Days of 47 Rodeo

I went to my very first rodeo this week! The a brand new rodeo arena was just recently completed right in our neighborhood, and Garrett and I were able to get free tickets to the inaugural event through our church. So we ditched the kids with the grandparents and made it a date night.

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Before the rodeo, they dedicated the arena with the usual Salt Lake City fanfare– the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang and a prominent leader from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was there to give the dedicatory prayer. Nothing happens in this city without a blessing!

The arena was built specifically for the Days of 47 Rodeo. In case you’re unfamiliar with the Days of 47, they’re kind of a big deal here in Utah. We have our own state holiday to celebrate the pioneers founding Utah in 1847– July 24th, Pioneer Day– and the Days of 47 is Salt Lake City’s multi day, multi event celebration of Pioneer Day.

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The rodeo itself was a blast. I liked it so much, in fact, that I went back the second night with William. We didn’t buy tickets that time either– I knew his attention span wouldn’t make it worth the money. But they don’t check tickets after halftime, so we wandered around the fairgrounds for the first half of the rodeo and then went into the arena for the second half to see the barrel racing, bull riding, and fireworks.

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Now that I’ve discovered the exciting world of rodeos, I’m definitely going to make this one a yearly tradition for our family!

 

 

 

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Lush Mountain Photo Shoot

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to be photographed by the talented Jen Rosse of Rosse Photography. We’ve been having this never-ending heat wave here in Utah, which actually, now that I write this, seems to be going away finally to be replaced by some slightly cooler weather. Anyways, it was darn hot and super dry leading up to this photo shoot, and then the day of the shoot we finally got a little rain, plus the mountain air is always cooler than the valley, so it was a refreshing change indeed!

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This was my first time since senior pictures (more than a decade ago!) being the lone subject of a photo shoot. And aside from feeling suuuuper awkward trying to pose, it was a really fun experience!

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These pictures were taken in Alta, Utah– a place that up until this week I had only seen covered in snow. It’s Garrett’s and my favorite local ski resort! Turns out, buried underneath all that snow is an absolutely gorgeous landscape with tons of texture and life… and wildflowers!

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The rain, which thankfully held off for most of the shoot, really brought out the deep greens of the landscape. I couldn’t get enough! I can’t wait to take my kids up there and explore some more. Apparently there’s a lake, too, up the trail just a little higher. Where we were, though, it was a lush and mossy woodsy wonderland.

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Jen, the photographer, was so friendly and professional– it was fun getting to know her! She teaches classes too, so I’m hoping to take one in the near future to work on my own photography style and technique. AndΒ she shoots boudoirs, so I’m totally adding a boudoir session with her to my bucket list!

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As we were leaving the mountain at the end of the shoot, the rain picked up again. And honestly this was the best part. The sun was low in the west so it shone under the clouds, making the rain absolutely sparkle. There was a pretty epic rainbow too! Since we were at the end of the session, I didn’t care about getting wet, so Jen snapped a couple last photos– which ended up being a couple of my absolute favorites!

So if you’re in the market for a great photographer here in Utah, definitely check out Jen on her website or Instagram!

 

Baby Animal Festival

On Friday, I took William and Winter to the Baby Animal Festival at Cross E Ranch. By most people’s standards, the weather was pretty horrible. It cold and gray and wet and fluctuated between regular rain and freezing rain. I’m so glad we went when we did, though, because after spending most of the week inside due to rain, we all had cabin fever and bored toddlers are never fun. On top of that, it wasn’t busy at all so it was like a private little event for us– no lines meant we could spend as much time with the baby animals as we wanted to!

After taking a quick look at some sleeping piglets, we headed to the baby goat pen. Apparently expecting us to feed them, the goats were all over us. One literally jumped on Winter’s head twice, and each time I bent down to help her up, I had baby goats crawling up my back like I was a mini mountain. After that, I honestly thought Winter was going to develop a lifelong goat phobia, but she eventually warmed back up to them.

After the goats, we headed into a warm room where we got to see baby ducks, chicks, and bunnies. William really loved getting to hold the little chicks.

When the weather got really bad, we headed inside the activity barn where they had sand boxes and tables full of dry grains. I bought us some fresh-made donuts while the kids played, and we waited out the storm before heading off to feed the calves.

William had a great time helping to mix the formula for the calves. There were tiny kittens and wrinkly little puppies in the house too!

William enjoyed feeding his calf at first, but he lost interest pretty quickly so I had to finish the bottle feeding. Which was totally fine with me!

When we got home, it was definitely time for warm baths and hot cocoa. But overall, I think it was one of the best things I’ve ever done on a rainy day.Β