Spring Break 2014 - Goblin Valley

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Goblin Valley.

We had anxiously been waiting our first camping trip of the year.

I couldn't' wait to feel the warm desert sun on my back, cuddle up to my little family in our tent, have little adventures and be completely out-of-touch.

IMG_7433It ended up being pretty perfect.

See my tiny family picnicking out there?

The weather cooperated (for the most part) and the girls behaved like the old camping pros they are.



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Sleeping peacefully.
Yay for no more pack-n-play in the tent!






The big ones were even pretty brave and touched "the butt".


Seriously such a crazy place, right? 


It was an added bonus to have my two brothers and their families with us. We loved hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon together.


And bonding with them more. Cousins are the best. 


I love camp food. I love tinfoil dinners and hot dogs and beans and smores. I love the fire and the conversation that occurs around it. And I love that my sister-in-laws have become like real sisters to me over the years. 


These two are so alike in so many ways. And in situations that stretch them a little I can see their similar cautious personalities gravitating toward each other. Mostly I think Ava sees it in Roo and she helps her along. In moments like these I sometimes think my heart will burst. 


Easy was a total pack mule the whole trip - as was my brother Matt. They were so good about dealing with those whiny babies! 


Finally, I think that Miss Rosie has moved out of the camping "wild card" spot. 

She has proven herself to be a little pleasure in the tent, exploring, and around the campfire - even if she didn't touch "the butt". 

Goblin Valley was such a treat. Next month we have plans to go to the Great Sand Dunes in So Colorado! 

Mem Day weekend awaits!


Spring Break Twenty-Fourteen

Part 1.


I feel like I had been anticipating Spring Break since January this year - or maybe it's more like every year that happens. I just love having my girls all together with no commitments or time keeping.  

We planned a trip to camp in Goblin VAlley, UT with a visit to Easy's parents in Utah County just before hand. I decided to drive the party van with just the girl's and I out first, with E working and meeting us on the weekend. 

The first stop was to gather supplies at Walmart then get the tires rotated the day before departure - I couldn't help but laugh at the gallery of girls making sure the guys at the tire shop did it all right. No pressure guys! 


The next morning we hit the road bright and early. I felt pretty brave, but then again the girls were amazing on the trip, even that tiny-newly-potty-trained-squirt. 


We spent a few days at G&G's house admiring the basement Kent is finishing himself, chasing the cats, celebrating birthday's, and playing nonstop. I realize on trips like this how bad I am at keeping time and how good E is at it. 


Speaking of Easy - he and Rosie are total twins! Right?

I also snuck in a little visit to my cousin Amber and got to see her new sweet baby and enjoy her company for a bit. I loved it. 

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My absolute favorite part of visiting was going to the Sacred Gifts exhibit at BYU. It was truly amazing to see so many beautiful religious art pieces of the Savior all together. And it was a bonus to go with G&G and Uncle Brett.


We also got to spend a lot of time with E's sister Ashley. The girls absolutely adore her. She pretty much wins the "Best Aunt Award" always.


Late Thursday night I finally got my guy back and we headed to So UT for a pretty sweet weekend camping with my brother's and their awesome kids. 

More to come. 


On Going Back


For months we have been itching to get to Breckenridge to visit the Ice Castles but the time never seemed quite right to make the drive worth it. 

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We finally got there just before they closed up shop for the season on a cold March day. I think the high was 21 degrees and we were completely freezing, but prepared in our snow gear. The girl's loved exploring the ice sculptures, the cave, and collecting broken bits of ice to "take home." :)

After spending just an hour at the castles we thawed out, had some delicious burgers then walked around Brek a little. It's a super cute little resort town! With our bellies full and our experience complete we trekked back home through the mountains still wondering if the trip was really worth it. Sure we had fun, but it was also expensive and quite the drive for such a limited experience. 


A week or so later when the sun was out and beautiful we headed up to the mountains near Boulder after church with a picnic in hand.


I think the girls have turned into little mountain goats. 


We hiked a short (and miserable) hike with Rosie screaming the entire way to the thawing Gross Reservoir.

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As you can imagine most outings with 4 small children are challenging and it's easy to wonder, like with the castles, if it's really worth the time, preparation, and effort.

We sometimes struggle to keep our cool and the kids always find something to complain about - but you know, those things aren't what we remember. We remember the sweet little moments. 

We remember seeing the majestic mountains and throwing rock after rock on the ice.

We remember GM always being the leader on the trail and the first one to the destination. 

We remember Ava sculpting artwork into the warm sand.

We remember Roo snuggled up against her dad away from the icy breeze coming off the lake. 

Sure we also remember Rosie's unfortunate tantrum where she lost her shoe and almost climbed out of the backpack carrier on the way down, but mostly we remember the good times. 

And that is why we will always go back. It is always worth it - the memories, the time together, and yes even the mishaps. 

See you on the mountain. 


Bootcamp and a Birthday


At the beginning of March a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be her +1 at bootcamp for a "bring a friend for free" session. It was just what I knew I needed to jump start me back to an active lifestyle after hibernating all winter. How could I say no???

I won't lie. It sucked getting up every morning in the bitter cold and layering on a hat and gloves while driving in the dark to a mysterious challenging workout. 

Running, sit-ups, pushups, burpees, dips, squats, tucks, lunges, throwing tires around, flipping tractor tires, hopping stairs, jerking a tractor chain up in the air, sprinting - it's exhausting just typing it!!! 

After a week or so I was pleased to see my strength take a corner and my progression start rise. By the end of the month I was not only stronger, but faster. I went from only being able to do 12 pushups to almost 30! 

Since bootcamp has ended and I have picked up running again I have increased my pace by 1 minute/mile without even really trying. When I was training for Ragnar I never ran under 10 min/mile. This morning I ran 3 miles in 27 minutes!!!  

After feeling this great and reaping the benefits from pushing myself I decided that Easy needed to do it to. I signed him up for the next session. Happy Birthday Babe!


Easy turned 34 on the 26th. We celebrated at home with a fancy dinner (i.e. candles and a tablecloth) Tikka Masala, naan, and Basmati Rice.


For dessert I made a chocolate caramel cheesecake that knocked all of our socks off. 


The girls in this house really dig this guy.

Ava made him ridiculously cute homemade pop-up card. GM made a paper Kindle with a case. Roo gave hime a cute homemade "toy" that was basically folded up paper, tape, a lot of glue, with a jewel attached on top. 
I gave him his own (real) Kindle - he keeps stealing mine + the bootcamp gift with energy bars and a new athletic shirt for those chilly early mornings. He's not really excited about bootcamp, but he accepted it with a smile. It's okay. I think he will probably hate me for it the first week then hopefully  thank me more sincerely after the month is over. :)

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