Easter Festivities

I love Easter, it is one of my favorite holidays–right behind the 4th of July.  Easter means spring, freshly cut grass, flowers, blue sky, and sun! Living in Montana you do not always get the warmth, but each year it seems to be sunny and green everywhere you look! I have been particularly excited for this Easter because M is big enough to run around and pick things up. We were practicing picking up eggs and putting them into a basket for weeks! Just to prepare for the big day!  Now, I must admit, we did not get her anything this Easter. Why you ask? Well, what does a 14 month old really need. (with my husband in his second year of owning his own business, let’s not get crazy and spend money on things we don’t need).  Besides she has everything a 14 month old could possibly need and M happens to be the only grandchild on both sides of the family.  Even if I mention that she is running short on clothes that fit or her shoes are getting too small, SURPRISE something shows up in the mail.  So for Easter she got a very cool caterpillar tunnel from one set of grandparents and she will be getting clothes from the other set when they arrive in Southwest Montana in a few days!

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This Easter it was only about 45 or 50 degrees, but the sun was out and our house faces the south, so it gets quite warm and comfortable back there (hence M not wearing any tights or shoes at this point).  Although, I have to admit, I was a little chilly at first wearing just a dress.

Being outside is one of our favorite things, M included!  Yesterday we were outside for well over an hour running around, playing with the dogs, and running after run away eggs!  The dogs thought that some of the plastic eggs were their tennis balls and M had a blast trying to get them back!

photo 1 (1) Please forgive our dead spots–our dogs do a number on the grass and it’s impossible to keep up.

I love to watch her run around the yard and enjoy being outside as much as we do! Yesterday, Easter, was the first time she has been outside without shoes on! At first she was not too sure what to do about the grass touching her toes, but that strange sensation quickly subsided and she was running around like crazy once again!

I could not believe how excited she was to find and pick up an empty egg! It was pure joy–seen from the excitement above! She would grab the egg, say “wowww!” throw it and run up to it again and say “WOWWW!”

Yesterday we had the only other family member to our house that lives within a 1,400 mile radius; my mom’s cousin.  We always have a great time with her and are so blessed to have one member of our extended family to share the holidays with.  (I have to admit, coming from a family that shared every holiday with extended family, it has been a hard adjustment. I went from from having 20+ people running around to just my husband and I.  For awhile holidays did not even feel like a holiday, it was just another day.  But it is slowly getting better and I have to make it better and more festive for M..) Easter dinner was comprised of our family tradition–ham, cheesy potatoes, green beans, and berries!  For dessert I made my first ever French Silk Pie. I thought it turned out quite well and needless to say, my family of three crashed around 6:45 yesterday evening.

Five Great Grandparents

Today I was thinking about how lucky Madelyn actually is. Not only does she have 4 very attentive, loving grandparents, but she also has 5 great grandparents! That does not happen very often! Even though, at times it seems as though they are millions of miles away, she has still had the opportunity to spend time with each one of her great grandparents. Although, I think everybody involved would admit it is not much as we would like.  Little miss Montana has grandparents in Minnesota and California and great grandparents in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and California–see the problem?  We try to see everybody as much and as often as we can, but life (and let’s be realistic, money) seem to hinder that a tad.  Both sets of her grandparents come to Southwest Montana whenever time allows in their busy schedules and we try to go see grandparents and great grandparents when time allows us.

I must admit, it is much easier to go visit her family in Minnesota and even Wisconsin because it is a quick plane ride (2 hours and 20 minutes to be exact) NONSTOP to Minneapolis.  California on the other hand, well even my husband admitted, we may not be doing that very often while Madelyn is so little.  There is always a connecting flight and 90% of the time we are delayed for one reason or another and have to sit in an airport for a good 3-5 hours before our next flight. The last time we went to California we waited in Salt Lake for 9 hours! NINE HOURS with a 9 month old!! That was probably the hardest nine hours of our parenting careers! In all the trip took over 16 hours; it would have been faster to drive the 14 hours back to Northern California–and probably less stressful!

We are very blessed to have family that adore Madelyn so dearly! This spring Madelyn and I will be heading back to Minnesota for a long weekend to visit her aunts and uncles, grandparents, and I believe both sets (4 out of 5) of her great grandparents will make an appearance too! Nobody has seen Madelyn run around yet, so it will be very exciting! In June my in-laws house will be done (they purchased a house a few miles from us) and they will be here a lot this summer–hopefully California grandma great will be able to come for a visit too!  Late July our little family of three will be meeting the rest of my side of the family up in Canada at a fly in fishing camp for a week where she will get to experience all the exciting things I did every time we went there growing up! I am particularly excited for Canada because there will be 4 generations up there celebrating one of the best times a family can have together in one of the most cherished places my family has.  And lastly, this fall James is planning on taking Madelyn to California for a long weekend (all by himself!).  He is nervous about it but he also see’s the merit in it; his grandma is 93 years old and may not be able to travel to Montana this summer with his parents.

Has it really been 8 months since we last talked?!

Wowa! How did time get away from me? It’s been since August! Our life has changed substantially over the past 8ish months! My sweet baby started to crawl in late September and she started to walk 3 days after her first birthday in February! cupcakeMy little bug at her first birthday, very excited about her first cupcake. Although I have to admit, she was much more interested and fascinated by all the attention she was getting and was feeding off of it like crazy!

In addition to these huge milestones she is babbling like crazy and says “mamma,” “dada,” “daa” (for dog), “hi,” and her latest word is “uh-oh” although sometimes she forgets the “oh” part.  She has been baptized, is a swimming fiend, and loves to be outside!  She loves outside so much that she uses the doggie door to get outside.  My husband and I are convinced she thinks she is a dog.

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Interestingly, she is quite agile going out the door and very quiet (sometimes I don’t even hear her, she loves to sit by the patio door, so most of the time I think she is doing just that). She knows she is not supposed to go out the door, however she just can not help herself when her two doggies go out. She loves to feel the wind in her hair (what little hair she has), loves to play in the grass and dirt, and chases the dogs around the yard with a tennis ball.  I was actually quite surprised how quickly she learned to run over unstable ground!

James has been extremely busy with his landscape business and loves every bit of it.  He just won a bid for the landscape and irrigation for a new school that is going to be built next summer!! This summer he is extremely busy with all the houses and one large, 80-plex apartment complex that is being built right now. I have been enjoying my work, teaching my exercise classes and am very excited to start my summer hikes with the residents. I did some investigating the other day and I found out that the average age in my exercise class is 89 years old! I love working part time, although some days I can not understand how time gets away from me!

As much as I would love to rewind and tell you all about the last 8 months in full detail, it is not realistic. I would never catch up to my current happenings and would always be playing catch up.  So let’s just make a deal and start from right now and I will continue to fill you in from now on.