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 :/

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Any advice for having and raising a boy?

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

 

 

 

 

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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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?!

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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.

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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!

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Good night Neverland!

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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!

Camping Trip! Part 2: Cascade Springs and a Little Bit of Luck

As part of our trip we visited Cascade Springs. It was just a short drive on the ATV’s down the road to the trail head. Again, no worries, the baby and Boston got a ride in the Jeep with Mike.

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I’ve never been here so I didn’t really know what to expect. It was gorgeous!

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A sign told us 7.5 million gallons of water pass through the springs every day! Every day!

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I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to bring the dog other than we couldn’t leave him back at camp by himself. He made it about .02 seconds before jumping into the first pool we came to. Oops! I didn’t take a picture because I was too busy being judged by the people who saw this. 🙂

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They had a paved trail that created a loop system that you could walk on to the various pools. It really was beautiful. We forgot a carrier for the baby so he got carted on a hip for the journey. I don’t think he cared one bit about being cuddled the whole time.

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As we were leaving, Maddie decided to cross the river on the logs–not on the bridge like a normal person. Zak was a good big brother and showed her how it was done. Maddie made it about .08 seconds before she fell off the log into the river.

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She made a quick recovery and said, “No, I can do this.” Ok baby girl–even when you’re soaking wet, we’ll still love you.

Now, don’t let this baby’s cuteness fool you. He can be a real stinker–literally. Ok, so he’s basically the perfect baby. Eats, sleeps, and is happy all the time but sometimes he can render grown adults helpless. Now this story is a little graphic and not for the faint of heart –myself included here.

On the first night we noticed a little stinky stink and couldn’t blame the dog since he wasn’t around so it had to be the baby. Since Mike and Nicole were busy I thought I’d be helpful and offer my diaper changing services. I started unraveling the layers of clothes and made my way to the diaper to discover, yup he’s poopy. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I could do this. I started cleaning the baby only to realize the poop was everywhere! Poop up his back. Poop down his legs. So much poop! He’s also at the stage where he doesn’t like sitting still to get a diaper change so before I knew it I was holding up a poopy baby and cried out–in giggles–for help. The giggles hit fast, like a puma, and I couldn’t see due to the tears streaming down my face. Help came and Mike kicked me out of the process. He said I wasn’t helpful and just smearing not cleaning. Let it be known that Mike will handle parenthood better than I will. And Nicole’s a champ after having raised two babies.

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I got the giggles over the baby a second time. We nicknamed him the “beat-boxing-baby”. He went on a two minute string of beat boxing type sounds and it was epic! The kids got a career. I took a short video of it but the blog won’t let me post it…maybe it’s time to upgrade.

While watching the Olympics tonight a lady bug landed on Mike. I really hope it’s good luck. We could use some luck this week.

Uh, Mike…it’s a lady bug…they bring good luck no need to be afraid.

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That’s better. Happy face 🙂

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And a daily dose of cuddling with Boston who is not loving all the Olympic watching. Mom and Dad on the couch means no long walk for him. Sorry buddy–we’ll get back to normal in another week.

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Anyone want to walk my dog?!

Favorite camping spots?

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?