weekly gratitude | montana edition

thank you sweet little baby feet (and mama feet) for keeping mine company all week

Have I been home from Montana for a week already? My brain has come to its elastic ends trying to wrap itself around that. 

Probably helps that I've been working the last six out of the seven days I've been home (with one more to go tomorrow - the price you pay for a week off) . I'm actually still waking up between 6:30 and 7am expecting a small creature to be clomping around on those little 14 month-old sea legs, banging into the Fisher Price rolly-turtle thing that plays an incessant rendition of "Frere Jaques"... With lights.

I miss Jack.

And I miss hanging out with Laura every day - drinking coffee, laughing about oh-probably-nothing-but-we-think-it's-hysterical, talking about life, taking pictures, more coffee, cuddling cute babies, eating, eating, eating... My god, really, has it been a week?!


1. Thank you for Laura. Thank you for this friendship that I still love to look back on and think about how surely serendipity was at work. How God took our lives in his ever-capable hands and threw them together and three years later we're sitting at her dining room table, eating risotto and marveling at the amazing little person she made, and how he somehow managed to sleep through the smoke detector screaming over his sweet little napping head (the smoke detector that I most definitely did NOT set off when I certainly did NOT have a momentary brain-lapse and was NOT forced to remember what happens when you accidentally mix chicken broth and bacon grease in a hot pan - but like I said, I didn't do any of those things). 

2. Thank you for Jack. Thank you for making him strong, and smart, and funny, and sweet, and healthy, and brave, and giggly, and so tall and lanky that I'm not entirely sure he ever had any baby fat on him. Thank you for the heavy sighs when he's sound asleep, and for those little hands that came grasping at my thighs to pick him up and perch him on my hip when he got tired, and the eager "ahhh?" when he's ready for the next bite of banana, and the way he tugs at his little ear when it's getting to be sleepy time, and the sweet smell of his sweaty little head when he wakes up from a nap, and how he gets so excited when he sees his parents after a long day away from either of them, and the way it felt when he climbed up on the couch next to me to watch Spongebob with his binky and a bottle of milk, and the way that once he's asleep he could sleep through the invasion of Normandy (but God forbid you leave the room to take a shower without his permission). Thank you for this amazing little person I have had the pleasure of knowing since the very day he was born, and thank you for the chance to watch him grow up into the incredible little boy he is too quickly becoming. 

And thank you for this:

3. Thank you for John & Laura together. These are two of the most generous people you will ever meet in your life. Something as simple as the fact of them welcoming me into their home for a week, taking care of me, making sure I was well-fed (and well beer-ed) the whole time I was there (and not letting me pay a dime, even when we all went out, no matter how I tried to scoop the check!) - their parents did a collective fantastic job with those two, boy did they ever. And I am just so incredibly grateful for all they did to make sure my week in Montana was everything it could be!

4. Thank you to Kim and Travis - the newly minted Mr. & Mrs. Sickle! - for the opportunity to photograph their wedding! This should actually be a two-fold point because not only did Kim and Travis give me this chance, Laura did. They had hired her to be their photographer and since my trip aligned just so, Laura asked me to be "camera B" so to speak. And you know what? I'm hooked! I think it was made about a million times more fun by the fact that I knew a good number of folks involved from John & Laura's wedding, but even had I walked in knowing nary a soul I have a feeling I would have felt just as much a part of the family as I did being Laura's sidekick. It was amazing - this was officially my first paid photography gig and I gotta tell ya, the thrill of being paid to do something I love? Insane. No really, I highly recommend it! 

5. Thank you, as ever, to God. I mean seriously, has He seen Montana? Well done there, God. You totally scored big with this little wayward Californian in Big Sky Country by way of Oregon... I spent the week in sheer awe: at Jack, at the mountains, at the sky, at the kindness of everyone, at the feeling of warm sun on my skin, at the fireworks, at the wild animals (oh, yeah, Yellowstone post coming up this week!)... I am completely, madly and I fear eternally in love with Montana. And I know that all there is to love comes from one fella in particular. So thank you.


Oh my. I can't wait to get back into a normal swing of things after tomorrow. 

Jumping straight from vacation to a solid seven days at the winery (including a big meeting with all of our growers and dinner at Dick Erath's house - yeah, that happened)...

I am - howyousay? -  pooped. 

My feet are ready to take a break, my sleepy eyes would love to sleep in a little (again, thank you Jack for retuning my internal alarm) and ohsweetMoses I can't wait to clean my disaster zone of an apartment. 

I actually think I can hear FEMA pulling up outside as I type.

I hope they brought Sean Penn.


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