Navajo Lake State Park

A couple of weeks ago we ventured to Navajo Lake State Park. We spent the weekend camping and playing in the lake. It turned out to be a great place and everyone had a wonderful time! The park is actually quite big, with quite a drive from one end to the next. We camped on Sims Mesa, but we also drove down to the dam to see the San Juan River. The San Juan is supposed to have some of the best fly fishing in New Mexico. Next time we go, we will camp on the San Juan so Rob can get up early and fly fish.

This visit was more water play than fishing. We took the kick boats out, the kids played in the water, and the boys even found a great rock about 15 feet up that they jumped off over and over again.

Many years ago, Rob challenged me to stick my head under water in the Willamette River. I was hesitant at first, but eventually did it. Boy, was it cold! The San Juan was cold as well, so I double-dog dared Rob to stick his head under. To my surprise, he did! (I guess one never can resist a double-dog dare!) That got the kids all interested, so after an offer of $5 each, the did it as well. It was fun and cold and now I owe quite a bit of money for various challenges!

It was a great weekend get-away and we look forward to going back. There are so many great places to camp and fish that we rarely hit the same place twice, but Navajo Lake and the San Juan River will definitely be an exception.

June Wrap-up

I cannot believe June has ended already, and with it the first month of summer vacation! The summer got off to a slow start, but has since picked up speed and is just flying by!

My sweet BooBerry!

Hard to believe Liam turned 15 back on the 6th. Wow. Looking back through pictures reminded me of the deal he and I made back when he was 4 years old. He was a thumb-sucker, and as he approached his 5th birthday, I really tried to get him to break the habit. He was resistant, of course, so I decided to bargain with him. I would give up my favorite part of the day (which happened to be nap time…) if he would give up his thumb. He told me that on his 5th birthday, he would stop sucking his thumb. Well, true to his word, he woke up on his 5th birthday and that thumb never went into his mouth again. I still miss nap time… That was 10 years ago now! It seems like just a few months ago…

Happy 15th Birthday, Boo!

Speaking of Liam, he has been doing football conditioning three times a week since the second week of June. Conditioning is optional, but it is really getting the boys who can attend into great shape! Official practice starts on August 6, and Liam is really excited for high school practice. It is looking to be a good year for the team.

Back on the 17th, Rob and I celebrated our 17th Anniversary! Once again, how time doth fly! Hard to believe we are coming up on 20 years of knowing each other! Are we really old enough to have known each other that long? Why yes, yes we are… I think I will insert another ‘Wow’ here!

Love, Love, LOVE this man!

The twins and I have been staying busy while Liam has been in football. There are a lot of activities around the area that we have been attending. They have also been doing a lot of swimming. Catheryn is getting ready for the start of the cross-country season on July 23 and Nathan is looking forward to the start of football on August 13. I have already received school registration dates, which tells me just how fast the summer is going!

July is looking to be another busy month. For those of you who remember the 50th birthday trip to Alaska we surprised Rob with months ago, you may be surprised to hear that he is leaving TOMORROW! It was months away and now it is tomorrow! I think he is going to have a blast.

Many of you may know that we are required to live here in the park. We requested to move out last summer, but were denied. We decided to try again this year, and they granted our request! After 8 years of our kids sharing a room (yes, EIGHT…) they will finally have their own rooms in the little house we are purchasing in town! We close on July 25 and could not be more excited!

I think that is about it for now. I am hoping that once we move into town we will have better internet so I will be able to load pictures and updates more regularly. For now, though, I am grateful for the library. 🙂

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!!!!!

Another Chapter Complete

I always have a hard time around this time of year. You see, today is the last day of school. And while I am excited to have my kids home for the summer, it breaks my heart to know that another chapter in their childhoods is coming to a close.

This is the last day of 8th grade for Liam. He is moving on to high school now, which means I only have four years left with him at home. Four years. He has always been a challenging child, and there have been countless times when I was not sure if I would survive from one day to the next. Now here we are, a few short years away from graduation, and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. I still see my little baby, his sideways smile forever etched on my heart.

My twins are now 8th graders. Seriously. Teenagers. Only a short year behind their brother when it comes to graduation. One more year of middle school, and it is high school for them as well. I am watching them grow into amazing, beautiful people, and my heart smiles. And it cries. And I find myself spinning in circles, not exactly sure what to do. How is one to hold them close and set them free at the same time?

I try to live in the moment, enjoy what is in front of me at this exact moment in time and not worry about what is to come. Sometimes I fail miserably at this. Like right now. This will pass, and pretty soon we will be enjoying summer and I will not be thinking about school and how old my kids are getting and how ridiculously fast time is going. But right now I just want to hit the rewind button. I want to go back and be a better mom, enjoy the little moments more than I did back when I was in them and completely exhausted.

I used to work with a woman back when the kids were little. The twins were 2 and Liam was 3. Her daughter was older, so every time she would see my kids, she would comment on how much she missed her toddler, but how much she loved her teenager. I remember trying at the time to imagine what it would be like to be the mom of teenagers, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t picture my babies as teens. It was impossible, not to mention so far off that it would never actually happen. Now here we sit, three teenagers in our family, and all I can think is, I really miss my toddlers, but I sure do love my teenagers. Life is funny.

I wish I were one of those people who could stash my emotions away somewhere, always wearing my brave face no matter what, but unfortunately I am not one of those people. Every emotion I feel seems to stamp itself right on my face. There is no hiding anything. I know that growing up is perfectly natural, a simple fact of life, Babies grow up, life goes on. And I know that every moment is precious and meant to be cherished. My head knows and understands this, but my heart does not always agree. I should be excited for the next chapter to begin, but I am still a little sad about the ending of the previous one.

Oh, but I am so very grateful for this life and these beautiful young adults who call me mom. I am grateful to get be a part of their journey. As I sit here thinking back over the last school year, I know that I would not change a thing…

Weekend at the Lake

It is hard to believe it is the end of May already. This year is just flying by! Last year we did not make it out for as much camping as we would have liked, so this year we decided to get a better start. For Memorial Day weekend, we made our way to Morphy Lake State Park. It is a small lake a little over two hours from here. The water level is really low due to lack of snow this winter, but that did not stop people from heading out to fish. The lake was quite crowded every day that we were there.

We set up camp on Friday and spent three nights. We spent the weekend fishing and playing on the boats. The kids caught crawdads and frogs, even some baby fish. It was a great relaxing way to spend the weekend.

Everyone had a wonderful time and we are looking forward to heading out again. Unfortunately, a lot of campgrounds are now closed due to extreme fire danger. Hopefully we will get some good rain soon.

I have some catching up to do on the blog, but since pictures will not load with our poor internet at home, I have to come to town to get it done. It is my goal to get all caught up within the next week or so. I guess late is always better than never!

For now, though, here are some pictures from our weekend. 🙂 Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Nathan was the first to catch a fish!

It was quite muddy, so everything, fish included, ended up brown…

This one was determined to catch the most fish on day 1, which he did. He caught 6.

Camping fish fry!

Nathan loves sleeping in his hammock when we go camping.

Family and Fun

We had a wonderful visit with my parents this past weekend. We live 15 hours apart, so it is not exactly easy to get together, so we enjoy every minute we have to share. They happened to be here for a track meet on Saturday, so it was really nice that they were able to see the kids run. Unfortunately, Liam has an injury, so he was not able to compete, but they got to watch the twins. They even took home souvenir sunburns!

Nathan had such a great day! He placed 2nd in the 110m hurdles and also ran the 800m leg of the 1600m medley relay where they also placed second. In fact, he did so well, that he found his name on the Varsity roster for the meet in Albuquerque today! He is so excited!

Go Nathan!!!

Catheryn ran the 800m and did really well. She was disappointed with her time, which was slower than usual, but she is just going to work harder. In the meet today, she will be running the 1600m instead of the 800m. It will be her first race at the mile distance, so we will see how she does. I can’t wait! Liam is still out with an injury, but he will go with me to watch his team run.

Catheryn in the 800m open run.

On Sunday, we went for a hike through the park and climbed up Alcove House. That was something my dad really wanted to do, so it was fun to be able to take him out there. It was really just a nice, relaxing day. In the evening we went out to watch the turkey vultures start coming in for the night. They roost here in the canyon, so there are quite a few circling up above before they land in the trees. They are neat to watch. And of course, we took family pictures.

The kids with Grammy and Grampy.

Me and Rob with my parents, Bill and Caryn.

Our crazy family

Like I said, it was a wonderful weekend. I am so glad my parents were able to drive all the way down here so we could spend some time together. They are planning on coming down for Thanksgiving, so we have another great visit to look forward to!!!

~Special Thanks to my parents for being so incredibly awesome! We love you so much!!!~

Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos National Historical Park is only about 70 miles from our house, so I am little embarrassed to admit that it has taken us two years to finally make it there. We pass it all the time on the way to wrestling tournaments or football games, but we never really have time to stop. On our way home from Kansas, we finally took the time. It was a great history lesson with a chance to stretch our legs for a bit.

Ruins

My crazy kids are photo-bomb happy…

I think if they heard “Hey, let me take your picture!” one more time, they would have hog-tied me and left me along the road somewhere…

A little over an hour after Leaving Pecos NHS, we arrived back home. As fun as it is to take trips, it is always nice to get back home. I am pretty sure the kitties were happy to see us! Charbie had fun out exploring with us, but I think even he was happy to have his favorite lounge spots back. Only two days left, and then it was back to school for the kids. There are just two months remaining in the school year, which seems hard to believe, but apparently time really has gone that fast.

Time to start planning our next adventure!

Dodge City and Beyond

We got up in the morning and walked around downtown Dodge City a little bit. We stopped into the Visitor’s Center and checked out an antique shop I had read about. It is definitely the off season because it was pretty quiet. The Visitor’s Center has a map for people to put pins in their home towns. Each month has a different colored pin, and there were not many locations pinned yet. We were showed the map from last year and it was filled! As it was, we were just the second pin in the state of New Mexico, the first being in Albuquerque.

A fun sign we found on the way to Dodge City.

Kansas Countryside

Dodge City

Dodge City

After lunch we decided to hit the zoo. The Wright Park Zoo is very small but cute, right in the middle of town. It is free to visit, but they do accept donations. We always enjoy visiting the animals, and this little zoo was the perfect place to do that.

It is true what they say about the wind never stopping in Kansas. It blew and blew the entire time we were there, well, except for a few minutes at Fort Larned when the flag was practically still. That probably does not happen very often! We had a wonderful time, though, and western Kansas is beautiful. (I am a sucker for farmland and cows.) Our plan was to start driving towards home until we found a nice place to camp for the night. That happened not too far inside New Mexico at Clayton Lake State Park. It was a great place to spend the evening.

After a good night’s rest, we would head for home in the morning.