Jul 27, 2017

The Great Salt Lake

7/27/2017 — cori

Although we have visited Salt Like City before, we had never been to this eerily beautiful place. It's very quiet and still. It almost feels like what you might imagine the surface of the moon to be like.

Yet all around it is surrounded by mountains. There's even an island mountain in the middle of the 33 foot deep lake called, Antelope Island. This is where I took these photos from. We learned several interesting facts while visiting: it is a bird sanctuary for thousands of birds, only brine shrimp live in the lake and there is no outlet for the water.

Here's our rag-tag group of visitors. This is just the beginning of many more Thompson/Mallott family adventures.

After not being around any friends (except Bennett) for over 2 weeks, Chloe was in heaven getting to spend quality friend time with Esther and Lucy.

Bennett and Isaac both share a love of basketball and kind-heartedness.

Here I am sporting my Junior Ranger button that Chloe gave me after attending a "Let's Learn About Snakes" session at the visitor center. I learned that although there are many poisonous snakes in Utah, including the rattlesnake, not one rattlesnake resides on Antelope Island for reasons unknown to scientists (see...I was paying attention).

These two! Wes has a special affinity for Chuck. Really....who doesn't have a special affinity for Chuck?!

Jul 26, 2017

The First Hike

7/26/2017 — cori

It is the end of our first week in Fort Collins. Bennett is wondering when we're going to do something "fun". Like moving across the country and unpacking all your belongings into a new townhouse isn't "fun" enough. However, the kids had done great with all the recent upheaval and all the packing and unpacking. We all needed a little fun. A nice hike in the foothills of our new mountains should be just the thing. So we set off for Horsetooth Mountain around 8:30am armed with hiking backpacks, sunscreen, and water. Just not enough air.

As we were driving to the park we saw some idiots walking up the street towards the park we were headed to. We mocked them, "Duh! You're supposed to hike on the trails people; not the street." Obviously, they didn't know as much as we did about hiking. Then five minutes later we pull into the park to park and are told there are no more open spots. "But," said the park ranger, "you can park a mile back down the hill and walk back up here."  Ohhhh....those people we just saw weren't idiots, they were fellow poor souls who got shoved to the 'bad' parking lot down the hill. Nobody wants to hike up a street on a hill a mile before actually starting their "real" hike. We were doomed from the start.

Here we are rounding our first bend on the real hike. We were already exhausted. We just climbed up a mountain, dodging dangerous cars on a bendy road and depleted half our water supply and even more of our oxygen reserves. Therefore, we chose to hike the "easy" path. There was no way we were going to hike for 4+ hours in this 90 degree heat on a moderate-hard path on our first weekend in Colorado. Those just aren't realistic goals people. 

Although the "easy" path was beautiful, it was not "easy". We were huffing and puffing and exerting mucho amounts of energy, sweat, and oxygen. We eventually came to a fork in the road. We could chose to go up farther to see the Horsetooth Falls from a higher elevation or go back down into the gully and see the Falls face on. This was a very hard decision for our weary and oxygen deprived brains. Going up meant more climbing and our legs were already cramping and throbbing. Going down meant we would have to climb up again and there was no way anyone was voting for that. So we decided that just hearing the Falls was enough for us. We've seen Niagara already...all falls are pretty much the same, right?! 

I think I have a picture of Chuck standing like this from every hike we've ever taken. This is his pose. Normally it also involves being on the edge of a large boulder, cliff or mountainside preferably with a terrifying drop-off just inches from his feet. 

And to top off our first adventure in Fort Collins, I hiked with a migraine the entire time. It was hard - very hard. But I wasn't about to take away everyone's fun. Granted, none of us could move the rest of the day. We laid on the sofa, the floor, the bed...anywhere...we just had to lay. We paid for that "easy" hike the rest of the day. But hey, we had fun!

Jul 14, 2017

A Week Later

7/14/2017 — cori

We got all moved into our temporary housing. We found a beautiful, new apartment complex that offered a townhouse option. We got it set up and boxes emptied within two days.

Chloe colored her hair teal.

Bennett already got injured. He took an elbow to his
 eye during basketball practice at the high school.

Gavin's friend Colin already came out to visit for 2 days. 
They explored every square inch of downtown Fort Collins. 

Chuck has set up his office and is hard at work.

And I've already taken one sunset picture.
I'd say things are 'normal' around here.

Jul 7, 2017

See You Later...Not Goodbye

7/07/2017 — cori

Over the horizon, around the bend
A glimpse of the future, a peak at the end
One chapter is over, a new one begins
No more "what ifs" or "might have beens"
Adventure awaits, we're excited to start
 The old always holding a place in our heart.

It can often be scary starting anew 
Sometimes fear takes a hold of you
Causing doubt to play its sound bite:
"What if nothing works out right?"
"What if I can't make any new friends?"
"What if we're wrong, what then?"
Fear of failure, risk and sorrow
Do not lead to happy tomorrows.

Having a dream and following your heart
Means taking a risk & making a new start
Living a life of no regrets
Doesn't mean there will be no upsets
But those you will learn to take in stride
As you understand the joy of how to abide
With what ever circumstances come your way
The excitement of life is in each new day.

Oh, the things we learned and how we grew
Minnesota we owe you our gratitude
For friends we made and people we met
These are the things we will never forget
For six long years we were more than blessed
With neighbors who were the very best
And family who lived close by
Leaving them behind makes us cry.

The journey of life is full of unknowns
How we react is the choice we must own
Excitement or fear; joy or sorrow
Shapes our attitude and all our tomorrows
I choose thankfulness for this adventure anew
And getting to share it with my favorite people, too
I'll take any path with them by my side
Living life fully with arms open wide
To new opportunities, adventures, and sights
I'm embracing life with all of my might!

Jul 1, 2017

Summer Solstice

7/01/2017 — cori
It's safe to say that the longest day of the year is probably one of our most favorite. And we like to celebrate it by staying outside as late as possible. So this past June 20th we headed out to our favorite lake to spend some quality time outdoors. We took a blanket, snacks (even though we had just finished dinner), the volleyball and my camera. All the important things for a night of fun.

We played monkey in the middle with the volleyball and got really sweaty running all over tarnation.

We played sand volleyball.

We (by that I mean Chloe) did handstands in the warm water.

We captured the sunset well after 9pm.

And we took a selfie to commemorate our love of ringing in our favorite season of the year.

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