have a stroke" at one point or another.  I am not in great shape.  Ugh.  Getting into shape is the worst...why did I ever stop exercising??  I digress.

Here are a few way too many pictures of our hikes:

Our first hike was a combination of Queen's Garden Trail, Navajo Loop Trail and the Rim trail.  I think it was only 3.5-4 miles total but it goes down into the canyon and then back out...the long uphill portion was where I thought I might die.

There were other people around but it never felt crowded.  Once you get out on the hikes, there a a lot fewer people...most people kind of stay at the top looking down rather than actually hiking down.  We did see a whole group hiking in flip flops and one lady in heels though.  My feet hurt just looking at them!

We took a little rest under a rock outcropping (yay for shade!) and this was the view:

There are fun windows and arches you can hike through.

This is the end of the Queen's garden trail.  See Queen Victoria up there on the rock...or perhaps riding a camel (backwards)?

I'm sorry I can't be normal in pictures.

We came across a very friendly chipmunk.  Frank started rummaging around in his bag looking for something to feed it and I told him not to because it's bad for the wildlife and whatnot. This little guy was obviously very used to being fed because as we walked away, he followed Frank all the way up the hill hoping for food after seeing Frank looking in his bag.

We finally stopped at a little bench and Frank found a cracker.

The little guy was eager to get it.


Later that day we  decided to hike to a small waterfall nearby.
I didn't want to do anything too strenuous  because I was still pooped from the earlier hike.  This little hike was perfect.

We also drove all through the Bryce Canyon National Park to see the various viewpoints.

That night we drove out into the darkness so that I could just sit and view the night sky.
I have only seen one falling star in my life and whenever we are in these remote areas I always say that we need to go out at night to see the stars.  
It has never worked out!  
It's always overcast or something else comes up.
So this night, even though I was tired, we drove out past any town lights and just looked at the sky.
It was magnificent, as expected.  
No falling stars but it was totally worth doing.


The next morning we decided to drive a short way to the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.
Frank loves cool rocks and petrified wood so this was a nice hike to see some amazing examples and to just enjoy the perfect weather.

Petrified wood has so many gorgeous colors!
It really was amazing.

On the way to and from the Escalante state park, we came across some road construction.
They were repaving half of the road so we had a wait as only one lane was open.
We passed multiple trucks carrying the fresh asphalt product and, if I haven't mentioned it before I must do so now...the smell of fresh asphalt is one of my most favorite smells in the whole world!

I tried to get a picture of the roller on the fresh road but I kind of missed.

I'm sure the workers thought I was a little nuts as I stuck my head out the window the whole way and just smelled the air.

This particular smell takes me back to a specific childhood memory.
They must have been repaving our road and I remember walking along on a lovely spring or summer day and just feeling happy.
That smell is now ingrained in me as a happy smell
and I just love it!

So on that quirky note, I end my story of our lovely weekend in Bryce.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hospital, MTC and College bound!

Today was one heck of a day!
Here was the plan:
Pick up our good friend from MA at the airport and transport her to the MTC to begin her mission.
Take Carter up to Logan to get him settled into his new college apartment.
Come home and get to bed at a decent hour so I'm not too tired for work the next day.

The reality was a bit different but similar to the plan:

We get out the door at a good time to pick up Rachel but as we are just about to enter the freeway, Carter gets a call that his girlfriend is in the ER and has to have emergency appendix surgery.  Do a u-turn and drop Carter off at the hospital instead.  Spend the next little while texting and calling Carter checking on her and figuring out the plan now.  Will he still go to Logan?  He has to go, it's my only day off!  Go to Logan and get moved in and then come back home?  It will get worked out.  Breathe.

Drive a bit frantically to the airport to pick up Rachel.  Arrive *almost* on time.  But, luckily in some ways, her flight is late so she doesn't know that I was late (until I tell her because that's just how I am).

The plan is to drop Rachel off somewhat early at the MTC so that we have plenty of time to get to Logan, unpack, shop and do whatever else is necessary without it getting too late.

After picking up Rachel, drive to Target to buy some stuff she needs.

Drive to the hospital to pick up Carter so he can accompany us to the MTC drop off.  Girlfriend is headed to surgery soon.

Get lunch.

Take Rachel to the Provo temple area for a few pictures and then drop her off at the MTC.  Yay Sister Morey!  Yay for missionaries!

Go home and finish packing up Carter's stuff to take to Logan.

Realize that it is not even remotely early and your plans are not going as planned.

Drive to Logan.
Girlfriend is out of surgery and doing fine, thank heaven!

Unpack stuff into apartment, get groceries, and buy other various needed items.
Make bed, put up new shower curtain, put together small shelving unit and otherwise organize stuff.

Try not to cry as you realize your kid is all moved into his College apartment and is totally fine with you leaving now.
yes, the room is a bit stark...but he's  a guy and has no interest in my decorating abilities

One last photo with mom before she leaves to cry in  her car

Go visit the Petersons (friends from MA who now live in Logan) and wish you could stay longer.

Drive home and fall into bed by 11:00-ish.

A long, at times hectic, at times happy, at times sad day for me.

*side note* Carter stayed that night and then came home the next day to be with his girlfriend for a few days before school started.  He's a good, sweet boyfriend and we are super glad that Harley is ok!