Mike’s getting Old! + Lantern Fest

Mike had a birthday! (8/20/16) I’m also convinced he went through a morning birthday crisis…he went running! Running?! We had plans for breakfast and 4 wheeling so when a friend text early in the morning to see if I wanted to run with her, I thought it best to check in with Mike but I couldn’t find him or the dog.

So I decided to go running with my friend–I’ll never pass up a chance to run with another human let alone a good friend. We went out for a few miles and it was great! We’re starting to get into the cooler fall temperatures so it was perfect weather.

Anyway, back to Mike’s birthday crisis, I found him in bed laying down when I returned. I asked where he went and he said “I went for a run.” WHAT?! Ok–this has only happened NEVER in our marriage. He also said we couldn’t go 4 wheeling because we had too much work to do on the house. Umm…ok…weirdo. Naturally I left to go chat with my sister about this bizarre man laying in my bed. That’s what sisters are for right?

No worries though, he snapped out of it. We ate a yummy breakfast full of Mickey Mouse pancakes and everybody’s favorite–BACON! Then we loaded up the 4 wheelers and headed out for a long ride.

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Since we had some time, we decided to go from Squaw Peak Road to Hobble Creek Canyon. We rode this not too long ago but the trees are reminding me that summer is coming to an end. The leaves are beginning to change and what was once green and lush is now turning red/orange/yellow.

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We came into this big valley and it was gorgeous! I had to stop and take a picture.

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We aren’t big celebrators so I was so pleased with myself when months ago I coordinated with my sister and purchased tickets to do something fun for Mike’s birthday. I tried to keep it a secret but he had to sign a waiver. The waiver went something like this, “I _______ agree that I might get burned, cut, hit, smashed with large amounts of fire. I also understand that certain death is inevitable and am still OK with this”. So not that extreme but pretty close. Mike got an email to sign this waiver (I didn’t inform him it would be coming. I was hoping he would sign his life away–no questions asked.) but instead he deleted the email and later told me he got a weird email that day. Since he had to sign the waiver I had to disclose my not-so-secret secret.

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After 4 wheeling, we loaded up the van and off we went. We showed up early because we wanted a good pick of fire pits. Our kits came with s’mores goodness–truly they were the best s’mores. I think it was because the chocolate was already slightly warm due to it being so hot. Basically the event is to send off lanterns like the kind you see for Rapunzel’s birthday on Tangled along with s’mores and entertainment.

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We each got a lantern and a marker to decorate it. Mike showed off his art skills–I tried to copy him. But I was proud of my work until I realized my birthday cake for Mike was drawn upside down. Now you can see why I’m not the architect. The kids did a great job too. I think the glasses were pure inspiration! 🙂

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Many people use this as an opportunity to write down notes to loved ones passed on, dreams they are hoping for, things they want to move forward from–I wrote down one thing I am dreaming of. 🙂 (Think lush green leaves, warm, beautiful sunets.)

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They provided live music and the guy was legit. It was relaxing watching the sunset, cooking s’mores, and enjoying each other’s company. When it was dark–show time! Again, I’m sad about the no videos thing on the blog because the pictures simply don’t do the event justice.

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The premise was easy. You light the square in the middle on fire and let the lantern fill up with heat. Once it starts lifting up, you let go–think hot air balloon. There was an occasional breeze that would come through and mess up this whole process. Admittedly, it was a little stressful trying to get the fuel device on fire then hoping it would go up as demonstrated. Due to the wind, many of them would blow sideways instead of up. I suppose this was indicative of my life. It took me 3 tries before mine successfully went up and this was after bumping into people–remember that whole “sign your life away” waiver?

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It was an incredible sight to see all the lanterns floating up and away! They said there were 7,000 people there so try to imagine that many lanterns all floating up. I would recommend this event to anyone thinking of going. I’d also recommend mom’s watch out for your children during the event. Birthday Boy!

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Mike was helping Nicole with one, and I kid you not, it went up only slightly and like a bullet went straight for this mom and her baby. The opening of the lantern where the fuel device is–you know where there is a big flame–encapsulated this kid! Thankfully, it bounced right off and no one was harmed or burned. The mom even laughed it off. So naturally, like a good, responsible adult I got the giggles–rendered useless again.

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Once again, it was great to have a fun summer evening spent with the family lighting things on fire. (I should write about cul-de-sac fire some time).

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Anyway, Happy Birthday Mike! We sure do love you!

Annual Camping Trip + 4 Wheelers Part 1

We had our family camp out this past weekend and it was awesome! By family I mean my sister and the kids, Boston, Mike, and my other nephew (he’s the cutest baby!)

We went to a place called Little Deer Creek Campground. The trip started off a little rough as there was a bad accident up Provo Canyon and it took us 45 minutes to get a few miles up the canyon. I literally could have ran faster than we drove. But when you’ve got this tongue in your face, how can you complain? Ok, I complained.

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We’ve never been to this campground before but we went because rumor had it they had awesome ATV trails. However, we may have underestimated the road conditions to get there. It was a dirt road, paved road (sort of) and extremely rocky dirt road. With each bumpy mile I was more impressed with my sister’s minivan which also made the journey.

We saw our first sign of wildlife…running right in front of us. Boston went crazy over the deer. He was already hanging out the window but tried to climb out to go meet his would-be friend Bambi.

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We got settled into camp Friday night and we were all hungry so dinner was served…not! We had planned pita pizza pockets (a great camping meal I learned from a friend) however, we didn’t have a lighter or matches. We had a lighter that sort of sparked. We were going to settle with ham and cheese sandwiches when we realized we didn’t have bread. Things were going well 🙂 Then I remembered we had gasoline! Mike poured some on the wood and paper towel, got a spark from his lighter and boom! A big blazing ball of fire…pizza was served.

We sat and chatted around the fire until it died out. We showed the kids some of the constellations we could find. Then we tried to sleep. Mike and I had the baby and the dog in the tent with us. I’ll sum it up by saying my FitBit told me I slept 2 hours and 55 minutes that night. The baby was pretty great. He was up once to eat some food and back to bed. The dog however…he struggles when he’s excited and wants to play (think Ana here “the sky is awake so I am awake”). He made it until about 3:30 AM when he decided he was done sleeping. Thankfully Mike was up at 6 with both the dog and the baby. He’s the best!

Saturday morning Nicole, the kids, and Mike headed out for their first ride. No worries, the baby didn’t go. He’s such a smiley baby!

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I stayed back with the sleeping baby and pup. This was my view from the tent.

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They came back from their ride boasting about an incredible view so I was not going to miss out. Mike took me up the trail to check out this view. This is overlooking Heber Valley.

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We went a little further up the road and met a family whose vehicle had a flat tire. They didn’t have a jack to raise up their Land Rover so we graciously helped out. We rode back to camp to get a jack they could use but not without leaving my little adventure buddy behind. This little girl was always willing to go out on the 4 wheelers.

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She got a little impatient (no surprise there) but we explained that we help people who need help when we can. After changing their flat tire, they learned their spare also had a flat. Oh no! We felt terrible for them. They were great people and the situation was just unfortunate. We saw them later in the day and found out they got new tires.  Yea!

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Did I mention the view we had from up here? This is overlooking Deer Creek Reservoir.

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It was a fantastic day full of adventure as Onix and Brutus took us over miles of rocky trails.

On a different note, my workout consisted of a 20 minute HIIT leg workout followed by 30 minutes of sprints on the treadmill which watching the Olympics! Nothing can inspire you more while sprinting than watching people achieving their dreams.

Any favorite ATV trails?

What was your workout today?

 

Onix & Brutus Meet Squaw Peak Road

We got some new additions to our family. Meet Onix and Brutus!

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We decided to make a family purchase and poof! these guys appeared. Ok, so not really, it actually took a long time to find them. We took them for several test drives around the block…sorry neighbors!

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We took them out to “get some dirt on the tires”. What a view! We love living this close to the mountains. In case you didn’t know, Utah is gorgeous!

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We took Z-Man out with us since he got his helmet today and he had a blast! That is, once he got over being scared and his fear that we were going to die he had a blast.

This view is overlooking Rock Canyon in Provo. We had to stop for the photo op. Coming down the trail to here I nearly hit a wild turkey along with her babies but I swerved missing the whole lot.

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It’s hard to take a selfie when you have to fit 3 giant helmets in the frame. Two thumbs up though…always a great sign.

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This is the photo you get when your nephew is taking the picture. This was after we had to remind him he needed to direct it at us. 🙂

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We learned that while Mike is getting a little mud on the tires, he’s also getting mud all over his face.

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We made it back to the car in time to capture the beautiful sunset. I’m a sucker for a good sunset. Sunset over sunrise for me any day.

And in the words of Maddie, “This is AWESOME!”

Any favorite ATV trails we should try out?

Sunrise or Sunset?