Monday, September 15, 2014

Daily Jamie

September 4th
September 5th
September 6th
September 7th
September 8th
September 9th

September 10th
September 11th
September 12th/13th (we lost 8 hours on the trip back so...)
September 14th
September 15th

God's Country

I don't even want to talk about the traveling to and from Montana (it could have been worse, but twenty-eight hours door-to-door is rough) so I'll skip right to the fun part. We arrived in Ennis, the town where I went to junior high and high school, late Thursday night and checked into the cutest cabin right next door to Mom and Ray at Lure Me Inn. Obviously we didn't waste any time getting into vacation mode, as evidenced by the chips in bed.
My sister and her fiancé stopped by first thing in the morning to welcome us to their wedding weekend and we took a little drive around the area, stopping to throw some rocks in the Madison River and enjoy the sunshine before meeting my dad and his wife for breakfast. It was the first time Jamie was meeting his Aunt Lukie, new Uncle Don, Opa and Grandma Rainy, which must have been overwhelming but he adjusted well and warmed up to everyone quickly.
During the time leading up to the wedding, we just hung out around town with the folks, checked out monster trucks (where do kids get this stuff?) and shops that I grew up walking by but never going into, throwing more rocks in the river, taking drives, eating good food and horsing around at the hotel. Mom and I helped a bit with the wedding set up on Saturday while our dudes napped and then we got to spend the afternoon with my niece Hayden. She's a doll and Jamie just loved her. 
On Saturday evening it was wedding time and my sister looked amazing. Not only that, she seemed happier than I'd ever seen her and was somehow extraordinarily calm considering she was throwing a wedding and hosting a ton of out-of-town guests. She and Don had a really sweet, simple ceremony, the high points of which were Lukia walking down the aisle to this tune and Hayden chucking her flower girl basket when she reached to altar. It was a warm day and the wedding was outside, they had a potluck with some of the best food I've ever tasted and pitchers of mojitos (!!!), there were lots of little kids for Jamie to play with, and a herd of deer crashed the party. There was a karaoke after party at a bar downtown that was filled with friends wishing them well and singing the night away. I don't think they could have planned it any better.
The next morning we took a drive out to Quake Lake with Mom and Ray then said good-bye to them as they headed out on their roadtrip back to Ohio. 
After that, we went straight over the hill to Virginia City and took an historical tour of the town on a vintage firetruck. Jamie was pretty into it, as you might imagine.
My dad had planned a couple of organ concerts to benefit Montana Dental Outreach during his visit to Montana and thankfully we were able to attend one on Sunday afternoon. He performed a dozen or so pieces of music - from renaissance to ragtime - on an organ that he built himself that played digitally-sampled instruments from all over the world. He included pieces he selected for each of his kids and their spouses and it was really special. Jamie was an angel during the whole concert so The Swede and I were really able to enjoy it.
On Monday morning we were scheduled to leave Ennis, but first we stopped by my old friend and employer, Victoria's place for brunch. We had a nice time catching up and she spoiled us with a delicious spread.
My dad had two extra tickets to Lewis and Clark Caverns and he and Rainy offered to watch Jamie while The Swede and I went inside of a mountain. I had been before when I was a kid, but had forgotten just how cool it is in there. Afterwards we went our separate ways, both toward Helena, but with different plans. We were so tired after the busy weekend that we just had dinner, took a quick drive by my old neighborhood (our old house wasn't even there anymore!) and went to bed early wondering why we had driven all that way. 
So the next morning we drove three hours to our next destination, Big Sky, which is just on the other side of the mountains from Ennis, but I'd never been before. It's a ski resort town and felt practically abandoned in this time between the summer outdoorsmen and the skiers. But hey, that meant cheap lodging for us!
The first day in Big Sky we just hung around the resort, checked out the shops, had an awesome Italian dinner, and played games and swam at the lodge. 
Then, on Wednesday, we drove to Yellowstone. We had gone the last time we were in Montana and my sister had shown us all the best spots and we were happy to check them out again. Unfortunately there weren't many animals out and we only saw five buffalo, compared to the dozens that approached our car last time.
Jamie didn't appreciate the thermal features as much as we did, but was quite taken with the buffalo poop and the idea of bear spray. He was a good boy, though, and got a monster truck and pizza for dinner when we got back to Big Sky.
On our last day it snowed. I'd have been shocked but we're talking about Montana here, and it was just so, so pretty.
We spent our last day in Bozeman at the Museum of the Rockies, which was a total hit, and then just drove around checking out some of the places I remember from when I was a kid. Also, The Swede got to eat Buffalo Wild Wings' queso dip and I got to do a round in Target. Vacation accomplished.
Now please say a prayer that Jamie isn't awake again tonight between 12:30 and 5:30 am and it will have all have been worth it. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back Home, Jet Lagged

Yeah, so, I guess I didn't get around to blogging at all while we were in Montana. Whoops. A combo of sketchy wifi, exhaustion, and just plain having too much fun made it impossible. And now the only remaining excuse is exhaustion. I will be back tomorrow with a full update, promise!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Way Out West

We're off to my hometown in Montana tomorrow and I don't know how much blogging I'll get around to while we're there. It shouldn't be a problem since most of my readers will also be there, but for the rest of you (ahem, Grandma), I extend my sincere apologies in advance for the possible lack updates.

Daily Jamie


Last time we had Jamie's buddy Axel and his mom over for dinner I made enchiladas. They were good, I swear, but the little boys refused to eat them and insisted I make them macaroni and meatballs instead. Kids. Yesterday I decided to keep it simple and make pancakes, though I took a risk and made them American style. The boys were both ready to reject them until I explained that they were Mickey Mouse pancakes and that they could make the faces themselves with jam. That got 'em. I have a couple of tricks up my mamma sleeve, alright.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Daily Jamie

August 29th
August 30th
August 31st
September 1st

To The Max

We went to the cabin this weekend and things got extreme. I slept in extremely late on Saturday morning (at 11:00 The Swede insisted I join the living), we ate some extremely delicious smoked mackerel that The Swede caught up in Norway a couple of weeks ago, and the mushrooms... well, the picture speaks for itself. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Daily Jamie

August 25th
August 26th

The Transition

Sarianne broke two of the fingers on her right hand when a door slammed on them last week, so she asked me to guest blog on so she doesn't have to do as much typing. I put together this post about the little changes I make in my life to get pumped about fall coming since the weather has already gotten pretty cool over here, and I figure I may as well get credit for it on my own blog as well!
Nail polish - When the weather's warm I wear white or super light pink on my finger nails and hot pinks and corals on my toes, but when vacation is over and the days get shorter I switch to more muddy neutrals on my fingers like Mavala 119 Orchid Mauve and Max Factor Glossfinity 15 Opal, and deep reds and purples on my toes like Essie Sexy Divide and Kicks Classy Bordeaux.

Lip color - When I’m in the mood for a bold lip in the summer I go for corals and bright pinks, but when autumn comes I pick reds like Dior Addict in 745 and berries like Maybelline Color Sensation Shine Gloss in Stellar Berry.

Eyeliner - I always think a darker eye seems more appropriate when there’s no risk of sweating. My favorites are Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.

Perfume – Nobody likes to wear a heavy scent when it’s hot out, but when the weather turns I dust off my heavier, musky perfumes like Nini Ricci’s Nina and Victoria’s Secret Fragrance Mist in Seductive Amber.

Lotion – Most of the time I rely on coconut- or tropical-scented lotions for my summer scent, but when I’m wearing heavier perfumes I moisturize with unscented or vanilla-scented lotions so that they don’t compete or clash.

Candles – This is one of the best ways to get into the mood for cooler weather since you get the coziness of candlelight as well as a yummy smell filling your house. For fall, pick spicy and food-scented candles. Glade’s Apple Cinnamon is my all-time favorite but IKEA's Bräcka have scents like vanilla, caramel and apple that make your home smell amazing.

Food & Drink
Baking – Finally it’s not too hot to use the oven! I use this scones recipe to make weekend mornings feel special.

Apples – Everything about apples screams autumn. Caramel apples are obviously a favorite treat this time of year, but it can get messy and time-consuming to make them. I enjoy the combo in a much simpler way by just dipping apple slices in caramel ice cream topping.

Chai latte – I’m a big coffee lover, but the spices in a chai latte make me feel like I’m drinking a pumpkin pie. When the weather feels like Thanksgiving is around the corner (even if it’s three months away!) I forgo my usual café latte and drink a chai latte instead to feel like I’m back at Grandma’s.