oct/nov

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september

enjoyed the deck a lot

roasted mallows and starbursts

smelled the wildfire smoke

spent a week in Austin, Texas with my bff Katherine

it was warm and steamy and rainy

went for a run around Lady Bird Lake

we drank wine in the common room of the hostel we stayed at, and met people from all over the world

ate a lot of easy mac

slept in the comfiest hotel sheets ever and decided I wanted to buy a set for myself (until I saw the price)

tried to watch bats flying out from Congress Bridge THREE SEPARATE NIGHTS but they never came

we downed bags and bags and BAGS of cheddar sour cream ruffles together while chatting and laughing and watching tv in the hotel room late into the night

we had margaritas and tex mex and doughnuts and falafel gyros

missed Seth and my pets

got stuck in the airport for an entire day because of flight delays but was in a good mood anyway

spent time at home alone

it was very nice

cooked food and went running and snuggled my cat and took long baths

got my nails done

made my house very very tidy

flew to huntington beach and ate lunch there before going on a road trip with my family in a rented escalade

we slept 6 adults in a single hotel room that night

lol

saw my cousin get married

hiked in Tahoe, saw the sunrise and a glassy lake and the sierras

shuttled to Reno

got on a plane to Boston

it was very long and I read a very stupid book

wandered around by myself for a day (very very good times)

completely and utterly fell in love with boston? i think it’s my favorite city now?

saw historical sites and a navy yard and old architecture

heard a marching band and followed the sound to find myself at a glorious street fair!!!

waited in a long line for a cannoli. i was tempted to get 3 but I only got 1. it was the right choice. there’s only so much sugary ricotta you can eat at a time

people were rude and short in a perfectly east-coast way

ate cornbread and clam chowder

I haven’t eaten meat in over a year but according to my expert opinion (5 minutes of googling), clams don’t have central nervous systems and clam farming is environmentally sustainable lol

went shopping

saw my coworkers IRL for the first time since march

worked, played games, ate food, talked

watched a Red Sox game at Fenway Park

ate tater tots with cheese sauce and sang along to Sweet Caroline during the 8th inning

went to this really fancy old hotel (Omni Parker House) and got a table for one to enjoy a big bowl of chowder and a beautiful piece of Boston cream pie (IT’S NOT EVEN PIE I WANT MY MONEY BACK) (just kidding it was absolutely delicious) (I think I actually wrote on the receipt “thank you for the delightful and delicious lunch!”)

explored Boston Common which is probably the most beautiful park I’ve ever seen

(i don’t want to talk about politics really, but suffice it to say, I was glued to the news for a few days this month. those days were a low point)

finally was home with Seth and my darling pets

watched most of the trees around my house turn yellow

felt the crisp cool fall settle in

turned 25, got spoiled by lovely people

went to Oktoberfest at Snowbird

had potatoes and veg brats and beer and caught up with a friend

Finally hiked Timpanogos

I really can’t believe I lived in Utah for 5+ years and didn’t make it up this peak until last weekend! My trip to Canyonlands had just fallen through last-minute, but the idea to hike through the middle of the night to catch the sunrise at Timp’s peak was enough to yank me out of my disappointment.

The whole thing was just fuUUNNNN. Packing up my backpack the evening before, getting in a quick excited nap, drinking icy milky coffee at 1am, driving the Alpine Loop to get to the trailhead and watching the skinny aspen trunks flashing in my headlights, hearing moose and deer snorting and rustling in the invisible bushes, seeing a trail of little white lights leading up to the summit, saying “good morning” to other hikers in the pitch black, overlooking the glittery lights in the valley cities, turning off my headlamp and climbing up the last mile in the early dawn, watching the sun poke up and glow pink in the clouds, feeling exhausted and cozy and happy. It was all fun and great. I’d do it again next weekend.

This has been on my to-do list for years, but I think I shied away from it because I always heard about how crowded it was on the weekends. Yep, it was crowded, but it was worth it and it didn’t detract from the experience. I can see why it’s such a popular one.

Escalante canyoneering trip + video

Last weekend I did a canyoneering trip to Escalante / Grand Staircase National Monument and I 100000% loved it. The week before the trip I almost couldn’t sleep bc I was so excited haha. I’d never gone through a canyon that needed ropes and rappelling, and after this experience I’m totally hooked and want to do a lot more of it.

We spent the weekend pretty far into a dirt/rock road called Hole-in-the-rock Road and we were about two hours from any gas stations, stores, bathrooms, etc. I definitely wish I thought more about what kinds of food I brought, but at least I’ll remember for next time.

Day 1: We hiked from the Egypt Trailhead to the bottom of Neon Canyon, then went left and hiked up the ridge for the whole length of the canyon before dropping in at the top and going back down through. The water levels were incredibly low and basically nothing was full of water. We did 6 rappels in total. The most difficult one was off a rock that was wedged between the canyon and there was a complete dropoff after it, so we had to get on our stomachs on the rock and basically just drop down. My favorite part was, of course, the rappel into Golden Cathedral. It was so cool to be sitting around the approach, not having any idea what’s ahead through the crack, waiting for my turn on the rope, tying myself on, starting the climb through the crack, shimmying down, a little further, then looking down and seeing the 80 foot drop and the cathedral opening up around me with streaked walls and water reflecting vivid green plants and ahhh! It was so rad. After exiting the Cathedral, we hiked the 4-5 miles back to the trailhead. It was an all-day 12-hour deal.

Day 2: We went up Dry Fork road to the Peekaboo/Spooky trailhead. We were trying to do Peekaboo and Spooky, but in retrospect, I think we got mixed up and went through Dry Fork and then Spooky Gulch. Dry Fork was chill, just a sandy walk through a wider slot canyon. Spooky was SOOOO TIGHT. I could barely fit through some spots. I’m not claustrophobic at all, but I feel pretty anxious at some points. The top of Spooky had some large boulders that required some pretty tricky squeezing and climbing to get through. I had to enlist help a couple times since I’m not a big climber. This was about a half day, and we used the second half to get home.

Video & pictures!

 

taking stock

I haven’t written here in awhile! Here are some things that have been going on lately.

The weather is getting warm and the sun is staying out later and it’s making me happy. I love the changing of the seasons. It’s also got me reminiscing on last summer in SLC which was such a warm and happy and special time in my life.

I’m doing the Wasatch Back Ragnar (a 200-mile relay race and van-camping weekend) next weekend for the third year. Every year I get to the end of that weekend, dead-tired and battered, and swear I’ll never do it again. But it’s so so fun and I think I’d miss it if I didn’t do it. It’s sort of a personal tradition at this point. When else do you get to run on mountain roads in the dead middle of the night while still feeling sorta safe and supported?

The biggest thing happening lately is that I am moving! I’m staying in Utah but actually going to the Heber Valley area. I have loved living in downtown SLC for the past year, but I’m ready to try out the Wasatch Back.

the view from my new deck! (this was back in march when it was still mostly dead, but it’s super green now)

I’ve been vegetarian for a year! I love plants!

Seth is selling his condo downtown and we’ve been fixing it up before he puts it on the market. Over the past couple months I have learned so much about home remodeling: prepping for painting, painting, patio flooring, knocking down (non-load-bearing) walls, patching drywall, installing sheetrock, cutting granite, managing contractors, installing sinks and faucets, tiling and grouting… dude it’s been illuminating and worthwhile and also exhausting. Seth is doing the vast majority of the work and I’m still drained. I’m ready for this to be over soon please! And the new house, luckily, doesn’t really need anything done to it right away, so I’ll be taking a good break from this stuff soon.

A couple months ago I took a monthlong social media break. I think that mindset was a really good thing for me, but I found that completely deleting my accounts made me feel disconnected; I missed out on knowing some important things happening in the lives of people I care about. I know it’d be nice to think that we all just text or call each other to catch up, but that doesn’t always happen now with announcements of life events happening on social media. So I compromised by making my account private, removing a bunch of followers I didn’t actually know in real life, and unfollowing a bunch of accounts. Now I’m finding I use it in a much more healthy way. Without all the extra “pretty” or “inspiring” posts showing up in my feed, it’s a lot less engaging and addictive.

I’ve been interested in meditation for the past 1.5 years or so, using the app “Headspace”, but it wasn’t until three months ago that I feel like I really started learning and experiencing the real effects of it. I randomly found this book, Meditation Without Gurus, at the library, and it ended up having a pretty big impact on me. I don’t think this book is extremely popular or “the definitive guide to meditation” or anything like that, but I just found it really approachable and straightforward. It talks about how a lot of people, when starting out with meditation, struggle with all these questions of “how should I meditate?” “what should I think about when I meditate?” “what should I be keeping in mind?” “who should I learn from?”, etc. And the simple answer is just that you don’t need anything fancy to learn how to meditate — the whole point is to do nothing, to think about nothing, to slip out of your ego, to step back from the concept of “I” and “me” and into the present world. It has had a really big impact on me, but it does take effort, and some days I’m better at it than others. I’d definitely recommend this book if it’s a topic you’re interested in.

sometimes i put almond milk in my coffee and it looks cool

I have this little book club that I’ve somehow managed to keep together (even if sometimes only three people show up haha). While it’s a really small aspect of my daily life, having a goal of at least one book every month is something that I’ve come to enjoy a lot. Last month, we read Educated by Tara Westover, and it ended up being my favorite book I’ve read all year. I devoured the whole book in a single day and it wasn’t a chore at all. Would def recommend. (P.S. if you’re around SLC, join my book club!)

I think the world of this dude.

My company did a retreat where everyone came and visited Utah! This was one of the small group activities, a space exploration simulation — basically Star Trek LARPing. I was the first officer and I gotta say we owned it.

I love getting together with my team in person. We go to restaurants and order a bunch of plates and pass them around family style and it’s always really memorable and joyful. This time we went to Finca in downtown SLC and had olives, roasted carrots with honey and ricotta, toasty earthy potatoes with spicy creamy sauce, garlic and sherry vinegar mushrooms, paella, and housemade sangria. Ahhhh it was one of the best meals I’ve had.

Hawaii travel video!

I went to Hawaii last week (Oahu & Maui) with some friends. It was incredible. I know there are tons of cool places to travel around the world, many of which I haven’t seen yet, but I’m pretty confident Hawaii will always be one of my favorite spots. I love the clear water, the tropical fish, the warm rain, the way plants grow like crazy, macadamia nuts, fresh fruit, surfer culture, the wildlife, the mountains, just, I am all about the ALOHA LIFESTYLE, dudes.

I was able to spend a lot of time snorkeling and scuba diving, which is my personal heaven on earth. It’s a cliche, but being in the water looking at an underwater world of coral and fish, all the stuff I was worried about totally evaporated. We also hiked, ziplined, explored, ate and drank, and lounged.

I wasn’t very on top of taking pictures and videos (except underwater) but I pieced this little video together to help me remember the trip. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, plz watch at least 1:08 to 1:43, from when I saw this big octopus swimming around, because it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

sketchbook pages

This year I’m trying to spend time intentionally trying new/different things in my sketchbook. Right now I’m getting inspired by a lot of traditional tattoo flash style art. But so far it’s mainly been flowers and leaves and basically learning that my dollar store watercolors don’t work super well, haha. Here are my pages from the past couple weeks.

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