Donut Day 2014

Another Donut Day -- another carb load on delicious, sweet, fried dough. Our favorite family holiday tradition that continues to get better each and every year.

New this year... filled donuts. Wow.

The expert donut stuffers, toppers, dippers & sprinklers.

We're already looking forward towards 2015.


New Orleans

I'm going to be honest. New Orleans is not my favorite place. I would be just fine if I never, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever, EVER had to go back. That place smells something awful!

But the beignets??? Wow.

It's like heaven in your mouth. If I did have to go back, at least I'd have those, right?

Oh, and I tried Alligator. Also not my fave (and doesn't really taste like chicken, like everyone says).

End of the Season

And once again, the happiest times in our families life ends.

But only temporarily. 4 more months until the 2015 season!


Are they not the cutest Dauntless Soliders you've ever seen???

UEA Weekend... I Think

This year has been the longest year of my life -- yet, has flown by. I seriously don't know where all my days have gone, but each day feels as though it's going to last forever.

I'm pretty certain these photos come from a weekend getaway to see Chris out in the Basin. Wait... that I know. We did go see Chris out in the Basin, and these are, in fact, the photos. What I'm not quite sure of is when it happened. UEA weekend, maybe? The weekend of my birthday? Or maybe they both happened in the same weekend. Who knows.

What I do know is this was a much needed break with the family. Life is not so easy when you are missing a key person in the family. Note to self... Brielle and I don't get along well when Chris is not around.

White Rocks -- Uintah Basin
(Somewhere near where Chris lives)

I'm pretty sure this is Chris's most favorite place in all the world. He loves fishing here. And we loved following him around while he did it. Mostly Brielle and I watched, hiked through the woods, tried to be brave enough to cross a log over the river...

Couldn't have asked for a better day. Especially since we had no cell service. HEAVEN.

Chris and Brielle fished a little together and Chris made us super yummy Hobo dinners over a campfire. Even Izzy thought they were good.

The next day, we drove to the middle of nowhere and visited a place in Basin not even Chris had been. Fantasy Canyon.

Basically a place where small canyons had eroded away over years and years, forming really cool rock formations. Someday soon our family will be made whole again and we can resume our regular family fun. Until then...


I Miss My Friend

I snapped this picture several weeks back when Chris and I had a much needed few days away together in Jackson Hole, WY.

I, of course, had to work while there. But he shut off his phone, set aside his work and gave me many hours of his undivided attention. It was exactly what I needed.

This year has been so tough. We've spent more time apart that we have together, and it's wearing on me. I miss having him around, I miss the help he gives and I miss the support he offers me. It's exhausting playing a single parent, even if it is temporary. This situation has given me a new respect and appreciation for the things he does for our family -- the things he does for me.

The worst part of this comes at night. After the day is done and Brielle is in bed, it's just me. All alone. It's horribly lonely. Normally, we'd just be watching a show on TV, relaxing and hanging out. Nothing crazy, but just being together. But this the time I miss him the most and when it's the hardest to have him away.

We've lived like this since May and only have about another month {I hope} to go. The end is in sight and soon I will have my best friend back. And...... a little relief from the many things I have to do. But mostly, I'm just looking forward to having him home.


Labor Day

Chris has been away all summer, therefore, it became hugely important that for Labor Day {the last long weekend of the summer} we made some big plans and had some great fun. And that we did...

It was kind of a random "stay-cation" of sorts. We stayed in a hotel in Salt Lake, and did random things throughout the weekend. Our friends who joined us for the weekend fun re-introduced me to a high school favorite hang out. I hadn't been to Leatherby's in YEARS, and that's probably a good thing.

The photo doesn't do this delicious creation justice. It was HUGE. Chris made us go back again later that weekend for another. With all our trips to Salt Lake for RSL games, I see us possibly making trips back in the near future.

We spent Sunday in Park City at the Park City Mountain Resort. This included trips up the Alpine Slide, the coaster, the zip line and whatever other fun we could find.

Um... not the photo I was trying to get...

There. That's the one.

A Park City trip isn't complete unless it includes a trip to the outlet mall for some fun finds.

Cutest girl ever... don't you think?

We capped Labor Day weekend off with another Leatherby's ice cream sundae and some target practice out behind Utah Lake. I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of shooting. I hit most my targets, with the big and small guns.

I just love those orange thingee's that you stick in the ground. You always know whether or not you've shot one. Makes shooting a whole lot easier ---- and fun.

Just for fun, I went back through old photos and found this of Brielle and Izzy over Labor Day weekend 4 years ago. I'm going to go lock myself in my room and cry now because they {both} are so much more grown up know! No more baby faces... on either of them. Sniff, sniff.


Beginning of a New School Year

It's funny -- all my friends couldn't stop posting on social media how disappointed they were that summer was coming to and end. Don't get me wrong, I love the summer days, warm weather and sleeping in. But I thrive on consistency and schedules. Summer feels a little chaotic to me. Especially this one.

A work trip to Chicago happens every year, just days before the start of school. I really like it. It gives me a few days to regroup. You know, to spend a few days on my own, only worrying about myself and eating amazing food without worrying about school shopping, school supplies or making my bed.

Except this year, it rained a bit...

See the hotel in the background? That's where my umbrella and my rain jacket was. Awesome.

But I still enjoyed the amazing food...

 Garrett's Chicago Mix -- Cheddar & Caramel {Amazing}
I bring home bags and bags of it. Every. Year.

 Not many places I'll go for the shrimp. But at Navy Pier? Covered in Garlic Butter & Cajun seasonings? I can't pass it up.

Chicago Style Pizza.

And now you know why the 3 pounds I lost before going were to compansate for the 3 pounds I gained while away. It's a vicious cycle.

Well... the lockers have been decorated.

Supplies were purchased and we even made it out the door, on time for the bus.

So after an exhausting first day back at school, we hit Twizzle-Berry to treat ourselves to some Fro-Yo. It's what all the cool kids do. Right?

Totally off topic, but totally relevant... my baby asked to wear mascara  for school pics today. :(



Brielle turned 12. And I cried. 

A lot.

It's embarrassing, really. These huge milestones that we reach with our only child are exciting but bittersweet at the same time. I absolutely love seeing the beautiful young woman that she is becoming, but my heart aches for the days when my baby preferred my arms to fall asleep in.

I mean really -- Young Women's? No more Primary Program? 7th grade? Late nights out with friends? Picking out clothes in the Junior's section?

It's too much. I just can't handle it.

Brielle's request for her birthday was a trip to Lagoon with her BFF. Lucky for her {and me} her dad drove in to town for the special occasion. Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like rides that make you sick, overpriced amusement park food and ugly stuffed animals that you can never win.

The Girls - Lagoon

One of the most exciting things for Brielle, was finally getting a Temple Recomend and being able to visit the temple to perform Baptisms for the dead. What a special experience for her, and for me.

Brielle has been begging us to find to the SLC Waffluv Food Truck, and we thought... what better time than for her birthday? We arranged with family members and cousins to meet up with us for the surprise.

I'm pretty sure she liked it.

Happy Birthday Bopper! We love you tons and can't wait to see what year #12 brings!


Orange-Grape-Kale Smoothie

I've still been making green smoothies on a regular basis... despite my lack of posting about them. The reason being that I find one I like and then make it every day until I'm sick of it. Which right now, is lasting about a month. Hence my last smoothie post being several months back.

I took to Pinterest to find a smoothie with Kale. I recently learned in a class that Kale has way more health benefits than spinach, however, I've only really every used it in soup. Except of course in the Kale & Pear Smoothie I made at the beginning of the year {amazing}, but pears are not in season right now {sad face}.

Back to Pinterest... I stumbled upon a recipe with Kale that also included frozen grapes. Which I love in smoothies. Seriously gives it such a good texture.

Orange-Grape-Kale Smoothie
Recipe Adapted From: Barefeet in the Kitchen {Link HERE}
  • 10 oz. Trop50 Orange Juice
  • 1 cup frozen Green Grapes 
  • 1 medium frozen Banana
  • 2 stalks Kale, stems removed
Place all ingredients in your blender, secure lid and blend until smooth. I used the "Smoothie" button on my Blendtec which blends for roughly 36 seconds. 

***I also add a scoop of SlimFast Vanilla powder to this smoothie. For one, it provides protein and helps me make to lunchtime with feeling starved {and I hate protein powder}. Second, Kale has a strong flavor and no matter what you say, I always taste it. The Vanilla powder helps mask the flavor a bit.***

***Making it my way, including the SlimFast powder, the calorie count per serving is 214. Not too bad.***


July Recap

Chris left at the beginning of the summer to go build a house for his brother in the Uintah Basin {Vernal-Roosevelt area} and at first, it was so bad.

July can seriously suck it.

I can't tell you how happy I am to be starting a new month this week. July has been filled with many mishaps, emotional breakdowns, mice invasions, at least a dozen trips to SLC, and I may or may not have taken my frustrations out on the branch manager at Mountain America Credit Union. It really is time for July to be over.

Because of the chaos that is my life right now, I haven't had time for an update. So today, this post it meant to serve as a recap of July as well as a way for me to forget all the junk that July brought me and remember only all the good. Well... most of it.

Brielle and I made a quick trip out to see Chris. We drove there and back in 24 hours {not recommended} but it was good to see him, and I think he was glad to see us.

July for us means multiple RSL games with fireworks & music. They really do know how to put on a good show!

A little bit of the not-so-good... one week Brielle had a horrible cough. The next week, it turned into a horrible sinus infection. In our final week of July, she's ended up with ear infections. Not exactly how she wanted to spend her summer, I'm sure.

We got to meet Sabo -- RSL striker. He never does these types of appearances, so this was a highlight for sure.

My sister Rachel left me with all 5 of her kids for an evening {including an infant}. One good use for the frozen breast milk packets she left in the diaper bag??? To soothe a bee sting on an arm while playing at the park.

Cherries are one of Chris's favorite things. So when we found out he was going to come home for the first time in 7 weeks, we decided we needed to bake him a few things we knew he'd love.

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes.........

Fresh Cherry Almond Scones..........

Now that I see July laid out before me, it doesn't seem to be all that bad. But even still, I'd rather forget.