Thursday, May 28, 2015

This Is The Place: A Utah Heritage Park

This post sponsored via US Family Guide.
I received product in exchange for an honest review.

How have I lived in Utah 13 years and not been to one of the most historically educational sites in Salt Lake City?  My family finally took the time to visit This Is the Place Heritage Park last week and I'm going to plead with you not to make it such a long time before you take your family to see do the same thing.

"This is the Place", "Utah history"

The park is divided into two portions.  Along the drive and looking out over the Salt Lake Valley are monuments dedicated to the memories of the Mormon Battalion and also the day Brigham Young's party first arrived and, while quite ill, announced, "This is the place." This portion of the park is free of charge and a quiet place to reflect on the pioneers who journeyed here in many different ways all those years ago. 

The second portion is Heritage Village.  The entrance fee for the village gives you access to dozens of historical buildings which have either been relocated and restored or replicated.  

"This Is the Place"

Deseret Hospital, This is the Place
Deseret Hospital
Brigham Young felt strongly that women should be able to be attended to by women doctors
and encouraged women to become midwives as a way of serving.
An example of original tongue and groove construction.
This building was so well built that it was moved intact to it's park location.
 The entrance fee also includes activities for the kids.  It wasn't explained very well to us right away, but we finally figured out that each kid can do 3 activities, and they are marked off in a box on the wristbands.  Our boys did scratch art in the old halfway house, took a pony ride, got a taste of apprenticing at the saddlery, and made Native American jewelry.

In addition, many of the buildings have volunteers dressed in pioneer clothing who can answer your questions and give a little history of what the buildings purpose was.  My favorite was the cabin where they taught B how to beat the rugs...that seems like it could come in handy for me one day...

"pioneer chores"

I could not get enough of this little baby who's mother was volunteering that day and had placed him right where he obviously belonged...

A few thoughts from our visit:
  • Don't go on a school field trip day...they break up in groups and fill the buildings.  We had to skip quite a few because they were to full to get in to.
  • Do buy Brigham's doughnuts.  They're hot and greasy and delicious!
  • Don't get discouraged when your wristband boxes are full.  Under 3-yr-olds get to do the activities for free, and we were able to let our kids use the boxes on our wristbands when theirs were full.
  • If you have visited historic sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints you will notice a difference in quality at this park.  While the park focuses primarily on the lives of the Mormon Pioneers, it is not run by the church.  This is a state park and while we were impressed with the facility, there were obvious differences in the quality of displays in the buildings, and especially in the interaction and information from the volunteer "pioneers" compared to official church historical sites.  Not a big deal, but something that did keep popping through my head while we were there.
Now, the real question is, could I have raised these 4 boys in a house this size...

 (excludes special events)

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Redemption of Timp Caves

My husband is a runner. He talks a lot about a marathon he did as a young teenager with almost no preparation and without any semblance of the proper equipment (the waffle print from his Payless shoes was imprinted on the bottom of his feet for months after).  His interest in running comes and goes in stages, but with no effort he can always pick it up again, no problem.

A few weeks ago, though, he made a big mistake.  After only a couple days of 1-2 mile jogs, he took off after work (remember, that means 1:00 in the morning) and got lost in an far away neighborhood.  By the time he figured out how to get home, he'd run a hard 13 miles.  Yes, that's right...after months of not running, he just tied up his shoes and completed a half-marathon.  We both were pretty impressed when he logged his distance that night.  The next morning, though, he felt was feeling the pain.

As much as he enjoys running, he has learned over the years that pushing too hard or trying to go farther than he should will result in a mental block for weeks, or months, to come.  After dealing with the cramps and muscle aches, he starts being fearful of going back and hurting himself even more.  And even though he normally runs with great form and practices the way he should, he can easily talk himself out of going. Just as his muscle memory slips into a distance-runner's gait as soon as he puts on his shoes, his brain's muscle memory can keep him from pushing through it.

I've had similar experiences while hiking.  To be more specific, I had this experience my first time hiking up to the Timpanogos Caves.  It sounded like a fun way to spend an afternoon with B, who was 2 at the time, and my 8-yr-old nephew visiting from the flat Midwest.  I had no idea it was a 1.5-mile hike of switchbacks going straight up the mountain before you reached the entrance to the cave. Middle of July in Utah, I was 10 weeks pregnant, and B refused to walk pretty much the entire way.  It was a long, hot, unenjoyable day and I've never ever wanted to do that hike again.

Until last week, that is.  Our local homeschool network provided tickets on the cave's opening day to anyone who wanted to take the cave tour.  It happened to fall on B's 8th birthday and sounded like a fantastic way to spend the day.  On one hand I completely was not looking forward to it, and on the other hand really wanted to have that experience with him.  I gave myself a month to push through the harsh memories and resolve myself to doing it.  The day finally came...and the babies decided to be sick...

In the end, my husband took B & P and they had a really great time.  He was willing to stay home, but it was a cold and rainy day, with the possibility of snow up at the caves and I didn't see how that experience would in any way be successful in erasing my brain's belief that the hike up is horrendous and awful.

I'm glad they had fun, but the Timpanogos Cave trail will have to wait for it's redemption to come from me on another day.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Indulge Your Crazy Side at the Thrillseeker 5k Stunt Run

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If you haven't figured out by now, I'll let you in on my little secret...I thrive on finding the most out-of-the-ordinary activities to do with my family.  It gives me a bit of a thrill to hear people ask, "You did what?"  or "How did you find out about that?"  And I get even more excited when someone actually takes me up on the offer to come do something crazy with us!

That is why I got so excited to tell you about The Great Inflatable Race a few weeks ago.  Why not run a 5K bounce house obstacle course race? My husband thought he'd won the lottery when his company announced they were sponsoring a team for this year's Dirty Dash.  It was not my favorite thing to break the horrible news that it was the same day B is getting baptized (cue inappropriate jokes about dunking him in the finish line mud pit here...) and we would have to miss it.

Had you figured any of this out about me?  I hope it's all starting to make sense to you, now, because I have an even more outrageous race to tell you about today and I REALLY hope someone will be there to cheer and rally with.  Someone please join me at the...

Inspired by the growing popularity in adventure sports and TV stunt shows, the Thrill Seeker Stunt Run combines Hollywood-style obstacles and a safely monitored environment.  Anyone can do it.  I personally think everyone should try!  Check this out...

Who doesn't think that looks like an unbelievably fun way to spend a Saturday!

Some possible obstacles on the course include:


Punch Wall
Swinger's Island

Giant Stunt Trikes

Jumbo Flyer,
the world's tallest inflatable waterslide!

On top of the obvious fun, I appreciate that the Thrill Seeker Stunt Run is being presented by The Guardian Angel Council.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the Be The Match Registry which matches donors to patients in need of bone marrow transplants.  In the past year our family has watched two people very close to us receive bone marrow transplants and my husband and I registered for the Be The Match Registry to support them.  Sadly, after a successful transplant, my very feisty aunt suffered unrelated health setbacks and passed away two weeks ago.  I saw in her struggles how Be The Match brought hope and positivity to her and her family and I will be proud to donate in her honor if I'm ever given the opportunity.  Participants and spectators at the Stunt Run will also be given the opportunity to register with Be The Match on race day.  

Now, I know you're screaming, "Enough, already.  Just tell me how to register for the race near me!" 

The Salt Lake City Run is coming quickly on May 23rd.
To register for that race or any other offered across the country,

Want to save $5 off your registration fee?
Use code "LocalWander"

Will I be seeing you out there?

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