Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Catching up

Have you ever had sooo much you wanted to say that you didn't even know where to begin, so you just didn't, and then time just got away from you and pretty soon the moment had passed and next thing you know, you're left feeling slightly guilty and vaguely regretting that you didn't just say it already but to do so now would just seem irrelevant?

Yeah, that's sort of how I've been feeling about this entire blog lately.

It's not that I even have anything BIG to share, it's just all those little things that I used to be so good about recording here to ensure that months or years from now, I'd remember it ever happened at all. (Because, as we say in nursing, "If you didn't document it, you didn't do it." Now admittedly, in the case of my profession that's all about "CYA", but I think I can safely say that the same rule applies here because seriously, looking back through my archives there are times that I know I would have already forgotten had I not included them here in my personal family scrapbook of sorts.)

But anyway...all of this to say that lately, I have been highly--though quite unintentionally--neglectful of this poor little blog. I've got drafts saved of things I wanted to write about, even drafts of drafts, but somehow, in this crazy busy real world, I've encountered delightful distractions too numerous to count and have never gotten back to finishing those original posts. And that's not all...I know there have been posts I've read on other people's blogs that, had I not had a nursing toddler in my lap, I totally would have commented on, but then I forget, and to go back and do so later would just (to me) feel awkward. I'm so strange, I know. In fact I'm a little embarrassed to be admitting here in this very public forum just how anal-retentive I can actually be! But there you have it. Now you know. And I sincerely hope I haven't hurt any feelings by my seeming indifference or lack of interest.

But now, just a brief peek into the fun filled weekend we recently enjoyed. I have to say, Darren and I have mastered the technique, I think, of packing as much fun as we possibly can into every waking minute when we take these short little weekend trips. We arrived at our hotel late Friday night and went straight to bed after unpacking, but we had all of Saturday and most of Sunday in which to play and visit. After breakfast Saturday morning, we visited the Rio Grande Botanic Garden and PNM Butterfly Pavilion.

Both were amazing. Dylan and Caitlyn absolutely loved the Garden Model Railroad, situated along the lush and shaded pathway to the Butterfly Pavilion. And oh, those butterflies. So incredible! Darren and I could have, quite happily, stayed in there for hours. We both had our cameras out, field guides in hand, excitedly snapping pictures and just standing in awe of all the beautiful butterflies freely flying about within arms reach. Dylan thought that if he stood really, really still, he just might trick one into landing on him. See the flowers held in each outstretched hand? Too cute!
After playing for a while in the extraordinary Children's Fantasy Garden... ...we met up with my brother's family at the Albuquerque Aquarium, which we hadn't been to since Dylan was about two years old.
We all went out to lunch together, then to a great used bookstore I had read about online. Oh, my goodness. I felt like a kid in a candy store! Magic School Bus...Tomie dePaola...and an entire section devoted to homeschooling! We've now got another box of books to find homes for on our crowded bookshelves, but I know it can be done. (I'm actually looking forward to tackling that project today!)

Saturday afternoon was spent swimming in the hotel pool, which was so much fun. The water was perfect, and Dylan and Caitlyn were just so hilarious to watch. Both have become so confident in the water, and it really shows when they're splashing and swimming and doing silly tricks! Even Meghan had a great time, and the only way they could be persuaded to come out was the promise of seeing their cousins at my brother's house for a cookout!

That evening was truly lovely. Between my brother, my cousin, and myself, we have one 5 year old, three 3 year olds, and three 1 year olds. It was awesome! And with an inflatable pool, a sandbox, a swingset, a slide, and numerous riding toys, there was not a single dull moment!Add into the equation several favorite adult relatives, some phenomenal food, and the rumble of thunder in the distance, and the night just couldn't have been anything other than an absolutely joyful experience! (About the food: I mean, really. Just look at this beautiful fruit salad! Do you see why my mouth is still smiling at the memory of it?!)

After Mass and lunch on Sunday morning, there was one final destination to be reached before heading back home: Cliff's Amusement Park. Stepping through the gate was like stepping back through time! This was always, by far, my favorite place to go while visiting my cousins when I was growing up. I hadn't been there in years, and it was just as thrilling as I remembered it! Dylan would have braved every single ride, had we let him, but was equally content to stick with the kiddie rides. These he rode with unabashed pleasure, running from one to the next with pure enthusiasm and glee. Meghan, though still too little to ride with her brother, did very much enjoy watching him, bouncing up and down in the seat of her stroller and pointing and laughing the entire time.

Caitlyn, on the other hand, did not enjoy the rides. She cried and cried, refusing to try even one. (Which, considering how much fun she's had in the past at amusement parks and fairs, came as quite a surprise to Darren and I.) Thankfully, though, my cousin was entertaining her two girls at Water Monkeys' Adventure (a separate and enclosed area of water slides, games, and sprinklers) and, as soon as Caitlyn discovered the fun they were having, the tears ceased and she joined them with a grin that radiated undiluted joy.

We were sad when the time finally came to head back home, but I think we were all ready to get back to the familiar comforts of routine. I know that Darren was particularly excited to go back to work yesterday. Being an outdoor enthusiast, he has been enjoying the most incredible nature hikes during his lunch breaks lately, and comes home every evening with the memory card of his camera full of amazing photos he's able to take in the desert. I think it goes without saying that this is, decidedly, one of his favorite--and most unexpected!--benefits of his new job! Honestly, you just have to see it to believe it. What a lucky guy!


Muddy Mama said...

What great pictures! My two year old loved sitting on my lap looking at the pictures of your little ones. So sweet!

By the way, I hope you don't mind, but you've been tagged. Come on by my site to check it out. You can play along or not. I hope you do. :)

Jane Ramsey said...

Beautiful pictures. It looks like you all had a great time!
Thanks for taking the time to catch us up on all that's been going on with you, too. (I need to do the same on my blog!)

Alice Gunther said...

Well, you have certainly done a wonderful job catching up!!! Thank you, Melissa!

Mom of boys said...

I am laughing because I am the exact same way about blogging! I have all sorts of things to write about, but can't at that moment. Then the moment passes, and I start to feel silly, as these thoughts are nothing huge.

Glad I am not the only one who does that!