Happy birthday Geneva, 7 years old

 

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Today you turn 7.

It’s inevitable, but you’ve grown so unbelievably fast. Yet every day fills me with a lifetime of joy and awe of the force of life you are.

There’s good in the world still, and it was renewed on the day you were born. You have the gift of brightness. Long may you shine.

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Goatspotting in Little Cottonwood Canyon

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Spotting mountain goats

This Saturday, the girls didn’t have soccer, my wife didn’t have work, and it wasn’t raining. After a long winter and wet spring, we were ready to get outside. So when my wife emailed me Tuesday asking if we could go mountain goat spotting Saturday, I was all in.

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A big warm wet hole in the ground

Katie and the girls in the hot spring

Katie and the girls in the hot spring

MIDWAY, UTAH — “Staycation” is one of those things that sound pretty stupid, and usually pretty is. But when you live in Utah, there’s plenty of ways to spend a few days off, all within a short drive from your door.

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For Geneva, at 6 years old

Near 6

Near 6, in Zion

Now she is 6. She is a friend to birds. She talks to trees. She draws cats and spins her own elaborate mythology about the inner workings of this world. Her mind is in magic and her heart is full of sunshine. April 27, 2016. Happy birthday to my oldest child, one of the three rays of sunshine in my life, the keeper of magic and goodness.

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Utah with Kids: Canyonlands National Park (Needles)

 

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Canyonlands

SOUTH OF MOAB — Of all the Christmas gifts we’ve gotten as a family, we plan on getting the most mileage out of our National Parks annual pass from Katie’s sister Mandie.

That free admission to any National Park in the country, plus the fact that Utah’s home to five national parks (and within easy weekend distance of quite a few more) make a visit to a park as easy as hopping in and going.

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Route planning our Oklahoma Road Trip

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

We’re driving from the Salt Lake Valley to Oklahoma next week to see my family, and show the girls around my old stomping grounds, and to visit Coney Islander, El Maguey, Whataburger, Arnie’s Bar, and maybe a Ron’s. You know, important stuff.

I’m route planning here based on: How likely we are to get blizzarded, and what roadside attractions we can find. Here we go:

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Utah with Kids: Zion National Park

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“The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.” – Psalm 87:2

There are less-memorable places to lose your first baby tooth. And my 5-year-old’s gap-toothed grin, sparked by the towering canyon walls above us, the Virgin River below us, and the warm sunshine surrounding us, showed that she would remember this hike for the rest of her life. And not just because we popped out her first baby tooth the night before.

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Salt Lake City with kids: Fish head bird-day cakes

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A Condor, on his 57th Birthday, opening presents

What do you get the Andean Condor who has everything? A swinging bachelor pad, prime Salt Lake City real estate in trendy Liberty Wells area, his very own Facebook page? A fish head cake will do.

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The letter I never sent

I was asked to write something about an old friend. Back in my past life as a newspaperman, I spent most of my time there with Paul Waldschmidt.

Here’s what I wrote for him: A Letter I never sent »

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Happy 4th, Norah

The Norah we need

The Norah we need

Four years ago today the world met Norah for the first time.

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