Hello, friends! I decided to officially move the posting of my WIR’s to Mondays from now on (but still will be reporting on the previous Monday through Sunday). So, you’re probably thinking, “But Jen, it’s Tuesday!” Yes, I know. I was planning on posting this yesterday but then all of these terrible things in the world happened and it just didn’t seem appropriate. I’m not going to cover said terrible things in this post since they didn’t technically take place last week. I do want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy as well as the earthquake in Iran.
I See Stars
I’ve been back in Utah since last Monday. This apparently caused a bit of a stir in the comments of my MHWL vlogs from early last week with some wondering why on earth I need yet another vacation after returning home from an incredible week in WDW just over a month ago. I’d like to reply to this inquiry with another question: If you had the opportunity to travel to somewhere as beautiful as Utah and stay in a family home where you have all of your belongings you need already as well as access to a car while only having to pay for your airfare, gas, and food expenses, wouldn’t you go, too? I love Utah and am extremely fortunate to have the chance right now to enjoy it as frequently as I do. Opportunity is fleeting. I think it’s important to take advantage of good things while you can. My being here certainly isn’t hurting anyone. Plus, I can see the stars at night out here. I really don’t feel the need to explain myself beyond that.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Fresh Air Seems Fresher In The Mountains
The air actually probably is fresher up here at 6,000 feet and higher, which is yet another reason on the long list of things I absolutely love about Utah. There’s nothing quite like living in the prairie midwest at a mere 500 feet above sea level where people call the slightest incline a “hill” to make you appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the more fierce mountain landscape. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chicago and all it has to offer culturally. Plus, the lake is beautiful. Most importantly, the majority of my family lives there, which is my most favorite part about the area. I’ve only started traveling to Utah without the entire Ross clan in the past couple of years and as much as I absolutely love being with the family, there’s something deeply rejuvenating about some solo time out here. Of course, I have my constant companion, Winnie (she IS my co-pilot, after all). I enjoy taking my little furball on hikes where I can safely bring her along to explore the local beauty. I know I’m going to get questions about how I can take my pretty little princess with all that hair on hikes in the mountains. In the past I’ve found little paved trails that I can easily take her on and I just don’t let her go off trail. You wouldn’t imagine the kinds of things that can get ensnarled in that girl’s hair! I also have a sling-style backpack I keep out here that Winnie fits in quite comfortably for the less paved sorts of paths. That girl loves to be in any bag so long as it means she’s coming along for the ride! I’m considering investing in a proper hiking backback and rigging it out so I can harness her into it securely while allowing her head and upper body to be out for air. I’ll let you know if I figure that one out over the summer. It’s critically important to always be sure to bring plenty of water, food, and an emergency first aid kit for your pets as well as yourself when hiking and to check everyone thoroughly for ticks, bugs, and other irritants when home.
The Desire For Adventure
Even after coming out to the Park City area for so many years, I still find something new to experience each time. I am definitely a creature of habit, cozy comforts, and a complete and utter homebody, but nothing gets me out the door quite as fast as the promise of a beautiful view and time spent in nature. As I’ve grown more comfortable with getting around on my own out here, Winnie and I have been going on more mini adventures of sorts to different places within a short driving distance (an hour or less). I have big hopes to venture out much further for the first time this summer. On my Utah to-visit list: St. George and Zion National Park, Moab and Arches National Park, and the Canyonlands National Park. I’d love to visit even just one of those amazing places this summer. Closer to home is the Uinta National Forest, which Winnie and I drove up to this weekend for a look around. It was still too snowy to be able to take her on a walk, but we enjoyed the sights we could see very much. We will most definitely return again in the summer for a proper adventure. Utah is so beautiful!
I realize all I’ve talked about in this WIR is the beauty of Utah, which I could rhapsodize about endlessly. While not outside or dreamily ogling the mountains, I’ve been up to my usual antics. One of the benefits of coming to Utah is that I can quite comfortably carry on with my day-to-day tasks, including filming and editing videos for YouTube, blogging here and on my two tumblrs (see side bar for links), and hopping around social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as I do when I am home. One of the other benefits of coming to Utah is that there seems to be much less house-related work for me to do (especially when it’s just me and Winnie out here), which opens up some time for journaling, watching favorite movies, and just plain vegging out. I also manage to eat better, workout more, and sleep longer and deeper. Let’s not forget the all important return to my absolute favorite ice cream I’ve ever tried. My new obsession is the vanilla and heath bar shake. YUM!
Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
As you can see, I am having a grand old time. Don flies in tomorrow to spend the last four nights here with me, which is how much work he felt comfortable taking off. Some people were surprised I’d chose to spend so much time away from Don. Of course I love my husband more than anything on this planet and miss him very much when we’re apart, but I think a little distance now and then isn’t a terrible thing in a marriage. At least it isn’t in mine. You know the saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder?” Maybe it doesn’t work in everyone’s relationship, but a week or so apart a few times a year helps keep things fresh for us right now. That being said, I am like a schoolgirl giggling with excitement at the prospect of jumping into his arms tomorrow!
I hope you are all safe and well. Even though a tragedy might not directly affect us, it can still take its toll. We’re all connected, whether we like to admit it or not. I know I am certainly shaken up by the events of the last two days. I take comfort in knowing that there are so many people in the world sending prayers and thoughts for recovery and healing to those directly affected by the tragedies. I’d like to send a BIG HUG and LOVE & COMFORT out to each and everyone of you.