I’m headed home from a short but lovely trip to Utah. Ready for picture overload? Good!
I arrived the night of Christmas Eve and my brother Jack picked me up wearing a singing hat with Christmas lights. hahaha love him.
After settling in at my parents and chatting with my mom and dad for a bit, I spent the rest of the evening with my mom and brother Jesse, helping him wrap some presents.
I spent Christmas Day making rounds to see all my brothers and their families around the Salt Lake valley. And then I headed to a hot and sweaty class at Salt Lake Power Yoga. I went to a yoga class a couple years ago on Christmas Day when I was going through a particularly hard time, and it was incredibly healing and comforting. I’m in a much happier state of mind now, but there were still a few tears. There’s just something about hot vinyasa yoga that works out emotions in me. I think yoga on Christmas Day will be a tradition for me as much as possible going forward.
The day after Christmas my mom and I went to a Power Yoga Class (this time at Centered City Yoga – their new studio is beautiful). It was tough but the teacher was amazing (D’ana Baptise). Afterwards, I was craving greens so hunted down a juice shop – the BlueStar Juice Bar & Coffee Cafe. It was a cool little place, tucked up on 2300 E. & 2700 S. Their juice was awesome and I thought their prices were reasonable.
I got a super green mix – kale, spinach, boy choy, cucumber, apple, ginger, cilantro, lime. And coffee.
After fueling up on juice and cleaning up, my mom and I drove 3 hours to visit two of brothers. Vernal. was. cold. My phone showed a temperature of 3* at one point!!! But hey, at least it was pretty. (I wish I had a picture of the view from my brother who lives further up the canyon – it’s amazing with lots of red rock mountains.)
I was warmed up by meeting this little guy. My newest nephew is pretty darn cute.
And my brother was pretty sweet with him too. It was fun hanging out – we watched Duck Dynasty. Nothing says family time like Duck Dynasty! ha! I had never seen it before so at least now I know what it’s all about!
I also got to hang out again with my niece Riley. She is such a sweet little girl. She loved taking selfies.
And, of course, I loved seeing my brother’s dog, Ned.
He’s such a good boy. And he’s seriously smart. My brother talks to him like he’s human: “Ned, come here. No, not that close. Ned, go lay down over there. Ned, speak. No, whisper.” hahah I love it.
It was cute to see my brother with his new baby and his old baby, Ned his red heeler, laying nearby. Roger won’t admit it but he’s as crazy about Ned as I am about Maizey.
Maizey heard I was petting Ned and got jealous, so we FaceTimed and I assured her she was still my favorite pup.
I had my mom snap this picture on our drive home from Vernal. I’m always in awe of Utah’s beauty; I totally took it for granted growing up there.
I spent Friday night at dinner and the Jazz game with my dad.
We went to dinner at Vinto before the game. I’ve been there three times now and have liked it each time. It has a nice, clean modern interior and the food is really affordable. I ordered a salad to start and it was so big that my dad and I split it – and it was only $6 with tons of nice, dark greens. (None of that cheap lettuce many places use in their house salads. I highly recommended the gluten-free pizza (they have gluten-free pasta too!). I got the goat cheese, rosemary, potato, garlic, arugula pizza. I will be attempting to recreate this at home. I wish I knew what crust they used – it was so crispy!
And I highly recommend sunglasses for Jazz games. This was the first time I’d seen the new screen in the arena – it was MASSIVE and so so bright. The game was a lot of fun – it was close and finished with the Jazz beating the Lakers by just two points. Kobe Bryant wasn’t there though. He’s always fun to watch play.
Saturday I went to another yoga class – 7:30 AM Yoga for Stiffer Bodies at Centered City Yoga before meeting up with a few friends throughout the day. That evening my family came over again to hang out again one last time and say bye.
Cannon absolutely cracks me up. He has the funniest mannerisms and expressions. I love the way he was sitting here playing. Looks like pigeon pose!
Monson was not into the picture taking.
Porter gave me a big smile though, even though he wasn’t feeling well. Cutie patootie.
And I actually remembered to get a picture with one of my brothers. Usually I focus so much on the kiddos that I forget about the adults. Whoops! I still need to be better about pics with my brothers and parents but I did better than usual this year!
This morning, I bundled up and headed out for a 4 mile run (7:38 pace including a couple stops for pictures). I always like to get a run in when I know I’ll be flying – it helps me relax more on the plane (I tend to get antsy). It was 15 degrees when I headed out so I layered my PJ pants over my running tights, put on two pairs of Injiji socks and stuffed my feet into my Vibrams, and wore a beanie over my shirt that has a built-in hood. My toes got a little cold but other than that, I was pretty comfortable. Although, I couldn’t smile for pictures afterwards because my face was frozen.
I always have such mixed feelings about running through my hometown. I love it but it also makes me sad how much it has changed (i.e. explosive growth and retail and residential subdivision construction in the past 20 years). Definitely not the farm town I grew up in. I did enjoy this new trail though; there was one spot that wasn’t surrounded by houses.
And now, I’m headed home. I love seeing my family and friends and am always excited to get home to my Winston-Salem loves. I’m lucky to have so many loved ones on both sides of the country.