Monday, July 27, 2009

My Day

For my Saturday in Colorado, I chose to go to Pike's Peak mountain, and eat at a restaurant in Colorado Springs called Fargos. We were going to take the train up to the top of the mountain and then hike down-Pike's Peak is a famous mountain in Colorado that is a fourteener-meaning, it's over 14,000 feet above sea level. Well, turns out that they don't sell one way tickets on Saturdays, and it would take over 12-13 hours to hike it round trip. So we ended up driving round trip. It was so beautiful at the top. They make donuts at the top, a "special" recipe because of the high elevation. They were so divine! We stopped at a few places along the way up the mountain. It was so beautiful and peaceful!

On our way back, we stopped at Fargos, a pizza place in Colorado Springs, that is set up like an old fashioned bar. A coworker told me about it. I love trying out new places! All in all, another fun Saturday in Colorado!

On the drive up to the peak, I stuck my head out the car's sunroof. Isn't this an awesome shot?!

Rick, Jessica, me and Ellen at the top. So high up!

This is my friend, the cougar, at one of the stops up to the top..

Jessica and I, so happy to be out in nature!

Enjoying a yummy Pike's Peak donut!

Funny story..when we paid to get into the Pike's Peak area, they gave us a paper and said to get a stamp at 3 stops along the way to get a free prize. I'm all about free so of course we did it. This was our prize, a lovely little button. Loved it!

Me, Jessica and Rick at the lake.

Here is Fargos..We had to look at a mirror for our order number to come up when our food was ready. So fun!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

I started running again in January of this year. I have ran in the past, but I've never been one for long distances..2-3 miles is what I would usually do. However, this year I decided I would not only do a 10K in May, but run the Top of Utah half marathon the end of August. That's a good 13.1 mile run, folks, a lot more than this body of mine has ever done! It's definitely been a huge blessing/huge challenge to run in my life the past while. It's hard finding the time to do it when you're in a fun place, trying to live up every minute you are there. But I've been running at least 3 days a week since January. I've come along way-to be able to run more than 3 miles without stopping is more than I've ever been able to do, up to being able to run 7.5 miles last Saturday. But I've had a lot of set backs along the way. My time hasn't really improved the way I have wanted to, and this has frustrated me greatly. I've also been frustrated by those around me who started training after I did and are now running at a faster mile pace than I am. I allowed this to get to me mentally. I would get so mad at myself, that it affected how I ran. But last Saturday, when I was on my big run, I finally came to the conclusion that it truly does not matter how fast I am running my miles. I'm running them! And I'm going at a pace where I feel that I'm pushing myself, and it doesn't matter if someone else's time is faster than mine. Once I allowed myself to truly feel that way, I was so good mentally on my run, and after! It gave me a new hope that I can do this. My focus is not on the time. My focus is pushing myself, and myself alone, to do what I have never done physically before. I'm amazed at how much I have accomplished in my running in the past 6 months. It has changed my life for the better. Running is my alone time, and I've been able to do a lot of thinking and reflecting on my time alone, pounding the pavement. What a blessing it has become, and I look forward to a lot more running in the future!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2 in 1

Super excited me!!!

On my list of 27 things to do before I turn 28, I had Go Karting and Laser Tagging, both of which I have never done before. My friend Brett here in Colorado knew of this and planned a "surprise" evening at Boondock's where I was able to do both. I was like a giddy child the second we pulled in. I knew what was coming! I loved both activities and look forward to doing them again. Thanks Brett for helping me cross two goals off in one night!!

To ride on the longer and "slippier" course, you had to be over 58 inches tall. Yep, I barely made it, me at almost 61 inches. I am crouching down a bit here, just to let you know..

Hil and I so excited for what was lying ahead. The lady in the background is my mom...just kidding, it's not. Some random lady lucky enough to be in a picture with Hil and I!

We bought a super deal package for 17 bucks where you could do everything, but we got there late so we were only able to Go Kart and Laser Tag which would have cost us just 12 bucks. But we were proud of our wristbands!

Me before take off. Man, I was so nervous and excited!

Funny story about this picture. My roommate Ellen was driving the Go Kart and trying to take a picture of me driving at the same time. She knew I had a red car, and saw one coming up behind her so she assumed it was me. Totally wasn't! This guy was like, "What the heck is this girl taking a picture of me for while we're driving Go Karts?" I came up behind him. Hysterical! My new favorite picture this is!

Monday, July 13, 2009

MoTab at Red Rocks

I've been doing so much fun things lately and I'm so far behind on my blog that I'm doing posts as often as I can! So if you don't know me, or haven't been able to tell by my blog posts, I am big on goal setting and I am the type of person that once I set my mind to doing something, I do it. One of my goals here in Denver was to see a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. If you have never seen this beautiful place, you need to sometime in your life (and invite me along!) It's so beautiful! Musicians play there often. It holds about 10,000 people. I was able to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform there last Monday evening, with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. I've never seen them perform live outside of General Conference and I couldn't have asked for a better setting. Our seats were high so we could see literally all of the Denver area, and the cloud formations, as always, were gorgeous. And above all, the music was inspiring, touching, and beyond words incredible. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to see them perform, the spirit I felt, and to be in the presence of so many talented people. The prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, just so happened to be attending this concert. He was clear in the front, so afterward my friends Annaliese, Jason and I tried to run down so we could shake his hand (on my list of things I want to do before I die), but it was too late. But all in all, it was the perfect way to spend an evening!!

Jessica and I before the concert.

Look at the beautiful clouds, with the sunset..I can never get enough of this in Colorado.

The Mo Tab! There's over 300 of them!

Look at the awesome moon by the red rock!

Again, clouds. I'm obsessed with them. Someday I'll do a post of all the reasons why I love clouds, and the analogies I make from them.

Jessica and I with the MoTab behind us! So many people were there!!

We're cute, I had to post lots of pictures of us!

The view from where I was sitting, zoomed in. To the left, those are the buildings of downtown Denver..and then to the left of that is Green Mountain, which I hiked on the Fourth of July!

So I can't hold a camera still, sue me! I wasn't able to record very much, my camera was full of memory. But at least you can hear part of the song, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." The instrumental on this was beautiful. Meggan, this one's for you!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bubba Gumps

My roommates and I have each taken a Saturday to plan stuff that we want to do in the Denver area. On this particular Saturday, it was Ellen's turn. She really wanted to eat at Bubba Gumps because she is a big fan of the movie, "Forrest Gump." It was such a fun place to eat! Everything in the restaurant was related to the movie. I loved all the quotes on the wall from the movie. The food was good as well. A little pricey. But all in all, a great place to eat!

His feet were just a smidge bigger than mine. "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get!"

"I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is." Well said, Forrest!!

These signs were on the table. When you flipped it to the red one, it said, Stop Forrest. Stop. That signaled to our waitress that we needed something. Love that!

Run Forrest! Run!

There was a paddle on each of the tables (you know how he plays ping pong in the movie) with the desserts and drinks. We shared a bread pudding. Yummage!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Favorite People in the Whole World

I have 6 nephews and 3 nieces and they are the greatest joy and the greatest blessing in my life. The hardest part about being in Colorado this past year was being so far away from all of them, kind of feeling like I'm missing out on their growing up. Whenever I'm having a tough time, or feeling alone or lost, I think of these favorite people in my life and I am comforted. I love when I get to talk to them on the phone, or receive emails or letters from them. Nothing else makes me happier. The love I have for them is the purest and easiest love I have ever felt. It encompasses my whole heart and soul. I look forward to returning to Utah so I can spend more time with them. I love you Malcolm, Quinn, Ammon, Aspen, Micah, Jonah, Liberty, Kanyon and Abbie! Thank you for all that you do for me, and the joy you bring into my life on a daily basis.

All of my nieces and nephews, minus Kanyon, last summer at Fish Lake

Aspen, she always knows how to make me feel better with her hugs! I love how she challenges my thinking as well. She is one smart girl, I tell you what.

Micah, Ammon, Kanyon, Jonah. I love how Micah and Jonah interact, it always makes me laugh. Ammon is always so excited to see me, it makes me feel good about myself! And Kanyon intrigues me..

My new favorite picture: Liberty drew a picture of me on my parent's driveway. This made me miss her so much! Libby says the funniest things, and has the kindest heart. Last time I was home, she told me she couldn't sit by me on the couch because I was beautiful. How precious is that?!

Abbie and I...she's gotten so big since I've last seen her, I can't wait to get to know her better!

I had some fun pictures with Malcolm and Quinn, my two oldest nephews who live in Virginia, and I hardly ever get to see them. But the pictures got lost when I got a new laptop. But I love how fun they both are, and how caring they are.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rocky Mountain National Park

Hilary, Ellen, Jessica, Becca and I decided to take the opportunity to take advantage of free National Parks day and go camping at Rocky Mountain National Park by Estes Park, Colorado, a two hour drive from where we live. We stopped in Estes Park to take a picture in front of the hotel that was filmed in the famous Stephen King movie, "The Shining." I'm not a fan of scary movies AT ALL, and I remember watching this on my lunch break when I worked at a nursing home in Logan, and being really freaked out by the twins in it. Ellen, Becca and I had a lot of fun sitting in the backseat during the drive, as the pictures below will prove.

In front of the hotel from "The Shining." It looks like we don't even know each other by the way we are all standing so far apart. This picture makes me laugh!

I like to do random dance moves in empty streets and Ellen just so happened to capture this moment.

Eating, Tawna style

Ellen, me and Becca. I look like I'm about to pray, and Beccas's face is classic.

Becca and I really enjoyed the movie "Star Trek." I know crazy, right? She likes to do the Spock!

We picked a campsite and set it up. (Who needs boys for this?! We totally didn't!) And then decided to do some hiking. We hiked to some waterfalls, and then decided to keep going and ended up at Loch Lake, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever laid eyes on. This big, beautiful, clear lake, was surrounded by mountains covered in snow. It was so quiet and peaceful. We stayed there for a while, just taking in all the beauty. I could have stayed there all day! On the way down, it started to downpour, so we went back to our campsite for a while to watch a movie, but then we decided to take a drive to see more of the Rocky Mountains. We saw lots of elk, and the higher up in elevation we went, the more beautiful our surroundings were. I can't describe it, so I'll let the pictures try and do it justice.

Proudly showing off our "putting up the tent" skills!

On the way to the waterfalls. It looks like I'm sneaking up on them. I love this pic!

I loved this rock so much, I had to give it a great, big hug!

Aren't we precious?! Almost as precious as this bridge!

Chacos or bust! Can you tell which foot is mine? (The small, chubby one...)

The waterfalls..I can't remember the name of it but so gorgeous!

My model pose in front of the waterfall, as close as I would get to it anyway. I'm not afraid of heights but getting too close to the edge. When I worked as a camp counselor in the summer, we went on weekly hikes, and I HATED when we got to the top because the kids would get so close to the edge, it would give me anxiety :)

We stopped at the waterfalls to eat. The night before, Hil and I bought this huge sandwich at Wally World and split it in half, we didn't want to make our own sandwiches (Yes, sometimes I am lazy). Well, the sandwich ended up getting wet and was a little soggy, but I was so hungry I scarfed it in, as you can see. My nickname isn't Wide Mouth Frog for nothing!! (Jessica, I put this picture in just for you)

This was taken about halfway up our hike. The longer our hike went, the more frizzy my hair got. Man, it was so humid that day!

The snow we had to hike through to get to the lake. And in my Chacos!!

Loch Lake...breathtaking.

See how clear the lake was? I loved how everything reflected off of it.

At one of our stops on the drive. Can you spot my small head? Hilarious! It was so cold, above 12,000 feet in elevation!

It was such a great way to spend a weekend in Colorado. I really enjoy camping and being in nature!