Desert Child

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to raise children in the desert. It is such a unique experience and one that I never anticipated. I grew up in Germany in a city near a dense forest. Everything was small, green, and urban. New Mexico is almost the opposite. It is vast, brown, you can see for miles and miles, and it is wild. There is hardly any grass, just a sea of rocks. I wonder if the surroundings will affect their views on life. Will they see this world as big and limitless and be eager to discover it?

Bringing Tashi to White Mesa made me realize how much at home she is in this terrain. There was no: “I’m bored, what is there to do?” She immediately started walking and interacting with her surroundings. She could have spend all day there.

 

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She found some chalky rocks and was delighted that she could draw pictures with them. IMG_2011

She decided the rocks would make excellent furniture. Here she is holding a couch, but it looks more like a telephone….IMG_2026IMG_2038IMG_3512

I have been reading a lot about forest pre-schools in Europe. Children spend all day outside in the woods. I guess my children have been going to rock school…

Have lovely day,

Sofija

On :

Pants: H&M

Top: Olive Juice

Vest: Old Navy

Cat Socks: Gymboree

Shoes: Hand me downs

 

Desert Child

On the Road…

There is nothing quite like going places with sisters. They fight, they annoy each other, but oh, they have so much fun. They are together and they know how to have a good time…

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars…”

-Jack Kerouac

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“Think of life as an adventure.”- Unknownphoto story 10 photo story 11 photo story 8 on the road 2

“Let the window down and feel the moonlight on your skin. “photo story 14

“I know there is a place for me somewhere out there…”

My hope for them is that they forge their own path and never stop being curious and adventurous.

-Sofija

Photography by Emily Mulder

Styling and Art Direction by Sofija Burton

Hair by Esther Burton

On the Road…

The High Road to Taos

In October my husband and I drove to Taos. You might remember that we have been to Taos quite a few times before in the summer. I was exited to see it in the fall with the leaves changing. Also, usually we drive up using the Low Road to Taos, which goes alongside the Rio Grande river. This time we decided to take the High Road. It is one of New Mexico’s scenic byways. It takes a lot longer and it is quite windy. Since in the past we have always come up with the kids who are prone to car sickness, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it. It was our anniversary and we left the kids at home.

In Pojaque we took the 503 heading north (it is easy to miss this right turn, if you are heading towards Espanola you have missed it). Nambe was our first stop. My main goal was to take pictures of the Catholic Churches (which is kind of an obsession of mine, I love their architecture) and the views along the way.

Here are  pictures of the Sacred Heart Church in Nambe. This is not the prettiest of all the churches, keep going, it will get better…

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Sacred heart Church in Nambe, NM

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The church is not original, it had to be rebuilt after a botched renovation. There is a pueblo nearby, which we did not drive to. We saw the church and then went on our way to Chimayo.

Chimayo is the highlight of the Road to Taos. Nestled in a beautifully green valley it is a town you want to linger in. There is a well known restaurant Rancho de Chimayo. There are also quaint weaving shops, below is Ortegas. Ortegas Weaving shop Chimayo, NMOrtegas Weaving Shop in Chimayo, NM

Right next to the weaving shop was a little museum with a cute little orchard.IMG_1443

The church Santurio de Chimayo, built between 1811 and 1816, is a pilgrimage site for thousands of visitors each year, especially on Good Friday. They were installing Christmas lights while were there. So cute!Catholic Church Santurio de Chimayo in NM

Santurio de Chimayo, NMSanturio de Chimayo doorCatholic Church Santurio de Chimayo in NM

The church is tiny, really, but so quaint and cute. I can see why it is so popular. There are a lot of touristy shops around it, but this Trading Post caught my eye.

trading post in chimayo, nm

Between Chimayo and Cordova the views become quite breathtaking.

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We kept driving and did not stop until Las Trampas, which also has a cute little church San Jose de Garcia, completed in 1776.

San Jose de Garcia Church in Trampas, NMSan Jose de Garcia, built 1776.jpg

My ever so patient husband rolled with it, stopping every couple of miles so I could take pictures. He is a keeper! We realized this trip that we both really like road trips. He likes driving and I like to take pictures. We promised ourselves we would do it more often.

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After Trampas we headed towards Chamisal, which was quite enchanting with its golden colors. With my telescopic lense I took these pictures, which turned out to be my favorite.

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We kept going to Sipapu, but there was only the ski resort there, nothing too spectacular.

The plan was to end this post with pictures from the famous church San Francisco de Asis in Taos. However we got to hungry, had lunch in Taos, and then forgot to go back to it. 😦

I came back the next summer, so these pictures have a different light to them.

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That night we ate at a restaurant that also happens to be an old adobe church:

The Love Apple: Seasonal, fresh harvested, delicious, and so romantic!

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I hope you enjoyed coming along on this trip. Another reason to make New Mexico your destination.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

All pictures taken by Sofija Burton except for the one in Trampas. David Burton took the one that has me in it.

 

 

The High Road to Taos

Taos Pueblo with Our Three Youngest

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My mom is visiting us from Germany, so exiting! We decided to take her to Taos, New Mexico for the day. Taos is a great place to visit for many reasons, one is the Taos Pueblo. It is one of the oldest Native American villages that still has people living there. I like visiting there, because the village is a walk in museum that is pretty relaxed. Kids can run around freely, off limit areas are clearly marked.  Native Americans sell their home made wares and go about their business. They are friendly and don’t mind people asking questions.
Taos Pueblo is a village with houses, a church, a cemetery, little stores, and a stream flowing through (which was the highlight for my girls). I was told that 2-4 families still live there, all the others live somewhere else, because of the lack of electricity. The houses get handed down to the next generation.
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PicMonkey Collage

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On Lucy (left):
Dress: Old Navy
Bracelet: from the local toy store
Sunglasses: Fossil
On Tasha(middle):
Dress: from Mexico
Shoes: The Children’s Place
Bracelet: from the local toy store
Sunglasses: H&M
On Ella:
Top: Old Navy
Pants: hand me down, originally from the Children’s Place

Be sure to check their website or call before you go, because they close for ceremonies and funerals. If you like to know how we spend our whole day in Taos go here.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Taos Pueblo with Our Three Youngest

Cedar Crest, New Mexico

A couple of weeks ago Tasha and I hung out in Cedar Crest while my oldest son had a meeting at the Gutierezz Canyon Open Space. He will be doing trail work there this weekend for his Eagle Project. So proud of him! Anyway Tasha and I had some time on our hands, so I decided to take some pictures…
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Dress: Tea Clothing
Shoes: Crocs
I was ecstatic to find a field of wild flowers in New Mexico! Imagine that!
Have a lovely day,
Sofija

All pictures taken with my iphone 5.

Cedar Crest, New Mexico

Spring Break in New Mexico

 How are you doing? Is March really over? Our March was a whirlwind with doctor appointments, another surgery (my son), school testing, a leaky roof, …my head is still spinning. Now we are on spring break and not a day too soon. Usually our spring breaks are pretty awful, windy, and cold. You know those windstorms you have seen in Western movies with tumbleweeds and sand clouds? Yup, those are for real. But this time it’s been quite warm, sunny, and all around pleasant. So I really don’t mind staying home and enjoying this week here.
Above are some pictures from recent outings. So glad our three youngest have decided they like hiking now. And what a pleasant surprise we can actually get on the trail and hiking without turning around for various reasons (like “I forgot to pee”, “I’m too cold”, to name a few). Of course we go nowhere without a five day food supply, but still it’s a huge improvement…
Fun surprise: the middle picture with the cactus was featured by Visit Albuquerque on their website stream.

Have a lovely week and a wonderful Easter!
Sofija

Spring Break in New Mexico

Winter Wonderland

Last weekend we got the most snow we had in years. The city came to a sort of standstill.

 

Our property backs up to open space, with a lovely path through cotton wood trees and a small creek that barely ever has water in it. It is kind of magical…

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Now that we had our snow I look forward to spring.

-Sofija

 

Winter Wonderland