Baden turned 6 today! He is so much fun. He makes us laugh every day. He is a huge Hulk fan so he specifically asked for a Hulk cake. I am not a cake decorator and since I am working full time, it was off to Wal-Mart. I have bought cakes from them before and they always do a good job. This time around they didn’t have the cake kit shown in the book so we had to improvise. I spelled Baden’s name out in capital letters, but they still got it wrong. The frosting was purple so it couldn’t just be wiped off. Thankfully my mom was here to help Baden celebrate so she fixed the cake. I did complain and got a $10 gift card which I gave to Baden. He wasn’t too disappointed with the cake and it tasted good. He had a great day!
The small town of Monticello bursts at the seams when it is the 24th of July. It is a tradition that can’t be missed! Every year, the state of Utah celebrates the day (July 24, 1847) when the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. It is a time honored tradition and one that we can’t miss. Monticello has a parade and the kids line the streets to gather candy. Then we head over to Pioneer Park for food and fun. Later in the evening, we head to the football field for fireworks.
The boys have wanted a swing set since we moved into our house. We finally got around to putting one up. This one said it was a hour build, but it wasn’t especially in the New Mexico heat. Despite some grumbling, the swing set looks great and the boys and dogs had a great time breaking it in.
Once we got to Taos, we went to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. This bridge is close to 600 feet high. Too high for me. When you are driving out to the bridge you don’t even realize you are there until you are going across. I got that familiar pit in the bottom of my stomach when crossing. We parked and I started to walk out onto the bridge. But Bill stopped me and said I better not come out because I would freak out. I found some nice rocks and stayed put. I hadn’t seen the pictures that Bill took until I uploaded them and they make my stomach queasy. I watched people looking over the side and it made me nervous. The rocks were a good place for me.
After the bridge, Bill, the boys and I decided to take a drive up to Taos Ski Valley. There wasn’t a lot happening. The ski lift was running. Both of the boys wanted to go. They have never been on a ski lift and really wanted to go up. I did not. I have been on a ski lift in Vermont with skis on so it was a little different experience. Not wanting to disappoint the boys, I said I would go up. I got on the lift just fine. The boys sat in the middle with me on one end and Bill on the other. I kept my eyes closed for most of the ride. The boys were make observations about how high we were and look I can see our car. I had a death grip on the safety bar and wasn’t letting go. As we got closer to the top, Billy patted me on the arm and said, “Don’t worry. We are almost there.” When we got to the point that the bar had to come up so we could get off, I didn’t want to let go. Bill said I freaked out. I didn’t, but I was close. I was so happy to be on land again. I told Bill we need to walk around for a little bit before I could face going down. But Bill said I would really freak out so we started walking down the mountain. I wasn’t sure we were going to make it. Bill, who broke his knee in February, was a trooper. He walked backwards and sideways at times. At one point, he got going down the mountain and couldn’t stop. We did make it down and the boys decided to go on one last ride up and down the ski lift. I stayed on terra firma. On the plus side, Billy signed off one of the requirements for his Bear Badge in Cub Scouts.
Over Father’s Day weekend, Bill’s sister and her family came down to visit. We started our adventure in Santa Fe. Then we took the High Road to Taos. We stopped at the beautiful sanctuary of Chimayo’ and enjoyed the scenery on our way to Taos. In Taos, we went to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and Taos Ski Valley. It was a fun weekend with memories that will last a lifetime.
One day Bill was outside on the back porch and noticed a nest. Inside the nest were 4 eggs. Over the next few weeks, we watched the mom and dad bird come in and sit on the eggs. Then on a beautiful Saturday morning, the eggs hatched. It was amazing. We kept our distance by watching the birds through the window closest to the nest. We got to watch the mom and dad feed the babies and we occasionally would go out and take some pictures. Then one weekend, we went away on a trip. When we came back the chicks were gone. We were only gone two days. They had outgrown the nest and flew away. It was kind of a sad day. Our little house guests were gone.
After a lot of credit hours, tests, papers and stress, Bill graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics. He graduated summa cum laude! An awesome feat as he worked full time and went to school. We are all so proud of him. Jessica and Bill’s mom came down from Utah to help celebrate. The ceremony was held at the Balloon Museum, a fitting spot for the graduation of the only aeronautical university in the United States. To top the day off, we went to Sadie’s for some delicious New Mexican food.
A few days later it was Baden’s turn. He graduated from kindergarten! It doesn’t seem possible that my little boy is ready to conquer first grade. The beginning of the year was tough. He was not enamored with school at all. Luckily, he was placed into Ms. Beth’s classroom. She is an awesome teacher. The class learned about the planets, hatched chicks in their classroom, made applesauce, went to see the Nutcracker ballet, went to the zoo and learned so much. Baden had some difficulty learning how to read, but Ms. Beth volunteered to stay after school with him two days a week. In a few weeks time, he was a totally different kid reading up a storm. I can’t say enough about Ms. Beth. She helped Baden learn to love school. At the graduation they had a photo booth with two frames and the one we picked for Baden is fitting. He truly did survive because I wasn’t sure he was going to make it through.
The night before Easter we colored eggs. Unfortunately, that’s all we got to do with them. I thought they were hard boiled, but they weren’t. The boys still had fun and that’s what counts. I will let them boil longer next time. Of course, the bunny ears made another appearance as they have for the last 9 years. Wouldn’t be Easter without a picture with the bunny ears.
When the PBR is in town, the riders will go to local stores to meet fans and sign autographs. When I found out some of our favorite riders would be out and about in Albuquerque, we headed down the hill to meet them.
My mom and dad were married 50 years ago on February 18th. My brother and I wanted to do something for them, but logistically we were having a hard time coming up with a time. Until that light bulb went off and I knew they would be in New Mexico for the Ty Murray Invitational PBR event. My brother, Jeff and his family traveled from California plus my Uncle Ron, cousin Christie and her two boys were able to come out from Reno. A small, but fun group! Mom and Dad were so surprised to see my uncle, cousin and her two boys show up on a rouse they were here looking at colleges. Then my brother and his family showed up posing as the pizza delivery crew. We had a great time reminiscing, laughing and enjoying being together. We had a dinner for mom and dad at the County Line BBQ and they had a great time. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!