Our 4th of July

On the 4th of July, we thought we’d be really ambitious with our family fun and wake up bright and early at SIX in the a.m. to see the Hot Air Balloon Festival .  It sounded really cool.  Apparently it’s a big deal and they inflate and launch 25 hot air balloons.  So we hopped out of bed–our chipper, early bird selves I assure you– woke up the baby (and we never wake up our baby) and the first person we saw when we got out of the car informed us that they weren’t doing the festival because of possible lighting.  bummer!   and all too reminiscent of the city easter egg hunt that was a bust because some kid ran under the partition way before it was supposed to start, started an ambush, and all the eggs we gone 45 minutes before the thing was even supposed to start.  But I digress. . .

So, by 7 a.m. we were back home with 2 out of 3 of us ready to crawl back into bed, and 1 (guess who!) wide wide wide awake.

We’re not really into parades (do people really truly enjoy parades?  or do they just go because they’ve always gone and it’s a deeply embedded tradition?) so we went on a hike instead.  Stuart falls, which is one of those ones that I can’t believe I haven’t done yet.  It was fun!  and overcast, rainy, so green,  and not at all hot.  We felt like we were in Oregon and probably spent all of our conversation time loving on Oregon.



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IMG_0129 pretzel pacificationIMG_0130    IMG_0133  IMG_0145

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And since Tanner just uploaded all the pictures off his iphone, here’s some photos of this and that
IMG_0169 That one time we went mini golfing (actual date status right there) and decided couple selfies were something we should doIMG_0107 IMG_0106 Tanner’s brother got married to the lovely Lauren in the Salt Lake TempleIMG_0171

IMG_0188 I made their pretty sign in bookIMG_0194 one day we visited Tanner while he was on campus doing medical school application stuff and. . . I took this adorable picture.  IMG_0206 Tanner’s little sister Anne left on her mission to Toyko!  I don’t have any pictures of her sendoff, but I do have a couple of the journal I gifted her before she left.  When I have time I think I’ll start marketing these in my shop as missionary gifts.  In the meantime, if you know anyone who might like one, I’ll do custom orders with the map of where they’re going and stamped quotes or scriptureIMG_0262  IMG_0260 We went to the Spanish Fork 24th of July fireworks (which didn’t start til ELEVEN,  we’re not having the greatest track record with city events this summer–but they were worth it. )

Lately, Camryn has decided she’s a total daddy’s girl and rarely wants anything to do with me.  It’s. . . unfair but also way endearing.

IMG_0275  IMG_0272   IMG_0303  IMG_0306


my g-calendar says it’s summertime

When active social-mediaites suddenly drop out of sight without a blog post or status update in sight, I immediately assume that they are going through some kind of depression/tragedy/identity crisis/soul-searching episode, you know, like something is wrong.  And then I realize, no, they are probably just living life right and have much cooler, worthy, really exciting important things going on and just no time to spare on frivolous activities that time wasting lame-o’s do like updating the internet on their lives.  I also find it really odd, slightly amusing, and sometimes really annoying when every blogger ever apologizes when they haven’t blogged as frequently as they normally blog.  ??   Kind of like people who apologize that their house is messy.

Is it just me?

Anyway, I’ve been busy.  And I’m going to be busy.  My g-calendar (lifeline and friend since 2009 when a lovely organizational guru named Amy introduced me to its wonderful capabilities) has exploded into color-coded madness.  I sat down last night and mapped out all of our biking miles (6 weeks til LOTOJA!) vacations, weddings, Tanner’s work schedule, bookbinding workshops, family stuff, church stuff–squeezing in a haircut and an 18-month checkup just about threw me over the edge.   The next 6 weeks are going to pass by in a blur, and then it will be September already!  But I like being busy, and I especially like having it all mapped out in color-coded coordination.   And in all honestly I’m not actually that busy, it just seems like it when I have to schedule everything I want to do that can’t be done with a toddler around times when Tanner can be home or I schedule a babysitter.

A little while ago (1 week? 2?  no idea)  I was riding my bike up the canyon on a rainy morning.  It was cooler outside than it’s been in a long time–a slight chill I would even say, and I caught the scent of damp leaves.  It was such an undeniably fallish feeling and I got all defensive and ornery like “fall, you have no business here.  It’s still July for goodness gracious sakes, be gone!”  And then we went to Target later that day and they were selling school supplies for crying out loud and . . . no.  No, no, no (+head shaking) I haven’t quite had my way yet with summer, thank you very much.

So here’s to the rest of mine and your summer lasting a very very long time.

portrait of a husband (that is, my husband)

I have lots of pictures to share, but my camera has been out of commission so they are all on the husband’s iphone which is with him at work.  I also have a couple items to share which simply cannot be shared without photos (like how Camryn has turned into my little bona fide hoarder–more on this later) and so  instead I’m going to tell you all about my husband.

I’m always curious about bloggers husbands.  How do they feel about being plastered all over the internet? Every time they do something stupid, do their wives laugh and threaten to “so put that on my blog” like I do?  Are their marriages perfect bliss like they appear to be, or do they fight like crazy?  Do they roll their eyes to the moon and back every time their wife pulls out the camera?

Who knows.

But here is my husband in a what-I-deem-appropriate-for-the-internet nutshell:

Tanner is dog hungry bad.  The other day he said to me: “Why is everyone except for me getting a dog?   I’m so confused.”

He is straight up terrified of bees.  Like will run in the opposite direction no matter the situation.  This stems from an unfortunate incident as a child involving a glove with a bee inside that stung his hand over and over and he never got over it.  The other day he got stung by a bee on the lip while riding the scooter at 40 mph.  It swelled up and was all sorts of traumatizing.

Sometimes he sings “please won’t you be my neighbor”  while he sits and puts his shoes on in the morning like he’s Mr. Rogers.

He works really hard, but deep inside, at his core,  he is the laziest of all creatures.  If it were up to him, he’d stay in bed all day every day (that man loves his bed) watching T.V. and eating all manner of junk food.  That would be his perfect day.

To combat this laziness, he likes to watch motivational videos, particularly this one.  and this one.  I know.  It’s weird.

He has a really loud voice. Loud and booming and everyone tells him he should be on the radio.

He can grow a beard like nobody’s business and luckily has a wife who wholeheartedly supports his mountain man beard growing fantasies.  Maybe after his BYU days he’ll get somewhere with that.

He hates hates hates the heat.  He loves the 5 months when Utah is a frozen wonderland–the colder the better–and is always sad to see spring come (club of one?  yes, I think so)

He’s a little kid at heart and could still play in a pool or with a hose or in a sandbox for a whole entire day and be happy as can be.  Which makes it really fun to watch him play with our child.  He also watches Spongebob Squarepants on the daily and pretends it’s for Camryn.

He’s an extreme environmentalist and knows everything about national parks.  When he’s killing time online, he studies mountain topography on google maps.  He loves snowboarding and mountaineering and I don’t think he’d ever truly be happy not living in the mountains.

Tanner works as an orderly in the hospital, which is really hard to get since there are a lot of pre-med college kids in this town fighting for positions like that to put on their medical school applications. He loves this job.  He loves working in the hospital.  He wants to be a doctor, possibly an ER physician–which takes a really special certain kind of person, and Tanner is that kind of person.  He can stay really focused and unemotional in the midst of chaos, blood and tragedy.  He’s going to be a good doctor, and be one of those people that just loves what they do.(which makes me really quite happy myself)

He is the absolute best person in the world to go shopping with! I love shopping with my husband.  He has good taste, he has never once in the history of our marriage told me something is too expensive and I don’t think he ever will (I’m the cheapo.  He likes nice things.) he always thinks I look awesome, and he picks things out for me that I would never pick out and end up loving.

He is a movie crier!  Movie crier big time.  Like, obvious ones that make everyone cry like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Marley & Me. . . but then also We Bought a Zoo and The Muppet Movie. Can’t believe I’m outing this on the internet, but guys- The Muppet Movie!! my husband cried at the end of the muppets!! real tears.

Last night after we watched a movie “is it time to go sleepies?” popped out of his mouth like the most natural thing in the world and I was his little 18 month old friend.  I laughed at him hard for that one.

isn’t he the cutest?


I love him.

we're married

Dear Husband

how is work this fine evening?  I wish for the restaurant to be full of people without children, foreigners who understand that we tip in this country, old ladies with no interest in chatting at their table for hours after their meals are gone, and just easy, well-mannered, couponless customers in general.  But who are we kidding? it’s a Tuesday so. . . godspeed.

Oh wait!  duh, Tuesday nights you’re at the hospital now so . . . I hope none of your customers die?  Hmm, not as easy to make fun of that job.

The big news of the night is that I was just sitting in the kitchen minding my own business when I heard a loud rush of air which just happened to be all of the air quickly and loudly rushing out of my back bike tire for no reason at all.  So it’s official–I’m cursed!!  I don’t even have to ride my bike in order to get flats.

Camryn used her serving of yogurt at dinner as–lotion.  It was fun. I took her to 7 peaks and decided that we really need to replace the floaties I lost, because she would rather drown than let me hold her hand in the kiddie pool.  Maybe all the swimming genes on my dad sides will reemerge after a generational skip (me) and she’ll be a swimmer?  Oh—and I googled it.  That girl who said her 18 month old knows 100 words is either lying or has a nerd baby. Camryn’s 6 is just slightly below the 12 they say she should know by 18 months, thank you very much.

I know you’re really disappointed that you’re missing an evening of watching 2 hours of So You Think You Can Dance with me, but I guess you’ll have to get over it.  I’m watching it with Camryn instead who dances through every song, claps at the right times and is just all around adorable about the whole thing.  Except for when she gets ahold of the remote and pushes all the wrong buttons at crucial moments in the show.

I’m off to investigate my rouge tire (it’s gotta get me around the Alpine Loop tomorrow!), and bind a couple of books over So You Think You Can Dance.  Let’s have you be a kind of doctor that doesn’t work nights, ok?  ok.

I love you!  I miss you.  And the house is clean because I am awesome.  See you later, love.

West Mountain

Another biking post. Apologies if you’re sick of them, but I’ve realized that the only way I keep myself sane inside my own head for that long on the bike is narrating my entire experience to myself as I go, which either means I’m a writer or that I’m addicted to social media.

How LOTOJA training works is that you go on lots of short/mediumish bike rides during the week, and then one long, long (really long and increasingly longer) slow ride on the weekend.  Tanner and I try and do those long ones together, but sometimes it’s easier to not get a babysitter and just do them separate if we have time.  So last Friday, I was on my own, and headed for a loop around West Mountain.  These rides take quite a bit of preparation, and I had everything packed and ready so that I could leave at 6:30 a.m. and beat the heat.  I have a little pack strapped to my bike that holds a few things but not much, so on long rides, I go with a small drawstring on my back with other stuff.  Like food.

So I’m ready for this ride and the second I get on my bike, I realize one of my water bottles is missing.  Tanner had given it to Camryn sometime in the night.  I went inside to look for it, drop my drawstring bag in a frantic hurry to get going, (do you see where this is going?)  finally find my water bottle, and bolt out the door.   And if my life were a movie, this is the part where the camera would zoom in on my little bag full of very essential items (like food) sitting on the floor of my apartment while I ignorantly and happily ride away.

10 miles later I decide I need my sunglasses and that’s when I realize that I FORGOT MY BAG.  The bag containing my cell phone, hand pump, sunglasses, ipod, emergency money, and oh–food. So I had a choice to make!  Turn back?  The worst 10 miles were behind me.  It takes a lot of crappy roads, traffic, stop signs, and stop lights until you get out into the open country where you can ride for days with beautiful views and without having to stop every 10 seconds.  I did NOT want to turn back.

So I made the really smart, responsible, not at all risky decision to keep on going.  Obviously taking such factors into account as my track record with flats, the 101 degree forecast, and the fact that I was headed far far from home on boonyland backgrounds where the houses were many miles apart and I could potentially be stranded without a phone.  Also, the fact that I barely finished our first 45 miler because I was so freaking hungry I could hardly stand, and this day I was shooting for 70. When I checked the small pack on my bike to see if anything important had made it in there instead of my bag, I found:  my camera. (! ha.  my camera, good.  if I have a near death experience at least I can properly document it)  and my tools and patch kit which were entirely useless if I couldn’t pump up my tire after patching it.

I have no idea why the option of continuing even seemed like an option, let alone why I chose it but I did!  And prayed hard and sent out lots of good energy into the universe for me to please please, please not get a flat tire.  I rode in a very real state of fear, passing the occasional house, wondering what kind of people lived there and would I have the guts to knock on their door for help?  and what kind of experience would I have if I did?  I became increasingly aware of how seldom a car actually passed me (like, once an hour)

And glory hallelujah, thank God, the heavens and all that is right in world--I made it without getting a flat!  And also without dying of starvation which is just as much of a miracle.

I’ve never even heard of West Mountain until my uncle suggested I bike around it.  It’s a small brown blob of a mountain just S/SW of Utah Lake and there are such beautiful lake views all around it.  Most of the time, I kind of just forget we even live by a lake since we don’t own a boat and it’s too gross to swim in.  When I was a student, I probably went entire years without even seeing the lake, but it really is so beautiful out there!


fruit orchards for days



oh hey, civilization.  kind of.  IMG_4192


Timpanogos you beautiful mountain youIMG_4195

Strawberry Days

Tanner’s days off have been few and far between lately, so when they come, I devise all sorts of schedule acrobatics fun-filled quality family time days, like “hey! let’s bike 70 miles starting at 7:00 a.m., hit a pool party, and then go to  a rodeo that night” and since Tanner loves me he goes with it even though he worked late the night before and will work early the day after and  even though after such days we both take a long time to recover from our sun drunk exhausted hangovers and say things like why didn’t we just stay home and take naps?

They are the best of days and the worst of days.

So a couple of weeks ago (I’m late on my blogging) was one of those days, and the rodeo was part of Pleasant Grove’s Strawberry Days.  So that was the plan, and we had good intentions to actually attend the rodeo, but something about those long rides makes you hungry out of your mind like a crazy person and we kind of skipped out on the rodeo and. . .ate instead.  Ate a lot.

Our post bike ride drive home from the babysitters house conversation had gone something along the lines of plotting out how we could most quickly and efficiently eat every single morsel of food in our house.  Ok, we immediately start with the chips and salsa, while I boil a pot of water for pasta to eat with the leftover meatballs, you microwave the leftover mashed potatoes. . . etc.  (does that really sound so gross in retrospect?  at the time it sounded perfectly fabulous)

Anyway, by the time we were on our way to Strawberry days we were starving again.  And paying $26 to sit our sore bodies on bleachers in the sun in front of a rodeo that we wouldn’t actually get to watch because we’d be chasing our toddler around instead didn’t sound too appealing.  So instead we binged on carny food!  Tanner kept saying “carny food, carny food!” and I kept saying “stop saying carny food–that sounds so weird”

First up: strawberries and cream

IMG_4124And I know that it’s just strawberries in a cup with half & half poured over it and I could have it anytime I want, but for some reason it still feels like some Strawberry days special, magical, you-can-only-get-it-once-a-year-HERE treat, and they are delicious!  We downed 4.5 between the two of us (tried to share with Camryn but she was a little bit sick and a special brand of grumpy)  .5?  why .5?  well, I’ll tell you at the end.  Stick around, it’s kind of funny.



We were sore and exhausted and carnival rides like this one that used to make my 10 year heart leap with joy, looked like . . . well, like I’d rather die



So then we ate more!  Corn on the cob slathered in butter, salt and parmesan, and a mountain of super nachos.  so.  good.


I love this picture! she never let’s me hold her hand, but whatever

IMG_4132she loved the carousel, and I love having a digital camera so that we get halfway decent pictures like this and don’t have to settle for the 20 atrocities that came before it


so! then the little lady was tired and grumpy and we were homeward bound, but not before passing the strawberries and cream truck (which had a line of 50 people and was right across the sidewalk from the truck selling burgers, hot dogs, pretzels, and had zero customers)  and I suggested “one more each?”  So I waited in line while tanner weaved (wove?) his way down the sidewalk towards our car with the stroller.  20 minutes later, I had a cup of strawberries and cream in each hand, made my way through 3 blocks of crowded beyond crowded sidewalks, waited at a light, crossed the street to where Tanner was waiting on the other side.  About 10 feet away from him—-SO CLOSE!–almost there— my sandle caught the teeny tiniest of sidewalk bumps, I flew forward, and all the strawberries and cream flew straight up into the air slow motion style and landed with a devastating splatter right in front of Tanner.

It was SAD.

And embarrassing, but at least I caught myself and didn’t face plant it into the whole mess.  And there was half a cup of strawberries left and Tanner let me have it.

Maybe next year rodeo, maybe.

Win a Free Week of Bookbinding Classes

Bookbinding!  It’s really cool.  My new favorite hobby if you haven’t noticed.  I learned by taking a couple different classes from Karleigh Heywood.  She and her husband make and sell their beautiful handmade books here, and guess what, there are a lot more things I want her to teach me! She’s doing a giveaway on her blog and giving away–drumroll– an entire FREE week of classes.  I’ll be attending whether or not I win, but free!  free!  free is good.  If you’re interested, you can take a look at the workshops being offered here and go enter the giveaway here.

Free Week Of Classes . Book Arts Workshops

The classes are so fun, you learn a unique skill, and you leave with beautiful empty notebooks that you made yourself. (who doesn’t love an empty notebook?) And for an entire week-it’s worth a trip to Provo!  You know you have tons of friends to visit and empty couches to sleep on.  Enter away.