Jan 31, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Photo and 3 good things in the last 30 days

1) I got to "meet" some new people through their blogs.  And it was nice to have something other to write about than the same old "what we did this weekend" post.  I did pretty well on the challenge I think.

2)  I survived the month of January!  I had lots of plans for things to do on the weekends, but they kept falling through.  Either the weather was predicted to be bad, or someone was feeling sick, or the event was cancelled.  I am in need of a vacation soon!

3)  Hmmmm....I know a lot of good things have happened in the last month but I can't really come up with anything stellar.  I guess we are all healthy (sort of--Tyler is battling a coughing crud for the last week) and safe and warm.  That is always a good thing.

Jan 29, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Something I will never get tired of

I will never get tired of looking at, and taking pictures of my kids!
(I know, I'm a cheeseball)

Jan 28, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Favorite Movie

Can anyone name just one movie they love?  Not me!  I have several that I could watch over and over:
Last of the Mohicans.  I love the story, actors, soundtrack, scenery...I could watch it over and over and cry each time.

Dirty Dancing.  One summer I worked on Mackinac Island in Michigan, and every day for lunch we would go back to the big old house all the employees shared and watch this video.  When it was over we'd rewind it and start again.  It's just an addicting movie to me, and I don't have to watch it from the beginning, and I don't have to watch it all at one time.

The Horse Whisperer.  I read the book by Nicholas Evans and was thrilled when it was made into a movie.  I love the scenery (Montana) and the story about the horses.  A friend from college lived on the ranch where it was filmed so I got to go visit the ranch and see the locations used. When I lived in I watched this a lot because I was homesick for MT. 

Legends of the Fall (there is a trend here I see!).  The scenery and story are great and I am a Brad Pitt fan.  After I watched the movie a hundred or so times I decided to explore other books written by Jim Harrison.  He is a pretty diverse author and none of his other writings are similar to this book.

Jan 27, 2012

30 Day Challenge: 5 Years Ago

January 2007, Cross-Country Skiing
My love for the outdoors will never change!

 I missed yesterday's challenge to write about how I have changed since 5 years ago, and I wanted to include it so I decided to do it today.  Today's challenge was supposed to be what songs are on your iPod, and I lost mine a year ago so I can't do that very easily (I still keep hoping it will turn up).

Five years ago I was busy planning a wedding.  I had finally convinced Shawn to propose the summer before and we decided to get married in the summer of 2007.  Since then, the obvious things have changed, such as my last name, the number of people in my family...the car I drive. 
I think one of the major changes is that I have become more aware of how to be a human.  With kids I have a lot more patience than before, and I try to not be in such a hurry.  I also am trying to be more compassionate, having gone through a few experiences where I realized I wasn't. 
Another major difference is that I feel involved in and part of my community.  It may not be my "paradise," but I feel I am making a difference.  I was just at the post office, hardware store, doctor's clinic, and thrift store (pretty much every business in town!) and I knew the workers by their first and last names.  I couldn't say that 5 years ago. 
And the other major thing that has happened in the last 5 years is I look for opportunities to volunteer in some way.  I think it is important to give my time to different things, and I notice I gravitate towards people who do things that help others out.  Five years ago I gravitated towards people who seemed "popular" or had some kind of status. 

February 2007 at the Race to the Sky dogsled race.  We both still have those coats and hats.

Jan 25, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Something I miss

The first thing that popped into my head was that I miss my family.  My close and extended family, and Shawn's family.  We are all spread out across the world and it is rare when everyone gets together. 
The second thing I thought of were the people who have died that I don't get to be around anymore.
But I am not too sad about all this because we do get to see each other throughout the year--holidays or ball games or other events.
Then I realized that the third thing, the thing I probably REALLY miss the most, is the freedom I used to have before having kids.  I love them dearly, but what I wouldn't give to take a shower in peace, not carry around a diaper bag, spontaneously go for a walk, or not wash my hands 50 times a day!

"But Mom, we LOVE you!"

Jan 23, 2012

30 Day Challenge: 20 Things About Me

I did something like this on Facebook a few years ago, and I thought "how can I ever think of 20 things?" but it turned out to be harder for me to narrow it down to just 20. 
  1. I was born in PA, and have also lived in Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, Arizona, New Hampshire (only occasionally since my parents moved there after I graduated high school), and 4 different places in Montana.  I am homesick for all those states.
  2. A friend and I have ridden through Yellowstone two times on our bikes.  We go before the road is open to traffic, and park the car and ride 54 miles...stay at a hotel....and then ride 54 miles back.  These experiences are some of the best of my life.  We hope to do it again this spring.
  3. I met my husband in South Dakota, we worked at the same office.  We both work for the Forest Service.
  4. I'm on "extended" maternity leave right now, and wondering if I want to go back to work.  It is something that I can't decide easily.
  5. I have 5 tattoos and only regret 3 of them (it's true).
  6. I am 32 years old, and don't feel like an adult.  I still feel young, although my pictures are starting to show differently.  I guess I will feel like an adult when I no longer feel good about wearing my pink sunglasses.
  7. Every month I think about stopping blogging, but it is such a great way to share pictures with my family that I haven't done it yet.
  8. We have 2 boys, 2 horses, 8 or 9 chickens, and a yellow lab named Decker.
  9. When we first got my horse, Blondie, she was pregnant.  I have never cried so much for an animal as I did when we went out one morning to see her deliver a stillborn foal.  It was a very sad time for us, and especially her--she loudly mourned the baby.
  10. I would rather be outside than inside.
  11. I got my Forestry degree from the University of Montana (GO GRIZ !)
  12. While I love having 2 boys, after I found out that #2 was going to be a boy, I headed to my hair cut appointment.  A woman and her little daughter were getting their hair cut together and I instantly thought of all the things I won't be able to do with a daughter (since we are not planning on having any more kids).  No prom dresses, manicures, wedding dresses....Maybe I will have a foster daughter or be a Big Sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister program?
  13. If I could do it all over again, I might have gone to school to be a Veterinarian, or something to do with Horticulture.
  14. In my town, I am one of 3 people who have gotten together to start a Community Garden.  I LOVE IT!  I love growing veggies and get so disappointed by our short growing season.
  15. Lemon Meringue is my favorite pie.
  16. I really dislike coconut, black olives, eggplant and mushrooms.  Blech!
  17. The first and last time I ever went hunting was in 2007.  I shot a Mule Deer, and didn't enjoy it the whole process, so I will leave the hunting up to Shawn!
  18. I've started a list of birds I've seen, and have 102 on it so far.  It isn't a lot, but I started it a couple of years ago, and have not gone many places birdwatching besides Montana.
  19. I have a sister in Columbia Falls, MT (hi Jess!), and a brother in Brooklyn, NY (hi Jonah!)
  20. Nowadays, the little things in life make me happy.  Like a trip to the ice rink, a cup of hot coffee in the morning (or a Vanilla Latte from a coffeeshop), Tyler telling me I'm his best friend, Cash smiling and laughing at me, Shawn doing the dishes, the colors of the clouds right before sunset....and writing 20 things about myself :)

Jan 22, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Bullet your whole day

Today was not a very exciting day for us--we were worn out from yesterday!  If I did have to outline what we did it would go something like this:  get up, nurse Cash, eat breakfast, clean the house, nurse Cash, bake bread, help tyler paint, nurse Cash....blah blah.  Yesterday was MUCH more fun so I will talk about that instead.
  • I got up and scarfed down breakfast and decided that the cold I have wasn't bad enough to prevent me from having a fun day; we were heading out of town for several hours.
  • We had treacherous roads and very scary driving for a while because it rained after all that snow and the highway was pretty icy.  We wanted to be careful and not get in a wreck because we were going to Helena to...
  • ICE SKATE!!  It was mine and Tyler's first time out, and we had so much fun.  He unbelievabley kept his tongue out the entire time; I am not sure if it was concentration or to keep his upper lip clean.  After about an hour he started to ask if he could play.  I said Sure! and he layed down on the ice and started to play with ice chunks and snow.  Guess it was time to go...we worked up quite an appetite, so we....
  • Ate at Perkins!  We haven't been there in a long time and it was a great meal. 
  • We went over to Wal-Mart where it was so packed, I think everyone in town was there.  In fact we saw quite a few people we knew.
  • Costco was next where we loaded up on some essentials (diapers mainly, because it is much cheaper for us to buy in bulk there than at our over-priced local market).  We also bought Turbo-tax and will be doing our taxes in the next few weeks. yay.
  • Headed home (it's an hour on a dry-road day) and had to stop every 20 minutes because Cash was going nuts.  He was over tired and hungry and I had to nurse him to settle him down.  The downfalls of living an hour away...
  • We didn't stay home very long because we went to a friends house to eat dinner and play games.  I knew everyone was tired but as soon as we got to their house we got our second wind and Tyler and the kids had a ball while the adults laughed and talked.
  • Finally got home and put Tyler to bed but Cash was still out of sorts so it wasn't until 11:00 before I laid my head down on my pillow.  He still was unsettled for a little while but eventually fell asleep.
Phew, it makes me sound busy but that is normally how it goes when I need to run errands.  Pictures from our fun event----

30 Day Challenge: Catching Up

Meaning behind my blog name:
There is a beef jerky factory and gift store in town named Hi-Country and it is one of the bigger employers, (which isn't saying much since it probably employs about 30 people).  I thought it was kind of catchy, and add in the fact that we are at an elevation of about 4500' so we really DO live at a higher elevation than most people.  The gift shop is almost exclusively Made in Montana  gifts, and some days I take the boys down to just walk around, sample some jerky and look at other things than our four walls. 
 Hi-Country Specialty Foods

Photo of something that makes me happy:
I am going to show a photo of a bicycle, because riding my bike makes me really happy.  Unfortunately, I did not get to ride much last summer due to my being pregnant (although it was a sacrifice with a wonderful end result).  I am looking forward to getting out this year and doing a lot more riding.  My biggest challenge is that I always have to load my bike up and drive to where I want to ride; the road near our house is too busy with fast cars, semis, and log trucks.  Tyler and I talk about going places where we can ride our bikes all the time-- I hope we are able to live someplace someday where the roads are more cycle-friendly.

Jan 19, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Photo of myself

Well I had the perfect opportunity to have a photo taken today; I was outside taking pictures of the monster snow we got in the last 24 hours.

Here's looking out to our backyard.  Shawn is on the left-hand side, getting the tractor fired up to start plowing. 
This is what I get for craving a sunny day at the beach.

Jan 18, 2012

30 Day Challenge: something I crave a lot

I crave lots of things, and here are my top 3:

The first one is a no-brainer.  Thanks mom, for passing your sweet-tooth gene down to me!

I crave sunshine and warm weather. 
I am slowly becoming a person who dislikes snow and winter.  I do enjoy outdoor activities in snow, but for the last few years with little kids around I haven't been able to get out much, and maybe this has made me forget how much fun it is. 
Oh well... give me sand and a beach and 80 degrees and I'd be pretty content. 
And for the last 4 months I've craved sleep.  Cash is a decent sleeper but it still is exhausting getting up 2 times in the middle of the night with him.  My problem is that whenever I wake up with him, it takes me forever to fall back asleep.  And the last couple of months during my pregnancy I was very uncomfortable so I didn't sleep well then either.  I guess that's why they invented coffee!

Jan 16, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Photo of Your Family (and celebrity crush in the same post)

I just posted a family photo a couple of weeks ago, and today was one of those days where no one wanted to follow the rules so I am going to cheat and just refer to that post
Cash napped for a very short time, and Tyler made forts out of blankets and pillows so we were in a constant state of cleaning up after someone or trying to get someone to mellow down.  Just one of those days...

And, in anticipation of the busy day I will have tomorrow, I am going to pre-post for day 17.  My celebrity crush lately is Gerard Butler:   

Jan 15, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Something I don't leave the house without

Two things I generally don't leave home without:

Thing 1 (Cash)

Thing 2 (Tyler)
Yesterday we went to Brown's Lake and walked around on the ice.  We got our Vitamin D because the sun was out for a bit, and got fresh air and exercise (Tyler and I played tag). 

30 Day Challenge: Favorite TV show

Add caption

The show I am addicted to right now is "Parenthood."  It makes me laugh and cry and I can kind of relate a little.  I also like it because it is on at 9:00 and I can watch it after the boys are asleep and I can have some alone time!

Airs Tuesdays At 10/9c

The other show that I try to watch is "Teen Mom 2."  I used to be embarrassed to admit that, but now I hear about how many other people are addicted, so I know I"m not the only one.  I enjoy the drama, and it sounds terrible, but I like to see how these young girls deal with having a baby.  I know it's not easy and they seem to have 10 times the struggles I do in my life.  So maybe I like it because I see there are people out there who rise above their situations and succeed, or maybe I like it because it makes me feel that I have a really normal life ;)

Jan 13, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Favorite Musician and Why

I really like all kinds of music, and can't say that I have one that stands out above the others.  I just like to listen to it all.  The one band that I always stop the radio on when I hear them playing is Led Zeppelin.  I've just always liked them since I first heard them on my Dad's records or my sister's CDs, can't remember which. 
I like most Country music because I can sing along, Classical music because my mind can wander, and Rock and newer music because it makes me want to dance around (especially since Tyler has really started to dance, and I got a Wii Dance Game for Christmas).
My favorite instrument is the guitar.  I wish I could actually commit to learning to play the guitar.  Every year I practice for a couple of weeks and then something comes up and it starts collecting dust again.  Maybe after the boys are older and there is not a steady stream of laundry and dishes...

30 Day Challenge-Photo of your town

We moved to this small town (population 1,500ish) in Montana about 8 years ago.  I never thought we'd be here this long; it has its plusses and minuses just like any other place.
There is one blinking yellow light, more bars than churches, a small school, and a couple of Wildernesses within a few miles.
Not a bad place to live, but we are an hour to the nearest movie theatre or swimming pool, or decent doughnut.

Jan 11, 2012

30 Day Challenge-favorite restaurant

 I am a day late with this post, but I was too busy yesterday to get to it. 
Today was supposed to be about what is in my makeup bag, but I decided that was a very boring thing to share (because I have very boring makeup).
I have a lot of restaurants I like to eat at, but none of them really stick out above others.  Since we live about an hour or more from most good places to go to, we usually don't go out unless we are headed to the "big town" to go shopping.  So my favorite restaurant would be my own kitchen.  I really enjoy cooking and baking and trying new meals; we have tried lots of different things and no one usually complains when I experiment. (it would be nice though to have someone wash all my dishes for me)

Jan 9, 2012

30 Day challenge-last item purchased

Ok, I am pretty boring since the last thing I bought was a 2-liter of 7Up.  I bought it a couple of days ago, and haven't really left the house to do any shopping since then.  Tyler and I had gone to the grocery store to buy some items to make cookies, and the thought of an ice-cold glass of 7Up sounded so good.  The funny thing is that once I got it home I forgot about it until today, and it still tasted as good as I had hoped.


Jan 8, 2012

30-Day challenge: A song and photo to match your mood

I wasn't really in one mood or another today, so I couldn't come up with much.  I asked Shawn what his song would be and he came up with "Put another log on the fire."  I thought that was very clever, since most days he is home he keeps the fire stoked for me.
So then I decided that I liked matching a song title with my mood better than the song itself.  I came up with 9 to 5.  As in, I am working 9 to 5 every day, although really I wish my "work day" were that short...Thanks Dolly!
And here is a photo to match my mood (I didn't take it).  It was very grey outside today and cold.  Add in a little wind and Tyler and I only went out for a little bit to fill the birdfeeders. Hopefully tomorrow a little sun peeks through for us.

Jan 7, 2012

30 Day challenge-dream wedding

Today's blog is about your dream wedding.  I guess I am pretty lucky because I already had mine.  There are a few things that could have gone differently, but I had great family and friends around, I felt beautiful, and I was able to marry Shawn so I guess it was a dream come true :)

Jan 6, 2012

30 day challenge

Today is a photo of something I would like to keep as a pet. 
If I could keep it outside--I would like a dairy cow!  I know I wouldn't like all the early morning hours and work associated with it, but I think it would be neat to have the milk. 

Jan 4, 2012

30 day challenge

I don't know why I decided to try this challenge--I can barely get on my computer some days and blogging for 30 days might be too much.  I will do my best though.  Today's challenge is a picture from two years ago.  This is one I found from late December, 2009:
I remember it was verrry cold out (around 10 degrees) and we ran outside to get our photo taken.

Now here is a more recent photo of Cash.

Jan 2, 2012

A New Year

I made The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast. 
So, obviously I made no resolutions to lose weight...

I made half the recipe, and ended up with 21 rolls!  Some will go into the freezer for an emergency breakfast this winter.

We had fun with Tyler's new 3-D glasses.  Cash got a kick out of them.  He is a drooling, wiggling, smiling machine these days.  All my photos of him end up shiny and blurry.

Tyler takes wearing the glasses very seriously.

Another funny photo:
Mom and Dad got us a down comforter last year for our bed, and this year they sent us a flannel duvet cover.  It makes our king-size bed look even bigger. 
When I laid Cash down to sleep on it I didn't have to worry about him rolling off...