Checking In

Little Bird Nest | Checking In | Arches National Park

You may have noticed (or not, and that’s cool too) that I started with weeks one and two of my real life series and then disappeared after just two posts. I haven’t forgotten, I’m not procrastinating, and I definitely haven’t lost interest. The truth is, I’ve had a lot of other stuff taking up my time lately. For those of you who don’t already know, I’m a Soldier in the Army National Guard, which means that I typically have duty one weekend a month and two weeks a year. The last two weeks have been my annual training and I’ve just been super busy with that. (Although my duties did take me down to Moab which is why I’ve included a picture I took at Arches– not such a bad gig, huh?) I’m doing an additional National Guard course right now, and I’ll be doing that for the next two and a half weeks as well.

I often wish that life would slow down and allow me some time for my hobbies, but that just ain’t the case right now. I’m sure we’ve all been there. My favorite thing about being in the National Guard, though, is that I can be on duty for weeks or even months at a time, and it’s kind of like having a full-time job again, where I get to interact with adults everyday instead of just toddlers. But unlike a real full-time job, there’s an end in sight. And as much as I love the work, I’m focused on that light at the end of the tunnel where I’ll get to spend all day every day with my kids again, dabble in photography, enjoy my hobbies, and try (and fail) to understand toddler logic.

So until then, I’m just checking in to let you all know I’m still here.

(If you’d like to be notified when my Real Life series resumes, be sure to subscribe to email updates!)

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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 

First Corn Maze

TodayΒ Garrett and I took the kids to Cross E Ranch’s Fall Festival. Apparently Utah has a thing for corn mazes because they’re pretty much everywhere. This particular one was less than 10 minutes from our house, and we’re planning to take the kids to another one by Garrett’s parents’ house next weekend. But today marked William’s and Winter’s and my first corn maze ever!

Cross E Ranch is really an amazing place. It’s an actual working farm where the owners farm for a living and have no other side jobs. They have worked a spring and fall festival into their business plan, and this year was their first time doing the Fall Festival and Corn Maze. I was so impressed! Not like I have anything to compare it to, but they seemed to really have a great system, and the activities and atmosphere were great. On the hayride, we got to go out into the cow pasture where we weaved through a heard of purebred Angus cows who had been bread by the current owner’s late father for their good looks. They really were beautiful cows! And the owner told us all about the farm’s story, including some of the joys of farming and some of the struggles of doing it in a city. Such an amazing day. Plus there were baby pigs, so there’s that too.