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  • WE ARE…

    ... THE PERKES. We still consider ourselves newlyweds [we've been married for almost 5 years]. Our firstborn, Jace, is now 2 years old, and became a big brother when Sofia Rain joined our family in November 2012. We are from the East Coast [Luisa is from MA and Nate is from NH]. We are Bronco's Fans [We've lived in the Boise area for almost 5 years]. We are travelers. We are athletes and we are dancers. We are enthusiastic about food. We are spontaneous. We are addicted to the sun. We are in love.

    Most importantly... we are HAPPY. We are the Perkes.

Turkey Vultures & Cow Manure…

Never in my life, would I ever have imagined that yesterday, on July 18th, I was going to run a Triathlon. I’ve never been an athlete. I’ve never really been ‘in shape.’ I didn’t even like running until this summer. I always used ‘bad knees’ as an excuse; come to find out, that ailment is pretty easy to cure. You just run through it!
At the start of my race! Looking pretty chipper, right? Not for long.
The Trek road bike I rented for the day!
My inspiration: Chelsea!! SHE was worried about this Tri, but she ran the San Diego Marathon last month, so she was definitely way ahead of me on the ‘Prepared Spectrum.’ When I first started training I could always count on her to be as excited for me as I was for myself at different milestones. She was an amazing cheerleader, even when I’d come to her and say: ‘GUESS WHAT! I RAN 2 MILES TODAY!’ when that same day she had run 13!
I was warned, but NOTHING can prepare you for the ‘stampede’, very similar to the one in the movie Jumanji. I thought I would be comfortable in the water and very quickly discovered that I was out of my league when a gentleman actually SWAM OVER ME. A little unexpected.
[I'm the blue dome in the middle].
After my swim, I ran back to the transition area, washed off my feet, put on my helmet, shorts, socks, shoes, Ipod and booked it for the road. Here I am making sure my water bottles are ready for the trip. This was one of the hardest parts of the WHOLE TRI. We climbed out of the canyon on a very steep one mile hill, cutting back and forth on the switchback roads. I just put the bike in the lowest gear and pedaled my guts out.

During this part of the race, I ran into an unexpected obstacle. I rode through some of the most beautiful country side EVER! There were vibrant greens in the rolling hills of alfalfa and the glowing gold of wheat. Farms, though, sometimes equal trouble. A HUGE tractor pulled out in front of me, towing a load of fresh manure. Fantastic. Not only was the smell overwhelming, but I actually had to dodge the cow pies. There was hay and debris in the wind, and I even got some in my eye. Great. Cow poo in my eye. I didn’t think I would need my goggles for this part of the event.

The picture above is on my way in from the bike.


Leaving on my run!
Apart from the beginning of the bike, the run was the overall hardest part of the entire event. The start/finish and ALL the transitions were in the same place. When I came back from my bike, I ran around the lake and on the opposite side, HIKED up this trail and over boulders that led me over ancient bridges and a crickety old stair case, which we ran up to come out of the canyon. When we reached the top, relief was NOT in sight. It was desert, with heat waves coming up off the pavement and an oasis in the distance. I did all my training in the early morning, and was NOT accustomed to having to run in the mid-afternoon heat.
Coming back from my run!
The LAST leg of the race!
Crossing the finish line!
At that point, I wanted the camera out of my face, and I just wanted Nate to hold me.

A little light-headed….
Victory!! WE DID IT!!
Then we just added ‘cliff jumping’ for good measure!
The view from my bike/run!!
Nate is VERY proud of this picture.
He took it on his Iphone.
My VICTORY Ice Cream!
Besides watermelon and water, nothing sounded better than a Soft-Serve Ice Cream from Dairy Queen.
Well actually, add to that a WHOLE DAY with my husband, a cold shower, soft PJ’s and the new Harry Potter Movie!
It was the best day ever….
  • This was a Sprint Triathlon, but a longer one at that. Normally, they are a 500 yd. swim, a 14 mile bike and 5K, or 3 mile run. This one was a 1/2 mile swim, a 17.1 mile bike, and a 5.25 mile run.
  • It took me 3:12:01
  • Special Numbers: 13, 2, 44, 3, 104, 47, 16, 4
  • 13 = the number of roadkill I saw during my bike
  • 2 = the number of turkey vultures circling me during my run
  • 44 = MY number!
  • 3 = the number of people I passed on the bike
  • 104 = the temperature that day
  • 47 = after weeks of training, my resting heart rate
  • 16 =the number of people who didn’t finish the race
  • 4 = what I placed in my age group!!!

Belinda - Wow! I just can't believe you did that. How amazing. I take it this is just the beginning. At least you are starting young. I have a friend who is 45 years old and ran her first Marathon. She just wanted to prove to herself that she could do it! And she did it! And you did it! Congrats!
P.S. Nice calf muscles!

Maritza Lastres - miRA.. ahora eres una atleta..nadadora y ciclista..ejale..! como cambia la vida.. ja jaja!.me gustan las fotos… y tu premio.. ja un helado eso es perfecto.! ja ja ja!.. te echo de menos amiga :( te amo mucho!.. y espero poder saber pronto de ti!.. !
chau besitos…y un abrazo de oso

..Juntas para Siempre!…

Shannon - That is amazing. I am so proud of how much work you put into the triathlon, and I'm sure you are proud of the rewards. It's true. You have never been an athletic one, but with determination and hard work look at how far you have come. What an inspiration!!!! Love you so much.

PS. How did you not chafe wearing a wet bathing suit while biking. lolol

The Perkes Family - Luisa!
Congratulations… what an accomplishment! Under the the circumstances for which you trained in such short notice, I was worried about you, but never once doubted you. I new you could do it, thats the kind of person you are, you get something in your mind and no matter how hard, you will do it. Despite the hardness of the race, you had some very memorable moments… I LOVE the Cow pie part.. that was so funny, I could imagine the whole thing. Anywho, what a great thing you have done, and now the addiction has started for you too… you'll never be the same.. There is something so amazing about finishing something so hard, and pushing your body farther then you ever thought it could go. There are no limits now, anything is possible. We have so many athletes in the family now! We need to do a family race, and a vacation afterwards…wouldn't that be so cool?

Can't wait for the next race..

Love Ya!

Josh - Wowzerowzers!!! You are awesome. What an amazing accomplishment. Having completed two much shorter (whimpy in comparison) triathlons, I can only say I am so impressed. I know too well the absolute exhaustion that comes from multiple events in the same race and in addition, your terrain certainly didn't sound all that level. Since when do boulders, bridges, and stairs belong in a triathlon? Us Midwesterners really like our flat courses…oh wait, that's all we have available. Regardless, we are so impressed. You rock!

Bree - Like I said earlier…you are AWESOME!!!!!! What an accomplishment…and I still can't believe you'll be doing another one next month! So impressive Miss Luisa!! And so funny about the tractor with manure…way to overcome the poo! haha!! See you soon! :)

Ken and Jen Perkes - I smiled, then I LAUGHED, then I just sat there in AWE! Luisa, you are truly worthy of being called a hero on so many levels!!!

Since reading this blog entry, I have marvelled again at how blessed you and Nate are to have found each other. You both have this amazing ability to draw SO much more out of life than most of us do.

You are truly an inspiration to me!

With great love and admiration,


P.S. I ALWAYS love your statistics! You are a delightful writer.

Mandy - Luisa! Oh my goodness, I am SO proud of you! You are amazing! I KNEW you could do this, but I was scared about that heat! I'm never complaining again:) You know, a lot of people in the world just won't get off their butts and be healthy, but you've inspired me to keep going with my workouts and MAYBE I'll do a marathon some day too:) It looks like SO much fun! What an accomplishment! I love you sista! Love-M

The Irons - #1 you are my hero
#2 HOLY MAJOLLY you're awesome!!!
#3 i MISS YOU like crazy
woman you are soo cool! that's so amazing that you were in a triathlon! i've always wanted to do one…but like you, i have the "knees issue". :) but i WILL do it!! how are you? we need to talk and catch up on things. I LOVE YOU!! have a beautiful day!

Jen Perkes - WOW!!!! I am so PROUD of you!! My goodness. The pictures of you at the end of your race reminded me of when Dad and Katie ran the marathon a couple of years ago…I actually teared up as I remembered the amazing flood of emotions that hit the runners as they finished the race. It was so humbling to witness. I can't even imagine all that it takes out of you to do something like that. I stand in awe! What a woman!!
Hugs and love,

It’s Official!!!

So. I’ve miss my husband. Ever since he shot his first wedding, I haven’t seen much of him. Once he had that under his belt, he decided he had to have a place to show off these beautiful shots he had taken. He needed a website to launch his official career, and then it began. From editting photos, to the research and purchasing of domain, to the music, to the composition, to the text, to the color schemes, to pricing.
I’m SO proud of him. It’s been a lot of work, and he has done amazing.
His talent is worthy of AT LEAST a post on my blog.
Here it is:

Sarah Bradley - Nate, Hey! Try calling Taylor back. He got your voicemail but erased it before he wrote your new number down!

Mandy - Congrats you guys! I love that pic of Avri! SOOO adorable! You should print that for Bree!

Cham, Rob, Alexis, and Jaxon - Hey I totally tried to call you yesterday and I don't have your number anymore!!!! I saw on ken and jen's blog nates new website address and bob and I checked it out, HOLY COW! SO nice! I wish we were there we would hire him in a second to take our family pics! Can you believe we have never had a family photo taken and we already have 2 kids?! Bad mom, very bad. Anyways we just wanted to sau great job to nate and you for being so patient with him while he was getting it all done! Congrats on the new business!

Small and Simple Things…

Some people call it: ‘Simple minds, simple pleasures.’ When I think of Nate, I call it: ‘Finding the joy in the little things.’ One morning a couple months ago, I got the urge to do just that. I took Nate’s camera early in the morning and took a drive around the neighborhood down to the garden and the river that runs by it. These are some things that I found that made me smile, that put the joy into the simplicity of my life.
The First Rose of the Spring
We have three bushes in our front yard and soon they were full!
My Tiny Herb Garden
Parsley, Oregano and Basil – Yay for free organic spices!
Antigue Classics in the Country
Ducky Day Care- 21 ducklings

The FIRST evidences of life in our garden!! You can see that tomato is barely bigger than my wedding ring. More to come on that story!

Hugs from “Benny-BenBen-BooBear”, my nephew!

Baby Juls’ Feet

I’ll have to add: you find a quarter on the street, you make all green lights to work, you go way under on your cell phone minutes, you receive an important phone call in an area where you don’t have any service, your cooking of a new dish or cake comes out WAY better than expected, you see a bald eagle, you lose weight without knowing it, you remember to take out the trash just in time, and you feel the adoration of some small child you are endeared to.

What tender mercies make YOU smile?

Belinda - Some tender mercies that make me smile and feel grateful are:
Having a family who loves me, gaining forgiveness for something that I've done wrong, hearing a beautiful song that touches my heart, getting a much needed hug from someone unexpected, feeling the unconditional love from my dogs, receiveing flowers from my husband, and hearing him whisper my name and look at me with tender loving eyes! I have many tender mercies in my life! Thanks for inviting me to write some of them down. I love you!

Ken and Jen Perkes - Luisa, you are such a beautiful person! [Something Mom and I have known for quite some time.] And now we learn that you are also a gifted photographer.

Beautiful photos! You just prove the point that the first principle to being a great photographer is to be able to SEE the beauty! It is always a joy to see the world through eyes such as yours and Nathan's!



aryn - great shots! i thought nate was the picture taker…apparently not.

well I've never had the simple pleasure of having a new recipe turn out better then expected but I'd have to add- a sleeping baby in your arms, the sound of laughter, and summer mornings.


I happen to think my husband is one of the most handsome men EVER! But this picture proves it. Haha! Just teasing. I love the picture, but I hate that he’s wearing his work shirt. Blah. So I figured I’d use the shirt to my advantage. Maybe Pinnacle will give me some money for my marketing skills! Yeah right. Fat chance.

Cham, Rob, Alexis, and Jaxon - Hey stranger! :) You hot scooter woman! Loooove it! How are things? We miss you tons and hope things are going good!

Kim Davis - Just found your blog. You two are such a darling couple. I'm lovin' the pictures and the way you write makes me smile – it's just the way you talk… so sweet and full of life :)

Ken and Jen Perkes - We agree: he is certainly out . . . standing in his field!

Love you both!


New Scooter!!

Look at my sexy new ride!!

When Nate and I moved to the Boise area and I started looking for work, we quickly realized that we wouldn’t be able to get along with just one car as we had in the past. We considered getting a second car, but that was unrealistic. We found our solution on two wheels instead of four!

Meet my ’07 Roketa MS Aruba 150 CC Scooter!


It caps at about 55-60 mph but it gets 70-80 miles to the gallon. This is the PERFECT summer-mobile. Nate doesn’t like to ride it as much as I do. He claims the helmet messes up his hair. Ha! What does he know about messed up hair?

Don’t worry ALL! Unless I’m within a 2 mile radius of my house… I always wear a helmet. I have some videos, but the internet has been acting strangely. I’ll post those when I can!

Belinda - Nice Ride Luisa, very sexy? Where was that bike when I visited? Paris has a scooter as well. It is great on milage isn't it! But be careful going around corners when there is loose gravel. Paris layed it down one time! Not very fun! He was ok though. He wasn't going very fast.

Bree - haha–I was totally thinking the same thing as Kate–love that you're sporting heels while you ride your scooter! Lookin good!:)

The Perkes Family - Your the only women I know that could pull off riding a scooter in heels!

P.S. Where's your helmet… (thats what Jake would say) =)

Ken and Jen Perkes - Wowzers! Does Batman know you have his scooter?



An Unexpected Visitor…

While Nate and I were sitting outside this morning, I saw these two tiny birds chasing each other around. One flew right in front of us and then straight up in the air, about 20 feet and then coasted the wind back down again. He was making the most cheerful little chirps ever. Moments later, either he or his bird lover did the same. It was obvious they were very happy and it was then that we realized they were hummingbirds. I told Nate that they were ‘wind surfing.’ We watched until they flew away and then we went inside. TO OUR UTTER AMAZEMENT, there was a tiny hummingbird flying around our kitchen. What are the chances? When we caught him, he actually let us hold him. I loved it when he would look right at me, and then cock his head to the side when I would say something to him, like he was really listening. Even outside, he just perched on my hand for about five minutes and even posed for some pictures. He was in no hurry to leave us. We hope to see him around soon!

If you can’t tell, I’m big on random bits of information:

  • I believe “he” was actually a “she”, and that she was a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird [only the males have the ruby throats].
  • Her wings beat 70-90 times a SECOND!
  • Hummingbirds are the ONLY birds that can fly backwards.
  • She consumes approximately 5 times her body weight in nectar, visiting hundreds of flowers daily.
  • She probably only weighed approx. 3-4 grams [This is less than the weight of a nickel, which is 5 grams].
  • Because of their incredibly rapid metabolism, they are always hours away from starving to death.
  • They can only store enough energy at a time to survive through the night.
  • At night, they put themselves into a hybernation-like state, dropping their heartbeat from 1,260 beats a minute to 60.

Brooke - Wowzers! How cool is that. You guys have a knack for attracting all the coolest creatures of the world.

Belinda - Wow, that is wonderful. I've always wanted to hold a hummingbird. I love your random facts. Especially about the one that says, hummingbirds are the only ones that can fly backwards. I guess it's like a helicopter.
Cool beans, keep it coming. Love You!

Ken and Jen Perkes - . . . And who knew that I had so much in common with hummingbirds . . . only an hour or two away from starving!

; )

Ken and Jen Perkes - Wow! I think that is a sign of incredible good luck! [Perhaps in contrast to what Mom would think of the bat that comes into our house!] In any case, it is incredibly cool.

I love coming to your blog; there is always something wonderful going on!


Happy Parents Day!!

Actually, first of all, Happy Father’s Day!!
On Mother’s Day, I REALLY wanted to do a post about our Mothers. It didn’t happen. For Father’s Day, I determined to do a post about our Fathers… but I couldn’t say much about our Dad’s without saying something about our Mom’s. So… THIS is a Happy Parent’s Day post. I hope the ‘Dad’s’ in our lives don’t feel jipped for having to share a holiday with their wives, even if that holiday is a fictional one invented for this post only. TO ALL OF OUR PARENTS & GRANDPARENTS: Thank you. We owe you everything and will love you always.

Oscar Morales
Starting with my Dad. Everyone ‘back East’ probably knows him as President Morales. Even on my wedding day, at the reception, Nate asked him: ‘So, can I call you Dad now?’ He replied: ‘Uh. No. Why don’t you just stick to President?’ Sigh. He’s come a long way since then.
As a child, I remember that he loved to work on his Bonsai and used to have an extensive collection. He LOVED to dance back in the day, but now uses his ‘knees’ or his ‘back’ as excuses to get him off the dance floor. He has a special relationship with his granddaughter ‘Brooka.’ She adores him. He LOVES long hair, as is the tradition in the Hispanic culture. When I was about 7, being the tomboy that I was, I decided to cut my own hair into a short Bob. Since then, he’s called me ‘Bobbie.’ My father taught me how to be responsible. He taught me about punctuality and hard work. He taught me about ‘tough love.’
These are some words from the song that we danced to at my wedding:
“I knew you’d be along, my faith in you was strong, you led me home. And with each changing season I would grow a little stronger, rising up to touch the open sky, and if I gave you a reason not to hold me any longer, you gave me a thousand reasons why. You are my steady oak, standing tall and strong, protecting me with everything you have. And I know deep inside, I would not have survived without you by my side.
Oh and I…. I love you Dad.”
Sheri Morales
My mom is a saint. I owe her my testimony and love of the gospel. She is a hard worker… a do it yourself woman. She is a nurturer. She serves selflessly and compassion comes to her naturally. She’s a witch doctor of sorts and doesn’t usually trust the diagnosis of pediatricians. She sets her mind to find herbal remedies and natural medicines herself. She’s a party girl and loves to laugh and dance. Often times, she’s fearless. Once, on a visit to Utah when she came to see me out at college, I arranged to take her horse back riding. Walking along the trail, suddenly, she breezes by me and is galloping up the mountain side, urging that poor horse faster and faster. Probably one of my fondest ‘childhood’ memories I have of her, is whenever I would get hurt, she would always say: ‘If I could take the pain for you, I would.’ That’s my Mom.
Ken Perkes
Dad happens to be one of the sweetest men I know. He adores his grandchildren, and in turn receives their adoration. He’s said before: ‘It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have any daughters, because I would have spoiled them shamelessly.’ Having five sons, he is always up to anything his sons put him up to. They aren’t usually very kind. But Dad is always happy and excited and smiling and optimistic. He is TRULY his children’s biggest fan. He works in Law, but I think if he had a choice, he would be a florist full time. He LOVES botany.
He is determined to be healthy and is currently very dedicated to a ‘Raw’ diet. Not to betray his age, but when he was 52 years old, he RAN the St. George Marathon. During that event, Dad had a little goal for himself that I think describes him as a whole. He promised himself that he would not ‘walk’ one step of the marathon. And he didn’t.
TO BOTH OUR FATHERS: Thank you for treating our mothers so well.
Jen Perkes
It takes a special kind of woman to raise 5 boys. She is strong and knows how to drive a crowd. She was raised on a farm and knows how to work. She is a photographer which is where Nate gets it, but she got it from her Dad. She loves to read and she loves dark chocolate. I can always count on her for the best hugs in the world. Probably my favorite thing about her is that she believes in you. The song she danced to with Nate at our wedding was: ‘I Hope You Dance.’ She has taught her boys to reach their goals in life…. she has taught them that they can do anything.
LaMon & Anna Jean Perkes- Nate’s Paternal Grandparents
Don Bernardo Morales- Abuelo- My Paternal Grandfather
Melroy & Lois Ballard- Nate’s Maternal Grandparents
Doña Olga Morales- Abuela- My Paternal GrandmotherPatricia Storti- My Maternal Grandmother
My ‘Grampy Ron’ Storti passed away in October 1996, 13 years ago. In memory of him, I wrote this to my family in an email:
Yanni always makes me think of him. That and fresh garden tomatoes…. anchovies on pizza… homemade cheese raviolis… fried frog legs…. the time Bandit caught on fire when Mom and he were trying to ‘blow torch’ the ticks out of his ears…. I think of the time he had to chase the skunk down the street so it wouldn’t ruin Mom’s serenade the night before her wedding. I remember Mom trimming his ear hair… and the rhyme he always used to say: ‘Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart… etc.’

I remember once he told me to put gum behind my ear to save it till after dinner. I told him that was gross and he said it was only gross if I forgot to clean behind my ears that morning.”

This picture above was taken at his baptism. My Grammy Pat waited a LONG time for him to join the church. He is on the top right and I am on the bottom right!

One last thing!
As you can see from the pictures above, not only does Nate LOVE children but he has a knack for caring for and entertaining them. He is going to make the best father and that is one of the reasons I married him.

Dear Nate,
Thank you for fostering that ‘inner child’ that is in you and for ‘keeping me young.’ I can’t wait for you to someday be a Dad. You will be a wonder to watch. I can’t wait for you to teach our girls how to throw a ball and be tough like boys. And I can’t wait for you to teach our boys to be kind, gentle and respectful with the ladies, just like you are with me. Happy Fathers Day, my darling.

Love always, The Mother of Your Children

Bernny V. - Nice message… and beautiful see "Tia Olga" and bernardo…

Maritza Lastres - ah! me encantaron tus fotos!:.tan lindas..hace mucho tiempo q no se nada de ti!:.pucha.. y te echo tanto de menos!… hay algunas cosas que necesito contarte!.. te amo mucho amiga..y saludos a "PAPI"…

Bree - That was such a sweet post, Luisa!! It's easy to see how you and Nate are so great…you have amazing parents!! :)

Ken and Jen Perkes - Luisa: You are the sweetest! And Nate too. What a thoughtful and kind tribute to all your loving parents. I just want to say that being a father is a DELIGHT with a daughter and son like you and Nate. I love you so much!


Belinda - My Dearest Luisa and Nate, It was wonderful to read this last blog and to see the pictures of "the parents and Grandparents" for "Parents Day". Family is so important. I know you both will make great parents. I look forward to the day when our family will grow even more. I'm looking forward to seeing both of you and introducing you to our exchange student Yasina when she flies here from Germany. Have a wonderful Day!
Keep writing and putting pictures up. It's wonderful. Luisa, if you don't have pictures of Grampy I can email some to you. Or I can just put them on my blog.

Mandy - This is CUTE Luisa! Yes, Nate will be an amazing and FUN dad! Hope you guys had a good day:)

Only in Star…

I felt like I was in National Geographic!! It took everything I had not to warn that oblivious little squirrel. I was also thinking… what’s so wrong with duck? They are so plentiful, as you can see in the picture. Apparently, that cat is picky when it comes to lunch.

That’s one lucky squirrel.
**P.S. June 21st: Today we found our hungry calico cat next to our garden… He’d been hit by a car. May you Rest In Peace, Calico, and may your days in cat heaven be filled with the jolly chasing and catching of many a plump squirrel.

Ken and Jen Perkes - You guys are just too cool!


P.S. Great new picture

Mandy - hahaha! I like the pic of you guys in the air! Your hair looks awesome! Where is that?

The Three Stooges

It all started with my least favorite item of our landscape. It quickly turned into an obsession.On May 14th, we discovered:

From then on, every single day I’d venture outside to monitor the progress.
Unfortunately, we lost one in gestation.

But, FORTUNATELY, on May 27th, we were blessed with Moe, Larry & Curly!!!

May 29th

I’m LOVIN‘ the fluffy white Mohawk! May 31st

I think Larry there in the back looks like a dinosaur. June 1st

Moe seems almost human here, the way he sleeps with his mouth wide open. He probably has some drool stains on his pillowcase.

Curly, lookin‘ a little grumpy on the left, with his Einstein hairdo. June 3rd

“Honestly? That weird human is back again. Doesn’t she have anything better to be doing? She’s pretty much obsessing over our kids. Nice catch, by the way.”
June 6thJune 8th: Up until this point, I had been a part of these birds lives every single day since birth. I THOUGHT we had a connection. I was wrong. I didn’t mean for IT to happen.

I approached the nest as I usually do to get my daily picture. Apparently, Larry wasn’t expecting me because when I said ‘Good Morning’, I scared the poop out of him…

Literally.…and he TOOK OFF hopping across our front lawn. I get a quick shot of Moe with poo in his eye, and start squeeling uncontrollably as I chase after Larry!

Nate comes to see what the commotion is all about, calms me down, and we trap Larry in a corner.We decide we should put him back in the nest, but we were concerned that if we grabbed him, the human scent would scare away his parents. Thank goodness for cheap Target dinner napkins. Nate figured it was better than direct contact.

We tried twice to return him to his bassinet. Finally, he stayed and got comfortable with his brothers.The next day, June 9th, the Stooges were 13 days old… I saw Curly hopping around on the branches of their little tree. So I grab the camera and head out… He TAKES OFF right when I get there!!!

I peak in the nest… and find it… vacant.

Nate and I are now empty nesters.

[I took a picture every single day from the egg to the empty nest. From start to finish, I had about 70 pictures of the Stooges!! Nate convinced me NOT to use them all on my post, but to whittle it down to the bare necessities to tell a better story. ALSO! The day of the big event, Curly got ATTACKED by crows!! He flew from his nest into a small tree across the street and they started pecking at him!!! I scared them away though. I guess that would explain why baby robins have a 24% survival rate. I've seen the Stooges following their parents around a couple times since then.]

Fun Facts:

  • Robins are one of the first to sing at dawn.
  • Their average life span is 2 years.
  • They are the state bird for Wisconsin, Connecticut and Michigan.
  • They hunt by sight, not sound.
  • They eat 40% insects, worms or caterpillars and 60% fruit and berries.
  • Papa Robin is very involved in the feeding and care of the Stooges [Daddies: Take note].
  • Mama Robin lost all her pregnancy fat in a matter of days. Ladies, be of good cheer. Even with triplets, it’s possible to have that pre-prego body back!

Linda - My kids loved this story. They think you are very lucky to have that in your front yard. And seeing what great parents you are to baby birds, I have no worries about leaving Kaia with you. I hope you are still up for it! See you soon!

Mandy - hahaha! What a cute post! I want baby birds too!!!

Wake Surfing!!

Nate and I are just flat out lucky sometimes.
When we arrived here to Star, we were SO grateful to be welcomed with such warmth like you can only find within the church. A big part of that came from Kyle and Brittany. Wake Surfing is only one such example of their benevolence.
Who even skis anymore? We barely even saw any water-skiing or wake boarding out on Lake Lowell, which is in Caldwell, about 20 mins away from where we live.
Here’s a little step by step intro to the ‘new thing’!
The surf board is much like a wake board but you don’t get strapped in. You start with your heels resting on top.
When you feel the pressure from the boat beginning to pull, you push down on your heels…
…and then just stand up and work your way to the inside of the wake…
[Doesn't he look like such a stud here? ; D ]
Once inside the curl of the wake, you find your balance and let the wake carry you, rather than letting the boat PULL you… that’s why here, the rope is slack. Kyle and Brittany don’t even use the rope.
Nate’s closeness to the boat in this picture is NOT an illusion. You’ll see in the videos that you can hold conversations and hear the music really well since you are so close to the party.
While Nate was doing his thang, we had fun with his camera!
Our HOSTS!!!
I wish I could pull off white shades!
My friend Kim!!
This is my Brit!
What mother of two can actually do this??!?! She’s such a babe!!
She has an amazing save here!

This is Nate’s FIRST RUN! He’s such a natural! He’s still a cowboy at heart though… you’ll see why!
“Ride ‘em cowboy!”

I definitely don’t look as comfortable as Natey did…
I had a GREAT cheering section though!
A couple of points of interest:
1.) The boat we were riding is an ’08 Malibu Wakesetter… PIMP!
2.) We used whats called a Fat Sack [or Ballast] to add weight to the back to get a bigger wake. We pumped about 500 lbs. worth of water into it.
3.) There was a guesstimate of 2000 lbs. in the back of the boat with every one’s weight included.
4.) The average speed while wake surfing is about 10-12 mph. That’s so nice, so when you biff it, it’s not like hitting pavement.
5.) The water that day was about 75 degrees.
***I’m still trying my hand at photo editing. I give big kudos to Nate! Blogger isn’t very accurate with imitating the edits that we spend so much time on. It tends to flatten the image. I had to crank up the contrast, vibrance and add a few filters to get the look that I wanted AFTER posting it to the Blog. Hope I didn’t over-correct!

Bree - How FUN!! That is so awesome you guys got to go do this!! And I'm glad you still hang out with your office friends when you have WAY cooler friends with hookups!! haha! JK! :) The pictures look amazing, glad you had a blast!!

Mandy - WOW! Wake surfing looks like SOOO much fun! I can't even wake board, so maybe I could do this! I've got to tell Trav! Awesome job you guys! You're pros!!!

New Playlist!!

I’ve had the same music playing on my Blog FOREVER! You all can tell a lot about my musical preferences based on my song choices. A lot of John Mayer, Jason Mraz. Ingrid Michaelson was there a while back. Amos Lee is a recent new addition. I LOVE P!nk. Yael Naim. David Cook. Lenka. Gabriella Cilmi. Hans Zimmer. Missy Higgins. The Veronica’s. Yanni. Norah Jones. James Blunt. Josh Gracin, Turner, and Radin. Secondhand Serenade. Shinedown. Keri Hilson and Kristinia DeBarge are two new interests. As you can see… very eclectic.

But most importantly right now, I’d like to take this opportunity to proclaim my dedication to AMERICAN IDOL!! This is the first season that I’ve watched from beginning to end… almost religiously. Thank you Jake and Kate for the Idol parties every week, CBox for your fantastic reviews and Dad for your enthusiam to rival ours.
Three songs on my current playlist [but expect it to be ever changing] are from this season of AI, which has markedly been the most controversial season in American Idol history. I wanted to take the chance to say: As far as ‘raw talent’ goes, Adam Lambert was born to be on the stage. But as far as ‘an album that I would buy and listen to’ goes, Kris Allen all the way. Incidentally, my two favorite performances of the season were Adam’s ‘Tracks of my Tears’, and ‘Mad World’. Kris performed ‘Falling Slowly’ [which I couldn't get on my playlist] and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ fantastically.

I’m glad Kris won, but I thought Adam deserved it. I’d want to see Adam in concert, but I’d buy Kris’ albums!
I win either way!


Belinda - I haven't watched American Idol. I want to, but I didn't want to start in the middle of a season. Maybe this next season I can. I love to hear people sing.

Ken and Jen Perkes - You picked my three favorite songs from the show! Mad World being my favorite.

But I loved your old playlist too. Sometimes I would visit just for the music . . . . just kidding . . . but I've always enjoyed your music selection. You guys are just cool no matter what you are doing. Mom and I just watch and learn.


Welcome to the World!!

Recently I’ve been determined to learn the very basic tricks of Nate’s trade. His super-duper camera takes some commandeering and his photo editing software is pretty intense as well. But, I would be foolish not to take advantage of Nate’s Nikon. So. I had my first photo shoot the other day with the NEWEST ADDITION TO OUR FAMILY!!! Baby Julia! She was born two weeks ago to Jake and Kate, our brother and sister. She is PERFECT!

Put your hands in the air… and step away from the bottle.

Does anyone else think she has a striking resemblance to her big brother, Natey? I do.
How did I do on my first run through photo editting school?

CONGRATS Jake and Kate!! For another job well done!! You sure are good at what you do!!

The Perkes Family - Hey you Love the pictures! (wink, wink) You need to take advantage of a good camera thats for sure! Hey I have "Falling Slowly" on my play list and it works, you should try it again. I down loaded it when I did my last blog. Let me no if you need a hand! Love ya!

Bree - HEEEEY!!! I kept checking your blog and you hadn't updated…now I check and there's a million new ones! :) I'm so glad we can be blog buddies!! LOVE these pictures–you can practice on our new baby when she comes if you want! ;) It's been fun getting to know you and Nate better and we look forward to the rest of the summer!Keep the posts coming!!

Belinda - Soooooo cute! Good job Luisa. You are very talented. Keep it up! I'd love to see more from you.

Jake and his wife live near you right? Paris and I would love to come visit all of you. We are getting an exchange student in August. She is from Germany. We would like to show her different places.

Love You,
Auntie Bindy

Ken and Jen Perkes - Luisa: Nate needs to share his camera with you more often! You are wonderful! And so funny. I loved this post. Little Julia is adorable . . . and so are you! Great job!

Mandy R - Very cute pics Luisa! I’m glad you’re picking up the camera! It’s SO much fun! I’m trying to get Trav to go explore and shoot as well:) I think learning new things is so important…and FUN! Awesome work!

Herbert the Handsome…

I know. It HAS been forever. I apologize profusely for not having posted in over a month. The truth is… I was waiting for something perfectly fantastic to happen. And it did.
Meet Herbert. I had a date with him Friday night.
One look at his perfect complexion, dreamy eyes and luscious lips and I couldn’t help it.

He was the perfect height for me…
There were some innocent, playful kisses…

Some listless daydreaming of the future…

And even some singing and dancing!

My heart nearly broke at having to release this love of mine!

You might think I was calm and composed while being enchanted by my amphibian lover. Truth is: I was not. Nate and I actually found him on the way home when Nate almost ran him over with our car. After much imploring, I convinced him a rescue mission was necessary or this beautiful creature’s death was imminent, and his grave would be located at the intersection of Star and 1st. I hastily ran to the middle of the road and literally swept him off his webbed feet. Once safely inside the car, pandemonium ensued. Herbert started flailing dramatically, I started screaming hysterically, and Nate started laughing so spastically he could hardly continue to man the rescue vehicle. Herbert managed to explore every nook and cranny of our car in a matter of 30 seconds as we finished our drive home [Including: my purse, the entire dashboard and the PASSENGERS SEAT which I had quickly evacuated upon his INVASION into my personal space]. Nate and I were both laughing and screaming like little school girls as this all happened.

Thank goodness I already have my Prince Charming. Dating just isn’t what it used to be.


Shannon - Reminds of the trip to Thendara when we caught like a hundred of those little frogs and we had to name and kiss every single one before releasing them. Oh, the good ole days!!!! How is it that without older brothers you and I are as fearless as the boys?! You more so than me, but it works!! LOVE YOU

The Perkes Family - I love the Story of Herbert, even though I sort of heard it already told, I loved the story board version! You definitely gave that frog something to tell the other frogs! Poor guy, non of them are going to believe him! Rescued, kissed, and danced till the sun came up. It is quite unbelievable! =)

Josh - I love it! The adventure sounds like many other Perkes moments. I’m thinking of Racoons and Snapping Turtles and even Sugar Gliders. You guys are awesome!

Ken and Jen Perkes - HILARIOUS!!! I loved the “Sweet Little Buttercup” serenade. And the frantic get-away . . . NOT [I think he was sort of attached to you guys]. I have to admit he is one beautiful frog!

I laughed as I scrolled down through the pictures, saw the kiss and then . . . SHAZAM! . . . . there was Nathan. Made me laugh.

You guys are too fun!


The Irons - you are crazy girl! i cant believe you could hold him!!! ewww.. i give ya props, you handled that a LOT better than i ever could. :) how are you?? i feel like we keep missing eachother! what have you guys been up to?? MISS YOU TONS!!! love ya babe,

What We’ve Done…

I came upon this ‘List of Accomplishments’ on the blog of a dear friend. Karen, thanks for the fun idea! She added a few additions to the bottom and we will do the same. Highlighted in red, are the items that either one of us has completed, together or separately. Upon seeing the finished product of this post, I have been shocked and amazed at how LUCKY we have been. To our AMAZING PARENTS, who have taught us how to live to the fullest… thank you.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Learned a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed or danced in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar, Escargot, Calamari, Sushi and/or Turtle Eggs
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument
102. Served a mission
103. Had an epidural
104. Been an extra in show, commercial or movie
105. Ran a stop sign
106. Kept a journal
107. Watched too much reality TV
108. Closed my eyes during a movie
109. Gone skeet shooting

These are mine:
110. Held a crying child

111. Breathed fire
112. Ridden an electronic rodeo bull
113. Ridden a bike with no hands
114. Driven the United States from coast to coast

115. Played Chubby Bunny
116. Swam with dolphins
117. Had my wisdom teeth removed
118. Been bucked off a horse

119. Danced like no one was watching
120. Talked myself out of a ticket

These are Nate’s:
121. Been indoor skydiving
122. Ridden a donkey
123. Eaten chicken feet, or cow intestines/stomach
124. Seen a broadway musical in NYC
125. Wrestled with lions

126. Stepped in a bees nest
127. Been white water rafting
128. Held my breath for longer than three minutes [3:04 to be exact]
129. Learned juggling and sleight of hand
130. Married the woman of my dreams!

*Ok, maybe I added #130 for him… but he did tell me that today!

Linda - Luisa,

I want to talk to you about our Washington trip (via Boise) in July. I don't have a phone number or e-mail for you. So if you would please e-mail me or call me, I would love it! Thanks Linda & Dolan ( (435-563-0557). I'm assuming you must be busy. I have missed your posts.

Ken & Jen - How fun!

The two of you have had some amazing and unique experiences–and you’ve only just begun! We love watching that list grow with adventures and accomplishments. You are living extraordinary lives!


Shannon - Love it. Especially the pictures you added as proof, especially the karaoke one (Rockin Nate) How many babies have you been able to stop crying while you have held them?

Before Spring Arrives…

… we thought we’d mention one of our favorite winter activities. This winter, and the bitter cold that insued, was one of A pleasant surprise. Nate and I LOVE to ice skate! Before we left Utah, we were the MASTER match-makers. We decided to organize a group blind date with four of our ex- mission companions. We went out to dinner at the Brazilian BBQ- Tucano’s and then we visited the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake. Although thus far, no further romantic action has been taken from our pals, who knows?
On another occassion, Nate and I went to an arena here in Boise with the fam and our visiting MOM! We had so much fun!
Here’s Nate… pretending to be uncoordinated and untalented. There are few things in life at which he does not excel…. except for pretending NOT to excel at something.

And here he is after all his hard work! I almost got plastered by an oncoming skater… does he look familiar to anyone?

Like a Bad Hair Cut…

For good reason Nate has never let me cut his hair before. For all you gardeners, don’t laugh. This was my first time.

Jonna - Hi Luisa,
I just wanted to Thank You for visiting my crazy Baking Blog…Get Off Your Butt & Bake. I think that hair cut is amazing! That is coming from a Hair & Nail Salon owner! Besides Baking, that is what I do for a career. My daughter Danielle Hone…also lives in Logan with her husband Brian. They will be moving in July to go to Dental School. She is probably your age (23). I also looked at the photography blog…What talent! My daughter Chantri is also a photographer…I'm a wish I was photographer. I loved the picture with you in High Heels amongst the cattle. We have a ranch in Jackson Hole, WY….so I can appreciate the hard work that goes into that operation.'s fun making new friends. Visit Often.

Ken & Jen - First of all . . . you have blossoms on your tree!

And secondly, Luisa, you did well! It may look funny to you now, but your really did well. That bush will grow out more uniformly and denser. I think you will like the effect.

What a cool yard you have. I love that you are gardening!


Happy Easter!!!

Turns out that Nate and I will be celebrating our anniversary on Easter about once every decade! That’s right! Nate and I just had our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! It was a magical day. After breakfasts in bed [to our surprise, we both planned on doing that for each other! Haha! We worked it out!], serenading on the guitar [I practiced so long and hard, but I barely got through the first verse before the water works started!! I'm such a sap. Nate had to sing it with me], a picnic up in the mountains, Easter Bunny deliveries [He DOES still deliver to adults, however, only to those who are madly in love], a fabulous Easter dinner with the fam, and then returning home to a relaxing night of massages and a fun romantic comedy… we could call it one of our best days ever.

Turns out Baby Nate isn’t camera shy at all. Uncle Nate distracted him while we finished preparing dinner!

Ken & Jen - Sounds PERFECT, you young lovers! Now keep that romance going; it’s still appreciated even when you become our age.



The other day, Nate and I accompanied Jake, Kate and the kids to the PBR International Championship Rodeo. I’ve never seen anything like it. There were SO many people there, and the main event [bullriding] was actually just a bonus to all the other fun things going on, pyrotechnics being my favorite. Nate snuck down into the press box to get some amazing shots. This is my favorite sequence:
This cowboy gets a horn to the face. Good thing he was wearing a helmet since the majority of the riders weren’t. One such cowboy, after receiving a high score smiled up at the camera and I was shocked to find only ONE tooth in that victorious grin.
That’s a lot of bull spit.
This rodeo clown got pretty lucky sinces the legs of this bull’s buck went on either side of him. However, I’m sure the view and the smell were less than favorable, though probably preferable.
*See more amazing rodeo shots on Nate’s website! He has some phenomenal pics!

Buckley - Nate, You could make quite the impressive expert Rodeo photographer (if there is such a thing…) I am always quite impressed with your incredible talent. All of your pictures are breathtaking and bring you right into the action. Keep it up.


jeny - espero te llegue porque apenas estoy aprendiendo a usar esta cosa llamada internet

jeny costarica - hola! Luisa soy Jenny de costa Rica te escribo para que sepas que ya tengo correo y es esta es porque aunque no lo creas tengo 15 dias de estar trabajando y vieras las ganas de verlos que tengo a toda la familia pero mas a ud y a Shanon digale que yo le voy a escribir en español y que ella busque quien se lo pueda traducir

Mandy - GREAT shots Nate!

Ken & Jen - OUCH!!!

Nate: Wasn’t it you that lamented that your life was boring because you weren’t born a cowboy?

Fun to see more of your AMAZING rodeo photos! After I am done marveling over the photos themselves, I get a chuckle, thinking of you in the press box. There really is a little cowboy in you, isn’t there!


We’re Going Into Business…

In Relief Society, I was encouraged to develop a ‘marketable skill.’ In that light, on Nate’s mission he picked up a pretty feminine talent, although I would say classifying knitting and crocheting as “feminine” is definitely something of yester-year. He has since taught me how to crochet and I’m in the process of teaching myself to knit. If anyone needs some winter wear, let us know!!

This is the finished product!! It’s my first and I sent it to my little brother Alex who turned 17 last week!!!

Nate made this one for me!

Happy Birthday Bubba! I love you! And Happy Birthday to Buck & Jay-Z as well! Tell me your favorite colors and I’ll whip something up for you guys too!

Shannon - Hey, how fun!! When can I put my order in for Christmas?

Rare Recipes for Reptilian Refreshments

Once, on a trip to Denver, Mom and Dad Perkes discovered this amazing dessert. Subsequently, they perfected the recipe for this delicacy and now it is somewhat of a family tradition. From hot to cold, sweet to spicy, it satisfies all your sweet tooth tendencies.

Resting in a warm bed of white chocolate and cream, this ball of chocolate ice cream is coated in a cocoa powder/cayenne pepper blend. Rely on the creamy white chocolate to soothe the ‘bite’ that inspired this desserts name.
*Normally garnished with a dark chocolate drizzle.

*Warning: Do not attempt to inhale while you take a bite, or even while you are chewing. If done so, the cayenne pepper will coat your lungs and esophagus and a violent coughing fit will ensue. Further enjoyment will be compromised.

This recipe was created with the expertise of our local pregnant chef. Kate invented this Rattlesnake look like, without the rattle, and decided a safer attempt at enjoying ice cream would be more accommodating.

Smothered in white chocolate and cream, this brownie is topped with chocolate ice cream. The entire ensemble is coated in melted white chocolate, which hardens and provides a decadent crunch.

Stay tuned for more from the Perkes Kitchen!

Ken & Jen - The Copperhead!!! How cool is that!

Someday we are all going to have to open a restaurant. Wouldn’t we have fun!