Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Utah Adventuring

It's been my goal this summer to explore Utah and all it's wonders.
I've lived here for close to 20 years (next summer) and have not seen all that it has to offer. So every week we have been to someplace new and unfamiliar.

This has lead to so many new and exciting experiences that we, as a family, are so thankful for. Some placed I've posted already but here's a few I haven't yet.

Willard Bay in Willard, Utah.
We've been here before, years ago, but with Ducati not remember most of these places she's been to it's like starting over with a clean slate.

We packed up lunch, towels, our sun shade, and went to enjoy ourselves.

Our kids had so much fun! Our swimmers swam with Mike around the Bay. Our semi/none swimmers floated around the Bay with  Mike. We built sand castles. Skipped rocks. Ate lunch. Dropped lunch pieces for the seagulls. And left a few hours later with a tan and exhausted.

I love this photo below of Hailey. She reminds me of that saying, "Mermaid Hair. Don't Care!"


Another week we went with my sister-in-law to Kaysville Castle Park. We packed up lunch, water, and let our kids loose!


Behind the park is a little trail. It's so beautiful! The trees curve down making it looks like they are using their branches to block out the sun just for us. The walk was peaceful.
There is usually a little stream that flows along the trail but when we went it was dried up.
We still walked the trail and enjoyed the wild flowers. 


Mason wanted to show us all the water tunnel him and Mike found. So we followed him and I got so excited when I seen the graffiti. It's the Chicago side of me that loves it!
 Of course we walked the water tunnel. It was more spooky for the older kids than the younger kids. At the end we found out why the water had dried up. There was a beaver dam that was blocking all the water. So we left it alone and walked back to the trail.
My nephew found this stick and was playing with it. When his mom told him to look at him; he started to charge her as if he was going to poke her. It was so funny!




So 6 kids, 2 adults, lunch, and another 30 minutes of playing at the park and I needed a nap.

It's been so much fun seeing and exploring Utah.

This Summer

This summer Mike and I sat down with each kiddo and made a summer goal. Some goals were academic. Some were emotional goals. Some were social. But either way those goals haven't really been met. I'm realizing we're not really goal people. We're more, "We should do..... Oh something shiny!" This mind set doesn't work for many. Honestly it doesn't work for Mike but he loves me so much that he just rolls with it.

So these past few weeks have been busy. I took our kids to the mall for the 1st time.  Huge milestone for Lily and Ducati.

Hailey had an eye doctors appointment so everyone got to experience the magic of a MALL!
We went to Hotdog on a Stick for lunch. Went on a mini shopping spree at Bath and Body works. I liked that we went during their semi-annual clearance sale so EVERYTHING was on sale.

 But Hailey was very happy to get glasses. The first thing she did after she got her glasses was read a book. She tells me, "WOW! I've really missed a lot!"


Mike had Father's Day a day early. The kids tried their best to show Mike how much they love him. There was homemade cards, a few new art pieces, and their best to give quality and not quantity gifts. So with a budget they went shopping and got him a few new summer clothing pieces which he hated. So it was the thought that counted. :)







My neighbor/friend helped me plant tomatoes this year. And so far they are growing!! This is the first time I've grown something on purpose and it didn't die. So everyday we're going out and finding new yummy tomatoes and just eating them off the vine thingies. :) As a family we are enjoying gardening. Our kids love to weed the garden and water the plants. So we might expand next year and add another fruit. But 1 plant this year was enough for us to give it the care it needed.




We gave up our Costco membership. Nothing special but still good for us since we never went unless if it was for gum. So on our last shopping trip Mike loaded up on gum. Then hid everything!!


On the 4th of July we kept it small since we're not big fans on crowds. We had a BBQ with a small group of friends. Had all the kids playing in water which caused our yard to overflood into the neighbors yard. At least he doesn't have to water his yard. :)

Afterwards we went to city fireworks and WOW! We love them! Sure street fireworks are fun but to be able to feel the fireworks explode. To have that feeling in our chest... it's awesome!
Anyways to prepare for the wait we packed up some water, snacks, crafts, and a blanket in some backpacks. The firework show was amazing! Ducati didn't remember seeing such huge fireworks since she's only seen them from the distance. So she was staring up into the sky the entire time.

I'm so glad we went. But the next day I was regretting it. The backpack I was carrying didn't feel heavy at the time but oh my! I felt it the next day. How can chips and bananas cause so much pain!! So for the next few days I was in so much pain I couldn't get off the couch. I hate having back issues.

This of course caused a wrench in my plans but thankfully my kids rolled with it.
 

This gave us a chance to catch up on some reading, go see Finding Dory (TWICE), eat some forgotten freezer meals, and play on the second trampoline Mike brought. Yes- we now own 2 trampolines!


We've also:
-visited Mike's brother and his family.

-been adventuring with my sister in law (I'll post later)

-gone to the dentist for a chipped tooth

-updated our living room furniture from "Yikes" to "Good"

-purchased a new fridge since our original one died. This was a learning experience since I never purchased a new appliance before.

-taught our kids about budgets and savings so they are on board for saving for next years vacation

-Mike is signing up for college. Paralegal Studies to help bridge him into becoming a lawyer.

-Dejunking our house from top to bottom. It's been a process but so worth it.


So our plans this summer sort of went off into a different direction. But that's OK with us. Life plans change all the time; that's what makes Life interesting.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Midway, Utah

Mike's friend was super kind and invited us all to his families cabin for the weekend.
So right after work we headed up to Midway.
We've never been here and to see if up close it's absolutely beautiful!

With there being some traffic we got to Midway before his friends so we stopped and got some food at Dairy Keen.

I read tons of reviews on how amazing this place is. So of course we had to experience the train restaurant. The price was expensive. For us for we spent $32! But it guess this place can charge whatever they want; it wouldn't matter to the customers. This place was packed!

The cabin was amazing! It was huge!! After unpacking we all decided to go for a hike.  





While on the hike Mike's friend, Dave, showed us all the different flowers and trees. Since he grew up at this cabin he knew his way around this mountain. 
When we got to a meadow we played around with some BB guns.  

Our girls learned proper gun safety and after being carefully guided learned how to shoot. 




While we all took turns shooting business cards we also played frisbee.


Miss Cati hanging out with the guys. But it was getting dark so we paused the fun until morning and hiked the mile back to the cabin. The view of the small town was so pretty. I wish my camera phone would have transformed into a Cannon so I could take a better photo of the view.


Mike and Dave had a late night chatting until 3am. Guys!! But that didn't stop our girls waking up at 7am. So we made breakfast for everyone. For only being 6 of us we had enough food for twice that many people. While we waited for our friends to get ready we played outside.



Then once again we headed back to the meadow, this time driving, to practice our shooting.
Dave gave the suggestion to shoot Pringles since the shattering effect is just awesome to see. Ha!
We were all amazed when Mike made this shot and the chip didn't shatter.

My girls and I hiding in the shade tent. They are so dirty! I'm thankful they love being in the outdoors but I love more the silly faces they make when it's picture time.



From the night before of only learning how to shoot to now taking their shots themselves. Lily and Ducati improved so much. Plus instead of shooting business cards we collected all our soda cans and shot those instead. So they made a few clean shoots through the cans.




It was a great afternoon. But of course we needed lunch, a bathroom break (cuz us girls didn't want to pee on rocks in tick grass), and Dave needed to get his sister so Lily and I stood behind while Mike drove the rest of our party back to the cabin. This allowed us to have some funny time.

 The view is so pretty! But while I was taking pictures I noticed a little arm reaching for Dave's candy bag. Sneaky, sneaky!



Mike and his friends. Dave, middle, and Connor showing his gangster peace sign.
 When everyone came back we continued to shoot alittle more. But now we were getting bored! So we went back to the cabin, packed things up, cooked lunch, cleaned the cabin, chatted with our new friends, and went for a hike to find red rocks.

The trail we wanted was in Francis, Utah. Someplace I never heard of. The town was so small we had no idea where we were. Those are the best types of towns.

 While on our hike we found a herd of cows. Yes! COWS! They were so close that I was a bit freaked out. So I instructed our girls to walk between the grown ups just in case they charged. I know I was afraid of a cow. But safety first. So Connor and Dave took the front while Mike and I covered the back. This gave us the advantage of grabbing the girls and running if something happened with the cows.




We didn't find any red rocks. That's not the scientific term that Dave used but that's all I remember. But we did find this little waterfall. Along with lots of wild flowers, dead animal skeletons, "seashells"  (aka snail shells), cow poop, and lots of flies. 



 My handsome man! ♥


 







We left this hike sweaty and dirty! Which I am so thankful that my kids aren't afraid to get dirty.
When we got back to our cars we grabbed some towels and headed to the stream across the street and washed off. It felt so nice to stick our aching feet into the cold water.
Then we were treated to pizza from The Pie and drove home. After 2 showers each, brushing out hair tangles, and starting a load of laundry we were all exhausted. The next day at church we were all falling asleep. So after sacrament we went back home and took a much needed nap. A weekend of adventuring with family and friends makes such great memories. I'm thankful that I got to record it all .