How To Make Friends In Farmington

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I have written about this before but I believe it to be true: A huge key to happiness is in having meaningful relationships (NY Times bestseller, Gretchen Rubin, talks about this in her book The Happiness Project).

So are you happy with your social life? Do you feel like you have good friends in Farmington?

When I was growing up, I was a total LONER! I still have a hard time making associations (I am far more comfortable behind a computer – go figure!).

I just recently met a wonderful mom who moved here a few weeks ago. She has inspired me with her techniques on how to make friends in Farmington.

A few tips on how to make friends from this mom:

Scenario: There is usually a group of 3-6 moms who meet at the E3 Children’s Museum on Wednesday.
Me: These women look like they have been friends for years and they are deep into their conversation. I don’t want to interrupt them even though I wish I could be a part of their association!
The New Mom: Excuse me. Are you all part of a group? I’m new in town and am looking for groups to join.
Reality: Other moms are actually very willing to help other moms. Don’t be afraid to interrupt a group of talking moms and to join the conversation!

Scenario: Finding a group to join.
Me: I don’t know where to find one. That was literally my excuse for years.
The new mom: She Googled and asked around for groups to join. So easy!
Reality: It can be hard if you don’t know what to Google. This mom already knew about MOPS and she Googled “MOPS in Farmington, NM”. I am going to start a “Club” page so it will be easier to find a club or group to join in Farmington.

Scenario: Joining a group.
Me: I joined a group and it wasn’t a good fit for me. Then I gave up.
The new mom: “I’ve already been to a book club meeting and I’m going to attend both MOPS meetings this month.”
Reality: If one group isn’t a good fit, there are others. Don’t give up! Be proactive. That has been the greatest thing that I have learned in my four years of living here. I always thought that friends would magically come to me. My new friend has taught me that I have to put myself out there.

Friends are Waiting

You might have to go a little outside of your comfort zone, but I am confident that your happiness will increase exponentially in Farmington as you make wonderful associations and friends in Farmington!

Question: What is your secret sauce to making friends in Farmington? Please leave a comment on the Living in Farmington, NM Facebook page or in the comment section above. Thanks!



Finding Joy – Where I Lived Before Farmington

Socorro, NM
Overhead view of NM Tech. Photo courtesy of

I have never mentioned on the blog the town I lived in before Farmington.

Here is what my parents and siblings have to say about the town.

That town is so dirty and ugly.

I only visited you twice, but that was too much.

Why would anyone ever want to live there???

You get the point.


I absolutely loved my last town! I loved my children’s school, my church, the university, the diverse cultures, restaurants, friends, etc.

How could my family severely dislike the town but I love it??? How could they love Farmington and I dislike it?

Their viewpoints made me realize and understand that loving a place is a matter of perspective. I could love Farmington if I decided I wanted to.

My happiness didn’t lie in the external things that bothered me. My happiness lied in my own attitude and perspective. I am a slow learner, but now I beginning to love Farmington. I hope you are too.

“Of this be sure: You do not find the happy life …you make it.”
~Thomas S. Monson

Photo courtesy of
Yes, we lived in Socorro before Farmington. We’re proud Techies! Photo courtesy of



How to Bloom in Farmington

Photo courtesy of

But how do you do that when you feel so miserable when you first move to Farmington or have been here for years and still feel unhappy?

This man gave a sermon in my church several months ago. He told us what he told his son before he left on a mission to another country.

This is what he said:

“Son, don’t hold back.
Whenever we have gone to Navajo Lake, I’ve always told you to jump in. Yes, the water is cold.
Just jump in.
Do the same thing when when you arrive in your mission.
Don’t hold back.
Love the people and give it everything you have.”

I totally pictured me wanting to dip my feet in and then slowly inch forward into the cold water – only to prolong the misery.

My Advice

Jump in.

Make friends.


Get involved.

Find the wonderful things about Farmington that make it unique.


I hope you bloom and thrive here in Farmington! It’s truly a great place to live. It only took me four years to discover that. I hope it takes you a much shorter time!




Personal Living Experience in Farmington & A Restaurant Review – Jenn’s Story

St. Clair Winery & Bistro
St. Clair Winery & Bistro

Today Jenn is sharing her story with us. I loved reading it and hope you will too!

Jenn’s Story – Written by her. (Thanks!)

After moving to Farmington in 2012, I felt a little disappointed by the lack of restaurants, shopping, and attractions that I’d grown accustomed to in Utah. I never wanted to settle here and it took quite a change of heart and a couple of years before I felt comfortable with the idea that this was going to be my home for now and the foreseeable future.

Finding Joy

My husband, who is ever the optimist, encouraged me to have a good attitude about the move. He said I should give Farmington a second chance. I took the challenge, partially because I knew I needed to do something proactive that would show my husband I was trying and partially because I felt a deep peace inside that it was right to be here at this point in our lives.

Though my husband and I both grew up here there is much of Farmington that we haven’t experienced and there are many changes that have taken place over the years, creating a different atmosphere than the one we grew up in. So, I decided it would be fun to go to a new restaurant every Friday for our weekend date but we wouldn’t just go to eat.

The Rating System

We would go with a rating system. We would rate the atmosphere, the food, the service. We would rate everything from the extra things they do that make dining special to how family friendly they are. We would not look for the negative. We would look for the things we could fall in love with about Farmington.

Pasta New Mexico
Pasta New Mexico

St. Clair Winery & Bistro

One gem we found is St. Clair Winery and Bistro located at 5150 E Main St, Farmington, NM 87402. Here are the ratings we gave this nice little place.

Atmosphere: (10) The ceilings are high, offering an open mixture between old world France and the modern industrial world. Paintings on the walls, wine glasses and cloth napkins add a touch of class.

Food: (10) Before they even bring you your meal you are offered a loaf of light bread. It’s crispy on the outside, moist and airy on the inside. Top it off with a bit of whipped butter that melts instantly and your taste buds will be ready when your fresh salad arrives. Most people I know say that St. Clair offers the best Green Chili Macaroni on the planet, but it was the Meat Loaf that swept me off my feet. It’s not your mother’s meatloaf. The flavor and texture are more like an oh so tender steak that’s been drizzled in a sweet and spicy Chipotle sauce. Ooh la la! Trust me it’s worth every penny.

French Dip Sandwich – Delish!

Drinks (10) With it being a winery and all, there is an abundance of alcoholic choices. You’re probably going to laugh at me, but all I order is lemonade. Seriously though, it’s the best lemonade EVER. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. It’s the perfect mixture of tart and sweet with an aftertaste that makes me think of raspberries.

Service: (10) I have no complaints. Everyone is very friendly and quick so please.  I particularly like that the waiters are willing to whisper their favorite food choices. It helps me decide and it’s the reason I was brave enough to order the meatloaf in the first place.

That little something extra: (10) On Friday nights my favorite tables are out on the covered patio. There are live bands that never fail to amuse. The music’s not so loud that you can’t have a conversation. I like singing along (quietly) to familiar tunes. I just wish the patio was a little larger. You have to come early to get a seat.

Parking: (4) It seems there is a downside to everything, unfortunately. The parking lot is too small and crowded. Sometimes we have to park in front of one of the neighboring establishments and walk over.

Price: (8) The prices are quite fair based on the healthy portion sizes. My hubby and I often share one order. You can expect to pay similar prices to Chili’s and Outback Steakhouse.

Best atmosphere and reasonable prices.
Best atmosphere and reasonable prices.

Overall, this is a great place for a first date, an anniversary, or just to enjoy a great meal. Change out of your ratty jeans and step up the class here in Farmington by visiting St. Clair Winery and Bistro. (End of Jenn’s words.)

Thank you!

Thanks Jenn for writing this guest post today!



How To Help A Friend With Cancer In Farmington

I have a dear friend in Farmington who is fighting a brave fight against cancer in Farmington. My heart cries out for her!

I have been thinking about how I can help her without being intrusive or awkward. Also, what do I say to her, “How’s your day going?” What is she supposed to say to that???

I found some vlogs (video blogs) that I think are extremely helpful because the author, Michele Cushatt, is fighting cancer herself.

  1. The video above shares information on what to say and do for a friend who is fighting cancer.
  2. The video below is a one that I would give to her in an encouraging, look-what-I-found-and-I-hope-it-helps email. I cried when I watched it. I found it helpful even for me.

I hope you are finding joy in living in Farmington. Life is so precious.

Thank you for reading. I would love to read your comment if you have found these vlogs to be helpful to you. Thanks again!



Being A Tourist In Our Own City Of Farmington

Rod Run

There is still plenty of fun to do before school starts – especially in our own city of Farmington!

I am a podcast junkie. My new favorite podcast is Happier by Gretchen Rubin (NY Times bestseller of The Happiness Project).

She gave a “happier” tip in her podcast which was to be a tourist in your own city. She said that the more connections you make in your own city (with businesses or local attractions), the more meaningful it will be to you.

That sounded good to me!

The Farmington Challenge

The Farmington Challenge
You can pick up the challenge sheet at the Farmington Rec Center or the Chamber of Commerce. I’ve seen it in the newspaper too.

So I used the Farmington Challenge as my guide to be a tourist in my own city.

Here is what I and my family did over a week’s worth of time.

  • The Rod Run. This event was so much FUN! I had never been to it even though it was in its 33rd year. So downtown main street was totally blocked off and people could walk in the middle of the road. It was fun to look at classic cars and really expensive I-will-never-be-able-to-afford cars. I also saw my first cheesecake on a stick. Food vendors were there if you wanted to grab a bite to eat. So look out for this event next July if you missed it this year.Rod Run
  • TGIF Music and Lunch. This event takes place every Friday in July in Orchard Park downtown. Again, I had never been to it, and yet I was surprised about how nice it was. It definitely drew a crowd – even if it was a mature crowd. There was live music and dancing, children playing on the water pad, and hamburgers, pizza, and hotdogs sold by Three Rivers Brewery. You could bring your own lunch if you wanted. The city set up big tents and tables so that there was shade and places to sit while you enjoyed the music and ate your lunch.TGIF Music and LunchA couple dancing.
  • Navajo Trading Post. It was fun to look at the Navajo sculptors and jewelry. The nieces and nephews really liked the gumball machine right inside the door. This place was kid friendly because almost everything was behind glass counters. The kids couldn’t break things or pick things up. That was definitely a plus! The really nice cashier shared some blue mush pancakes with us before we left.Navajo Trading Post
  • Artifacts Art Gallery & Chile Store. My 10-year-old daughter really loved this store. I must say, it is my favorite art gallery in Farmington! It has a great atmosphere and awesome, one-of-a-kind art pieces. I would not take my little kids though – too many nice things to break.


I am happier after I did those things in Farmington.

I do appreciate that Farmington does an amazing job of offering quality events and activities for all of its residents like the Rod Run.

I hope that you continue to have a great summer and explore all that Farmington has to offer!

A Corvette at the Rod Run. My son’s dream car.

Question: What would you do as a tourist in Farmington? If you are not from Farmington, what would you do in your own town? Please share your comments. Thanks for reading!



The Key to Happiness in Farmington – Part I

Photo from

Do you want to know the key to happiness to living in Farmington? Gretchen Rubin (NY Times Bestseller of The Happiness Project) said that the key to happiness is meaningful relationships.

In my last town, we had so many meaningful relationships.

We had an elderly, Chinese gentleman that lived across the street. Every week, he would shuffle towards our house carrying a couple of grocery bags from Smith’s. Then he would knock on our door and give us a gallon of milk and some produce that he had found on sale.

He came every week because he said that children needed to know that there were still good and kind people in the world.

We had other neighbors that we had dinner with a couple nights a week, swapped babysitting with, and just dropped by to visit. No one needed to call first.

Then we moved back to Farmington and most of that stopped.  We invited people over, but many didn’t reciprocate. I felt so lonely.

I felt miserable for years. Then I had a light bulb moment! My husband and I realized that I didn’t have any close friends (except for a wonderful couple from church that were twice our age).

The Key to a Happy Life in Farmington

If you are still miserable and are struggling with being in Farmington, are you missing the key to a happy life – meaningful relationships?

Keep trying my friend – keep inviting people over, join clubs, join a gym, attend church, etc.

I hope that you can make the effort to make good friends in Farmington.

Question: If you have recently moved to Farmington, how have you made friends? I would love to read your comments! Thanks for reading.



Motherhood Is The Hardest Job – Seek Support

Being a mom (and dad) is the hardest job in the world!

I pictured motherhood as being fun and fulfilling, but often felt the exact oppisite – miserable and drained.

When I moved to Farmington, I needed encouragement and support from other moms who were in the same stage. I didn’t find it because I quickly became pregnant again and didn’t feel like leaving the house to make connections and friends.

That is when online, motherhood support websites came in. I found great support and encouragement in those.

Online, Motherhood Support Websites

These groups can be an invaluable resouce to help support all moms of young children in their most sacred and important role as mom.

I hope that you can find the support you need until you can make friends with other moms in the community.

Power of Moms (

I mostly read the Power of Moms website. Here is an example of an article from the Power of Moms website where a mom reached out to find help and received a flood of support and encouragement from other moms’ responses.

The Email (reprinted with permission):

I need some serious help. Things are out of control in my home. I don’t mean abuse, but perhaps some neglect.

I’m the mother of two young children. I can’t keep my house clean, I’m losing my temper more and more, and I’m losing my will to keep trying.

Sometimes I just turn on kids’ shows for my little ones to watch because I can’t handle the stress or keep listening to their demands. It’s not that I don’t take some time for myself–I kind of do, except that if I get a few moments for myself, I’m prone to just escape and get lost in surfing the Internet or playing a stupid game on my phone.

It’s like I’m addicted.

I know you ladies aren’t really in the business of marriage & family therapy, but I really don’t know where to turn. If I didn’t have the beliefs I do about family and motherhood, I would be saying right now that I was never meant to be a mother and having kids was the worst choice I ever made.

But I don’t want to feel like this!

I always wanted to be a mother, but I feel so horrible at it that there is almost no joy left in it for me.

Can you suggest where I can turn for help?

Responses to the Email

Claire says: For whatever it’s worth, I have a few suggestions based on my own experience as a mom, and I’m hopeful some other moms will chime in as well. My experience is different than yours, and different strategies work for different people, so these are just some things to consider.

Routines are what helps me get through each day as a mom. Nothing rigid, but a general flow to the day seems to keep me on track. The first of which is my morning routine, which involves getting up before my son. I don’t love getting up at 5 or 6 am, but it is worth it to me to have some time to myself to check email, exercise, pray, shower, etc. Then when my son gets up, I am in a better mood and better able to meet his needs.

Next is a routine for my son. I only have one child, so I know this will be more challenging for you with two young children. But I have found that having my son on a flexible schedule has been helped him to know what to expect, and to be more cooperative. He knows that the day starts out with a few minutes of snuggling with Mom, getting dressed and eating breakfast, followed by some independent play. Each morning we go somewhere for an hour or two, whether it’s running errands, going to the playground, a playdate, etc. Home for lunch and more freeplay, followed by a nap (when he was younger) or quiet time. I do some structured playtime with him at various points during the day, and this makes him more willing to play on his own when I need to take a break or get something done. I try to alternate between quiet activities and more active play. I think that when kids have a chance to be active, it helps them to be calmer in between. Between dinner and bedtime he gets some playtime with Dad, which gives me a break. Maybe that’s something your husband could help with? It would be for a manageable amount of time, and you would be nearby so hopefully it would not lead to temptation for him.

I have found that having too many toys available can lead to boredom and kids being overwhelmed. So I rotate the toys I display. And again, I try to plan a few structured activities throughout the day. One day it might be a craft, one day it might be cooking together, one day it might be doing legos together. The variety seems to help hold his interest.

Is there room in your budget to hire a babysitter, or could you swap childcare with another mom so you can take a break sometimes?

A website I like a lot is Crystal, the owner, has lots of posts about setting up a morning routine and things of that nature.

I wish you all the best.

Crystal saysI don’t begin to pretend to understand everything you’re going through and I don’t want to simplify your situation but maybe this one little thing will help just a little. You often hear, “It doesn’t get any easier,” but I want to tell you that it’s not true. As your babies get older it will get easier. They will be able to contribute and that is a game changer. I’m finally at that point and it is awesome to have a child, sometimes two who are helpful. Just to give you a little light at the end of the tunnel. Also, the book Simplicity Parenting is life changing. Truly. Praying for you.

Links for Resources – Link to an awesome podcast that you can listen to on your phone or on your computer. – Another awesome podcast. This mom homeschools, runs her family business with her husband, and gives down-to-earth mom advice. – Great tips on everything from house cleaning to encouragement.

Question: Do you have a favorite website for support and encouragement for moms or dads? Please share it by leaving a comment. Thanks for reading!



How To Be The Best Sister/Sister-In-Law in Farmington

My sister with my son.
A candid photo of my sister with my son Joe.

My husband and I were so excited to move back to Farmington so we could be closer to his family and mine.

Then the excitement died. Why in the world did we want to live close to family? WHY???


So I am going to write a series of blog posts on how to love your family even when you don’t think it is possible.

I am here to tell you that it is possible and that you can have deep and loving relationships with your family in Farmington.

My Sister-In-Law

I’ll start with a post on my sister-in-law.

My sister-in-law taught me how to be a wonderful and loving sister-in-law.

Right after I gave birth to my fifth child, she came over with her carpet cleaner. She spent the entire day shampooing my carpets in my 2,000 square foot home. It was one of the most kind things someone has ever done for me. I will never forget it.

The Key

Later that day, I asked her how she knew that I desperately wanted my carpets to be cleaned. She replied, “Easy. You kept mentioning how your carpets were really bothering you.”

That act of love and kindness greatly endeared her to me.

My Lesson Learned

So even if you have a rocky relationship with your sister/sister-in-law, I know you will come to love her if you listen to her and serve her and vice versa.

There is hope!



  • To my wonderful sisters and sister-in-laws. Thanks for putting up with me! You serve me far more than I reciprocate.
  • Please know that I am not a marriage and family counselor. I am just sharing with you what I have observed and learned.)

Question: Do you have a sister/sister-in-law in Farmington?




Someday Is Not A Day Of The Week My Friend

Courtesy of Michael Hyatt.

I have a confession to make. After four years of being back in Farmington, I still do not have a primary care physician for myself.

I know, I know. But in my defense, I have five kids and . . . all of their appointments! 

Someday . . .

WAIT, “someday” is not a day of the week.

I received a mass e-mail where I learned that yesterday. I really want to share it with you because it touched my heart. I hope that you will find it useful in your journey here in Farmington.

Lisa’s e-mail (the following is a direct copy of her words):
Schedule in “someday.”  
You know all those things in your head that you think, “I’ll do that someday…when I have more time…more money…{insert whatever excuse you tell yourself why it doesn’t fit in your life right now}.
I’m urging you to schedule the time.  Make the space.  Take the time for yourself.
Write out your “someday list.”  The things you really want to do.

They can be small personal things.  Maybe it’s going for a picnic at your favourite park.  Going to an afternoon matinee.  Actually getting out with your girlfriends instead of just talking about it. 

It can be things for your business.  Taking a new course (actually DOING a course you already bought). Getting that enews out.  Revamping your client intake process.
The fact is, life isn’t slowing down.  And I recently realized that I am NOT making room for the things I truly want (both in life and business).

Perhaps you are doing the same.

If so, maybe we can work on this together – and start making room for “someday” now.
First…make that list.  Pull out a blank piece of paper, and at the top write out “Something I really want is…” and then just let it flow.  Don’t censor.  Don’t worry about when or how it’s going to happen.  Just get those ‘somedays’ down on paper.
Then, let start scheduling these things in.  (And try to give yourself at least an hour/week to actually DO the things on your ‘someday’ list). 
Are you going to do it?  Hit reply and let me know – it will help BOTH of us stay accountable! 🙂
There are 7 days in a week my friend…and someday isn’t one of them.


(The end of her e-mail.)

Back to my words. I hope that in your life in Farmington you will START – start to do the meaningful things that you have been meaning to do.
I hope you have a great 4th of July weekend! Happy Birthday America!
Question: What would you like to start in your life right now? I would love to read your comments! Thanks for reading!