Friday, April 26, 2013

So much to much to enjoy

One thing about living out here is that there's always so much for us to do--together!  This month as a family we enjoyed such projects as planting new trees and plants in our yard and vegetables in the garden...we built and painted a new garden fence, put up a pretty new humming bird dinner bell, added a home-made tire swing to Enoc's swing set in the backyard...and we cleaned out an old mobile home and fixed it up to become our new storage unit; something I've been wanting to do for months! Last Friday evening for our "date" we drove out to the Florida Mountains with the kids just as the sun was setting. There we collected a truckload of river rocks for our ongoing landscaping project. Enoc always loves being right in the middle of all the action and tries to help in any way he can. And Eden just enjoys going along for the ride in my baby backpack. As long as she's not left out and can see what's going on, she's a pretty happy little girl.

Diego keeps very busy helping his dad with the trailer restoration business, the gardens and the new root cellar project (tough, messy work). Then in any spare moment he has, my amazing handyman husband works on my endless honey-do list--without complaint. He also tends to our yard and trees, builds cool things out of wood (booster seat for Enoc, wood lamp for the living room, etc.)...he recently took up a new hobby--tanning beautiful skins (rattlesnake, skunk, rabbit, coyote, badger, bobcat)...he helps me cook when possible, plays with our children...and just when it seems he should be collapsing into bed exhausted from another crazy day--he always stays up longer to read his favorite Gospel books or study for his Sunday classes. What a gem of a man he is.

I spend most of my time at home with our two sweet babies. I manage to keep them entertained as I cook, clean, do laundry, work on video and photo projects on the computer, etc. Usually I'm either holding Eden or Enoc--sometimes both!--and it's funny how as moms we find ourselves narrating our life story one action at a time just to keep the kids amused--so they don't feel left out, anxious or ignored. "LOOK honey, Mommy found the broom! Now she's sweeping....Uh-oh! Is Eden crying? Ok, Mommy's picking her up. Little baby girl, don't get mad...oh, there's that smile...Oops, did mama almost trip on the dust pan? Scary. Let's see who's texting mommy's phone...where is it? Here it is! Ok, Daddy's gonna be home soon. Let's put on Thomas so mommy can cook. Choo! Choooooo! All right! Woohoo!..."

    Yesterday I spent a good chunk of my day transplanting all our houseplants to larger pots. Like the kids, they're growing up so fast! I buckled the kids into the double stroller then took them with me out to shovel up a few bucket-loads of chicken droppings and horse manure which I added to my plants' new soil. It wasn't until all the plants were trimmed up and settled into their new areas in the house that I realized...oh boy, something stinks! I guess some fertalizers just aren't meant to be indoors. No problem, I just plugged a new Glade air freshener into the wall, and in minutes the house was filled with the scent of fresh berries!
I enjoy my daily walk with the kiddos to collect the mail from our box up the street aways...or to throw our food scraps out to the chickens or hand feed the horse. Getting outside for even a few minutes can be so therapeutic! Today I enjoyed a nice bike ride on the orange basket-bike with the kiddos. I snatched a little yellow plastic chair out from under an old trailer in the "junkyard" section of our land...that's where Enoc sat--ever so merrily in the front basket next to Eden's baby seat. The three of us biked out to the mail boxes...then, feeling ambitious, we went the extra mile out to Red Onion Road.

Then we turned around and came home: "Hold on tight!" I tell Enoc, as we cross over the bumpy cattle guard..."Where's the big bird?" I ask, as we search for the fenced in emu that mysteriously appeard out here some years back..."Oh, sad. Look that a little bunny on the road?" (fresh road kill)..."Yucky trash...see? By that cactus?" I'll usually pick up any debris that gets blown around out here (beer cans, grocery bags, paper). I stuff the trash anywhere I can until we get home and I can throw it away. But today I didn't want to lose momentum, so those cans will have to wait til later. Enoc is filled with words and lets them all burst out suddenly, "Cactus? Pokey? Owie? Trash? Bird? Bunny? Scared? Mail? Walking? Bike? Sun? Bright? Hat? Sister? Eee-in? Mommy? Mommy? Dada?"

We were about 5 minutes away from home when I noticed Enoc's little head bopping around in front of me...although he was still sitting upright in his little yellow chair, holding our mail tightly in his hand--he had fallen asleep! Afraid that he might fall forward and into the road, I reached forward to hold his shoulder back with one hand while steering the bike with the other. Two beautiful sleeping babies and one very proud, enamored mother. "Happy, happy," as Enoc would say.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let the gardening begin....again

My first impression of Deming when we moved here last year was...well, I felt like I was looking at the world through sepia-colored glasses. Then Spring came, and Diego's dad put us all to work on the gardening was quite a spectacle, and more work than I could have imagined, but boy, what a sight to see when all was said and done. Though my amazing father-in-law did most of the work, he let Diego and I reap the benefits of the harvest. We started up our own booth at the Farmer's Market in El Paso; out on the road at 4am...and home by 2pm every Saturday. What an exhausting yet remarkable experience for us...and a financial blessing. We learned much, made new friends, and grew closer as we got to work together to support our little family.
Well, once again, Spring is bustin' out all with THREE gardens rather than one, it's bound to be a very eventful, beautiful summer here on the Quintana Ranch. For FHE with Diego's family (about a month or two ago) we had a lesson on planting seeds of faith, and we planted a bunch of seeds in little starter cups. Last week was transplant week--after several weeks of soil preparation, putting in new drip systems, building fences, etc. It won't be long now til we're out there enjoying our little patch of heaven again as a family. Here are a few pictures of last year's garden and the Farmer's Market.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Living the good life

It has been a year since Diego and I moved to Deming, NM to begin our new life on the Quintana Ranch. I knew when we left my beloved Provo, UT that my life would never be the same. Yes, life out here is quite is remote, it is desert, it is chickens, rattlesnakes and is dirty little hands and sun chapped is clotheslines, well water, tractors and eating by the sweat of our is the crackling of a bonfire, the roaring of four-wheelers, the ringing of the dinner bell after a hard-days' is breathtaking sunsets and starlit skies. Our new life here in Deming is simple and free, and we are truly living the good life.   



Friday, March 8, 2013

Back to blogging

My last blog entry was written 2 weeks into my wonderful marriage to Diego. Three years, three homes and two children later--I'm back. My cousin-in-law and good friend Ginene Nicoll loaned me a great book called "Heaven is Here" written by an amazing girl (Stephanie Clark Nielson) whom I went to high school with and who lived just down the street from me. She is now a mother of 5 who manages to be a supermom, author, avid blogger (journal keeper), home-maker and missionary after miraculously surviving a plane crash that left her and her husband severely burned. Her book, her blog (, and Ginene's new blog ( have inspired me to pick up my blog again. I see it as a fun way to keep a journal and record the special memories of my life as a wife and mother and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why I Love Diego

I found this old journal entry I had written 3 years ago...just a few months after marrying Diego. It's a sweet reminder to me of all the reasons I need to cherish him everyday. Nowadays life can get so busy with two kiddos, and I sometimes take Diego for granted...forgetting how blessed I really am to have such a wonderful man in my life. Here's to you, Diegs...

                                                                                       I discover that I love Diego more every day.
I love Diego because he makes the bed, washes the dishes, takes out the trash, cleans up after himself, helps me get in and out of the truck, steadies me when walking on ice, tells me I look beautiful, lets me laugh as loud as I want or vent as much as I need too. And when I’m extremely tired he puts up with me being either ridiculously silly or frustratingly grouchy. He lets me be myself completely. He is very thoughtful and tender and patient with me, yet I appreciate so much that he will be serious and stern with me when he needs to be. I love that he is always asking me how I feel and what I want. He is so concerned for my comfort, well-being and happiness.

I love him because he makes me laugh everyday, treats me like a queen, is honest and open about his feelings and frustrations, keeps me in line, lets me know what I'm doing well and inspires me to improve in my weaker areas. I love Diego because he is full of surprises, but not when it comes to his behavior. He has never put on a front or masked his true self from me. He does what he wants, how he wants and speaks his mind without reservation. Yet, when I show disapproval he will listen, explain his reasoning and respect our differences. Diego is often quick to apologize and even more quick to forgive. He is never too stubborn to admit at times that he was wrong.

I love him because he can get me to talk and open up in ways that nobody else could. I am not the same closed-up, fearful girl; no more doubts about giving my whole heart and living happily ever after. I love him because he is so good with people; he takes time to really talk and listen and build meaningful relationships. He embraces my friends and family as his own. Diego loves children and they love him back immediately. He treats them with respect and makes them feel so special. Diego is truly in his element when playing with or caring for children. I love Diego because he is patient and doesn't believe in rushing through life; keeping everything fast-paced. This is something I do innately and never wished to change, until now.

I love Diego because he is incredibly handsome and has a smile that still warms me. Diego looks dashing when he's all dressed up for work or church. He looked absolutely stunning when I saw him in the temple for the first time, and at both our New Mexico and Utah receptions. Diego is also striking in jeans and a polo shirt or in sweat pants and a t-shirt.... sneakers, boots, socks…a beanie or a cowboy hat…he is always the handsomest man in the world to me. Diego always smells really great too and has such perfect completely kissable!

I love that Diego enjoys eating good wholesome food—not junk. He keeps up his manly physique by going to the gym regularly and really pushing himself. He is very athletic and loves getting together with friends to play basketball, soccer or go snowboarding. Best of all, he always invites me to come along and put my whole heart into the game! Diego is not a big fan of running or biking, however, he will do these things with me just because he knows I love them. He is extremely competitive in sports but will let others win if it means boosting their morale.

I love Diego because he loves to have fun and chase after adventure. He loves 4-wheeling, dirt-biking, racing, doing donuts on the ice, extreme sledding, off-trail hiking, target shooting, etc. By pulling me into his “crazy” world, Diego has helped me to loosen up and enjoy life on a whole new level. Diego also enjoys such things as watching movies (high action, suspense, funny cartoons). He seldom watches TV, but when he does it’s usually BYUTV, History or Discovery Channel. Diego loves and is very good at Latin dancing, playing the guitar and ukulele, woodwork, repairing things…and really, just about everything he tries!

I love Diego because I can feel how much he loves me by the way he serves me and because he tells me so everyday. I love him because he is romantic. I can’t count all the times he has bought me flowers or given me one freshly picked. I treasure the many poems he has written for me—long, thoughtful, creative and often with a touch of his trademark humor.

Finally, I love Diego because he loves the Lord and he loves his family with all his heart. I love him because he cherishes and has great faith in his Patriarchal Blessing, and I love Diego because he honors his Priesthood. I love Diego because of the way he speaks and writes so reverently about the temple. He truly understands that it is the House of the Lord and that God and angels are present therein. I love him because his testimony is very strong and very personal to him. I love him because he makes his scriptures his constant companions and keeps a regular journal. His writing is so beautiful and sincere. I love praying with Diego. It is in these moments that our union feels more indestructible than ever. I feel safe and so peaceful in his arms or in the clasp of his hand. He is everything I'd hoped for in a husband, and more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The first 2 weeks...

The first 2 weeks of marriage have been wonderful. Our week-long honeymoon in New Mexico and South Padre Island was perfect. Since being back in Utah, life has really kept us busy. We moved into our cute little condo last Monday.

It's been fun creating our own little home together. It's a beautiful place but small in size. It's just perfect for us actually, because we have to simplify our lives a bit and hang on to only the bare essentials. We're never more than 20 feet apart from each other and don't have to yell to be heard--it's great!

Life with Diego is wonderful. We wake up to his Mariachi grito alarm at 6:45 every morning. I shower and start getting ready while he makes the bed so perfectly and gets his things together. Then I start working on breakfast while he gets himself ready. There's always music playing...sometimes my Air Supply, sometimes his Tigres del Norte. I"m learning to adapt :) Often Diego helps prepare our meals or does it all himself. What a kind and helpful husband he is in every way. We try to fit a few extra quick things into our morning sometimes...a load of laundry, taking out the trash, organizing more things into cupboards, studying...We pray and eat breakfast together, clean up the kitchen, bundle up, lock up, kiss and part our separate ways. He walks to school for his daily 8am class, and I drive his monster truck to work. It's funny, I didn't expect this to be part of the deal. I planned to continue riding my bike or the bus to work, but since we've been so busy over the past few weeks and have been going to bed quite's harder to get up any earlier than we do, and the morning routine finds us rushing out the door with only 5 or 10 minutes to get to work and school. Diego has told me every day for the last week to take his truck. I never asked for it, but he insists. I love that he takes such good care of me--that he wouldn't want me to be late or cold or stressed in any way...and that he would entrust me with his big red baby (La Peliroja).

Lately we've been meeting up on my lunch break. We'll run errands together, grab a bite to eat at home, watch the BYU devotional....things like that. Three days a week he goes in to work from I'll drop him off at the MTC at the end of my lunch break and pick him up when I get out of work. Our evenings during the last week consisted of moving into the apartment, shopping for apartment and reception necessities, home decorating, going to the temple, visiting with friends and family, meeting with the DJ, etc. Sometimes we'll come home from a long day and put in a movie or listen to music while we wind down and make dinner. We'll sometimes stay up a little later to read, exercise, talk and snuggle. Being married is so wonderful.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Wedding and Honeymoon...

Diego and I had such a beautiful sealing down in the Mesa Temple on December 26th. We each had so much family there from all over...once the seats filled up people had to stand against the wall. Our sealer, Brother Fish, was so special. He spoke both English and Spanish so everybody could understand his beautiful words... 

The reception in New Mexico was so great a dream. The chapel cultural hall had been so beautifully decorated by Diego's family; it looked like a fancy outdoor reception tent...draped with soft cream and green fabric all along the ceiling and the walls. We walked in just as the large Mexican Mariachi band arrived, so it was an exciting entrance with great music and cheering. We were so happy. The food was great, the music, the dancing, the cheerful good people, new aunts, uncles, and little cousins smothering us with hugs and pulling us out to dance...What a special night.
We spent the next few days in New Mexico with Diego's family and his sister who had just returned from her mission. Then we flew down to South Padre Island, TX, where we had a wonderful honeymoon and did a lot of exploring on the beach, sand dunes, national wildlife refuge, beautiful river walks, went into Mexico for a day, went on a dolphin watch cruise, took lots of pics, etc.

We spent New Year's Eve and Day with my grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins in Bayview, Texas. We had a great time there for the countdown--imagine lots of little and big cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents with confetti, noisemakers and firecrackers going wild in the little canopy overlooking the resaca (river) under a full moon on a warm Texas night.

The next morning I went for a run along the resaca and a few miles of grapefruit and orange orchards. When I got, home Diego and I did some reading and had a really nice talk. Then we went into the kitchen where everything had come alive again with my grandfather making his famous Swedish pancakes for everybody!
A bit later in the morning we played a long, exciting football game with about 12 little and big cousins on the field between the orchard and the resaca. Diego picked me and all of the smallest cousins to be on his team. Yet, because he was such an amazing coach with such good game-plans and a real knack for making little kids feel like champs, our team came out victorious!