Saturday, September 27, 2008

True Missoulians

I believe that you have to fit into one of the following categories in order to truly belong in Missoula:

1. Ride a moped (preferably with a strange furry hat on your head)
2. Be a Democrat (Chopper refers to the city as "in the tank" for Obama.)
3. Like eccentric and eclectic art (cowboys riding trout has been our favorite so far)
4. Decorate your home and/or yard with aforementioned art (iron dinosauer eating a skeleton is one of the best by far but close runner-ups include life-size aluminum animals and furniture made from antlers)
5. Be a University of Montana Grizzlie fanatic (emphsis on fanatic)
6. Go hiking and/or camping A LOT.

Chopper and I finally fit in -- no no he's not voting for Obama (Erika stop laughing -- the kids need to concentrate!). After a long dry summer without camping (not my idea of fun to hold Megan 24 hours straight while fighting mosquitoes and fire pits) we went on an actual hike today. We found a baby backpack for a great price and tried it out! It's too bad Missoula was hazy because the view was awesome and it was nice to just get out and about a little bit. I wish that we could explore more of Montana this way but it is getting colder and I highly doubt we'll be here next summer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy First Day of Fall!

Ok I'm not sure happy is the word. There are definitely a lot of good things about fall: changing leaves, hot apple cider, Halloween, bonfires; but it just seems like it came too quickly this year. Maybe because winter lasted until June. Megan and I took a walk the other day and saw some beautiful colors starting to come out.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Go Griz!

Today is homecoming for the University of Montana Grizzlies and Missoula is fanatical! We took Megan to the parade and she did really well of course because there was so much to look at! But I have to say that Idaho State's homecoming parades are better. Maybe it was because we actually cheered for ISU and knew people in the parade, etc. or maybe it was because they could throw candy at you. Missoula has an anti-throwing candy rule that gets you kicked out of next year's parade if you do. How ridiculous is that? But we did have a good time.
Not so sure about this whole parade thing -- especially the drums. They were kind've loud.
Of course when Chopper's in charge of the camera the thing he takes a picture of is the WWII jeep with the 50 cal (whatever that is) on the top. We have no idea who the people are that they are gunnin' for (hahaha).
There was a Gaelic group -- I'm sorry but I love bagpipes! Of course, that's in moderation and at appropriate times . . . like parades.
Megan got a balloon! That was almost more fascinating than the parade itself. It moved, it was touchable, and it was LICKABLE! I hope she doesn't have a latex allergy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just a good Friday

Today was just one of those perfect days that needs to be recorded.

Megan slept in long enough that we were able to go to Tiny Tales at the library. Usually she's napping during that time. She was more interested in watching the other kids (it's for birth to 3 years) than the actual story but I really think she enjoyed it and I enjoyed being around other moms of young children. THen we went to Joanns and the remodel is almost finished. Even though it's only half done, it's awesome! They're expanding their stock and it's light and clean. It's going to be wonderful! Sigh. So I bought the stuff for Megan's Halloween costume. She is going to be adorable! I want to get started on it but I'm afraid if I do it now she'll grow too much in the next month and a half. Decisions, decisions . . .

After Megan's nap we got the mail and played with it (envelopes with plastic windows are the best -- they have that extra crinkle) and then spent about a 1/2 hour sitting outside blowing bubbles. It was a gorgeous cool afternoon and Megan loved the bubbles and gave me plenty of excited scrunch faces for them!

Then Chopper came home from work with a baby backpack he picked up for $8! You can't beat that with a stick!

Just one of those good days!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just a Few Moments

These are the ones I'm trying to sear into my memory for recall when she's two, seven, and thirteen and driving me crazy.

I know this looks like she is enjoying carrots, but I think she's enjoying the fact that they are not IN her mouth. I still cannot get this girl to want to eat ANYTHING. She'll open up to drink from a cup in a heartbeat but come near her with a spoon and it's I don't think so.
Megan has been capable of rolling for a while but I think now she understands that she can do it when she's on her stomach. There goes tummy time. It takes her approximately 4 seconds to flip over and she grins hugely the whole time she does it. She is such a little stinker.
This is classic scrunch face and if you look very VERY closely you can see her bottom teeth which are adorable and also terribly painful . . .
I'm so mad about this picture because it is ADORABLE but if you'll notice it's oddly colored and very grainy. My camera has stopped flashing. It's been on the fritz for a while but now . . . I even took this picture with the flash ON, not the auto flash if it needs it. I tried doctoring on the computer but there's only so much you can do with a picture that starts out black. Literally. I guess I know what's going on my Christmas list!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I can't believe I forgot

Yesterday was 9-11. Chopper and I did watch the dedication of the memorial at the Pentagon on TV but it really wasn't until then that I really remembered. And then MSNBC played the footage from that day and that really brought the memories back. But then it makes me think, with everything going on -- why would you even want to be President? You know how little kids always say they want to be President? I definately think it's a job I would forgo (sp?) if it were handed to me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peer Pressure

I gave in. I jumped on the bandwagon or off the cliff. Whatever you prefer.

I read the Twilight saga.

My niece Chelsea was generous enough to loan me all of the books with her very high recommendations and since so many people have just been raving about them I figured why not? It was kind've nice to be able to read them one right after the other too.

But it has been a very long time since I've been this conflicted about a book. And I find it kind've hard to articulate so here's part of my thinking about this series at least.

The Good
1. They were certainly gripping books. The first one started slow I thought but the others were a lot more intense. I had a really hard time putting them down -- in fact, I read them all in 6 days. Poor Chopper. And poor me -- not much sleep going on.
2. I thought that the characters were good. Some of them annoyed me enough to really be 3-dimensional. But overall I had very clear pictures -- pictures that did NOT match the preview I saw for the movie of the first book.

The Bad
1. I'm sorry but they were a little teenager for me. Until I got to the 3rd book. And then I thought they were books I wouldn't want my teenager to read because they were too adult. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good romance but not when it's a romance novel. I prefer things a little more subtle and . . . mature.
2. How many times do I have to hear that Edward is so beautiful she can't look away? Or be mesmerized by his beauty or something? Is there nothing more substantial to this relationship than good looks? I guess I'm not ready to be a vampire. Bella's insecurity with her looks I know is something real but I did not like the fact that it was resolved by her change to a vampire and becoming super-model gorgeous like the rest of them. But stuff like that has always bothered me, I think because of my own insecurities.
3. The love triangle. Having never been involved in one myself I found it somewhat ridiculous. Maybe that's an experience I would have to have in order for it not to annoy me to death (ha ha). And then the way that was resolved! I should've known. I almost stopped reading at that point because, seriously . . .

I won't continue in this vein (I am also having a really hard time avoiding the vampire/blood/dead puns and that's probably fairly painful for most of you), but there were a lot more things that I think I took issue with rather than loving them so much. Oh I forgot . . .

The Ugly

1. Would someone please get this girl a new editor? I felt like I was reading a very long 9th-grade paper. Ok I guess it wasn't that bad, everything was spelled right, but professionals should be better at this!
2. Titling. I thought the last one, Breaking Dawn, fit very well. The rest? Random.

Again, I'm really really sorry if you just loved them -- maybe I shouldn't be so honest about them but . . . to each his own right? I do have to admit, I was glad that I read them and satiated my thirst, uh, curiousity. (I had to get that in somehow!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Adios Elder Gasser!

My baby brother has gone on his mission. He'll be spending 2 months at the Missionary Training Center learning Spanish and then it's off to Pocatello, Idaho for 2 years. I was able to drive down to Salt Lake City and take him to the MTC in Provo and I'm really glad I did. I can't believe though how adult he already looks!

The drive down was fairly uneventful. Execpt for the snow. On September 1st. Not just in the mountains, on the ground. I have to get out of Montana.

This is James (now Elder Gasser), me, Denise (my sister-in-law) and my brother Danny. We all went to the Temple together the night before he left. It was a wonderful experience to be there with my brothers -- I can't even describe how wonderful it is to be close to your siblings and know that they have happy, full lives!

Of course I cried when I dropped him off. And I didn't just drop him off. I went inside and sat through the welcome thing and it was just nice to be there with him. He didn't want me to take any pictures but I told him Mom would kill me if I didn't and then he wouldn't get any care packages!

When I left SLC, I stopped in Pocatello and saw my friends and colleagues. This darling girl is Lillian -- my friend Maeli's daughter. She is one week older than Megan even though she was due two weeks after I was!