On the 7th night of our trip I awoke to my sister at the door of the guest room with an urgency in her voice.  My little niece had caught the flu sometime during the night and my sister needed some reinforcements.  After waking my mom to find the extra towels and trying to comfort my niece, I sleepily headed back to bed.  After awhile, when her crying had stopped, I could hear another cry in the dark distance.  This time, not of a sick baby, but of the somewhat sad and echoing cry of the coyotes.  

Full Winter Moon Coyote
Thomas Hubbard

Looks like our friend stopped
Outside your bedroom window last night and
Just stood still in the new snow
For a while, enit?

The way one set of his tracks
Outsizes the others…

You know his feet were
Same size in all the tracks,
So he must have stayed
Long enough on that spot
So more snow melted
Under his paws

Maybe he was trying to
Make up a tale to
Whisper in your ear, or
Maybe he listened to your dreams
To ease his lonesome feeling

Maybe he climbed inside a dream and
Hid behind a lush memory, intending to
Play some kind of a trick, but then
Thought better of it.

Or…maybe he was the one
Dreaming, and you…

Do you suppose he only stopped
To admire the snow?


Niece Love

The best way to end my day!



Soon we will be home.  Enjoying our Christmas holiday with the ones we love the most and hopefully enjoying some cold weather and snow!

Snowy foothills in my hometown, 2012

I am counting down the days until we are heading to the airport and get to leave this balmy hot weather behind.  I am looking forward to lots of snuggle time with my niece and nephew, hugs and kisses from my parents, play time with my sisters and brother-in-laws, exploring my parent's new home, visiting with friends and Bobby's family.  I can't wait to lay by the fireplace, feel my cheeks turning pink, wear scarves and mittens, and hopefully watch the quiet snow fall from the sky.  

Ahh..nothing like a Colorado Christmas to lift the spirits!


Weevil Hunting

Earlier this fall I had decided to liven up our flower box outside of the kitchen window.  I chose two different types of plants and they both took off growing and filling in the box, making the front of our home look much more inviting!  I've written before about my brown thumb, but I was so pleased to see these plants thriving and growing without much help from me.  

However, a few weeks ago I started to notice one of the plants was being eaten.  Large holes invaded the big green leaves and left them looking like swiss cheese.  Bobby and I investigated but couldn't seem to find anything.  

Then one night I came home and just happened to stop and take a look at my pathetic plants.  Thats when I noticed a beetle sitting on top of the leaves.  
The culprit.  

After about 30 minutes of googling combinations of descriptive words

"grey beetle, south florida"
"white and grey beetle with dark spots"
"gross beetle that is eating my plants!!!!!!"

I find out what it was.  A Weevil.

Sneaky little weevils eating my plants in the secret cloak of night. Tonight I quietly snuck out of the house at the oh so late hour of 7pm and watched as several weevils munched on my plants.  I felt no mercy as I smooshed them under the moonlight.

Maybe once I get this weevil population under control my lovely plants will come back to life.  Lets hope so because plastic plants would look pretty lame (although surprisingly not so uncommon in the beautiful state of Florida (:  )


Christmas Work Party

Last night was my work Christmas party--we had a fun time mingling with my co-workers at the wonderful Mai Kai.  The Mai Kai is one of the oldest Tiki bars in the U.S. and is like stepping back in time to the 1950's.

It was nice to get out of the house, have a few drinks, and enjoy a tropical Christmas!


Say Cheese!

Just warning you that this may become a kitty filled blog...

just kidding!

Kind of :) 



Meet the newest member to the Macuen household!


'Tis the Season

Well, December is upon us and I am bursting with excitement to celebrate this Christmas Season.  It is my most favorite time of year and am I counting down the days until we are with our family again, and hopefully enjoying some cold snowy days.  

May this holiday season bring peace and happiness to all!

From our home to yours!


the Creator.

source via

Sunday school.  I was taught all of the common bible lessons as a young child, using felt boards and puppets. Yet even at a young age I never felt completely at ease with some of the things I was told.  One particular Sunday morning we learned about the disciples and how they spread God's love, becoming fishers of men.  My Sunday school teacher shared with us our responsibilities to share the love of God with others, especially those who have never heard about Him, otherwise they may not go to Heaven.  I remember feeling very worried for those who didn't know.  Would they not go to Heaven?  What if it wasn't their fault that they had never met someone who could teach them?  I kept thinking about people that roamed the deserts, or lived high in the mountains that didn't have much contact with the rest of the world. I remember thinking about people that lived on other continents a long long time ago.  Could such a loving God have really created opportunities for people to live in places where they would never be able to hear about the word of God?

My little heart felt confused and sad.  It didn't make sense. 

That memory has always stayed with me for some reason.  I would think about it from time to time, even with my more mature and logical brain.

Now in the present, I've had the most incredible opportunity to sit in the company of elders of the tribe I work for.  They live traditional lifestyles and practice traditional, spiritual beliefs and "religion".  Their ancestors have lived here for thousands of years, long before contact with Europeans.  When spirituality is brought up, which it often is, they speak of the Creator.  With all of their stories and oral histories, and no matter how different they may be from what I was taught growing up, there is one common belief.  The Creator.  

Some may think  ---  well their Creator is obviously not the same as our God.

But isn't it?  What I've heard from them I won't repeat out of respect, but there have been many moments where my heart has been full and all questions in my mind cease.  I've felt comforted by their stories that have been passed on for hundreds and hundreds of years, solidifying my beliefs that God is loving, God is everywhere.  Sometimes we have such a narrow mindset, only thinking it can be one way.  If you didn't hear about it on Sunday morning, then it must not be true. God created us all and would not abandon those who didn't know Him in the same way that so many of us have been taught is the "right" or only way.  

We don't know everything and we never will.  We must also realize although we are only a small mark in the world, we are all connected in such an incredible way. God is bigger and greater than we could ever imagine.  



sparklers + 1am

I had a few friends over for a little birthday shindig.  I think that they had a good time because everyone stayed until almost 1am!  After everyone left, Bobby and I sat on the couch, with our bellies warm from some yummy spiked apple cider and I remembered I had bought some sparklers from the grocery store.  

"lets go light them!"

We went behind the house, giggling and shushing each other so we didn't wake the neighbors.  Gold sparkles with snaps and pops glittered in the darkness of the early morning hour.  



I am officially 29.

Where has the time gone?

I have some big goals for this year --- some personal, some professional.  

Hoping this next year is wonderful!


Happy Birthday San the Man

Yesterday was my little nephew's 2nd Birthday.  Two whole years!  I can't believe it.  Sometimes it feels just like yesterday that I was holding the most tiniest and cutest baby boy in my arms, all snuggled up in his candy cane jammies.  Now he is a talking machine and if you repeat it enough times he will say "hi aunnie kaay" :)

*rain dance*

Happy Birthday dear San
Auntie Kate and Uncle Bobby love you so so much and are so blessed to be able to watch you grow into such an eager, handsome, and loving little boy!



quiet time

Do you ever just have those days where you feel like curling up and staying hidden from the world for just a little bit?  I feel like this week has been a struggle, emotionally.  My anxiety has been in full throttle and I feel especially homesick with my birthday coming up and not being able to spend it with my sister.  

I laid on the couch tonight with the lights on low and my new Nordic Pine candle flickering away.  I felt like I was young again, lying on the navy blue couch with the little white dots in our living room.  I have very distinct memories of dark, winter nights when I wasn't feeling well, or just needed a little rest before dinner and my mom would let me lie on the couch with the brown and white blanket.  The only lights on would be from the kitchen, and I would quietly lie there, listening to the sounds of dinner being prepared.  I would eventually hear the garage door open and hear my dad come in from the laundry room, walking through the kitchen and stopping by the couch on his way to drop off his briefcase.  He would gently rub my head as he walked by.  It was such a comforting feeling.

Tonight I laid on the couch, cuddled up in my own brown blanket and watched Bobby doing dishes in the kitchen.  I love that such a mundane task can bring me such comfort and it was exactly what I needed to bring a little peace to my heart.



Life has been busy lately and looking back over the past month I'm not even sure what I've been up to--all I know is that every evening I am exhausted and find myself crawling into bed earlier and earlier each night.  

We've had a few cool days here, but it seems to go in sporadic cycles and the last few days have felt more like July than November.  It makes me homesick.

My sister and I turn 29 on Saturday.  Last year was the first in many that I actually got to spend my birthday with her.  It was glorious!  This year will be back to our separate celebrations and most likely spending hours on Skype, pretending that we aren't really 2,000 miles away.

Bobby and I are always in a constant debate on whether Fall or Spring is better.  He loves the warmer weather of Spring, the brown turning to green.  I love the relief from the heat, the rainbow of colors falling from the trees.  Each one though is fleeting and always gives my life a timeout, a reset.  I always find Autumn to be the time when I need regrouping and change.

Here are a few snapshots of life lately


 Conference Time: Speaking at the Southeastern Archaeological Conference in Tampa, FL

 Dog sitting Ms. Bailey

Neighborhood sunrise- on my way to work

 Afternoon walk on the boardwalk

 Proof! It was below 80 degrees

 One lonely fall leaf

 Driving home from work- a beautiful sunset over the Everglades

 What's the one bad thing about having curly hair and resuming my walks during lunch?  Giant bugs get caught in your hair for unknown amounts of time.  yuck!

 Went to my first Ethiopian Restaurant during my conference.  Not bad!

Ended my trip to Tampa with a visit to my friend and college roommate and their newest addition to their family-- precious!



It was that time of year again, our annual American Indian Arts Celebration at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.  

It was a very busy and exhausting past few days and I stumbled through the door at 10pm last night after working a 12 hour day!  But overall I think it was a very successful event.

 My new basket I purchased! 


Laundry?...um no thanks

I hate laundry.  Well, I hate most domestic duties, but laundry is my absolute least favorite thing to do.  Unfortunately, its also my husband's least favorite thing to do.  This means 6 out 7 days I am searching piles of clean laundry on our bedroom chair, angrily muttering under my breath each morning as I search for that one specific tank top (as I toss everything else wildly into the air), and opening my underwear drawer to find only the ugliest and most elderly looking pair left.  Some days are better than others and at least we get the laundry washed and dried, but then somehow the effort of actually folding everything is almost comparable to climbing Mount Everest. sigh. 



The most exciting and memorable part of my trip to PA was getting to take the tribal jet.  This is my second time taking the jet and I still can not get over what a crazy and amazing experience it is.  Yes, its true that the minute you step onto a private jet you feel very important and famous :)

But then you find yourself taking pictures of every second (like in the bathroom) and realize that important people probably don't do this.  There is gold trim inside and leather stitched seats.  The flight attendant, Cheryl, is so great and she makes all the food herself.  We watched movies, talked business, and watched the sea of clouds pass us as we sped across the sky at top speeds. 

 waiting for take off

 the bathroom :)

 Heading home

 Goodbye Philadelphia!

 chit chatting with the flight attendant- My boss in the back sitting on the couch- ya know a couch, no big deal.
 My seat.

Made is safely back to the reservation (me on the far right and my boss in the middle who looks a bit delirious!)

As we neared the end of the trip home, I found myself looking out at one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.  The sky was on fire, with infinite clouds spread out before us.  As the sun continued to set, the colors exploded into a million shades of red, orange, and pink.  I couldn't stop smiling, and remembering telling myself to hold onto this moment forever.  About 20 minutes before we reached Big Cypress, Cheryl turned on the Top 40, and we all jammed out and laughed as the pop and rap stars serenaded our descent. I'm not sure if I'll ever have the opportunity again to ride in the jet and I'm pretty sure I will never have another museum job quite like this one.  I felt very lucky for this once in a life time opportunity and will always remember my trip to Philadelphia.