Y’all, it’s been way too long since I last sat down and put fingers to keys.
But I’ve got the writing bug… and seriously, after the year we’ve had and the things I’ve added to my plate that make my days exponentially more stressful, it’s kind of ironic and hysterical that I would think that I have ANY extra time to write. But here I am. If I’m being honest, however, writing and creating new content has always been a creative and stress-relieving outlet for me.
So let’s begin with a recap of the past 2 years (since apparently it’s been that long since any sort of update on my end). Again, I am so sorry for that! I’ll put this in a simple to follow list, bullet-pointing the important life events over the past two years… and if there’s an event you’d like more info on, just ask! My life is an open book!
- January: Moved from Boone, NC to Bozeman, MT on the 1st and Mountain Man started his new job working with a construction co. in Big Sky, MT.
- Mountain Man began growing wearing of the treacherous hour + drive each way to and from his job (in one of the biggest winters the area had seen in a while), and began searching for something a bit closer to home.
- April 1 (no joke, y’all), he was offered an incredible job with a pretty kick-tail design company right here in Bozeman, and he’s been rockin’ it there ever since!
- June: Our lease in the apartment we moved into when we first arrived was coming to a close and we had no desire to renew our lease, so we opted to buy a camper and lived in it ALL. SUMMER. LONG. It had it’s ups and downs, but ultimately it was an amazing family adventure that we will never forget! Our summer was jam-packed with trips to Yellowstone National Park, laundry mat days, Huckleberry picking, campfires, gold mining in ghost towns… and we even had a visit from our cousins in NC!
- August rolls around and we are searching frantically for a new place to move. Let’s face it, living in a camper is fun, but not in the winter. And we needed an address so we could get the boys registered in a school for the coming school year. 1 week…ONE WEEK before school was to start, we got a lead on a spot that was perfect for our family (albeit a little small), it was exactly what we needed in that moment. God always shows up friends. Always.
- September is always our big convention for dōTERRA in Salt Lake City and my good friend L flew out to Bozeman, so we could have an epic road trip to convention! It was such an amazing trip filled with friends, oils, food and adventure!
- Almost as soon as I got back from my trip to Utah, my whole family loaded up and we took a family road trip/ work trip for Mountain Man over to the Pacific Northwest. It was so exciting getting the chance to explore a part of the country none of us have ever experienced before.
- November: Thanksgiving that year was our first major holiday without family.
- December arrived and we celebrated my birthday by a trip to our favorite hot spring, hiked into the Gallatin National Forrest and cut down our Christmas tree, and then…we flew out to NC on the red-eye on Christmas night to spend the holidays with the family! We got some wonderful friend and family time in, and on our flight back, the kids got a special surprise as we landed in Bozeman…a trip to the cockpit to meet the pilots!
Yup, tons and tons of amazing adventures our first year in Montana. And honestly, that’s just brushing over the surface. There’s so much more that I didn’t get to cover…just the highlights folks, just the highlights.
2020 (dun dun dunnnnnnn)
Let’s face it, 2020 wasn’t an amazing year for a lot of people. I’ll try to keep my personal opinions regarding the politics surrounding everything that “went down”, to myself. So what did 2020 bring for our family?
- January started out as any other year. One of hopes and ideas and goals. Our biggest celebratory announcement for January was that our oldest (J-Man) accepted Jesus into his heart!
- February: one of my dear friends kept our kids for a day so I could take Mountain Man on a date day to the Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park, and it was glorious. And Little Miss T started gymnastics! Something she had been begging to do for over a year…she’s a natural!
- March. Yup. March happened and the world shut down. Bozeman Montana was no different. The kids were sent home from school, gatherings ceased, churches closed…So we made the most of it. We started taking more walks outside to pick up trash around our neighborhood. Mountain Man became their shop teacher on Fridays to give them some extra curricular activities. And we spent even more time exploring our state by visiting Yellowstone (before they shut their gates to the public).
- April 30th we closed on the sale of our house back in Boone. Another bittersweet moment for us. We listed and sold our home without the use of a realtor from over 2000 miles away. It was definitely another wow, God moment.
- May came around and it was pretty much official that the kids weren’t going back to school. So we got to participate in a pretty cool (and tearful) parade, where we made signs and drove through the school parking lot to see our teachers one last time!
- June was a month to remember! Big celebrations were had when virtual school was finally over (Mama may have cranked up Alice Cooper’s “Schools Out” and had a dance sesh). We bought a rooftop tent for our new and exciting summer adventures. We figured, if we have to social distance, we might as well do it in the wilderness as a family of 5! Mountain Man and I also celebrated our 13th anniversary and we decided to make it special for the kids, too, since they’ve had such a weird year. They loved getting all dressed up to go out to eat at a fancy pants restaurant.
- July: Wow, July was filled with so much fun! To highlight just a little of our month…We celebrated the 4th with BIG fireworks, did some more camping, the kids started swim lessons, took some family float trips down the Madison River and…bought a BOAT!
- August was an interesting month for sure. We were planning a trip to Banff, Canada for October with some friends to attend the film festival (had the AirBNB all booked), and on the day our passports finally arrived, our trip was cancelled. (insert super sad face)…but then God did something amazing that same month. He changed this “when-hell-freezes-over-will-I-ever-homeschool-my-kids” Mama heart and Grace River Homeschool was born! And the weekend after that decision was made, He went above and beyond to provide us with a home that could more comfortably fit our family of 5. Complete with a homeschool room and 25 acres to play! (Did I mention already that Gods timing is perfect and He knows exactly what we need, when we need it???)
- September arrived (I love the FALL), and homeschool officially started! Little Miss T in Kindergarten, The Nugget in 1st grade and J-Man in 3rd…I have my work cut out for me. We also found some time to finally gather with some friends and explore a local corn maze, as our first “field trip”. And then God granted me a gorgeous weather day to hang clothes on our clothes line. I realize this may not be a big deal to many, but having a clothes line has, for some reason, been a life-long dream for my down-to-earth-mountain-girl heart.
- October was a whirlwind of a month. It certainly had it’s ups and downs, but mostly ups, thankfully. Mountain Man got internet ordained and flew back to NC to officiate the wedding of his BFF and his amazing new wife (who also happens to be my kiddos incredible zoom Art Teacher)…then a few short weeks later, they drove out to Montana to be with us for a few weeks! While they were here, we got our first BIG snow of the year, took them to our favorite hot springs spot, ate plenty of yummy food, had tons of belly laughs, and had our first in-person art lesson about Jackson Pollock (once the snow melted, of course). C&E, we are ready for you guys to move out here!!
- November arrived with a bang! From here on out, it’s non-stop for our family. But I think the BIGGEST exciting event to happen this year happened this month. The Nugget made the decision to accept Jesus into his heart!!! Pastor Charley prayed with him at church and he got to make it official by signing one of the crosses in our sanctuary. My heart is exploding right now!
- December is here!!! My favorite time of the year. We had a month of new things and fun adventures. We added a new member to our family. He’s adorable. He’s fuzzy and a HUGE baby…meet FALKOR! (Any Never-ending Story fans out there??) We also were sad that we couldn’t fly our entire family back to NC for Christmas this year, so we decided to fly my parents out here. It was such a wonderful treat to have them HERE for Christmas! We went on an actual sleigh ride on Christmas Eve, complete with a bonfire, chili, hot chocolate and cider. We even got to spend some time with my moms oldest sister at her home about 3 hours from here…we haven’t had a Christmas with them in over 17 years!
Shew…If you stuck around through all those updates, you are a champ and I appreciate your tenacity.
I’m looking forward to being around here more in the coming year. I have so many things planned and I can’t wait to share them with you! New recipes, more oil education (I’m a certified essential oil specialist now!), more sharing some of my favorite must-have products and household items, more real talk about faith ramblings…all of it! What sort of things would you like to see more of? I’m always open to suggestions!
Until next time, friends! I wish you all a happy and blessed 2021!!