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Winter fun: Tubing

Winter fun: Tubing

If your family is like mine then you have some kids that love the snow and some kids that hate the snow. Our ratio is 5:1 but that one kid can make things miserable for the rest of us on family adventures.

One of the winter traditions that all 6 of us enjoy is to go tubing as a family. We have gone tubing at Soldier Hollow in Midway and Woodward Park in Park City. Both are fantastic places that include a conveyor belt to take you to the top of the hill. It makes life a lot easier. Dragging multiple tubes up the hill all while holding little kids hands etc is NOT EASY!

The convenience of these hills does come at a price. Tickets for a 2 hour time period can run up to $34 a person. However, Groupon does deals every year and makes the experience much more affordable. Make sure you check for deals before you go.

This is one of our favorite winter adventures as a family. Ben and I have as much fun as the kids!

So what do you think? Want to try speed tubing with a no effort climb?

Share-My-Story Series: Dawn

Share-My-Story Series: Dawn

When the opportunity arose to attend a Yoga/Hiking retreat with Get Out There Girl, my first thought was that I was too scared to go. I don’t love traveling (an understatement), and I feel an even more intense separation anxiety when I travel without my family. However, someone I love had attended a retreat previously and I saw the way it changed her life. My heart ached to experience a similar change in my own. The idea of reentering the world of yoga was intriguing, but I wasn’t excited about hiking. A few years ago, I had heat stroke and I suffer from PTSD whenever I am in the heat. This led to me feeling fearful about the whole trip. Going with people I don’t know, experiencing things that are hard and my fears screamed loudly that I couldn’t do it. One thing pushed me forward.

My greatest desire is to live anxiety free. Thus far in my 53 years, anxiety has been my continual companion and every effort made to conquer it has fallen short or failed completely. This time in the world with the pandemic has been especially difficult so I took advantage of a brief moment of bravery and signed up. Honestly, I almost canceled many times. But I chose to go and I will be forever grateful! There are a couple of significant things, among many great experiences, that made it worth all the worry and anxiety.

The first is that we had two workshops with one of the most amazing, talented and wise women I have ever met. Her name is Niki Olsen and she walked us through a method called Mind Body Bridging. The process was overwhelmingly impactful for me. Personally, I felt a change in my heart about anxiety. I now believe that, little by little, following this process will help me understand why I respond the way I do and allow me to move through it. Niki is a person I want to be like and I wish with all my heart she lived next door to me! When difficult things happen, I usually fall apart. However, the night after I got home from the retreat my son broke his collar bone in a severe manner and had to have surgery. There was definitely anxiety, but I put in to practice the things Niki had taught and I was far better than I would have been before the workshops and retreat.

The second was on a hike. These women didn’t know anything about my past or difficulties, as I didn’t know theirs, and I didn’t want to appear weak. As we started the hike I began to panic and my heart raced as I worried that the heat would overtake me. I had to stop a few times to breathe and put every effort into believing in myself. It wasn’t a difficult or demanding hike, but my anxiety started to overpower. My self-talk was negative and, with every part of my heart and mind, I had to push myself to keep going. I tried to tell myself I could do it and, step by step, I did it! The chatting among the women, who quickly began to feel like friends, and following them pushed me forward. There were many times that my belief in myself wavered, but I made it. At the top we rested at a beautiful waterfall and took pictures and had lunch. The others didn’t know what a triumph it was for me, but it’s a personal victory that I will always remember. And better yet….I want to go hiking again!

Our time practicing yoga was also amazing. We were outside in the most beautiful scenery and breathing in the fresh air among the trees. The view of the mountains and green grass was healing and invigorating at the same time. The entire weekend was important for me and I believe a turning point in my journey through this life. Bravery and adventure are not my strongest traits, but I am a few steps closer.  

Grand Staircase National Monument

Grand Staircase National Monument

If you like slot canyons you need to plan a trip to Grand Staircase National Monument. Peek-a-boo and Spooky canyons are spectacular. The route for those two canyons is 6.3 miles round-trip. While you are there I also recommend visiting Devil’s Garden, the Betty Caves and Lower Calf Creek Falls. There is so much to do in Escalante. You will love it!

The trail for Peek-a-boo and Spooky canyons has been recently renovated. The road to the trailhead is very accessible, brand new bathrooms have been installed, and the trail is groomed and marked with small hoodoos showing the way.

Before you go I have a few recommendations:

  • Check the weather before you plan. Slot canyons can be deadly in flash flood circumstances.
  • Pack enough water.
  • Plan your route before you go. Download maps on your phone because you won’t get internet in the canyons. I suggest using the AllTrails app. You can follow me on Alltrails and see the hikes I’ve done along with my reviews.
The entry for Peek-a-boo Canyon

There are only two places that require significant scrambling. Both are doable without ropes or technical gear. One is the entrance to Peek-a-boo (pictured above), the other spot is in Spooky canyon.

Peek-a-boo is breathtakingly beautiful. The rock formations and unique nature of the canyon make it memorable. Spooky canyon is narrow the majority of the canyon. I had to take off my pack for a large part of it. It’s thrilling to squeeze though and see the curves of the walls.

Spooky Canyon is a tight fit the majority of the way

Overall, I can’t say enough about how beautiful and fascinating these canyons are. The trail to enter the canyons has been well groomed and marked making the canyons very accessible. These canyons can bring so much joy and wonder to you but please be responsible when hiking. Know the weather, pack enough water and be smart.

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors.

A Window Into My Recovery

A Window Into My Recovery

Hi my name is Brittany and I am a recovering perfectionist. I thought I had to be perfect in order to be loved and valued. I thought everyone was watching me and would only love me if I did everything right and was always happy. I tried as hard as I could but of course I could never attain perfection. I thought love was conditional and at any moment my family and friends would decide I wasn’t worthy of love and I would be the one to blame.

I was really good at hiding this. I worked my butt off to be as perfect as possible. I didn’t get into trouble in my teen years, I got straight A’s and I was an extreme people pleaser. I got my worth from my report cards and praise. It wasn’t until I got married and my husband got to know me on a deeper level than anyone else ever had that I couldn’t hide that part of me anymore.

Wedding Day. June 22, 2007

It manifested itself when there was contention between us. I didn’t trust his love for me. I was constantly worried he would take it away if he was ever displeased with me. When we would get in an argument it would sink me. I would take everything he said as proof that I truly was unlovable. Not only would I be upset about what we argued about but I would also be mad at myself for messing things up and causing grief and contention.

Now keep in mind that I had no idea this wasn’t normal. I thought everyone felt this way. I thought that this was just how life was. We had so many good times where I felt truly happy. It was only when things were bad that I would sink. I would be grumpy for a week beating myself up about how stupid I was. I would blame myself. It wasn’t until I went to counseling that I learned that this wasn’t “normal” and I started uncovering what my core issues were.

I discovered just how much of a people pleaser I was and how extreme my need for perfection was. I uncovered all of my baggage from my life that led me to believe I was unlovable. Most importantly, I learned that my brain was a muscle and just like I could train my body to be healthy I could train my brain to be as well. That was life changing. I got tools to fight off the doubt I had in myself. I learned positive affirmations, I learned self-compassion and I learned that I had value regardless of anything I did.

Journaling my feelings became important to me. I remember one night I journaled all the things that didn’t affect my worth. Things like: how clean my house was, how beautiful I was, how good of a wife I was, how many children I had or the type of adults my children grow up to be, etc. I grew up with strong faith in God and the biggest thing for me that night was to realize that even if I didn’t keep God’s commandments I was still worthy of love. God would love me regardless. I was His daughter and I had value. There was nothing I could or could not do to change my worth. I was born with it and it was unalterable. LIFE CHANGING MOMENT.

As I continued to work with a therapist I also continued to read books and listen to podcasts that taught me important skills. Self-compassion became a huge part of my life. I learned to be kind to myself and allow myself to be human. I am not capable of perfection. NO ONE IS. Being imperfect means I am human. Now, when I don’t reach my idea of perfection I cut myself some slack, remind myself that I am still awesome and I am worthy of love.

I wish I could adequately describe how much this freed my soul. All of the energy I was putting into beating myself up and trying to be perfect was free to go into other areas of my life. I stopped doubting myself and I started believing in myself. Not that I was better than anyone else but that I had value just the way I was. Things changed. Life changed. I started living a fuller life. I started enjoying my life. I accepted my short comings as part of my human nature and moved on without dwelling on them. I saw my strengthens and my weaknesses and embraced them.

At the same time this was happening I had an experience where God told me to get outside and play more. I felt like He was reminding me I only have one life and I needed to live it. I listened. I started doing things I loved more. I stopped telling myself no and making up excuses of why I shouldn’t do things for me. Doing things I loved made me feel alive. It helped me be present and live mindfully. I really started thriving at life.

Red Reef Hike 2019

My family benefited from this. Because I was more awake and present I had more of me to give. My yelling decreased and my patience increased. I was kind to myself and it was rubbing off on my family.

It goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway, I’m not perfect at this. There are days when the positive self-talk exhausts me and I let the grumpiness take over. But never for long. I have the tools and I know what to do that will help me.

My goal with Get Out There Girl is to help other women live their best life through what I call the three pillars. 1- Self-compassion 2- Adventure 3- Connecting with others. Each of these three areas play a key role in living life to the fullest. Follow along as I show you how.

I’m not perfect and I’m thriving because of it.

I hope you do too.

Masquerade Party 2019


Fallen Officer David Romrell is My Cousin

Fallen Officer David Romrell is My Cousin

Officer David Romrell

My younger cousin, David, died in the line of duty as a police officer in Salt Lake City. His tragic death has made me pause and ponder on the fragile nature of life. David was three years younger than me, and the age gap made his connection to my little brother much closer than to me. Even still, I respected David, especially as we became adults. I saw him become a man and join the Marines. He was dedicated and hard working. I was always happy to see him at family gatherings and relieved after his tours in Afghanistan were over. I hate war.

After David’s time in the Marine Corp he transitioned to the police force only 11 months before being killed. I imagine he thought being a police officer would allow him more time with his wife and new son than the Marine Corp did.

None of us know when or how we will die. We don’t know how many days, weeks or years we have left. My cousin kissed his wife and new baby goodbye before going into work one morning and he never came home. Thanksgiving was just a couple of days earlier and Christmas one short month away — his baby’s first. I’m sure he had a lifetime of plans to carry out and memories he wanted to make.

David enjoyed life. I saw him forgive and mend bridges that would have been easy to keep broken. He was kind and had a good soul. My heart hurts for his family, for his baby who will grow up only hearing stories of how amazing his dad was, for his wife who lost her best friend and lover, for his parents who don’t get to see their youngest son thrive at being a dad, for everyone who now doesn’t get the chance to know him.

We can’t plan when we die. We can’t plan disease or accident. We can only plan to love and live life without regret. God has given us one life, one body, one soul. We decide what we do with it. That was His gift to us. I call it agency. My cousin’s tragic death has reaffirmed to me just how precious life is and how mindful/intentional I need to be about living it. Hug your loved ones tighter. Eat dinner together and talk. Connect in weakness and show your vulnerability. Allow yourself to be human and show yourself some self-compassion. Do something you love. Enjoy being you and stop comparing. Look for the good in yourself, in others, and in hardships.

Despite how much bad there is in the world there is also an infinite amount of good. Like my cousin David, be the good.