31 December 2015


In twenty-15:

i read 64 books. i ran my first full marathon (then  ran two more after that). i hiked 98 miles. i buried my little parakeet. i rode a camel through Petra, Jordan. i fell in love with family history. i watched a meteor shower, several thunderstorms and an eclipse. i became the Aunt of a wonderful new nephew. i took a three day backpacking trip through back country Yellowstone. i spoke at a coworker’s funeral. i visited Cedar Breaks National Monument. i lost both of my big toenails. i learned how to make red velvet cake. i started a new journal. i visited my ancestor’s graves (back four generations).

i made Thanksgiving dinner for my dad. i floated in the Dead Sea. i watched or listened to almost every single BYU Football game. i made and canned choke cherry syrup, pear jam and applesauce. i saw 40 different waterfalls. i became a Brene Brown fanatic.  i helped plant a garden. i attended devotional at BYU-Idaho almost every Tuesday. i ran 6 half marathons. i wandered over and under the streets of Jerusalem. i attended an outdoor symphony production of “Fantasia.” i didn’t buy a single pair of stilettos. i memorized the serenity prayer. i hired and trained 15 employees.

i took family names all the way through the temple. i went kayaking for the first time. i facilitated a 12-Step Women's Trauma Recovery group. i soaked in a natural hot spring in the middle of the night in the middle of back country Yellowstone with the full blue moon above me. i painted my nails almost every single week. i spent a day hiking through Bryce Canyon. i attended General Conference for the first time. i kissed a man with a mustache. i chaired two “youth culture” events for the International Dance and Music Festival. i prayed on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  i picked boxes and boxes of apples.  i ran 250 racing miles this season. i started teaching a Sunday School class. i cut down my own Christmas tree.

i turned 30 years old.  i talked to my niece on FaceTime at least 3 times a week. i rarely missed a week of attending the temple. i went scuba diving in the Red Sea.  i developed a relationship with an amazing man (outcome TBD). i got a goldfish for my office. i trail ran around Jenny Lake in Teton National Park.  i spent two weeks in the middle east. i finished reading the Bible from cover to cover. i did yoga on the top of the double O Arch in Moab, Utah. i reorganized my entire bookcase by color. i paid off my Mini Cooper. i fell during a night run and turned both of my legs black and blue with bruises. i went cross country skiing in -14 degree weather.

i wrote 49 blog posts.  i drank tea in front of a fire at a Bedouin camp in the middle of the Wadi Rum, Jordan. i danced in the rain. i grew infinitely more patient. i ran three ultra relays (upwards of 35 miles each time). i got addicted to the Strawberry Starburst Freeze at Taco Bell. i watched my parents go through a divorce. i took way too many selfies. i hit my seven year anniversary of working for the Salt Lake Express. i raced in 4 different states.  i propagated almost all of my houseplants. i fought off IT band tendinitis as well as shin splints. i became known for my intricate braids.

Ok, twenty-16, let's see what you've got. Bring it on. Let's do this.

See you on the flip side.

28 December 2015


Now that Christmas is over...i guess i should post about Thanksgiving!

It was just me and my dad, but i did NOT skimp on the amount of food. We had a full feast.

Prepping the turkey

Berry Apple Pie

The Spread
 While my dad was there, we put up Christmas lights on my apartment, went and cut down my Christmas tree and made wreaths for my porch and for Mr. B's door.

We found it!
Pretty tree
My boss let me drive his *ridiculous* truck to haul my tree

Wreath for my back porch with tree leftovers
Decorated Tree
Homemade book page ornaments
Mr B's festive door
See my "book tree?"

16 December 2015

10 little wishes

In a perfect world...

*Taco Bell would deliver.

*Roads would be water resistant.

*Feet would never itch once they were in a pair of calf high boots.

*Chocolate wouldn't have any more calories than celery (or celery would taste like chocolate).

*Everybody would use their turn signals.

*Computers would never freeze.

*Snow wouldn't be quite so wet.

*Five hours of sleep would leave persons feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

*Nylons would not run.

*The Beatles would be on Spotify.

14 December 2015


"It's so cliche to talk about all the things that changed over the course of a year. Why doesn't anybody talk about the things that never changed?

Here's to everyone who tried to change and failed miserably."


07 December 2015

It's about time

Lately, for some reason, i have received a lot of spam phone calls for all sorts of bologna. But what is so bothersome to me isn't really the call itself. After all, it only takes a moment to hang up the phone. i am annoyed because many of them are asking for "Mrs. Olson" or "Jennifer Olson."


i have much gratitude that i am no longer an Olson. And yet, my blog is still under that name. So it's time for a change.

i'm not exactly sure how all of this works, but if you are following my blog, i'm changing the URL next week. It will now be found under:


Come find me there!

25 November 2015

Bryce Canyon

When we were down in St George for my marathon in October, Mr B and i stopped by Cedar Breaks on our way back north. It gave me a desire to visit Bryce Canyon, but i didn't think that it was going to happen this year.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, one Tuesday night we were discussing our weekend plans. For some reason, i suggested driving to southern Utah to Bryce Canyon that weekend. Not really expecting Mr B to take me seriously, i was shocked when he said, "Well....I'd just have to be back for my meetings on Sunday morning..."

So we went!

 We drove down to Provo on Friday after work. Saturday morning, we woke up early and finished the trip, arriving mid-morning to the canyon. Mr B had never been there. i was sooo excited for him to see it, that i was bouncing for most of our drive.

looking out over Inspiration Point
We spent the first couple of hours at the different lookout points, getting a view of the amphitheater from above and enjoying a picnic lunch. 

Dusting of snow

Although i had visited, i had never hiked down among the hoodoos. After some research, i had selected a 7 mile hike for us that looped in a figure 8 and combined three of the "best trails" in that part of the park. We were pretty stoked as we dropped down into the slot-like canyons. It didn't take us long to realize that you can't grasp the magnitude of the place until you get down inside and hike around the amphitheater.

There were some other hikers (especially at the very start of the hike) but it was pretty empty for the most part. It was chilly during the day, with the high temperature peaking in the mid40s. But with the beautiful sunshine (and our fairly strenuous hike) we were just fine.

The most surprising thing to me was how interesting and different every mile of the hike was. Sometimes we were right next to the hoodoos and the trees:

Sometimes we were in narrow slot canyons between fins:

Sometimes we were going through tunnels:

And, sometimes those tunnels led us to look out over fabulous vistas:

Besides that, the hike was very up and down and windy, which kept it engaging and exciting.

Looking down on the switchbacks we just climbed
We took sooo many pictures because we were both blown away by the unique beauty of the place. In the end, we finally realized a camera was never going to capture it.

After our hike, we went out to "Bryce Overlook" which was the best one of the park. We bundled up, got ourselves our picnic dinner and watched the sunset.

Then we bundled up even more (man did it get cold!) and hunkered down to watch the stars come out. The milky way appeared in the sky above us. We both saw several brightly shooting stars and saw the moon set. It was cold, clear and stunningly beautiful. When we were sufficiently frozen, we trooped back to the car and drove back to Provo for the night.

Based on the storm the swept into the west this week, that will be our last non-snow related adventure of the year. i'm so grateful we had a chance to do one last spontaneous hike together in a magnificent place.

23 November 2015

Do You Hear the Muscles Scream?

Legs Miserables reunited for my last race of the year. 

i was nervous because i only ran a couple of times between the St George full marathon and this race. Putting so many miles on the months before really did a number on my legs and i was battling with who knows what (shin splints? a stress fracture? tendinitis?) but basically it hurt to run and i knew the best thing would be to rest before this race. 

Fun to run with these talented folks again
It was another ULTRA relay. 1 van. 200 miles, 6 people. 30ish hours. Each runner averaging 30-35 miles total. No time to sleep. Painful. Ridiculous. And exhilarating. This race was down in Las Vegas.

The start line was up in the Mountains to the Northwest of town and it was nice and cold for us (especially those teammates from Texas).

Maybe i'm a Ragnar addict

i was totally outclassed by this team. They were fast and relentless. i am NOT fast. However, i didn't ever give up, no matter how tired or how much i was hurting or how hot i got. So maybe that means i'm relentless too?
Switching the baton at an exchange
Run, Jennifer, Run!
We started at the top of the mountain behind me

There was the usual Ragnar/relay silliness. Some of it can be blamed on lack of sleep, tired legs, and being stuck in a van without showering and with the same people for over 30 hours. But some of it is just because i had a hilarious team.

When you get lost, stick up your giraffe heads and we will find you!

Because it was the beginning of November, the nights were already eternal. It was a little bit difficult to run in darkness for SO MANY HOURS. But luckily i had some new reflective running tights. And my dad came around to cheer us on for a couple of hours.

Night gear! Vest, headlamp and dotty tights

Besides my father, i did have some great cheerleaders communicating via text messages. My favorite was my nephew.

"Go Auntie Geege!"
"F#$& your injuries!"

When we saw the sun come up and reflect on Lake Mead, we all cheered. It was almost as exciting as finishing the race. Almost.

Yay for daylight!
Along with daylight came the heat. My second to last leg was along the edge of the Lake for a bit and then along a windy trail through (and up) the foothills around it. It was beautifully ugly and very interesting, although difficult leg.

hot sun
No van support on this trail

For the first time EVER in one of my relays, my last leg was not either 1- ridiculously long 2- ridiculously steep 3- BOTH. In fact, it was my shortest and easiest. Man did it feel good to end the race running my heart out on my last leg and sprinting in to my personal finish.


We still had three runners after me to go, though. Which meant one more sunset and another couple of hours of running in the dark. We were so glad to finish.

"Together We Ran 200ish Miles"

Since we ran UTAH Wasatch Back Ragnar and LAS VEGAS Ragnar in the same year, we got the coveted "Saints and Sinners" medallions. i never thought i would be able to do an ultra relay. And to double medal on an ultra team kind of blew my mind.

This is the first time in a VERY long time that i am not currently signed up for a race in the future. i'm sure that next summer will see me racing again. And i am still running. But it's kind of nice just to RUN right now, without stressing out about an upcoming race.

16 November 2015

And then there was William

i thought i couldn't love another little human being as much as i love my niece. Apparently, my new nephew is an exception. 

i got to drive up to Montana to meet him before he was even three weeks old. i cannot wait until January when they move just a little bit closer to me.

The drive up
My first time holding William 
"Get out of my face, Aunt Jennifer!" 
"Oh my heck...I have to put up with her my whole life??"
William curled up in my lap
Morning time cuddles
Handsome little man
Baby wearing

Sister+baby+cinnamon icecream=Happy Jennifer
Up at 1am because i wanted to watch him sleep

i love these people. i'm glad they are mine. 
He's pretty much my favorite little goober of a boy ever. i am grateful that he is in my life.