The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at
home in the bosom of my family.

-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A hop, skip, and a jump

We’re teaching Alli to skip and despite the defective teacher (me) she has, she is surprisingly good. For whatever reason, I’ve never been a great hopper—jumping and bouncing around haven’t ever been super appealing to me. Today, whilst merrily watering the cucumbers in my garden, a teeny tiny garter snake quickly slithered inches from my Chaco exposed toes. I jumped and the height I reached in that air time might have qualified me for the China summer games. I HATE SNAKES. Loathe, despise, abhor, detest…there is nothing I like about them. Two distinct memories vividly flashed in my mind during that Michael Jordan “hang time” in the garden. Once, when I was seven, my mom and sister Rachel were at the cabin in AZ and went creek wading. A very harmless, very unknowing water snake made its way back home via the top of my immersed foot. I vaguely remember learning that snakes have ears and I’m sure he, regrettably, heard my unending screams. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to fainting. The second memory was of a trip to Santa Barbara, CA to learn to surf a couple years ago. In the quaint downtown of that seaside city there are “snake people” hanging out on the street with boxes (really, boxes) full of snakes. They let people see how many they can drape on their bodies and my friends really got into it. I sat on a bench on the street corner, trying to control my breathing. Am I just as abnormal as I’ve always joked I am?

***What are some of your phobias?

***Have you had any close encounters with unconsciousness in dealing with them?

PS I had a really hard time putting the picture of the snake up, it creeps me out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Land of Enchantment

New Mexico is called the land of enchantment for several obvious reasons. By unanimous approval it is the best state in the United States (yes, folks, New Mexico is a part of the USA) based solely on the fact that it is the home of green chile—no need to say more, but, no worries, I will say more. It is where you can find some of the best pizza and sandwiches (thanks, Dion’s), made even better because of green chile. And let’s not forget the best place for dining anytime of the day or night, Flying Star, who, by the way, also has some great green chile dishes.

Eating aside, New Mexico also offers some other really great attractions, like family. Alli loved playing with her cousin, Rachel, and the two were inseparable from the time we got there. Nick and I love spending time with my parents and brother, Matthew and his wife, Samantha and their adorable family. We really feel blessed to have such a wonderful extended family.

One of the highlights of our vacation was the time spent at my grandparents’ cabin in the White Mountains of Alpine, Arizona (on the NM/AZ border). The real perk (for me) was no internet and no cell phone reception (since I got more Nick time). Activities there included hiking, relaxing to the big band tunes played on the 8 Track, hiking, fishing, and hiking. We even got to hike Chapache Peak (a pretty rigorous hike close to the cabin) on our one year anniversary (never fear, I plan to create a post exclusively based on our one year of marital bliss later—prepare to vomit—we’re still head over heels!).

At the amazing Albuquerque Zoo....move over, Hogle, this is a REAL zoo! Alli is soaked from having played in the water park they have there.

It's not a vacation unless you go swimming with cousins! Alli wins the 180 degree award becasue last summer Nick and I used to have claw marks on our shoulders after going swimming, but now we can't keep up with her!

Carson and Landon celebrated thier birthdays cowboy style and the party was decked out with hats, bandanas, horse back riding, crafts, a BBQ........and 60 mph winds which honestly only dampened some of the party.
These two were best buds the whole time. Thanks to Rachel, Alli had the Barbie awakening. It was so fun to see them use "Barbie" voices and trade dresses and make Barbie houses.
At first, Carson wasn't so sure how he felt about being in a boat. Being as daring as he is, I was shoked to see him being so timid.