24 October 2011

Fall Decorations

Here is my attempt at fall festivity decorations.  This is a big giant bowl sitting on my coffee table.

This is why I'm not into decorating...Yes, those are teeth marks from my sweet naughty dog in my white pumpkin.  I came upstairs from giving him a bath and found him tearing up a cardboard box and tearing up my decorations.  I'm seriously pondering the worth of decorating on the coffee table...

Oh and in case you forgot, this was last year's debaucle with decorations...What's Wrong With This Nativity Scene?

How to Give a Great Dane a Bath

Kona has needed a bath for awhile...but I've been waiting until its warm enough for him to go outside in the sun to dry off.  Wishful thinking on my part I guess.  Anyways, this morning Tim and I were getting ready to go and do some errands, so while Tim finished up his morning computer time, I decided to give the dog a quick bath.

I've had several people ask how in the world I give Kona a bath.  It really has never been an issue, mostly because he's been having baths since we got him.  I will say that getting him to the bathtub is a little tricky and sometimes involves some bribery.  I have been known to give him an entire hot dog to get him in the tub.  However, this morning, Kona only made me chase him around the house for a few minutes before I got him to hop in the tub.

Once he's in the tub, he usually just stands there while I rinse him off.  He looks thrilled, doesn't he. One time he did jump out of the tub and ran around the tiny bathroom (the floor is covered with towels prior to the water turning on) which resulted in me being super wet and him unhappy to get back in the tub.  Today he was awesome and stood there the entire time.

After he's wet, I lather him up with some oatmeal sensitive skin shampoo.  That's shampoo squirted all over his back. Its supposed to smell like coconut...I'm not sure about that, but it does smell nice.

He loves the lathering part.  I'm always surprised at how much hair comes off when he gets bathed.  I think he just likes being warm and massaged.  He was shaking off in this picture.

Then he gets rinsed off.  No big deal there.  I just have to make sure to keep the soap out of his eyes and make sure that he gets completely rinsed off.  He has sensitive skin, so I always try extra hard to get all of the shampoo rinsed off.

Probably Kona's favorite part is getting dried off.  After I towel him off, or attempt to towel him off, he heads out into the house to do zoomies.  He runs around like a maniac, picks up all of his toys, runs up and down the stairs, jumps off and on the beds, and then he runs to the door, rings his bell and heads outside to pee.  Apparently, he also looks like demon dog in the midst of the zoomies.

When he's dry, he gets vacuumed off.  Yes, actually vacuumed off.  He loves it.  In fact, whenever I get the hose out for the vacuum, he comes running.  Today he got vacuumed off in the garage and again in the house while I was cleaning the house.

Finally, he lays in the sunshine relaxing.  What a life he leads...

23 October 2011

Little Bear Bottoms Corn Maze

At the beginning of the month, Kyra and I got to go to Little Bear Bottoms Corn Maze with the young women and young men from our ward.  We had fun...mucking around in ankle deep mud...but Rylan was very sad because he wasn't old enough to go.  So, since we didn't have plans last night, we decided to take the kids and their friends to the corn maze.

Rylan loves going to Little Bear Bottoms Corn Maze, I think mostly because of the big giant hay bale maze. This is actually a picture from their website.  I didn't think to take one last night.  Tim tried to get me to go inside.  I think I made it in about 3 feet before I was on my way out.  Apparently, I do not do big giant straw forts.  I'm WAY too claustrophobic.  Tim also says this explains my aversion to long-term snuggle time.  Perhaps he's right?!

This is a great place to take kids because there's alot of stuff to do.  Besides the straw fort, there is a string maze.  Kyra said that the string maze is where you get to look like an idiot in front of everyone.  I guess my friend Andrea's daughter totally clotheslined herself when they did the string maze last week.  I haven't tried it but it does look fun.

Tim and I headed into the corn maze with Rylan and Tyce.  I should probably mention there are two mazes...a long one and a short one.  I should also mention that I had never exited a corn maze at the exit so I was just planning on wandering through the corn.  When we did this activity with the young men and young women, the girls said you just take every left and you'll come out in the end.  So, that was my plan.  The boys decided they always wanted to choose the right, so we quickly lost them.
We proceeded to walk and walk for quite maybe 2 miles or so.  Oh and I thought, hey, let's take some pictures.  Here's what I learned about taking pictures in a pitch black corn maze with my husband.

Apparently, it's very tricky to get your husband to be serious while taking pictures in the pitch black dark.

After we made it out of the corn maze...yes, my first time ever exiting the exit of a corn maze, Tim and I went over to sit on a hay bale and watch Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I was entertained and actually laughed out loud a few times.  That movie is definitely a Halloween classic.

Once the movie was over, Tim and I headed over to the fire and stayed warm while the kids finished up their stuff.  I would definitely recommend this corn maze as a great place to take your family.  There's lots to do.  There are also several interesting conversations you will here.  Oh, and they have a haunted river trail and a haunted tractor ride.  I still haven't done those yet, but maybe next year.  I guess this has become a new family tradition.

22 October 2011


This morning, as I was lying in bed, I was sort of feeling like I wanted to go for a run...but I was coming up with a long list of excuses. Excuses like, I'm tired...Its cold outside...I don't want to run by myself...I don't want to be out in the middle of the neighborhood and feel all poopy...Yes, excuses like that.

Suddenly, I was inspired. I thought about Time Out for Women and a talk by Laurel Christensen. For her "Choose to Become" journey, she decided that she wanted to become a runner. She also wanted to lose some weight, so she headed down to the Biggest Loser Ranch in southern Utah. She explained a workout called "treading". When I was listening to the talk, I thought, "I totally need to do that workout." So, since that popped into my head, I decided to head over to the Clubhouse and hit the treadmill. And I had the BEST RUN IVE HAD IN MONTHS!

Here's what my workout looked like.

5 min warmup @ 12:00 min/mile

5 min HARD @ 10:30 min/mile (I actually sped it up to 10:00 min/mile for the last 2:30)

5 min recovery 4 min HARD @ 10:00 min/mile

4 min recovery

3 min HARD @ 9:30 min/mile

3 min recovery 2 min HARD @ 8:57 min/mile (This was puke pace.)

2 min recovery

1 min HARD @ 8:01 min/mile (This was definitely puke pace)

1 min recovery (This involved standing on the edge of the treadmill trying super hard not to dry heave.)

5 min cooldown @ 12:00 min/mile

This was not a fast workout. I think I only ran 3.75 miles. I will say this, I felt super strong and tough and I loved the challenge and I especially loved puke pace. I'm sort of thinking I may need to turn this into a once a week workout!

20 October 2011

The IRS and Two Cute Little Boys

On Monday afternoon, I found a letter from the IRS in the mail. I assumed correctly that it would contain not great news. Surprise surprise...we're being audited. Yep... That meant that Tuesday was spent collecting copies of 30+ copies of checks. Wednesday morning was spent writing and putting together a 50 page document. Wednesday afternoon was spent preparing the document to fax and then faxing it. Hopefully, my anal-retentiveness will work for the IRS and they won't have to bother us anymore. Here's what the document looked like before I sent it away.

Today was a much better day. I got to spend the morning with my two cute nephews, Cole and Jay. Cole is 2 1/2 and is working on getting potty trained. He has also discovered that he can do funky things with his tongue.
His brother Jay is 3 months old and I am his very most favorite auntie. He loves to hang out with me and will talk to me. It's totally adorable. Oh and I can even get him to fall asleep. That is actually a miracle!
He even let me dress him this morning. He loves being naked and was smiling big before I could get his cute striped baby pants on. I'm pretty sure only a baby could get away with wearing these pants, but maybe I'm wrong?
Definitely not a bad way to spend a Thursday morning...holding a super sweet baby boy for a couple of hours and reading to my super cute sometimes naughty 2 year old nephew.

18 October 2011

My First Attempt at Making French Bread

We are almost out of bread at our house, so I decided, in an attempt to skip going to the grocery store, to try and make some bread. I should mention that I have really really bad luck getting bread/rolls to rise at my house. Like, I can't even get Rhodes rolls to work. I'm out of whole wheat flour(yes, I really need to make a trip to the store) so I decided to try making white bread. Of course, the only recipe I could find was for french bread, so I made french bread in a loaf pan. We'll see how that turns out. Anyways, here's the bread.

And, here's the recipe.

1 package of dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 c. warm water
3 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
Cooking spray
1 T. water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Place flour and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until blended. With processor on, slowly add yeast mixture through the food chute; process until dough forms a ball. Process 1 additional minute. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times.
3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover dough; let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 45 minutes or until double in size.
4. Punch dough down, and shape into a 9x8 inch rectangle. Roll up dough, starting at long side, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets. Pinch seam ends to seal. Cover dough, and let rise 30 minutes or until double in size.
5. Preheat oven to 450.
6. Uncover dough, and make 3 diagonal cuts across the loaf, using a sharp knife. Combine water and egg white, and brush mixture over top of loaf. ***I didn't do this step.***
7. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

So, I haven't tried my bread yet. I'm pretty sure that it didn't rise like it's supposed to. Perhaps I'm destined to make bricks instead of bread. However, at least I'm making the effort???

P.S. This bread is delicious. Tim said its the best bread I've ever made. We both had PBJ sandwiches for lunch and I'm pretty sure there's only 1/3 of the loaf left. I sort of have a bread problem. :) This is definitely a repeat offender for our house.

17 October 2011

Monday Morning Mountain Drive

This morning, Tim asked me if I wanted to take a drive into the mountains. I said of course, so off we went in the Cruiser. We started off at Nyla's Chevron getting gas for the Cruiser and breakfast for us. I was in charge of breakfast, so I picked breakfast burritos over convenience store food. I picked WRONG! The burritos were neither of us could choke them down. I guess you could say that we ended up having big drinks for breakfast.

After that nastiness, we headed up Blacksmith Fork Canyon. I wish that I would have taken pictures because it was GORGEOUS! There was so much color. I'm actually thinking that I may have to drive up there again tomorrow just to take some pictures. We passed Hardware Ranch and headed up a dirt road. It was muddy, but not too bad. However, as we climbed higher, it got muddier. We even got to pull off the road for a truck to slide down (literally, slide down) the road. I guess that's what happens to Ford trucks in the mountains...

I'm definitely not mocking because Tim and I did our fair share of sliding. In fact, at one point, after I spilled my big drink, he told me it was time for me to get out. I should probably mention that I did not plan on getting out of the Cruiser, so I was wearing my Chacos. He handed me my big yummy Diet Coke and proceeded to slide down the mountain. Instead of sliding, I got to walk/slide/muck/skid/skate down the muddy, mucky mess in my sandals. I even walked out of my sandals a couple of times. Oh, and I had to dump my big yummy Diet Coke out because I figured it would be better to make it down the hill without 64 oz of Diet Coke spilled over me. When Tim got down the mountain, he hopped out of the Cruiser and decided to take my pictures. I'm pretty sure that I had at least an inch of mud on the bottom of my shoes.

Once we got out of the mud, sort of, we were on a super rocky road, so Tim asked me to hop out and "air down" the tires. This is why I'm called his tech assistant.
On with the ride...we continued driving along and ended up in the pines and snow. Yes, I still had sandals on with a bunch of mud on the bottom of them. I no longer had my big yummy Diet Coke. But, I was having the time of my life. Tim kept driving through the huge mud puddles, which make the coolest sound, and I love watching the "car wash effect." I'm pretty sure he kept doing that because I couldn't stop giggling when he would do it.

We ended up our drive coming out at the Bear Lake Summit. Then, we headed down Logan Canyon, which was absolutely gorgeous, although not as colorful as Blacksmith Fork Canyon.

After we came out of the canyon, it was off to the car wash. The Cruiser must remain clean and sharp looking in the drive way, so Tim spent about 30 minutes spraying the mud off his baby. It was super duper muddy!

He also washed my Chacos for me because I was still walking around with an inch of mud on the bottom of them.

What a fantastic way to spend a Monday morning! I have the best husband in the world. Oh and I guess this will probably be our last off road mountain drive until the roads open up in the spring so that made it even better!

16 October 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Apparently, I'm in a baking mood this afternoon. Possibly it's due to the cloudy, cool weather and the need to warm up the house. It could also just be that I'm in the mood for some chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I do have chocolate chip cookie dough all ready to be baked, but I'm making pumpkin chocolate chip bread for the first time. It's in the oven as I type this...but I'll add a picture when it comes out. I'm really hoping that it turns out to be tasty. Here's the recipe if you're interested...

4 eggs
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1/3 c. water
1 small (15 oz) can of pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
1 package of chocolate chips
3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger

Beat eggs and sugar together. Add oil, water and pumpkin to egg mixture and mix flour, soda, salt and cinnamon together and add to pumpkin mixture. Add vanilla. Stir in as many chocolate chips as you like. Pour in 2 greased bread pans and bake at 300°F for 1-1/2 hours or until cake tests done (toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).

I'm definitely going to have to share one of the loaves because Tim and I definitely do not need to eat 2 loaves. Oh, and the chocolate chip cookies will probably be baked before the end of the week. When I make the dough, I usually just bake a dozen cookies at a time so we don't end up eating 48 cookies in one day.

If you try the recipe, let me know what you think! Happy baking!

13 October 2011

Zucchini Bread

This morning while I was getting the shrimp out for dinner tonight, I decided that I was going to make zucchini bread, so I grabbed a bag of my frozen shredded zucchini. My first attempt at zucchini bread was last week, and while I had serious issues getting it out of the pans, it was DELICIOUS! So, here's the recipe...oh and I have 2 loaves so feel free to come over and share!

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. grated zucchini
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 t. cinnamon (the recipe calls for 1, but I've been using 2)
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour bread pans. You can also use Bakers Joy spray.
2. Beat eggs until frothy. Gradually add sugar. Stir in vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat until thick and lemon colored ***mine hasn't been lemon colored, more white-ish***. Stir in zucchini.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Stir into wet mixture.
4. Pour batter into pans.
5. Bake for 60 minutes.
6. Allow loaves to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. ***I greased and floured my pans today so I'm hoping the loaves will pop right out, but apparently removing the loaves from the pans is a common problem.***

Let me know what you think. My sister in law and I were talking and she uses the same recipe. She's received all sorts of compliments. We love it.

12 October 2011

Kyra and Cross Country Regionals

This afternoon, Tim and I had the opportunity to see Kyra compete in a regional cross country meet from Logan High School. This may not seem like such a big deal, but there is definitely more to this story.

As long as I've known Kyra, she has despised running. I don't mean disliked...I mean hated running with every fiber of her being. Any time the topic of running came up, her mood turned immediately sour. So, I'm sure you can imagine our surprise when Kyra came home at the beginning of the school year to tell us that she had joined the cross country team.

I couldn't believe it. What in the world was she thinking?!? Why in the world would anyone who truly despises running join a running team?!? Especially the CROSS COUNTRY team?!? Tim and I talked about it. He said that if that's what she wanted to do, then let her do it, but she was not allowed to quit.

So, over the past several weeks, Kyra has been staying after school to run. She doesn't run fast. In fact, she is the slowest runner on her team. However, she has continued to train and work hard. Last week, we saw her run at a meet at SkyView High School. She came in last place and was even lapped by the guys.

Over the weekend, Kyra was super wound up and worrying about the meet today. She was putting all sorts of pressure on herself (unnecessarily) and was actually pretty difficult to be around. She kept talking about running well today. I decided to share a story with her.

When I was in 10th grade, I had a friend talk me into trying out for the softball team. I didn't really like softball. I was already playing volleyball and basketball and it was kinda nice to have the spring off. She really didn't want to go to tryouts by herself, so she convinced me to just go with her and I, being the super nice friend that I am, said, "Sure." Well, she didn't make the team, but I did. I have no idea how. My first year, I rode the pine. My batting average was .000. I didn't play hardly ever. Seriously... However, I worked hard and showed up and cheered like a crazy person. My second year, I was playing first base and if I remember correctly, I started every game. My batting average went up, but still wasn't great. I had improved tremendously. My senior year, I batted over .400 and was on the state all-star team. I explained to Kyra that you don't get good in one season. Performing better requires lots of hard work and dedication and determination. It requires stick-to-it-tivness.

Kyra is one of the most stubborn people that I know; although I still have her beat. The tricky thing is that she typically doesn't use her stubborn powers for good. She told me that she wants to become a better runner. She wants to lose weight and become faster. I told her that I could help her do that...but she can't expect it to happen overnight...or in one week, or in one season. If this is what she wants, then she's going to have to spend MONTHS working towards it. This is when she decided that she wants to do the Ogden 1/2 Marathon in May 2012.

Fast forward to today...we saw Kyra before the start. Her and her friend Harriet barely made it to the start when the gun went off. The rest of the girls took off and Kyra was in last place. I went back to the car to get the super cute flowers we got for Kyra (gorgeous red gerber daisies and yellow tiny mums that looked like miniature sunflowers). I caught Kyra walking, so I yelled at her "Get going!" Then I went and found Tim. We waited for Kyra and we waited for Kyra and we waited for Kyra. There were girls finishing the race and we hadn't seen Kyra yet at all. We started to wonder if she quit. How was it taking so long?

Then we saw her...jogging along. She kept going and she even pushed herself up this hill.

She jogged past us on the road.

She headed out for the rest of her run. Tim and I yelled to her "don't quit" and I yelled "no more walking". We headed back towards the center of the course to wait for her to run by. I'm pretty sure that she got lost, which has happened in all of her races this year, because next thing we know, she comes up to us and has been finished "for awhile." She may or may not have cut the course short.

The moral of this long story is that Kyra didn't quit. She did something that was SUPER HARD for her. She stuck with it. She even wants to run cross country again next year. And she wants to train for a 1/2 marathon. I can't wait to start the training... *insert evil laugh*

Needless to say, we are SO PROUD of her! She proved to herself that SHE CAN DO HARD THINGS! What a great thing to be able to say about herself! I think that the feeling of self worth that comes from running (or whatever challenging activity you enjoy) will always always always improve your view of yourself. I'll be sure and provide updates on how her running is improving.

11 October 2011

Choose to Become

In September, I had the opportunity to attend Time Out for Women here in Logan. For those of you who aren't familiar with this amazing awesome weekend, check out this website. It's basically an evening and a day of inspirational music and speakers for women only. I've gone 4 times and plan on continuing to go whenever I have the opportunity.

This year, the theme was "CHOOSE TO BECOME" which I LOVE! This is something I've spent alot of time thinking about and I think I'm finally ready to write about my goals. During the opening remarks, we were encouraged to DISCOVER ALL OF OUR POSSIBILITIES. We were encouraged to make a list of things that come to mind and we were reminded of the scripture in Mark, that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Here is the list of things that I wrote down.

Writing a book
Becoming a strong cyclist
Setting a PR at the 70.3 triathlon distance
Taking voice lessons
Completing an iron-distance triathlon

As I sat down and pondered (yes, I've actually been giving this quite a bit of thought), I noticed that, of course, 3 of my goals involve triathlon and training. Since I got engaged, I've let my training and racing goals slide quite a bit. No excuses for that...except getting married, getting a puppy, having 2 part time teenagers, moving to a new state, etc etc etc. I also feel like I've had to sort of figure out who this "new" AJ is and what she looks like. That probably sounds funny, but it's sort of hard to explain.

So, in an effort to establish my goals and start moving forward, I'm posting my CHOOSE TO BECOME goal.

I'm CHOOSING TO BECOME A TRIATHLETE...AGAIN...specifically an long distance triathlete.

In order for this to happen, there are several things that need to take place. Things like losing weight, getting back into the "training" habit, finding a place to swim that's not 20 minutes away and only open from 5-6:30am, etc.

I've sort of put together a rough draft of a timeline for this happening...hopefully, it will play out this way, but I also know that life is tricky sometimes, so... we'll see what happens.

October 2011-January 2012 - Work on losing weight and regaining strength and fitness. Work on cleaner eating.

February 2012 - Start training for Boise Ironman 70.3

May 2012 - Run the Ogden 1/2 Marathon (one of my favorites) with my hubby, Kyra (my step-daughter) and my friend, Andrea.

June 2012 - Boise Ironman 70.3

September 2012 - Bear Lake Brawl 1/2 Ironman and hopefully (it's a lottery) LOTOJA with my Dad.

At some point, I would like to sign up for an Iron-distance triathlon. I'm sort of thinking Ironman St George, Ironman Arizona, or maybe Ironman Coeur D'Alene, but we'll see. I know that in order to train for an IM I absolutely need my whole team (ie. hubby, kids, dog, etc) on board.

So, that's it...that's my CHOOSE TO BECOME goal. I've already cut out the candy from my diet, started focusing on eating lots more fruits and veggies, journaling my food, and most importantly, working out 6 days a week. Now, I just need the scale to start dropping, and my fitness level going back up. I'm hoping that the blog will be a good way to keep myself honest and up front about how this whole journey is going.

Oh, and I need to remember that


10 October 2011

What Have I Been Up To???

Yes, I have seriously neglected this blog. Life has been insane. I'm learning that pretty much life is always insane, so I need to just embrace it. Here's a brief (probably not so brief) list of what we've been doing in the last several months.

June 4 ~ Did 50 miles of the Little Red Riding Hood Century Ride. I had to stop at the midpoint in order to head to Dallas, TX with Tim for his mom's bypass surgery. Tim and I spent our 1 year anniversary there, mostly hanging out in the hospital. The good news is that his mom came through a quadruple bypass with flying colors. The bad news is that we had to cancel our week long trip to Moab, Arches, and Canyonlands National Parks.

June 14-16 - Ward Youth Conference. Our youth went down to Camp Utaba in Ogden Canyon and had a Back to Basics Boot Camp. This included playing in Pineview Reservoir...which I skipped due to my aversion to freezing cold water, a ropes course, along with several team building activities, a fireside by a magician, and a trip to the Salt Lake Temple to do baptisms for the dead. President Thomas S. Monson stopped in to speak with the Young Men. It was truly awesome!

June 17-18 - WasatchBack Ragnar Relay. Yep, I did it again. I was runner #7 and we had a blast. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it again next year, but my friend Chelsey and I are considering Ragnar Colorado???

June 24-25 ~ Tim and I, along with our friends, Tyler and KeniaAnn, headed down to the Miller Motorsports for Cruiserfest! Friday was a really fun trail ride. Tim has the pictures on the other computer, so I'll have to post them later. We stayed in Park City Friday night and had a great breakfast at the Eating Establishment. We also took the long way from Toole, all around the west side of the Great Salt Lake, ended up in Snowville, UT, but did make it back to Logan. It was a blast and we can't wait to go next year!
July was pretty busy with garden stuff. I was picking peas like a crazy person, as well as weeding, watering, and staying busy with Young Women stuff.
July 15 ~ My new nephew Jay Edward Hansen was born. Yep, Karen and Eric had boy #2. He's adorable and of course, I'm his favorite auntie!
July 19-22 ~ Young Women Girls Camp ~ We headed up Ogden Canyon to Camp Liberty and spent the week camping with the girls. There were showers, which totally made my week and I took advantage of them daily! I also had an opportunity to bear my testimony about the importance of preparing to attend the temple. It was a really great experience. Oh...and I turned 33 while I was there.

July 23 ~ Tim and I, along with our friends Tyler, KeniaAnn, Brad, and Dustin, hiked the Wellsvilles. The Wellsvilles are the steepest mountains in the world and they happen to be right across the valley from us, so up we went. I think it might have been the hardest hike I've ever done. Tim said he would rather do the Narrows, although I'm not so sure about that. It took us about 8 hours and was fun, but I'm not sure I'll need to do it again in my life. I ended up with stinging nettle on my legs, as well as a nice sprained ankle. There were also many falls on the way down...that's how steep it was!

July 30 ~ Tim and I took the cruiser up Franklin Basin Road in Logan Canyon. The drive was gorgeous. The wildflowers were amazing. We even came across a plane crash site from the Korean War.

August 6 ~ Tim and I took the kids on a hike up Green Canyon. It's a 4 mile hike round trip, but is pretty steep on the way up. It was a challenge, but it was really cool to hear the kids talk about how cool it was to be able to do that and how overcoming challenges helps us in our life. Definitely a fun day!

August 13 ~ Tim and I, along with our friends Andrea and Tom, and my Dad, rode our bikes up Blacksmith Fork Canyon. It was super windy when we got to the mouth of the canyon, but all the hard work was well worth it when we came flying down the canyon! We made plans to ride again last weekend, but the cold, wet weather changed our minds.

August 17-21 ~ Tim and I took the kids to spend the weekend with my family in Park City. We swam alot, went to the Farmers Market, hung out with cousins, went to church, Tim and my Dad went mountain biking, played ping pong, and had alot of fun. That will be a new family tradition I'm sure. Although, I'm planning to take my road bike since there's so many great places to ride.

August 19 ~ While we were in Park City, Tim and I took the kids down to Timpanogos Cave in American Fork Canyon. Once again the trail was steep, but we had lunch at the top and the tour was awesome. I will admit to feeling claustrophobic and a little freaked out, but I did it...with a smile on my face. The drive through the Alpine Loop was gorgeous as well.

August 27 ~ I ran the last 7 miles of the Top of Utah 1/2 marathon with my Mom and her friend Tami. They actually got medals this year, which made me want to do it next year.

September 3 ~ Man vs. Mud... Tim and I, our friends Tyler and KeniaAnn, and Tom and Andrea, along with lots of others did the mud run at the American West Heritage Center. I don't have any pictures, because I didn't run with my camera. That turned out to be a good thing, since we had to go down super steep fast waterslides (I almost got taken out by a super big guy, after I slid off the slide and almost into a fence), we had to swim/crawl/muck through a good 1/4 mile of 5 foot deep trench, we had to swim across a super freezing cold pond. Yep, it was a blast. Definitely it will become a Labor Day weekend tradition.
September also involved canning 50+ quarts of green beans, 150+ quart bags of frozen corn, 50+ containers of freezer jam and at least 100 pints and 75 quarts of salsa. I also froze zucchini, both shredded and sliced for my winter cooking. My first attempt at zucchini bread last week was a hit, so I'll have to remember to freeze more shredded zucchini for next year. Apparently, I have become quite domestic.
Also, in September, we've been spending lots of time driving around to Rylan's soccer games. He's playing on a competitive team, so that means lots of practices and games. He loves it and we're enjoying it as well.

September 16-17 ~ I got to go to Time Out for Women, with my friends Chelsey and Amy. The theme this year was Choose to Become. The speakers and music were AWESOME! It was super inspirational and I've been working on what I've chosen to become. I can't wait to go again next year!

September 25 ~ Tim took me on a drive up to Bloomington Lake in Idaho. I've ridden my bike around Lake Bloomington in IL several times, but who knew there was another Bloomington Lake. It was gorgeous and definitely the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Yep, I've been busy. I'm pretty sure I haven't listed everything, but like I said, I've been super busy. :) Hopefully, I can do a little better job of keeping up on the blog now that I'm caught up.