There will be more posts coming soon with lots and lots of photos. And lots more photos. My girls and I took a ten day camping trip through New Mexico with my friend Annette and her four children.
We left shortly after I got home from work on Friday. The plan was to leave by about 2:30...which sort of happened. We left our house at 2:30 and went to the bank to get cash and then stopped to get gas. While we were getting gas, Michelle realized that she had 3 English assignments that needed to be turned in and one of them wasn't quite done. (The girls missed 3 days of school to go on this trip.) She agonized for a few minutes and I felt a tiny bit frustrated...but she decided that it was important to her to get the assignment done and give them to her friend Liv to turn in on Monday. So even though we were less than a 1/4 mile from the freeway, we turned around and headed back home (it's not that far...maybe 4 miles or so?). We all sat in the car while Michelle went in, finished the homework (took maybe 5-10 minutes) and took all 3 assignments over to her friend's house. Then we were on our way...close to 3:30. Which put us into Monticello later than I'd hoped. But it's okay. And while I was a tiny bit frustrated, I was mostly proud of Michelle for choosing to be so responsible and for caring about doing her best.
Annette arrived earlier and had put up tents and so we mostly just got ready for and went to bed that night...and FROZE. It was SO cold. It was no fun to get up and pack up the tents and sleeping bags in the cold. The kids mostly sat in the car. My hands were numb. But we were on our way.
I will detail, day by day, our many adventures. And include more photos than probably anyone cares to see (except us). But I first want to just record a few things I learned or want to remember if we ever do a long trip like this again.
First, ten days was maybe just a tiny bit too long. The last couple of days the girls were homesick and whiny and began to argue.
Second, if we go on a longish trip again, I should hide some of the treats/snacks for the last few days of the trip. While I thought I overprepared and I did have more actual MEALS than I needed, most of our lunches were pretty casual and were filled with lots of snacks like fruit cups, fresh fruits and veggies, granola bars and trail mix. I should have kept some of the snacks and treats hidden so that there would be new surprises for those last few days and especially the long drive home.
Third, a good book on CD makes any trip more enjoyable. I knew that...we are books on CD aficionados with all the driving it used to require to get my girls to and from school. But there were days that my kids asked when we would please drive somewhere so they could listen to more of The Candy Shop Wars and its sequel.
Fourth, bring winter coats and gloves if you are camping in the spring, even in the southwest. I brought heavy blankets and sweatshirts and hot chocolate...but the mornings were cold. Heavier jackets would have helped. (Fortunately, after the first two nights we were warm enough while we slept.)
Fifth, I just kept reflecting on the beauty of this Earth. We saw some really remarkable things. I kept finding myself singing "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." (LDS Primary Songbook 228)
Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by our lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heav'nly Father created for me.