God Bless America

I’m behind, way behind on blogging. I don’t really have a good excuse…writers block? Too many kids with too little to do on hot days? Too many house projects? I don’t know. I do know that Stephanie D says that when you finish your house, you die. And judging by the looks of things around here, I’m going to live for evah. Might as well carve out some creative time to write in between bossing around contractors and fighting with the HOA. Mac Attach is sleeping on my foot, the air conditioning is blowing and the house is quiet. Time to get to work.

We are so lucky to get to spend part of July in Montana. It was a big goal for Peter and I to be able to do this, so heading up for our second extended vacation was amazing. Nothing feels as patriotic as a small town Fourth of July. The parades, the fireworks, a rodeo and lots of roast pig. What more could you ask for?

The view from our rental house did not disappoint. This was the perfect way to end a full day of 2 flights (complete with vomit bags…), an hour long grocery trip with the kids, then a two hour drive. Phew.

IMG_3464

The parade in Livingston is serious business. Every “float” throws candy. Nasty, leftover Halloween, been-on-the-street candy, and yet it’s like gold.

IMG_3481 IMG_3467

Auggie’s sweet waves to all firetrucks, tractors and any other kind of service vehicle melted my heart!

IMG_3470

Baylor is always our designated wrangler for pictures. She takes her job very seriously.

IMG_8509

IMG_8520

Rides in Noni’s Gater are legendary. She lets them all take turns driving. It’s terrifying.

IMG_8528

Wildfires are terrible…and yet make for some amazing sunsets

IMG_8537

This guy. He fears nothing. But he is absolutely convinced that he hates fireworks. We bribed him with a set of shooting “ears” to get him to stay out side for fireworks (the pink ones were half the price, sorry kiddo. buck up and then you won’t have to wear them!). And thankfully it worked! He loved the sparklers and he made it through the big fireworks show after a bit of protesting. Progress!

IMG_8544

America the Beautiful

All American 4th of July 2014

Small town parade….

IMG_6986 IMG_6990 - Copy IMG_7007 IMG_7011 IMG_7020 IMG_7022

Rodeo…where the only limit on the number of beers you can purchase is how many you can carry

IMG_7033

IMG_7034 IMG_7038 IMG_7097

I’ve got some work to do on high speed low light pictures….IMG_7096 IMG_7089 IMG_7079 IMG_7050

Fireworks, pig roast, family and friends

IMG_7145 IMG_7146

IMG_7137 IMG_7115

‘Merica

(Did you notice Baylor’s missing tooth?! More on that later when I can stop crying…)
IMG_7111

Loving Cousin Z timeIMG_7105

There was much controversy brewing over the ring in my back pocket. Anywhere else? No one would notice. In MT? Everyone things I’ve taking up dipping…I assured everyone it was my lens cap, not a can of tobacco!IMG_7173

IMG_7166 IMG_7167

We did discover that Auggs is not a big fan of fireworks. But he was a trooper and agreed to watch them from inside so there’s hope he’ll be with Peter on the fire duty in the future!

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)

I Love a Parade

No really, I do.  I love the silliness, creativity and pageantry. And in a small town parade, it’s taken to a whole new level – not necessarily a better level than say the Rose Bowl Parade, but a new level just the same.

Poor B had maybe 6 hours of sleep the night before the Livingston 4th of July Parade. She got over an hour of a nap in her bed and then napped the 45 minute drive to the event – I had to wake her up when we got there…which explains why her pigtails are crooked and she looks less than pleased in the first few pictures.

Getting into the spirit

Cousin Zoe!

Cousin Madi. One half of the “big girls” B was chasing around all week

Learning how to pick up candy from the big kids

Noni, Momma and her girl

See? This is why small town parades are the best. Where else are you going to see a plumbing company advertising by putting a toilet on top of a trailer AND making it shoot water like a fountain?!