52 Hikes

Rose Canyon

Hikes 1 and 2 are down for the year. Since I’m still bouncing back from a million things my lungs and legs are not working at full capacity yet so these first two were closer to home and a little on the shorter side. But they’ve already started to do the trick of making me feel better mentally and physically!

For the first hike our weather was a little sketchy and the teenager was complaining so we didn’t get up too high, but it was a good start. There was a little bit of snow, a little creek, and a biting wind. For hike two we had gorgeous weather but a shorter time frame so we explored a little and got our heart rates up. There was a lot of mud but a fun suspension bridge.

One of the greatest things about living in Utah is the access to the mountains. And I definitely don’t use them as often as I should. I’m excited to explore a little more this year and find some new favorite corners of this great state. Tell me, where do you call home? Where are your favorite outdoor spaces? Where do you like to explore?

Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge

New Year, New Adventures

I love New Year’s. I love the idea of a fresh start, a time to re-evaluate and re-focus on where you want your life to head. I’ve always been a goal maker and list maker for as long as I can remember and the fact that my birthday rolls around near the beginning of New Year’s has always given me a greater sense of starting fresh and feeling rejuvenated than just making traditional resolutions.

I’ve got a bunch of things I’d like to work on this year including finishing a book I’ve been working on for ages (and ages!), getting my finances in order (marriage does funny things to your money :/ ), and getting back to a healthy place physically. The last few years have been rough on me physically and emotionally. I’ve moved 5 times, been unemployed more often than not, gotten married, turned 40, dealt with a bout of serious depression, lost several close loved ones and gone through a host of smaller but still trying issues. And all of that has wreaked havoc on my health. I’ve never had to worry about my weight before and it’s not taken me much to bounce back after an illness or something but that just isn’t the case anymore and it’s kind of killing me. I’ve been looking at several eating plans to get me back on track and have set several goals to push me physically. And what better way to hold myself accountable than to publish them here for all to read!

As far as the eating goes, I’m watching portions/counting calories (I’m not obsessing over it, mostly trying to become more aware instead of continuing to eat like a teenage boy), cutting carbs (no sugar, 1 serving/day of grains or starchy veggies–breads, rice, pasta, corn, potatoes), upping all the other veggies and protein. I hate the idea of ‘dieting’, I’d rather focus on eating healthy and balanced but right now I’ve got about 20 pounds to lose before I can work on maintaining. And since I’ve never really had to work on losing before I’m not sure how well that will go. So, any tips, tricks, recipes, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The exercise goals are a little easier to track. I’m working on a 30 day yoga challenge (Yoga with Adrienne is my favorite!), I want to run four 5Ks this year (one each quarter), and I plan on hiking once a week. Another one of the issues I’ve dealt with is the depression and I’ve realized that not being in nature or the mountains has added to that depression. So this one is a two-fer, it should help me get back into shape but also help stave off the depression. What’s your favorite way to get motivated to move more?

You’ll probably hear more about this year’s goals as it goes on. I’d love to hear about yours!  Share them in the comments. Happy New Year!

Jesus is My Peace

In a church meeting this weekend we had a remarkable lesson about the role of Jesus in our lives. One of my favorite verses of scripture is in Isaiah (you’ll probably recognize it from Handel’s Messiah) that announces the Savior as Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God and so forth. Now a lot of those names are a little hard to relate to on a day-to-day basis and we were encouraged to think about what Jesus means to us each and every day.

And each and every day I find that I need peace. Whether it’s an emotional situation, a crazy family situation, work or the evening news or not being able to find a parking space or a million other things that happen all the time, there always seems to be a lack of peace. And so I turn to my Savior for that “peace that passeth all understanding” and He never fails me. Sometimes its just a moment of solace, sometimes its inspiration to solve a problem, and sometimes its just the reminder that “this too shall pass.”

I’m grateful for this Christmas season to be reminded of the birth of a babe in Bethlehem who was destined to be the Prince of Peace and the constant peace in my life. If you were to fill in the blank what would role would Jesus play for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Jesus is my_________.

Light the World

There is always a need for more light in the world and I love when there are easy ways to help encourage us to do what we can every day. Yes, there are great big causes that need our help but sometimes those can seem a little overwhelming to get involved with, require too much time or commitment on our part, or the problems themselves just seem so big that one person can’t really make a difference (though I don’t believe that, it is very easy to feel that way!) But when you’ve got opportunities to help a neighbor or do something simple a little closer to home, often where you can see the difference you’ve made, sometimes that makes it a little easier.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka The Mormons) has created just such an initiative. Their advent calendar (Light the World) provides 25 days of ideas to spread the light of Christ, the spirit of Christmas, and make the world a little bit better along the way. Check it out! #LightTheWorld

And I’d love to hear about your own ways to serve or celebrate throughout the season. Any advent or countdown traditions? Give them a shout out in the comments below!