Darren has been home on vacation for this entire week, so I myself have been enjoying a rather lovely vacation of sorts, too. Yesterday, for example, I was afforded a small pleasure of pure indulgence: I went shopping all by myself! My first stop was Target, where I intended to buy the laundry detergent and coffee I had forgotten on our grocery shopping excursion the previous day, but where I also ended up finding the most adorable shoes for Caitlyn, Meghan, and myself, and a really cute diaper bag marked down half price on one of the clearance shelves in the baby department. From Target I headed to the mall in search of a gift for my Nana (whose birthday celebration I attended last night with the girls while Darren stayed home with a getting-over-the-flu-and-still-not-quite-well Dylan). I parked at JC Penney because it was closest to the shop I had in mind, and while I was passing through I thought I'd look for some new jeans. When I found some nice ones on sale for nearly half price, I felt quite justified in buying two! (And I did find a very lovely stained glass cross for my Nana.)
Today was absolutely gorgeous, clear and bright with an afternoon high of 78 degrees! We all headed outside to play for a while and work in our garden this morning and it was pure bliss. While winter may be unleashing a final freezing fury across much of the rest of the country, here in sunny New Mexico we are seeing the first hints of a very splendid spring!
When we relandscaped our front yard two summers ago, I wanted to include trees which would display beautiful fall foliage as well as pretty spring blossoms, so we decided on two young Bradford Pears. They were the perfect choice, and they are looking so pretty right now with their delicate white flowers and emerging green leaves.
I am also quite enamored with the plum tree we planted in our backyard last fall. It is one that Darren found on sale for less than five dollars and at the time, it didn't look like much. But now it is covered in the most deliciously scented flowers! Caitlyn and I stood for quite a while earlier today, admiring the beauty of the blossoms and inhaling their sweet fragrance.And I know I'm not the only one who loves rosemary! Ours is especially lovely right now with it's little purple flowers and inviting aroma. I was particularly happy to see the first of the Vinca flowers we planted beneath our rose bushes in our front bed. It looked so bare last year that we thought they'd make a nice ground cover. The vines have already filled in quite a bit and they will look so beautiful when they're all in bloom. Even Darren's cacti are in beautiful bloom! I've written before about the stunning display of his desert garden, but I'm still astounded by the brilliance of their blooms. Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.
Of course, no post would be complete without some pictures of my precious children. They all had so much fun playing outside today that I just had to get some pictures of them, too! It didn't take long for Caitlyn to find the bubble blow I had tucked away in our bag of outdoor lawn games. Meghan had a blast in her swing, watching Cait blow bubbles and laughing at Dylan, who was busy enjoying his position as reigning King of the Backyard.And, although it doesn't look very exciting at the moment, here is one of my favorite things about today: this plot of yard which Darren dug up in preparation for the vegetable garden we're planning!
Oh, and one more thing I just have to share! We were all so thrilled this morning when Darren excitedly announced a discovery he made while examining the flower bed just off our back porch: When my mom moved into her new house a little over a year ago, we adopted her five pet turtles and they made themselves right at home in our backyard. Somehow, though, I never even considered the possibility that they might reproduce! The adults have been hibernating all winter long, so we were positively stunned to find this adorable baby this morning. He is so cute! And so tiny! Here he is in Dylan's small hand: We considered trying to keep him inside in a terrarium of sorts, but ultimately decided to keep him outside. He's obviously doing well for himself, so for now we'll leave him be. I can't wait to see if any brothers or sisters make an appearance in the coming weeks!