Monday morning/ afternoon Jenna and I also finally got our girls day in! I met my mom at Mcdonalds for breakfast and picked her up. Then we watched Cinderella at my house and thought we should go on a nice sisterly run and swim at the pond!

Well it HAD been a lovely morning but the wind had picked up and there was a ton of dust in the air and honestly it was bit gross…
Well we chanced it anyways and headed down to the pond and it WAS windy.. but empty! We practically had the place to ourselves and hey the wind wasn’t blowing dust around down here at least!

So we ran prob 2ish miles around the pond and neighborhoods and then we were all ready for a swim even Ollie! Or so we thought…

Ollie plunges right into the water to cool off. Lays down in it even and walks around but for some reason he CANNOT swim. Like it’s the saddest struggle I’ve ever seen. Luckily I got Jenna to snap a few photos. Essentially even in 3 feet water where he could practically stand his but sinks so that he’s vertical in the water and his front legs are doing all the work. HE PANICS. He was just about jumping on me but even when I tried to hold him he was thrashing still… I came away with some pretty nice bruises.

So we called it a day on swimming for Ollie and Jenna and I enjoyed a relaxing swim with having the pond completely to ourselves!

And Ollie stood watch by his tree. He was much happier on land.

I also got a photo in of Jenna floating out there on her own. This pond is gorgeous and man is it great for swimming! It gets about 15 feet deep and for the most part clean and an amazing temperature!

After that we wen’t home and got cleaned up, grabbed lunch at In n out burger and then headed to Kevin and Koris so we could hang out with the rest of the family for a bit before I had to go to my friend’s wedding. All in all a great day with my little sis! 🙂

 Monday night I went to an old friend from Kneaders wedding up just East of SLC on the road to Park City. Braden had to work unfortunately but luckily my other Kneader friend was going so I hitched a ride and we had a spledid time!

 The location was GORGEOUS. It’s called Loulound Falls. As you pull up it’s on a pretty steep hill but they had free valet parking so once you made it up the rest of the hill you faced stunning mini falls. Then if you continued up past the main reception area and up the stone stairs you end up at the most stunning water fall area. Plus it give you a chance to escape some of the standard reception awkwardness and explore for a bit!

 This is the view looking out with your back to the falls! So gorgeous and it’s I-80 that runs along through that canyon. It’s a peaceful quiet retreat while barely being outside the city and civilization!

 Unfortunately I missed the actual wedding ceremony but isn’t the backdrop amazing! Talk about dropping the “I do’s” in one beautiful backdrop!

And through the rest of the reception area and walkways are these great little mini falls and creeks.

 We had a grand ol’ time exploring!

My friend planned a spectacular wedding and honestly I was there taking notes the whole time! After the ceremony, all the white chairs were folded up and lawn games replaced them on the soft green grass. Brett and I explored all our options from ring toss (which we were both terrible at.. nothing was waited enough) bean bag toss, lawn tic tac toe, and my personal favorite… Ladder golf! And everything was so tasteful with their wedding colors!
Then they had a beautiful array of tables with rustic center pieces. Great music and Cafe Rio catering! Also they had a large inside area and the roof was drapped in that “parachute” style which I find gorgeous and very romantic! And they had brown paper bags for things for kids to sit at tables, a soft serve machine with toppings and syrups, lemonade, and their good bags were individually wrapped smores that said “Sending you S’more love.” Guys it was a fantastic wedding! Congrats to my friends Scharla and Tyler! 

 And we topped off my weekend with perhaps my new favorite “Close to home” hangout spot. We grabbed Subway lunches for a picnic and headed to Glen Park in Highland to catch some rays and swim! There’s a natural fed Spring pond right behind Lone Peak High school that is just the perfect temperature and great size! There were kids kayaking (or other small boats and things like stand up paddle boards) They have lots of nice trails and paths around the area (pretty sure it connects to the Murdock Canal biking trail), 3-4 docks for standing and fishing off of, and there’s a great little swimming area. Dogs are even allowed (but must stay on leashed.. i think they’re pretty strict about this) Water feels great! All in all its a pretty nice stop for being close to my house. I can’t wait to take the boys for a run around the pond and then hop in to cool off!

 On Monday we did the annual trek to SLC via the Front runner! Glad I got to attend this year! It’s a steal to take the front runner in large groups and get the group pass, we paid $10 for 4 people to ride anywhere ALL. DAY. LONG. One person may pay up to like $7 for a one way ticket.. ridiculous the group pass is the way to go! BUT disclaimer.. it only becomes available after 10 AM… so morning commuters you’re out of luck… sorry.

We rode it up and our first stop was…. The Clark Planetarium!

 I’d never actually been here but we stopped in to use their toilets and spent about an hour just exploring all the free exhibits! Like this one… We all hopped on the Moon!

My other favorite involved a heat sensor. You’d put your hand down on a hot or cold plate and then down on hot or cold shapes then hold them up to the sensor and you’d have a shape in the middle of your hand! (favorites were a paw print and an eye!!! )

 We also made the madatory tour about Temple Square and the North Visitor’s center… taking pictures like fiends every where we went and disrupting everyone’s spiritual experiences with our ruckus.

 A picture of the cute youngest boys in the group! We love trains!

 We also spent some time shopping and strolling about City Creek Center… Always need a good bottom photo for the vacation photo package.

 Us ladies (minus mom and the little girls) in front of the conference center. 🙂

 And more pictures with the fountains in City Creek 🙂

 What else are you going to do on the moon?

 Disturbing the peace with masses of children in the visitor’s center…

 And to end our tour we headed over to the old City Hall building and SLC Library! I love this picture with the old building in the background 🙂

 And of course we had to go ONTOP of the library.. and yes its open to visitors all day. 🙂 I love it up there. This was a great discovery from one of my Urban Hikes I go on.

 A couple more pictures on temple grounds for the books…

 I love SLC. Every time I visit I ask myself why I don’t drive up more often! It’s so fun to walk and  tour around and there’s plenty to do for free!

A pretty great day all in all. 🙂

 So Sunday was my dad’s last day in town before heading back to Texas and we really only had till about 2 since his flight was leaving around then. We decided to spend the morning up in SLC waiting for it so after eating a nice breakfast at McDonalds we settled on visiting Heritage Park/ “This is the Place.”

 We enjoyed walking around/ sitting on/ climbing on some of the larger monuments for a while and in an attempt to kill time, we walked around the gift shop just long enough to not make it worth it to actually pay the entrance fees to the park itself… so we spent another hour walking around/ sitting on/ climbing on the monuments. lol

 My personal favorite turned out to be this giant horse as part of the Pony Express Memorial. The metal was insanely hot on the top and I watched a couple people climb up the first enjoying a few laughs. Finally I worked up the courage to hoist up my skirt as far as modestly possible before climbing up myself.

I must say I was prob the most graceful of the bunch as well.

 Jenna and Braden hanging out. Glad he got some “quality time” with my Dad and family before they head back.

 Even my dad climbed up there! We were all pretty impressed by that but he was the most suited for it with long denim pants on!

 Braden climbed up 🙂

 Jenna demonstrating how hot it was up there.. lol she was the most vocal about it. Amol also climbed up but I didn’t get any pictures of him.

All in all it was a fun day. Braden and I ended up heading home and actually taking a nap before meeting up with everyone else back at Kevin and Koris for dinner. I’m glad I got to spend more time with my Dad this year but it is too bad it’s never all that long! Can’t wait for my next trip home!

 Also this week in random photos, Jordan gave us all really cool Henna tattoos! I got this pretty flower on my wrist and then a really cool sun on the top of my foot! The kids got their names and sports things and my mom also got a sun on her wrist! SO fun!

 I also finally got to put my new Birthday present to use! Braden got me this beautiful ceramic dutch oven for my birthday! I wanted it specifically so I could make crusty bread and lo and behold! I made crusty bread and it was easy as pie! I’ll tell you what! Easiest bread EVER. I’ll post recipes once I really hammer down what I like 🙂

So this past Monday I turned 23! WHAT! Suddenly I’m starting to feel very old! Anyways I forgo my typical camping tradition in order to spend the day with my family and they sure made it great!

First off in the day was a delicious lunch at Chuckarama where we stuffed ourselves to the brim! Then onto Kevin and Koris to just hang out and digest for a bit.

My sweet friend from work Stacey was out shopping and found these adorable wood buoy things you can hang and bought them for my deck! First present I’ve received from a friend in a longggg time!

Then since I forgo camping, we went on a hike up Battle Creek Falls. I brought the boys to run and the kids all wore swimming suits so we could play in the water! Jenna, Haley, and Logan wasted no time getting right under the falls! lol We spent a while at the base of the falls and then hiked up to follow the creek for some more good spots.

I love the views down the canyon once you get high above the falls. This really is one of my favorite all time hikes.

We settled on some smaller falls for our second little swimming hole. The water was cold but since the day was so hot we had a blast getting splashed by the falls in my case… or sitting in them like the kids did 😛

It had a decent current to it… lol

Logan showing off some muscle !

Lauri standing miserable at the top… she got wet at the earlier falls but certainly didn’t enjoy this hike as much as the rest of us…

About as much wet as I ventured… my legs got spashed but my butt remained dry and thats what counts.

And finally the kids all sitting in the stream just before we started our hike back down! What a fun hike!!!

To cap off the bday adventures we had a wonderful dinner of hot dogs, hamburgers, fruit and corn! (my favorite meal… seriously) Relaxed outside as a family and got an ice cream cake which ive been craving forever!! YUMMMY!
Oh and to the right you’ll see one of the very pretty flowers that are blooming on my little bush in my front yard garden. I had no idea what that plant really was when we moved in so I was stoked to find these on my bday!

Tuesday we continued the extravaganza with spending a few hours at the Provo pool, dinner at Zupas, and then onto see Inside Out for $5 tuesdays! Everything except the movie was fantastic!

Sorry you inside out lovers.. but I was extremely disapointed. One… I cried almost the entire time… I mean I knew it was going to be emotional but you couldn’t add a little more humor or.. or something?? two: it was actually kind of boring on top of being sad… like all the funny parts are shown in the previews and you really just hope the movie is almost over after it starts… Definitely not one I’d care to see again. Movie goers and Disney fanatics be warned…

Well that caps off my weekend! Now just to survive another short work week so I can spend more time with the Fam!