We arrived back in the US on the 5th of September. It was great to be back in Chicago, but we had a super quick turnover time before it was time to pack up our car (which we had lent to a friend over the summer). Two days, to be exact.
So we quickly ran around hugging everyone, making a last trip to the thrift store, loaded our car with our few belongings and began our week-and-a-half drive back out to the west coast.
Although our final destination was my (LJ's) hometown of Portland, Oregon, we took a southbound route that would dump us in Albuquerque, New Mexico so that we could see my brother and his family for a few days. We rarely get to see them-- which means that we rarely get the opportunity to play Aunt and Uncle to their eight kids, which is really one of our top favorite things to do.
Obviously, I enjoy taking photos very much, and any opportunity to whip out my beautiful camera and freeze beautiful moments in time is something that gives me the greatest energy rush. Thankfully, the Lord saw fit to give us a gorgeous woman of a niece who also happens to have a huge interest in life behind (and for my sake, in front of) the camera.
Albuquerque is situated in such a breathtaking piece of desert with the Sandia Mountains framing the city on it's east side.
Now, it's extremely hard to keep this Pacific Northwest girl away from any available mountains or naural bodies of water, so Hannah (our niece), her boyfriend, Roberto (who we actually really, really like), our nephew, Daniel and Berto's little brother, Bubba, all piled into Berto's car and headed out into the mountains for some photos and to watch the sunset behind the city.
We had only a vague idea of where we were going (I mean, when you're in a desert and you're going to mountains, it's kind of hard to get lost...) and we ended up in this gorgeous spot with an old, abandoned stone house with huge windows looking out over the city. As the sun dropped down lower and lower to the western skyline, the city slowly began to light up against the purple atmosphere.
We sat on the thick, stone-lined window frames, our legs dangling over the outside edges, and quietly watched the view.
This moment was a precious one for me. Time like this with some of my most favorite people on this planet is something that I have carefully tucked away in the folds of my heart.