2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Last October found us at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta once again. Rob’s sister, Mary Beth, and her husband, Jim, came down so we were able to experience it with them, and we had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, we were not quite as lucky this time around as we had been in the past. We went to two sessions, one evening and one morning. At the evening session, the wind was too strong and no balloons were able to inflate. We missed out on the night glow, but we did get to see some parachuters, the laser light show, and an incredible fireworks display.

At the morning session, lots of balloons were allowed to inflate, but none could take off, so we were not able to see the mass ascension. Normally the Canon balloon takes off first with the American flag while they play the National Anthem, but this year it was unable to do so. Instead, pilots all around the field lit their propane in what I heard was called a candlestick display. It was quite amazing and the first time we had ever seen it done. Balloons then filled all around the field and it was absolutely beautiful. I missed watching the mass ascension, but it was still wonderful to be able to share the experience with Jim and Mary Beth.

Candlestick Display

Happy Snow Year!!

Er… I mean… Happy New Year!! Let me start by saying that I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Because I am running so far behind schedule, I not only missed the twins’ wrestling season, the start of Liam’s wrestling season, and other family happenings, but I also missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now the New Year. As embarrassing as it is to admit, my last post was back in September…

I remain shocked at just how fast time goes. I am pretty sure just last week the new school year was starting, and now here we are in second semester already. When I stop and think about things coming up this year, I find myself speechless. Liam, who was born just last year, will be 16. 16! The twins will be 14 in a couple of weeks. How?! Come October, Rob and I will have known each other for 20 years. I do not feel old enough to have known someone for 20 years! And somehow we will have racked up 18 years of marriage in June.

Peej is under there somewhere…

Will someone please remind me again where the time goes? And why, oh why, does it insist on going so fast?

I am not usually big on resolutions, most likely because I tend to fail so miserably at them, but I do have one major focus for this year: PAY ATTENTION! Last year, so many things slipped right through my fingers. Holidays snuck up on me and passed by before I even had time to realize what had happened. The summer came and went while I was still trying to find the Valentine’s decorations. Christmas came before I even had time to figure out what the kids wanted to be for Halloween. I will not let that happen again. Time is too precious to let it slip away.

I must admit that 2019 is not off to the best start for us. As many of you know, Rob is a government employee working for the National Park Service. This is week 4 of him being on furlough due to the partial government shutdown. I keep telling myself that a paycheck is highly overrated, I just cannot get myself to believe it yet. I will keep trying… I am determined not to let this little setback set the tone for the whole year. This, too, shall pass, and when it does, life will go on and we will not look back.

We welcomed the New Year with a ridiculous amount of snow. It started snowing on New Year’s Eve, and continued to snow for the next 24 hours. Last Sunday we got another 8 inches. It is great for the mountains and the ski resorts that have not been open for the last few years, and it will make for an amazing spring, but right now… holy cow. Coming from up north, we are used to snow, but it has been a few years and even we are a little out of practice!

Since Rob did not have to go to work, he drove me to work a few days in a row, then helped pull multiple people out of ditches and parking lots. He was armed with a tow rope and tire chains and ended up being a life-saver for multiple stuck motorists. I think we got 22 inches in that first 24 hours. For around here, that is A LOT of snow.

Let me just take this moment to say that I hope that this year is your best year ever. May your struggles be few, your joys be many. May we all always remember what is truly important in this life, and just how precious time is. Anyone want to go build a snowman? (It doesn’t have to be a snowman… 😉 )

September 15, 2018 – Cross Country in Taos

Catheryn ran in her first Cross Country meet of the year back on September 15 up in Taos. It was a beautiful day for a run! They had an early start time, so the kids had to catch the bus at the middle school at 5:15am. If they were tired, you would have never known, because they all performed beautifully. Both the boys team and the girls team placed first!

Catheryn has not been overly impressed with her performances this year. She admitted to me a couple of weeks ago that she waited too long into the season to start pushing herself. She wants to run for the high school next year, so we have plans to run together in the off season. She has great potential, she just needs to believe in herself a little more. She will have her final middle school meet this Thursday here at home.

The start of the girls race

Catheryn on the first loop

The finish!

After the race

Getting the team award for first place.

September 6, 2018 – Nathan’s First Football Game

Nathan has his final football game of the season this Wednesday, so that makes me feel even worse about just now getting around to sharing his first game with you! I can tell you that the Hawks have had an amazing season! They are currently 6-0, and while the game this Wednesday might prove to be their toughest opponent, they are still aiming to finish the season with a perfect record. They have a great group of boys out there who all work really well together. It has been fun these past two years watching them grow and improve as a team. I guess now we will just have to wait and see how many of them go on to play High School football!

Nathan!

That’s Nathan on the ground… 🙂

The game was delayed due to weather, and it rained off and on, but it sure was fun!

Kick off, Nathan’s best friend is the kicker.

September 2, 2018 – Welcome Sandy!!

Many of you may remember that Nathan loves turtles. When we were travelling, he had his turtle, Flash, along with us. Unfortunately, it was really hard to keep an aquatic turtle on the road, so we left her with some friends in Pennsylvania. Needless to say, Nathan has missed having his pet turtle, so since we now have a place of our own, he took the money he had saved up and bought himself a new turtle. She is just as cute as Flash, but has a completely different personality. Nathan named her Sandy and she lives in his room with a few fish friends. Gatsby is grateful for these new friends, and he spends much of his day watching Turtle TV and trying to play with the fish…

Sandy’s new home

Sandy Girl

Gatsby’s favorite spot in the house!

September 1, 2018 – Welcome Gracey!

When we found out we could move out of the park, I half-jokingly asked Rob if we could get another cat once we had our own house, Much to my surprise, he said yes! Once we were pretty settled into our house, Catheryn and I went to the shelter and brought home a little kitty. She is a little Russian Blue mix and we decided to name her Gracey. (She came from the shelter as Pastellito, and that definitely had to go…)

I was amazed at how well our boy kitties accepted her. Hammy was a little grumpy about her at first, but Gatsby liked her right away. I remembered what a bully Hammy was when we first brought Gatsby home, so I really wanted a female this time around. There has not been a single cat scuffle since she arrived! She has only been with us for two weeks, but it feels as if she has been a part of our family forever!

She had been in the house 5 minutes, and was already perfectly “at home!”

Cutie Pie

Gatsby loves his new sister.

Please don’t tell Nathan that Gracey steals his stuffies…

Hammy and Gatsby are perfectly relaxed.

August 27, 2018 – First High School Football Game!

On August 27, Liam played in the first game of his high school football career. And he had a blast! He played really well and had some great catches. The Hilltoppers lost the game, but they all played hard and did an amazing job. Unfortunately, their second game of the season was cancelled for weather, but they did win their third game. Their fourth game was also cancelled, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that the fifth game is played according to schedule! I guess we will find out next Monday!

Liam was excited to get #85 again

In a sea of blue…

And he’s going down…

Watching from the sideline

They may have lost, but it was a great game!