It's today, you guys.  Mariah is on a plane home as I type this.  In 13 hours, she will be here in Utah.  And I- am losing my mind.  Which isn't saying too much right now because I've come down with quite the cold, so my brain is a little foggy and I can't breathe through my nose.  So last night when Landon was like, "Are you so excited that Mariah is coming home tomorrow?"  And I was able to wheeze, "I'm so exciiiitteeeddd..."  And he was like, "That's like, the least excited I've seen you for the last few months."  Basically, this is a perfect description of our exchange:
But, I'm up and at 'em (kind of) this morning.  I made it into work and I'm just trying to will myself to get better before 8:20 tonight.  If it means taking all of the cold medicine I can find, then so be it.  Because I'll be doing cartwheels tonight regardless.

Santa Shreds

Ah, you guys.  This snow is a dream.  A dream, I tell you!! I did have to go to work today.  The roads, though still a total mess, were actually drivable.  I was greeted by two feet of the stuff at the front door and I wasn't and am still not even mad as I watch it gently fall outside my window.  Yesterday was so great, I'm in a permanent good mood.  Nothing is better than hitting the resort first thing after a big storm.
Especially on a Monday when the majority of the crowds has to go to work.  There were still a lot of people there, but nothing like the masses that show up on a Saturday.  So I stayed until my legs couldn't make another carve and I had to hobble back to my truck.  I actually ended up following what I'm guessing was the real Santa Claus down the mountain.  If any of you were wondering, Santa is a snowboarder, and he totally shreds.
It was such a nice addition to my busy weekend.  We had our company Christmas party in the hospitality suite at the Jazz game.  The food was delicious, and the alcohol was free flowing.  Especially after the game when everyone was trying a cocktail of Crown and Tabasco sauce.  The very smell of it made me want to throw up. But I enjoyed watching everyone else knock it back.  I got up early to go running Saturday morning so I could come back home and freeze Landon out of bed with my icicle legs so we could go boarding.  The conditions were not nearly as good as yesterday.  They don't have a lot of lifts or runs open and there are so many people there on the weekends that we only stayed a couple hours.  Plus, it was FREEZING.  We went home with every intention to clean house, but ended up ordering pizza and watching Netflix all afternoon.  And we don't regret a second of it, because the cleaning got done after Landon's family Christmas party on Sunday.  I actually had to work on Sunday because somehow we landed a paving job in the middle of the December at the airport and they were trying to get it finished before this storm hit.  We still have like, 700 tons left to pave, but it's going to take awhile to get all that snow pushed aside to finish it. But we had an incredible lunch at my in-law's.  After years of complaining, Landon and Skyler finally got their way and their mom didn't bake a ham, but instead made a ton of ribs.  I gotta say,  I'd far prefer the ribs as well.  After we all had food babies, we climbed in our vehicles and drove to Midway for family photos.  And I'm in love with them.  So here, enjoy the pictures I'm thrusting upon you against your will.

Those are just a few of the literal hundreds we took.  I am obsessed with Josh in a sweater and I'm obsessed with my little niece.  I'm not one for babies because they kind of terrify me, but boy do I adore that little thing.  And how she had to shock the pants off me when she was looking all around Sunny's house on Sunday calling, "Josh? Josh? Josh?"  Because she loves him.  And he loves her.  And oh my gosh, Abby knows Josh's name and I almost cried.  

Oh! And we simply cannot forget the furriest one of them all.  The one who mowed Kenyon down in attempt to get a stick he was holding because apparently it was the most important stick in the world.
He is the sweetest, cuddliest, most handsome bull in a china shop you ever met.  And I love him.

I'm That Person

You guys.... Something happened last night between 11:00 PM and 5:34 AM when I got up this morning...

Yep.  I'm being that person who is posting about snow.  And everyone is all, "Why is everyone so surprised? It snows in the winter."  Except last winter it DIDN'T, okay?  Remember?  It was 70 degrees in February?!  So getting 10 inches of snow in a matter of 6 or so hours is a BIG DEAL to this girl. Especially when this girl got a snow day from work because the roads were too treacherous and there in no way anyone wants asphalt on a day like this.  So this girl is bundled up and headed to Park City for an epic day of snowboarding, because who doesn't love a little powder for breakfast?

To-Do Lists and Painful Goodbyes

Ahhh, it's Friday.  The best day of the work week.  The day where we're like, "Just need to get through today, and then I'm going to party the whole weekend through!"  And then we get home and turn on Netflix and accidentally fall asleep by 6:30.  Just me? Okay.  And I actually have to work on Sunday, so I only get half of a weekend.  But that's fine.  Overtime is my friend and working on the weekend at my job (at least right now in the off season) is hardly work at all.

But I'm looking back on this week as a fairly productive one.  I've had a to-do list a mile long and I have actually completed at least half of it.  I need to complete the other half before Mariah gets home- IN SIX DAYS.  That list includes:

-unpacking my clothes from Thanksgiving weekend
-putting away a months worth of folded laundry
-going running REALLY early tomorrow so I can spend more time snowboarding
-organizing my guest bedroom
-making a "Welcome Home" poster
-finding an outfit for family pictures

And I think that is about it.  I can check off most of those today and tomorrow.  Probably more tomorrow since tonight we are going to a Jazz game with my work.  It's in the suites where they feed you delicious food all night and you get to look down on the rest of the peasants from up high in cushy seats.  I've been looking forward to it all week.  Especially because I've been eating so healthy is preparation for my cheat meal.  I even stayed away from a Christmas party last night because I didn't want to waste a cheat meal on that.  Instead, I went for a run in gale-force winds and thawed my extremities in the hot tub afterward.  I also had to do my phone call with my health coach while in the hot tub, which made the call very echo-y and when I told Thomas (my health coach) that was why, he laughed a lot harder than I was anticipating.

I've been doing these health coaching sessions because they are a free service provided by my work.  I was really doing it because if you participate, you earn points for every convo and can be entered in a raffle at the end of the year.  You only had to do four calls, but I've continued with it because I have enjoyed the accountability and praise I get from old Tom Tom. JK, I don't call him Tom Tom.  And I don't think he is old.  But last night he told me he was being transferred to a different department and wouldn't be coaching for Granite anymore and I was legitimately sad about it.  I mean, we've only talked like six times, and each call is literally about ten minutes long, so we're really just a couple a strangers, I don't know what I'm so sad about.  It's just- he's taught me so many things.  He taught me that telling a stranger how much you weigh on a bi-weekly basis isn't so painful after the 4th or 5th time.  He's the one who made me try quinoa and I love it now!  And....he hasn't really taught me much more than that...I already knew everything else, but it was nice to have him check up on me.  I'll be sad to say goodbye.  I think- maybe I will call him Tom Tom next time.  See what he does.

Anyways.  You guys have a good weekend.  I'm sure I'll be back on Monday with SO MANY pictures.  Because that's how I do.


Nitro World Games

This is one of those I-have-the-best-husband-ever posts.  Just so you know. BUT IT'S BECAUSE I DO, OKAY?!  So you guys know I'm into the extreme sports, and that Travis Pastrana is my hero and I (insta)stalk him and his wife and two little girls on the daily. Well, yesterday he announced on Instagram that they were going to be holding the first Nitro World Games right here in Salt Lake City next July. The reason being was that Nitro Circus was started here in Salt Lake and they kind of wanted to commemorate that by holding the first games here.  Listen, I've been obsessed with Nitro Circus since they started back in 2006.  The whole production and Travis himself are a couple of the main reasons I took so hard to dirt biking.  They were here in Salt Lake doing the Nitro Circus World Tour a couple weeks ago, but due to schedule conflicts I wasn't able to make it.  And I whined about it for weeks.  But yesterday when I saw the first Nitro World Games were headed our way (on my birthday weekend!!) I had to tag Landon in the comments immediately.

My comment was said somewhat jokingly, but I did have every intention of attaining them at some point in the next seven months, but not 15 minutes later I got that text from Landon and I screamed and screamed all by myself in my bedroom.  And may or may not have jumped on the bed a little, resulting in a painful bruise from the corner of the bed frame.  IT WAS WORTH IT. Because the tickets are in the VIP section and we even get to tour the track and things before the show.

So, yeah.  He is the best.

And I'm gonna need July 16th to be like, tomorrow.


I don't know if I ever really talked about how we got my little dog, Joshua.  I know I've put pictures of him on this blog a couple times, but I never told the story.  So I think I will tell you now.  Because it's my blog and also because I don't feel like telling you about how I worked out and cleaned more of my house yesterday. BO-RING.

It was about midway through October last year,  we were up in Layton with my family and John's family was in town visiting.  We were busy the whole weekend, but amidst all of our activities we needed to stop at Petsmart to get my family dog, Tukae, some dog food really fast.  It turned out to be Adoption Day at the location we were at and while my mom was inside buying dog food, the rest of us were browsing the animals that lined the side walk.  Some were on leashes, some were in kennels. The cutest ones were in the arms of the squealing children with parents taking a million iPhone pictures.  We walked all the way to the end, smiling and petting all of them,  and reading their bios.  At the very end of the line, I saw Josh.  He was in a kennel looking very lost and afraid and there were no admiring children or to be found sticking there fingers through the wires or asking to pet him. The lady next to him was fussing over some paper work, and I had to ask her to tell me his story.  She glanced back at him and said, "Oh! This is Joshua!  He is a purebred Pekingese, he is about six years old, we think.  He is house trained and great with people."  I asked how he ended up in foster care and she told me he belonged to an old lady who had two dogs who had to be put in a nursing home and was only able to take one dog with her.  I looked at Josh and my heart shattered into a million pieces.  You could tell he had been well taken care of.  You could tell he had had a good home.  And I began to understand why his lost eyes were searching the crowd.  He missed his family.  He missed his home.  And now he was being passed around foster families and being kept in kennels until someone would consider taking him home.  Turns out I was that someone.  I knew Josh needed to come home with Landon and me and be a part of our family.  I asked her if I could pet him and she enthusiastically told me I could hold him and walk him around too. (it's fine.  I'm crying right now.)

I called Landon over to come look at him.  He laughed at his buggy eyes and squished nose and almost turned away before I caught his arm and said, "We are getting this dog."  He turned back to look at Josh and then looked at me and asked if I was serious.  I told him I was.  I turned to the lady and said, "We can't take him today because we are staying with family.  But can I get your information and I will come get him later this week?"  Her eyes were so happy as she scribbled her phone number down on a card and told me we were going to love him.

Three days later, Landon and I were driving to Ogden to get him.  My grandma had given us a couple hundred dollars when we moved into our house and told us to spend it on something for the house and it would be her house warming gift to us.  When I called to tell her we spent the money on a small dog that had the same name as her youngest child, she laughed and laughed.  We pulled up in front of this shady-looking thrift shop tucked behind a Burger King and I double-checked the address to make sure we had ended up at the right place.  We walked through the glass doors to find what I assumed would be the next episode of Hoarders.  There was so much junk crammed into this little store that there were trails made through it.  We followed the maze up to the cash register where I found the lady we had talked to at Petsmart.  She lit up and told us she would be right back with Josh.  She weaved through the pathways to a door in the back where she brought Josh out on a red leash and a red bandanna tied around his neck.  We paid the fees and she told us, "If for any reason he doesn't end up working out- whether is be now or years down the road, please bring him back to us.  Don't take him to the pound or the Humane Society."  We promised we would if it ever came to that, but we didn't think it would and we walked him out the doors.

It's been just over a year now that he has been with us.  And I feel like it's only been the last two or three months that he has finally understood that we are his family and that he won't be passed off again.  I don't know how long he had been in foster care, but it definitely took a lot longer than I would have expected for him to really warm up to us.  The journey has been worth it though.  And I feel like we've really accomplished something by earning his love and trust.  For months and months he wouldn't even sit on the couch with us.  He had his little bed on the floor that he would stay in and we could get on the ground to pet him, but he wasn't into snuggling.  I thought about that as I was trying to foam roll my quads yesterday and he was trying to hard so get me to pet him by sticking his head under my arm and getting up in my face.  It made me laugh and I picked him up and hugged him.  And now he makes his place on the couch right in between us.

He definitely is a quirky little animal.  He doesn't like a lot of human food like most dogs.  If we drop something on the floor while cooking, often times he will smell it and walk away.  He sit like a cat where his legs are underneath him and it looks like he doesn't have legs.  He LOVES to be outside. When we take him outside to go potty, he doesn't just go once, he has to pee just a little bit on every tree we walk past.  He doesn't beg, but he will sit up on his hind legs and stare you down.  He is amazing with kids big and small.  My niece Abby loves him, while she is still weary of Shadow.  And even though most people make fun of how he looks, whenever they meet him they absolutely fall in love with his sweet, calm nature.

He really is the perfect dog for Landon and me in our little home.  I'm so glad our paths crossed so we could make him a part of our family.

Tuesday Transformations

I don't know when it happened, how it happened, why it happened, but-

I've changed.

There was a period in my life where after work I would come home, change into my sweats, turn on the TV, go elbow deep in a bag of Cheetos Puffs and just unwind for the rest of the evening.  I thought about that as I was sitting in my truck, staring at my front door yesterday after I got home.  I then thought about the things I was about to do when I walked inside.  I need to walk the dog, work out, do the dishes piling up in the sink, add to my list of reasons why I should get my Christmas decorations out, clean out my closet, vacuum every room in the house.  Going to the hot tub also sounds pretty great.  And as I sat there for close to ten minutes before I got the will to open my truck door and walk towards my to-do list, I sat there and had a moment of silence for the Cheetos Puffs.

I had it all planned out.  If I completed at least a few of those tasks I would reward myself with the other half of my salad I had for lunch.  [My salad.]  Not a bag of Cheetos Puffs.  Not six hours of YouTube.  I would get my salad and a soak in the hot tub.  And I was excited about it.  Enough to the point that I walked the dog.  I did a leg-numbing work out.  I washed the weekend's worth of dishes I've been avoiding eye contact with.  I looked at the door to the attic and added more reasons why it's time to put up Christmas decorations.  But after my leg work out, climbing a ladder was out of the question.  So I pounded a protein shake, which in my opinion is the worst part of exercise, put on my swim suit, and trudged through the sprinkling rain and melting snow to the clubhouse hot tub for a twenty minute soak.  And once I got feeling back in my jello legs, I went home and immensely enjoyed the other half of my Greek salad.

That sounds like a responsible adult.

If you told 2009 Whitney about me she'd laugh and be like, "No way, dudette."  Because I used the word "dudette" probably a lot more than I should have.  Actually, I still do....

Maybe I haven't changed as much as I thought.

What I Did This Weekend

Ahhh, the weekend updates.  How I've missed these.  You guys, I love that I have the itch to blog again.  I don't know why it left me last year, but I'm glad it's back.  I listen to Hank and John Green's podcast, Dear Hank and John, and someone asked about how they could help inspire their husband to write more because he was such a great writer but never did anything.  And they told her that it wasn't something you could force.  It was something he needed to want to do and the lightbulb clicked.  It wasn't long after I heard that that I've been wanting to blog again.  And here I am.  Not forcing myself, just finding myself at my keyboard ready to type.  Feels good.

ANYWAY.  Back to the weekend update, because I know you're all DYING to know.  It was a great weekend.  Friday, I came home with a list a million miles long of things I needed to get done.  Our house is a disaster, I needed to work out, we're a solid week into December and I have wilting gourds and Thanksgiving decorations still up, I need to break out the Christmas decorations before I miss it.  Even with all of that to do, I walked through the door on Friday, put on my pajamas and vegged out for the entirety of the night.  It felt like the right thing to do after a long week and I knew I had to work on Sunday so in essence I was just rearranging my veg time.

I made up for it by waking up at 7 am on Saturday to do my workout I missed before I dragged Landon out of bed to go snowboarding.  And by "dragged" I mean I made him breakfast in bed, snuggled with him, scratched his back and finally got him out of bed by 10 o'clock.  We made it to the Canyons around 11 and boarded for a couple hours.  It was a gorgeous, blue bird day, which in theory is desirable, but right now Utah is desperate for some snow storms.  According to the forecast, we might just get lucky this week. #PRAYFORUTAH  Again, they only had a couple lifts going, but the crowds weren't unbearable like a couple weeks before and we got about six runs in.

Once we left, Landon told me that we were going to Orem that afternoon to buy me some new running shoes.  He told me the reason my feet were hurting was because I had run my shoes to death and if I was serious about training for this half marathon coming up that I needed to quit being stingy and go get some new ones.  I've had $300 of birthday money I've been saving since July and it has been burning a hole in Landon's pocket the entire time and he finally found something he could talk me into spending some of it on.  I read an article about how to tell if you needed new running shoes and I knew some of the symptoms, one being the number of miles you put on them (you should retire them if you've put 300-500 miles on them) among other tell tale signs.  I had an idea in my head of how many miles I've ran in these shoes, but I decided to pull up my running app and check how many miles I've logged n that in the last year.  Are you ready for this? 695.9 miles. In the last 11 months.  And that doesn't include any of the miles I did on a treadmill because that app tracks based on GPS.  So in all reality, I'm probably close to 800 miles.  I was like, "Yeah. Okay.  Let's go get me some new shoes."  I got some Asics that are amazing.  I woke up early so I could bust out a few miles before work and it's insane the difference it makes.  My poor Sauconys had been run to death.  And I was wondering why my heels were starting to hurt again.  Sheesh.

I had to work a half day yesterday and then we drove up to Layton to see my cousin get awarded his Eagle badge in the Boy Scouts.  That was a really cool presentation and I am blown away at how grown up my little cousins are getting.  Does that mean I am grown up?? Impossible.

But yeah.  That was my weekend.  It definitely felt busier than it sounds.  This weekend is gonna be a killer too, but after that?  After that Mariah comes home and I've cleared my entire schedule to be with her and do whatever the heck she wants to do. Dah! I can't wait.

Spring Cleaning in My Brain

I've finally gotten the bug back this week and felt the need to blog.  But today, I've got jumbled thoughts in my head that don't really amount to a solid topic.  So, I'm going to do what we all do best and just throw it all up in a post and just make space in this brain of mine.

Here we go.

I'm almost positive that the attendants at the gas station I go to every morning haven't charged me for my refill of Diet Dr. Pepper for the last few weeks.  I mean, I fill the cup all the way to the top with ice first, so I'm really not even getting that much pop, but I still don't mind paying the dollar for it.  But, I've noticed more times that one that they only charge me for the muffins I get.  We're pretty good buddies since I go in most mornings, and even last week I had my drink and muffins at the checkout counter, but they were outside on a smoke break and the dude poked his head in the door and said, "I got you today! Have a good Thanksgiving!"  I mean- how nice is that?!  I love them.

I finally went to get my wedding ring sized the other day.  I've basically been holding it on my hand with my middle and pinky finger for the last year and a half after losing so much weight.  But for some reason, driving 8 miles down the road from my work seemed like too much of a hassle and I'd rather risk losing my diamond than taking 30 minutes out of my day and going down there.  But the other morning, I was inspecting the ring and saw all the crap in the nooks and crannies and realized the white gold was fading and probably needed to be re-dipped and it was probably best to stop tempting fate and get it sized to fit my finger again.  So I went in, got resized from a 5 3/4 down to a 4! The chick was shocked and said, "I can't believe it hasn't flown off your hand!"  And I said, "Oh. It has.  Many times."  But now, it's so tiny that it struggles getting over my knuckle even though it fits like a dream on my finger.  I get a twinge of claustrophobia when I try to take it off and it puts up such a fight.

Which brings me to the question of: Do any of you get jewelry induced claustrophobia?  Because I can be in a crowded room and have people all around me and that doesn't bother me.  Really, the only tight spaces that bother me are caves, and only when I feel like I wouldn't be able to turn around.  Other than that? I'm fine.  But when I can't get a necklace or bracelet clasp undone or a ring is stuck on my finger, I legit start panicking.  Like, let's break out the jaws of life STAT! Who's with me on this? Anyone?

Last night I put tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil on sliced eggplant (inserts eggplant and smirking emoji) and tried to pretend it was the same as the buffalo chicken pizza Landon was eating right next to me.  It wasn't.  It was good.  But it wasn't pizza.  I'll be having it for lunch today with the quinoa(!) dish I made the other night.  I think it will all taste a lot better when there isn't some right beside me eating carbs on carbs.

Speaking of quinoa, I've been avoiding it since I started losing weight even though I knew it was really healthy because it looks like fish eggs and I was sure I wasn't going to like it.  Despite everyone I knew who ate it telling me it was actually really good.  But I finally bit the bullet the other night and cooked some up with some mushrooms, spinach, garlic and green onions.  And guess what.  It was delicious. Cheers to me trying new things.

Josh got a haircut last night.  Josh my dog.  You remember him.  He is a pekingese and sheds like no other.  Like, the vacuum is constantly out and I had lint rollers in ever room so I just wanted to get him shaved.  But the lady talked me out of it because his beautiful coat he has right now would apparently never grow back.  She told me she would do all this stuff to treat the shedding and if I still was unhappy she would shave him.  He looked so handsome when she was done and I was glad she talked me out of it.  AND I got him a sweater and I think that will hold some fur in place too.  Also, this sweater has a hood that I love and he is unsure of.  It's great.

ughh. I love that animal.

And Then There Were Two Weeks Left

So do you want to hear something that will blow your minds?  My little sister, Mariah, is going to be home in two weeks from today. TWO WEEKS, PEOPLE.  And don't even start to tell me how fast the last 18 months have gone by and that it feels like she just left.  Because they didn't. And it doesn't.  Not to me, anyway.

what it feels like is:

-5,707 miles
-532 days
-509 emails
-a handful of letters
-2 skype calls

Trust me, I am so beyond proud of her and her service.  My Mondays revolve around her emails and she is constantly on my mind throughout the week.  I think she has done incredible things and I'm happy for the change she is making in the world, but I CANNOT wait to get that little meep back home.  I just can't.  I'm going to melt into a puddle of emotion at the airport, and assuming I can mold myself back into a human I may never let her out of my arms.

Now, someone distract me for the next two weeks so it will fly by.

Thanksgiving in Island Park

So, Thanksgiving. That happened.  Ate so much food that the teensiest bit of abs that were starting to show on my stomach are long gone.  I haven't shaved my legs in a month.  It didn't start as a solidarity to No Shave November, but ended up being a happy coincidence I just ran with it.  But two days into December and I've yet to put a razor to them.  Landon just loves it *sarcasm font* and refers to my legs as Spee-ider and Arachnis Deathicus.  How's that for a pet name?

But Thanksgiving was good. We (Landon's family and I) went up to Island Park in Idaho. I know.  I hadn't heard of it either.  Really, I 've found the only humans who know where that is are the people who have been there.  It's nestled up in the mountains about 30 minutes outside of West Yellowstone and it is seriously breath taking up there.  One because the scenery is beautiful, and two because it is so. freaking. cold.  But it only snowed the night that we drove up there and it was blue bird the rest of the time we were there.

I snapped these photos on my phone while I was out running. (That's right. I am training for another half, so I have to run during holidays.  And my abs STILL disappeared.)  The first one I was trusting a frozen lake probably more than I should have and the second was in the yard of a different cabin that had humans inside and I tried to be so sneaky about sliding through their property to take pictures of their firewood.  Let's be honest though, I'm not graceful and the snow hadn't been shoveled.  I'm sure they noticed the 6'0 human-Bambi-on-ice in their front yard.

We stayed in this cozy cabin complete with an (electric) wood burning stove and a hot tub on the deck.  So despite it literally being 3 degrees outside, we were all kinds of toasty the whole week through.  (Don't worry. I kept my spee-ider legs to myself in the hot tub.)

We only left the cabin once to go watch Kenyon in a cross country ski race in West on Friday.  Other than that we only ventured off the property to go for runs (worst idea in those temps) and little walks to get pictures of the cutest little meep (my niece, Abby) you ever did see:
heart eyes emoji for daysssss
To keep ourselves busy in the cabin we played pool, foosball, cards, ate all of the food and watched football and all six Stars Wars over the course of four days.  It was so relaxing and harder than we thought it would be to pack up and peace out that Sunday.  Though, I can't say that I think Landon was heartbroken that I wasn't going to make him take his coat off for pictures and hold snow in his bare hands anymore.
He is so sweet to play along with all my stupid ideas.  That- or he fears the Arachnis Deathicus.
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