a visit from shell & nate

We had a rootin-and-a-tootin time with my sister Michelle, her husband Nate, and their two beautiful girls, Avery and Keira when they visited us here in Missoula last weekend. We loved every minute of it!
Link and Ike couldn't get enough of their 5-month-old baby cuz; they wanted to hold and play with her. We took a short hike of a Missoula overlook (can you find Yoda in the pic?) These two, 3 months apart in age, have a major love-hate relationship! One minute they'd be pushing each other's buttons and the next they'd be holding hands. Strolling downtown along the Clark Fork River Link was pulling the girls in this wagon around the house We took a trip together up to Glacier National Park and on the way stopped for lunch by the gorgeous Flathead Lake Isaac was sooooo sweet with Baby Keira Cute little fam Camping at Fish Creek. Though we doused ourselves with bug spray, we were eaten alive by mosquitos--mostly on our feet! Clever little critters. . . Doncha love Keira in the football hold? Avalanche Falls. Quite possibly the clearest and bluest water I've ever seen Sticky S'mores! Jed helping Aves and Link on the slushy hike up to Hidden Lake Hidden Lake hike This mama and baby mountain goat didn't fear us at all! They came straight at us. . . they must have wanted our lunch! Keira's small little head! Isn't she pretty? Playing at the Dragon Park Happy Birthday, Aves! Thanks for coming, guys!


my little garden

This is my first honest-to-goodness garden, and believe it or not, it's thriving!
Indulge me here, just a bit, by giving a shout-out to my first ripe tomato. Ah, summer harvest! How I savor this time of year. Tasty daily salads. Little hands combing pea vines for a sugar-snap snack. I wonder how many raspberries will ripen, pink and unscathed, before the kids get to them first? Ha! No better way to get them stoked about local, healthy grubs, I guess. Little herb garden in front

running fools

It's running season, and it's hit (the boys at least) in full force!
Jed was 3rd in a Mountain-to-Meadow half marathon at Lolo Pass
Isaac trained for the Missoula kids marathon where they log 25 of their training miles and run the last 1.2 miles on race day. Way to go, buddy!
Then Jed placed 9th in the Missoula marathon, with a respectable time of 2:52:01. [This just in! We heard that there was likely a--ahem--cheater who jumped in the race somewhere near the end just before Jed. . . which would put Jed in 8th place!] Way to go, sweetie pie!

half birthday

As you may know, we celebrate Isaac's half birthday in lieu of the actual day. It's the best you can do when, as a parent, you resist violently the idea of your child being smothered with gifts over a 2-day period, or the notion that he would have to wait 363 whole days for the two biggest look-forward-to events in his life to be celebrated back-to-back in an overwhelming rush (kind of like this sentence). And let's face it: a birthday just does NOT get celebrated properly when it falls within 48 hours of the biggest overblown holiday in our country. Hence, the half birthday!
(My attempt at a baseball mitt cupcake-cake, in case you were wondering what that is.) After receiving a new storm trooper helmet, the boys went hog wild with it!See what I mean? New Luke Skywalker costume! The birthday party was Star-Wars themed, complete with Jedi tunics for kids who didn't wear costumes. Here the kids are lined up for a Jedi-training obstacle course! And then water balloons to defeat the (sidewalk-chalk sketched) Death Star spaceships. What's a Star Wars party without a little light-saber sparring? Rescuing Han Solo from the Carbonate!
Easy solution for the cake--line cupcakes up as a light saber! Leia Clara, Isaac's cute little friend. This was the first party we've had for Isaac where friends brought gifts. He was stoked! Left, Elena, and Aunty Caitlin! She was a godsend, helping out behind the scenes as Jed and I ran the show (or should I say, flew the Millennial Falcon). Lily and Ike Taeven, Elliot, and Nicholas The kids were visited by a very non-threatening (I am tempted to say "comical") Darth Vader! (Didn't know Darth had such gentle blue eyes or sported such a hip 'fro!)


a gorgeous day for a hike

We saw our first moose in the wild! Wow.
We visited the Bernard DeVoto Memorial Grove on the Idaho/Montana border--a grove of mammoth cedar trees, the oldest in Idaho. Tree "hugging"