Monday, July 28, 2014

May in Missoula

For the family.  Okay: I'm backtracking all the way to May here.  (When it comes to vacation posts, this is how I roll.)  A few days before Mother's Day we drove up to Missoula where my husband's brother and his family now live, plus my mother and father-in-law now live there too, plus, my sister-in-law's parents were there visiting (they're like another set of grandparents to my kids), so it was all one big awesome shebang.

Seeing family is always filled with so much goodness, like slipping into a warm, easy pool where we can all touch the bottom (versus that cold, deep ocean where I struggle to keep my head above water).  I get all warm and fuzzy surrounded by people who love my kids as much as I do, when it is not just me and my husband alone wrapping them in our blankets of unconditional love.  If my kid slips, she won't drown.  If she takes off in a wayward direction, I'm not the only one calling her back.    

I don't often get good photos from these family trips, though I do at least get snapshots with crappy lighting for the family album.  There is a degree of presentness that keeps me away from the camera, although I usually regret it later.  That presentness is a good thing.  We still have the snapshots, even if they don't make it to the sphere.

But here, some photos I did get from our time in Zoo-town.

:: Caras Park, just our nucleus of four.

:: In line for the Carousel with cousins Owen and Sam.  My kids are obsessed with this carousel even though Hazel's only been to Missoula twice and Juniper was just a baby when we left Montana.  Their grandma gave them a booklet of all the horses and they quickly memorized each one, naming their favorites.  (Click here to see Juniper riding as a babe, and here for last Thanksgiving.)   
:: Spring unfolding.  

:: As my mom puts it, Juniper has no social filter.  So she doesn't think twice about adopting a dog from a perfect stranger.  (She has been obsessed with pets for two solid years...we need to get a dog.)    

:: At Nana's new apartment just down the road from Aunt D and Uncle M.

:: Downtown (no where near Nana's apartment) walking to the Farmer's Market where I bought the tomato plants that are now producing nicely in my garden.  (You go Sweet Million!)  

:: Lunch downtown with the kids and Aunt D.  

:: Winding through a narrow valley to Aunt D and Uncle M's place.  You'd never know this is just 20 minutes from downtown Missoula, the second largest city in Montana.

:: At their homestead.  Barbed wire and blossoms, kids playing in the creek, the cows.    
And my nephew, Sheriff Owen, going after the bad guys.  

:: Huge family playdate at the pool.  

:: Mother's Day.  It went like this: my husband and his brother awoke early and went on a wild turkey hunt, literally.  
The rest of us awoke to snow.  The husbands came back in time (shocking!) to get ready for our Mother's Day Plan.  The plan was to surprise my husband's mother at church (even more shocking!), presenting her with a corsage--a tradition she'd had with her own mother and aunt--and join her for the service.  
My sis and I had gone out the night before, so Mother's Day was really about this lady^.  
I think she liked it.  As for my kids, it was their first time in church.  Juniper adored Sunday school (they watched a video, so of course) and Hazel made it about half way through before she and I ended up sitting in the truck.  

:: As for me, I got the best gift: a night out, a rose, and a card full of love:  

"I like the way you talk."  --Juniper
"I love your fingers."  --Hazel
"I love how the birds sing songs to you."  --Juniper
"I love your little boobs."  --Hazel
"I love the way that love fills your heart."  --Juniper
"I love your soft things."  --Hazel  

:: And it's always glorious to come home.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Marry Day: 11 years

A couple of years ago I told myself, When it becomes more ridiculous to not have a cell phone than to have one, I'll get one.  That time came and went and I am now the proud owner of an iphone.  (And I'm WAY excited about Instagram...note the slideshow on the sidebar of my website ------weeee!)  That said, I've made some fledgling texting follies which may or may not have resulted in us not finding a babysitter for our 11th anniversary.
So instead, we made it a fun, fancy date with the kids.  I not only found my wedding dress, but wore it for the first time in 11 years.  (It fit!  But I had made it expandable.)  Juniper, especially, was ecstatic to see me in my "marry dress".  She wanted me to wear exactly the same things I wore 11 years ago.  I could satisfy her with the right dress and shoes (Chaco sandals) and a shadow of my grandma's pearls.  She would tell Hazel, "Don't pull her dress!  It's silk!  It could tear!"  I've never, ever, seen her so concerned about fashion.  She gazed at me with stars in her eyes.  It was quite touching.  
We went to the fanciest restaurant in town and had planned to have dinner a la Fancy Nancy, but it really became more about us reminiscing to the kids about our wedding day.  We had a blast.  Juniper, several times, wished us a "Happy Marry Day!"  I will certainly pull this dress out again before another 11 years fly by.
^11 years ago.  Nice to see my step-dad on this blog (tall bearded man on the right), he passed away almost 9 years ago.^  
^From a July camping trip with my post coming soon.^

:: A montage from our night: