Thursday, May 27, 2010

May Already

Phew. Ok. I am here to play catch up with you all and my blog. It's hard to believe it's the end of May already. I hope you've all been enjoying the springtime and early summer. It hasn't felt much like either here in Northern Utah. We've gotten a lot of snow and rain, so it's seemed more like a warm winter of sorts, but today, despite the wind and clouds, it's warm out. If I weren't so lazy, I'd probably move this whole operation out to the front porch, but that would require me to retrieve the love seat's cushions and pillows from the garage, make my hair look presentable, unpack my laptop/power cord from my suitcase... See where this is going?

Back to catching up. During the month of May, I've been posting on the very lovely and packed-with-talent habit, the blog created by Emily and Molly. Thank you both for allowing me to be a small part of such a wonderful project. This month I've been posting with Tara Thayer and Jen Lee, both wildly talented ladies, along with Emily and Molly too. I want to thank you all for the inspiration and beautiful words. Please peruse habit at length, starting now. You'll get sucked right in, just as I did several months ago. (PS: These five images are some of what I've posted there this month.)

You're probably wondering what else I've been up to. The first two photos above were from our awesome family trip to Disneyland at the beginning of May. My parents gave us an all-expenses paid trip to The Happiest Place on Earth, and happy it was. We spent five blissful days in Anaheim, swimming in the hotel pool, inhaling various Disney treats (Dole pineapple whips from the little cart in Adventureland, fresh mango slices with lime from the stand by the Jungle Cruise, ice cream from Gibson Girl on Main Street), and riding the hell out of the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and California Screamin'... the hell out of. My husband rode the Matterhorn 11 times, I rode it 10, and my 6-year old niece Maggie rode it 3 times. Not too shabby! And it is with a smile on my face and major withdrawals in my heart that I cross #22 off my list. Travis and I rode it three times in a row three separate times! It's our rule. You ride the Matterhorn repeatedly and on the left track. Our family trip was so fun, and it was great to spend time with my sister's family. The kids were adorable and so well-behaved. The weather was stellar, the food fantastic, and even Bat's Day was a hoot. (Bat's Day - which we were not participating in - is goth day in Disneyland and California Adventure. The place was bursting with goths. You can Google the event, but I'm telling you, unless you were there, you can't truly experience Bat's Day. The photos don't do it justice.)

Now that it's warmer and the snow is (sort of) melting in the mountains, I've been able to start up my second season traveling for the Forest Service, and last Friday was my first field day. I spent 12 hours in the car racking up 350+ miles between five campgrounds in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. I packed a lunch, good music, and a few cameras and headed out early. I saw four pelicans and hordes of whistle pigs, and I even got two golf cart rides from campground hosts. Last year I didn't meet many camp hosts, but on this one trip, I met three very kind hosts. So, if you're in the area and want to stay at some cool campgrounds, hit up Currant Creek near Strawberry Reservoir, Diamond in Spanish Fork Canyon, or Balsam in Springville Canyon. Beautiful locations and nice, nice people.

The travelin' season has begun with a bang. I went to the Sawtooth National Forest in central Idaho Tuesday morning and after a trip to Baumgartner Hot Springs along the South Fork of the Boise River, a rowdy night of foosball at the Casino Bar in Ketchum, a snowy drive over Galena Pass, and 22 hours in the car, I got home last night to my sweet husband who picked up dinner for me. Almost immediately, we climbed into bed to watch a show on Netflix. A perfect homecoming. I've got several other trips lined up already, so here I go! I'm excited about the coming season and still can't believe I got hooked up with this awesome job. (PS: that last photo is from my Ketchum hotel room).

I've also fallen in love with a new sport: roller derby. I've gone to three bouts this month (a double header and a single), which have allowed me to cross #1 off my list. And if all of this weren't enough, we've also been working in the yard (photo #3), cooking a lot and trying out new recipes (which will be posted on Budding Foodie soon), spending quality time on our little front porch love seat, anxiously awaiting the completion of our cool new deck out back (should be done today if the weather holds!), and generally running around like chickens with our heads cut off. All in all, it's been a busy month (obviously) but one full of fun. Let's hope June is just as good! Wishing you all a happy holiday weekend and a lovely June.

Oh, and two more tidbits: We planted 11 trees in our backyard! Seven aspens, two Rocky Mountain maples, one pin oak, and one bur oak. I am pleased as punch. While doing so, I sunburned my lower back and spent a couple days sitting gingerly with a few blisters. I think I might be a walking ball of skin cancer. The day after my back stopped hurting, I walked head-on into my open pantry, my nose catching the full force. It never bled or bruised, but it hurt like hell for about five days and it's no longer straight on my face. It's no Owen Wilson nose - thank God - but yeah, I now have a crooked schnoz. Oh clumsy me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pack Your Bags

This is long overdue I have to admit, but better late than never, right? Several weeks ago, my husband surprised me with a quick weekend getaway to Moab and Arches National Park in Southeastern Utah, a place we both love tremendously. It's so rewarding having places like this to run away to with only a 3-hour drive.

On the way down, I got bored in the car and ending up purchasing the Hipstamatic app for my iPhone, along with a few extra "lenses" and "films". I love shooting with the Black Keys version of the film, something I quickly learned in the car. I also love shooting with my iPhone because it's discrete and not cumbersome by any means. I only wish it had a zoom.

In Arches, my husband and I hiked to Sandstone Arch, the Broken Arch loop, Tapestry Arch, the North and South Windows, Delicate Arch, and Landscape Arch in Devil's Garden. We weren't there too long, otherwise we would have hiked to Double O arch and probably the quick walk to Double Arch. It was such a wonderful weekend.

So Very Much

I have so very much catching up to do. It will come soon. I promise.