Really frustrating… I don't think I'll ever own another BMW because of all the stupid plastic guards.

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Valle Vidal

I hesitate to post this because I think it's letting out a secret… New Mexico isn't the same as the Sahara. I know that's a shock, and if you can't handle that, you better not read any further. In fact, if you live in California don't read any further anyway. Although I know it isn't great for the New Mexican economy, I actually like that people have the wrong idea about our state; that way they stay out of it! Arizona is overrun by people from around the country looking for the Grand Canyon in Phoenix. All they find is pavement so hot, you'll melt your feet. That's probably not fair to the fun things that you can do all over the state, but I have to say the New Mexico is not nearly as bad as the inexperienced claim.

As proof, I submit pictures from our most recent vacation. We went hiking and camping north of Taos, NM in a wilderness area called Valle Vidal. I was just gorgeous!

One day we hiked up to a dam (looking for the lake on the other side) only find that the dam and lake were on private property. Gotta hate that. Mia loved the river, though.

Dad thought he would cool off, but decided it was TOO cold.

Here he is with Dallin showing how pleasant the temperature of the water was...

Well, I couldn't have that. I wanted to see what was on the other side. So Mia and I ventured forth.

Dallin wanted to come too.
We made it! (Mia did too, just not in the same trip).
Dallin discovered oversized dandelions.
I used an old sheet of Dad's to make a wrap for Mia for the hike, since we didn't bring her snazy backpack.
Oh, and this is how to build a fire in the rain.
John and Dad had such a rough time getting the fire going this day because it was so wet and the rain kept putting out whatever they got going. It turns out that one of the sticks in our pile was from an old rancher tending to cows. He would dip the stick in tar and pitch and use it to seal wounds on cattle. When we finally got that one in the fire, it practically erupted! If only we had known, that would have been a lot easier fire to build!

We had so much fun, it was just the right temperature (mid-70's) and there was even rain to make the mountains seem greener. We definitely missed Mom, though. Thanks for showing us more of the beauty of New Mexico, Dad!

Fun at the Baumer's

I have a terrible predicament; since I've started working 2nd shift, I'm much better at staying up late, and much worse at going to bed early. So after everyone is in bed, I sit and entertain myself for hours because I'm NOT tired. I would much rather get up early in the morning and be productive. At night I have the idea that I'm just 'winding down' and eventually I'll get tired and go to bed... then hours later I find myself blogging.

ANYHOW - I've whined for long enough, I suppose I'll have to show you what the children were doing while they were away. For 9 days. 9 WHOLE days. That was rough, but you have to see that Dallin's soccer skills are improving.

And guess what... Mia is left footed! She's a budding left-wing!
She's also very patient. Here she is waiting for her turn with the ball. I love the hands on the hips!

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My favorite things...

I have a new favorite. I know I haven't been to even half of the temples in the world, but this one is my new favorite. It was absolutely beautiful inside and out. We were able to visit during the amazing McNeill Family Reunion 2010. (I'll post pictures of that later.) They had the Manti Temple Pagent while we were there and John got some awesome pictures. I had the idea for the day-time one. I think it looks like an angel on top of the temple.

Mia fell asleep during our walk around the temple and decided I was a good bed...

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Coral Pink Sand Dunes

So John and the kids are still gone! I've been cleaning and thinning toys (shhh...don't tell Dallin). I'm SO missing them! They're supposed to be coming back Wednesday, so I'm in the home stretch. I thought I would post some pictures of my babies to help ease the loneliness. These are pictures taken at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The sand dunes were so much bigger than they look in the pictures.

So, this last one was taken at the Gage's house (my grandparents) - Mia and Dallin were SO happy to be out of the car. We had a ton of fun; the Gage home is full of all kind of neat toys. It was absolutely beautiful up there.

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4th of July

We had so much fun over the 4th. I saw my mom for the first time since her chemo/radiation treatments for thyroid cancer. How wonderful it was just to sit a laugh with her. Dad and I had fun just listening to her play with the children and laugh. She has such a great love for life and never holds back with her laugh. We took the family to the Tubac fireworks show just south of us. It was short and sweet. John and Phil had a chance to get some fun pictures. We had a great weekend with friends and family playing baseball at the park, watching movies and playing with new toys. John took the kids back to Albuquerque with my parents to work on Dad's patio, but instead everyone is sick! I guess he'll be spending a little more time up there than expected...

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New Beginnings

So I pretty much abandoned my blog after Arkansas- being home was just too overwhelming! So now, over six months later, I've finally got enough guilt that I'm going to try to start again. My little family went up to Utah for the McNeill Family Reunion recently and seized the opportunity to visit family we haven't seen in almost 6 years! My mother's parents live in Idaho and are pretty hard to visit. We got to see spend the day with them on Monday and it was a blast. Our trip home included several stops; John's cousin Thomas welcomed us to his beautiful victorian home in Logan, we visited the Capitol and Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and then the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in southern Utah (we skipped Bryce Canyon because it was packed full!)

We were gone for a week and it was just awesome. I really miss spending that much time with my babies and John took the opportunity to get some time behind the camera. He focused mostly on the artsy pictures, so I don't have too wide of a variety of people pictures, so enjoy!

This was the night we arrived in Manti; Uncle Ian took care of the cousins' need for marshmallows.

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