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A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Camping


At the beginning of this year, I bought all new camping gear. I couldn't wait for summer to come to use it... and use it a lot. As it turns out, I only went camping once (not because I didn't want to) and it was just car camping so I didn't even get to use all my new cool gear. 

While John was gone, we would Skype. One of the last few times we skyped before he came home, we talked about going camping since he was gone all summer and missed the mountains and wanted to camp himself. Fortunately, the weather has stayed so great all month so far, so last weekend John and I set out on our little camping adventure that we had talked about.

We didn't go far. We just went up American Fork Canyon. It was gorgeous up in those mountains! We weren't sure where we were going to camp. We just drove to a hiking trail somewhere up there and then we had our backpacks with all of our gear and we started hiking. Thankfully John didn't want to go more than a mile up the mountain because I am back on my diet and didn't have enough calories in me and didn't realize we would be hiking straight uphill with all of our gear... and I barely made it up the mountain a mile. I felt so pathetic since it's not usually that hard for me. Calories make all the difference. Anyway... it was a beautiful hike with amazing views. We only saw one group on the trail and they were going down. Other than that... we were a lone on that mountain. 


We just went off the trail to what we thought was a good spot and set up camp. No camp site... just in the middle of the wilderness. I would have a hard time doing this if I were not with an experienced camper. John is a wilderness expert and he loves this stuff... so I wasn't worried. I also get camping lessons when I camp with John (this is our second time camping together in the past year that we have known each other). It's good info for me to learn. 




John used a mini axe to clear the brush so we could set up my new tent that I hadn't used yet. We set up our sleeping pads and sleeping bags and put our stuff down.



He collected rocks to make a fire pit and we collected sticks and wood for the fire. I even brought my mini chairs that are so great because they are so small you can pack them in your backpack. John attempted to start a fire without matches or lighter... but it didn't work, so I'm glad he brought the lighter for backup. 



John even made me a healthy tin foil dinner. It was pretty good. It would have been better with meat in it... but he isn't eating meat right now.



We sat around that fire for a few hours... enjoyed the amazing view. We chatted, it got dark. The stars were beautiful, but then they got covered up with clouds. It got cold... so we put the rest of the wood on the fire and waited until it was almost all burned and then it was into the tent by 9:30. Only when camping would I ever go to bed that early. ha ha.

We were on a slant.. going downhill, so it was hard to get super comfortable. I would fall in and out of sleep though. A couple hours after getting into the tent, the wind started. The wind was strung enough that I wondered how durable my little tent was. There were a couple of times that I thought it would collapse. Then it started to rain. We didn't have the top cover on the tent, so I was concerned about getting wet pretty quickly. 

Me - "John, is that rain?"
John - "No, that's just stuff from the trees"
Me - "Mmmm... I think that's rain"

John gets up and puts his hand to feel the top of the tent. He feels rain drops, so he gets the top cover and opens the tent and puts it on the top of the tent. Soon after the rain comes down harder and there is lightening and a little bit of thunder. We realize this is probably going to get worse before it gets better. John and I both just try to sleep, but it is pretty hard for me not to worry being the not so experienced camper in a very small $25 tent that I have never used before and not sure what weather conditions it is capable of handling. John is calm, so I stay calm and try not to think about it and just go back to sleep. This goes on all night. Occasionally I get my phone out and check the time. When I see that it is past 6am and it is still dark and the weather hasn't cleared up... I start to worry about how we are going to pack up and hike back down. I tried not to worry about it and went back to sleep. When I woke up again and checked the time, it was now 8:30. At this point we had to get up and pack up no matter what the weather was. I was so warm in my sleeping bag... I didn't want to get out. I felt the side of the tent to see how wet it was and I felt stuff against the tent...

Me - "John, is that snow?"
John - "No, that's probably just stuff from the trees"
Me - "Mmmm.... I think that's snow"

We open the tent and see this.


John laughs and I just gasp. This was not what I wanted when I went camping. I wasn't prepared for snow. I'm not sure what "stuff from the trees" John was expecting, but we got  snow. We packed up everything we could while inside the tent. This is when I discovered a big stick poking through my new tent. Then while John took down the tent, I gathered my chairs and found John's axe in the snow and took down our food hanging from the tree. We actually packed up camp quickly. Just about as quickly as we put it up... which is the really nice thing about having a super small tent which I now knew was very durable! Thank goodness John and I waterproofed the seems when I first got it. Then it was time to hike down the mountain a mile straight downhill. This would have been awesome if the path wasn't covered with snow. I had hiked up in running shoes. I knew that I was going to be slipping the entire way down. I fell several times with my backpack. It wasn't fun... the entire time I wished I had my snow boots... but I made it. How was I supposed to know we were going to wake up to snow? John was patient with me. I complained kind of a lot. Mostly because I don't enjoy slipping and not feeling stable while walking. Otherwise the snow wouldn't have bothered me. It was really beautiful. We even saw some deer on our way down.



Overall, John had a blast, and I mostly had fun. I was just bummed about the hole in my new tent. I of course didn't sleep super well and I didn't love hiking down in the snow... but other than that, I had fun. I always have fun with John. I'm glad we went. I love camping. I love getting away from everything and being out in the wilderness. The scenery was incredible and the view was breathtaking. So the positive outweighed the negative by a lot. All in the adventure. 



Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday 188

My BFF Lolly's birthday was this week... and her anniversary was right before that. Which made me want to flash back to her wedding. It was a beautiful fall wedding. Going to her wedding was my first time to Washington. I loved it. I also love being a Bridesmaid even though I was one of 6. I felt honored that I am one of her closest friends that I got to be a part of her wedding. Sometimes when girls have all of their closest friends at the time in their wedding party... years down the road... they don't even really keep good friends with them. Not Lolly... everyone in her wedding party she is still close friends with. Some of those girls are her sisters, but there are 4 friends. Anyway... Lolly is good like that and I admire that about her. So here are a few pictures from the wedding. October 2004.






Thursday, October 16, 2014

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 241

Work has been slow this week. So.. I reorganized my office and got rid of stuff that I didn't need anymore (kind of like what I have been doing around the house) and I made a happy board. Mostly of pictures of my life that make me happy. I love how it turned out. It's me!


Once I finished that, I figured I would be more productive... not with work stuff because I didn't have any, but with stuff I have been trying to get done at home anyway. So I have been bringing in my lap top and I got all caught up on my blog (if you couldn't tell) I'm finished blogging about my trip. Now I just need to finish going through and editing and getting rid of the rest of the pictures. So I have been doing that along with making sure all of my music from my CD's are on my computer and then I am tossing my CD's. Feels kind of good. I will still keep a few, want to keep things that will one day be out of date and no longer be around. But just a couple... not hundreds! ha ha.

My good friends Liz and Ben, who are now married had me over for dinner on Tuesday. I LOVE hanging out with them. I love it when my friends marry cool people and I love hanging out with both of them and don't feel like an awkward 3rd wheel. I loved it. Totally want to go hang out with them more. Hopefully there is lots more of that.

My massage therapist set me up with a guy. That guy actually Facebook stalked me and sent me a message and we met this week. He is a lot younger than me, but it didn't seem too much like it... so that is what matters. Hard to tell with one meeting, but we are going out again this weekend and I guess we will see how that goes. Dating.... it just seems to never end.Tech guy at work gave my number to his cousin, so I am waiting to hear from him and then I am also waiting to set something up with a guy that Facebook stalked me because I was friends with his brothers and thought I was cute so added me... we have chatted a little bit. He is younger too... those seem to be the ones I attract. Going with it.

Trying to get into the swing of my calling. I think it's going to seem overwhelming until we have our first meeting and start getting things organized and planned. I went to my first ward counsel this last Sunday which I found out about an hour before. I got back from camping and thought, great... I have 2 hours to get ready for church. Then I got the text about ward counsel (which I haven't had to go to for YEARS) and it changed to... I have 1 hour to get ready for church. I made it though. Feeling the pressure of the calling though. Thankfully this month we are going to join with FHE for our activity and I am also thankful that my co-chair is very on top of it and seems responsible. That is going to make all of the difference.

It is interesting, people always ask me as soon as I get back from a big trip, where my next trip is going to be. ALL the time. Like people don't think I ever take a break. Well... I guess the rate that I have been going this last year, I can see why people think that. I usually don't plan that far ahead because who knows if I will even be able to find someone to go with me. However, now that I have Allison and she has now got bitten by the Travel bug... I think we may have something in the works for next year. Anyone have any guesses? Ha ha If you follow me on Pinterest, you will probably know just by what I pin. We will see how serious people are about it though after the holidays.

My fish tank is doing better since I got back from Europe. It was getting bad again since I left it for 2 1/2 weeks. The fish were all fine, but the water was too salty and the corals were not happy. They are looking A TON better now and I am hoping that a couple of them will still come back. One of them is looking helpful.

I forgot to mention during conference, the last session Elder Kacher spoke. I didn't see his name at first, but when he was talking I kept thinking to myself how familiar he looked. I loved his talk. It was great. Anyway... it wasn't until I saw his name at the end... and then looked up that he was from Minnesota online after to confirm what I though. I have met him. My good friend Abby married his son Ryan. I went to their wedding in MN and ended up on the same flight as one of his other son's, Ben, so he actually gave me a ride from the airport to where I was going to be staying that night. I sang at their wedding party at their house. Nice guy. It was weird how it just hit me all of the sudden and all of those memories came flooding back. I had no idea that he was in the quorum of the 70 now. Very cool.

Still have many fall activities ahead. I still need to put together my Halloween costume and get pumpkins and carve them and all kinds of fun things. Can't wait. I am even getting some fun plans for next month and I am VERY excited because I think my entire family is going to be together for Thanksgiving this year. That hasn't happened in who knows how long. That means another low key Christmas though.... for me anyway.

I'm feeling great though. Getting tons accomplished. Still have many more projects, but if I keep going at the rate I am going, I am bound to catch up. :)

I am SO thankful for FALL!!! I just can't tell you how much I love it. It makes me happy. I have been trying to really get out and appreciate all the beautiful colors. I think I have been doing a good job so far. It really is the BEST time of year to live in Utah. I Love it. So much... that I made this with one of my pictures from camping this last weekend.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn in Utah


I needed to replace my old roommates pictures on the wall with my new roommates! I know... it has taken me a while to do this, but Hey! Better later than never. Also I can't think of a better time to do a photo shoot in Utah than in the fall.

So Allison, Penny and I drove up Provo Canyon up the Alpine Loop and we all took some pictures. Here are my favorites.



Penny!





Allison!





And ME!




Happy Fall!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Mykonos, Greece


The last stop on our trip was the Greek Island of Mykonos. We only had a day and a half here... so we really just shopped, ate and explored. Oh... and layer out on the beach. So nice to relax at the end of our trip. This island was beautiful. Still white and blue like Santorini, but it had a very different feel to it.

While we played at the beach, I brought my GoPro so that we could have some fun taking under water pictures. Turns out they are harder to take than we thought... but we had fun trying. Also... doesn't it look like we are in a pool? The ocean is THAT blue and clear there. Amazing.




My pictures from when we went exploring around the main part of town.






Got this cool night shot and sunset shot... and this is how we ended our trip. Not a bad scene to end on right? We thought so too. What an amazing trip! So glad that Allison wanted to go with me. I can finally say I have been to Europe.