Beauty is Found in Weird Places

Western Box Elder County is a desert on the edge of a desolate salt lake. It’s not necessarily the first place you would think of for exotic, beautiful landscapes. The most exotic, alien feeling place I’ve ever been is an hour drive past any city down a long dirt road. The Spiral Jetty is backed by a pink-hued salty lake. It’s worth the drive.

We went out there with cousins and also stopped by some other landmarks on the way: the ATK Rocket Garden, Chinese Arch, Golden Spike, and the Indian Hot Springs.

School Begins

The kids are back in school. (Henry technically starts next week.) I’m back in school (although I took classes over the summer). Finally. Everyone seems happy with their classes. It’s a little bit more calm and boring at the house for most of the time.

Also, here are some pictures of a few outdoor adventures. We went on an early morning hike and had fun exploring.

Summer Bucket List

Well, school starts soon and our summer is ending. After an early spring break from school, it feels weird returning to school. I don’t know if I’m ready for it.

We spent the weekend having a bit of fun. We went up to the zoo in Logan, and ate out at Pizza Pie Cafe (this was the #1 thing the kids wanted to do).

I also wanted to find a place to go wading locally. It took a few places, but we finally found a new trail that ran by a stream and canal.

And we’ve spent the last week before school taking care of the baby who caught roseola somewhere, and is getting another tooth.

Sunshine and Smiles

Happy Birthday! This little dude finished his first year. He loves climbing, scrambled eggs, going around with Mom in the baby carrier, and dancing. We had a low-key birthday party with Grandma and Grandpa and a tiny cake just for him.


And here’s some sunflower pictures from the garden. img_7857img_7853


We took a vacation to Wyoming to visit family and camped a few nights at Yellowstone. Besides it is hard to travel with a baby, we had a great time.

There was a lack of research beforehand, so we mostly just did all the crowded stuff. Yellowstone is huge and next time I would like to do things we haven’t done before, and also things that are less crowded. Our favorite thing was something that was off the beaten path and now swamped with people, the Sheepeater Cliff campground.



July is gone. It went by fast. The kids played baseball and t-ball, did a couple weeks of swim lessons. I successfully defended my thesis proposal and worked on my summer class. Joe kept working and picking up all the slack.

We’ve hiked our local tiny waterfall, visited a new park with an exercise course (we like those), gone swimming, and also helped my sister out with rebuilding the roof of her house.


Family Campout

I love camping with my family. We have done a couple of campouts and planned on doing more…but then didn’t. And I realized if I wanted a campout the best way to do it was to just plan it out myself. So I did. We camped at Box Elder Campground that is a beautiful campground 10 minutes from my house. We also went to Crystal Hot Spring and Mantua Reservoir which are two of my favorite places to go close to my house. And we did a talent show and Olympics. It was great fun.



Summer Projects

What has occupied the kids’ time the very most is reading. They are devouring books. It took me a long time to get Peter interested in novels, but now he won’t stop! He’ll read one a day. Other fun things: the children have been into marble runs recently.


We are going to upgrade the cardboard soon. Joe has some ideas and has been working in his shop to make some better ones.

I bought some watercolor markers and they have been enjoyed by all. Here are some examples.


The kids even got into bug collecting for a while. I liked this. Bugs and I get along. I’ve had four pest control companies come soliciting, and my response is always the same. No, I don’t mind the bugs.


We did fireworks for Independence Day. I didn’t take any pictures, but it was fun. Minus a small argument between my husband and me on where to go. (My mental health is in need of a break, and I will take one after finishing a few projects that are due soon.)

Joe and I updated the bedroom and living room. We got rid of some of the bulky furniture and I love it. I love the floor bed which we switched to after it was no longer safe to sleep with a mobile baby, and I love having a bunch of movable chairs in the living room. Here’s a video I made for my mom who currently lives far away.

I’ve also been working hard at school. I have a proposal defense scheduled, which I have been working toward for way over a year. Hopefully, that goes well. I’m prototyping out my digital sharing space I’m creating, and I’m also working on a project to help students interact better in online environments. I’m enjoying it.


Garden Pictures

After years of work, the garden is doing pretty well. If you are interested in more garden pictures, I started an Instagram account for all things gardening, find me at @responsivegardens

This rose bush is far too small to have a bloom, but it’s trying anyway. img_20200701_110752170

I know this plant looks awful. It’s being attacked by root weevils. I’m trying to get a handle on them, so this is my before picture.
I honestly grew artichokes so I could get the flowers. img_20200630_090304469img_20200630_090220102_hdrimg_20200630_090154251_hdrimg_20200630_090136379img_20200630_090120769img_20200630_090019897_hdrimg_20200630_085952494_hdrimg_20200630_085845892_hdrThese zucchini were under peas up until ten minutes before I took the picture. It’s seemed to be a great companion/succession combo.img_20200630_085928123img_20200630_085946513_hdrimg_20200630_085828261_hdrimg_20200623_082849735img_20200622_070912951img_20200622_070829630img_20200622_070852943_hdr

Goblin Valley

We went on our first summer camping trip. Luckily, it wasn’t too hot, everyone had a lot of fun, and there was only one bad crying incident in the car. We had fun climbing all over Goblin Valley, and then also went and hiked Little Wild Horse Canyon. The boys were able to make it quite a far way up the canyon and everyone loved it.