Painting and Porcupines

I found it very fitting this morning when I was sifting through the new music on Spotify when I found a song titled, "Hello Friday" by Flo Rida and I proceeded to listen to it in the spirit of Friday.  I made it about a quarter way through the song before I changed it because, well, it's Flo Rida.

But seriously, hello Friday!

This week went by pretty quickly for me, though I feel as if I've been in a sleepy daze for half of it.  I don't know what my problem is, but I've been staying up later and later and then in the morning I'm useless.  I didn't even have that much homework this week due to a couple exams coming up for midterms. MIDTERMS. We are halfway through my first semester back to school, people.  I may survive.  I may actually graduate one day.

Aside from work, homework, and working out (that's a lot of work), I've had my hands in a few other little things.  I recently started to paint with watercolors.  I haven't picked it up out of nowhere, I've been painting since I was a little girl.  I'm no Da Vinci, but my mom is darn near close and she's taught me a thing or two.  I want her to teach me a lot more things now that I'm getting back into it.  It relaxes my mind at the end of the day; I've just been turning on some chill music and painting in the corner of my kitchen.
Another project I have up my sleeve is, a little more morbid at first thought, but will be awesome when it's done.  I found a dead porcupine on the side of the road near my house and I stopped the other day to...gather(?) some of it's quills?  It sounds disgusting, but hear me out, I've got some radical jewelry ideas for them.  And don't worry, I thoroughly disinfected them.  Seriously, I've been waiting years to find one that wouldn't put my life in danger when I pulled off the road to get what I needed.  So stay tuned, I don't have a craft store near me, so it might be a bit before I can work out what I have in mind, but it's going to be beautiful.

Also, funny story behind this porcupine.  I was talking to my mom on the phone when I pulled up to it to gather the quills.  I was about 15 feet behind it and I could see a spot of bright red near it's head.  "Oh my gosh, I think I see it's brains!"  I shrieked into her ear. I got out of my truck with my gloves, paper towels and ziplock bag and hesitantly walked up to the little guy.  When I got closer I found that the red I had seen was not his brains or guts, but a rose.
"Someone put a rose in his paws!"  I squealed delightedly as I bent down to look.  He really was a beautiful animal and even though it was probably done as a joke, I felt it was appropriate that someone had paid respect to him.  Especially since I was about to take a large amount of his quills back with me.  It's fine, I know how creepy I sound.  You'll see, though, YOU'LL ALL SEE.

Other than that though, it's been the usual do 3 works (that's what I'm referring to them as from now  on) and trying to ignore how messy my house is.  Hopefully I can tackle that tonight after I murder my abs in the gym.

Have a great weekend, dudes.

Smoke Detectors

So, this June will be five years since Landon and I got married.  After that long we don't have many "firsts" left to get out of the way.  Well, last night I scratched one of the few left off the list; I set off our smoke detector while cooking dinner.  I'm not even sure exactly what set it off?  There wasn't any smoke and my dinner wasn't burned, but it gave me a heart attack and set Josh running for the hills.  Well, my bedroom, where he didn't come out from under out bed until Landon got home in time to eat a delicious and not even slightly burned meal.
Now, this isn't a first in my life, just since I've been married.  It made me think back to the last time a smoke detector was set off in the kitchen and when the memory came to mind, I laughed and laughed.  It was when I was in college (weird saying that since I'm technically still in college) and my roommate Shelise was cooking something on the stove.  We had been living together for nearly a year and in that time I had taken hundreds of photos and printed a large amount of them off and hung them on the wall in our kitchen.  We called it, "The Wall of Fame" or, "Wall of Shame" depending on which photos made it up.  I've been sifting through old photos to see if there was a picture of it anywhere, I'm sure there is one on my old laptop, but this was the best one I could find.  And in the spirit of TBT, I figured it would do just fine.
That's my other roommate, Lindy.  This was right before we went to the Festival of Colors for the first time.  Ugh, I miss that beautiful little fairy child.  ANYWAY, there is the Wall of Fame back there.  It sprawled all the way across our kitchen wall, nearly top to bottom.  So when Shelise was cooking whatever it was on the stove, something went wrong.  We either got distracted, it was too dry, I don't know, whatever it was- it caught on fire.

Smoke started to billow, not huge plumes or anything, but her food was burning and the smoke detector started to scream and shortly after so did Shelise and I.  She ran to the stove yelling, "WHAT DO WE DO?! WHAT DO WE DO?!" But my mind was not on the open flame on our stove, it was on my glorious wall of photos that was about to be drowned by the sprinklers if the smoke got too thick. "MY PICTURES!!!" I screamed as I ran to the wall and began clawing at it.  I don't know what my plan was, all I knew was I needed to get my photos down before they were ruined.  But there were literally hundreds of them.  And even if I did manage to knock them all down, then they were on the floor and still not out of harm's way.  AND they were just dumb pictures, printed off at Walmart!  Clearly, not what was important at the second! I should have been focusing on helping put out the fire!

I don't think we even put the flame out.  I think it ended up burning itself out rather quickly.  The smoke detectors shut off as we waved the smoke out our kitchen window and we stood there in contemplative silence for a moment; photos all around our feet.  She never let me live that down; the fact that my pictures were more important than the fire.  I found it interesting how different the both of us reacted when faced with an emergency- neither of which were productive.

It's a miracle I've survived this long on my own.


So as most of you know, I work in an open-pit mine.  And in an establishment like this, one is required to wear the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) such as and: hard hat, reflective vests, gloves, safety glasses, jeans, and steel-toed boots.  While most of that is easy to replace, in fact, Safety in the company will usually just give you most of that.  With the exception of jeans and shirts and the boots.  I've been wearing the same old (men's) boots I bought from Walmart three summers ago.  To say they were in need of replacing would be- an understatement.  The seams on both sides were all blown out, there were holes in the soles, the leather was cracked and sagging to the point where it resembles the Sorting Hat, er-Boot.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I heard them yell, "GRYFFINDOR!" one time when I slipped them on. Basically it got to the point where they were letting more in than keeping out.  But boots are expensive and I've been holding on to mine for longer than I should have.

A few weeks ago, I had to do an assignment for one of my classes that evaluated a salesperson without their knowing.  There aren't a lot of stores in Heber where there are actual "sales people" that cater to the customer, so I went to Reams, a store where they sell work boots, cowboy boots, Wranglers, ropes and really any sort of attire a farm hand would need.  I was just going to do my assignment and leave, but the sales lady did a really great job and sold me on a beautiful pair of black leather Ariats.  It wasn't hard, really, I fingered the intricate blue stitching in the soft suede on the top of the boot.  The black leather that covered the foot was smooth and sleek, and when I slipped them on, I felt like Cinderella trying on her glass slipper.  Only instead of glass, it was perfectly fitted leather; far more comfortable.  All I could think of were my tattered old boots back in my work truck and how they had hit their stride probably before last summer.  I told her to put me down for a pair.  I had to order them because the ones I tried on weren't steel-toed and that's a requirement for my job.  Well, I finally picked them up last night and I am wearing them now.  I feel like a damn princess.

I don't know if this is really a "Treat Yo Self" sort of purchase since it's for work, but I am definitely feeling a little more than spoiled.  The fact that they are actually women's boots is a luxury I haven't experienced in the 5 years I've been at this job.  When I walk, the snug fit makes it so I don't shuffle my feet with each step.  They actually stay on my feet.  It's incredible. And they are just so dang pretty! I'm trying to soak in all of their beauty before I walk out the door here into the pit a couple minutes where they will never be the same.


So, I accomplished nothing last night.

That's not entirely true.  I did work out.  It was Week 9 leg day of this program I've been doing.  And let me tell you what- it nearly murdered me.  This is my second time through this 12-week program and I thought for some stupid reason it would be easier the second time around. But I barely made it through it last night.  I'm crediting that to the fact that last Friday was also leg day, then we went snowboarding on Saturday, and then I ran 12 miles on Sunday, and my poor noodle legs hadn't had a chance to recoup. In fact, I'm sure that's the reason I struggled so badly.  And our clubhouse is being renovated right now, so I can't even get a good soak in the hot tub. Woe is me.
So I got home just in time to do a small veggie roast, grill up some balsamic chicken with tomatoes and mozzerella and wrap myself up in a blanket burrito to watch the Bachelor. YES, I'm still watching that show.  And with nearly every second of my days lately being spoken for, that really tells you where the Bachelor falls on my list of priorities.  And then immediately after the Bachelor, Landon and I watched the latest episode of the Walking Dead.  Not a stitch of homework was done.

That's a winning Monday if you ask me.

Weekend Nights and Dog Bites

What a weekend.  I needed it after the crappy week I had.  I feel like I can't say that, though.  The week wasn't bad, I just had a bad attitude for a part of it.  Nothing happened to me to make me feel that way, I just did.  I think it's okay to have bad days though, as long as you don't let them settle in and buy some property.

The weekend was good, though.  Friday night Landon and I stayed in and finished up whatever homework we had left and we went to bed around 11:00.  I was up at 7 in the morning to go for a run.  I was saving my 12-mile run for Sunday so technically that made Saturday my rest day, but the night before was leg day and I desperately needed to loosen those bad boys up after the hell I put them through.  I decided I was just going to run 3 miles and come home to go snowboarding.  It's funny, it's like my body knew I didn't have to be running; that this 3 miles was not on the schedule.  Because I had ZERO energy.  I only ended up going a mile before I turned around and I walked most of it. I was like, "FINE. I get it."  So I got a little cardio in before we went boarding.

While this warm weather has been great for my runs, it's been awful for our snow.  Even after the snow typhoon that blew through on Thursday, the snow on the mountain was mashed potato-ey and melty.  It was feeling a little too much like Spring for a February morning, but it was beautiful.
Despite the lack of fresh snow, Landon is pro at finding untouched powder.  Most of the time it's off in the trees and requires a lot of aggressive carving to manuver through, but that didn't scare me off.  He's been making me push my comfort zone this winter and I've learned that I really can do anything I want; sometimes it means I have to twinkie my way down, but I can do it just the same.  Plus, a girl will do pretty much anything for some virgin powder. (Not a drug reference.)

 Friday afternoon, I brought my best friend, Jenessa, some Starbucks to her work and sat and chatted with her for about an hour and a half.  We haven't seen a whole lot of each other lately and we decided we needed to go to Comedy Sportz the next night.  The plan was to get sushi before, but I suck at planning and by the time we got there, there was a 45 minute wait and we weren't going to have time to eat before the show.  We went to Rumbi Island Grill instead (a poor substitute) and got to Comedy Sportz just in time to snag some front row seats.  Landon was there too, but he's taken on the role of "Instagram Husband."  He didn't choose the IGH life, the IGH life chose him.
We haven't been to CS in quite a long time.  Our favorite cast member moved to Washington and we've been mourning for a long time.  But even without him there, it's the best entertainment in Provo and we were all in tears at some point from laughing so hard.  

Sunday morning, I woke up at six to eat breakfast and pack my camelbak with all the snacks I was going to need for my 12-miler.  The last time I did this run, it nearly killed me.  I didn't really know what I was doing back then, though, and I was far more prepared this time around.  In fact, the time passed by quickly and aside from sore legs and feet, I felt awesome.

Well- maybe not just sore legs and feet.  I had an...encounter, if you will, about 4 miles into my run.  With a dog.  I was running up the sidewalk, it was around 7:30 and the sun wasn't quite up yet so it was a little dark.  I was approaching a house that had a lot of cars in the driveway and when I ran out from behind them, I think I scared this dog that was outside with it's owner.  I didn't even see them until the dog was charging at me, barking and snarling like Kujo.  He lunged at me and latched on to the back of my leg, right above my knee.  It scared the hell out of me and I yelped out in shock and pain.  The owner was just as surprised as the dog and me and he came running after his dog.  He began apologizing profusely as he spanked the dog on the butt.  "I am so so sorry, he's just a puppy." He told me.  He was darn bigger than a puppy, but I'm sure he was probably only a year or so old.  "It's okay, I think I just scared him is all."  I told the guy.  After he apologized and asked if I was okay eight more times, I was running again.  My leg was sore, but I didn't think it was that bad and I still had 8 more miles to run.  After I hit the halfway point, I was heading back towards home and I was approaching the house where it all happened.  I was on edge and scanning every yard for potential k-9 attacks.  I passed the house and a couple more when I finally started to let my guard down.  It was only then when I approached another house on a corner.  I was running towards the backyard and it had a short wooden fence standing about 4 feet tall.  I heard manic barking again and I came to an abrupt halt when a very large German Shepard appeared, he was standing with his paws on the fence and it was clear to both of us that it was not going to keep him in if he wanted to come get me.  I froze in place and a second later and even larger Siberian Husky jumped up next to the Shepard barking and snarling the same way.  The owners were in the backyard, one was sitting and the other was standing with a cigarette in his had.  They both stood and looked at the dogs, then at me, they had the same frozen expression on their faces as I did.  They started calling the dogs, louder and more desperately each time as the dogs started to move back and forth along the fence.  I looked at the one holding the cigarette, "Are they nice?"  I managed to squeak out.  The question was fell stupidly to the ground as I started to back away; the hunger in the dog's eyes were enough to let me know that, no, they were not nice.  I side stepped off the curb and into the street, putting at least 50 feet between us.  They still jumped and barked and let me know that if I was to come a step closer I was as good as kibble.

I got past the house, adrenaline surging through my veins, and managed to make it home in one piece, though the back of my leg had started to throb.  When I went upstairs, Landon was excited to see me and asked how it went.  I pulled down my leggings and asked if I had a mark on the back of my leg.  His eyes went wide and he gaped at me, "Did a dog bite you?!"  He asked, horrified.  "Yes!"  I said as I crawled into bed.  I began to tell him all that had happened on my run and when I got halfway through the part about the dogs on the way back I started to cry.  Tears spilled over and I sobbed through the rest of the story.  Landon was speechless and I felt so stupid.  I don't know why I cried, except that I was emotionally traumatized.  I'm a huge dog lover and when I told him I felt stupid and didn't know why I was crying, Landon hugged me and said, "It's because you feel so betrayed by something you love so much."  Maybe that was it.  Hopefully I'm not permanently emotionally scarred.

Calming the Tempest

Praise the heavens that it's Friday.  I had a heck of a day yesterday.  You know how animals can like, sense things? Like, earthquakes and weather?  I wonder if I kind of had a touch of that yesterday; a premonition of sorts.  It's out of character for me to be grumpy like I was for no good reason.  The weather has been beautiful this last week and a half and I've been reveling in it like a cat stretched lazily in a ray of sunshine.  And then yesterday I woke up just, in a bad mood.  I don't think I let people on about it. I hope I minded my manners despite the dark cloud that hung above my head; figuratively and literally.  I think this mood was a sense of foreboding for the storm that was looming.  Around 11 am the winds picked up to an alarming speed, snow and hail pelted down making metallic pings on our trucks parked outside.  The pings were quickly drowned out by roaring thunder.  Thunder, you guys.  I didn't even know that was possible in a blizzard.  Lightning flashed and snow piled up outside our door in a matter of minutes to the point that I had to put all of my weight against the door just to get it to open.  I have never seen a storm as furious as this in the winter.  While a part of me fretted about my long run I had planned for the afternoon, most of me was so awestruck by the fury of the tempest out my window.  In a weird way, it dissipated whatever sullen scud had settled in me.

The worst of the storm was over in about an hour, though it continued to snow heavily for the next two.  It was heavy snow that turned to thick slush almost immediately.  It had been piling up on the roads the entire time when a snowplow came barreling down the boulevard far too fast for the conditions.  Our lab sits about 30 feet off the main road and it sounded like thunder or an earthquake as it approached us.  Not a second later, our lab was blasted with an immeasurable about of snow and slush.  It was so much, it shook our entire lab; the sound was so loud, I thought the walls had been blasted in.  I turned with the sound and looked out my window just in time to see our fence be barraged with ice and slush, ripping half of it out of the ground and blowing it down like a child blowing out a candle.  Screams called out from all over the lab, it scared me so bad, it took five minutes for my pulse to return to normal.  I honestly cannot believe it didn't shatter all of our windows.
It was insane, I tell you.  The roads home told the story of the blizzard that had raged a few hours prior.  Though the storm had all but subsided, ice had hardened in uneven patterns making the drive jarring and uncomfortable.  When I finally walked through door at home, I had planned to change immediately into my leggings and running shoes before I could sit down.  I just wanted to get my run out the way so I could start on the exhausting amounts of homework that weighed down my backpack.  Unfortunately, I was greeted with a whimpering dog who had very obviously been sick the entire day.  There was throw up and poop everywhere.  Lucky for me, the most of it wasn't on the carpet, but I still had to spend an hour cleaning it all up, disinfecting, and stain treating my house.  I honestly can't think of anything worse I could have come home to.  After a long hour sterilizing, I was tired and the haze of bitterness had settled back on my shoulders.   More than anything, I wanted to go take a shower and crawl into bed for the next 48 hours.  The idea nearly made me salivate as I vigorously washed my hands up to my elbows for the next two minutes.  But- as I've mentioned before, I'm a creature of habit, and my exercise routine has nestled itself tightly into my habits and I knew I would only feel worse if I missed my run.  Plus, my next run is supposed to be 12 miles long and I knew that I needed to condition myself in preparation.

I barricaded Josh in the kitchen with his bed and bowls of food and water, and I went upstairs to change.  Like Tuesday when I had slept late, I walked out my door to find I only had upwards towards 40 minutes before the sun set behind the mountains.  The air was cool, but not harsh; it actually was crisp and clean.  The storm had drawn people to their warm homes and the streets were empty and quiet.  I turned on my audio book and started to run.  A few weeks ago, I found myself complaining a lot about my long runs.  I voiced my disdain towards training for a half-marathon.  I knew the race was fun, but I genuinely didn't like the conditioning.  Kristen commented on a post a couple weeks ago and told me that she loved the long runs.  She told me they were the best part about training and the rest was just fitting in the mileage; she told me they were special.  After she told me this, I almost felt guilty.  Like, I had been missing out and not appreciating a hidden treasure.  I decided I desperately needed to change my attitude about the longer runs, and since doing so I have found a great joy in every run.  Even the smaller ones. Last night's run was no exception.  The cool air and calmness that had blanketed Midway opened me up and expelled the bad energy I had been harboring this week.  The colors that bled through the thick winter clouds as the sun set behind Timpanogous warmed me to my core despite the dropping temperatures.  My spirit that had been bound by the ties or exhaustion, brooding and overall contempt broke through and was liberated in the cool, February evening.  I found my heart in the sky and my soul in the mountains.  I finally understood what Kristen had meant when she said the long runs are special.

I slept so soundly last night, and I woke up refreshed and cheerful; excited for Friday and the weekend ahead.  I know I owe my light heart to the miles I put behind me last night and I genuinely look forward to my 12 mile run this weekend.

Don't Mind My Brooding

There's a storm blowing in.  Normally, I'm excited for storms.  Especially because it's been unusually warm these last couple weeks and I'm not ready for spring skiing just yet.  However, I have to run six miles tonight and if I had the option, I'd prefer it wasn't in the snow and wind.  Actually, I don't totally mind snow, but the wind is manic out there; I hate running in wind.

I wish it was Friday instead of Thursday.  It's been long week and I just wish all of my homework was done and turned in and all I had to do tonight was make some dinner and then become one with the couch.  No such luck.  And I've got so much homework to do still that might not even get to happen tomorrow when it really is Friday.  Who is responsible for me going back to school?  I need to have a word with him.

I'm completely enthralled in my audio book right now.  This is the second time I've listened to The Wise Man's Fear, but I can't for the life of me hardly remember what happens and it feels like it's the first time.  I just never want to turn it off.  I was even listening to it in the gym last night.  Usually I'm listening to music that pumps me up, but last night while I was doing a plank I turned the book back on in hopes that it would make a plank-minute go by faster.   It did.

Then this couple that always comes in the gym 30 minutes after I do every night, plugs their phone into the sound system and blasts Nickelback at an ungodly volume.  I have to fight a real urge to throw a dumbbell at the back of their heads.  The narrator's voice doesn't stand a chance against that garbage and I had to turn my normal music back on and my headphones up as loud as they could go to even remotely block out their poor taste in music.  It's so inconsiderate and I have to hold back from yanking the emergency stop cord off their treadmills when I leave.

Is this post whiny enough?  Ugh, I don't mean to be so ornery.  Just one of those weeks, you know?

"RUNsets and Omlettes"

It felt so good to be back to normal work yesterday.  However, I was dead tired when I got home.  I've been listening to A Wise Man's Fear (the sequel to The Name of the Wind) on Audible while I drive to and from work and I was at a really good spot when I got home yesterday.  So I grabbed some snacks and crawled into bed to listen for a little while longer before I went for my run.  Fast forward an hour to when I was woken up by Landon's phone call.  I cannot tell you most of our conversation because I was so incoherent.  I was also frantically trying to change into my running clothes because the sun was going to set in 30 minutes and I had to run four miles still.  Poor Landon had to try to muddle through a conversation with a barely conscious (and probably not totally friendly) human being for the space of a few minutes until he finally gave up.  He called me again right when I was finishing my run and I apologized profusely for everything I couldn't remember I had said.

The run was beautiful, though.  I had to rewind about 45 minutes worth of my audio book that I had slept through and decided I'd rather listen to that than music on my run.  I think it may have slowed me down a little, I rely heavily on the beat of music to keep my stride in pace, but the book IS SO GOOD.  And since I left so late, I was able to watch the sun set behind Mt. Timpanogus and watch the colors bleed across the sky.  Very few things make me happier than sunsets, and getting to do my run right in the middle of a fiery one is my perfect workout; to which I will now be referring to as a RUNset.  At the turn around point, I paused my workout apps and my book and I stood to watch the last few minutes of it all before I turned my back to it.  It was one of those moments where it felt amazing to be alive.  I'm sure it was a mix of endorphins, my love for sunsets and my Utah mountains, and the poetic words of Patrick Rothfuss in my head.
When I got home, Landon met me at the door with Subway because I had slept through the time I had set aside to go grocery shopping, bless his heart.  We watched the latest episode of the Walking Dead which I screamed and cursed angrily through the entire time, and then we went upstairs to do more homework.  Landon was working on an assignment I had already turned in a few days ago and the last question was, "If you could be anybody in time, who would you be?"  Landon asked me who I had put down.  Without answering his question, I repeated back to him, "Who did you put?"  He laughed and said, "Travis Pastrana."  And I kicked my head back in a delighted laugh and said, "I put Lynd-z Pastrana!!" Who is the lucky woman who is married to Travis and the mother of his two beautiful daughters.  I stretched my arms up and bent my back over the back of the chair and I was looking at Landon upside down and I said to him, "That's like- the sweetest thing ever.  Even if we could switch places with other people, you and I would still be married!  We really are soulmates!"  He smiled back at me and said, "Yes, we are."  I just love that guy.

I woke up this morning wishing I had another three hours to sleep, but I was also starving so I crawled out of bed to go whip up some breakfast.  It's classic me to find something I like and eat it so frequently that I end up hating it.  In an effort to not do that I decided to take a break from my peanut butter and maple syrup toast to make an omelette.  I'm kind of weird and only like eggs either hard boiled or over medium; scrambled eggs gross me out and I've never been one to go for the omelette at brunch.  But I had some left over tomatoes, spinach, onions and cheese and I figured I'd shake things up a bit and go for it.  I can't say I loved it, because I don't love eggs like that, but I was heavy enough on the mix-ins that I didn't have to wash each bite down with a hurried gulp of water.  Maybe next time I'll even get brave enough for some hot sauce or salsa.  Naturally, I had to take a snap of it with a pun-driven caption, and naturally I had to ruin the joke by misspelling the pun; it's part of my brand.
Good one, Whit.

Weekend Update

Praise the heavens, I am back to work today!  I mean, I've been working, but Thursday, Friday and yesterday we have been in day long meetings and I'm just excited to be able to move around at my heart's desire, go outside, use the bathroom whenever I want, you know; it's the little things. Yesterday was our MSHA refresher and it went about as great as it ever does, however yesterday it was in Layton and we had to be there at 6:00 AM.  Layton is about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Midway AND I was going to a family party directly after, so I knew I wasn't going to have time to work out afterward.  So I made the executive decision the night before and set my alarm for THREE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING so I could work out.  You don't have to tell me; I know I'm insane.  But I'm also in such a routine that the thought of disrupting my work out schedule was more painful to me than waking up at an ungodly hour.
We went to my cousin's house last night and partied all night too, so when my alarm went off this morning at 5:11 this morning I had to fight off tears and curses.  I haven't even looked at how far I have to run today when I get home from work either.  I just want to go take a nap.

This weekend was awesome though!! Busy, but great.  Friday night we stayed in, I cooked Landon some dinner and we did homework and I fell asleep watching Lilo and Stitch on Netflix.  Saturday I woke up early to run 4 miles in the beautiful 32 degrees outside.  I mean, it was just a dream.  We hit the mountain right after I got back and it continued to be a gorgeous day.  We took it kind of easy because Landon's little cousin was skiing for the first time ever and we stuck to groomers and greens. We still had fun, though.  Days like that we like to mess around and just play; and like I said, it was such a perfect day it was impossible not to have a good time. AND this was the first day this season that it was warm enough for me to go sans beard.  Now I know how Landon feels when he shaves.
We only stayed until noon because we had plans to go to another one of those Bubble Ball parties.  Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure I was blogging much the last time we had a party.  I'll have to check after I post this.  Basically, it's a game of soccer, but everyone is inside of their own bubble-ball contraption.  There are shoulder straps and handles inside of them to keep you from falling out when you inevitably get body slammed and you go rolling across the floor.  Last time we did it, it was summer and we played on an actual soccer field.  On Saturday, we did it in a church gym.  The pro's and con's to each of those was that the grass was much more forgiving when you'd get hit and you'd slam your knees on the ground.  The hardwood floor in the gym left us all with bruises speckled across our legs.  However, the full-length soccer field was practically suicide and you were calling for a sub after dribbling the ball down the field and back.  In the gym, it was just a basketball court and we could play for nearly 15 minutes before we'd collapse on the floor, drenched in sweat.  Regardless of locations, though, Bubble Ball is a party no matter what.  I seriously want to buy one for myself so I can just go roll around at the park by myself.

After that, Landon took me to Tucanos where I ate my entire body weight in different sorts of Brazillian meats, grilled pineapple and broccoli salad.  A bubble ball would have been beneficial afterward to roll me out of the restaurant; it's been a long time since I've eaten that much in one sitting.  I was so freaking hungry, though.  We hardly ate anything that day and after running 4 miles, snowboarding for a couple hours and then two hours of running (rolling) around I was ready to eat an entire wildebeest.  Props to Landon for making reservations for us at the most popular restaurant in town; he knows how to take care of his woman.
Sunday was a lot of laying around; as it tends to be most weekends.  We wear ourselves out on Saturday and then ignore our Apple Watches all day Sunday when it tells us to get up and move around for a minute. You know, really stick it to Siri.  I did manage to make us a pretty incredible lunch before I let my body morph into the couch, though.  I whipped up some stuffed salmon, garlic steaks, hand-mashed red potatoes, fresh, buttery rolls and some garlic-parmesan roasted asparagus.  I mean, I'm so close to just opening my kitchen as a restaurant.  A couple hours later we enjoyed my homemade cheesecake with brownie crust.  It was a perfect Valentines weekend with the love of my life.
This weekend I definitely over indulged in the food department. YOLO. (am I using that correctly?) Whatever.  I'm running a half-marathon in 3 weeks, I need the extra calories. RIGHT?! right.

Anyway, glad all those meetings are over and I can get back into my routine.  
I'm such a creature of habit.

Kick Off Meetings and Stealing Pens

It's 5:31 AM right now as I am writing this.  I am eating a piece of wheat toast with natural peanut butter on it. It's taken me a couple weeks to get used to the "natural" kind because it's not nearly as sweet.  And I'm finally starting to get over the fact that I have to stir it every time I use it because the oil separates. It used to freak me out so much, but now it's part of the norm.

I'm blogging so early because I'm going to be in a meeting all day today.  I was yesterday, but I didn't think far enough ahead to realize I wouldn't be able to post.  So in place of blogging, over the course of the day I tried writing all the words to Blank Space by Taylor Swift down in my notebook from memory as my creative outlet.  It wasn't so creative as it was frustrating.  I have listened to that song more times than most humans, and I SHOULD BE ABLE TO WRITE IT DOWN.  I've gotten most of it, but there is a couple lines here and there that I can hear in my head that I simply cannot scribble down.  And I don't want to listen to the song until I remember them, because then am I really a true Swiftie?  Her song that has been on the radio for the last year and half THOUSANDS of times and that I've probably played another thousand times on my on accord?  No.  I am not.

Clearly, I'm getting a lot out of the meetings.

No, they're interesting for the most part.  It's a lot of budget talk and how we did in 2015 and our goals for 2016 and whatnot.  They gave us these sweet notebooks and pens (two of my favorite things) to take notes in, and I made a comment to my boss about how nice the pens were.  We're talking like the pens that are probably $7 for a two-pack at Target, that kind of quality.  As soon as I drew his attention to it, every time he got up to use the restroom, get a drink or a snack, he would bring back another 5 pens and put them in front of me.  I would get embarrassed really quickly, because I didn't want people to think that I was stealing the pens, but the only place I could put them out of view was in my purse.  By the end of the day, I had probably accrued over $50 worth of quality pens.

This is not out of the norm for my boss to do this.  Usually at these day-long meetings he will bring back a handful of snacks each time he gets up and leave them in front of me.  And then everyone thinks I'm hoarding all of the good snacks.  AND he always manages to get a picture of me with all of it in front of me and he has a nice little folder of me looking like a snack-hoarding piglet.  So to be honest, the pens were a welcome.  I'm not going to eat the snacks, but I'll take the pens.

So, there was that and they fed us some pretty good Mexican food and gave me an award for having a positive attitude.  Which- I'm sure you're all rolling your eyes over after my little freak out up there over Blank Space.  Regardless, it was really sweet of them to recognize me for that.  I trotted up to the stage with my new purple hair and accepted the award and gift card and tried to make a speech like I was accepting a Grammy, but they took the microphone away.  JK that did not happen.  Would have been funny though.
We've got another day of meetings today and one more on Monday, then we should be set for at least a few months.  Wish me luck, and cross your fingers you don't see me in the evening news for stealing a substantial amount of quality pens.

"This is Beard"

I mentioned yesterday that Landon and I went snowboarding on Saturday (like always) and it was a MADHOUSE.  I'm assuming the Freestyles brought the crowds, I can't think of anything else.  Well, when we were on our way to go back down to the truck we had to take the Tombstone lift which is one of the busiest.  When we boarded up to it, there wasn't even a hint of a line, it was just mass chaos.  I looked at Landon and said, "Let's just hit the singles line and try to get through this as quickly as possible."  He nodded and followed behind me as we skated past the crowds and were on the lift in a timely manner.  Sometimes you get lucky in the singles line and you can still get on with your friend, but most of the time you have to split up and Landon and I didn't get to ride together that time.  I got on the lift with three guys on the opposite side of the chair, a girl and another guy next to me. As soon as we started up the mountain, one of the guys on the other side starts spinning his hand with his index finger out and looking at the rest of us saying, "Do this with me."  The two next to me and I kind of looked at him for a second and laughed, so I started to do it with him and his other friend, the girl followed me and the guy next to me was holding out.  The guy who started it was like, "Come on, man, he won't break out the beer unless everyone is doing this."  Which broke him and he laughed as he joined in.  He said, "This is a new tradition that we just started a couple lifts ago.  We have to get everyone doing this before he opens another beer."  We all got to talking and telling each other where we were from and where we were staying when the guy who brought us all together says, "You guys should totally come over to the house we're staying at!  You go down Serendipity and turn at the moose! We've invited everyone and nobody has shown up yet!" and then he looked at me and points and says, "I don't even know what you look like, and you still are invited!" (My beard and goggles hide my face completely.)  I was like, "Well, lucky for you, I'm super hot." We all laughed about it and he was like, "It doesn't even matter because you're obviously effing cool!"  And I was all, "That's true.  If nothing else, I have a great personality.  Because, spoiler alert, there is another beard under this beard."  And he was like, "Alright!!"  and we joked and laughed for the rest of the ride up the mountain.

It was the most fun I've had on a lift since the day I boarded in my bra, and I genuinely wanted to go and hang out with all of them at the house off Serendipity.  Unfortunately, I was still planning on going to the Moguls Freestyle with my family and friends and I didn't think I was going to be able to do both.  Now I'm kicking myself because those plans fell through. When we got off the lift, the three guys caught up with their big group and were all gathering to get their picture taken.  I skated over to Landon and was about to buckle into my board when the one guy yells to me, "Beard!!! Are you coming?!"  And I look over to see them waiting for the photo, so I skate back to them as quickly as I can and crouch down to pose in their picture.  One of their friends was like, "Who is that?!"  And the guy was like, "This is Beard.  We met her on the lift. She's super cool."  The lady took our picture and I said a quick goodbye before I went back over to Landon and we headed down to the truck.

The three guys behind me were the ones I was on the lift with.  The one in the middle of them in the blue suit was the one who named me Beard and invited me over to hang out with all of them.  This was just another one of those moments where I felt so lucky to have a glimpse of what kind of people are out there.  People who I don't know exist but are happy and putting good energy out into the world.  I'm bummed we missed out on the party, but I'm so glad I was able to spend just a little bit of time with them and get to feel their spirit.  They had a lot of it.

And Beard is my new favorite nickname.

Superbowl Yoga and Mermaid Hair

How about that weekend, huh?  It was just about as crazy as I expected it to be.  We didn't end up making it to the Mogul Freestyles Saturday night which I was pretty bummed about, but we still had a ton of stuff to do.  Saturday we did go snowboarding and we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up our house for Sunday.  That part of our life has definitely been on the neglected side.  I mean, we aren't living in a disaster zone, but it was so nice to just get everything picked up.

Sunday we had church and my family came up for my dad's birthday/Superbowl party.  I've never hosted a Superbowl party before, and even though ours was small, I still felt pretty rad about it.  We had a nacho bar and an assortment of cookies and marshmallow popcorn.  I also made these sweet potato bites with guac and bacon.  I tried to keep it pretty healthy (with the exception of the cookies) so I wouldn't feel like I had ruined my progress in one sitting.

We watched the game, but at the same time sent out a million snaps of us being dumb.  Mariah and I started trying out some acro yoga; turns out I'm a lot more flexible than she is.  The result was the same in nearly every pose: us on the floor in a fit of giggles.  My dad eventually got tired of watching us crash and burn and he jumped in to help us succeed.  Really, this was the picture of what our Superbowl evening looked like:
And capturing this moment was not nearly as easy as this looks.  We almost came crashing down right on top of Brenden.  There was a lot of trust there to lay directly underneath us when he had been watching us fall all night long. When the game was over we sang happy birthday to my dad.  I made him a cookie cake, but totally dropped the ball when it came to getting candles for it.  So we gathered all the scented candles in my house and lit them next to my cake for him to blow out.  It was real classy.

They all left after awhile and Landon and I crawled into bed utterly exhausted.  I wasn't feeling great yesterday morning, so I texted in sick and got some much needed sleep.  I also was able to get some homework done and in the afternoon when I was feeling a lot better I got a run in.  After which, I headed to a hair appointment I had made and had the chick dye my hair purple.  I've been wanting to do this for a long time now, and I finally just did it.  I love it, Landon loves it, it's just perfect.
And underneath all the purple there is some pink and blue and teal mixed in there.  I feel like a mermaid and I never want normal colored hair again.  

Finally Friday

I have to say, these last few weeks have felt like the longest weeks of my LIFE.  I think it mostly has to do with going back to school and having a million assignments to do and a million more chapters to read.  And everything is due on Thursday, so when Fridays roll around I kind of just breathe.  Just- let it all out.  Because between trying to juggle that, 40 hours of work, exercise, and meal prep I'm just wiped out.  Last night, I fell asleep at 9:00 next to Landon on the twin bed in our guest bedroom.  He likes to do his homework in there, (less distractions, I don't know) so I snuggled up next to him and promptly fell asleep.  I woke up at 11:00 buried under six throw pillows and three stuffed giraffes with my face smashed up against the wall.  Not exactly what I would call "beauty sleep."

I've got big plans for this weekend, though.  I should probably go to bed just as early again tonight because I don't think I'll be getting any kind of rest for the next two days.  I only have to run three miles tomorrow (praise the Lord), then we are going to hit the mountain for a few hours and be back in time to meet up with my family and friends to go the the World Cup Moguls Freestyle competition at Deer Valley.  Our friends go every year, we haven't been with them in a couple years, though.  So we are excited to be attending again tomorrow.  It's a crazy bunch of people and we dress up in retro ski clothes and party the whole night through.  This was the last time we went in 2014.  So stoked.

Then, wake up early for church on Sunday, probably throw some junk food in a crockpot because it's the best Sunday of the year! The Superbowl!! And it's my dad's birthday, so he is coming up to party and watch the game with us.  I wish my birthday landed on the Superbowl every now and then.  That food.  I'll have to work out double time all next week, I'm sure.

But yeah, those are my weekend plans.  And I can't tell you how happy I am that I did my big run earlier this week.  Last night's five miles seemed like a cake walk in comparison.  And it was just a beautiful afternoon.  It was snowing gently and the town seemed so quiet.  I haven't felt that refreshed after a run in a long time.  I almost wanted to run another five because it was so perfect. Almost.  I took this picture along the way, I am head over heels in love with Midway.  I never want to leave.

John Wayne Schulz

Last night, Johnny's group was let go from American Idol.  A lot of people watching are upset that he wasn't given a real chance in the competition; many thought he was going to be the winner.  Here is what I think.  John Wayne is destined for incredible things, and even though his run on American Idol was cut short, his talent, passion and dedication was not.  He was also given some awesome positive exposure from both seasons and has developed quite the fanbase.

He just got out of the studio recording, The Dance by Garth Brooks and has released the single on iTunes.  If you want to go buy it (you really should, it's amazing) here is the link:

On Apple Music:

or on Amazon:

Here he is singing John 3:16 with Keith Urban before they were sent home.  On his Official John Wayne Schulz Fan Page he posted,

"Don't worry folks I found my hat later that night! Having Keith Urban sing along with me to his own tune was a neat experience! A big thank you to American Idol for honoring my mother's memory and for having me on both seasons 10 &15. I'm currently in the studio working on a few singles that will be released in the coming weeks on iTunes. Follow me on Facebook 
We are beyond proud of you, Johnny.  No doubt there are big things in store for you.  We love you so much and can't wait to see what lies ahead.

DisposALL? More Like DisposNONE.

Last night was quite a roller coaster of emotions.  Let me tell you why (I know you're dying to know).  I went to they gym.  Typical.  I had to rush home because my dad was calling us at 7:30 to go over some assignments for our classes.  I needed to stop at the grocery store to grab some provisions and I got home just in time for the phone call.  Landon held the phone next to me with my dad on speaker so I could cook us dinner and listen at the same time.  I had been dreaming about this spaghetti squash I bought the other day and what kind of glorious meal I could make with it and I finally decided on a low-carb chicken parmesan bake on top of a mountain of roasted spaghetti squash.

*Can anyone tell me a safe way to slice up a spaghetti squash?!  Those suckers are like trying to cut through a rock.  I was reduced to swiftly hacking the large knife in one quick motion, enough to get it lodged into the squash and then I would lift it up and bang the whole thing on the counter repeatedly until the knife would cut through.  It's loud and messy, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO.*

All went according to plan, after I had roasted it, I was cutting the peels off the rings of spaghetti squash and absent-mindedly tossing them into the sink while I listened to my dad.  Another 25 minutes went by and the chicken parm was done, so we said goodbye to my dad and got dinner on the table.  It was a masterpiece.

Like, I didn't even want to eat it, it was so beautiful.  We enjoyed our dinner and I went into the kitchen to do the dishes before we crashed on the couch for some R&R.  There was a bunch of food trimmings in the sink so I washed them down and flipped on the disposal.  I continued to do the dishes and started to whine about it because I swear it's all I do anymore and Landon came in to offer some help.  He washed the dishes while started to make some no-bake cookies I need for a presentation I'm doing tonight.  I was so happy he was helping me with the dishes that I didn't even notice that the sink was nearly full to the top with water.  Landon flipped on the disposal to suck it down and it didn't move.  You could hear the blade turning, but the water just churned.  We looked at each other like, "Oh no."  Landon asked how long it had been broken and I was like, "Maybe two minutes?? I just used it!" He stuck a wooden knife down the sink and moved it around and he was like, "There isn't anything down there..."  And then it hit me.  "I put the spaghetti squash rinds down the sink." I said, "I bet they clogged the pipes."  Landon opened the cupboard doors under the sink and sure enough, water was leaking all over.

He started to pull out everything under the sink so it wasn't ruined with gross dishwater.  We only had a couple bottles of cleaner, some rags and then my collection of grocery bags.  Actually, collection is an understatement.  I never throw those bad boys away; I just ball them up and toss them under the sink and use one to pack my lunch in every day.  I guess in the back of my mind I realized that using one a day as a lunch bag was not balancing out my weekly accrual of maybe 10 or 15 bags and that the "collection" was a tad out of hand, but that didn't stop me from saving every last one.  Landon started pulling out a year and a half's worth of grocery bags, and pulling them out and pulling them out and pulling them out.  After literally, about 30 seconds, I was almost in tears from laughing.  He was getting so mad at this never ending supply of bags when he was just trying to get to the pipes that were leaking at an uncomfortable rate.  It was like that magic trick where the magician pulls out that handkerchief that is 30 miles long.  A minute into it, we were knee-deep in hundreds of plastic bags by the time he pulled out the last one.  "I'm throwing ALL OF THESE away!"  He said as he furiously stuffed them all into the garbage can, "Out of SPITE."  "Not my collection!!" I cried in mock tones as he threw me some serious shade.  "They're all covered in old dish water."  He said. "Oh.  Never mind, then."

After watching a couple youtube videos and consulting a friend who works in maintenance, Landon had our sink taken apart, cleared of blockage, and put back together by the time I was done with my no-bake cookies.  And thankfully the majority of dishes had been washed before the fiasco.  Landon stood up from the floor and I sweetly offered him a fresh cookie and he looked at his hands covered in sink crap, looked back up and me and opened his mouth so I could feed it to him.  And I did.  He deserved that kind of treatment after saving me; even if it was at the expense of my grocery bag hoard.  I even packed him a few extra in his lunch today.
On a lighter note, have you ever had cookie butter?  Because if you haven't you need to make some changes in your life.  This stuff is on the same playing field as Nutella in my book.  Absolute heaven. I called these cookies Sum Bitches (HIMYM, anyone?) because that is what they are.

no one knows when this turned into a food blog.

And I Would Walk 500 Miles...Actually, No I Wouldn't.

I had to leave work early yesterday for an appointment that didn't last nearly as long as I thought it would.  I got home pretty early in the afternoon and was excited to be able to do my run in some sunshine for once.  This winter training is brutal with the sun setting at 5:15.  I was assessing my weekly schedule and the weather yesterday morning and I was distraught to find my Saturday and Sunday completely book and snow on Thursday.  As I read that I thought, that basically means I have to do Saturday's run tonight.  Saturday's run being a whopping 10-miler.  I hung my head, exhausted at just the mere thought of running 10 miles.  I knew it was coming up, but I didn't want to do it that day.  But like I said, when I got home earlier than I thought and the sun was out, I was like, "Okay.  We are doing this."  I packed up my Camelbak with more snacks, filled it with water and layered up.  Even though it was sunny out it was still only about 20 degrees.

Now the Heber Valley I live in is not big at all. Maybe two miles long if you're wanting to stay on sidewalks.  So after last week when I ran out of sidewalk and was left with frozen, uneven mud to run on, I decided that I was going to stick to Main Street and bike paths; as long as I wasn't running on shoulders again.  This resulted in me running 3 miles to Walmart, running around the Walmart strip mall perimeter (which is exactly one mile) twice, running not quite 2 more miles down to the other end of Main Street to Smith's Grocery Store (where I used their bathroom) and back another 3/4 of a mile to my turn off with about 2 1/2 miles left till home.  It was quite the winding run.  I am sure people thought I had lost it when they saw me lapping Walmart.  I was starting to think I had as well.

I really do love running.  Aside from it being great exercise I do it when I'm stressed or sad or just need some fresh air.  But running 10 miles is pure torture.  And next week I have to run 11, and the week after I have run 12!  Running an actual half marathon is so much fun, but man, training for one sucks.  I did feel good about the snacks I packed; I ate enough that I didn't get sick.  And my Cambelbak only started to freeze in the last half mile, so I wasn't without water like last week.  All in all, I felt pretty good about this run.  I feel like the marathon training is coming along well and my body's endurance is increasing at a healthy pace.  I just wish the race was next weekend so I don't have to do it anymore. haha

Once I got home, I crawled into the kitchen to make a protein shake and I went straight to the hot tub to warm my extremities and let my body know she did good.  And that I still loved her.  I didn't move from that spot for nearly an hour, until my stomach was grumbling so loudly it was making the kids in the pool think there was a sea monster in the hot tub.  I realized I should probably go replenish the carbs I had just evicted over the last few hours and I went home to make a delicious concoction of chicken with pesto, topped with tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella, all on a bed of wheat pasta and home made tomato sauce.  It was just what the doctor ordered.  The doctor is code for my stomach.
I then proceeded to eat chips and salsa and a bowl of kettle corn with Landon while I lay paralyzed on the couch.  I am able to walk this morning, but my knees are a little sore and I'm quite glad that today is abs and cardio and not leg day.  

Just recounting all of this made me tired again. And hungry.  

This is my life.

But, Is It Worth It?

Last night, after I got home from the gym and grocery shopping, I spent the next THREE HOURS in the kitchen.  I just went in there, and didn't leave.  I was busy cooking our dinner, lunches for today and a loaf of healthy banana bread.  FOR THREE HOURS.  When I finally crawled into bed, I thought to myself, what did I even do today?!  I picked up heavy things and set them down and cooked.  That was my night. Oh, and did the same dishes over and over again with each new meal I made.  But, at least we are eating good food.

When I say good, I mean, "good for you."  Most of the time it actually is good.  It's not anything like that diet I was doing back in 2014 where I only ate plain, grilled chicken and fat free sour cream for three months.  It's far better than that.  Actually, I've been loving everything I make lately.  I find the more healthy I eat, the less crap I crave.  And food tastes better.  However, the banana bread I made last night didn't satisfy the craving that had been whispering to me for the last few days as I watched the three bananas in my window seal ripen.

I searched Pinterest for a "healthy" banana bread recipe and I got one that said to use whole wheat flour and honey and unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar.  I was like, "Perfect!" as I actually had  all of that and wouldn't need to go to the store.  I dug all of the ingredients out of my cupboard and I spent the next hour baking it; our house smelled heavenly. This morning, however, when I cut myself a slice, I was anticipating the taste of white flour and real sugar tasting banana bread.  In it's place I tasted healthy banana bread.  This beauty is far from the indulgence I am used to.  It still tasted good, mind you,  I ate a thick slice with my egg and enjoyed it.  But not as much as I would have if I had searched, "best banana bread recipe ever" on Pinterest like I usually do.  The sacrifices we make.

I would have been tempted to just start over and use ingredients like happiness and white flour if I hadn't looked like the beginning of the She-Hulk last night at the gym.  Yes, I'm about to post a picture of me flexing; BRACE YOURSELVES. I've been working very hard and I'm proud of it.
boo. freaking. ya. I guess subbing healthy ingredients pays off, and maybe I'll keep doing it. 

Snow Storms and Who Hair

What a cold and snowy this weekend has brought us.  It took me over an hour to get to work again today because the roads were so bad.  I'm finding a hard time being upset about it, though. I'm relishing in every snowflake that has so graciously fallen on us after the pathetic excuse for a winter we got last year.  Every storm is like a gift to me now.  I promise a large population of Utah would stone me for saying that.  It dumped on us though, starting Friday night and straight on through.

I was so proud of myself for making the switch with my 8 mile run on Thursday.  Saturday morning when I got up and it was freezing rain and very windy, so knowing that I had saved myself 3 miles in that mess got me a pat on the back.  I will say, as much as last winter broke my heart due to lack of snow, training for my last half marathon was a dream compared to now.  Literally, this time last year I was running outside in a tank top and shorts because it was 60+ degrees outside.  And I was trying to channel those memories as I was skidding on black ice and losing my feet in deep, slushy puddles on my Saturday run.

I was glad I got that out of the way early, though, because the blizzard hit not long after I got home.  We left the house around 9:30 to go watch Landon's little brother, Kenyon, in his cross-country ski race.  The from there we went to get our usual kolaches and head up to the mountain. I was hoping the storm would dissuade the masses from wanting to leave their warm houses and hotel rooms, but if anything it drew them out even more.  It was two hours later that we finally got up on the mountain.  I was an inch away from saying, "Let's go home, this isn't worth it."  But the second we were on the lift and I saw what we were about to hit? It was totally worth it.  We got off the first lift and hiked up a little ways to hit these runs that nobody was on.  It was knee-deep powder all the way down.  I mentioned a couple posts ago how Landon likes to take me on moguls and how they are more than just a challenge for me, but when the snow is that good, I just go balls to the wall.  I pretty much fall down the entire mountain, but it doesn't hurt at all.  Days like that are the days where I actually push myself because I'm not scared of getting hurt.
We did that run once, and then proceeded to make our way to the summit, or as it's named, Jupiter's Peak.  Fun fact: I've never been to Jupiter before.  Aside from last year, I haven't had a pass to Park City since I was a little kid and the double black diamonds weren't even a thought in my conscious mind.  And then last year, when the snow was non-existent, I didn't even entertain the thought of trying to make my way down it.
But days like Saturday are the days you go to Jupiter.  And so we did.  I thought the run we had done previous was the greatest thing on earth, and then we made it to the peak.  And I looked down at the untouched powder that stretched as far as the eye could see, and I nearly cried.  It was like surfing on a cloud.  The large billows of snow carried my board with such care and the trees stood at attention.  My soul feels a joy that I almost dare not to describe for fear on not doing it justice.

All I can say is the mountains free my spirit; in them, I am more myself than anywhere else on earth.

And I am so happy that my very best friend finds himself just as happy boarding down a mountain.  And that he is the reason I ever even learned to snowboard and fall in love again with winter.  We have so much fun together.  Also, he was radiating beard envy now that his is gone.  He's in full-on beard growing mode again.  He said he misses his "natural face mask." Gah, you guys, the snow was unREAL.  I'm dying that I'm sitting here at work right now and not shredding some serious gnar instead.

We got home that night, just- flat out exhausted.  I grabbed some teriyaki chicken and rice bowls, got a Redbox and vegged on the couch for the rest of the night.  Seriously, Saturdays are my very favorite.

Yesterday was our typical Sunday.  Sleep in, go to church, get home and change and head up to Sunny's for a delicious Sunday lunch with the family.  We eat until we can't move and then we lie around on the couch and next to her fireplace and just talk and laugh.  It's how a Sunday should be spent, in my opinion.  Good food, good company and just lay around while the dogs make the rounds from person to person to see who will spare a scratch behind the ear.

It's also the day when I sometimes try to look decent enough.  I finally got brave enough to try this top-knot trend that I've been seeing all over Pinterest.  I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but I was pleasantly satisfied with my result.
When I finished doing it, I turned to Landon and said, "Do you like my hairstyle?"  and he was like, "Oh, yeah! Looks great!" I laughed and went into our bedroom to change and he followed me in saying, "Wait- you're done with your hair?"  And I was like, "I thought you said you liked it!"  And he was like, "I thought you were kidding!"  I told him it was all the rage right now, and he didn't believe me.  He told me I looked like a Who.  I laughed at his reaction; this is the first time he has ever really had an opinion on my hairstyle.  I told him I was wearing it, I told him it was in fashion.  He didn't believe me.  When we got to church and I got multiple compliments on it, and people saying they keep seeing it on Pinterest, I would smile at Landon and give him those, "told you" eyebrows.  And yes, I look like a Who, but these days doesn't everybody?

How was your weekend?
There was an error in this gadget