Monday, July 13, 2009

4th of July and Dog Lake

This 4th of July was pretty relaxing. My parents were up for the summer and my sister and her family came over for some food, fun and fireworks. We had a blast! I had a recipe for home made girl scout Samoa's that I made. Delicious!!!!! We played card games and lit the fireworks when it got dark. Good times. My dad even played cards and came out for fireworks, normally he doesn't do either so this was a really good 4th. Saturday we finally got back on track with our hiking and went up to Dog Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon, around the 10 mile marker. It was one of the prettiest hikes I've ever been on. The flowers were all out in full splendor. Bluebells lined the stream, Queen Ann's lace was about as tall as my niece and then there were tons of wild roses, Indian Paintbrush's and even wild snapdragons! It was incredible! The beginning of the hike was pretty steep then it leveled out until the last .8 mile. When you get to that last .8 mile there's a little sign that points in the direction of the lake and you think, wow we are so close, maybe another 10-15 minutes and we'll be there. That's where it gets you. They fail to tell you that even thought that last little stretch of the hike isn't that far away, it's almost straight up!! Holy crap that was steep! It took us 40 minutes to finish that last part. Then you get to the top and you're so excited to see this brilliant, crystal clear lake and you get a stagnant puddle. Such a disappointment at the end but the trip there was outstanding. The lake was cute but that's about it. One other annoying thing is that at the beginning of the trail and right when you get to the lake there are big signs that say that this is a water shed area and that dogs are not allowed. So what do you think we saw when we got to the lake? About 10 dogs running through the lake playing. Now it's always cute to see dogs playing in the water, having a great time, but come on people! Can't you read the signs? Pick another place to go with your cute little pooches. I really don't want to turn on my faucet and have a big glass of water with your dog's doo doo in it. Honestly! I really do like dogs, and if I had one I'd take them hiking with me in a second, but we would pick places that they were allowed to go. And what's this aversion of not picking up after Rover after he's done doing his business and not having him on a leash when he should be? We were sitting by the lake enjoying the view, when a HUGE orange dog came over and almost ate us. Well, OK, maybe he didn't try to eat us and he was pretty cute, but I know he was eyeing my cheese stick pretty closely. :) It really was a great morning and we ended it at the Cottonwood Cafe for an egg white omelet and the biggest chocolate chip pancake I've ever seen! It took all three of us to polish that thing off. Can't wait for next Saturday.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Youth Confrence

Three days after I got home from San Diego, it was time for our 3 day youth conference. We had a blast! Thursday was the first night and we had a Dutch Oven Cook off with the boys against the girls. The boys made delicious rosemary chicken, cheesy potatoes with almost more bacon in them than potatoes and a to die for strawberry rhubarb cobbler. The girls went with a pulled pork in a bbq sauce that was melt in your mouth, buttery squash and yummy peach cobbler. The judges vote ended in a tie but we were all the winners because we got to eat all that good food! The next morning we met up early and went for a hike up to the granite quarry that they cut the granite for the Salt Lake Temple for, and picked up trash along the trail. We each picked up a little piece of granite to keep so we could have a little piece of the temple with us. After that was over we drive up to Alta Ski Lodge and had a picnic lunch and snow fight. James and Marc pollished off the pickle juice and James followed that with a shot of mustard. Boys are so weird. On the drive up to the Alta we saw a Moose on the side of the road just chomping away at some leaves. We hit the breaks and turned around. By the time we got back down the road he had gone back in to the woods a little more but I was able to kind of get a picture of him. He was very cute! That was the first Moose I've seen in Utah. It was great. We finished up the snow fight and went back to cool off with some water games at the church pavilion. While the others were playing the games I was off making ice cream for later that night when we put on an activity night for the older singles in our ward. The ice cream was fantastic, the games were fun and I think everyone had a great time. We ended Conference Saturday by going to the open house for the Oquirrh Temple followed by lunch at Ab's. With all the eating we did for this conference I think I gained 10 lbs! Not good! I'll have to double up on some runs to get it off, but it was sure fun putting it on.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Some sweet, sweet beach time!

Sheeze, life has been crazy busy lately, so I'll try to catch up with what's been happening. My sister-in-law's family has a tradition of camping on the beach right outside of San Diego called San Elijo State Park, and ever since my brother married into their family, they have invited us to go along with them. It's has become one of my favorite vacation spots ever! There's a little camp ground that is right above the beach that has showers and flush toilets and great little camp spots that we put out tents up on and get ready for a week of sun, surf and food. It's fantastic! This year my parents and older brother decided not to come so it was just me and my brother's family, but it was still awesome! My little nieces had so much fun playing in the sand and jumping in the waves. It was just fun watching them. But we also built sand castles and took turns burring them in the sand. Aspen loved that, Paisley not so much. She hates getting dirty. Paisley also just turned two before we left and we had a little party for her before heading out to the beach. This was honestly one of the best vacation's I'd taken in a long while. I didn't think about work once!!! Always the sign of a good vacation. One crazy thing did happen while we were there. The fellas decided to go snorkeling in La Hoya bay and check out all the fish and maybe see some sharks. I decided to tag along just for the heck of it. That lasted until I got chest deep in the water. I'd seen a couple dark shadows pass by me and didn't really think anything of it until I joined up with the guys who were standing around talking and Teri's brother Bryan said "Did you see those sharks that just went by?" Sharks you say? Even before we really got out into the bay? That's when I decided that the whole snorkeling thing was way over rated and that if I actually went out where I couldn't touch, I was sure to die. That and I just didn't have a very good feeling about it either. At that precise moment I was having these thoughts, Teri's brother-in-law said that he was having trouble with his mask leaking and that he was going to go back to shore. Talk about miracles from HEAVEN!!!! It took me about 1 second to hand him my mask and to count me out! You can call me chicken all you want, that was way too scary! The funny thing though was the guys had been joking with me about how you just need one person that's slower than you to avoid getting eaten by a shark. That had been my brother Joe until I'd decided to tag along. Now it was back to being Joe and he wasn't too happy with me leaving. He kept asking me, "Are you really leaving?" Uh, yeah! No sharks for me, thank you. :) That kid sure has guts because he sucked it up and went out with the guys, all the while, I was waving from the shore. :) The guys were gone for about 3 hours and all the girls back on the beach were starting to get worried. All of the sudden one of the guys came walking up the beach and his legs were pretty banged up and bleeding. Turns out that they all got too close to the cliffs and got grated across the rocks. He said that Joe was really bad. Teri and her sister Megan took off down the beach and I followed a little later thinking that I knew some CPR and could stop some major bleeding if needed, but thank heavens we ran into all the guys walking up the beach. Joe was pretty bad. He said that he got to close to a cave and almost got sucked in, but he grabbed onto some rocks that pretty much acted like a cheese grater on his body, but he didn't want to let go because it was either the rocks or the cave. The guy I gave my mask to has help save him by helping pull him up higher on the rocks. They climbed over the rocks to a more calm part of water where they jumped back in and swam for shore. Joe said that jumping back into the water, while he was bleeding was the scariest thing he's ever done. He kept expecting to be bit by a shark the whole time he was in the water. I'm so glad I didn't go. Honestly, if my big 6'4", 270 lb brother who's pretty dang strong, was having a hard time holding onto those rocks, I would have been a goner. I don't think I gave the Holy Ghost credit for the bad feeling at the time but I know it was him now. I really need to start paying attention to him a little more. The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, thank heavens. I can't wait until next year! When I got back I had a change to get together with some wonderful old friends from Phoenix. It was really good to see them again. Sometimes it's just really nice to go home.