December 31, 2013


This year we spent Thanksgiving with our friends Serena and David, their two children Davide (age 4) and Siena (age 2), and Serena's brother Fabrizio. Serena made the most delicious turkey, it was so flavorful and moist. We thoroughly enjoyed stuffing our faces.

A photo of one of the place settings before we feasted.

After dinner we headed out to do a little Black Friday Shopping. While we were shopping, Davide kept asking me to hold his hand or to push the cart he was riding in, it was kind of comical. Everyone kept joking that he was my boyfriend.

December 15, 2013

Walks In The Fall

If there is one thing I love it is going on a walk, but one thing I love more than going on a walk is going on a walk in the fall. I was so happy that fall lasted so long this year in Utah. I am sure going to miss this sight. Until next year...

One of my favorite trails.

On the trail.

December 10, 2013


I have been thinking a lot lately about gratitude. I firmly believe that everything we have is a gift from our Father in Heaven and that we need to constantly express gratitude for the blessing he has given us. It seems like all too often we forget to express thanks for our blessings.

I have often heard that one of the greatest sins of this generation is ingratitude. I have made it a point in my life to express thanks for everything I have. I'm not a perfect person and I know there have been times in my life where I have forgotten to express my thankfulness. If I have forgotten to express my thankfulness to you, please accept my apologies.

With thoughts of Thanksgiving in the air, I would like to express thanks for the things that I have been given.

  • I am grateful for my husband, Andy. He is truly my best friend and I don't know where I would be without him.
  • I am grateful to be alive. Earlier this year Andy and I almost died while climbing a mountain. It really is a miracle that we are still here. If you missed that story you can read it here, here, here, here and here. Sorry, it is kind of a long story.
  • I am grateful for my family, they have taught me so much. I have really enjoyed making memories with them this year and look forward to many more years full of adventure. 
  • I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It seems like everything in life can change in the blink of an eye but the gospel is the one thing that is constant and unchanging- it really is my anchor in life.
  • I am grateful for the job that Andy has. If he didn't have a job, I don't know how we would make ends meet.
  • I am grateful that the temple is so close to my home. It is nice to be able to go some place quiet and sacred to ponder the questions of life.
  • I am grateful for the place we have to live.
  • I am grateful for the healthy food we have to eat. 
  • I am grateful for our gym memberships.
  • I am grateful for the simple things in life: sunshine, rain, flowers, wind, mountains. These things remind me that God is there and that he loves me.
  • I am grateful for our good friends. There is nothing like a friend to brighten your day. 
  • I am grateful for the car we have to get us around.
  • I am grateful for my comfy bed. A good nights sleep really does make a difference.
  • I am grateful for allergy shots. Getting shots every week isn't fun but they allow me to breath and sleep at night.
  • I am grateful for laughter, it really is the best medicine.
  • I am grateful for good running shoes, they keep my from getting injured when I exercise. 
  • I am grateful for trials and hard times. I know that seems like a strange thing to say but it is through the hard times that I learn and grow the most.
  • I am grateful for each day and that I get to try to be better than I was the day before. 
  • I am grateful for music, it lifts my soul.
  • I am grateful for the trails near my house that I can hike. I really enjoy getting outside and being in nature. 
  • I am grateful for our health, we have been very blessed in this regard.

December 9, 2013

A Night Of Hockey

On November 11th we went to Salt Lake to watch the Utah Grizzlies hockey game. That night the Grizzlies played the Ontario Reign. This was the first hockey game I had been to in several years and I have to say I forgot how much fun hockey games can be. Growing up I played floor hockey and our family frequently went to watch the Spokane Chiefs play. It was good to be reminded of my love for hockey.

Both teams seemed to be about the same as far as skill level was concerns but the Reign were definitely the faster and more aggressive team. They scored a goal that seemed good but for some reason the refs did not count it, I am still confused as to why it didn't count. The coaches for the reign were not happy about this decision either.

The game ended in a tie, went to over time and ended in a shoot out. Unfortunately for me, the Reign lost. The Canadian part of me was hoping that the Canadian team would win.

December 7, 2013

Crazy Course 5k + Ferris Wheel

On Saturday November 9th, Andy and I ran the Crazy Course 5k in Draper. It was a last minute decision to run this race and we are both glad we did. This was the first timed 5k I have run since high school cross country and I wanted to see what I could do (Note: I have not been running consistently). My sister Megan came with us to cheer us on.

Before our race.

I think this was one of the hardest courses I have ever run before. It was really hard to gauge how far into the fun we were as there were no timers, mile markers or water station. I am really proud of Andy for toughing it out, he is not a runner.

I took 22nd place overall and 5th for my age group. Andy finished 7th in his age group and 38th overall.

Would we run this race again? With some more training, I think so. Afterwards Andy kept saying that he was ready to go run another 5k right then.

After our race we headed over to The Pie for some pizza. We love The Pie, they serve some great pizza! Our favorite is the Buffalo Chicken Ranch, it's heavenly.

Our last stop was Scheels. We had some tokens to ride the ferris wheel in their store. Unbeknownst to Andy, Megan and I are both terrified of ferris wheels. Our conversation went something like this.

Andy: I'm going to rock the cart.
Me: Don't you dare. The sign says you can't rock the cart or they will kick you off immediately.
Andy: Oh, well that's not any fun.

We proceed to board the ferris wheel and I sit between Megan and Andy. As they continue to load other passengers onto the ride, the cart rocks. Megan and I start to freak out a little bit. Andy leans forward to look at us and laugh and the cart rocks some more.

Me and Megan: Andy don't rock the cart.
Andy: I'm not rocking the cart. (laughs and the cart rocks some more) Are you guys afraid of the ferris wheel?

Me and Megan: Yes, we are terrified!

Andy proceeds to rock the cart and laugh and Megan and I freak out.

Me: Stop being a butt head.

Andy: Did you just call me a butt head? (he thought this was really funny and laughed really hard, I have never called him a butt head before)

In front of us a grandma was riding with her grandson (the grandson looked to be about 5 years old). The little grandson kept turning around and looking at us a laughing. I think he thought it was pretty funny that we were afraid of the ferris wheel.

As soon as everyone boarded the ferris wheel and it started moving, things weren't so bad. The loading part was the worst. I can't say that I have plans to get on another ferris wheel anytime soon.

Me and Andy in Scheels.

Me and Megan.

Megan and the grizzly. Look at those claws.

December 2, 2013

The Pumpkin Walk

We spent the day in Logan with Andy's cousins and friends on October 26th. Most of the day was spent just visiting with each other but soon found ourselves at Logan's Annual Pumpkin Walk. At the pumpkin walk they take pumpkins that people have painted and carved and put them on display at one of the local parks.

I was really amazed and the displays that people came up with. I wish I was that talented at painting pumpkins.

Below are some photos of our favorite displays. Unfortunately, we forgot our camera so the photos were taken with Andy's phone.

Wreck It Ralph

More Wreck It Ralph

And Some More Wreck It Ralph

And Some More

And Yet Some More


Dr. Seuss

The Grinch

Reading Rainbow

A Little Mermaid Named Andy

November 30, 2013

Painting Pumpkins

For some reason Halloween is just not complete if you don't have pumpkins. This year we decided to paint pumpkins instead of carving them. We spent several evenings painting our pumpkins. I learned that painting pumpkins is a time consuming process as you have to allow the paint to dry before putting on another coat.

Below are our masterpieces.

On Halloween several people took pictures of our pumpkins and told us that they thought they were really cute. I am glad that our hard work paid off.

November 26, 2013

Frightmares at Lagoon

On October 18th we decided to go to Lagoon. My favorite time to go to Lagoon is in the fall. In the fall the weather is cool and the park is a lot less crowded. I have never understood why anyone goes to Lagoon in the summer when it is so hot out. Besides being hot in the summer, they lines are incredibly long.
Pumpkin tower.

In the fall, Lagoon sets up a variety of haunted houses. We started out the evening by walking through what was supposed to be the scariest haunted house. This haunted house was not scary, but it was gory.

Next we hit up the rides. We managed to ride almost all of the rides in the park in about two hours. Our last ride of the night was going to be Colossus but on the ride before that (Wicked) Andy decided to stick his arms up in the air. As we came around a turn he clocked me in the eye with his elbow. Talk about an instant headache. We decided that it would probably be better to skip the roller coaster and hit up another haunted house instead.

We found ourselves in line for the fun house. As we were waiting in line we became friend with some clowns, these were probably the creepiest looking clowns I had ever seen (Note- I am not afraid of clowns. Come to think of it I was in clown training once, but that is a story for another day). They all talked in really high pitched voices like they had been sucking helium, it was really funny.
Me, Andy, and some clown friends.

More clown friends. Check out their teeth.

We had a lot of fun in the fun house and were actually scared a few times. If you find yourself at Lagoon in the fall, this is the haunted house to go to.

This was Andy's first time going to Lagoon in the fall and be absolutely loved it. I think I have convinced him that the fall is the best time to go.
Andy and I.

November 25, 2013

Hit & Run 5k + Tracy Aviary

Andy's little brother spent the night with us on October 11th. The next morning we woke up and had the breakfast of champions, green smoothies. Shaun had never had a green smoothie before but soon discovered that he loved them. (I will try to share some of my favorite smoothie recipes soon).

After breakfast we drove up to Salt Lake to run a 5k called the Hit & Run. This was the first time that the Hit & Run was being held in Salt Lake. We all had a lot of fun running this race. We especially enjoyed the obstacles. If you have ever seen the TV show Wipe Out, the obstacles were like that and you would run in between each obstacle.

Andy was a champ and made it through all of the obstacles without getting wet. I fell into a pit of bubbles, the pit was so big that the bubbles covered my head. When I walked out of the pit, all Andy could do was laugh.

We had a lot of fun running and doing the obstacles together. I was really proud of Andy, this was his first 5k ever.
Crawling off the last obstacle.

Walking to the water station.

All done running.

Andy and I.

Andy, Me, and Shaun.

Us again.

Would we run this race again? Probably not. It was a fun race to do once ,but once was enough for both of us. The course itself was not that exciting, we ran up and down a parking lot.

After the race we stopped to get some food and then we headed over to the Tracy Aviary. Andy and I had never been to the aviary before, but we both really enjoyed it. If you have never been, we recommend it.
Me outside the aviary.

This bird was one of my favorite, it had really long eyelashes.


November 24, 2013

Hee Haw Farms

Andy's little brother Shaun came and spent the night with us on October 11th. That night we went to eat at one of our favorite places, Conchitas La Taqueria in Orem. Conchitas has some of the best Mexican food and they make everything fresh. My favorite thing to order is there tacos, they are amazing!

After dinner we headed to Hee Haw Farms in Pleasant Grove. Going to Hee Haw Farms has kind of become a yearly tradition for us. In years past we have gone through the corn maze, haunted hayride, and haunted walk through. It was Shaun's first time going to anything haunted, we though it would be best to take him on the haunted hayride. He seemed to really enjoy himself.

We spent the rest of the evening playing in the barnyard. We went down several different slides, caught piglets, and pet all kinds of farm animals. We had a lot of fun! If you have never been, I recommend going next fall.

November 22, 2013

Best Cousins in the World

I like to think that I have the BEST cousins in the WORLD. My family is kind of unique in that we don't have any cousins on my Mom's side of the family. Growing up my closest cousins lived almost five hours away. I always looked forward to that long drive knowing that once we arrived at my cousins house that I would have a blast!

Family Reunion on the Oregon Coast

I have many memories of the time spent with my cousins. As a little girl I remember my cousin Amy taking us to pick berries, later that day she made some of the tastiest treats with them. I remember her sister Heather, making me activity books (I think I still have one laying around here somewhere). I remember my cousin Kelly playing the drums for us and showing us his shark (it was dead in a jar, as a kid I always thought it was so cool!). I remember playing "Skunk" with Becca downstairs.

Me, Megan, Amy, Becca, and Jessica at Grandpa Bruce's funeral.

Becca and Christian's wedding.

Andy, Me, and Becca at the Nickel Arcade.

 I have fond memories of sleepovers at my Aunt Renee and Uncle Todd's house. I remember staying up late laughing with Brittany and Kaylee. I recall time spent riding horses and sledding down a very scary hill. I remember running away from Ben and my brother, Jake. I recall many days spent at Trent Elementary playing on the playground and counting the cars on the trains as they would pass by.  I remember talking track with Cade and talking wrestling with Eli. I remember watching Rachelle as a little  tyke walk around at our family reunion in Canada.

Kimberlee and Kaylee at the family reunion in Oregon.

Julie and Sadie riding horses.

Kaylee and Kimberlee riding horses.

Me, Auntie Joann, Brittany, and Becca at Auntie Joanne's house.

Me and Brittany having a whipped cream fight with our friend Jon.

Eli, Brendan, Rachelle, and Cade at the family reunion in Oregon.

Brittany and I when we were roommates.

I remember my cousin Jandre doing my hair and makeup for special occasions. I recall making CD's and playlist with Kimmy and writing cousin letters back and fourth. I remember camping and sledding/snowmobile adventures with Jason, Chad, and Bryce.

Me, Jason, Kimmy, and Megan.

Sadie and Chad making "The Face."

Jason and I.

I remember Cooper, Emma, and Samuel coming to visit us over the holidays. I remember going to memorial services and our mom's going black Friday shopping. Aunt Kimberly always knew how to score the best deals.

Brendan, Cooper, Samuel, Casey, and Nathan wrestling at the reunion in Oregon.

Brendan, Cooper, Samuel, and Casey at the reunion in Oregon.

Emma at the reunion in Oregon.

I have fond memories of Casey learning to ice skate and laying down on the ice during practice because he was tired. Now he can out skate me any day.

Casey came to visit our family one weekend.


Casey at age 4.

I recall many camping trips with the cousins growing up. I'm so grateful to be a part of the Noack family and for the love that my family has for one another.

Family reunion at Lake Roosevelt.

I have grown and so have my cousins. We may live far away from each other but I feel so much love for them. I know that I can call any of them anytime and that they will be there for me.