Wednesday, October 19

trippin' in the fall...and not of the road variety

Today is a gorgeous autumn day here in Salt Lake City.  The temperature is perfect.  The sky is blue.  The sun is shinning brightly.  Not a day to be at work...and if you MUST go to work then for sure a day to at least take a stroll.  Which is exactly what my friend Becky and I decided to do.  About twenty minutes after work we met up and decided we'd stroll around the Capitol. It is about a mile around...a pleasant stroll and we were taking BB with us.  (BB is Becky's little girl. Her real name is Brooklyn, but when Becky was still pregnant I would refer to the baby as BB for Becky's baby or Baby Brooklyn and it stuck.  Although I am the only one who is allowed to call her that.)  The stroll started out great.  Just walking and chatting and laughing.  And there is a nice incline so we were even getting a bit of a workout.

As we were coming down the hill behind the Capitol walking towards my house right in the middle of a sentence I suddenly find myself falling to the ground and I am pretty sure somersaulting head over feet.  Since we were walking side by side on the side walk I was trying to stay to the edge to give Becky and BB room and apparently the grass and the sidewalk at that particular juncture were NOT level and my foot landed between the two and thing I know I am laying on the ground with a twisted ankle and a scrapped knee.  Well I figured a scrapped knee.  I didn't actually look at as I was more concerned that I had just twisted my ankle.  (What I find amusing about this is A) it was funny because I fell and it is funny when people fall down.  And B) I have been running lately...the last few months...regularly and not once..not a single time have I ever tripped and/or fallen down.)  Making sure my ankle was fine we continued on our way discussing the horribleness of someone twisting their ankle because it reminded us of the many times we'd both twisted ankles playing ball.

We arrived back and my house and continued chatting while BB played on the grass.  I decided to look at my knee since it was stinging a bit...and low and was not my ankle I needed to worry about...

The result of my trippin'

You may not be able to tell from this photo but below the blood my leg is a bit red with some smaller cuts and is also turning into what I think might be a nice least that is how it feels.

The last time my knee bled like this was the result of a crazed standard size black poodle dragging me down the sidewalk by his leash...seriously.  But that is a story for another day.

After receiving first rate medical attention...i.e. I washed my leg and knee off with hot water whilst sitting on the edge of the bath tub.

I have a few more trips planned for the fall...hopefully they won't turn out like this!

Monday, October 10

my heart just might burst...

This little girl...I CANNOT get over.  I look at a picture and I melt and grin all at the same time.  

She is a very thoughtful little girl.

A little unsure of what is going on...

...but not that unsure!!!

Mi familia...I had left the party before the picture was taken...and Kelli is Chile.


Sunday, October 9

"but his hand is stretched out still."

Disclaimer: this post is of a fairly personal nature.  I just felt inclined to write about it here you go...

Lately I've been struggling with my faith...not faith in the sense of my religious beliefs, but my faith in myself and also my faith in Heavenly Father and the Savior.  I don't doubt the existence of my Father or the Savior or the truthfulness of the just have really been doubting my ability to succeed in life I guess is what it is.  Don't ask me what my standard is for success...I'm not really sure (which actually could be part of the problem...but I'll ponder that later).  I've just felt like my best is not as good as other people's bests or as good as it should be.  And I know that it is silly to compare...everyone's best is different...and what is my best one day might not be my best the next day.  I just feel like I can do better...physically (although I did enjoy a 20 mile bike ride yesterday), mentally, spiritually, emotionally...I've been in a funk, YES!  That is the word...funk.  I haven't been depressed...just "ho hum"...especially spiritually.  And having been in a spiritual funk before, I know the primary answers to getting out of it...pray, read scriptures, go to church, listen to conference...all good things to be sure.  But in my funk, I have really been struggling with those things.  Lacking faith in myself has proven to be a fairly tough road block to get around in order to do any of them.  But do not despair...this is not a tell of sadness.

Yesterday, while on my bike ride...actually, while sitting on a rock out at Saltair an older gentleman came by on his bike and said hello and we chatted about the perfect day it was for biking and how it felt so good.  He said,  "It really makes you feel alive."  He hit the nail on the head.  That is exactly what I felt.  I watched all these cars that had driven out there to look around and I thought, "how boring...I-80 is such a boring road out here.  A bike is WAY better."  (This is not to say that I'm ready to bike up Emigration canyon to Ruth's, but I did love it).  And as you may have read in the previous post, riding bikes was like being 13 again.  Well I guess that ride sparked something inside me...besides just some very sore body parts.  This morning I woke up at about 7:50am and realized that it was fast Sunday.  And for the first time in, I'll just say a while, I got on my knees and basically just told Heavenly Father that I really needed to "feel the fire again".  I acknowledged that my fast would not be all day, but I hoped that it was enough so that somehow I could feel that "alive" feeling I felt on my bike ride more powerfully.  I got up and got ready and off to church I went.  Scott gave Lyla a beautiful blessing and as the testimony meeting began the thought occurred to me that despite my lacking in spirituality, I do have a testimony and I can share it.  But it wasn't my ward and I feel awkward bearing my testimony in other people's wards.  But with about ten minutes left in the meeting, and Kerri joking that she would go up if I would, I finally said, "ok" and got up.  Which I think surprised Kerri.  It surprised me.  Usually when I bear my testimony I tend to feel an overwhelming push to do so.  Today...I didn't feel that...I don't think I could.  But I somehow knew that getting up was the right thing to do.  It was the answer I was looking for.  

And it was.  The second I got up I felt something again.  And when I got to the pulpit I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and the reassurance that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me I could barely get two words out.  I did manage.  I know he loves me because as I got to that pulpit I saw my family sitting in the congregation and if you know my family you know how awesome they are.  And I know that my family is an expression of the love my Father in Heaven has for me.  I also thought about the drive home from Cedar with my mom last weekend and Cannon Beach, and the north shore of Oahu and how I feel his presence and love overwhelmingly when I am in nature.  

As I sat down I thought about how I had felt so undeserving asking for that "fire" again and two scriptures came to my mind:

Matthew 14: 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 

The second scripture wasn't a specific verse since the phrase is found in the Book of Mormon quite a few times and is the title of this post:

"...For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

I was so blown away that a simple, short request that I had uttered only an hour or so previous was so immediately answered.  And so comforted by the fact that though I am not a "gold star member of primary" right now, his hand is stretched out still.  

It is funny, how a principle can be such a part of my life for the last 32 years and yet, I am amazed each time I see the principle illustrated in my life.  

I know that the "alive fiery feeling" is something that I am going to have to continue to work for, but knowing that it is there for me to feel, that is an amazing feeling and enough spark to keep me going.

Saturday, October 8

32 Going on 13!!

Today I took a 20 mile bike ride.  I rode out to The Great Saltair with my friend Mary.  Mary is one of my oldest friends.  We've been friends since we were 11 probably.  We lived in Palatine, IL and were great friends.  One of the MANY fantastic things about growing up in Palatine, IL is that there was a great bike trail that ran all over the place.  One of my most favorite things to do was go riding with my friends on the bike trails.  The were pretty flat for the most part (IL is pretty flat) and there were nicely paved and we went the back way through neighborhoods and even through a forest preserve.

Today as Mary and I were on our ride we were both chuckling about the fact that we will forever be 13 together...well technically 13/14...Mary is older :)  We still laugh ALL THE TIME when we are together.   It is one of my happiest moments in life when I am laughing with Mary.  I love getting her to crack up to the point she cannot is an ego boost for it is hilarious.  Anyway...the bike ride was filled with great conversation and a LOT of laughing.  As we were riding we both felt like we were back in Palatine, riding on the bike trail, just chatting away.  Not in any particular hurry...just enjoying the journey so to speak...although certain parts of my body did not so much enjoy the journey...including the dead creepy looking snake and the PILE, yes, PILE of dead chickens sitting on the side of the road.  It was a true 13 year old adventure and I loved every minute of it...even when parts of my body didn't.

Gorgeous day on the lake for boating!

Antelope Island from Saltair

The Great Saltair!

amazing that it is blue skies over the lake and gray skies over the mountains on the other side of the road...oh wait...we're in Utah.

Bright orange marshes

So right below the bottom of this photo is a creepy looking HUGE dead snake...I took FOUR shots of the snake just to make sure I caught it on (my injured list) camera...not a single one turned out.  Though the yellow flower is kind of pretty...

Another unsuccessful snake photo attempt.

Headless dead chicken in the road...and oh wait...what is that just the the left of Mary's tire...

A PILE OF DEAD CHICKENS...some headless some not....

Very odd...

It was a fantastic ride and we plan to do it again next Saturday!


taking the long way part II

As you may know, whether it be from actually knowing me, or reading part I of taking the long way, I LOVE taking the long way...whether it is driving home from 90th south on State Street...or in the case with my mama last weekend, taking HWY 12 home from Cedar City.

My mama and I were in Cedar last weekend and decided to go check out the leaves up Cedar Canyon.  I figured we'd drive up the canyon, over the mountains, pop out on 89 and then cut back over to I-15 at Bear Valley.  But as we were nearing the HWY 12/89 Junction my mom asked if I wanted to head down HWY 12.  I will NEVER turn down the chance to drive HWY 12.  (unless of course there is a really bad snow storm...because it is SCARY in a really bad snow storm.)

There are almost 2.8 million people in Utah (as of the '09 census).  I would imagine that at least 1.5 of those people are never going to experience the beauty that is HWY 12.  I can only hope that my little blog will help to share the awesomeness that is HWY section of it anyway...and SR 14 and a little blurb of HWY 89...

Driving up Cedar Canyon on SR 14...looking down into Kolob

The leaves are a-changin'!

Did you know that all the trees in an Aspen grove share a root system, thus making it the largest, heaviest living organism on earth.  

There was a sign back down the road a bit that said "You can own this view!"  Can you really own a view?  Am I going to have to pay someone for this picture someday?

If you have never been on Hog's Back (rode between Escalante and Boulder) you NEED to go.

Seriously...just take a Saturday or Sunday and go on a REALLY long will be worth it...

I promise....

I wouldn't lie about something like this...gas is expensive these days.

God is good.


Up on top of what I think, is Boulder Mountain.  It looks out towards the Henry mountains I believe...and into Capitol there were HUGE GORGEOUS Aspen groves up here!

Ok so decide when you're going to go and invite me.  I'm a great tour guide AND I will chip in for gas!
You really have to see this all for yourself.  These pictures do not do it I missed a LOT of other B.E.A.U.TI-FUL sights!!!

my main man

a Friday or so ago I had a date with my main squeeze...Jonah.  We went on our old standby date of water fountains on Temple Square and riding the train.  He and I are such a good pair...we move at the same pace, we love the water, we love riding Trax and we both love to stop and smell ALL the roses.  We had such a great night.  (camera case you are just joining us...can't really tell what I am taking pictures of.)

We started off with Hawaiian Punch Slurpees (possibly my new favorite) and the Slim Olsen's car wash.  

Apparently just a few weeks earlier Jonah did not like the Slim Olsen's car wash, but thanks to Grandma Russell and his mama he was totally content to sit and drink his Slurpee and watch the brushes clean the car.  I think the trick is a cold treat.  That has ALWAYS made the car wash more enjoyable.

Up close and very personal.

We decided that we would walk down to Temple Square since I live so close...that would later prove to be a bit more difficult than I thought.  We had to stop and visit the statues at the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers museum.  Jonah really just loved getting right up close.

A happy kid.

Looking at the reflecting pond is serious business!

Those shot actually turned out not too shabby.  The shadow of the tree looks pretty fantastic, along with the contrasting red.  Sometimes not being able to see turns out pretty great. (Pretty sure there is a life lesson in that somewhere.)

some of the MANY flowers that we stopped to smell.

Alas, not every pictures turns out how you'd like when you can't quite tell what is in your shot...

But other times you get lucky!

A boy after my own heart.  You'd better believe that we both ran along the edge of these fountains running our hand through each one.

I realize this picture is HUGE.  But it has to be so you can see Jonah.  It was just a stroke of luck that I caught him giggling right after he'd put his hand in the fountain to taste the water.  I have tried to explain that while we can touch the water, drinking it is not a great option...but the sneaky kid ran to the other side and dipped his hand in giggling all the way.  I just laughed and laughed.

touching the water while Brookie is close by to keep Jogie from drinking it.

He really, really wanted to ride this bike...not the actual bike in the photo, but the red bike rack shaped like a bike.  It is difficult to explain the purpose of a bicycle shaped bike rack to a 3 year old.

No joke...we sat on this bench...that Jonah was convinced was a bed because it was so wide...for 25 minutes just watching the fountains.  I LOVE THIS KID!  Enjoying the little things in life.  The fountains at Abravanel Hall are pretty great.

Happily riding the train!!

Jonah ordered the mac & mac & cheese I've ever tasted...he thought so too because he just shoveled that stuff in.  I had salmon which was delicious.  If you're downtown and need a place to eat The Blue Lemon is tasty.

Enjoying dinner.  I had a picture of his plate which was almost completely devoid of mac & cheese, but alas it has disappeared...

By the time we were heading home it was dark.

I don't have a photo but when we got to the cross walk at North Temple and Main, we ended up hanging out there for at least 4 cross walk lights.  A man sat down in front of the fountain on that corner and pulled out a hymn book and harmonica.  He was actually quite good and Jonah thought so too because he would not let us leave.  Finally we crossed the street and were about half way past the conference center on the way up Main (so not really far up Main) when Jonah decided he wanted to ride on my shoulders...and of course being the best aunt ever that I am, I carried him all the way up the hill on my a date with Jonah AND a work out in!  Thanks bud.  I really just love this kid.

Tuesday, October 4

So glad...

...that Jesus is not on Twitter...because I would have no idea how to follow him.

Monday, October 3

dancing with wild abandon...

Why is it that watching a music video in which the artist is dancing and (not really) singing to their own song provides such a high?!  It just puts the biggest grin on my face.  Here is another one to go along with Robyn's Call Your Girl Friend.


Sunday, October 2

taking the long way...part I

So of you reading this may or may not know that I often prefer to take the scenic route...both literally and figuratively.  As of late, it has been in the more literal sense as evidenced by the pictures below.  

A couple weeks ago I took a day trip up to Chubbuck, ID. Why Chubbuck you ask?  Well why ever not?!  It is only the home of one of the most fabulous ladies to ever have graced the earth! 

Cali and I have been friend since the summer of 2005.  It was a memorable summer to say the least, one of the best I've ever had.  Suffice it to say we've been best buds ever since.  And so whether she lives in Provo "horrible place to drive" Utah or "where the #$!! is" Chubbuck, ID...I am making the drive.  (And just a PS regardless of where Cali lives, I'll always be visiting.)  Anyway...after a super fantastic visit full of laughter and good counsel and delicious food I headed home down I-15.  While making my way musically down the road I saw a billboard for a scenic route via Highway 91.  Being a fan of back roads and wondering what was on the east side of the Idaho mountains I was off...

Clearly I made the right choice!!

Arriving in Logan I decided to get out and take some pictures of the Logan temple with my "best guess" camera.  Who knows, maybe I would get lucky the same way I did at the Portland temple.  

I'll let you be the judge...

I can't believe I I barely missed getting the entire west side in the shot! 

I think this was my favorite.

After my jaunt around the temple I figured it was time to head home.  As I was leaving Logan I came to the fork in the road.  I could either go down Sardine Canyon or head off towards Hyrum.  ASSuming (RED FLAG) I could make it back to Salt Lake going through Hyrum, I stopped at Wal-Mart (because the Chevron I stopped at didn't sell road maps...not all of us have GPS people) and bought a road map and saw that there was indeed a back road that would take me from my current location to my beloved Huntsville.  I failed to notice that a chunk of that road was marked as a dirt road and merrily headed down the road...

And then...the choice I made may have not been clearly the right one...

That is a cow

And this is the road...all the way to fact in some spaces there were big rocks to avoid.
The drive was gorgeous...some of the leaves had started to change...and then of course there was the bat incident as I was driving down the mountain into what I was pretty sure was was totally dark at this point. I was disappointed that I didn't get to see the valley as I drove down the mountain...since it was pitch black...however that did made for some FANTASTIC start gazing as I drove across another mountain to get to the canyon to drive home.  

A 2+ drive ended up taking almost 5+ hours and it was worth ever bump and minute.  

The Champ loved the drive as well...and she really earned her she always does!