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Month: December 2016

It isn’t all Beautahful

It isn’t all Beautahful

But I am grateful anyway.

If we are friends on Facebook, you might have seen my most recent Facebook live. Here it is in case you didn’t:

However, I want to re-cap for you just in case you aren’t a fan of those things. So I just completed my second round of reading The Magic (The Secret) by Rhonda Byrne and I really wanted to provide a review.

Right away at the beginning of the book I begin to relate to Rhonda as she writes: ” My story is a perfect example of what life is like when a person is ignorant of gratitude, and what happens when you make gratitude a part of your life. If I had been asked six years ago if I was a grateful person, I would have answered, “Yes for sure I’m a grateful person. I say thank you when I receive a gift, when someone opens a door for me, or when a person does something for me.” The truth is I was not a grateful person at all. I didn’t know what being grateful really meant, and just saying the words thank you on the odd occasion certainly didn’t make me a grateful person.”

This was me.

I wrote thank you notes. I said thank you to anyone holding the door open or if you did something. And I thought I was grateful. I even had friends talking about practicing gratitude and thought to myself “Oh I’m good on that department.”

Ha. I wasn’t.

“I didn’t know what being grateful really meant, and just saying the words thank you on the odd occasion certainly didn’t make me a grateful person.” – Rhonda Byrne, author, The Magic (The Secret)

So today as I am driving home from swimming, I could barely make out the outline of the mountains that are always in view on the way home. Living in Salt Lake City does provide some amazing scenery, hence the blog title. However, you will note the title of this post specifically… the inversion was so bad today. It was not pretty. I noticed the lack of mountains and said to myself “ugh, so gross” and I was immediately triggered to be grateful for the air that I breathe.

It’s WORKING!

I was so excited to see the proof that gratitude is becoming an automatic behavior. As we are wrapping up 2016 and going into 2017, many people make New Years Resolutions to cut out bad habits and start new ones. As I have been writing down my things I am grateful for and journaling about gratitude for the past 2 months, this is something I will be keeping in 2017. If you are looking for a resolution for yourself, or if you are reading this on a random day in August, consider incorporating the practice of gratitude into your life.

A few specific examples of this practice over the last two months:

  • Just ONE day after the practice of being grateful for the “unexpected” things that happen, I unexpectedly found the cheapest flights to Spain on the vacation dates we already had set and we booked these flights within 30 minutes. I am talking $443 RT pp cheap. Yeah.
  • Two days after practicing being grateful for money, I finally had some resolution to my outstanding state taxes from 2014. I am writing this at the END of 2016.
  • I was on my way to Boise, Idaho in my rental car. Being unfamiliar with the car I did not really notice when the gas gauge was at about 1/3. All of the sudden, the light came on. No worries, I’ll just stop at the next exit. Drive about 15 more miles, no exit. It’s cool, any minute now right? 5 more miles, nothing. So I used google to find a gas station on my route. It’s 30 miles away, however there is one 15 minutes out of the way if I take the exit in a few miles. CRAP. Commence gratitude. Well, I guess back up… I journaled the day before that I was grateful for a safe trip and an awesome work presentation. Fast forward again, I began saying out loud how thankful I was for a safe trip to Boise and that I had the right amount of gas to get me there. I said out loud how thankful I was for the gas station that was right at the next exit. Remember it was actually 15 minutes out of the way once I exited according to Google, which knows everything, right? WRONG. Gratitude for the win again. There it was. The gas station even said “Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere” on the front of it. I made it safely.

Pretty incredible, yeah? Consider incorporating gratitude into your life. Grab the book The Magic (The Secret) by Rhonda Byrne to assist you on your gratitude journey.

My normal view of the Wasatch mountains on the way home from swimming
My normal view of the Wasatch mountains on the way home from swimming on a non-inversion day

 

Another round of snow angels from swim practice this week. I wrote about snow angels and swimming here: http://beautahfulworld.com/index.php/2016/11/28/i-am-grateful/ in case you didn't catch it.
Another round of snow angels from swim practice this week. I wrote about snow angels and swimming here in case you didn’t catch it.

 

So. Much. This.
So. Much. This.

Currently reading: “Happy Pocket Full of Money” by David Cameron Gikandi and “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne

Currently listening to: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Live” by Mark Manson (1. This does seem a bit ironic considering the post, 2. Caution, language)

Moab for the Weekend

Moab for the Weekend

Somewhere between terrain that looks like Mars and the Lion King’s Elephant Graveyard you will find Moab, Utah… probably one of the most unique looking areas in all of the United States.

Austin’s sister and her boyfriend were visiting us for the past week and we decided to wrap up the week of skiing with a trip to Southern Utah to visit Moab. Austin and I have been only once right after we first moved so we were excited to make the trip again. I was in Philly for work so I joined the rest of the crew on Friday night so I enjoyed a solid two days.

While you may have heard of Moab before, most people are unaware that it’s the closest town to two of Utah’s National Parks:  Arches and Canyonlands. Canyonlands is comprised of three separate districts that are divided by rivers: Island in the Sky, Needles & The Maze. Many people overlook Canyonlands and spend all of their time in Arches National Park and they are definitely missing out!

Also contrary to popular belief, southern Utah can get cold. Early Saturday morning in Arches National Park was cloudy and cold (teens-twenties) but the afternoon brought sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures. All of the pictures below of Arches National Park were on the same day and taken by me.

 

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Garden of Eden, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
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Landscape Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
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The Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
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The Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
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The Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
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Austin & I under the Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
GoPro Version – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
GoPro Version – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
Okay I really couldn’t pick between the two pictures – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
Okay I guess make that three - Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
Okay I guess make that three – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
GoPro Group Photo – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
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White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT
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White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT
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White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT
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White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT
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White Rim Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT (taken at sunset). Photo Credit: Ryan Spain

 

 

Want to visit yourself and only have the weekend? Here is what I would recommend:

Friday – Drive from Salt Lake City to Moab

Saturday – Spend the day in Arches National Park.

  • Drive from the Visitor’s Center all of the way to Devil’s Garden stopping at the viewpoints that interest you.
  • The hike to the Delicate Arch is 3.0 miles RT and a must if you are in to hiking. 95% of the hike is not shaded and if you are visiting when it is warm outside prepare for this hike to be incredibly hot with extra water, sunscreen, and snacks. The Delicate Arch is extra beautiful at sunset but be careful to bring a flashlight if you are going in the evening.
  • After the Delicate Arch head back towards the Visitor’s Center and take the turnoff towards the Garden of Eden and take the short trail to the North and South Window if time permits.
  • Extra activities depending on fitness/interest level:
    • Fiery Furnace – This requires a permit or a ranger-guided tour. Advance arrangements are required. Refer to the nps.gov website.
    • Devil’s Garden Hike – This hike is over 7 miles long and goes on a primitive trail where you can see many beautiful arches such as Landscape Arch and Double O Arch. 95% of the hike is not shaded and if you are visiting when it is warm outside prepare for this hike to be incredibly hot with extra water, sunscreen, and snacks.

Sunday – Spend the day in Canyonlands “Island in the Sky” District.

  • Although popular, Mesa Arch is beautiful at sunrise. If you are an early riser, go ahead and head to Mesa Arch first thing allowing for plenty of time to park and hike the 0.5 miles to the Arch. This is a popular time and the limited parking can be taken. If you would rather avoid the rush and the early wake up call, consider doing this at sunset instead.. still a golden hour of photography so the colors are less harsh and it will be a lot less crowded.
  • Continue beyond the Mesa Arch down to the White Rim Overlook. Although the actual 0.8 mile each way walk is not incredibly impressive, the end view is amazing.
  • Want a view in the other direction? Go to Grand View Overlook. This is 1.0 each way and it is along the edge of the island. Very cool.
  • If you want to skip the Grand View Overlook, check out the Green River Overlook which has a short path to the viewpoint and it’s in the same direction as the Grand View Overlook, although it’s not quite the same view.
  • Extra activities depending on time/vehicle:
    • Drive Shafer Trail Road. This windy narrow road is not for those afraid of heights or without a high clearance vehicle. If you love off-roading, this is a must although make sure you allow for plenty of time if you are taking this road to Moab and verify conditions with the Visitor’s Center prior to your departure.
  • Head back to Salt Lake City

 

Currently reading: “Happy Pocket Full of Money” by David Cameron Gikandi and “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne

Currently listening to: Starboy by The Weeknd

It’s Ski Season

It’s Ski Season

Austin ranked the University of Utah General Surgery Program #1 because he liked the program but the other main draw was the skiing. He grew up skiing in Breckenridge, CO and heard many of the claims about the snow in Utah being “the greatest snow on earth”. He went skiing over 30 times last season and this year got a pass to both Park City/Canyons and Snowbasin. And he has already been three times this year (and the slopes haven’t even been open a week!)

Me on the other hand… I did not grow up skiing and although I went several times last year, it wasn’t ever anything I really enjoyed. We decided that I should try out lessons this year to work on my confidence. I am doing the “Learn to Earn” at Snowbasin and today was my first lesson. It was so much fun. I felt like I really learned a lot and I plan to do the next two lessons private to hopefully accelerate the learning.

Snowbasin itself was great – a resort with a family feel and they have a lot of snow already. Snowbasin also has a gondola that will take you to the very top which we took after my lesson was over and on the way we saw three moose (or is it meese?!). Apparently they hang out around the same area all the time – pretty cool.

Gondola views
Gondola views
Austin and I riding the gondola up post-lesson.
Austin and I riding the gondola up post-lesson.
More gondola views
More gondola views

Currently reading: “Happy Pocket Full of Money” by David Cameron Gikandi

Currently listening to: “The Charisma Myth” by Olivia Fox Cabane