Sunday, March 29, 2015

Movara -- Fitness Ridge -- (Part 2)

Day 4 -- (Hike: Saddle, in Snow Canyon)  This hike took us up to the tip of the mountain that looked like a horse saddle.  It was another fun one with a good mix of rock... lot of sand, some red rock, slick rock, and even a bit of volcano rock hidden among the sand.  The green trees against the red rock was so beautiful to see.

 It was fun to get to know the people at the resort.  I was surprised to meet a lot of people there who were staying for months at a time.  One girl was there for a semester between her two college semesters, another girl was back for her second time (the first time she stayed for six months), Adam Levine's brother was staying in the room next to us (it was interesting talking to him), an event planner working for Mitt Romney was at the resort, the guy in the picture above wearing the orange Texas clothing in the front had been there a few weeks with plans to be there another 2 months.  He had recently earned a pilot license and was required to lose a bunch of weight before he could start flying.  It was fascinating talking to so many different people coming from such different places in life.  It made me very grateful for the life I had and the many blessings I have been given throughout my life.

 Dave and I on day 4 hike.


 The picture above was a really cool spot to hike.  It was through a wash that channeled four different types of sand into it (regular, red, white, and black).
Everyday we came back with our shoes filled with sand.
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Friday our schedule was a little different.  We were given the option to participate in a race or go on another hike.  Dave and I chose the race.  Dave ran the 5k and I did the 10k.
 The picture above and below are of us getting ready for the big race!
 I loved this part of our week.  There is something renewing about running outside and hearing nothing but your feet hitting the pavement!  Running is where I am able to work out my daily problems, relieve the stress in my life, and best able to listen to the whispering of the Holy Ghost.  It is where I am given direction in my life and able to receive answers to my daily struggles.  It is my getaway!  It has been almost a year since I hurt my leg (stress fracture) and really had to slow my workouts down.  The small town we are living in is on an Indian reservation.  This means typical town laws don't apply here... a big one -- stray dogs are the norm.  On my runs in town I am guaranteed to see at least 2 stray dogs, once a dog broke off its leash and started chasing me, I tried counting the amount of dogs that barked from their yard one day but, lost count only 3 or 4 minutes into my run (if I were to guess I would say the number was up around 20 -30).  Needless to say it is not a relaxing experience (Don't worry mom, I only run on my treadmill now :)).  During this 10k run I was reminded at just how much I NEED this in my life.  I can't wait to move to our new house (which is in a new town).  This town has 3 perfect running trials and a strict town law that requires all dogs to remain on a leash!  Yay!  I can't wait.  It was a blessing throughout the week to exercise 5 -6 hours a day without feeling the effects on my stress fracture... after a year of healing it is finally better!  Hallelujah!
 Dave took first place in the 5k!  I got second place in the 10k (in the picture above I am standing next to the first place gal -- Ann).  It was a really fun race.  One of my favorite things about this resort was the encouraging and uplifting environment.  Everyone was so encouraging with one another.  It was a great feel from the instructors and fellow visitors.  Everyone of them was so positive with our individual health improvements.  From what I heard this is the main thing separating the Utah resort from the various other resorts around the nation.  It was a great place to be and a comfortable environment to try new things that I might otherwise hesitate with!
 After lunch we decided to ditch out on the first two exercise classes and go for a bike ride together.  It was fun.  Possibly one of my favorite parts of the entire week.  I have taken numerous spinning classes in the past 10 years but, haven't been on a bike since junior high... In case you didn't know, spinning bikes at the gym are way different than riding an actual bike on the road!  Thankfully Dave was patient with me.  I enjoyed spending the time with my husband and learning that I am not nearly as talented on the bike as I thought I was.

The exercise classes each day that were offered were really enjoyable.  We went to a kickboxing class, HIIT, boot camp, barre (Dave chose the water class instead for that one, these water classes were not your typical granny class, they made for a good, solid workout).  My favorite class was the triathlon class (Dave decided to go to kickball instead).  The triathlon class was fun and exhausting all at  the same time.  I loved it!
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Day 6 hike was called awesomecasm (ending on Red Mountain trial).  This hike may possibly be the scariest hike I have ever been on in my life.  Instead of our typical hiking guide, we were given her son and another outdoor enthusiast for the morning.  They were clearly both hard core hikers.  I originally walked past the van leaving for this hike when I heard one of the hiking guides describe the experience (more than once) as "extreme" and "has a big drop off".  Early into the hike I possibly thought I might die but, tried to ignore the thought.  We hiked straight up a slick rock, steep mountain side.  The picture below is of Dave on his way up the mountain.  I wish I got the view from the bottom.  It was intense!
 At the top of the hike is where things really got "extreme".  Out of no where this 600 - 800 foot drop off shows up right next to you... um slightly creepy!
The views on this particular hike were breathtaking.  
 I am glad we decided to go on this hike.  It was a beautiful experience but, not my favorite of the week.
 At the end of the week Dave and I were both anxious to get back to our little ones and enjoy the real world again.  It was a great experience.  I am so happy with the decision we made to take this trip together and so thankful for my parents willingness to watch our 5 little ones while we went on this trip.  I learned a lot about myself and was able to establish new health goals for myself and my family.  It was great being with Dave.  I am so blessed to be married to this man!
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What did the kids to all week you might ask? 
 It sounds like they too had a blast during spring break!  They went to a park every day, rented a bunch of movies, did some Geo caching with Michelle and Tyson, and had at least one dessert every night!
 ... The last night they ended up with 3 deserts and were pretty excited about it.
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They also spend one of the days at the zoo!
 Zoey
 Alexa
 Kinley
 Paisley
 and Rex!
A few other highlights were getting a box of doughnuts and being able to sample all of them and buying some new treasures at Ross.
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It was such a fun spring break!  A great get away from the regular routine of life.

Movara (Fitness Ridge) Vacation with Dave (Part 1)

We had two whole weeks of spring break this year!  For the first week the kids and I flew up to Utah to play with Grandma, Grandpa, Michelle, and Tyson.  It was a relaxing week full of fun.  For week two of spring break, Dave took the week off work and he and I spent the week in Saint George while our five little ones stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's house for another week of partying!
In Saint George there is a fitness resort on the edge of town called "Movara" (just changed their name from "Fitness Ridge".  I have been wanting to stay at one of these fitness resorts (they have several all over the nation) for years now.  For our ten year anniversary Dave wanted to go on a trip together.  He was thinking a Caribbean cruise sounded like the perfect vacation.  Although a cruise would have been fun, I am so so so happy he let me pick this time.  This trip was everything I dreamed it would be and more!  I loved every minute!

On the day we arrived they gave Dave and I each an assessment with all our own personal stats.  The printout had everything from muscle tone and hydration levels to body fat and (my personal favorite) our RMR caloric intake -- While attending the weekly classes this number became a lot more valuable to my daily habits.
Every morning started out with a 2 -3 hour hike.  These first three pictures were taken from day one's hike.  The hike was called "zen".  While on the first hike, I kept mentioning how beautiful it was... if only I knew what the days following would entail.  The hikes are set up in such a way that each day progressively gets more beautiful and more intense than the next.  The picture above is of Dave at the top of the hike.  I am married to one handsome husband!
 Before this week I considered the word "hike" implying a steady paced, outdoor walk.  These hikes were much more intense.  My eyes rarely looked up from the spot my next foot would be stepping.  Every once in a while I would stop to take in the breathtaking view around me but, not often.  Looking  up would require me to stop, stopping meant I would need to jog faster to make up for the 3 second stop... The second our hiking guide was out of the van she was off on the hike.  If you weren't prepared to start immediately, you could expect to quickly fall behind. 
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 Day 2 (Hike: Volcano)  After day one each of the hikes took place in Snow Canyon State Park.  Each hike was so different and unique from one to the other.
This hike consisted of mostly slick rock (which grips to bike tires and shoes surprisingly well).  Midway through the hike I realized I was hiking along the rim of the mountain... a little scary but, made for an incredible view.
 Each day was scheduled the same.  We started the day with a delicious breakfast, headed off for our 2 to 3 hour hike.  After getting back from the hike we would change our shoes (they were always filled with sand) and go to lunch.  Immediately following lunch we were able to attend a cooking demo or a fitness (or nutrition) lecture.  After the hour long lecture we then attended 3 straight hours of exercise!  I was in heaven!!!  After our afternoon of exercise we ate an incredibly tasting dinner.  Sometimes after dinner we would attend another lecture and sometimes we were done for the night.  You would think that meant Dave and I spent the evenings doing other activities outside of the resort... nope!  The first night we hoped into the Jacuzzi and the last night we went to Costco but, every other night we were way too tired to do anything but lay in our beds and rest!

 The picture above is of some of our official hiking group (and one of our fitness instructors -- in the St. Patrick's Day hat).  Day one's hike was an assessment hike.  Depending on how we did that day we were put into groups based upon our athletic skill level.  Some hikes were advance and some were extremely basic.  I was really happy with the group we were in.  It was full of interesting people that matched our current fitness level really well.
 Dave and I at the top of our hike... right before we are about to walk along the rim.
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Day 3 was my favorite hike! This hike was also in Snow Canyon.  It was called Scout hike.  All of it was on beautiful red rock -- my favorite!
 Here we are early into our hike with some of our hiking group.
Dave and I snapping a quick selfie in hopes that we don't fall too far behind because of it.  See that cave on the side of Dave's head.  That is where we were headed!
 The picture above and below are of us inside the cave.  A fun little spot to snap a few shots before continuing our hike.
 It was so fun being with Dave.  With all our daily obligations of church, family, Dave's work, ect., I can't believe how busy our life has become!  I really loved taking a break from our chaotic, busy life. (mostly, we did get a few unavoidable phone call from Dave's work and our Realtor -- yes, we are on the verge of buying our first, very fabulous, house (and I am so excited about it!))
We are spelling our "Movara"(the name of our resort) -- I am the "R" and Dave is the last "A", incase you couldn't tell!
 Just thought I would snap a quick picture of my amazing husband!  I sure love this man!
 Such a pretty view!
... and for all you "High School Musical" fans, this lookout was the perfect shot to see where some of High School Musical 2 was filmed.  I took a picture of it for my little ones... and sang the songs in my head for the rest of the hike.
 The first 2 days Dave went to bed not feeling well.  At first we thought it was heat exhaustion from the hikes.  Thankfully (with a few of the instructors help) we were able to figure out the reason.  At the resort they give everyone a 1,500 calorie diet each day.  Dave's RMR (meaning what they would feed him if he were in a coma) was 2,347 calories per day.  After adding an additional protein in the morning and evening with an occasional fruit throughout the day he was fine!  I am so happy we were able to figure out the problem.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rex in the Pantry


 My little guy is growing so fast!  I can't imagine life without this sweet boy.  He (along with my other four angels) make me so happy.  He is at such a fun stage of life.  His personality is rapidly emerging and I can see it is going to be an intense one.
He loves pressing his forehead against my lips each time I pick him up.  He knows the routine (I am constantly picking him up and giving him a bunch of quick kisses on the forehead.  Apparently he likes this because when I forget (or don't give enough kisses) he pushes his forehead on my mouth.  If I still don't give him enough kisses, he will grab my head and force the kisses!  I love it!
 Now that he has started walking, he has become extremely outgoing.  He loves waving at people.  When people leave our house, he stands at the door and waves until they drive away.  At church he is constantly waving at people.  If they don't see him, he will get right in their face (or tap them on the shoulder) until they notice him.
 Rex is a  true Zarkou kid!  He loves his clothes!!!  He loves getting dressed and is continually bringing me his clothes to change his look.  He absolutally loves his stash of shoes!!!  He doesn't talk too much (so far only "Mama", "no", and once he said "ball").  I know he understands what we are saying but, communication continues to be confusing with this little one.  For the longest time he would shake his head "yes" when he wanted something.  A couple weeks ago he has started shaking his head "no" when he really means "yes"... and sometimes when he means "no" too.  It's adorable and confusing all at the same time.
 The picture above makes me smile.  He is hanging on the fridge door.  I am certain we have another monkey on our hands (like his two sisters Paisley and Alexa).  He doesn't climb things nearly as much as the two of them did but, he is equally as busy and curious as the two of them were.

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I was able to get all my dishes done today without a single pause in the process.  When I was just about finished I heard a small noise inside my pantry door.  Here is what I found...
 ... almond slivers, all kinds of things pulled off the shelves and out of the garbage, and a whole lot of powdered sugar spread across the floor.
 He was not a happy kid when I took away the powdered sugar... and then the brown sugar too!

 The picture below is one of my favorites.  While I began cleaning up the mess, I noticed these adorable white footprints across the living room.  They ended next to a big blob of white against the couch.  I feel like 90% of my afternoons are spent cleaning.  If I take a day off and run errands, it is virtually impossible to recover until the weekend (when I have my older kids and Dave's help).  With all that cleaning you would expect my house to be spotless -- um, not so much!  I think I just have a lot more little messes to clean up than the average gal.  :)
Life is good!  The past 18 months have been extremely busy.  I feel like my life is finally beginning to settle in.  Life is still insanely chaotic but, I feel like it has slowed down just enough for me to look around and enjoy  the journey along the way.  This is a very good  thing.