Monday, February 10, 2014

Hecho en Montana

I love living in Montana. While I wasn't born here, this is where I was meant to be. My son was born here and will be the first generation of Montana roots that will run deep.

Here are some just some of the reasons why I love Montana.

School never closes due to weather

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You have to do your homework, go to bed on time, and don't waste your time even checking because school will not closed. If it is a cold snap in negative digits, howling Hellgate winds blowing snow so hard you can't see, well, one thing is for certain -- you've got to get up and go to school (in my case work) regardless.

Cross country skiing after work

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Less than four miles from my house are perfectly groomed cross country skiing trails in Pattee Canyon. You can go home, make a burrito, put the skis on your car and do a tour before it is too dark.

Getting to see bald eagles on a regular basis

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You can't drive to the ski area, bike, or hike anywhere without seeing at least one amazing bird of prey in route. Participating in a Hawkwatch International trip in Utah really opened my eyes to birds and I have to say Montana is the perfect place for seeing them.

And on the way to see bald eagles we see things like these:

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Kids get their exercise running from mountain lions

You know you live in Montana when the school calls to let you know some mountain lions have been seen at the kids' bus stop. Once the driver even got the kids on the bus right before the mountain lion attacked. I am just saying -- new way for kids to stay active -- Running from mountain lions.

Work commute is less than a mile

Jeff and I both have a morning commute that is less than mile. We never even start out cars Monday - Friday. We don't even need to (unless we are going skiing after work!).

Son spent more time in chariot than in a car

The moment we got the Chariot is the moment our lives changed. We bike everywhere. We even biked the San Juan Islands for a family trip. Cooper loves the Chariot. He is biked to school everyday.

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Cold weather makes for some good snuggling

If you know my husband, it won't surprise you to know that we turn our "heat" to 55 degrees every night. It makes for a cold house but great for when Cooper wakes up and snuggle time.

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More breweries than McDonalds

I can't even keep up with the local breweries. I'm not going to lie but I've sampled quite a few beers here. Each place unique. The best part -- kid friendly. One place even has a chalk board and toy area for the kids to play while you do some sampling. Babies are allowed in bars.

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Two is the standard for starting your kid skiing While most kids get blocks and maybe bikes for Christmas, most get skis. Two is the standard start age for kiddos to hit the slopes.

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Interesting people doing interesting things

I think Missoula has the most interesting people. Most all of my friends have travel abroad, speak another language, work for a non-profit saving the world. They are out there doing stuff -- not just talking about it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

It’s Official – Summer is on!

I love working for the public schools. Where else can an adult get things like spring break? I count down the days till summer on the school calendar, marking each day with an X as I got closer and closer to June. Finally, we made it till the last day of school and now summer is officially on.

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Don’t get me wrong: I love winter. You have to love winter to live in Montana, where the snow easily falls seven months out of the year. But eventually I long to see green things and the actual ground rather than a mound of snow. Slowly the sign of hope emerges – the forsythia blooms and finally it feels like things are changing as the yard bursts into bloom.

The long days are another great thing about summer. You can easily pack into your day a visit to the spray park, a hike in the mountains, a bike ride along the river, and then a concert downtown. Music, art, and recreation come to almost frenzy; maybe everyone is soaking up summer while we can.

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But snowcapped mountains surround us and are a constant reminder that winter is not that far away -- get out and enjoy things and I'll see you on the trail!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Re-Cap

Since our son's arrival it has kinda all been a blur but here is a recap of the last, say, 10 months:

Cooper Meriwether Schmerker was born on his due date. Must have been the Schmerker's trait because Pattersons are never on time. He was born on the first day of the hunting season. Everyone else was up with me early that morning but we had the hospital birthing area to ourselves. Cooper was the only baby born that day so we had a lot of attention. Missoula has a ton of at-home births so I am sure he still shares his birthday with many other kiddos.

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Wearing the same outfit his dad wore home from the hospital

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We had lots of visitors in the weeks after his birth: my sister, my mom, my mother-in-law, and Cooper's godmother.

Spring break we flew to Texas and had a huge family gathering to celebrate Cooper's baptism. He wore the Schmerker family dress (passed down for generations) and we also tried on the Cookman dress, too!

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That began a countdown for summer, where I got to be a stay-at-home mom for a little while. We went to concerts, spray parks, Tiny Tales, and hung out with friends.

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I flew back to Atlanta for a Patterson family gathering in July. Family and friends all got to meet Cooper. I also made a road trip to Waynesville to visit friends there too.

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August is our traditional family vacation. We went to Seattle, biked the San Juan Islands as well as Vancouver Island, then visited Bellingham and the North Casacades National Park. Like other trips it included a visit (or two) to Trader Joe's.

Now summer is over!

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