A Heartfelt Hello

by | May 31, 2022

Many people have asked me what inspired Justin and me to buy Tumbleweeds Magazine. We both have full-time jobs, aging parents, two toddlers, hobbies and volunteer commitments. Yes, like many families, we are very busy! But, I felt like something was missing for me as a mother. 

Like many mothers nowadays, I had my babies much later in life. It’s a growing trend across the nation, but for me it wasn’t necessarily by design; it’s just how my life journey unfolded. Justin and I married in our early 30s. I had a hard time getting pregnant, so I had Ryker at 38 and Aviva at 40 years old. For any mother that has a baby after 35 years of age, there are perks, as well as a downside. Specifically, no pregnant woman enjoys being referred to by their OB as having a “geriatric pregnancy.” (Come on health care community…please come up with a different term!)

Having children later in life, I was able to finish college and have a strong career before becoming a mother. My husband and I were also able to travel, live in different cities and enjoy being a married couple for a while before adding kids to the mix. I am thankful that my motherhood journey started a little later; I would not change it. But being new to Northern New Mexico during the time of pregnancy and raising babies and toddlers, I found myself feeling a little lonely at times. Most of my friends had their babies in their mid-20s, so I didn’t have close friends to do mommy things with regularly. And while my in-laws lived in New Mexico, my parents did not (until very recently. YAY!) Of course, the pandemic didn’t help these feelings either.

Buying Tumbleweeds Magazine helped to fulfill a void that I still don’t completely understand. I craved the sense of more family, support, community and togetherness. Working with our contributors, we get to dream up articles to help parents navigate, well, being parents. With Ryker entering PreK next school year, I was dying to understand what I needed to do to best prepare him. Thankfully, Aurora Hvidsten, a preschool/preK teacher at Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences, agreed to share her deep knowledge on the subject in an article titled, “Ready, Set, School!”

While my husband has deep family roots in New Mexico, I do not — yet. I want to learn more about the community and expose my kiddos to new experiences. I want to better understand its traditions and heritage. Through articles like “Working from the Heart,” and “Indigenous Inspirations,” I feel closer to this land, history and people. The issue’s Calendar of Events and Summer Program Directory connect my family (and yours) to unique opportunities for learning, culture, art and activities.

When we moved to Northern New Mexico, Tumbleweeds Magazine was my “go-to” publication, because it wrapped me in this sense of community and togetherness. It helped me navigate becoming a mother and nestling in Northern New Mexico as our home. It brings me great joy to think that this publication helps other families throughout the community. Whether your family is 12-generation Santa Fean or you moved into a home in Eldorado last month, thank you for being part of the Tumbleweeds Magazine family.  

We all know that family and community are important. Unfortunately, tragedy or close calls remind us how fragile this life truly can be. In March, Justin was in a major accident with the kids on Cerrillos Road. He had a green light and had just crossed the intersection when a car coming from the opposite direction hopped over the median heading directly towards Justin’s truck. Fortunately, Justin swerved just enough to avoid the head-on collision. While the truck was completely mangled, no one was injured. Ryker and Aviva were in shock when I first arrived at the scene of the accident, but they quickly forgot the crash when the fire trucks, ambulance and police cars arrived with their flashing lights and sirens. Ryker still talks about how he met a real fireman! (A sincere thank you to the Santa Fe Fire Department for loving on my kids in that scary moment.) While everyone was OK, I couldn’t prevent my mind from considering that I almost lost my family. After over two years of desperately trying to protect my family from a pandemic, I couldn’t fathom the possibility of losing all of them that Sunday afternoon. I felt so blessed that no one was hurt.

Other families in our community have not had as fortunate outcomes. Hundreds are struggling with tragedy and loss due to an early fire season this year. Hundreds of families are displaced from Los Alamos, Taos, Mora and San Miguel counties because of the wildfires; many lost homes, farms, ranches and their way of life. Time and time again, New Mexicans come together as a community, as a family, and help each other during these difficult times.

The wildfires were no different. Community centers and schools became evacuation centers. Fairgrounds took in livestock and pets. Hotels became temporary homes. And New Mexicans volunteered to help by contributing goods and donating dinero. The people’s generosity and grit continues to be admirable. (For up-to-date wildfire information in New Mexico and how you can help, visit nmdhsem.org/2022-wildfires.)    

Tumbleweeds Magazine is about local people, local resources, local support and local stories. We bought this magazine because Justin and I wanted to be a part of this community and bring people together from every neighborhood. Claudette Sutton, Tumbleweeds Magazine’s founder, created a community treasure 27 years ago, serving families throughout Northern New Mexico. 

This summer issue is Claudette Sutton’s last issue as editor. Big sigh! Justin and I are so grateful that she trusted us to continue the legacy of Tumbleweeds Magazine. The last 12 months, Claudette helped us transition into the role of publishers. Her guidance and expertise have truly helped to set the magazine on a positive trajectory. Tumbleweeds Magazine received nine awards in the New Mexico Press Women 2022 Communications Contest for work published in 2021; see news brief for more details. Finding someone to fill her deep knowledge of the community and editorial excellence has already proven to be a challenge. But I truly believe that the magnetic product she built will attract more community stewards, content contributors, editors and advertisers, because Tumbleweeds Magazine is family.

Thank you, Claudette, and best wishes, on your next chapter!

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