recap 3/3 - Big Sky residency

For those of you who've made the long e-trek with us, we've finally made it. We're in Bozeman, Montana.  We officially arrived in Montana August 31st, staying the night in Billings before we were able to move into our new place September 1st.

Apropos, a little background on the reasoning for moving.  We loved Los Angeles, but it's long-term viability seemed highly questionable with out a severe career change for me, or a severe commitment on Ashley's part to work full time.  Toss in the iffy-schools and house sizes that could negatively impact the size of our family, and it just seemed like LA might not be our resting spot - though there are so many things to absolutely adore about it. I have to admit, the contrarian in me loves the fact that so many people have negative associations with LA.  It makes me want to love it anymore.  But honestly - it's the second biggest city in America for a reason people. It's a great place to be.

So after a co-worker and I cooked up a scheme involving working in Montana - the idea of moving to a place where we had never been seemed pretty intruging.  On paper it seemed to make a lot of sense. More space, more house, better schools, comparable to our wholesome Colorado upbringing... it seemed like a win-win.  After a long deliberation process wherein a lot of logistics where hammered out, we packed up our belongings and moved to a city that we had never been in.  Transitioning from a city of 9M+ to 40K shouldn't be that big of a change, right?

From here on out I'll let the pictures do the talking.

This is the front of our little "complex."  Four town-houses in a row.  We're on the North end (far right).  Nice because that means we don't have neighbors on one side.  Not that having neighbors is a bad thing.  Our neighbors are really nice.  They let us borrow internet for a week until we were up and running, and have a little boy about 6 months older than George.

This is a closer look at our place.  We are practically all moved in.  We just have a few pictures and paintings to hang.  My goal is to have us completely moved in by the time the weather gets nasty.  I want to be able to park our car in our very own garage.  Super exciting. What's more, you can see that the previous tenants installed some bike hooks for us, just the right amount.  Talk about destiny.

This is the side view of our place.   The "alley" doesn't get much sun, and we've gotten quite a bit of rain lately so that little channel is kind of like a swamp.  We are loving having so much room for George to run around in.

This is the EXACT look on George's face that he makes when he's about to jump off something, e.g. kitchen table, church stage, a cliff, a bridge, or our back patio.  He gives no other warning other than a few jubilant stomps, this face, and then he plunges forward whether you are ready or not.

This is a better view our our back yard.  All the houses empty out into the cattle farm.  We spend practically every night out there (gotta take advantage of the warm days) watching the sunset, seeing what the cows are up to, and just enjoying the stunning panorama.

This is what Bozeman looks like.  Green.  Lots of parks.  Montana State University is here.  Population (approx.) 43,000.  Ashley took this picture while on a day hike with George.

George is becoming incredibly familiar with rain.  While its been very warm, we've also had some pretty torrential downpours.  He likes putting his hand out, palm up, and looking up into the sky to see if it's raining.  This is George and I playing in the rain, out front, after work.

I'm also becoming familiar with the rain. I've gotten hit pretty hard a couple nights, on the way home.  I'm finally making incredibly good use of my fenders.  Ashley took this picture after she happened to see me on her way home from the grocery store.

The weather is very unpredictable here.  One day blazing sun, the next day it's... well... cold enough for us softy-southern California imports to put on our coats and warm hats.  We've already had to explore the nether-regions of our wardrobes, and it's only halfway through September.  Ashley's picked up an awesome set of boots, and I'm scouring ebay for just the right winter coat.

Our first weekend we went up to Hyalite Reservoir.  Really nice place.  We've since been up three times.  There are dozens of hikes, waterfalls, historical sites and camp sites to explore.  George and I threw rocks in the reservoir for a while.  In the winter they open up cross country ski-trails.  We are really looking forward to getting into all kinds of adventures up here.

Speaking of adventures, did we tell you this is how we bathe George?  As a matter of fact, this is how everyone in Bozeman washes their child because we don't have running water or electricity.  I'm getting dial-up internet from one of those AOL cd's... life is pretty simple here.   Or... Ashley and George were just having some fun.  One of those.

Ashley took this picture today.  It pretty much sums up what we love about our new adventure out here. It is so scenic, it's hardly seems like real life.  We keep reminding ourselves that winter is looming and frankly we are a little scared, but as Ashley's dad said the other day, "you just have to own it."  So that's what we're gonna do.  We are gonna get big into winter fun and not let it keep us down.

In the meantime, we are enjoying the new adventures and the warm days.  We extend a heartfelt invitation to any of you who are curious about "Big Sky" country... come and visit anytime.  Especially in the winter.  : )


jr said...

I have been waiting anxiously for part 3. Seriously, Montana is crazy beautiful. You guys are going to have some amazing adventures there! I can't wait to hear about your bike adventures with the winter, and how you all adapt!

Congrats on the big move and all of the changes in your life!

Sarah said...

The dial-up and AOL CD's sentence made me laugh out loud. So sad that I actually remember and know what you're talking about.

I don't really have much to say except that I was talking to Serena on the phone today about your move and I'm, well, I'm jealous. I've been itching to get out of LA to a place like you're describing. Sounds magical!

david said...

thanks guys. we really love it so far. truth be told, i'll be glad when we have a winter under our belts so we know what it's really like here, and then we'll be able to sell it more honestly.

but so far, so good.

Christi said...

Wish I would have gotten to know you better over the reunion weekend. Being that I was solo all of my single party days came out and I ended up staying out way to late every night. My plan on getting to know you and George failed MISERABLY but I do love reading your blog. Tell Ash hello. And I want to see a pic of her new BOOTS you speak of! Ask her if she puts licorice is them. :)

Christi Luke

david said...


then i guess you'll just have to come up and visit us, eh?

Dawn D. Lion said...

I love the bit about the jumping face. So awesome. Ivan is a *huge* fan of jumping too. He could jump all day. He also loves dancing, and his dancing is jumping.

Serena Cherry said...

Those pictures are so beautiful! That is really awesome. I am so so jealous, and obviously telling all of my friends about how jealous we are, too. Ha! I wish I could be there with you!

Craig said...

Dude, I'm way excited for you guys. I admire your approach to family... and location, and blogging, and dress, and bicycling, and hairdos, and cuisine.

I really want to come visit. My pal Mapquest here says it's only 410 miles. About the same time as driving to Vegas.... nice.