Easter Weekend Camping on Mars

Every Easter Michael's family goes camping, and this year was my first time being a part of the tradition.
Laughed. I climbed up to the top of one of the steep hills to try out the zipline Michael & his stepbrother, Jeff, had set up. After I got my harness on and started hooking in Jeff's daughter, Megan, said, "don't worry it's stronger than it looks and is reallllly fun". Jeff laughed and told Megan, "I think she knows what she is doing". Megan turned to me and sized me up and then responded in a sassy tone, "I dunno, she doesn't really look like a mountain girl to me but I guess we'll see". Kids are so honest and funny, I love it! I guess it could be considered a good thing that even though I was wearing chacos and hadn't showered in a few days I didn't look like a mountain girl.
Screamed. Michael and I have decided we want to start mountain biking more and figured this would be a great place to get some practice. False. You only had your choice of sand or hills, nothing else. It took all our strength to peddle through the sand, and going down the steep hills was a little out of my league. So I would just hold on tight and scream at the top of my lungs the whole way down, hoping not to crash. It worked a some of the time.
Discovered. We went to a popular archeology site and discovered some dinosaur bones, and other petrified shells & wood. Did you know you can tell the difference between bone and rock by licking it!? Crazy right?! Or maybe you are just thinking I'm crazy, but its true! Bone will stick to your tongue and rock will taste like, well, like licking a rock. I never thought I'd lick a dinosaur bone, but I can cross that one off the bucket list!
Ran. I talked Michael into going trail running with me. Bad idea. 5 miles felt like 15 through the hot sand. The landscape was beautiful through, and great prep for Ragnar!
Explored. While four-wheeling out in the middle of nowhere we found this Mars Research Station. The landscape looked just like Mars, so it blended right in. It was complete with solar panels, green house, observatory and everything!

 Call me a nerd but I was pretty excited when the astronauts came out in their full on space suits. 

Considering the fact they were dressed up in space suits, in the middle of a Utah desert, pretending to be on Mars, they were very serious. When we smiled and waved they completely ignored us and climbed on their rovers and rode off. They were on a mission.

 It was a fun unexpected surprise though. I came up with my own conclusion and decided they are some of the finalist for Mars One (they plan to be the first to settle people on Mars).

The best adventures in life are those that are unplanned.

It's true you guys! This is why I always try to step out of my comfort zone and try something new every chance I get. Even if it's something I know I'm NEVER going to want to do again (like the time I ate termites in Costa Rica).But I give it a whirl just to say I did. I guess I tend to live a little like Jim Carrey's character in 'Yes Man' which you may think is dumb, but I promise you it makes life so much more fun! Otherwise you get stuck in the normal routine you are comfortable with, and it is just plan boring. Plus, sometimes you surprise yourself and find something new you love.
I'm so glad Michael is spontaneous and loves trying new things too. Two weeks ago when, I dedicided I wanted to take a last minute road trip to Saint George, Michael didn't need any convincing. We immediately started packing the car and headed south, but only made it about half way there before we had to drive off the side of the freeway and catch some Zzz's in the middle of an empty field. When we were dating we would hang out till 2 or 3am even when we'd have to wake up at 7am for school, but now midnight rolls around and we can barley stay awake.  
We drove straight to Moes Valley and bouldered until late in the afternoon. If you haven't been there before you need to check it out-tons of awesome bouldering. Don't go during the late spring/summer season though, because it is is so hot and your will melt onto the rock. We got cleaned up (easier said than done when camping), and did a session at the LDS Saint George Temple before heading for a picnic on dixie rock (cliff that over looks St. G city lights-super neat).
Sunday we picked a random path and did a 6 mile trail run before loading up the car to make the drive back up north. On our way home we decided to take a detour and go to the Meadow hot springs. Even though these hot springs are in the middle of farm fields we ended up meeting people from all over the world, Brazil, Germany, France, Ecuador, and had a good chat with the nicest Canadians. Luckily I had packed our swimsuits just in case (see my overpacking pays off dear!) but didn't pack any towels since we weren't actually planning on swimming or stopping at the hot springs until we were driving by them, so when it started snowing we ran as fast as we could back to the drive. Great way to break up the long drive to St. G.
It was such a fun weekend get-away to St.G, always so many fun things to do there, and sunshine!


yum yum and good for my tum!

my healthy oatmeal cookies

Cookies are probably the tastiest things ever. I would chose them any day over any other dessert. But since I am a health nut I've come up with healthy cookie recipes so I can enjoy these delicious treats morning noon and night - yes, I am guilty of eating cookies for breakfast sometimes, but atleast I don't feel quite so guilty becuase my versions are so much better for you!
here is the recipe for my healthy oatmeal cookies:

1/2 cup stevia
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added)
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
cinnamon chips (around 3/4 cup)
mini dark chocolate chips (around 1/4 cup)

~beat coconut oil, stevia, brown sugar, applesauce until smooth.
~add eggs(one at a time) & vanilla.
~in seperate bowl combine whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon.
~mix into applesauce/sugar mixture.
~fold in oats. add cinnamon chips & dark cholcolate chips to your liking
~cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
~greese cookie sheet & place dough balls 2 inches apart & flatten with a fork.
~bake at 375 degrees F for about 8-10minutes.

*(tip: watch them closely in the oven. take the cookies out when they are slightly undercooked looking-just as they being to turn golden brown on the bottems-this will make 'em soft & gooey when they cool)*