Summer So Far

How do I describe our summer thus far?

Smoothies.  Early morning runs – before the sun comes up.  Grilling.  Tuscan cantaloupe.  The splash pad. Shrimp and mango salads. Our neighborhood pool.  Popsicles.  Date nights.  S’mores.  Being in our backyard.  Baking cookies.  Pool parties at Mimi and Papa’s.  Early morning park hopping.

Some other things specifically fall under this list – mainly Bear Lake, Potty Training, and new summer recipes – but we’ll go into more detail on that.

Pineapple and banana is Sloan’s favorite smoothie currently – with avocado and banana with raw honey (I’ve been trying a “gut healing smoothie” and Sloan and I both really love it) coming in second place.

I’ve been running early in the morning – sometimes with my cute neighbor and sometimes by myself.  I’ve mostly always worked out at night, but getting up early before the sun comes up has really changed my life as a mom.  I go on a run before it is too blistering hot, come back and shower, and make breakfast (and smoothies) for my family.  It makes my whole day run smoother and I swear I am so much more productive.  This also means I’ve been going to bed earlier, which has been a huge game changer for me.  This night owl is starting to convert…

We’ve been grilling everything and anything the last few weeks – chicken, fish, steaks, burgers.  It’s one of my favorite things about summer.  Some highlights have been chicken and pineapple kabobs with jasmine rice…

Copy-cat Shake Shack burgers [which were literally OFF THE HOOK]…

We’ve discovered Tuscan cantaloupe from Trader Joe’s (I don’t really know who else sells it?) and it’s made my summer even sweeter.  I love melons, but this is my new favorite!

We frequent our neighborhood splash pad and pool often.  At least once a week, if not more.  Sloan always sees neighbors and friends there and it’s the only way to stay cool in the heat.

A friend of mine introduced me to the shrimp salad (with mango salsa) from Costa Vida.  I’m obsessed and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon.  It’s low calorie and delicious.  Thank you Dena, you’ve made my shrimp dreams come true!

Zach and I have had some great date nights this summer – some favorites have been a night up in Park City dining at the Riverhorse and having s’mores at the Montage hotel afterwards.  We’ve seen our fair share of movies and Zach’s had his fair share of popcorn as well, but none have been as much fun as our night up in PC.

We also had a fun “themed” night – planning a future vacation while eating our favorite pizza.  

Sloan and I love to bake together.  It’s our thing.  Cookies, homemade pretzels, bread, bran muffins.  It’s all the same to her.  It teaches her patience and following directions – and curbs my cravings for sweet treats.

I’ve been meal prepping a lot too – but my new favorite is to make egg white breakfast burritos in bulk, freeze them, and eat them when we have a busy morning.

We’ve been up to Mark and Jeanene’s pool a few times already this summer – and Sloan loves the new zipline Mark just installed.  She loves being with her grandparents and doesn’t get one-on-one time with them very often (it’s hard when there are 28 grandkids) and so we love the time we get them.

And when we’re not at a pool, splash pad, or the like – we’re in the backyard.  Maybe naked.  On her roller coaster.

We’ve also had a few visits to the trampoline park as well.  Sloan goes back and forth – two and fro so fast we can barely keep up.  This place can definitely hold down the fort when it comes to her energy level.

Before the temps creeped up passed the 90’s – we were at the park every single morning.  Sometimes two parks.  That’s even where we spent National Donut Day – Sloan picked the rainbow donut, obviously.

One of my favorite things we did in June was go to the opening of the Farmer’s Market down town.  We spent most of the morning there and the weather was perfect.  We walked around and taste tested all we were allowed until it was time for brunch.

We tried a new place – Tradition – north of Liberty Park.  The banana bread was UNREAL and Zach said the fried chicken and pancakes were amazing.  Sloan loved the fresh flowers at the table the most, though.

Zach had early church meetings a few weeks ago and while he was gone I surprised Sloan and we made “Pinkalicous Cupcakes” – just like her new favorite book.  I captured her expression when she took her first lick of the pink frosting…

I know there’s more – but these were just some of my favorite moments.

We also went to Bear Lake with my parents’ friends and their families.  We didn’t get a whole lot of sleep – but we loved being on the new boat and watching Sloan surf for her first time.  Sloan was super spoiled as well.  Lori and Jessica came prepared with tons of activities for the kids.  Decorating shirts, making slime.  She honestly had the time of her life.

We started potty training a few weeks ago and Zach and I are both floored with how well she has done.  I was dreading the whole process, but Sloan always seems to surprise us.  She had her share of accidents – but nothing compared to horror stories I’ve heard from friends and family.  Now that we are on week two – I feel like we’re finally on the home stretch.  And in a very strange way I feel more empowered as a mom than I ever have.  We can do hard things, this little girl and I. 

I’ve also tried out a few new recipes – some of the winners:

Mango chicken in parchment paper.  Honestly my favorite meal I’ve made all year. Almond crusted halibut with sautéed greens and pomegranate seeds. Martha Stewart’s classic pot roast – Zach picked this as HIS favorite all year. 

I’ve always liked to cook – but I’ve never been great at it.  Years ago when I started eating healthier, it only made sense to start cooking more.  It’s the best way to eat clean, at least for me.  I think I’ve always been terrible with timing, but I’ve finally found my groove. I hope to get better, so I’ll keep practicing.

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