Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fun in the Montana Sun

 In July we took a trip to Montana for a couple of days with my family.  One of my best friends from high school was getting married, so we all made the trek to Chico Hot Springs, in Montana, for the wedding weekend.  Chico is a rustic resort in beautiful Paradise Valley.  We rented a cabin that had enough rooms for the whole family:  Nana and Papa, Aunt Jess and Uncle Brandon, Cousins Cameron and Everett and the four of us.  The best part of the cabin was the fabulous deck with lots of chairs and a couple of picnic tables.  We were able to prepare our meals there and eat all together out on the deck.  The view was beautiful, including a couple of mule deer bucks who liked sleeping next to a rock formation right in the middle of our view.

We got to go swimming in the hot springs for a couple hours one day.  The water temperature was perfect.  The kids had a great time.  We couldn't believe how well Ava did, especially compared to her reaction to the pool the summer before!  Apparently her swim lessons were worth it.  She was happy to float around the pool by herself (with someone close by, of course) with a noodle.

Shannon's wedding was lovely.  She married her love under a gazebo at the resort with beautiful mountains, fields and views all around.  We had a blast dancing at the reception.  All ten of us got out there and boogied to every song, until finally the kiddos couldn't handle anymore.  The next day we packed up and headed back to Billings.

That night we had a birthday party for Everett, who turned three.  The kids all had a lot of fun opening presents and running around.

We had planned on staying another day, but Nana and Papa ended up having to fly out the next morning to Washington DC, for an important meeting with the Senate Judiciary Committee (more on that later).  So we hit the road for the long drive home.  It was a short trip, but it was a lot of fun.

Waiting for the adults to finally be ready to head to Chico.

The view from our cabin at Chico.

Exploring toddlers!  The kids loved hiking around the area.

Ava contemplating nature?

Another view from the cabin deck.

Visiting the Chico horses.  Unfortunately Ava wasn't old enough to do a trail ride.

The rocks that our buck friends liked to rest by.  We could see them clearly from our picnic tables.

Ha ha.  Getting ready for a little friendly competition:  Who can sit in the freezing creek longer?
The winner:  Papa Ernie!

Getting everyone looking at the camera at the same time is a challenge!  This was after the wedding ceremony.
Whose that guy in the background?

Attempting to get a family picture.  Sadly, this was as good as it got.
Apparently Everett wants to join the Kelleher clan.

Nana, Papa and the girls!  I love this photo.

Another failed picture attempt.  Ava refused to look at the camera.
All I wanted was a nice picture with my girls!

Ava loved dancing in the grass at cocktail hour.

One of my new favorite photos.

Back at Nana and Papa's house for the birthday party.  Cameron plays so well with "Baby June"!

Ava couldn't break away from her LeapPad to look at the camera.
Isn't Everett a cutie?!

Opening his "prizes"!

Ava and June {finally . . . hee hee} got their presents from Aunt Jess and Fam.

Aunt Jess always picks out super cute outfits for the girls!

Her other present from Aunt Jess:  A handmade tutu and headband!
Ava LOVES it and calls it her "princess dress".

Here comes the birthday cake!

Happy Birthday to Everett!

June got a tutu, also.  She was not as amused, but still super cute!

Mmm . . . ice cream cake . . . 

 Our trips to Montana are always so much fun.  We are looking forward to going back in October!

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