Oddly enough, after two months, New Mexico actually feels like home. We've all heard the saying that "Home is where your Husband is" and it is very very true. We are having the time of our lives here in Albuquerque. We miss our family and friends something terrible but we are grateful for the advice from a good friend that "when you move away you don't lose all your friends. You get to keep all your friends AND you get to make new ones." I'm so grateful for that.
We have become even more grateful for technology. We are grateful to be able to talk or video chat with family in Utah, Spain, and Germany whenever we want. We are grateful that Javi's mommy gets to watch him on the news every day. The other day Javi's dad called and said "Mali knows more about what's going on in New Mexico than she knows about what's going on in Spain!" We love her critiques of the news casts and hearing her scream of excitement over everything we experience here. We are so excited that Javi persuaded his parents into coming to the States for Christmas. They will be here in NM with us for a few days, Javi will fly up to Utah another weekend they are here to be with his parents and siblings and then the next weekend is Christmas and we will all get to celebrate it in Utah with all the Misiego's! (Well, minus Rebe and Jose Raoul and children...maybe someday we will ALL be together for Christmas.)
We are grateful for the chance to live in the mission field again. Javi and I have had many opportunities to go out with the missionaries and help them teach lessons. It has been the time of our lives. Thanks to the missionaries for allowing us to go back to that time in our lives. We loved it and are SO looking forward to the time when we get to go on a mission and be mission companions.
We are grateful for our new Spanish Branch. It certainly is trying hard and we are grateful to get to serve in this little area of the church. Javi was made the Elders Quorum President almost two weeks ago and I'm serving in the Young Women's Presidency...again. I love the youth and there couldn't be any better calling for me! I get to fill my time with planning lessons, working on the Book of Mormon reading challenge that we started with our youth last week, plan Personal Progress activities, and hear all about the drama of the teenage world. Javi gets to spend his teeny bit of free time visiting families and keeping track of everyone. What a great way to get to know everybody!
We are grateful for some great friends in our new home. The branch president is hardly older than us and he and his wife are truly wonderful. One of the women I serve with in the YW presidency and her husband, the Tompkins, are some of the funniest people we've ever known. Thank heavens for them. We are also grateful for the Rule's who were called to be in the Branch even though Lauren doesn't know any Spanish at all. She is awesome and I thank my lucky stars that I was able to meet her!. We are also surrounded by the most wonderful neighbors in all the world. We live on a street of grandma's and grandpa's and they watch out for us, help us with the yard, bring us treats and write us cards. Jane (across the street) spends her mornings sitting out on her porch. She hasn't missed a day yet. Monte (across the street and down two houses) spends his afternoons walking his little dog, Benji. Priscilla (across the street and down one house) spends lots of time standing outside with the hose watering the grass and Bo and Wanda (next door) are always cleaning something. Wanda vacuums every single day and their old beat-up cars are spotless. I love this neighborhood so much. I wish we never had to leave. We feel like we've been able to adopt 4 new sets of grandparents with this move!
We are also grateful for airplanes and the generosity of a certain woman named Alane Fraser. At the end of September, Alane, Matthew, and I flew to Alabama to visit the Princess herself. Chloe is loving her first year of college and is getting really involved. She was just chosen as a freshmen representative! Her apartment is adorable and I loved sleeping in her bed and playing like I was in college again. I love that family so darn much. I'm so grateful for them in my life.
Another surprise that I am grateful for was a surprise text telling me to book a plane ticket to Utah to surprise my parents for the weekend. So, the morning of October 7th I boarded a plane with no one knowing except my brother Mark. He had a flight that landed in SLC around the same time as mine and so he drove me to our parents house where his cute wife, Erin, met us. Mark and Erin rang the doorbell at Mom and Dad's house and I hid behind them. When mom answered the door Mark and Erin said "Hi" and then I popped out behind them. Mom and I both burst into tears. It was so wonderful to see her and be with her for a minute. In the following couple hours I was able to pay a quick visit to two of my aunts and my grandpa and a few hours later we were on the "surprise" band-wagon again. Mind you, my dad still didn't know that I was in Utah. So, mom called dad and told him that she was going to pick him up in the parking lot of his office to go to dinner. As dad walked out and I hid in the front seat Mom and I couldn't stop giggling! Dad walked around to the passenger side of the car, where I was sitting, and looked into the window and also...guess what...burst into tears. I, naturally, cried again too. It was so wonderful to get to have one of Daddy's bear hugs. Loved it. So, we had dinner together and then went to the BYU Homecoming Spectacular at the Marriott Center where the Young Ambassadors were having a reunion. I got to see and hug so many wonderful YA's that have meant so much to me in my life. Dad asked me to sing a cappella in Green Room and although I had a cough, I was so honored to get to participate.
The following day brought more visits from aunts, cousins, Ross, Michelle, Ethan and Adelle, Brick Oven, Mommy-and-Me shopping time, Red Mango and a flight home. That little trip was the breath of fresh air that I needed. It was wonderful to come home though to a wonderful, good looking little Spaniard who welcomed me with open arms at the airport. I love coming home to him.
My family had this picture taken just days before we moved away. I love it so much and could stare at little Addie's face for hours.
Sadly, this is the only picture I have of the surprise visit home. This little lady has changed so much since we moved away. It was such a treasure to get to see her interact and hear her finding her voice. I love that baby Adelle.
I got a job as a substitute teacher and I am in the midst of the 23 1/2 hours of training required. I will be very excited when the teaching can begin! I also received a job as a nanny for 3-year-old boy twins. Gage and Asher are so much fun and very full of energy. I think I've been getting more cardio workouts in since I started with them. Cardio workouts include running around the house chasing each other. Racing to see who can clean up the fastest and running laps around the park to follow the doggies we see.
I'm actually really sad that I haven't kept up on blogging the last little while. I will just have to catch up as I remember. I just have to remember that this is the only journal I have! I'd better keep track of these things! So anyway, if you're reading this then I want to say Hello! If no one reads this blog anymore because of its inactivity level, I am still grateful for the chance to chronicle our lives.