Scout Falls Hike | Utah

Well folks, I think the winter-ish weather is upon us.  Yesterday here in Utah was as cold as a Texas winter day in January.  So for our hiking adventures, we're probably about done for the season...especially considering that we have no snow shoes/gear.

Some friends of ours came into town last weekend and we hiked Scout Falls from the Timpooneke trailhead up American Fork Canyon.  Although shorter than Silver Lake hike, I think we hit it at peak foliage time and thus it ranks pretty high in my favorites.  The hike was fairly easy, aside from scrambling up tree roots and having to pay close attention to footing.  When we arrived at the falls, they didn't quite live up to the pictures I had seen, which was most likely due to the season and lack of precipitation Utah received this past year.

We hope to continue our hiking adventures once the snow melts next spring/summer, but I think it's safe to say that we've had a pretty solid go of things the past couple of months.  Utah has been good to us so far and we have thoroughly enjoyed getting out in nature...and in the beautiful weather.

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Utah Hike | Silver Lake

We've been trying our best to take advantage of all the amazing hikes here in Utah...and really, just being outdoors is fabulous this time of year!  So far, we've hiked Donut Falls, Mount Timpanogos, The Y, and Silver Lake (as of this past weekend).  We hope to be able to hike Mt. Timp before it gets too cold, as the last time was a few years ago and we weren't able to summit because of conditions.  But this last hike to Silver Lake was amazing...and maybe my new favorite!


Hiking to Silver Lake was just the right amount of challenge...considering our group of 4 kids, 2 dogs, me, Blake and my mom.  It took about 3 hours, but we stopped and enjoyed the scenery quite a bit.  We loved hiking through the aspen groves and seeing the vivid colors of the fall foliage.  And once we arrived at the lake, the reward was absolutely gorgeous!  I can't wait to hike to Silver Lake again.

With all of our outdoor excursions, we've found some gear that makes everything a bit easier, safer, and more comfortable.  
Check out our favorites below:



Thirteen


I polled Insta the other day asking which affects mommas most...when their oldest hits milestones or when the youngest does.  I was surprised that most of the responses said the oldest!  Milestones such as....oh I don't know, TURNING THIRTEEN!  With all the crazy in our family/life right now, I wasn't preparing myself for our oldest becoming a teenager.  I mean, we planned how she wanted to celebrate and stuff, but my mind and heart didn't really go to that place of "how the heck do we have a thirteen-year-old!?" or "why is my baby growing up so fast?!?"  It kind of took me by surprise.  Truthfully, I'm of the camp that gets way more emotional when my youngest hits milestones...so whenever his thirteenth birthday comes around, forget about it!  But for our oldest, it definitely was one of those big birthdays and caused us to reflect on all the blessings and experiences she's brought to us as parents.

We started the day with her requested breakfast of cinnamon rolls, and later went into the mountain for a requested lunch of Shepherd's Pie.  We found the perfect little creekside picnic area, but as soon as we began eating, bees swarmed us and didn't let up.  So her birthday lunch in the mountains was cut reeeeeaaaaally short, but we continued up into the canyon to Tibble Fork...a beautiful reservoir for swimming, paddle boarding, etc.  She ended her birthday by having a few new friends over for cake (Unicorn cake, of course) and discussing how life will be TOTALLY different now as a teenager. ;)

Dear Time, 
Please slow down.  Just sloooooow your roll down, won't ya.  No need to rush...we don't have to be anywhere.  We're good right here at 13.  Got that?  K, thanks.
Signed,
Sentimental Momma


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Our Moving Story...So Far


I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would share the story of our BIG MOVE from Texas to Utah.  As many of you know, we are deeply rooted in Texas.  I'm at least a 6th generation Texan and Blake's family came straight over from Germany to Texas...so clearly, we know no other way but the Texas way.

Blake had been looking for a new job this past year.  Earlier this summer, a law firm in Utah reached out to him and things moved quickly.  We had put our house on the market in April because we wanted to possibly downsize or just get a bit more land space...but once we learned of the new job offer, things became more clear as to selling our house and moving our family.

After months on the market (and having to cut our price waaaay down because of a stalled out market), our home in Texas FINALLY went under contract.  Blake and I booked a trip to Utah to house hunt and to find a rental for my mom, who was also moving to Utah.  After looking at 20+ homes, putting in 3 offers, and going under contract twice (crazy hot home market in Utah)...we left our house hunting trip with a home we planned to close on around the same time our home in Texas was set to close.  I didn't love the house (at all), but we were out of time and out of options.  It seemed like our only choice.

We planned out our move in a kind of crazy, disjointed way.  We felt it best for our two littles to get started in school up here in Utah, so I made the drive with them from Texas to Utah and stayed in an Airbnb the first week of school.  On the second day of our two-day road trip, we found out that our buyers backed out days before closing.  NOT good.  The sale of our house falling through had a trickle effect, which caused us to break our contract on the house in Utah....yeah, the one I didn't like in the first place.  Not meant to be, I guess. ;)

But because so many of our moving plans were already in motion, it was too late to turn back...meaning, stay in our Texas home until another buyer came along.  A week later, the whole family (including my mom) all moved up to Utah in one big caravan, and thankfully, my mother's rental home is large enough for us to stay until our house in Texas sells...again.  We really need it to sell as soon as possible.  Other details include having to board our dogs, living out of boxes and a storage unit, and not being able to get quite settled knowing that it's all temporary.  

However, we have felt an underlying purpose behind all of this madness.  Although it's difficult, expensive, and stressful, we know the Lord has a plan for our family.  Whether that plan is growth (as we all need from time to time) or to test our faith, the challenges are easier to swallow keeping that in mind.  As one of my dear friends puts it, "It will work out how it SHOULD."  I love that word should.  Not how we want. (clearly). Not how we think it will.  Not how it might with all the millions of possibilities.  But how it SHOULD.  How the Lord wants it to work out and how it will be best for our family in the long run.  I feel like we will look back on this time in our lives and see clearly the lessons learned and the sequence of meaningful events that took place.  

Of course, this is all easier said than done.  I try reeeeeaaaaaally hard to stay patient, but I definitely have those moments of panic and "what ifs".  But in the end, it won't be the end.  Even if all things don't work out, it still won't be the end of the world.  It will be okay.  It will be as it should.  

Alas, our story isn't over.  I'll be sure to share any exciting updates and will continue sharing our new experiences here in Utah!


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Fall Home & Style Wish List

Fall is ALLLLLLLMOST upon us up here in Utah and it's glorious!!!!  Seriously, I cannot wait for layers and booties and hot chocolate and open windows!  A true fall season!  Something we aren't used to and I personally feel giddy just thinking of it!  I put together a few things that I've either had my eye on (that camel sweater) or that just give me all the warm-fuzzies about our soon-to-be autumn.  Bring IT ON!!!

*hover over to see details
  




American Fork Canyon - Family Camping


Headed into the mountains with our take-out dinner, flashlights, tent, and 2 sleeping bags...we were not as prepared as we would've liked.  Still being in transition from the move, much of our stuff is "somewhere in storage"...meaning, who knows exactly where it was placed.  Thus, we found all the blankets we could to add to our measly 2 sleeping bags (for a family of 6, mind you) and hoped for the best.  Our best was quite chilly and uncomfortable, but hey, it was fun!

Camping in the mountains was definitely a treat for us!  One that we hadn't experienced as a family.  Not only was the weather cool (down right cold at night), but being amongst the forest adds an authentic feel to camping that you just don't get in good ol' Texas.  We stayed at a place called Mutual Dell in the American Fork Canyon.  It's owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and available for families to camp during certain parts of the year when it's not used for girls camp or scouting.  We didn't do anything amazing while there...pretty much just hung out, froze our butts off trying to sleep, and then packed up first thing in the morning.  But I think we all had a memorable time and would like to do it again...with proper sleeping gear of course.  Side note:  My lucky mom went home early and slept in her own bed.  I'm sure she won that night!

*All photos taken with our GoPro Hero 5


Where do YOU like to go camping?




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Hiking Donut Falls


We've been in our house in Utah for a little over a week now.  My brother came down from Oregon to help my mother move and stayed with us until his flight this morning.  After days of being knee-high in boxes, moving paper, and a general mess of stuff...on Labor Day morning, we decided to take a break from unpacking and head to the mountains.  

We decided upon the Donut Falls hike and wanted to get out there as early as possible, with donuts in hand, of course.  Our family motto has become something to the effect of "get an early start to beat the crowds...always".  We have enjoyed the rewards (or avoidance of crowds/waiting) by sticking to this way of planing/thinking in most things we do as a family.  This was no different.  In fact, there were tons of cars parked all over the canyon road at 8am!  Eager beavers!

Our hike was easy but fun.  I wasn't prepared for the VERY cool morning and regretted not bringing a hoodie along.  Hiking is one of our favorite things to do and I am excited about all of the trails so close by!  If you're from around these parts, do you have any great hikes you'd recommend?


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