American Girl

When I was a kid, I used to look at the American Girl catalog for hours. I loved day dreaming about which doll I wanted and all the accessories that you could get for them. Baylor has now taken on the tradition of pouring over the catalog for days – she cuts out the things she likes and she circles the pictures of Shirley (who is the baby version of the American Girl dolls). And if I thought the accessories were fun when I was little, the things the dolls have now are nuts. They have everything including ¬†a bike hot dog cart for the dolls. Totally nuts…and yet adorable.

catalog

Advertisements

Lake View

Ok, ok, okay. I’m sure you’re tired of seeing pictures of Montana. But I’m not so here are a few more ūüôā

One of the prettiest hikes at the ranch, in my humble opinion, is the trail around the lake. It’s about a mile and a half and there is little elevation change so it’s pretty easy for Baylor to do and I can carry Auggie in the backpack AND walk. The scenery is spectacular – you walk through fields of wild flowers, duck under dense, dark forest and hop over small streams. It’s really amazing.¬†072 074

The Quaking Aspen trees shimmer and shake as the breeze blows

076

089 077

The wildflowers are amazing

079 090 091

The view of the lodge from behind the lake088

So the theory goes that Baylor will hike the lake. The reality is that she spends most of the hike on Peter’s shoulders. Translation? Mom and Dad are wiped out from hiking with an additional 40lbs and 30lbs (Augg plus pack) and the kids are well rested.

photo 2 (22)

Nothing puts that kid to sleep like a hike in the backpack

photo 1 (18)

092

Taking in the view

photo 3 (18)

Fish That

PW and were able to escape the banshees for the better part of a day and do some fly fishing on the Yellowstone River. The river is really spectacular and we were lucky that it was a great day for fishing. Our guide was none other than Matthew. Yes, the same Matthew that Matthew the deer is named after. He is as good a hunting guide as he is a fishing guide. His home is the wild Montana country so he is an expert at all things outdoors. Not to mention a good friend and very funny.

We started off slowly – the weather turned cold and we waited out a rainstorm for about an hour. The wait paid off as the fish were suddenly very hungry. Matthew said it’s because they know after the rain that the river is going to mud up from the run off so they eat a lot in anticipation of not being able to see their food for a few days. I didn’t care what the reason was, I was just happy that we were actually catching something! We caught so many that we stopped counting – it made the day really fun.

One of Matthew’s signature phrases is “yup, good, fish that”. He would tell me where to cast and then judging where the nymph fell, he would tell me to leave it (“fish that”) or to recast. The beauty of being in a row boat with Matthew at the ores is that he could maneuver the boat to make my cast work – and me feel like I knew what I was doing. I actually didn’t realize that was happening until PW pointed out after. Which is why Matthew gets paid the big bucks.

Point of Rocks

291

First fish of the day – and yes, it was cold enough for a hood!

294

296

298

Did you know that trout talk?? I did not. That fish was squeaking all over the place and freaked me right out.
305

310

Manly fishermen only hold their fish with ONE hand!308

This picture cracks me up. Matthew had on his trademark serious face (and was probably sick of my pictures and or bad fishing skills) and PW is heaven. 316

God Bless America

There are few things that feel as patriotic as the 4th of July in Montana. There are purple mountains majesty, amber waves of, well grass, but still and all the cowboy hats too. Hubbard’s always puts on a cookout that screams holiday¬†and Mike has a fireworks show that is second only to professional displays. Watching the kiddos run around in their red, white and blue is really the best.

Aunts Sarah and Nancy. Auggie is a big fan.
158

Thank goodness we had a professional taking our picture. Vern (his real name is Eric. However the summer he worked at the ranch there were too many Erics so they started calling him Vern. Why? Because he’s just such a Vern) literally took 40 pictures and there were only FOUR where A) everyone is looking B) Peter’s eyes are open C) everyone is smiling and or not crying. I’ve realized also that Augg has inherited PW’s squint and head tilt.

206Seriously. Look at those eyes.

184

Again, the cuteness.

217

Cousin Madi, Sienna and Baylor with Madi’s patriotic press on nails.

fourth flag

229

fourth

Pig roast! It always tastes delicious, I just don’t like knowing what my dinner’s face looked like so I make Peter get me a plate.

160

This was the first year that B did sparklers and I didn’t have a heart attack. We were spelling out her name.
281 241

247

It really is Big Sky Country

263 262There were friends and friends of friends at the lodge for dinner and they thought that the sparklers¬†were the fireworks. They about lost their minds when they saw Mike’s AMAZING firework display. Peter is always the fireman at the docking station. I’ve asked him not to tell me what happens down there because I never like hearing about how he almost lost an eye or a finger or is now deaf. Baylor always watches with her hands over her ears and I was anxious to see what Augg thought. Thankfully he loved them – and by that I mean he didn’t scream so it goes down as a win in my book. Fireworks? Check!

I Love a Parade

PW does not, however, which is why he’s not in any of these pictures. He claims that he doesn’t enjoy it, but I think the fact that he has a heart attack every time Baylor runs into the street to get candy has something to do with it. Which is why he goes fishing when we go the Livingston Parade.

I, on the other hand, LOVE the parade. I love the rodeo queens. I love the Costco “float” where they throw out rolls of toilet paper. I love the totally random groups of people that roll down the street and call themselves a float. I love the man who drives his truck through with a sign saying that he’s been in the parade for the last 65¬†consecutive years. I love that you can sit on the sidewalk outside of a bar and legally drink. It’s all around good fun.

The Noni with Ms.B and me with Augg.

photo 5 (9)

 

0702131611a

Ready to get started!
0702131425a

Love the rodeo queens. Actually, I think was a queen wannabe…
photo 2 (21)

0702131426

In my defense – it was empty and I didn’t know he was chewing on it…

photo 3 (17)

Baylor, Zoe and Siena trolling for candy

photo 1 (17)

The big man enjoying the wagon to himself

photo 4 (15)

Cowgirl Up

Ms. B has been dying to ride horse since taking the Mini Horse Hands class last summer at the zoo. When we went down to feed the horses some carrots, she began begging us to let her ride. Thankfully, Uncle Mike agreed to take both B and cousin Zoe for a spin around the corral.

The Barn Bar

046

Big man trying out a saddle

023

028

Star, Cahl and Seabass (my favorite)

017 016 010 007 006

Auggie was unexpectedly not a fan of the horses. He literally shuddered when he pet them. Hopefully it’s only a temporary reaction.

043 039

Ready to ride!

098100 103 106 110 125

Can’t stand the cuteness

127 As long as he was not actually touching the horse, he was happy131 132

Ring Around the Rosie139

138

This picture summarizes the whole trip for Baylor. She was loving her independence and cousins to pal around with!

145

Wild Montana Skies

The summer vacations continue! We landed safely (and on time thankyouverymuch Allegiant)last night and as I loaded up the pictures today, I realized how bummed I am to be back in the desert. MT has a little piece of our hearts and it gets harder and harder to leave.

This marked Auggie’s first real trip and plane ride. It went….ok. Not amazing but not horrible either. There was a fair amount of crying before and after takeoff but I think the temperature was to blame. Temperature you ask? Yes, it was 117 degrees while walking across and standing in line on the tarmac and then at least 102 on the plane. Peter bought a little battery operated fan and I totally made fun of him…until we were sitting on the plane. Yes PW, you were right. The fan was a¬†fantastic idea. Pun intended.

Someone did really like taking off.

window

Eventually we got to this. I got to eat my Mike and Ikes AND read my book. The return flight? Not picture worthy…

plane auggThis girl? Is amazing.

plane bay

The worst part about traveling to the ranch is that once you land after the 2 hour flight, you have a two hour drive. It’s rough when you’re an adult. It’s murder when you’re a baby and just. want. to. crawl. We finally pulled in and turned the banshees loose in the grass. After a little unpacking when the sun was finally setting around 11pm, we sat on the deck in rocking chairs. I was holding Auggie and my brain was buzzing. And much like a loud noise stops you in your tracks, the dead silence hit me like a train. I suddenly was able to take a breath and realize that we had made it. We were in one piece and not in too bad of shape. So there we sat, breathing in the cool air listening to the soft squeak of the rocking chairs and letting vacation begin.

058