Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A few random MAY pics

  • When there are three kids and only two dogs...YOU get to be walked on a leash, too, to keep everyone happy.

  • I did A LOT of shopping this month.  We have a 250 page document of things we have to re-buy in order to get reimbursed through insurance (from the house fire).  You can pay me to shop ANY day.  

  • I got sucked in to helping out at a new restaurant in Kansas City.  Bistro 913 was just opening, and my old boss owns the building.  He asked me to help them out for a week or two.  (6 weeks later, I was still working there...every day, all day.)  I can't complain, though.  It's actually really fun - better than sitting behind a desk and the pay is fantastic with all the tips!

(That's my fancy hand writing on the signs ^^ )

  • After what felt like weeks of nothing but rain, I had to get outside and capture the first glimpse of sunshine!

  • Mother's Day get-together with the whole family!  We're getting better at the whole picture taking thing.  Everyone is looking at the camera and almost semi-smiling!

  • Once a year, my sister-in-law cuts and highlights my hair.  (Well, I usually get it cut twice a year, but only highlighted once.)  My hair always looks fantastic after she does it, so it had to be documented with a selfie!

  • The restaurant I've been working at is Vietnamese and Hawaiin food, and all of the chefs are Vietnamese.  They were trying out making edible flowers to decorate the food with, and I just thought it was so cool! Aren't the little red radish flowers beautiful!?


  • I dropped my membership at the gym, so I've been running and working out with resistance bands, hand weights, and exercise balls in the basement.  The workouts are still kicking my butt.

  • Hunter is still crazy good at puzzles.  Like, better than me.  No joke.  He can easily put them together without help...and faster than I can.


  • I got some shelves at IKEA and put them together in the basement to hold all of the kids toys.  It looks way better than what it was before...which was two big cardboard boxes.

  • I know I'm biased, but I think my labs are just about two of the most gorgeous ones I've ever seen.  Cricket and Willow turned 7 this year!


  • Another house project:  building a little sandbox in the corner of the back yard.  10 cinder blocks and 650 pounds of sand later... the kids were happy!

  • I spent a lot of afternoons in May laying out on the back deck working on my tan!  I don't tan very easily -- it's usually a burn - peel - white - repeat kind of thing.  But I'm off to a good start this year, so here's hoping for a little color that stays!

  • The kids came over one afternoon to play in the sprinklers, and it was just such a fun time!

Hudson absolutely LOVES the water, and could not care less if you spray him right in the face!  He just squeals with delight!



  • I took Hadley for a little date day since I missed her pre-school graduation party.  She wanted to go to the dog park, have McDonalds pancakes for dinner, and have a sleep over.  Easy enough.



  • Just another amazing Kansas City sunset...taking from the front porch of my brother and sister-in-laws new house.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Road Trip: Wyoming --> Lake Tahoe

When I laid down last night in my Pilot, I was warm - almost hot - in a tank top. I even had my little fan running. I guess that was just because the heat had been on when I was driving. Because I woke up at 1:30 freezing! Thank goodness I brought my fleece onesie and a sleeping bag! I don't think I would have survived the 45 degree night without them. Hahaha. 45 isn't even that cold. Honestly, I just wasn't made for cool weather! 

I slept alright after that. Not great. I think I inflated the mattress too much in Kansas and then it expanded in elevation here in the mountains. It's was too hard so I deflated it a little bit twice during the night trying to get it just right. I'll get there...

It stayed pretty dark in there, and I woke up around 7:30. No alarm. Laid there for awhile and eventually went inside Walmart to use the bathroom and brush my teeth. I have a water jug in the car with an on/off valve, but as long as there's running water nearby, I'll use that. 

Anyways, I cracked a couple of hard boiled eggs for breakfast, filled up on gas, or some ice for the cooler, and was on the road by 8:15. 

So the cooler...I bought a Yeti Roadie cooler ONLY because insurance was paying. My cooler for ruined in the fire. I would never pay $200 for a little cooler, but I have to admit, as skeptical as I was, that thing is amazing. Somehow it keeps everything cold - like, REALLY cold, all day and night with just a little bit of dice. I was shocked when I looked this morning and it was still all frozen! I guess the Yeti stuff is all it's cracked up to be after all!

The drive across Wyoming and in to Utah was definitely more scenic than yesterday's through Kansas. This part of the country really is beautiful! 

I stopped just past Salt Lake City around 11 for a bathroom break, and then continued on to the Bonneville Salt Flats. It's such a beautiful little stop right off the highway. 

This time I ventured out in to the ankle deep water across the sale flat. I wanted to get closer to the mountain for a better reflection picture. 

I can't say the view was THAT much better out there. And I got salt water all over everything - clothes, skin, camera, phone. Aaaaaand I forgot my tripod! So much for getting a picture of me and the reflection. This was as good as I got, with the GoPro leaned up against a pile of salt sticking out of the water. 

It was so HOT out there, and the bright white everywhere hurt my eyes even with sunglasses on, so I didn't stay too long.  Just long enough to take like 40 pictures of the exact same scene. ;)

I tried to rinse off before getting back in the car, but I'm not sure it helped. My black pants still have salt all over!

I stopped again just a few miles down the road in Wendover, after crossing in to Nevada. I got gas and ate lunch: more tuna packets and carrots. (Doesn't smell or taste the best, but it's nutritious and healthy and cheap!)

The rest of the drive was uneventful. I got tired in the afternoon. The warm sun felt so good, it just made me want to take a nap in it! But I didn't. I kept driving. Another 6 hours. But I gained an hour crossing in to the pacific time zone, so that helped. 

A couple of stops for gas and water, a few pee breaks at rest stops, and lots of singing along with Pandora later, I rolled in to Truckee around 5pm. Immediate stop at McDonalds for a pee break - again - and I was finally at Squaw Valley and out of my car...and in the mountains! There's just something about that fresh air and the smell of the pine trees. It's one of my favorites!

By 6pm, I was running along the west shore of Lake Tahoe with Scott. I needed to get outside and do something active after sitting in the same spot for roughly 22 of the last 36 hours! 

And it's hard to beat these lake views! The elevation was a little rough on me, but I made it 2.2 miles in 20 minutes. Pretty standard pace for me, so I was okay with that. 

I would have kept running or worked out a little longer, but I was so hungry! My tuna packet lunch was cutting it anymore. So we parked at a little beach along the lake and made some dinner: veggies and quinoa.  The weather was just perfect, and the purple lupine flowers are just starting to come up around the lake!

After I ate and did a little stretching on the yoga mat, I definitely could have just went to bed. Driving that long takes it out of me I guess. But there is no way I was leaving without watching the sunset! It's one of my favorite things...sunset over Tahoe is just the best!

When the color started to fade from the sky, it was back out to squaw and off to bed. Squaw has a free, flat parking lot and nice bathrooms that are open to the public. No walmarts anywhere around here, so Squaw wins!