Snow Camping

I just returned from camping in the snow where I spent three days building snow caves and battling the cold. We took both the boys and girls from West Ridge up to Timpooneke Campground in the Mt. Timpanogos area. I went with the girls and we split the two groups up by about thirty minutes. We trekked in on snowshoes pulling sleds, and the views of the surrounding mountains were astonishing. It was a classic trip of humans surviving the elements, and that is something I really look forward to conquering whenever I go on a trip. To me it makes an adventure even more awesome.

Because the girls took a little longer to hike up to the campground, we did not have enough time to build snow caves for the first night. I had never snow camped in a tent before, and I would not recommend it. The wind nearly tore my tent apart. The next day I was determined to build a snow cave and sleep in it. I piled up the snow, packed it down with snowshoes, and proceeded to hollow out a cave. Now, you may be wondering how sleeping under snow is better than sleeping in a tent, but let me tell you the advantages. A snow cave is very insulating – from what my internship supervisor told me, it never gets colder than 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you are in a 0 degree rated bag with a fleece liner, you cannot go wrong. I could not hear the wind at all which was also comforting. A snow cave usually will not collapse on you if you have packed the snow, but it may sink a few inches during the night due to breathing. If you carve out the ceiling high enough, this is not a problem. The last thing I will say about sleeping in a snow cave is make sure you lay a tarp beneath you, along with a good sleeping pad. Put a bivy sack around your sleeping bag and you are set for having a pleasant experience sleeping in a snow cave.




My mom taught me to sew when I was in the 4-H program, but since then I haven’t done much. My mom recently gave me one of her sewing machines and I’ve been trying to get the hang of it again. My progress has been slow, but once I got some help from my mom and bought some new sewing machine needles, it’s gotten better. Here are a few things I’ve worked on, they are all items that I have repurposed.

These were both dresses that were too short. I cut off the bottoms to make headbands and used the remaining to make a top to wear over a shirt.

This is the project I am most proud of. It used to be a dress, I cut off the top and made it into a skirt.

And this is what it looks like on. (Please excuse the busy background).


With the start of my internship, I have become a commuter. It is not a decision that I would have made, but for the sake of my education (aka not having much choice in where I was placed for my internship) it is what I must do. To save on gas, avoid putting mileage on our car, and be a little environmentally friendly; I commute via public transit. Even though it nearly doubles my commute time, it does have some benefits. I use my time commuting to read, analyze the behaviors of rogue teenagers, get into awkward conversations with strangers, or to simply think about life.

Here I am, ready to venture into the world of public transit.

In honor of my commuting, it seemed appropriate that we buy a killer deal from the local classifieds on a Timbuk2 bag called the Commute.


Winter Songs

I recently worked at a child care and as all the staff were getting excited for the Christmas season we were instructed not to play Christmas songs in the classroom. We could however play songs about winter or snow. This led me to a personal quest to find all the Christmasy winter songs I could. I found quite a collection and my mix became a favorite among the staff and the children. Ironically, in a very dry December, the snow never came; but Christmas still did.

In honor of winter finally hitting Utah, here is my favorite winter song.

The Countdown Begins

This last week Joe and I began the final semester of our undergraduate careers. It was not pretty. Since both of us get to work for free for our internships, Joe has selflessly switched shifts at his job to the evening. He gets to attend his internship from 8 am to 5 pm and then work at his bus job from 6 pm to 12:30 am. Luckily the evening shift is not too busy and I’ve been able to tag along and spend some time with my husband.


As with anything new, there were many challenges. Joe’s included getting sick for two days, deciding between using public transit or our car for commuting, finding time to eat, finding time to sleep, finding time to shower, and finding time to breathe. My challenges have included waiting three days to get my security badge activated in order to enter and exit the building at will, not having a key to the bathroom or staff office, learning the names and roles of the staff and the clients, and calling IT to reset my password and email twice.


The good news is, we made it. We are both excited to continue to learn more about our chosen professions through our internships as well as being that much closer to actually being paid for what we do. Thus we are brought one step closer to graduation, thirteen weeks left for Joe, fourteen weeks left for Hope.

Perfect Days

Last Sunday, we had the opportunity to go to Camille and Quinn’s baby blessing of their son, Alvin. Later during testimony meeting, their Bishop spoke about what makes a perfect day. What makes a perfect day are the people you are with and not necessarily the thing you were doing, he said. So I decided to make a list of perfect days:

January 8, 2012 – Hanging out with the Davidsons after their baby blessing, and visiting Hope’s family.

January 7, 2012 – Receiving a surprise visit from my old friend, Jeff Wegner, for my birthday.

December 24, 2011 – The car ride on the way to snowboarding with Hope and my brother.

October 22, 2011 – Making it to the top of a mountain with no accidents and then epically running down like we were in Lord of the Rings or some cool movie like that, with my running buddy, Hope.

August 5, 2010 – Getting married to Hope for eternity.

January 2009 – Hanging out with Bagz, Wendy Jo, Madison, and Marc eating ‘joy beans’ (eating soy beans with a man named Joe) and writing random things on Facebook (crustaceans and DTRs in hot tubs).

July 19, 2008 – Summiting my first Teton, Mt. Moran, with my good friend Clay.

January 2003 – Snowboarding at Teton Village with the Burbanks and Mark Perez.

So I noticed two patterns during the perfect days I could think of off the top of my head. The first is that most of them occurred in January, which is purely coincidence. The second being that there was much laughter and good times with really good friends who share the same values and sense of humor. Like the Bishop, I too resolve to have more perfect days in 2012.

26th Birthday Adventure 2012

Besides having an awesome wife who spoiled me for the past two days, (and really for the past 17 months), waking up and seeing about an inch of snow on the ground was the first best birthday present I received this year. In comparison with last month’s weather it was a miracle. We decided that we better not waste it, so we went snowboarding at Solitude. Hope made me some delicious scrambled eggs and waffles that had too much chocolate chips in them, not that I was complaining.

Because of the lack of snow recently, even this small layer caused me to dance in gratitude for a prayer answered.

We loaded up our car, Zooey, for adventure. Hope had an ‘amazing’ rental from the University’s ORP.

There were roughly two inches of fresh snow that did not completely offset the rough, icy snow, but we had fun nonetheless, and Hope is improving her snowboarding skills, despite having a sore body from all the falls.

I had another birthday surprise I was not expecting. We returned home, took showers and proceeded to finish making dinner. Hope received a text she claimed came from her friend Kara. Hope chuckled saying that her friend was ‘complaining about a teacher’. I thought that odd during Christmas Break and just shrugged my shoulders. Hope then suggested we light electric sparklers in the church parking lot next door; my slow brain began to do the math. I was convinced that there was at least one person waiting to surprise me, but I did not know who. I had a list of suspects but was utterly surprised when I saw the truck of my good friend from my freshman days at Utah State University, Jeff, and his wife Jess. I screamed like a girl at a Backstreet Boys concert and gave Jeff a big hug. I was never more excited to see them, and it made my birthday.

Yes, we acted out a Harry Potter wizard battle.

Yes, I am wearing not one, but two birthday cones on my head.

For my first day of being a 26-year-old, I never felt so young J

Bryce Canyon

We almost spent New Year’s in Bryce Canyon. Instead, we spent the day before New Year’s there. Bryce Canyon has been one of my favorite National Parks since I was a kid, I believe it’s even more beautiful in the winter. The contrast between the red-orange of the hoodoos and the white snow is inspiring. It’s also a great time to visit because there aren’t as many people. We enjoyed cross country skiing and warm winter temperatures.

Cross Country skiing in Bryce Canyon
We didn't see anyone on this trail, it was great.Jumping for joy at Bryce Canyon