Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Making Memories.

This weekend was one of those rare moments when the whole family got together.  Not because it was Christmas, not just one sister and her family, not the just a few of the kids...everyone.  

At Christmas when we got all the kiddos together to make a framed photo gift for my parents this is the photo we wanted.  An outside shot at the river.  Of course, December in Montana doesn't work like that so we had to settle for an indoor shot.  At one point this weekend I looked around and realized we had all nine of them so thought it a perfect time to get the shot.  Although this time it was taken with an IPhone instead of a real camera.  And, as great as the other shots this winter turned out, kids in coordinating outfits, girls with curls in their hair, the one above is better.  It's more real.  Happy kids with their feet in the sand, hair all out of place because of the boat ride earlier in the day, boys with baseball caps on because that is how teenage boys look and the river that brought us all here flowing in the background.  And like anytime we get this group together there was goofing around and laughter...

Don't worry, no child actually fell off the 20 foot wall...they're just really good actors.  

There was conversation this weekend about being connected online through Facebook and social media.  About snapping photos to update your status so everyone could see that you were out there having a good time even if you weren't.  About showing the world you were being a good parent, hanging out with your kids and can feel good because you get a lot of "likes" for it.  Joking about people who feel the need to post updates on an hourly basis.  Wondering what motivates people to put certain things out there.  Questioning if you are then actually enjoying the moment or simply setting up the moment to show "friends" that you were doing it.  It's a very strange world to be so connected and putting it all out there.  And, because it is all still relatively new...what is appropriate or not.  I try to be thoughtful about how I handle Facebook, Instagram, blogging, etc.  I try to keep the small amount of "friends" I have limited to people I genuinely want to know about and want to know about me.  I like to share photos of my girls and us and things we are doing, but not everything.  I really love seeing others photos and what's going on in their lives.  I love that I can be connected and stay in touch with those who I know I wouldn't be keeping in touch with if it wasn't for this technology.   I can feel like I am a little more a part of their lives even when they are far away.  I try to find the ever tricky balance of being connected online but being able to still disconnect so I can be a part of real life.  Some would say having a blog like this puts even more out there and there are times I question it also.  I go back and forth on it, but when it comes down to it I always go back to this quote...

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection." ~Anais Nin

I think things like Facebook and blogging are a chance to see things again after you've already done it.  You get to enjoy the moment while you are in it and then once again as you find that photo of your baby full of smiles from a moment at the park and you just have to post it because you want to share that happy moment.  Guaranteed it'll make someone else smile, because why else would they click the "like" button. It helps me to look back and even if there were moments that were sucky, the happy ones shine through.  It helps settle it into your brain as a happy memory.  One you can go back to and remember on maybe a not so happy day.  I love to reminisce.  When I'm falling asleep at night I'll go back to a family vacation or weekend away with Matt in my mind and replay it in my as I fall asleep.  I like to think if I do this it will somehow be a part of my dreams.  Then instead of the crazy ass dreams I usually have I can dream about laying on a beach, fruity drink with an umbrella in hand instead.  Writing is my chance to reminisce. And, if I put it out there and it makes someone smile, then that's cool.  

Some more of our Memorial Weekend in retrospection.

We made a giant Jenga game...
When we were in Florida for spring break we went to a restaurant that had a giant Jenga game and it was so fun.  Saturday as my Dad was getting ready to throw some of the wood from the construction in the fire, Matt remembered this.  Instead of burning the wood, out came the saw and voila...a new river game.  I love games.  We played a lot.  And I lost.  A lot.  And, I didn't even care.  Maybe I'm getting less competitive in my old age.

We ate lots of s'mores...
First night we got to have a fire and watch the full moon come up over the river.  Love that.  Next night a storm rolled in so we didn't get to have a fire.  Instead we had oven s'mores.  Like Ava said, "They're not as good as over the fire, but they're still good"  Well said my love.  

Cousins played...

We weren't positive if we were going to stay Sunday night also.  All day the girls would come up and ask if we'd decided yet and making sure to put in their opinion that they really, really, really thought we should.  Once we decided okay, Ava and Kim both said "yeeeeesss, cousin sleepover"  Totally took me back to the days when we would beg my  mom and aunt for sleepovers with cousins.  They almost always said yes, so Karma always leads me to answer yes to this question as well.  

And, Sadi played so much in the river and mud that she actually turned a different color...

She loves it.  

We ate a lot, enjoyed the sunshine, views and each others company.  We laughed a lot and teased a lot.  It was loud and crazy.  How can it not be when you have nine kids together?  Add in with that my sisters and I plus all our husbands and you get 6 adults with very large personalities.  And, then my parents who let us all come take over their new house and reek havoc.  Good times.  Like I said before, it is rare for all of us to be together like that...all 17 of us.  Just the 17 of us without anyone else.  I dig it.  Bonus of it all?  Beautiful weather.  It's like Montana decided for the first time in many, many Memorial Days to be nice instead of snow.  To let the sunshine through the clouds and let us wear flip flops and shorts instead of winter hats.  To let us spend the majority of the time outside and not cooped up inside.  And, when it did finally storm we were able to  enjoy being tucked inside watching the wild storm outside while we hung out and Jae taught the littles how to play Monopoloy.  

Good times, indeed.  Memorial Weekend is always the kick-off to summer for me and this one most certainly did not disappoint.  


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away.

The weather has called for a lot of inside days this past week.  Rain, crazy wind, dark skies, power outages.  It feels cozy, but also a bit cooped up.  The skies cleared briefly on Saturday and gave us a tiny hint of a rainbow...

We took this as an indication to get our booties outside and enjoy our brief period of sunshine before the rain returned.  We had my little nephew so we headed to the park to run off some energy.  




The kids were like animals that had finally been freed, running around playing.  Obviously they weren't the only ones...Matt and I got into quite the tether ball match.  I had forgotten how much fun this childhood game was.  It started as us showing the kids how to hit the ball around the pole and before you knew it, they had backed away sensing the competitiveness rise.  Sweatshirts came off and some serious tether ball playing began.  It was hilarious.  I think we need to get one for our backyard.  

All too soon the rain returned and we were forced back into inside activities.  Although we did sneak outside for a couple more breaks in the weather.  Once for splashing in some puddles...

And once for popsicles with friends...

You gotta take what you can get in springtime around here.  It was a very full weekend.  Cousin sleepover, neighbor dinner and an impromptu dinner date with Matt and our besties.  It usually takes weeks of advance notice to get together with Amy and Chad for an evening without kids.  Turns out all we need is a Sunday afternoon phone call to find a babysitter because we had the opportunity for a dinner out at our favorite restaurant.  I did not think it would work out, but by 5:45, we all had kids with babysitters and they were picking us up for an night out!  It was fantastic.  We lingered over a ton of food for over three hours...chatting, laughing and catching up without any interruption from children.  Good times.  

I think the grey weather is leaving me a little uninspired.  I must need the fresh air to get my creative juices flowing.  It makes me feel a little blah.  Like I want to stay in pj's, cuddled in bed.  Sometimes I try to push through those negative thoughts aside and find the silver lining and then I realize it's okay to just feel blah sometimes.  I have a few other blogs that I really enjoy reading.  Most of them are about women raising babies...the good and the bad.  They have a very optimistic tone which is what I love about them.  They remind me to find the happy in the everyday things and even in the hard parts.  I find them inspiring.  However, occasionally they make me feel inadequate.  Like I should be able to be optimistic 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Then I remind myself that it is okay to really enjoy and soak up the happy little moments, but it is equally okay to go through the low points and feel them.  It's okay to get frustrated with the girls fighting over who gets to pick what they play and maybe not handling it as gracefully as I could.  It's okay if going on day 7 of rainy days is making me feel stir crazy and a little bummed out.  It's okay to feel annoyance and irritation over something small, it doesn't mean I'm a bad person.  It's okay  being honest about these feelings and know they won't last forever.  You gotta feel all the feelings.  If you don't, you can't fully appreciate the positive ones.  I try to remember this...give myself a break.  Sometimes you don't have to stop to smell the roses.  You can stop and smell them next time.  If it feels forced you aren't really enjoying their fragrance.  This way you can really appreciate it when it pops up unexpectedly...

When you look up and realize the beauty you are standing underneath.  When you see what all the rain has created.  It is always a more genuine happiness when it isn't forced.

Totally got off on a tangent there.  That is what happens when I have nothing in particular to write about.  I do it anyways and you just never know what is going to come out.  That is what I love about writing...things coming up that I don't even realize I've been thinking about.  It sort of flows out.  It's a great outlet.  

The girls get out early today and then have four whole days off for Memorial weekend.  I'm looking forward to the extra time with my ladies.  I feel like I've been gone a lot lately.  Weekends away, out with friends, yoga...I've been a little absent.  I know it is good for everyone to do their own thing occasionally and I have really enjoyed it, but I'm ready for a family weekend.  I mean look at these two...they crack me up...

Ava was playing with my phone and captured these faces
Who wouldn't want to spend some extra time with them?  Except for the fighting.  Oh, the sisterly arguments.  Big sigh.

Happy long weekend to ya.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Friends.

Yesterday I went on Layla's class field trip to the museum.  I watched her run around happily with her friends.  Every once in awhile she remembered that I was there and would look for me, meet my gaze and give me a bit smile before being pulled away again by a friend.  So very different than when I go on a class field trip with Ava, who also runs happy with friends but sticks much closer to me always holding my hand.  Each girl has her own type of friendships.  Layla with many social little girls while Ava prefers one on one, while being friendly to all.  It got me thinking about friendships.  The importance of these types of relationships.  It starts early and I smiled as I watched Layla holding hands with one of her "best" friends while the little girl blew on dandelion fluff and made her wish..."I wish we will all be friends forever"

I think there are many types of friendship that make the world go round.  Some people are like Layla, a social butterfly, with a large group of friends.  Each day changes who is the "best" friend.  She has a great group from school this year.  Some are more like Ava, quieter, loyal, happier playing with cousins than school friends.  She has many different friends and always has someone to partner up with, but no particular best friend or group.  I think I'm a balance between the girls.   When it comes down to it I feel most comfortable with my sisters who have always been my best friends (except for the high school years...not so friendly) and with my best friend who is like a sister.  I always feel happiest with these three women...they know me, let me be myself and make me laugh like no other.  I also enjoy my more casual friendships...work friends, neighbor friends, mom friends from the kids school.  Women I may not know as well, but enjoy time and conversations with and learning more about them and myself in the process.  

Then there were the core friendships I had with a group of girls...some from high school, some from college.  Girls who were such an important part of my growing up and shaping who I would turn out to be.  Women who are now scattered across the country.  Friends I still think about often with the fondest of memories, who I keep in touch with thanks to Facebook and email.  Friends who when we see each other will spend hours catching up.  Friends who if they lived closer would be women I know I would share long conversations with over lunches or glasses of vino.  

And, then there are future friendships that haven't even begun.  Women who I may not even have met who will come into my life at a different stage.  Who I will get to know, learn from and will leave a mark like all the others in my life.  

I'm with Layla's friend.  If I was to make a dandelion wish it would also be "that we would all be friends forever."  

Things have been a little out of sorts this week.  I've worked a bit more and had a sick baby for a couple of days...
She always looks more like her little baby self when she's sick
Everyday I think I know how the day will go it has been completely changed.  This is hard and good for me at the same time.  Hard in that I'm such a planner and like to know how my days are going to go and how I'm going to accomplish the "to-do" list in my head.  And good in the same way.  It's good for a creature of habit like myself to be forced to change things up and take the curve balls that are thrown.  It reminds me that when things don't go exactly as planned and things don't get checked of my imaginary to do list, life still goes on and the world doesn't fall apart.  It doesn't mean I won't go right back to planning things out come next week...but it's good to be thrown off occasionally.

Our whole valley has blossomed and turned green overnight.  Everything smells fresh, green and floral.  And, my most favorite flower ever is blooming in our backyard...

I love everything about lilacs.  Their color, their smell and their promise of the summer months to come.

Happy week.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This One's For the Mama's.

Today was a day to celebrate all the mama's out there.  I love getting to be a part of this motherhood club thanks to these two...

These two little girls who showed me how strong love could really be.  How you could give your heart completely to someone, or two someones so fully.  This weekend as I celebrated with my babes and those dearest to me I witnessed a whole lotta mama love.

Sister with baby Jacob love...

My mom with her mom and sister...That's mama love, grandma love, aunt/Godmama love...


Other sister with half-of-her-brood love...

Matt's folks for some in-law love...

And a rare group shot from our brunch...a lotta love...

Can you believe every person is actually looking and smiling at the camera in this shot??!

That is what I call good stuff.  I know Mother's and Father's Day are simply Hallmark holidays, but I don't think there is anything wrong throwing some extra celebration at the mom's out there.  It's a day to remember how lucky you are to be a mom, have a mom or know a mom.  I'm lucky enough to experience all three of those.  My own mom is amazing.  She raised three strong daughters, loved us unconditionally and helped us grow into the women we were meant to be.  She also happens to be one of the funniest ladies I know and there is never a shortage of laughter when in her company.  Every year for the longest time we've gotten together on Mother's Day morning along with my sisters, her sister and my grandma to enjoy a Mother's day celebration.  This year was a beautiful, sunny day and we soaked it up.  
Soaked up the sunshine, pretty little girls and cousin lovin'-

Whip cream fights...

And a water fight with two girls against one boy.  As Greg said "oh, now it is ON!"

How very lucky we are to get to spend this time together.  They say it takes a village and I'm forever thankful for the village I have here.

Within my own smaller village we did some mama's day celebrating as well.  Complete with coffee delivery in bed, flowers that scream summer is coming and my favorite things of all...homemade love gifts from two little girls.  


Painting from Ava and Layla 
The girls had planned not one, but three puppet shows for me for Mother's Day.  It was pretty adorable.  After the final show I got my first gift along with a note that had a hint as to where the next gift would be.  For Ava's birthday I had set up a scavenger hunt for her to find each gift.  It must have left quite an impression because that is exactly what they had planned for me.  I was touched.  Off I went from the "room with lots of pigs in it" to the "room with lots of horses in it"  to the "closet full of art stuff".  Each room held a treasure of gifts, cards and poems that little girls poured their hearts into.  I may have been making fun of my sister earlier for being so emotional opening her kids gifts, but I was just as sappy when my turn came around.  You simply can't help it when you feel their unconditional love.
Top Left-puppet show props, flower from Layla, poem from Ava and my scavenger hunt notes.  Melting heart.  
We ended the day with dinner out at one of my favorite restaurant patios for burgers, beer and french fries.  Downtown sign said it was 83-freakin degrees out.  Yea, I'll take that.  

Note the insanely large smile on Matt's face because he is eating a steak sandwich.  I guess I have to start including more meat in our vegetarian diet.  He certainly was not as excited about the veggie burgers we had the night before.  I'm not gonna lie...my burger tonight topped with artichokes and garlic aioli was pretty fabulous.  We ended things with a stroll downtown for ice cream.  If I didn't know better I would have thought it was the middle of July.  Perfect summer evening.  Even funnier with our conversation over ice cream...

Layla:  Why do you and Daddy always smooshie kiss?  (This has been a big topic at our house lately)
Matt:  Cuz we're trying to make a baby.
Me:  No, we're not...no more babies.
Layla:  Yea, have another baby!
Ava:  No.  Little sisters are a pain.

I get it.  I have a little sister.  

I think we'll stick with our happy little family of four.

Being a mom truly has been the best and hardest, most rewarding and most challenging, wonderful thing I've done.  It's full of love, laughter, tears, fights, hugs, kisses and worry.  It's a beautiful combination of it all and I feel so very lucky to be their mama...

Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies out there.  It's something to be celebrated for sure.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spring, Hiking and Some Cookin'

This week has been awesome.  It appears as if spring has finally arrived to our lovely valley.
I say this with cautious optimism.  There is a 99% chance that we will have more snow.  But we are enjoying the heck out of these perfect 70-degree days and watching everything finally, finally turn green.  You can feel the happy spirit of Bozemanites as everyone is coming out of winter hibernation and soaking up a little sunshine.  I must have said an overly energetic "mornin" to about a dozen people on my run/hike today.  And, I don't appear crazy because they are just as ecstatic about only having to be in a t-shirt and shorts and not layers upon layers of clothes.  I suppose that is a good thing about living in a state with 9 months of winter...you get a little loopy-excited about some nice weather.  No one can accuse us of not taking full advantage.  

I decided to go for a hike instead of my usual run this morning.  The snow has been melting off the Bridgers and the mountains have started calling my name.  It's too early to really get up in the mountains, but luckily we have the good ole "M" trail here.  It's close and easy to get to so perfect for an early morning hike.  I love hiking with Matt or with the family, but there is also something beautiful about some solitary time on the trail.  Just me and Sadi.  I remember taking her when she was a puppy and the poor thing couldn't make it to the top and I had to carry her down.  Now, 9 years and many, many hikes later she races to the top.  Although...we went the steep way which slowed her down a bit.  I don't blame her, the steep way always kicks my ass.  It was a lovely morning...
Don't be fooled by the dark clouds, it was perfect.  18 minutes later and out of breath, I was at the top...

Overlooking my Bozeman, chatting with the girls next to me, watching some boys getting ready to parasail down.  I may talk a lot about wanting to leave, but dude, I love this town.  It's like a love-hate relationship.  I hate it throughout most of the winter (Thanksgiving to Christmas excluded) and then come spring I fall in love again.  Getting up into the mountains again deepens this love affair and by our first camping trip we're back in a solid monogamous relationship.  Something about being at the top makes me feel so strong.  After catching my breath and taking in the view I ran down the long way. I felt like I was flying even though I was running very cautiously.  Many years ago I watched a girl blow her knee out running down the hill and sat with her while waiting for them to come help her down the mountain.  That image sticks with me so while running down, I'm very careful to not get going to fast.  What a way to start a day.  Apparently I was not the only one with this plan because it was a busy trail.  Doesn't anyone work around here anymore?  It's a Thursday morning people!

With the busyness of birthday parties I have not been writing much about cooking.  But, I have been cooking.  Last Thursday I dropped the girls off at school and realized there was no party planning that needed to be done.  I felt at a loss a bit as to what to do.  So, I did was I always do when I'm at a loss.  I cooked.

Bread and pasta...my go-to cooking foods.  It's a good thing I run because I am a sucker for carbs.  And desserts...

My sister had been talking about lemon bars so I had lemon on my mind.  I made these lemon poppy seed cookies.  So good.  I love lemony desserts...they taste so fresh.  I'll put the recipes at the bottom.  Sadly, these did not last long.  Dessert never lasts long in this house.  I love cooking.  There is something about taking plain ingredients and creating something delicious.  I love that I have been doing it long enough now that I can get creative and more adventurous.  The other night I attempted some homemade tomato soup again.  I have tried it a few times and for some reason can't quite get it right.  However, this time something went right and it turned out well.  I added black Japonica rice.  It really added a nice texture to it.  
Perfect for a chilly night, which hopefully we won't be having anymore.  Topping it with fresh parsley makes it so pretty.  

This weekend is Mother's Day and the beautiful weather is supposed to continue.  I love Mother's Day and the celebration of my own mother as well as being one.  However, I have mixed feelings about it this year.  It's marks an anniversary of sorts to me that I don't like.  It was on Mother's Day last year that I last saw my sister totally healthy.  We went out for pizza with her and her family and my parents after the kids afternoon soccer games.  We were all sitting outside having pizza and beer and enjoying each others company.  No cares in the world.  No thoughts of hospitals, medical flukes, brain surgery and the scary roller coaster ride that was about to occur.  The only drama was the fact that they had put chicken on our pizza.  A few days later her world was rocked.  It's hard to believe it's been a year that she has been fighting.  A year of fighting and it's not over yet.  Man, she's a fighter.  And so strong.  I look forward to celebrating Mother's Day with her and my other sister, my mom, grandma, aunt and all the kiddos this Sunday.  She's the strongest mama I know.  What a year it has been.

On a lighter note.  I've been rocking my sweet purple 80's shades I got from the Color Me Rad run this week.  Matt keeps making fun of me for it, but everyone else says how cool they are so he can suck it.  They look pretty rad on my little nephew too...
Yea, they're cool, I'm gonna keep rockin' them for awhile.

Have a happy day...enjoy the glorious sunshine.  

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies:
-1 cup butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
-2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 cups flour
-Powdered Sugar for sprinkling
1.  Beat the butter with an electric mixer on med sped for around 30 seconds.  Add the 1 cup of sugar and beat until combined.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add poppy seed, lemon peel and salt and mix.  Gradually add flour.  If it gets to thick stir in remaining with a wooden spoon.  Cover and chill for at least an hour.  
2.  Roll dough into small balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Gently press down to 1/2 inch thickness.  I used a glass that I had dipped in some sugar to prevent from sticking to press down the dough.  
3.  Bake for around 10-minutes in a 375-degree oven.  Cool and sprinkle with some powdered sugar

Tomato Soup with Rice
-3/4 cup cooked, black Japonica rice
-1 tbls butter
-1 small onion, chopped
-2 stalks of celery, chopped
-2 small carrots, chopped
-1 garlic clove, crushed
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes with juices
-2 cups veggie broth
-salt and pepper
-1 bay leaf
-3/4 cup water
-Fresh Parsley and shredded cheese to top with
1.  Melt butter in a sauce pan.  Add onion, celery and carrot and cook around 10 minutes,  Stir in garlic and thyme and cook a couple more minutes
2.  Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, water and s&p.  Heat to boiling and break tomatoes up with spoon.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 30-45 minutes.  Discard bay leaf.
3.  Let cool slightly and then, in batches, blend mixture in food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan and warm back up on the stove.  Add rice.  Serve with fresh parsley and lots of cheese.
Enjoy!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Weekend Away.

Man, I am so tired after a very full weekend.  A weekend spent away from my usual lazy ones with Matt and the girls.  A weekend with a different group of friends, in one of my favorite cities.  A weekend of getting to know each other better, lots and lots of laughter and a bit of a mess...

Three of my co-worker/friends and I went to Missoula for a "Color Me Rad" 5K.  One of them had stumbled across these runs that are held across the country and thought we should all go.  We signed up for it months ago and anxiously waited for the weekend to arrive.  It's a 5K run where you get bombed with color paint throughout the run, get some groovy 80's shades and wear crazy outfits that will get totally covered in bright colors.  It is a a fun, not even timed race (although we did it in about 30 minutes, just sayin.  Wait, is that good time?).  It was hilarious.  Whoever came up with the idea to create a run where the whole point is to get covered head to toe in paint is genius.  I will forever be disappointed by any other run.  When I run this week I will feel sad that there is no one lurking, waiting to plaster me paint at any moment.  I will be wearing old running clothes and not a colorful tutu.  How very boring.  Let me just say...if you ever get a chance to participate in a run like this I suggest you do it.  You will not be disappointed. Here's a little before and after shot...
Before:  Totally clean rocking our hand-made tutus & side pony tails.  After:  A hot mess.
Because the race was held in Missoula we decided to make a girls weekend out of it.  It was a good old fashion road trip full of salty snacks and girl talk driving down I-90.  After the run we decided to have one celebratory drink while still all filthy before cleaning up to hit the town.  While on our way to the brewery for said drink we passed the best ice cream place in the state, Big Dipper and thought what better way to celebrate the completion of the race than beer and ice cream.
Espresso Heath ice cream and a Cold Smoke...like a little piece of heaven after the run
Missoula is such a cool town anyways but with the run going on and a Brewfest in their downtown the city was in such a happy mood.  Everyone was out enjoying the sunshine and everywhere we went there were people who had obviously raced that day as well.  The ice cream and beer held us over long enough to clean up and then hit the town for the night.  We were all over the place...Mexican dinner to celebrate Cindo de Mayo, bubbly at a wine bar in a beautiful historic building and then off to a dive bar for beers and some ping pong competition.  Such fun.  I kinda want to get a ping pong table now.  

I woke up early this morning, despite our very late bedtime and couldn't sleep anymore.  I have completely lost the ability to sleep in since having kids.  I didn't want to disturb my friends who were sleeping so soundly so I snuck out of the room and went to take a little stroll through my second favorite city in Montana (I'm still a Bozeman girl at heart).  The streets and sidewalks were so quiet and peaceful compared to the day before.  I crossed the bridge and watched the early morning sun reflecting on the river.  Nice way to wake up.  Followed by breakfast at an outdoor cafe while reminiscing of the previous days fun.
Still rockin' our rad shades
All of us felt so relaxed after a full weekend.  I left feeling like I had gotten to know each of these wonderful ladies a little better and happy to have been able to spend the weekend with them.  

As much fun as it was, I was so happy to get home to Matt and my babies.  They are, after all, my favorite people to be with.  

I feel a lot like I could use another day before a fresh week begins.  Or at least an early bedtime tonight which is why this will be short and sweet.  It is supposed to be a warm week, may even feel a little like spring.  This will be a change from the crazy weather we had last week.  We went from this one day...
Of course it had to snow on "Walk to School" day!

To this the very next...
My "Boys"
I don't have sons, but fortunately I have five nephews.  These are the two youngest and I got to spent some time with them this past week.  They are awesome.  

I did a bit of cooking last week and was planning on sharing some of the recipes but I have completely run out of steam.  Maybe later this week.  Matt cooked on date night Friday evening and it was fantastic.  Beautiful stuffed peppers that tasted as good as they looked...

He's been giving me a little competition in the kitchen lately.  Not that it's a contest or anything.

Okay, time to go catch up on some much needed sleep.  I'm too old to stay up until one in the morning.

Happy week to ya.