On turning 31

^^ If you knew how good those waffles tasted, you would be licking your screen right now.

Saturday was my birthday, and I woke up excited to be 31. I must admit that isn't all that odd since I wake up excited every year to be turning one year older (23 to 24, 24 to 25, 25 to 26, 26 to 27...etc.; these were all very exciting birthdays), but 31 seems extra special. Like I am really really an adult now, maybe. Or maybe I feel one year older and extra wiser this year. Either way, it was a good one. I woke up feeling good.  I felt good while I ate a waffle breakfast with my sweet hubby. I felt good riding bikes with my family to an adult soap box derby race (PS -- if you live in Portland, you should check that out -- a.w.e.s.o.m.e.) I felt good through an evening BBQ birthday party and through a post birthday party nap. And finally I sauntered my feeling-good self to bed at 9:30 p.m., like a 31-year-old boss. Oh yeah.

Looking forward to another 362 days as the big 3-1. "Hi, I'm Nicki, I'm 31." How good does that sound, you guys? So. Good.

When your best friend moves to Michigan

My best friend Katy is moving to Michigan. And if you think her husband going to grad school is a good reason (and a good idea) you might support this move. But I'm just. not. sure. Jokes jokes, but seriously. In any case, when your best friend is moving to Michigan, a lot of things happen. Approximately 98% of them are sad (that's a certifiable statistic right there), but there are a few good things that come along with it too. Namely #1: the opportunity to allow distance to make the heart grow fonder, #2: an excuse to travel more, and #3: a last ditch effort to do as many fun things together as possible before The Great Goodbye comes. Katy and I have taken to calling her moving "the event which should not be named." But sadly, it is coming. And it is coming soon. So we have been doing a fair amount of things together as of late.

This morning we both woke up at 5:30 a.m. (you read that right) to meet at the mouth of Rock Canyon for a few hours of climbing before starting work. The canyon was quiet, serene and just getting light when we arrived. Hello beautiful morning, right? We hiked to the absolute best spot. We climbed a few great climbs. Hank kept his little paws off the rope, thank you very much. And it went down as quite the respectable morning in my book. Sadly I failed to capture it on my camera (stop leaving your camera in the car, Nicki), so instead I posted some pics up there of an evening hike we managed to squeeze in last week. And I like to think they are case in point of all the extra goodness going on as of late. We hiked to some falls that were new to both of us, which was awesome but also seemed to beg the question "How many things in Utah have we not done together?" Sigh. All this moving business can really get a girl thinking that there should have been much more adventuring going on the last 4 years. But, to be realistic Utah is kind of big to all be explored in 4 years anyway. So, let's just thank the heavens that there things in this world like vacation time and airplanes and girl trips.

Bento tote tutorial featured on Pretty Prudent today

Hey guys! The cool girls over at Pretty Prudent are featuring my bento tote tutorial today. So, just in case you missed it on here, you can check it out over there. Such a treat to be part of your blog, Pretty Prudent!

Back to civilization with a camping tip

Well here I am. Showered, rested, and my hair no longer smells like smoke (winning!). And. Can I tell you something? Waking up next to 10 sleepy girls in a cabin in the mountains, with their half-hung eye lids but bright little minds is now my idea of a good time. Call me crazy, but girls camp is fun! Super, duper fun. And I come home bearing a helpful camping tip for you. You'll never guess what it is. It's one little word...

Socks. No really, socks. Like in the picture up there (Hank's paw photo bomb is killing me a little bit with adorableness, for the record). Also for the record, I typically am not a socks wearer. Like, at all. But the packing list called for them, so into the bag they went. And it was a saving grace, I tell you. Come the end of each day at camp, I would pull off my shoes and socks and I would have almost spotless little feet staring back at me. Huzzah! No dirt between my toes. No speckled digits. No dust to be spread everywhere. Just clean little soldiers that I could confidently slip into my sleeping bag without having to make a special feet-cleaning trip to the showers before bed. And, let me tell you, after late night s'mores making, not having to make those trips was like having my own little celebratory party every night as my clean toeses skipped into bed. And so I, my pajamas, and my sleeping bag hereby pledge we will forever be a socked camper from now on. Pinky promise.

In other news, camp successes also included getting that hair wrap I was hoping for, sleeping in one of the mornings while the other leaders headed the breakfast making (bless you, Christina), and having not just one but TWO secret sisters leaving me gifts on my pillow each day. What a lucky duck.

PS -- Sorry for the lack of pictures of tweens and me clothed in a Superman shirt. Someone forgot to bring her camera to camp. Whoops.