a sledding we will go

On Christmas Eve, we went up to Hyalite Reservoir to go sledding.  We had so much fun. Not that we are hermits, but one of the things we love about Montana is the population density and lack thereof.  Not a lot of competition for resources.  On many occasions, we've found ourselves thinking "If we were somewhere else, this place would be packed."

We had the entire hill to ourselves, not that we were in danger of running into other people in National Forest, but still. We kept going and going until we ran ourselves ragged. George had so much fun.

We kept Ed bundled tight, while Ashley wore my coat, hoisted by the baby bjorn.  Eventually he got tired of our shenanigans and spent the rest of the morning snoozing in the car.

Here's a good shot of Ashley and the boys getting ready for another run. Even though the sun wasn't out all the way, there was no wind and the temperature was perfect.  We all over-heated.  We were much better repaired for the snow this time, compared to last time when we got our tree.

I experimented with the automatic timer - taking multiple shots. I wanted to get us in action, so... scroll down through the next few pictures of us enjoying the slopes.

A successful day in the books. We had such a fun time that we're planning on going up again this Saturday.  Anyone is welcome to join us, just as long as you are serious about having fun.


a (tree) hunting we will go...

On Saturday we observed the old time tradition of chopping down a Christmas Tree.  You can't argue with the economics ($5), and the family fun. And yes, it has its environmental benefits as well. We went up to Hyalite Reservoir and had so much fun. 

It had snowed quite a bit up in the mountain.  The scenery was breathtaking.
Ice Fishing - Ashley's new passion. It combines several of her few favorite things.  Sitting. In the cold.  No but seriously here are some ice fishing enthusiasts on the reservoir as its frozen over. So beautiful.

We threw Ed in the pack and snuggled him up real cozy like.  Because the sun was out the temperature was very tolerable. We had great weather on a spectacular day.

I took George. The snow was close to knee deep in some places making it pretty tough for George to head in by himself.

I blazed a trail after scouting a few potential candidates.  Ashley lugged Ed in and stopped to model for me.  Ed snoozed the entire time. Makes me wonder what interesting places my parents took me when I was little, that I just snoozed all the way through.

We went deeper into the woods and found a few candidates.  George was an excellent helper and was having a ton of fun.
Like a responsible dad, I forgot George's gloves but because of the drawstring feature on mine, they work perfect for a toddler.  By some milagro I had packed two pair for myself so we got really lucky in that regard.

Trudging through knee deep snow, with a (close to) 40 lb toddler, and a christmas tree is a serious workout.  I highly recommend it.  Everyone had so. much. fun.

George and I pause to catch our breath and lug our beauty the rest of the way out. Are you jealous yet of our wholesome family fun? I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful it was, and how happy we all were. We didn't have to hunt for very long, and even though we had some initial buyers remorse at our tree (as we saw hordes of childless tree cutters and their Rockefeller Square quality trees), now that its up in our house we love it and I couldn't be prouder.

Poor Ed, forced into adventures he didn't sign up for. He didn't wake up until the tree was on top of the car.  Come to think of it, we should've got a picture of that.

I obviously should've dressed George better, put him in some pretty cruddy jeans that got soaked.  As the picture illustrates, we stripped him down after the tree hunting and was a lot more happy. He loves our tree and was smiling about it all day.

Just in case the pictures weren't enough, we recorded some video of the adventure.  Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season.


we are not dead, we are very much alive...

You'll have to excuse the dysfunctional layout of this post. For some reason the pictures are mounting all weird. But that's not as important is relaying the fact to you, dear reader, that despite our absence from the blog world, in fact yes we are alive and doing well. October was an insanely busy month with nary a dull moment, as you are about to see.

George very much loves wolfing his food down, especially when it is pizza, maccaroni & cheese, or depending on his mood, anything. He also has a deep appreciation for chocolate milk.  Ed is growing so quickly, and was 25% heavier than George on his 2 month check in.  His weight has led to such nicknames as "Fatso", "Porky", "Lumpkins" and "Poopsie."

At the end of September we reunited with our best friends, "Los Nelson."  We met them up in a small resort town in the northwest part of Montana called Whitefish. It is a cute town, and we rented a condo with lake-front access.  It was heavenly.

We also made a trip with our friends Andy & Lisa, out to Yellowstone National Park.  George got to see Old Faithful for the second time.

Ed also got to see Old Faithful. He was super-impressed.

Here's the whole fam damily (as my  mom used to say).  

Ed is starting to smile a lot. He loves when we talk to him, particularly in high voices. Its the kind of thing that you do because your child responds to it and it is so fun to see him respond, but asked to make the same toned-voice in public, you wouldn't do it for a million dollars.

In early October we went out to Colorado Springs for Ashley's brother's wedding. It was a great time, despite the entire family dealing with a particularly caustic brand of 24-stomach flu, including the groom.  Here's George palling around with his cousins Clayton and Henry.

The Potter girls... lucky is the man who marries these women.  Going quick, 3/4 are already spoken for.

George jumped for joy at the temple... it was just about 5 years ago that Ashley and I were married here, when George was just a twinkle in our eye.  Thankfully Aunt Blythe watched George and Ed while we attended the ceremony.

While in the Springs, we attended the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, or as Ashley calls it, "the world's largest zoo."  Just kidding, she doesn't call it that.  But it is a great zoo and all the cousins enjoyed it. George hanging out with "Paka," Charlotte and Lucy.

Ashley and her sister Serena.

See how I'm "coaxing" the giraffe to eat the lettuce, I do this with George as well and find it particularly effective.

The day before Ashley's birthday, I got in an accident.  Minor damage, but... the real sweet side of this whole transaction was that it allowed me to purchase one of these bad boys.

An xtracycle, every bike nerd's dream when they want to do nearly anything humanly possible by bike.

Ed is particularly excited about the transaction as when its fully outfitted, I'll be able to transport George and Ed simultaneously on the back. I cannot wait!

Summer is gone and replaced by a beautiful fall. Ashley and the boys have taken advantage of the season.

And with fall comes another Halloween.  We feel so much pressure to deliver.  But fortunately for me, I married a truly visionary, genius mind in Ashley who always comes up with the best ideas for costumes.  This year George was Howard Hughes-Bomber Pilot-Charles Muntz and Ed was Troy Polamalu as if he had been traded to the Denver Broncos.

The Great Aviator.

 Ed got tons of attention. Lots of fun trick-or-treating along Main Street.

Here's the whole family in its glory.  It is really starting to get chilly now and the brief three day fall has now given way to winter.  We are bracing for impact, but looking forward to the holidays, sledding, soups and warm bread, and everything else that the Montana winter has to offer.