For those of you unfamiliar with the White Sands of New Mexico, the pictures in the post have no snow in them... only sand. They may look similar, but I can assure you that the difference can be felt when one crashes a sled. Ironically, a couple days after we took these pictures, this area really was covered in snow.
Not too much else to say about the White Sands, so I'll use the rest of this post to describe three highlights of the trip.
1. Seeing my mom and dad interact so lovingly with Ellie. It has been such a treasure to have Ellie come into our lives this year, but it also invigorating to hand her over temporarily to someone we trust, especially when we can see how much Ellie enjoys it also (she had numerous fits of uncontrollable laughter throughout the trip).
2. Having time with JooYeon. Although JooYeon and I have maintained much of our pre-Ellie lifestyle (going to coffee shops, taking walks, etc.), we have much less opportunity to really connect. This is, of course, in part because of my doctoral program and related projects. I made the decision to put all of that on hold for our week in New Mexico (a tough decision when there is a ticking "To Do List Clock" engraved in my head).
3. And then of course, Heather and Bob. It was a treat to have them in Ohio for a year, and it's hard to have them so far away now. So it was a relief to see how well they were doing, that they had found an incredible house, and that they had already started exploring the community and planting roots. Plus, as an added bonus, we got to feel Baby Harris swimming around with mere weeks (days?) to go! They went out of their way to host us... preparing Ellie-size diapers, making lots of delicious food, and even extending our stay by an extra day and a half when our flight home got cancelled due to snow.