Monday, August 22, 2011

monty 2011: part two

After an entire week of total family togetherness, the husbands and working sister had to head home. V. sad. But Lindsey and Olivia, Lauren and Blair and my two tykes and I got to stay for an extended visit. It was so much fun to have all the cousins together. Our days mostly revolved around each of their eating and napping schedules (someone was always asleep, it seemed), but we did attempt at least one outing every day. It was a little bit hectic to try to load everyone up, to say the least--and usually by the time we did, it was time for at least one of the babes to go back to sleep, but we managed to fit in some fun adventures.

Tessa should really get into wakeboard at Sea World. Look how graceful!
This little girl kills me. She has a smile that takes over her face, and when she's excited, she will really let you hear it!
One day on our way to the lake, we stopped at my parent's lot to pick some cherries. We didn't have all the right equipment (our ladder wasn't nearly tall enough), but we reached as many cherries as we could in the safest way possible. And they were delicious!!!
And, look, they match her cover up!
Reese got some playtime at the lake with her buddies Ava, Ella and Luke. Silly kids. Almost impossible to get them all looking at the camera at the same time!

Hudson guy was so easy going...just happy to be doing whatever it was we were doing. Such a sweetie.

The kids and I went with my parents to the 10th Anniversary of The Event at Rebecca Farm, the largest equestrian triathlon in the U.S. and a selection trial for the 2012 London Olympics. Many of the world's best horses and riders come to compete in dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. We watched the cross-country races and we had a blast!

How cute is this bathing suit?! It's Blair's. She and Reese traded suits for the afternoon.

MommaCat and Kim on the tube with Reese. I can't remember the last time I've seen my dad on a tube. But they sure look like they're having fun!

Hudson spent most of his time lounging under the umbrella on the dock. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!
A friend from across the lake and I had a blast on the paddle boards! I thought for sure I was going to fall in the water, but despite a few wobbly moments, I managed to stay on my feet. I can't wait to do it again!
MommaCat and Reese on the paddle board...we told Reese to sit as still as a statue and she did! Neither of them fell in either. Impressive.

Dean is such a fun uncle. Reese wouldn't let him out of her sight!
And we can't forget about Connor--Dean's bff and Reese's first crush. These two have a special bond. ;)

I think this picture says it all. Fun, fun, fun until we dropped. (But still holding our sugar cookies gingerly, so as not to break it into bits.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

family pics

We took advantage of having the entire family together in Montana by hiring a photographer to take our pictures. Usually I find pictures like this pretty much pressure to have all the stars align with a good hair and makeup day, the perfect outfits (for the whole fam--matching, but not too matchy), and happy kids that hold any meltdowns until after the shoot is over. But, this photo shoot was fun. The photographer moved quickly and broke things up by taking individual family and kid shots. I guess it helped that the adults far outnumbered the kids, so there were lots of aunties and uncles to coerce smiles from the babes. And before I knew it, we were done!
Even though Hudson had become very smiley and happy by this time, he wouldn't crack his stone face for the photographer. Silly boy.

Reese has always been a little ham. She knows just what to do when the camera comes out!

Everyone was pretty much all in white, but the three little girls wore these matching cupcake dresses. Love!
We had a bunch of shots in this pose taken and as I was glossing over them, I happened to notice the funny face Hudson is making! Love that kid.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

monty 2011: part one

One of the things I look forward to most about summertime is our annual trip to Montana for the 4th of July. And with the addition of three babies since last summer, I knew this summer would be extra special! We had the entire family together for the extended holiday weekend and we knew we would have to pack in as much fun as possible.

family tubbie time

My mom scheduled a full day of outdoor activities for us at the Whitefish Mountain Resort, including the zip lines and a Walk in the Treetops, and then volunteered to stay back to watch the babies. That's just the way she is. ;) It was such a fun day and the weather was perfect! And let me just say, these zip lines were no joke! We did a series of 6 zips--two shorter, practice rounds, and four more serious zips. After the practice round, the first real zip line that we rode was 1900 feet long and 300 feet high!
Michael and I raced a few times before we split up the teams between spouses. He schooled me every time! I was right there with him, I thought I had him, and at the end he just pulled ahead like it was nothing. How does he do that?!
This is the starfish help us slow down. Cute, right?

This zip was only 1500' long and 200' high. I think I really almost kicked the top of one of the trees on the ride!
After the zip lines, we took a quick snack break with the kids and then headed off again to have a Walk in the Tree tops. We took a nature hike up to the elevated boardwalks and then walked on the boardwalks through the treetop canopy. The views were amazing!

It wouldn't be the 4th of July without the annual Ward breakfast! Aren't these little girls so darling in their matching dresses?

Michael blessed Hudson at my parent's house after church that Sunday. It was so special to have my whole family there and to have my Dad, brother and brothers-in-law able to participate.
(Reese stayed home from Church that day because she was a bit under the weather, which is why she looks a little disheveled.)

We spent a lot of time at Lake Blaine, swimming, boating and enjoying the beautiful weather. Reese had even more confidence in her life jacket after taking swimming lessons this summer. She thought it was pretty neat that she didn't even have to get her face or hair wet if she didn't want to.
We enjoyed many a family dinner outside on the patio, followed by s'mores around the fire pit. My family is serious about their s'mores. Everyone has their own recipe, and my dad is the best marshmallow roaster I have ever seen! My new fave is a perfectly roasted 'mallow sandwiched between two Nature Valley granola Thins. Just enough chocolate for me, and melts on contact with the marshmallow. So delicious!

Trying to go anywhere with the whole group (or at least the four kids) took three times longer than normal. Lauren and I were usually smooshed in the way back with Reese's car seat between us. Good times.
This is pretty much how we ended each day, completely wiped from all the fun. Poor little dear is all tuckered out!