::wandering:: abq with our family

Of course, the best part about ABQ was being home with family. Jill came from Seattle, Spencer and his family came in from Nigeria, AND Gramma came in from Oklahoma! Lots of folks were feeling a little under the weather, whether from nose surgeries, or colds, so we stayed pretty close to home most of the time, watching old home movies, sorting through family pictures, and computing together (I think at one point we had five laptops out on the kitchen table!?!)
Spencer's family got some four wheelers for Christmas, so we went out a few times to ride (and run the puppies!) - NM is the perfect place for off road vehicles - we went out just behind their house a couple of times, and out west of town once. It was fairly uneventful: one broken thumb, one missing child (but found!), and one messed up bumper - oh, and Mom even drove!
Thanks to everyone for such a fun time. I can't wait until the next time we can all get together!
All photos out in the desert while folks were four wheeling, except pic 2: me and gramma in front of Spencer and Amber's Christmas tree and pic 3: a family picture, after la iglesia


::wandering:: winter in the southwest

After Christmas with Chad's family, we headed home, worked for three days, then packed up the puppies again
and headed out to New Mexico to visit with my family. Of course, we picked the worst possible travel day
(repeat of 2009) and it turned the normally-ten-hour-drive into a miserable everyone-is-on-their-last-nerve-
by-the-time-we-drove-fourteen-hours-and-arrived-at-three-am-drive. However. I would like to state for the record
that I managed to stay awake the entire drive - I did not help drive, but I'm doing
much better at staying awake in the car.
Everytime we head to NM, I'm struck by how picturesque things are. They've really got some things going for it:

Luckily, on the way home, the weather was clear and the puppies were pooped, so we flew.
And on the return trip? Not only did I stay awake (except a little nap) but I actually DROVE for four hours!
I'll show you, Provigil!
Photos from the top:
1. umm, does it get any MORE picturesque? santa fe... (photo by my Dad)
2. oh, just albuquerque
3. the Christmas tree
4. desert, desert, desert
5. the decor at Sadie's where we ate some seriously HOT salsa
6. view of the Sandias from Mom and Dad's front room
7. a future tumbleweed (Arizona vegetation) in Holbrook
8. snow covered red rocks of Kanab
9. a southwest Christmas - Mom and Dad are so at home here!


I'm still carrying the bag I took to Hawaii. One day I was looking for something and saw that
my bag (purse, if you will?) had somehow morphed itself into a Mary Poppins Bag.
See the evidence for yourself:

Not impressed? Look closer.
When I started pulling things out, I wasn't surprised so much by the items in my bag. I was more surprised at the number of duplicate items.
So... in the spirit of record keeping, from the top:
beanie, hat, neckwarmer, ipod, ipod cable, camera charger, broken babushka USB drive, camera with tripod, extra tripod,
cell phone, cell phone charger, sunglasses, sunglasses, makeup bag, bandana, circle scarf, yellow scarf, buff, buff,
stack of paid and unpaid bills, checkbook, datebook, reading book, red moleskine, address book, thin moleskine,
national park journal, bag with four or five pair of earrings, bracelet made by my niece Kimberly, tweezers,
aleve (don't leave home without it), lip balm, eyelgass case, eyeglasses, and cleaning towel, the bag ITSELF,
my money budget folder, actual wallet, rubberband wallet, bag of change (needs to be deposited), one pen,
one sharpie, Altoids, ice scraper, and developed film from Hawaii
How many items can I wear around my neck at once? My head? (Actually, a lot. It's cold in the field.) Two tripods? Two sunglasses? But today is the day I change bags, and I'm certain that will change much of this.
Confession: This post is actually just a big brag. I'm kind of pleased with how much stuff I carry around.

ps. can i recommend a new-to-me station on Pandora? "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass"
pps. just finished reading "Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy" - 2 thumbs up!


::home:: some things...

we're finally home - for a while. we told ourselves that january would be spent at home. we'll see.
jill and i worked on 30 day challenges while we were together. i'm excited 'bout january! you'll see.
we got home late last night, but the puppies did soooo good.
my house needs a major, major, major cleaning.
AND i still need to take down the christmas tree.
my socks have a hole in them. i hate that. what a waste of otherwise perfectly good socks. just a little hole.
maybe i should try to darn my socks.
i was in the field today - but looked forward all day to our movie date.
we're watched salt on the couch. with blankets. hot chocolate. and cafe rio. a snuggle movie date.
before our movie date, i rearranged our bookshelves.
a few months back, i arranged them all by color. bad, bad idea. that's what design blogs will do to you.
i've been looking for a book for six months.
as i was rearranging, i finally found it.
what a joke.
that's all.


::wandering:: a mendon christmas

We spent a lovely holiday up north with Chad's family. This month has been a whirlwind, so it was exactly
what we needed - time to relax, spend some time with family, eat good food, and enjoy our time away from work.

photos from l-r:
1. Christmas in the Snow? Yes, please! 2. The kids watching a Christmas Eve movie (yes, Chad includes himself in that!) 3. A little Mele Kalikimaka brought home from the islands 4. Baking cookies (ps... look at the baby stroller in the background - Barb's floor is so clean it's reflecting!) and 5. Ready to deliver them 6. Rural Utah 7. Christmas decorations with family photos reflected in the background 8. Mendham Mountains 9. tiny trees 10. Skyping with ABQ family

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