my fourth

We left for Zions National Park early Friday morning to start off our holiday weekend. It was a bit of a drive but totally worth it!

When we got there, the place we had initially planned on going rappelling was too muddy so we had a quick change of plans. We decided to hike Angel's Landing instead, which is a hike I've been wanting do for a while now! We did it in the evening so luckily it was cooler but I still a sweaty mess by the time we got to the top. The final view was completely worth the narrow this-is-really-close-to-the-edge! parts of the hike.

^^with my hair growing out, this is the easiest way to keep hair out of my face. It makes me feel like a 5 year old but looking younger is all the rage, right?

It was probably 80 degrees (if not hotter) the whole night. Plus bugs. Plus rustling noises in the bushes. Needless to say, I didn't sleep all that well. But the next day we got up and did an easy hike in the park. Everyone was dressed up in red, white, and blue! There were a lot of people on the Emerald Pools hike and since we wanted to get away from the crowds, we decided to leave the park and go rappelling.

^^this tree was hit by lightning and split right down the middle. It was black and charred and I guess we thought it would be cool to take a picture...?haha.

The 180 feet rappel was beautiful and not nearly as scary as the first time I did it a month ago ;) But the slot canyon was a lot harder than Chris' dad remembered it. Our hour and a half hike turned into two and a half hours as we ran into unexpected pools of water. After rounding the third corner and hearing Chris say "Oh look! More water!" the whole thing got comical. Some of them were so deep, we couldn't touch the bottom, so we had to swim through them. By the end we were soaked and luckily still laughing about the entire thing. We smelled like old, dirty water and our clothes were streaked red from the rock. But we were happy we made it out safely! We changed our clothes, packed all of the gear up, stopped by Wendy's, and then headed home. We saw a few fireworks from the freeway and people were still going crazy when we rolled into Provo around midnight.

There was no classic BBQ and fireworks for us but for me, it was the perfect 4th of July. I spent it admiring the beauty of our country and God's creations. It was easier for me to appreciate our country and the blessings I have in the quiet peace found only in nature. So grateful for you America.


bits and pieces

A lot has been happening lately and I have definitely stayed busy. Seeing new movies (saw Insurgent and Inside Out; both good for totally different reasons), continuing my search for the best burrito in town (still no champion), and playing in the water (lakes, pools, and more lakes!). I still haven't gotten back into the habit of taking pictures of everything but here are a few from the past few weeks. 

^a group of us went to Mona a while back for a friend's birthday. We did a bbq and jumped off the rope swing! I was too chicken to do the rope swing (watching Youtube videos of rope swing fails right before was a baaaaad idea) so I just jumped off the tree branch. I met these friends in Japan so it's always fun to spend time with them again. 

^isn't this a great picture? My older brother was 6, I was 2, and my little brother was 2 months old. My mom made that quilt and we have lots of pictures of sleeping with it. It was my dad's birthday and he turned 58! None of the kids got to be there for it (Japan, Utah, Thailand) which was a bummer, but we are so grateful for him. He's changed a lot since I was a kid and I'm grateful for all that he does for our family. 

^the card I (with a lot of help) put together for my dad. The note is all in Japanese but it's the normal mushy thanks-for-being-so-great Father's Day sentiments, just more meaningful for him.Can I just point out how good the "happy" looks in comparison to the others? They nailed it. Also, growing out an asymmetrical haircut is awkward. I just look lopsided allll the time.

^I went boating which was something I reeeally wanted to do this summer! The water felt so good and I was with great people. I only went tubing since the boys really wanted to water ski (not to mention that it takes me for-ev-er to get up). Also, I have this irrational fear that while tubing, I'll hit my teeth really hard and I'll lose my front teeth. This could be based in the fact that the first time I went tubing, braces were involved and when I hurt my mouth on the tube, I was afraid I'd lost a tooth. But like I said, irrational. 

^with no school and homework to worry about, it's been fun spending my summer with Chris. We've started exercising together in the mornings and I'm convinced that running is the best way to start out my day. It helps that he's a good running buddy. 

^my parents came into town! My mom didn't want to wait until August to see me so she decided to come see me herself. And my dad offered to drive ;) It's always special showing them around Provo and having them see my life here. They approved of Cubby's,  took me to Costco, my dad complained about the heat, I made them dinner, and we spent some time in Salt Lake City. It was a quick trip but I am SO happy they came! Skype is great but 6 months is just too long time to not see them. I'm already excited to see them in August :)

It's been a happy summer so far but I can't believe it's half over already! I've got plans for a few more adventures and I'm excited to enjoy every remaining hot summer day. Maybe I'll take pictures?


a little bit of my weekend

My weekend started out by skipping a party to go to Cubby's, aka the place with the best sweet potato fries you will ever eat your whole life. My best friend introduced me to Cubby's back in October and while I thought it was really good, it wasn't love at first taste. But since then, I've introduced five friends to that place, fallen in love with their fries and chipotle fry sauce, and made it a goal to try everything on the menu because let me tell you, so far everything is delicious. The gypsy burger and tri-tip steak sandwich I tried on Friday night did not disappoint. If you live near one, go right now.

I spent Saturday morning volunteering and then for work, I went to a CPR class in the early afternoon. When it comes to CPR, did you know that anyone over 8 years old is considered an adult? I had no idea. When passing it off, I forgot to plug the mannequin's nose. Oops! Good news is though I'm now certified ;) While I hope I never have to use my new knowledge, I'm thankful for it. I took the class because it's required by my new job (more on that later) but while I was sitting there, I felt like no matter what you do for work, everyone should know how to do CPR. It could save somebody's life. Seriously though, consider taking a class.

One thing on "What I Want To Do This Summer" list was to go on a picnic. Seems simple but as much as I like picnics, I hardly ever take the time to plan a good one and actually go so this was important to me. For my picnic date on Saturday, I didn't have to pack anything and do any of the work. It was a cute surprise to be told to just show up ;) We drove about an hour into the mountains and ate by a pretty lake. It was a little chillier than we thought (we went in shorts and t-shirts) but luckily there were sweatshirts in the back of the car we could put on. We had hummus and snap peas, watermelon, apples, peaches, chocolate, and turkey swiss avocado spinach sandwiches. We made it about halfway through the cooler ha. After we had eaten too much, it started to rain so we scratched exploring and decided to go on a beautiful drive. It was like we stepped out of summer and back into winter. There was snow on the ground and our gorgeous 90 degree day quickly changed to 50 degrees. But it was beautiful so we jumped out of the car, looked at the view, ran around like crazies, took pictures, and then jumped back into the car. We had plans to go get milkshakes but we chose to leave that for another day. The drive was beautiful and made me want a cabin in the mountains so I could escape any time. The Pacific Northwest has my heart but Utah, you...you fight good.

Sunday was full of church, spending time with friends and family, and good food. There was a birthday in the mix so of course there was singing and dessert involved. It's sunny spiritual days like those that remind me why I love Sundays; they give me a rest from my normal active week to remember what is most important. It was the perfect ending to a fun weekend :)

Also, this is Chris. He's fun. A lot of my adventures are with him lately so just a heads up, he'll most likely be in pictures.

Thanks mountains, we'll see you again sometime soon! (And thanks iPhone for staying alive long enough to take pictures!)


No Title

How does one just "pick up" and start writing again after two years?

After thinking about it a lot recently, I still haven't figured it out yet.
So much has happened and a lot has changed, both inside and outside. 
During my 18 months every email written home was published on a blog. Pictures were posted. Feelings shared. So why do I feel so hesitant about it now?

It could be because coming home was hard and I didn't feel like myself anymore. It could be because suddenly everything felt too personal to share. It could be because the internet is already overflowing with bloggers with better pictures and prettier lives. It could be a whole lotta reasons. But I started this blog with the purpose of documenting fun moments and keeping my family (let's be honest, mostly my mother) informed of my life away from home. I realized that I enjoy writing and being able to look back at moments that have faded into memories. So here I go again, Mom. Thanks for always reading :)