Saturday, April 30, 2011


Never has Gavin had so much fun sitting so quietly. 

He hadn't seen his cousin for quite some time. Now they're both a little older and while they were together last week, they both seemed so mature... I think they each felt that way too...

They spent the afternoon playing outside for the longest time, comparing experiences and skills... sizing each other up. Each enjoying the older version of the other.

They played several games of Pick-Up Sticks. I loved watching as they sat perched on a shared kitchen stool, engrossed in their game, while adults carried on conversation around them and the babies played at their feet. They were in their own world. It was sweet to watch... 

They loved every second of a simple game, with colored sticks. They were quiet... content. Announcing that we had to leave for home was difficult to do. I hated to break up the game... but summer will be here before we know it and I'm sure they'll be able to pick up right where they left off... they'll be able to play together under the summer sun, as slightly older versions of themselves.

Friday, April 29, 2011


The book of my life has been filled with some really great characters. There have been villains and there have been hero's.

The story has consisted of fun adventures and painful events. All of which have been learning experiences.

There has been love in my story. There has been loss too.

Today one chapter in my book ended. It was a great one... again filled with many people and experiences. This chapter helped me to define where my skills lie... what I enjoy in a career. This chapter spanned 14 years of my life... years filled with some of the most significant things that will ever happen to me. I met and married my husband in this chapter. My children were all born in this chapter. I found some of my life's greatest friends in this chapter.

Today the Author decided that this particular chapter must come to a close. It's bittersweet... but it's also okay. Time marches on, and I've realized that I need something new. A challenge. A couple of new characters in my story. Maybe even a little drama to spice things up (just a little). 

As I reflect on where I've been and where the future will lead, I'm not sad. I've become the person I am today because of what I've done along the way. I have a lot to learn and a lot to do, but I've grown a lot too. I believe that is what life's Author has in mind.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I've really been looking forward to getting back to 'normal' at work. Thus far that hasn't quite come to fruition. It will happen though. I guess it's just going to take a little bit longer. Things at home this week, although not quite as hectic as last week, are still unusually busy.

Gavin is on the mend. He is getting used to his cast, even though every task, no matter how small, is more difficult. He's even managed to turn his attitude around, which I'm ever so thankful for.

Benett had an appointment with the wonderful Dr. Knoeble today. We love her. She loves the little ones right back. He went to see her for the ridge on his head... it's been there since the day he was born... the result of a traumatic birth. (At least it was traumatic for me...) In addition to a thumbs-up check-up, she confirmed two things: 1.) Benett is cute and has extraordinarily long lashes. 2.) When Benett becomes a bald old man, he'll have a noticeably lumpy head. I can live with each diagnosis.

Ellie was up last night from about 3:00 - 4:00 AM. She just wanted to play. Apparently, it's true... girls just wanna have fun.

I feel like I've really earned this weekend. I'm looking forward to it being laid back. Quiet. I'm hoping it involves sleeping in too. Weekend mornings when everyone piled into our bed is a great thing for me. It seems to set the tone for the day. Just like this snapshot from Sunday morning. (Yes, Gavin is giving himself bunny ears.) These are the moments that really matter to me... those spent happily as a family, loving each other's company...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The business of consolidating one company into another is not an easy one. I get that. We're all under a lot of pressure. There are many, many decisions to be made. Some are easy... clear cut. Others are much more detailed and require teams of people working on behalf of both companies to sort things out. In that process there is bound to be confusion, communication challenges and mistakes made along the way.

I'm not suggesting that this tricky situation should be easy. It's not. I'm not suggesting that there shouldn't be mistakes. There are. It happens. We're human.

Some of the humans in this process are working hard, to make things happen... good things... Other humans are working hard to find a stage on which to ingratiate themselves to both the current and new company leadership. In the process these humans are ruffling feathers. Mine today... well, they were especially disheveled.

Fortunately, up until now, the only real ruffles in my life have been in Ellie's wardrobe. I'm just nuts for ruffled pants! So much so that I've found myself on the lookout for plain leggings to embellish... like these that Ellie sported this weekend. I think they're cute.

Maybe it's just me, but I think that when she's wearing them, she seems to have a little extra sass in her typically mild-mannered little self... I think ruffled buns have a tendency do that to a person.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Mr. Benett and I got a little alone time on Friday. I'm sorry to say that it is something that only happens on rare occasions these days.

He's at a stage in his life where he becomes so engrossed in play that it takes quite a commotion (or food) to break him away.

He's so serious about his play, in fact, that he's converted the window seat into his play stage. It's transforms quickly from farm... to an ocean filled with boats... to a magical combination of the two.

I enjoy watching as the stories unfold. It's better than network programming. He's especially good on his own. When his brother and sister are there to disrupt his carefully scripted and evolving stories, he becomes frustrated.

He does look to his big brother for cues when he's in unfamiliar territory... which we're trying to teach Gavin... that he's always got an observer... that's a whole other story, but suffice it to say that Gavin enjoys an audience.

Easter morning was a great example of Benett needing his big brother's guidance. At first, he just kind of wandered around the house pointing at the colorful eggs. Until he saw how excited Gavin was... then Benett got right into the action.

I'm pretty sure that I enjoyed those too few hours alone with Benett more than he did... but I think I'll make it a priority to make those opportunities for 'moments' happen more often.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gavin's Easter

Each year as Gavin gets older, the morning ritual has gradually become a little bit later and later.

Gavin has always been our early riser. Even as a baby, he'd wake early and them squeal until we came to rescue him from his crib. At about 10 months, when he started to walk and grow impatient when we didn't come to retrieve him as quickly as he'd like, he began liberating himself in the morning. He'd hoist himself up and throw a leg over the edge of the crib and then slide/fall down to freedom.

It was a shock the first time he came running into our bedroom in the early morning hours, as a 10 month-old. Eventually we gave up the charade, and removed the rail from his crib. (That was a sad day for me... I knew we'd be chasing him all over the house at all hours of the day and night.)

I love this picture of baby Gavin. Doesn't Ellie have an uncanny (brown-eyed) resemblance to Gavin as a baby? I love how much alike the two of them look. The picture of Gavin also shows just how happy he was a a baby... He's still a happy, joyful child. Hope that continues... it will serve him well in life.

Gavin still gets up early, but now it's a 6:30-ish early, which on the weekend is as close to sleeping in as we get. On Easter Sunday I was prepared for a really early morning, which didn't end up to be so early after all. Gavin came upstairs close to his usual time... and I had to go wake Benett. It was a nice treat.

All three children got into the Easter Egg hunting action. They all seemed to enjoy themselves. It was fun to watch them... although I'm sure I'll be mortified to see the video that Monte took. I know I was 'bossing' Gavin around... He just gets so excited and is not unlike a tornado swirling around the house. My intentions were good.... I was only trying to give the two little ones a chance to discover and claim at least a couple of the eggs hidden around the house.... Oh well... I guess those little videos are supposed to be snapshots in time, rather than these perfect vignettes... or the stuff of inspiration for the likes of Norman Rockwell. That's hard to admit, when we try so hard to make everything "perfect."

This picture of Gavin on Easter morning is great. It's him to a T! Shirtless - it must be some kind of boy instinct... I can't explain his need to be shirtless... Exuberant - his immediate reaction to finding an egg was to shout "I found one!" and then proceed to vigorously shake it... Resourceful - I enjoyed watching the way he held his basket, never seemingly bothered about his status as a temporary righty.

In the end I think Gavin had a great day, despite my 'bossiness.' At bedtime, while we're snuggling, I usually ask what his favorite part of the day was... on this evening I was expecting to hear him say how much he loved the candy and 'stuff' he received... but Gavin, who never ceases to amaze replied instead, "My favorite part of today is right now, here with you mommy."

This little boy has taught me so very much about what it means to love... to really love. He has helped me to understand that "love" isn't a happy ending, but rather a journey. One I'll happily take with him, each day, for the rest of my life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Last night I had the misfortune of sewing with invisible thread.

I was making Ellie a little felt Easter bag. I thought it would be easy for her to carry while gathering eggs. I also thought that since I was using multi-colored ric-rac, I'd use invisible thread. Brilliant!

You see, the trouble with invisible thread is that... it's invisible. Imagine trying to wind a bobbin with invisible thread. Not fun.

In addition to not being able to see it, this thread is also slippery. It's like sewing with really thin fishing line. It tends to slip off the spool and get wound around the spool pin... which wouldn't be a big deal, if it weren't INVISIBLE. It's a frustrating task, untying a knot.

When it winds around the pin, the thread gets pulled too taught and the bobbin starts to act wonky, making loops on the back of the fabric. Eventually, the thread will snap.... and because the thread is INVISIBLE one may sew along for a while before realizing.

Exasperating this scenario was the time. It didn't help that it was late and I was trying to finish. At long last, I got it done... but needless to say, I won't be sewing with invisible thread again in the very near future... Invisible thread has taken round one. But don't worry about me, I'm feisty. I'll be back again.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Gavin and I colored Easter eggs last night. I had a little bit of guilt, since we didn't include Benett. He was still under the weather, and Gavin just could wait one minute longer.

We don't buy the fancy dye kits. It's just food coloring and vinegar for us. This specimen was my favorite... we called the technique 'Drip Dying.'

Gavin really got into the spirit. He named some of the eggs this year. This one was named "Professor Magma." Don't ask me... I don't know where that came from, but I think the name is pretty snappy.

This boy is very creative... the messier the better. As you can see, he 'Drip Dyed' his arms too.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Mom says the first time Ryan had the flu was in 1981. She remembers because it was the day Princess Dianna got married.... the three of us were all headed to Barb & Dave's house to watch the wedding... hmmm, I'm sure there is something else there to comment on, but I'll leave it alone... anyway, it must have been an omen for Di... That Charles ended up to be such a scoundrel.

2011 was the first time Benett had the flu. It was April 22, 2011. I remember because he made me a participant... I won't elaborate. 

2011 was also the first time Ellie had the flu. Again, I won't elaborate. I'm pretty sure it's not an omen, after all, Monte helped me clean up. No scoundrel would be so helpful.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


On any given day, there are approximately 3,182 arguments /disagreements/fights/skirmishes at my house. Many times, the perpetrator is Mr. Benett.

He looks pretty innocuous, right? Well, he may be small, but he casts a large shadow. Benett has embraced the terrible two's and is going with it.

He unleashes the wrath of his two-year-old furry on his big brother. Most times Gavin is asking for it. But lately, Benett's been turning on little Ellie. Tonight I caught him just walking right into and over her, not unlike a steamroller. She fell down, began to cry, then do the silent cry and then do the drama-mama scream. (The drama-mama scream is part "ouch" and part tantrum. It was a new discovery for me as the mother of a girl... the boys never did anything like it.) I picked her up and she was soon happy and out of the fray.

After a couple of minutes Ellie wanted down, so she could play. Or so I thought... but as I think back, I'm convinced that the only reason she wanted me to pick her up was so that she could plot her revenge. Because as soon as I put her down she took a swipe at Benett as she walked past.


I have a feeling that we're going to see a boom in the number of arguments/disagreements/fights/skirmishes in the not too distant future. Poor Benett... I think karma is about to catch up with him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Temporary Righty

The results of Gavin's x-ray confirmed that his finger was fractured. I'm not sure why they have such a convoluted way of doing things sometimes, but the doctors asked us to visit the ER this morning to get treatment and a cast. Why not just make an appointment in the Casting Department directly?

I won't go there...

So we got up early and made our way to the hospital early this morning. I didn't want to spend my day waiting to be seen. Things went smoothly, and there was no wait to speak of. The most difficult part was that they asked that Gavin not eat before the procedure. He is always (always) hungry. And boy, oh boy, this kid can eat... not eating was a hardship.

We decided that since correcting the misalignment of the finger could cause more damage to the growth plate, that we'd just cast his hand the way it was. I'm hoping the doctor really knows his stuff... he said the finger would most likely correct itself anyway... no need for the additional trauma.

I have a feeling Gavin's hand/finger is going to have permanent 'character' and will be a constant reminder that I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM IN RIGHT AWAY! I keep kicking myself... but it just seemed like a jammed finger. A sprain. No big deal, right? Wrong again... Despite my lack of motherly-medical instinct, Gavin has been a trooper.

He's even getting used to being a Temporary Righty. I'm thinking that if he has to become right hand dominant for the next three weeks that I should try to become a Temporary Lefty. I think I'll give it a shot, but I'm not holding out much hope of being able to stick with it. It's a good thing Gavin is more patient that I.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Lately I've been in a reminiscing phase. It seems like the bigger and more independent the children get, the more frequently I dig back into my memories to recall them as babies... or smaller versions of the people they've grown into.

There is something comforting about this process. It's like wrapping the precious memories around you and experiencing them over again as an older (and hopefully wiser) individual... it's real and grounding and has been helpful in these uncertain times. It's reminded me that these are the things that matter... really matter... and there is no life event... no person... who can take these things from me. They are deeply personal. They are mine, forever and for always.

Benett wasn't even 12 hours old when this picture was taken. I can remember every second of these moments when Gavin met his baby brother. We were deliriously happy and terrified all at once. Things seemed simpler then. I know they weren't... they were just different.

At some point down the road I'll look back on the stage the kids are at now and become nostalgic... Benett's funny sense of humor and strong-willed self, Gavin singing the sweetest made-up songs to pacify his baby sister, and Ellie's funny toothless grin that has the power to transform even the dreariest day into something special...

We're still deliriously happy and terrified all at once. And that is good enough for me.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Gavin is really getting into sports. I have to admit, it's fun to see. Monte is thrilled. He and Gavin have enthusiastically found some common ground... Playing catch is a new part of our post supper-time routine... much to my chagrin, playing catch is no longer just an outside game... *sigh*

Each evening, as Gavin recalls the activities of the day, he tells tales of recess time filled with basketball, soccer or football games. (It's especially entertaining to hear him talk about football plays!)

Last week, in addition to his story about playing football at recess, Gavin had a swollen finger and a reenactment of an especially daring and spectacular catch. Although his finger was sore and really swollen, he could move it a little and he didn't seem too bothered by it. I taped his pinky and neighboring ring finger together and sent him off to bed. The following day, in addition to the swelling, we now had a black and blue finger and palm.

At this point I was concerned, but still Gavin wasn't in too much pain and my Mayo book said that swelling and bruising was normal for a sprain... after all, it's just a jammed finger, right? Nope. We finally took him in today since it was still a puffy mess, and the x-rays confirmed a fractured finger.

That means Gavin is on the disabled list until further notice. No more football, soccer or basketball at recess. He's going to have to cool it for a while until we figure out what's next. And what can possibly come next?!

Ellie also had a trip to the Dr.'s office today... she decided to break a fall at daycare with her face. She ended up with a little bit of a bruise on her forehead, some cuts on the inside of her lip and a swollen nose. (Knowing our luck, the black eyes will come tomorrow.) I kept my hysterics to a minimum, and after a call to the nurse line, we took Ell to the doctor. She's in good spirits and the doctor gave her two thumbs up. She was so good in fact that we decided to give her the 12 month immunizations that she was needing. I know... I know... but my logic was to get all of the yucky stuff out of the way at once. Poor Ellie.

I shudder to think what's next. Thankfully, Benett's healthy as a horse. All of that dirt-eating has his tolerance built up to super-natural levels... but I'm knocking on wood anyway.

I know every day is supposed to be an adventure, but seriously, I'm ready for boring. We've had enough 'adventure' in the last week to last us a good long while.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


It's April. It's not supposed to snow in April. Saturday was like a cruel joke. I was ready for a warm weekend where we could enjoy the outdoors. Instead it was cold and very windy.

I'm longing for those summer days when we venture outside in the morning and don't seem to make our way back to the house until the sun begins to set. I can't wait for that...

As I was flipping through some of our vacation pictures, I came across this one. (I must have been fascinated by cacti... I have so many pictures of them.) This picture feels warm. It's what we needed this weekend.

I guess it just goes to show, that no matter what we THINK we need, reality can be something totally different. We just have to do the best with what we're given. So the upside to the cold, snowy weekend was that I got all of the laundry done. All of it! Every last bit! There isn't even a dirty sock to be found. Now that's satisfaction.

Friday, April 15, 2011


This week has been a whirlwind. It's impossible that the announcement to sell HJ Photo was Monday and today is only Friday of the same week. It seems like we've lived through a months worth of information and excitement and uncertainty and fear in a weeks time.

Its just occurred to me that I'm completely spent. I feel as though right now I have nothing left to give. As a result, all of these emotions are bubbling up to the surface. I am not able to keep them carefully tucked safely away to feel later. They're just right out there... that loss of control is a rough thing for me.

Tonight I was rocking Ellie and couldn't keep the tears at bay. They just wouldn't stop. I had all of these unrelated things going through my head... I understand that it's related to all of the uncertainty in life right now... but sheesh... it's nothing to cry about.

I want to have things both ways. I want to explore opportunities, but stay here. I want to meet new people, but enjoy all of the friendships that I've grown to love and count on in Lewiston. I want things to stay the same, but change a little. I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Legos are not a fad at our house, they are a way of life. Legos are 24/7... and scattered all over the house. It's like they can't be contained... Gavin also doesn't want to be too far from them, so he plants Lego cars/space ships/motorcycles/etc throughout the house. It used to drive me nuts, but I'm used to it now.

I think even my feet are getting on the bandwagon, because it doesn't seem to hurt as much when I step on them these days.

The cool thing about Legos is that you can make almost anything with them. All you need is a little imagination, a dash of problem solving and the patience to dig through a pile of bricks in search of just the right piece. That also seems to be a good analogy for my life.

Imagination and creativity are things that wax and wane for me. Some days I feel really inspired. Other days not so much. Inspiration isn't something that I can command. It's not an on-demand service. I wish it were.

As a mother of three, problem solving is a basic job requirement. Things fall apart when problems don't get solved... it's a skill to recognize potential problems as opportunities. I'm trying to hone this skill. I've got a long way to go.

And patiences? Well, I'm trying... but I'm not very patient with myself either. This trait will take a lifetime to master.

In the meantime, I'm digging for that one elusive piece that will snap into place and make this thing that I'm creating just right. The trouble is, I don't know what that piece looks like. I have a vague idea of what the piece should do, but I just haven't found it. So, until I find that perfect piece I'll make do with what I have... it may take just a little extra creativity... It's funny the lessons that an adult can learn from a little boy with his pile of Legos.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I've been presented with a great deal of information in the past several days. The information has been provided in a manner that makes the intent clear. That transparency is refreshing. 

Information, whether it's clear or not, is an interesting thing. For me, in this situation, the overabundance of content has caused as much confusion as clarity.

It's a little bit like looking at trees... forgetting that all of those trees make up a forest. Maybe that's a weird analogy... but in my head each piece of information is a tree. Interesting on it's own. Combined with everything else that tree makes up something completely different.

That change of perspective is exciting. To look at the trees and the forest and figure out how I fit in it... how my family fit in exciting. What that means exactly, I don't know... but for now, I think I'll stay here and enjoy the view for a while.


B: "Mom! Listen!"
Mom: "What is it? What do you hear?"
B: "Look! Over dere!"
Mom: "Over where? What do you see?"
B: "Right dere! It's a Penguin!"
Mom: (Hysterical laughing)
B: "What funny, Mommy?"
Mom: "Benett that's a Robin."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


With the wind in my face and the landscape whirring past, I'm racing towards an end. Not the finish line, things are not that definitive.

The choice of word 'race' is also subject to scrutiny... but the pace has been accelerated and in my role as a mother of boys, going fast means racing.

Today went fast. Today felt like a race. I'm racing to deliver information. The fact that so much emphasis is placed on providing facts, making people comfortable and being transparent in these actions is a relief and a comfort. It makes my job measurably easier.

These actions are not unlike the job of parenting.
Teaching is sharing information.
Mothering is explaining reality and helping those who are dependent on you comfortable with that reality and their role in it.
Patience is understanding that the teaching/learning and mothering/comforting isn't always easy, but with it comes great reward.
Loving is knowing all of the above, and regardless of the difficulty and sacrifice, doing anyway because the people are what is most important.

In business and in parenting there are sacrifices and great rewards... life lessons that forever shape and change who we are... no matter which path we choose.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Like many, I've been headed down a path in my professional life without paying much attention. I have worked hard... made sacrifices. I've been fortunate to have some degree of success. But somehow it feels like I've just been following a path that was laid out for me. The path was clear. It wasn't  always 'easy' but it was obvious what I should do.

Today I suddenly looked up and am wondering how I got to this point. It's like going for a walk, and becoming lost in thought... when you come around again you know generally how you got to where you are, but don't really remember the details...

This is not the path that I had envisioned for myself as an idealistic college student completing a degree and contemplating where it might take me... a college student imagining what it meant to be a 'business professional' created a different picture in my 20-something brain. Yet if I knew then what I know now, I'd realize that successful and blessed are two completely different things. And even if I'm not the picture of 'success' I feel very deeply blessed.

Nonetheless, here I am. And today my path is suddenly less clear. There is now a fork in the road. A fork and a decision. Do I keep headed straight and true down my path? Or do I veer right?

Forget about comfortable and familiar... Those two things will be more elusive in the days/weeks/months to come. I'm sure they'll come around again, things always seem to work out... but until that happens I'll be waiting here. At the fork in my road, considering which way to go.


The snow had receded, and slowly signs of spring can be found. Beneath the garden litter tender green shoots are breaking forth.

The perennial bed on the South side of the house always has some of the first signs of Spring in my yard. About this time each year I go there for my fix. This year is no different.

They're small, but these Lilies will be wild and beautiful in a couple short months. I can almost see their bright color now. The thought of color is delicious.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


A kind word. A gentle touch. A simple gesture... A shared toy may seem like a small thing, but for a two-year-old this is monumental.

Perhaps it was the fresh air. Maybe it was the fact that we could be outside, playing, without being bundled up. Either way, this quick moment was one of the most significant of the weekend.

It gave me hope that Benett may soon near the end of the "mine" stage. We're all ready for that... apparently even Benett.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


It's the weekend!

We've left behind the homework and the daycare center. We've left behind the office and the daily grind.

We're all so glad, we can hardly stand it.

We'll finishing winding down today, so that by this time tomorrow we can begin preparing for the week ahead.

With the sun peaking out, we may venture out after dinner, for a hike. There is something special about the country air. It's therapy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It's one of those things that goes unnoticed for the most part on a day to day basis. Only the combination of absence and passage of time seem to bring forth the realization that things are steadily moving forward, growing... changing.

The tiny little seeds that were gently tucked into the soil a few short weeks ago are now green and lush. They're not the fragile little stems they once were. Bathing in the sun, they've become leafy plants... I can almost see them reaching for the sun, as they grow steadily each day.

The little people that I left behind a week ago also, impossibly, seem changed. They're bigger, faster, leaner, chattier, toothier... older. Each has progressed a little in his and her own way. It's a stark realization, yet something I never would have noticed had I not left.

It makes me wonder what else has changed while I was too busy to notice?

That inspiration to reflect has pointed out that the people, places and experiences in my life have certainly shaped and colored my world... at times inspiring me... always changing me. Regardless of what it may seem like at the time... lets face it, not every experience seems great when we're going through it... you only have to pace the floors with a sick child once or suffer a loss or disappointment to realize that not all experiences are necessarily welcome... but welcome or not, cumulatively, they comprise who we are... who we become.

I guess the challenge is to learn from every experience, and even when we might not feel like it, to reach for the sun... becoming a little less fragile and steadily growing day by day.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Home at last. It feels great. It was wonderful to be able to hug the children. To be back here, where we belong.

We were only able to go away because we knew that the children would be so well cared for in our absence. The kids loved having Nana & Bapa with them. I think Nana & Bapa were more than ready to relax at home.

I am missing one thing from our trip... Some of the food we enjoyed was wonderful, but this... this plate was one of the best things I've ever eaten - Papas Rancheras. It was so good we ate at the Burrito Company twice. And the green chilies... well I'm not sure how to enjoy a meal with out them now.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


This is Taos Pueblo. The community is settled under the watchful eye of the mountains. The buildings and the Hornos (Spanish for Adobe ovens) have a quiet beauty.

The people were so nice and one man we met was so friendly. He chatted with us quite a bit. The others seemed sad. The quiet magnified that feeling for me. I wanted to hear children at play. I wanted to hear the babbling of the nearby river. But it was quiet.

The other thing I noticed was the smell. The ovens burn cedar wood. It's a wonderful smell.

I'm not sure why, but I was especially enthralled by the ovens. There is something about them that attracted me. We bought some bread baked in the oven, that morning. It was a small but heavy loaf. It looked delightful. We saved it and ate it with our evening cocktails. It tasted just as good as it looked... very satisfying.

We're off for our adventure today. I wonder what will cross our path...

Friday, April 1, 2011


The setting is as different from home as I think possible. There is nothing that is reminiscent of home. But the people are nice and Monte and I are enjoying our time together.

We're being your typical tourists. Doing touristy things. Taking lots of pictures. Reading lots of maps. (Loving the Garmin.) Eating at some great places. Enjoying lovely views. Being tourists is an okay thing to be.

I've been surprised by all of the homeless. I wasn't expecting... so many. In our touristy adventures we've also met many of the native people. They're very nice. Welcoming. They seem happy that we're here doing our touristy things. And even happier when we leave behind our touristy cash.

Yesterday we met also met a couple who drove here from Minneapolis. They were nice. They mentioned driving across the Rio Grande Bridge. Specifically, they called it a "butt tingling" drive. Monte and I were up for tingly buns, so we drove over.

The picture above is deceiving, but it's a half mile down to the water. A long, long way down. Monte was brave and walked to the center to take a couple of pictures. Not me. I'm a big chicken. My hands get sweaty just looking at the pictures.

This picture is at the bottom. I was a little braver at the bottom.

So this is us being touristy. It's been fun. We have a couple of touristy days remaining... but I'm missing the children so. I'm ready to give up being a tourist, for just being mom.