There are many reasons for which I love living in Montana. If I had to choose, I’d say quality of life, access to the great outdoors, and family are my top three. For the past seven years, access to the great outdoors has remained my number one reason for living here. But lately, my focus and priorities have shifted to family. Probably because of my six-month-old baby boy. Just a hunch.
I always knew that Montana would be a great place to raise a family. In fact, that was a big reason for why I decided shift my career goals and stay in Big Sky Country. Coming from a large extended family and one of four kids in my immediate family, I’ve always been drawn to the chaos and commotion of a big family. I just love it. Growing up, holidays and family gatherings took place at my grandparents’ farm in a tiny, eastern Montana town – and they still do. I cherish those memories from my childhood and I guess I wanted my own kids to have those memories. Life came full circle for me this past Christmas, when my baby boy had his 1st Christmas at the farm. Watching him play under the Christmas tree in my grandparents’ living room brought me so much joy. It’s hard to believe how quickly things change. Not so long ago, it was my siblings, cousins and I playing under that tree. Or at least, it feels like not so long ago.
Making memories in Montana has always been one of my favorite things to do. And now that I’m a “mom,” new memories are flooding in on a daily basis. Good thing I have a baby calendar! But my goodness, it’s hard to keep up! In the blink of an eye, DD has grown from an itty-bitty newborn to an on-the-move six-month-old… and it is SO. MUCH. FUN.
However, there’s a catch to living in this state. As wonderful as Montana is… the long, cold winter months can be a challenge with a baby. Before DD was born, I was all like, “Oh, having a baby won’t change our lifestyle that much. We’ll just throw him in a pack and go!” While there are still elements of truth within that statement, cold weather has thrown us a curveball. Turns out, 10 degree days and babies just don’t go hand-in-hand.
We haven’t been to the mountains in nearly three months. Ah! Three months? How is that possible? I’m longing for a day in the mountains with my little family. That’s all. One day. I don’t even need a weekend. Heck – I’ll take 3 hours! Just a little cross-country skiing or snowshoeing action would surely cure my mild case of cabin fever. I want to hear my skis gliding through the fresh snow. I want to listen to my breathing as I inhale and exhale the crisp, mountain air. I want to feel the sunshine on my cheeks. I want to see Polson happily bound through the snow. I want to show DD how magical winter can be. I want to admire my husband in the setting where I fell in love with him. The mountains are our happy place and boy, are the calling us
Alas, the weather forecast rules our world these days. And lately, the weekends have been COLD. But things are looking up – Sunday’s forecast says 30+ degrees! Woohoo! Fingers crossed. In the meantime, you’ll find me playing with DD on the living room floor. Which actually has become my favorite indoor activity.