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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

my recent montana trip

I have always loved traveling solo.  It gives me time to think, write, dream, and plow through books at warp speed (compared to my nightly 'read one page and fall asleep' speed.)

Recently I ventured to Montana to visit my sister Heidi.  She is my older sister by five years, but many times people assume I am the older one.  Heidi, though thirty-something, with a figure that is tiny, despite birthing four beautiful children.  Besides that, she just looks youthful!  If you can't tell, I adore my sis.  Always have.  Even when we were little and I stole all her clothes and followed her and her friends around like a really annoying lost puppy.  She is just great.

So I flew out through Big Sky to see her and her fam.  I wanted some good quality time with all of them, and I feel like I got it over those four days.  Her kids are a lot of fun and that made it easier to be away from my own little blondies.

I cannot believe that Heidi has an (almost) ten-year-old. What?!?  Isabel is beautiful, and it is kinda crazy how much like me she is.  She likes a ton of the same things ( ie writing, art, drama), reads voraciously, questions everything, and total introvert.   She even has written four (probably more by now) chapters of her first novel.  I am blown away by Bel - her passion and how self-aware she is.

Her little bro Logan is pretty awesome, too.  ENERGY!  Loud and total boy, yet I was able to steal a few snuggles.  Greyson - the third of four kiddos, like me - loved talking to me about Transformers and his Hotwheels tracks and playing with me and the youngest, Selah, in the basement with all the lights off.  (That sounds creepy, but kids like to play weird games and I've learned through my own littles not to question the fun they like to have.)  Grey was a little shyer but nothing a little tickling, and subsequent shrieking, didn't fix.  As for Selah, she only two months younger than Finola, and is a tiny little peanut.  The sweetest thing, with a teeny high voice and a delicate way of walking -- but so much FUN!  She let me snuggle her quite a bit and reminded me of Fin in a lot of ways -- just full of smiles and life!

My sister and I got to have plenty of deep (and some not-so-deep) conversations over coffee at their kitchen table, at her gym, and out to dinner.  Her hubby joined in on a few, too!  I am in awe that they have been married sixteen years!  Oh, and she started dating him at sixteen...so Brian and I know each other pretty well.  I definitely gave him a lot of grief in our younger days.   Now that we are all adults I try to do that less.  :)

While I missed my own family over those four days, even more than expected, I know it was good for me to have uninterrupted time with my sis and her fam, whom I maybe see twice a year.

It is important to me, despite not having quantity of time, we have quality time.  (My love language!)

What a great four days for that.

Here are some moments from my visit...

introducing selah to selfies.
One of the three books I read during my trip.  This book truly is *life changing* - and a bit kooky.  But I've already gotten rid of five garbage bags of stuff, with lots more to go!
apple tree in the backyard.
sunset over flathead lake.  we try to hike in the mountains this time, but did a tiny hike and sat on some rocks to enjoy this view.
selah dancing at the backyard party we went to.  she looooved the band.
backyard bunnies.
the kids kept stealing chocolate covered almonds from the kitchen, and I found several on the blanket in my room. in light of the bunnies sometimes being invited in the house, I was a bit wary.
selah was excited for a postcard from uncle spence (my little bro)
her third child greyson.  kind of a loner.  I totally get it.  #thirdchildoffour
Heidi and I went out for a sister night out in whitefish, and this is where we went for dinner.  Casey's is significant only because it was featured on Sean's season of "The Bachelor."   We are nerds like that.  
one of the bunnies.  I can't remember any of their names.  bad auntie.
drank some delicious beer at this little spot.
finding the "montana light" for a pre-night out selfie.  I am still loving my short cut!
logan the daredevil on his mini four wheeler
Selah and her willingness to snuggle helped me not feel *as* sad about being away from my two babes.  the others I had to steal kisses and hugs from!
my sister made me amazingly delish and creative breakfasts.  this one I've already made several times, post-trip!
sunset over the mountains.  the mountains were always at least this close.
sun shining through the poplars in the backyard.

logan, with his dramatic loudness and hilarity, reminded me most of my kids. 
my sis and her youngest in a bouncy house.  oh, the things we do for our babes. 
the boys enjoy the inflatable slide at a picnic we went to one day.
auntie sandwich in the back of the minivan.
My sis and her hubby Brian on our "adult night out."  So fun!
Heid and I.  I wish we had taken more photos together!!!!  
Such a fun little trip.  I miss you already, sis!!!!  Thanks for being such a lovely host.  Hopefully next time we see each other the cousins will all be able to be there, too.  They are gonna have such a crazy, loud, amazing time together.