Author Archives: studentmamacook

About studentmamacook

I'm a single mom of two. I'm a recent graduate with my MEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I've got the most amazing boyfriend (we've been together just over six years) and have been really happy.

Swap-bot: Shutterbuggin’ [2]

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This swap is a general swap, second in a series, that asks for the participants to share three different pictures. The first two will always have the same theme, a picture I took this month and a picture I took last month. The third picture will have a different theme. This time, the theme is a picture I took of something in nature.

All of my pictures were taken on my cellphone, as that’s what I have handy. It’s a Galaxy S7, and so the camera is pretty decent.

First up, a picture I took last month (September 2017):

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This was taken at a cliff that surrounds the valley in which I work. It goes by several names, Sugar Loaf, Dixie Rock, Pioneer Park…there are others. I love the view from up here. I liked the way the clouds looked in the background. Were we still back east/down south these clouds would have meant a rain storm was coming. That is not the case here. We got some wind, that is all.

Next, we have a picture I took this month (October 2017):

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I took the girls I work with to Zion over our fall break. Not all of them came, the idea of hiking was just a bit much for some of them. Those that did come though, I think that they truly enjoyed the experience. This picture was taken from the vantage point of Weeping Rock. This is one of the more popular hikes in Zion, not much of a hike really, it’s paved all the way up. And the last bit of it is kind of steep, but not so much that you couldn’t take a stroller, which I have done before.

Which leads us right into the last picture, a picture of something I took in nature:

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Another picture taken during the same trip to Zion. This one shows the sun just cresting the mountains as seen from the Emerald Pools trail. I’ve only ever done the lower pools, because it’s paved and you can take a stroller and small children with not much stress. But this time, we went all the way to the top pool. It was an almost transcendent experience. It was well worth the boulders you have to climb over in parts, and the sand that you have to mush through to get there. It was a magnificent day.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my pictures. More to come later, I am sure!

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Swap-bot: Something that made me happy – September

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, share something that made me happy during the month of September.

September was a month of changes for me. The biggest change, aside from a job as a therapist that requires a masters degree (no pressure there, right?) was that we moved from North Carolina where we’d be living for a year on the boarder with Virginia, to Southern Utah. Talk about big. I drove the whole way. Kansas was the worst of it. Very flat, lots of farms. At one point, I called my dad to talk and the GPS said I had 3 hours to go till I hit Colorado. I talked for an hour and a half (I had to stop for gas). The GPS still said I had three hours to go. I wish I was kidding (please don’t be offended if you are from Kansas, I’m sure it’s a lovely state).

So, photo heavy post coming up! The kids left North Carolina before I did and in August, so the last picture we have of all of us with the Andy Griffith statue outside the Andy Griffith Theater and Andy Griffith Museum will have to wait for another day. But here I am on my trip, with my traveling companion Trek, the three foot tall triceratops.

Me and Trek, day 1

He belongs to my daughter, and had I not said I would bring him in the car with me, she would have attempted to cram him into her suit case.

The first day, I made it from where I was in North Carolina, up through Virginia (to hit up a few Virginia LOVEworks signs) into Tennessee and ended the night outside the Nashville Tennessee LDS Temple where I spent the night (in an attempt to save money I slept in the car all but one night). I saw the Grand Ole Opry and downtown Nashville, which apparently doesn’t open until 10:00.

Day two saw me making a visit to the cemetery where many of my grandpas relatives are buried, though no one lives in Tennessee now. I pushed through and stopped in Metropolis Illinois where they have a giant Superman statue. I caught a glimpse of the Mississippi River, the St. Louis Arch, the LDS temple in St. Louis, the Ohio River, and I don’t even remember it all (and not in that order). I spent the night at the Kansas City LDS temple. I had hopped to make it a bit further, but I was falling asleep at the wheel and decided to error on the side of caution.

Day three brought the Missouri River, and Kansas…yeah. I was ready to be done by that point I think. However, I did get to stop at the “Brown vs. Board of Education” memorial site in Topeka, and the Russel Stover factory, which was good for chocolate. I hit Colorado, and then Denver just about dinner time. I visited the Denver temple and then, took advantage of a friend who lives near Denver and spent the night in a real bed and with a hot shower. Life was good, despite Kansas.

Day four was my last day on the road. I stopped to see the grave of my great grandfather. Half an hour, two grounds people, and several phone calls latter, it was discovered that he never had a headstone. So instead of pictures of grave stones as I took in Tennessee, I took a picture of a lovely patch of grass that was freshly mowed. I hit Utah just after 6:00 pm, and drove another four or five hours till I hit my parents house. Where I collapsed into my mom’s rocking recliner and slept all night.

I swear in the two weeks I was separated from my kids, my daughter grew about three inches and is now wearing the same size shoe as I am. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s 10, and I’m just not ready. One of the best parts of Southern Utah is the close proximity to the beautiful red rocks. The Navajo Sandstone that forms the backdrop to my daily commute is the same formation that forms the Grand Canyon. I do so love this part of the country.

Swap-bot: Shutterbuggin’ [1]

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This swap is a general swap, first in a series, that asks for the participants to share three different pictures. The first two will always have the same theme, a picture I took this month and a picture I took last month. The third picture will have a different theme. This time, the theme is a picture I took in black and white.

All of my pictures were taken on my cellphone, as that’s what I have handy. It’s a Galaxy S7, and so the camera is pretty decent.

First up, a picture I took this month (September 2017):

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This is Trek. He is my daughters’ dinosaur, she got him for Christmas a few years back, and she loves him almost as much as her blankie she’s had since she was a baby. We recently moved across the country, the kids flew and I drove. And had I not said I would bring Trek in the car with me, she would have found a way to cram him into her suitcase. Trek was my driving buddy from one side of the country to the other. Here, he is less than impressed with Kansas. No offence if you are from Kansas or love Kansas, but I was less than impressed. I may have been just a bit tired of driving at that point though, so my perception could be skewed slightly.

Second-a picture from last month (August 2017):

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I was going to use a picture that I took during the “Great American Eclipse”, but as I was going through my camera roll, I saw this picture and just had to share it. The school I worked at before our move, had a little dirt patch in the front where they planted flowers. In the spring they are all bulbs and such. But this past summer, they seeded wild flowers. Oh, they variety was amazing! So colorful! And as one type died, another came in. Middle of August, about the same time as the eclipse, I was walking back to the building past this patch of flowers and this butterfly was alight on one of the flowers. This was as close as I dared get for fear that it would fly away.

The last picture I have is one in black and white:

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I am LDS, and for us, our temples are very sacred places. For the past four years I have lived 3-4 hours from the closest temple. It has been hard to get to one, and I have felt the absence of one close to me. One of the benefits of being back in the west, specifically back in Utah, is that I no longer have to plan for a full days travel to see the temple, to go to the temple. This is the temple closest to me. My parents were married there. And while my parents are close enough to walk, I am still only a 15 minute drive away. I love it.

 

Swap-bot: ESG: My favorite picture of the month July

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, is my favorite picture for the month of July.

 

I don’t usually like selfies. but this month was different. From the top left:

  1. I am LDS, going to the temple is a privilege for those of us able to go inside. I don’t usually go, I have to borrow the specific clothes, but I needed to go, a very strong feeling, and towards the end of the month I was able to make it to the closest temple (it’s about three hours away). This is the picture I took while there, I do so love the peaceful feeling that I get there.
  2. 4th of July fireworks. When I was a kid I lived in an area where personal fireworks were illegal. When I moved somewhere where you could buy fountains and other types of fireworks, I have loved them all.
  3. My daughter and I went on a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway and came across this picnic table that looks like it was used by fairies. I love it.
  4. Virginia has these “Love” monuments all over the state. My graduate university had one installed the year I left. This was my first opportunity to go back and see it. i had to take a picture with it, which I think turned out pretty nice.
  5. This picture of me and my daughter was taken on the same hike that we saw the fairy table. It was a lovely day.

Swap-bot: ESG: Something that made me happy this month July

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Hello! Back again with another Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, tell about something that made me happy during the month of July.

4th of July

The 4th of July is always a fun holiday for me. This year was the first in a while that we didn’t watch a big fireworks show. I decided that I just couldn’t deal with the traffic coming from the event. Not enough exit space. But, my kids and I were able to set off a bunch of fountains and other smaller fireworks in front of our apartment. I think that has always been my favorite part. It was a lovely evening, and the breeze was in our favor, blowing the smoke away from us.

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My second happy moment came on a short hike with my daughter. We were up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at Rocky Knobb to do a short hike. Well, we ended up missing the trail head and just doing the picnic area loop. But I’m glad that we did. If we hadn’t, I never would have seen this adorable set up. Being as humid as it is, there is a lot of moss around, but this was the only table that we saw completely covered in moss, and with the stumps as chairs, it almost looks like a fairy table.

Swap-bot: ESG: My country fun facts 2.0

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. Today, I will be sharing five (at least) fun facts about my country. I happen to live in The United States of America (aka USA, US, or America, we suffer from an identity crises).

  1. We consider July 4th, 1776 to be Independence Day…however, the Deceleration of Independence was written on the first, and not actually signed by all the colonies until much later. The 4th of July was when it was accepted by the delegates (and the day we set off fireworks).
  2. The last state to join the Union was Hawaii in August of 1959, Alaska runs a close second in January of the same year (Puerto Rico occasionally votes on joining the Union, but it hasn’t happened yet)
  3. Delaware was the first state to sign the constitution (it’s on their license plates)
  4. The US is home to the first and second largest air forces in the world. The US Air force (of course) and the air force of the US Navy and Marines (the Navy’s Blue Angels are amazing and used to do flyovers at my school when I was growing up)
  5. Longest River in the US is the Mississippi, it pretty much cuts the country in half (almost, it doesn’t come from the Canadian boarder).
  6. It is entirely possible that 1 in 10 American’s are blood relatives to the original pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock (that’s just over 100 people…and I am related to at least one of them, I think actually 2).

I hope you enjoyed my fun facts!