Family Photo Shoot


How are you? Are you enjoying holiday preparations, or are you overwhelmed? It has been super busy for us, my oldest son had a few very important deadlines, but overall I am not overwhelmed. The predominant feeling I have is thankfulness. This time last year my husband slipped with his bicycle on some ice on his way to work. After I took him to the hospital he ended up having hip surgery that same night. It was the week when my oldest son had his finals and most of our kids were sick with a stomach flu. I’m not sure how, but Finn managed to take care of all of his siblings and finish his finals well, while I was driving to and from the hospital. The week was very dark and surreal, but the help of Finn and lots of friends got us through it. This year I am just so thankful we are all together in one piece. And since Finn will be graduating in May it seems like an era is coming to an end. I felt the huge need to document this moment in our lives and was so thrilled when Emily said she would take time out of her busy life and do the shoot.

burton beatles walk


For the next pictures I asked our good friend Jon if he would let us use his VW bus.

picture for printsall of us and the busbus drivingthe kiss.jpg

Playing in the bus was the most fun the kids have ever had at our photo shoots.

lucy in the busshane and ella on top of the bus

I am so pleased how these pictures turned out. We did a lot during this shoot: Finn’s senior pictures, our Christmas pictures, and a few really fun ones of just the girls. Oh, and a short time-lapse movie, as well. I will be posting more soon.

Have a fun day,


All pictures taken by Emily Mulder. VW bus on loan by Jon Shodean.




Family Photo Shoot

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


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.

IMG_1483High Road to Taos, CordovaIMG_1488IMG_1490.jpg

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.


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.


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.

san francisco de asis mission church, taos.jpg

san francisco de asis mission church in taos, nmIMG_3080


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!

the love apple, taos.jpgThe Love Apple Restaurant in Taos, NM.jpgIMG_3483.jpgIMG_3488

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

Have a lovely day,


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


I dug through some old pictures and found these. The Very Large Array is a pretty surreal place. Jodie Foster’s movie Contact was filmed there. It is in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico (2 hours southwest of Albuquerque), surrounded by nothing but high desert.

parabolic dish 10 parabolic dish 9 VLA 3 VLA 4 close up parabolic dish

There is a museum and some outdoor activities to learn about astronomy. Astronomer all over the world use these giant telescopes for their research. Make sure the telescopes are in a favorable configuration before you come. Some configurations have the telescopes too far stretched apart and you won’t be able photograph them nicely in a row like I did above. We went there twice, so the pictures above are from a different visit than below with the kiddos. DSC01622 the kids in front of an parabolic dish this is what i'm eating for lunchGosh, they were so young. The boy in the blue shirt is my nephew. The last picture is my favorite.  Just in case you are wondering what Shane had for lunch that day…

If you make the trip bring lots of sunscreen and a hat. There is absolutely no shade. There is nothing to eat there and the nearest town is half an hour away.

Have a great day,





Church in the Mountains


A few weeks ago my husband took me shopping for my birthday. We took the scenic route to Santa Fe through the mountains. One thing I love about New Mexico are the little quaint churches in every town. This one is in a ghost town, and the church is all that is left. Take a look.

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I think it is in Golden, near the quirky hippy town of Madrid, if you ever want to venture there. As I make my way through New Mexico I plan on taking pictures of the little churches in remote places.

Have a lovely day,


Church in the Mountains

Balloon Fiesta

One of our favorite things to do in Albuquerque is the annual balloon fiesta. The fiesta is a big event. It seems like the whole city shuts down and traffic comes to a screeching halt (which is unusual around here). For 9 days you can see hundreds of balloons flying above the city every morning. It is quite a sight. But it is even better to be there. I was told it is the only hot air balloon event were visitors can walk on the field amongst the balloons. You can stand right next to them as they take off. We go on the days when all the special shapes take off. We try to be there by 6am because the balloons take off at sunrise. Here is a picture of me in front of scores of balloons being inflated.

There are favorite shapes that come back year after year, like Darth Vader (below), Spider Man pig, a haunted house, and many more. One year I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a balloon shaped as a pitcher with apple wine which is only made in the county of Germany where I was raised. Balloonist from all over the world come here. My kids collect the cards they hand out telling people who owns the balloons and where they are from.

My kid’s favorites are the bees below. The first year we came there were a girl bee and a boy bee. They would hold hands as they go up and even kiss up in the air. The crowd always cheer when they kiss. Last time we went they had had a baby, now there are three bees. So sweet. You can only see two, they third one hasn’t been inflated yet.

Here is a ballon from the inside. I was told Noah’s Ark is the only one that has a scenery on the outside and inside.

Here is Noah’s Ark on the outside, just about to take off.

This picture shows you how close these balloons are and how many people stand around them watching. The butterfly was my 4 year old’s favorite.

Here is my 4 year old warming up with some hot chocolate. It is pretty cold until the sun comes up.

You can get an idea how many balloons are in the sky, I read we have around 600 taking off each morning.

Friends, if you are planning a trip to New Mexico, this is the time to come. If you are brave you can even hitch a ride for about $250.

Have a wonderful day,


Balloon Fiesta

Family Mountain Biking Outside of Albuquerque


We like to Mountain Bike. That is, my husband loves it and he is getting us slowly into it, as well. Last week we all piled up in the car and went to the East Mountains, outside of Albuquerque to go for a ride. It was a rather spontaneous thing, so I was surprised that our 6 kiddos could have fun without the usual snacks, gear, extra clothes, etc. Take a look:

We put as many bikes as we could fit on the bike rack (everyone except the baby had a bike), and the rest we piled in the trunk of our suburban.

David and I took the 4, 6, and 8 year old on the bike path. While my two oldest stayed back to watch the baby. The baby is almost 2 years old, but we call her the baby, and probably always will…My 4 year old can’t really ride yet, so we put her on a scoot, the kind of bike that does not have pedals.

She got tired pretty quickly going uphill on her scoot, so she decided to take a rest and do a pine cone dance.

Here is my man in action after the younger kids were done and heading back to the parking lot.

Natasha had a great time walking around the picnic area with no one stopping her.

Lucille taking a much needed rest after her 10 minute bike ride.

At the picnic area I wanted to shoot some action shots of my husband jumping off a ledge on his bike. This turned into everybody jumping off and having a really fun time.

I think we are on our way to becoming a mountain bike family. I so hoped we could find a sport that we can all enjoy on different levels, and this might be it.

So, if you are ever in the area, bring a bike!

Have a great day, I’ll see you back here soon with a kid’s fall fashion shoot I did with my friend. So exited to share it with you.


Family Mountain Biking Outside of Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque

Hi there,

On Friday I had a chance to go to old town Albuquerque. We had an international student stay with us last week, so I wanted to show her the sights. Founded in 1706 it is quite charming. Spanish settlers organized the center in the traditional Spanish colonial way: with a central plaza anchored by a church. This is San Felipe de Neri church, built in 1793.

There are shops all around the plaza shaded by pergolas like this one.

What makes Old Town so fun are the little shops hidden in sideways like this one.

Here is the plaza in the center. On the weekends there will be bands playing life music and children dancing.

New Mexico is all about manana. Life is slower here.

Here you can see the blending of cultures in this area. Native Americans side by side with Spanish settlers and poeple of Mexican origin. This is reflected in the stores, museums, and performances in old town. When you get here on the right day you see a Native American dancer performing on the street.

Found this water well in one of the side passages.

Here is my 2 year old, Natasha.

The building still look very much like when they were built centuries ago.

This is me and Natasha cooling off with a smoothie. It was quite hot.

Hope you enjoyed it. Come visit us sometime.

Have a wonderful day,


Old Town Albuquerque

Frankfurt Gardens

Hi there,

most people in Frankfurt live in small apartments.  A lot of people have potted plants on their balcony but if they really want a place of their own to relax they rent a nearby plot from a garden association. These are tiny gardens, much like a typical back yard, but it was fun to see how everyone did their garden differently. It shows how people express themselves in their space.

Here are some pictures I took while walking around Sachsenhausen, the part of Frankfurt where I grew up.

The gnome is holding a flag of the local soccer team.

While most of the gardens I saw where wild and overgrown, my sister’s garden was nicely manicured.

My son and nephew playing in my sister’s garden.

Every garden has a little house where people have little kitchens and even a bed for staying overnight.

I really enjoyed these lush, green gardens, especially because we live in the desert and our yard consists mostly of rocks and shrubs.

Have a lovely weekend,


Frankfurt Gardens

Frankfurt Flea Market

Hi there,

I grew up in Frankfurt, and one of my favorite things to do was going to the flea market on Saturday mornings. Guess, what I did during my recent trip to Frankfurt? Right, one Saturday I took my toddler in her stroller and re-lived old memories. It’s a claustrophobic experience, not for people who need a lot of personal space. But let me assure you, it does not even compare to the best garage sale experience you ever had. The market stretches out over a mile along the river Main. And it is packed full with everything: people sell their junk, toys, books, clothes, and furniture. But on top of that you find dealers from different countries selling knick knacks, comics, vintage dishes, vintage clothes, and jewelry. What makes it fun is that people in Europe still  have really old stuff. Stuff you would never see around here outside of an antique store.

Here are some of the pictures I took.

I was really exited about finding this Russian stand. My girls love Russian dolls. I was able to buy each one.

Here are some pictures of the skyline of Frankfurt.

If money and suitcase space would have not been an issue I would still be there shopping. But I found what I came for: my Russian dolls and some German Asterix comics for the kids. Score.

If you like a mix of old and vintage and modern check out Bloomingville from Denmark. You can’t buy from them online but you can enjoy their online catalog and get inspired.

Have a great day,


Frankfurt Flea Market

Playmobil Park


How is your week going? I’m still settling back into normal life after my  trip to Germany. I wanted to share another fun outing we did. My sister and I rented a German version of an SUV (the smallest one I had ever seen, half the size of ours), and we drove to Bavaria for the day to visit Playmobil Park. This park was so well laid out. Benches for the parents everywhere. A coffee bar conveniently located where parents were sitting and watching their kids play.


The water here was only knee deep, and the rafts did not tip. This was the funnest station for my 8 year old(to the left) and his cousin.


If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend going there. Especially if your kids are between 5 and 11 years old. Do bring a swim suit, a towel, and a change of clothes, since they have water play stations right next to sand boxes.

See you back here tomorrow with another book series suggestion from my 14 year old.


Playmobil Park