28 Weeks and Welcoming the Third Trimester

28 weeks and counting down! Is it too soon to say that? Probably but I am.

File_000

2 more weeks down and still feeling pretty good. Baby boy is still breaking his momma’s back. He is sitting high and I think that’s contributing to my daily back pain. I’ve started switching between two chairs at work. Each offer different lumbar support so when my back is aching from one, I switch to the other.

Baby boy is really active…but that seems unfair to say as I’ve never done this before so I have nothing to compare it with. There are definite times when he is awake and when he is sleeping. He usually is quiet for a while after I run. I tell myself I’m rocking him to sleep so I’m hoping that he’ll enjoy a bouncer as it will remind him of the miles we’ve covered together while in the womb. But feel free to tell me that’s hopeful wishing.

I’m currently (4/8/17) sitting in the hospital lab to complete the glucose test and get my rhogam shot. I’m apart of the unlucky portion of people who are RH negative. This means I don’t carry a protein in my blood that most people do. This doesn’t effect my life at any other time except pregnancy. Since most people are positive–Mike included– the doctor assumes the baby will be positive. Since there’s a chance that we’re opposite RH factors, if our blood were to mix my body would recognize the baby as a type of infection and start attacking him. Obviously, this is a problem. So I have to get a shot which will help my prevent my body from developing the antibody which would attack him. Typically this doesn’t effect first pregnancies but can be a serious problem in later pregnancies if the antibody is developed. At birth, they’ll test baby boy and if he’s negative, then I get off scotch free. If he is indeed positive, then I get to have another shot. Lucky me, I know.

–Update– This shot was such a pain to get. 3 trips to the hospital and all but begging the nurse to give it to me because I was running out of time to get it. After your blood draw you have 72 hours to get the shot or they have to retest your blood. It was so frustrating but the actual shot was no big deal. Glad it’s over.

I was dreading drinking the glucose mixture having heard how awful it is. But I didn’t think it was all that awful–except that it was orange flavored which is in my top 3 least favorite flavors. I don’t drink soda but I can’t imagine it’s any more sweet than drinking  one of those–again, correct me if I’m wrong. Now it’s over, I’m dreading the blood draw more than the drink.

orange-glucose-drink

The last two weeks have continued to go well. I saw my Dr and he said everything is going well. Baby boy was measuring a week ahead but that shouldn’t be a surprise as his daddy is a giant.

I have been really congested all the time but especially at night. Apparently this is a very normal symptom of pregnancy that no one talks about! This is causing me to become quite the drool monster at night as it forces me to breath with my mouth open–you wanted to know that I’m sure :).

Running is still going well. I’m having some trouble with my hip flexor — I think I strained it a few weeks back and it’s taking forever to heal. Running each morning is still one of my favorite things to do. I have more energy when I run. (I’ve never quite understood how exerting yourself in exercise, using energy, somehow gives you more energy. My back doesn’t ache as much when I run. And it helps me feel like me. Everything in pregnancy is about helping your baby grow and develop that it’s nice to have something that is mine.  Yes exercise is good for him, but it’s really great for his momma.

At some point though I am going to have to quit running and be forced to find some other form of exercise…any suggestions?

Quick update on Mike–he is in his last month of architecture school and yes we’re counting down the days!!! He graduates in less than a month! But that also means he’ll be extremely busy for the next month. He’s designing a school with apartments on top in Vancouver (the site is real but his building won’t be built). “It looks great!”, says the wife who knows nothing about architecture 🙂 . I am seriously the proudest wife! The last several years of our life have revolved around his never-ending school schedule/projects and being able to see the end in sight is such a great feeling! (So many exclamation points in this paragraph and yes, they’re all necessary.)

I’m excited to be moving into the 3rd trimester. Every now and then it hits me that he’ll be here before we know it. This is really exciting but there is so much to do before he gets here. We’ve put off a lot of the baby shopping due to Mike needing to focus all his energy on his final project.  Wish him luck–he’ll be done soon!

 

Zak turns 10!

Z-Man turned 10! I know he’s not my son but these are the times I want to remember.

Since I am now late posting this, his birthday was on March 27.

He kept reminding us what a big deal this was. He said, “I’m turning a double digit…that’s a big deal! The next time you add a digit is when you turn 100 and most people don’t make it that long.” Good point buddy! You’re right, it is a big deal!

He decided not to have a big friends party but instead just do pizza and cake with his family. He had dinner with his other cousins/family on Sunday. He even made tye-dye cupcakes for them! (He started taking a cake decorating class at school–I’m actually really excited about this as I want to learn to make beautiful, fancy cakes.)

I have only this one blurry picture from the night. Z still doesn’t like to look at the camera :/

File_000

I am glad he’s learned to like Hawaiian pizza–really, I’m glad he’s learned to like more than just cheese pizza. But let’s be honest, bread sticks for the win!

We sang. Ate chocolate molten lava cake. Played several rounds of apples to apples (Disney version of course-a family favorite). Called it a night and went to bed.

Happy Birthday Bug! I was there the day you were born and I can’t believe how big and mature you’ve become. You make me laugh and smile every day with your weird and quirky jokes. I’m glad you love my dog and let him sleep in your bed at night. Thanks for being a good big brother to your sister. And I can’t wait for you to make millions and pay me back for all food you’ve eaten in my house 🙂

Love you,

Aunt Jessie

26 Weeks!

File_000

I can’t believe how fast and slow time is going. That’s life though isn’t is?

Baby boy is continuing to grow healthy and strong. His kicks and movements are definitely becoming stronger. Zak and Maddie both got to feel him kicking this week. I’m not sure if Zak’s shocked face was a good or bad thing but it was exciting to share that moment with him.

One of my favorite things has become watching my ever-growing belly at night when he is most active. It’s strange and yet extremely calming. Please tell me other people did/do this?

Sleep is becoming ever more eluding 😦 The baby is really active but it’s more the discomfort from the day that keeps me up at night. I try and keep a routine and there are so many pillows every where but sleep always feels so distant. I consider this training for when baby boy is actually here. But I’ve almost finished my Netflix show (Gilmore Girls) so any suggestions?

I’ve learned pregnancy brain is a real thing (sort of)! The feminist in me believed this was some made up concept from disgruntled husbands/partners. I figured they were looking to blame annoying behavior on something. But really, I have done so many weird and totally dumb things in the last few weeks. I keep forgetting names of common items (microwave, driveway), getting dates mixed up, putting milk in the cupboard; it’s becoming a real problem.

The other real development this week has been back pain. Never in my life have I experienced this so I offer my sympathies to those who deal with this on a regular basis. I sit at a desk job and usually by 2 PM I am squirming in  my chair to find a comfortable position. I have noticed that running helps me as it warms my muscles up but I can’t run all day now can I? Any suggestions or remedies?

I am still running 4-5 days a week and logging 20-25 miles per week. I was given the greatest gift this week…a maternity tank top! It is glorious! It covers me and is so comfortable! Thanks so much Sammie! As long as I can keep plugging away at the miles, I’ll be sporting this tank!

Overall though, I still feel really good and very blessed. On to the next week!

PS I went to publish and forget to put in a picture of Boston. This is him enjoying all the snow we received this winter.

File_000

23 Weeks and the Baby is a …

Baby bump at 23 weeks! Boston is always stealing the show.

file_000-20I was hoping to write weekly or biweekly updates to my pregnancy (for my benefit and memories) but that clearly hasn’t happened. #firstmomfail  But I quickly learned that the pregnancy process ebbs and flows so quickly, you really just do your best to keep up and anything extra was simply that…extra.

I’ve had several people ask how I’ve been feeling and how are things going. So a quick update on weeks 1-23…things have been pretty good. When you wait so long to finally get pregnant, you try not to complain about actually being pregnant. You feel guilty because this is what you wanted after all. But really, I have been very blessed and not had too many pesky symptoms.

Don’t kill me when I confess that I really didn’t have morning sickness. I attribute this to all of the hormonal treatments leading up to this point that have continually asked my body to be changing hormone levels all the time. (This is probably not true, but I found comfort in it.)

I did however experience extreme fatigue. Never in my life have I been so tired as I was in the first trimester. I was actually sleeping at night (first time ever in my life). I would take a quick nap at my work desk (sorry boss). I would walk to the train (stopping at Temple Square to use the bathroom –thanks again Sisters!) and sleep on my way home. Once home, all I wanted to do was sleep. Even after all that sleep I was still exhausted! It was during this time I took about 5 weeks off of running. I tried to walk for an hour on the treadmill but this was usually more wishful thinking than anything.

Starting at 13 weeks I began running again–and feeling like myself again. I have minor aches/pains/discomforts but when I run, it all goes away. I’m not running fast or far but I am running. I have no great pictures though because all my running has been done inside. We’ve had a brutal winter and I simply don’t trust myself to not fall on the snow/ice. So picture me on my treadmill, watching the Today show, with the AC blowing directly on me–and that’s how I’ve been running. 🙂

16 weeks is when I felt the baby for the first–and it was not a magical moment. I was so excited to experience this and had heard it was such a special moment. However, the baby would roll and I immediately felt so sick! I would get up and walk around to get the baby to stop rolling. Don’t worry, now I really do enjoy feeling the baby kick and move. We also found out the gender of the baby at 16 weeks.

file_004-8

17 weeks I remember not being a favorite. This week for some reason was way more difficult. Lots of aches and new pains. No sleep due to my hips aching all night long. I had nausea off and on. It was a tough week and I remember being glad it was over so I could move forward.

I was able to go to Disney World with my sisters, Zak, and Maddie at 20-21 weeks. We had a 7 day hopper pass and 3 “rest” days. I was fairly nervous about how I would do and how much I would slow the group down. But it went really well! I got sick my first day at the park when it got hot (apparently a stark difference from the 10 degree Utah weather we left behind) but once I learned I needed to hydrate earlier prior to the heat and eat ice chips (or let’s be honest, a Dole Whip) to cool down, I felt great!  I also learned the fastest way to     every.single.bathroom in all 4 parks! So if you’re ever in need, I’m your girl.

file_005-7

Upon coming home from Florida, I got the Utah cold that has been around all winter. In a nutshell, it was awful and I’m so glad to be on the up and up from it. Once I felt better, I started running to help break up the congestion which I hear stays forever! But again, returning to running makes me feel like myself–not an ever growing belly, pregnant lady. 🙂

This Boss comforting me during my cold. Such a snuggly pup!

file_000-21

I’m still wearing my normal jeans/pants but switched to some maternity shirts around week 21. I will probably have to break down soon here and get some maternity pants. I had read several articles that talked about the moment you “pop” and it happened in Florida. I woke up one morning and looked down and thought, “Where did that come from?!” There is no denying now that I’m pregnant and not just the person who ate too much during the holidays.

And probably the only reason you’re still reading…the baby’s gender!

Gender reveal brought to you from the Magic Kingdom in Orlando.

file_000-19

Baby Sroufe is a boy!!! We are beyond excited. Mike thought the baby was a girl and I thought it was a boy. Mom intuition for the win!

file_001-12

We made cupcakes and filled them with a blue colored frosting and shared them with loved ones.

As luck would have it, we had a name all picked out for a girl so naturally we’re having a boy. We’ve learned that naming a child is hard! It’s a big deal but we’re slowly narrowing the options down and will eventually decide on one.

We’re super excited! Baby boy is growing big and healthy. We can’t wait to meet him in person!

file_000-23

Any advice for having and raising a boy?

Any advice for the remainder of pregnancy? This is all new territory to me.

 

 

 

 

Ramblings of an Architecture Student

A few weeks ago while I was at church I got into a conversation with a group of my neighbors about what I do for a living. Well, right now I work part-time at an architecture firm in Salt Lake City as a… how do I describe what I do…? intern architect who spends most of my time producing drawings for several different projects in various design phases. I’m also a full-time Graduate Student at the University of Utah’s College of Architecture. In about 2 months I’ll have my Masters degree and then I have 6 licensing tests to look forward to and the completion of a couple thousand internship hours.

If I were describe what Architecture school is like, it would be something like this… “If I’m not at work I’m at school…I don’t get to see my wife or my dog very often and I don’t really get to sleep much.” I usually look like (or at least feel like) a zombie who hasn’t slept in days. Recently, KSL did a news story about a guy here in the program who sleeps in his car to save money. The funny/sad-but-true fact is that, sure, it saves him money, but also we rarely have time to go home because we are so entrenched in the architectural education process… almost to a fault. Have I ever slept in my car at night in the University parking lot..? Sure, more times than I can count… it’s not uncommon.

Jessie has been quite patient with me and the process, and I can’t thank her enough for putting up with the craziness and uncertainty of it all. A couple weeks ago an article was published entitled something like “The most time-consuming master’s degrees” and you better believe Architecture was numero UNO! It averaged that students spent 22.8 hours outside of class-time on school work… but we all know that on some weeks that is a low-ball number. It doesn’t help that we live 45 miles south of campus so I also have many hours of commuting each week.

Now, back to my conversation at church. One of the guys said, “Oh, I’ve worked with architects before… and you know what they would always say?… well, what do you think it should look like?” This came across to me as if he thought architects just lackadaisically went about their work and didn’t put much thought into it. Another guy, on a different occasion had something interesting to say too. We were discussing how I was currently working on the new Provo High School and had told him that the design process took about 6 months before construction even started. He replied, “6 months! Shouldn’t it only take a couple of days to draw it up?” (Insert laughing hysterically)

Design is mentally exhausting work and sometimes the Construction Document packages are YUGE! Imagine hundreds of sheets of paper, 3 feet by 4 feet wide, stacked as thick as Harry Potter book. Now imagine that each one of those sheets has up to twenty detailed drawings explaining exactly how a very complicated building system is pieced together to create an amazing, well functioning building. Add a few hundred more pages of written material specifications to that document. Don’t forget the lengthy contracts either, those are important. When construction is delayed or money runs out, who is getting sued? Oh, and you can’t forget amount the weekly meetings with the project owners and consultants; they need to be involved all along the way so that they can get a building customized exactly for their needs.

The reason why we ask owners so many questions is because we don’t know what is best for them. They know what they need, but have no idea how to make it all happen. The profession of architecture is so much more than imagining and drawing buildings. We are professionals who literally build and manage teams of skilled, talented people who will all work together to produce the built environment. Not only do we officiate all that goes on in this process, but we are liable and responsible to protect the health and safety of the public. Our ethical responsibility is that we create buildings that won’t kill people. How many buildings have you heard of caving in and killing people in the last couple decades? (not including terrorism or extreme acts of nature). Not many. As architects we have to know and understand building codes. Have you ever seen the code book? It’s big. Do you know what minimum width of a door must be if you are trying to get 750 people out of a building in an emergency? Probably not. I do, and if I don’t I know where to look to find out.

Architects seem to get a bad rap these days, and I’m not sure why. Back in Greek and Roman times, and for hundreds of years after, architects (or Master Builders as they were known by then) were considered as some of the most prestigious people in the world. Did you know that Michelangelo was an architect? or da Vinci, or Raphael, or Brunelleschi? They are all names we know from the history books, but usually they are discussed as artists and inventors. So I find it interesting when people trivialize the profession as something that anyone could do. The fact is, the practice of architecture isn’t easy…and sometimes it’s not that fun, but it is extremely fulfilling.

It’s challenging to become an architect, but it is the only thing I can see myself doing as a career. I love a lot of things, like, for instance, finish carpentry, but I couldn’t do that day in and day out. I decided to endure the hectic life of an architecture student because I believe I can make a difference in the world. I believe I have the ability to enhance the environment that you and I live in. I believe that by putting in a lot of hard work up front it will pay off for me in the end. There have been weeks that I have been so stressed out and sleep deprived that I’ve considered just giving up, but thankfully I have good friends and mentors by my side who keep me going. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting very close, and I’m so glad I’ve stuck to it.

Hopefully soon I can find some time to write a post about the final project i’m working on here at school. It’s a work in progress, but it’ll all get done in time. Until then, see ya later!

 

When I Knew You Were Coming

When I found out you were coming I think I experienced what all brand new mothers-to-be experience…joy, fear, happiness, fear, excitement, fear, and the need to test again. 🙂 Because of our journey with infertility, I had been tracking everything about me so I knew this day I would either test positive or start my period. I was nervous to test but needed to know because I had promised Zak and Maddie that we would go swimming that day and wanted to be prepared.

I woke up around 6:00 AM and knew I should test with the first morning’s potty break (little did I know how much time I would be spending with the potty). I tested and put in my contacts for the day. That was enough time for the test to turn positive! Again, I was in shock and overwhelmed that our journey together started right then. I wanted to run and tell Mike until I remembered he wasn’t in bed…he wasn’t even home…or even in the state…or the country. Mike was in Canada! I decided not to call him and tell him because I wanted to see his reaction in person. And did I mention I was in shock and didn’t fully believe this was reality, let alone my reality.

file_000-17

Dealing with infertility has taught me a lot (that’s an understatement) but I knew that you can get false positives so I decided I needed another, more expensive test before I would believe it. I decided to do what I imagine other women in my position have done…I went back to bed and googled, “First things to do when you find out your pregnant”. Oh, and I told Boston he was going to be a big brother–he was pretty excited about the news. 🙂

The kids got up and we made breakfast like we always do on Saturdays and then prepared to go swimming. Not noteworthy but Zak had been given two pairs of goggles to use and we broke the strap on both pairs when fitting them to his head. So we went to Target to see if we could find some in October. I wanted so badly to pick up some pregnancy tests but the desire was diminished when I realized I didn’t want to explain to them why I needed them. 🙂

Target was a bust so we headed to a sporting goods store and found him a pair. Then headed to visit Nicole at work prior to heading to the pool. I felt giddy–like I knew a secret no one did. Long story short–we went swimming and it was really fun. But then I needed to ditch the kids to go to back to Target for the essentials.

The essentials included (what I deemed) fancy pregnancy tests and a onesie. I decided that’s how I would tell Mike. I found something somewhat gender neutral and it got the message across that I wanted–but I still had to wait another 36 something hours before I’d even see him to tell him. Oh, and I went home and immediately took the test. It read clear as day –pregnant!

file_000-18

Mike was flying home on Sunday and I had a meeting I had to attend so his parents picked him up. But we didn’t have any alone time until late that night. He came home bearing all sorts of goodies and gifts for everyone. Eventually we got the kids to bed and we were getting ready for bed and I was so nervous!

Earlier in the week, I had been incredibly grouchy and figured this must be what PMS feels like. Since I don’t have regular or even semi-regular periods I’ve never had PMS before. I told Mike that I felt badly about my behavior and wanted to apologize. I even had a peace offering from Boston and I. I had wrapped up the positive test in the onesie–I was so sure I was going to knock it out of the ballpark with my reveal. However, it was a total Pintrest fail!

Mike opens up the gift and I’m sporting some stupid/giddy smile. The test rolls out of the onesie which he is holding up and reading, “Nap Like a Boss”. (A little explanation–we call our dog Boss and if he isn’t running around like a maniac, he is sleeping.) He looks at me with a smirk on his face and says, “Babe, are you pregnant?” And I’m shocked that he can’t read the test which clearly reads positive–afterall it’s partly why I bought the fancy, digital test because I didn’t think he’d understand what all the lines on the other test meant.

I shook my head yes and told him to look at the test. And guess what…it was BLANK! Completely blank! Haha and now I understood his confusion. Apparently the test only displays for 24 hours or so. But the message was clear even if the test wasn’t and he was really excited!

(This was taken the next morning with the redo test.)

So little baby, as scared and nervous as I am, I can not wait to meet you in person! You probably will never understand the yearning in my heart as I’ve waited and wanted you to come. I wasn’t always sure you’d come but I couldn’t be more thrilled to learn you’re coming. I love you already! I hope you have your daddy’s eyes. I hope to teach you your true identity and worth. I hope I make you proud. I hope and dream and pray for so many things but for right now, I hope you make it here safely. Your mom and dad already love you more than we can express. Oh, and I hope you’re ready to run lots of miles with me! 🙂

 

Sea World, Orlando — 2016

Mike and I were able to visit Sea World Orlando while visiting Florida. We’ve visited before but always enjoy the park.

We decided to feed some of the animals. First, we got to feed the sting rays.  Here’s the grub!

img_2033

Mike showed no fear!

And the string rays ate it up! They’re fun to feed because they suck up the food like a slippery

Jessie’s turn!

img_1806

We also got to feed the sea lions and seals. As usual there were super aggressive bird waiting to snatch your fingers off all to get the fish. We love the sea lions and they remind us of our dog Boston–is that weird?

img_2027

Dolphins are my favorite. They are such kind and gentle animals. I also love their ability to interact with us humans.

img_1792

Mike loves the killer whale show. They truly are beautiful animals.

img_2041

No big deal–just a walrus doing sit ups! I was impressed.

img_2037

We also got to feed the sharks but it wasn’t that exciting because you just threw the fish in the water and watched the sting rays eat them. There was also a boy who knocked our tray into the exhibit! He didn’t apologize or anything.

img_2030

The manatees are also a favorite. All the manatees at Sea World Orlando are all rescues. They rehabilitate and release the ones they can.

img_1795

We also love the roller coasters in Orlando. We especially love the Manta!

It was a great few days spent walking around and being amazed by some of God’s greatest creatures.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016

We went to Florida for Mike’s fall break. We were delayed a day due to Hurricane Matthew but we’re grateful we were still able to go. We weren’t sure what we’d be flying into as there was just a hurricane, but we didn’t notice anything too out of place.

img_1823

We splurged and attended Mickey’s Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. We haven’t attended the Halloween party before and albeit expensive we were so glad we went! It was the best day of our vacation (yes, we’re biased–we absolutely love Disney).

img_1968

We couldn’t get into the park until 4 PM so we hit up Disney Springs for the first part of our day.

img_1837

 

We love walking around the ginormous World of Disney store–it’s seriously the biggest store! Full of everything Disney an addict could possibly want.

img_1829

We also found the best pizza place! It’s called Blaze Pizza. You can pick your crust, cheese and toppings–all for one price! We absolutely love pizza and love creating our own.

Look how happy Mike is watching his custom pizza be made!

img_1827

The finished product! Yum! Both were equally delicious but mine (the white one) was a little bit more delicious. 🙂

img_1828

We also got a delicious lemonade — we can’t remember what was in it. We’re thinking maybe a pomegranate lemonade. Regardless, we drank and ate until we were stuffed. The best part was we had leftovers to pack with us into the park.

After filling up, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom.

img_1842

We had some extra time so we took the ferry. The ferry also offers a great view of the castle. As you move across the water, the castle becomes bigger and it’s quite the sight. Everyone crowds the front of the ferry to get the best view.

Once we got inside the park we were off. We had a lot to do before the party started. We lucked out and saw the train come into the Main Street station so we hopped on it, took a short ride to Frontierland, and hopped off. Within 5 minutes being in the park we were on Splash Mountain –thank you Fast Pass +.

We ran around riding rides and we also met the talking Mickey. No joke–he speaks! And he speaks your language! How cool is that? We only speak English so we went with English. He was fun and personable in a “I-only-say-a-handful-of-phrases” sort of way 🙂

A  few pictures of Main Street before the party started.

There is so much going on for the party–character greetings, parades, trick-or-treating, fireworks, castle shows, and the Hocus Pocus show. We ran as fas as we could. We left with pounds of candy!

Ok–This is not a picture of candy but I can’t leave the park without an amazing caramel apple! Doesn’t it look like a sugar coma with all those sprinkles?!

img_1826

 

Along the way we also did a few character greetings. We were disappointed in the fact that the character lines moved so slowly. Then right as it was almost your turn, they would leave for their break. But we did get to meet some people and took pictures of others we didn’t want to stand in line for.

We managed our time so we could watch the parade twice! It was that good! Great music with lots of villains out and about.

My favorite part of the night happened at the very end. The Hocus Pocus show. It was nothing short of fantastic! The Sanderson sisters and oodles more villains! Apparently I only took videos though and no pictures. Maybe when Mike uploads his photos, he’ll have one I can snag one and add it.

We had such a great evening at the park and it truly felt magical. As always, Disney did not disappoint. We got one last spooky picture in front of the train station.

img_1967

The headless horseman lead the parade and it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen. And one more…we’re cheap so I didn’t buy it but alas the screen shot!

img_1970

 

Good night Neverland!

img_1938

Girl’s Day Out — Park City 2016

Once a year, we –the ladies of the office– take a day off and have fun at the Park City Mountain Resort. This year we went in early October and the day turned out quite perfectly.

img_2093

 

We start the day off by stuffing our faces full of delicious Mexican food served by the same grouchy waitress as last year. We even splurged and got fancy virgin margaritas. Sorry no pictures were taken as the food was gone before I could take one.

After growing an inch in the belly, we then go cascading down the mountain on various contraptions. We started off the the Alpine Coaster. It’s essentially an mini-individual-roller coaster. You can share your tiny seat with another person, but we (or maybe just me) simply can’t fit two people after all that yummy food.

 

After getting told you can’t bring your purse or any loose article and being asked to leave it out in the open for any dishonest person to steal (sorry Eileen),  you strap on your seatbelt and off you go!

img_1761

The track pulls you up the mountain. It’s actually very relaxing and great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountainside in Fall.

 

Once at the top, you get the A-OK to go and you start your descent. Release the brake and enjoy the ride! It’s over so fast but not too fast that you don’t get in some good, fun screams! Oh and sometimes you break the rules and record the whole ride down and smile to the camera while holding your phone–in my defense I didn’t know this was a rule.

img_1762

Look how happy we all are after surviving the tiny seats with our very full bellies.

This is the crew–Ana, Abbi, Linda, Me, Laureen, Eileen, Tina, Jessica and the one and only Gina. (She’s my boss and she’s the greatest). Oh and Eileen’s purse was still sitting there out in the open, not stolen. 🙂

img_1767

Next we headed to the Alpine Slide–the best part of this is cramming onto the ski lift and enjoying hilarious stories as told by my great coworkers. It’s seriously a great 20 minute ride.

Once at the top, you have to quickly hop off the ski lift and run out of the way. Then you’re handed your sled and you start a long walk while dragging  your heavy sled.

img_1770

I’m always proud when we have pulled our sleds to the starting line. Maybe next year I shouldn’t eat as much food and the long ascent will feel easier?

img_1771

Bare trees can only mean that Fall is here and winter is coming. 😦

img_1773

All lined up and ready to go! For the slide you go down on at a time and you are in control of your speed. The track is just like a big slide so if you go too fast you fly off the track so you have to watch the turns.

I have also dreamed of being a bobsledder. Since this is probably as close as I’ll get to attaining that far fetched dream–I really try to imagine I’m in a bobsled, cruising down the icy track. Except I hate the snow and cold weather so I’d have to join the Jamaican bobsled team for any future success.

img_1776

No “Girl’s Day Out” could ever be official without eating some ice cream at some point. We found this froyo shop in a local grocery store. (Sorry everyone for the terrible picture but it’s all I got).

See that TV screen in the background? It appeared they took a picture of everyone who has ever had their froyo. So the lady who owned the store insisted she take our picture to be added to her shrine. She had little success so after too-many-to-count attempts, her son came and took the picture.

img_1777

This day is always one to look forward to. Not only do we eat yummy food and do fun activities, but hanging out with the girls is so memorable. Spending the day up in our beautiful Utah mountains is a relaxing way to enjoy the day off and a change in the seasons.

Thanks ladies for being awesome and letting me giggle the day away with you.

Puppy Pool Time!!

Utah lake has been quite sick this year. I think it started with a pocket here and there of illness and then it became the full blown yuckiness. The lake has had a blue algae– now this doesn’t sound so bad, maybe even sound pretty…but it’s not. It’s toxic! And it was so bad that they shut down the lake.

This has made for one sad Boston. He’s a natural born swimmer. Really, he took to the water like a you’d expect a duck to take to water. Side note–he especially likes the water when it’s full of ducks. Each summer we’ve taken him swimming multiple times at this little pond/lake. But given the wide spread nature of the TOXIC algae, it just wasn’t worth the risk.

We were so excited when we saw that the Provo Rec Center was hosting a dog swim day. The regular, human season had ended so prior to draining the pools they invited all the puppies to come and play. Even though we had a ton going on, we made it a priority to go.

file_001

We got stopped in the parking-the very full parking lot-by a human patron and he asked us what was going on with all the dogs. It should have felt more strange to explain that we were all there to pay for our dogs to swim in the human pool. But when you love your pup, you let go of some dignity in these situations.

file_004

It was a blast! Boston was so excited when we unleashed him. He would run around and say hi to the other pups and then realize he had lost his parents and start searching the humans for us. (Yes, I attribute human characteristic to my pup…remember that whole dignity thing?)

file_002

He spent most of his time swimming in the small pool where the slides came out. I think the event provided dog toys for us to throw in the water for the dogs to fetch. At least I hope it was the event or else we constantly were stealing someone’s dog toys.

img_2363

Boston seemed so happy and really didn’t want to leave. We tried 3 times to leave and eventually had to leash him up to let him know we were serious. It was great to see him in his natural swimming state in the man-made swimming pool. It really wore him out. He was pooped. 🙂

img_2364

Cute sleeping puppy!

file_000-1

They said this will be an annual event and you can be sure that we’ll be there, in line, paying for our dog to swim in the human pool. 🙂