Monday, July 14, 2008


I Just saw this commercial for Chillis where five or so people are on a conference call, get put on hold and decide to play...oh snap, what's the name of the childhood game where you take the chair away and walk around in the circle until the music stops, fight over the chair? Oh, I really can NOT think of the name of that game.

Anyways, so I'm watching this commercial and the STRANGEST thing happens...I'm instantly jealous of the girl in the cute black pencil skirt and ruffled button up shirt. I mean, ya, she had the typical skinny TV figure and perfect hair, but I was jealous of something much more embarrassing...her conference call.

For the last few years I've envied the Moms who don't have to go to work every know, the ones who have all this free time to work out and cook great meals and keep a spotless house all while maintaining valuable friendships and staying up on current news so that they can carry on relevant adult conversations? You know the kind. They're also called martians. Or urban legends.

I've mentioned this before, but my short experience with stay-at-home-momdom has not gone as previously hoped. Top that with spending the last two and a half weeks in of the perfect, organic, cut my own kid's hair, grow my own food, recycle everything so that I have no trash, run 12 miles every morning while my family sleeps type of stay at home Mom and I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in over my head.

What I miss are the days at my last two jobs when my bosses would call me in to meetings (or conference calls for the sake of staying on topic here) and ACTUALLY want to know my opinion on something. I miss putting on a pressed pair of good fitting pants, a button up shirt and great heels to go to a trade show and exchange thoughts on technology in education. I miss getting up, getting ready, drinking coffee and making small talk with co-workers, I miss the relationships you make when you spend 9 hours a day with other adults. I'm jealous of the cute girl on the Chillis commercial not because she was cute, but because she was at work...albeit a fake job, but in my head it was a job where her talents held value and there was even a pay day to show for it.

I guess this is the ultimate in greener grasses issues for women.

I'm BEYOND thankful that I'm in the position to spend time in Montana when I could easily be at work wishing I was here instead...but it's still a catch-22. Being able to spend all day with my kids I get to see all of Ry's firsts and I get to be the one to teach my bigger kids new things...but I'm someone who dressed up as "a business man" for Halloween as a kid. I've always thought I'd be a super awesome bad-a$$ suit wearing business woman (or lawyer, but that's another post). So while I DO love this life, I still miss the days at the office.

Perhaps this is why play groups exist? Or MOPS maybe? Linda, Amanda...I'm not sure entirely sure what MOPS is, but in my head it's former crime fighting business women turned stay at home Moms who discuss pre-school kids whilst tackling gas prices and climate change. Correct me if I'm wrong.

So this was just me being honest. I'm sure if I went back to work (being a sales / marketing assistant as I've always been...not the awesome pistol packing suit wearing life changing business woman I many have hoped for) I'd long for the days when I could rock Ryland to sleep for her afternoon nap and play pretend with Cierra while waiting for Hunter to get home from school.

I guess that's just the honest truth about being a Mom...just one of many, right?!?!

MUSICAL CHAIRS!!!!!!!!!!!!! that was about to keep me up all night!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Missoula es en fuego

Did I write that right? I just needed a little Spanish...As wonderful as Missoula is, there is NO Mexi influence here...don't even get me started on their attempt at mexican food...ugh

Anywho, THE MOUNTAIN CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!!!!!! Wednesday night we watched Mt. Sentinel burn. Remember when I told yall about the mountain you could see from my favorite park here? Well apparently a few kids accidentally started a grass fire that over took the land mark here in town. Mt. Sentinel is the mountain that has the "M" on it and it's Missoula's version of the Hollywood sign, so it's a pretty big deal! It was absolutely surreal to stand in the backyard and watch black smoke billowing up...I mean we could literally see the fire line. Just crazy. I could go on about the fire, but I included a link to the news story from point of this post is something else.
Our landlord is a scientist who's working on her doctorate at the University (of in Missoula) so I will probably butcher her explanation of what I'm trying to get to...but I'll do my best.
She said from a scientist's standpoint, this grass fire has an upside. As all forest and grass fires do, they clear the way for NEW and GOOD growth. (No homes were destroyed in our fire here, so I'm not making this analogy to ALL wild fires (California and such))...apparently "non native" grasses, plants and weeds are brought in in a variety of ways and they over take the natural plant life that is supposed to grow. It really messes with the wildlife on the mountain and it compromises the integrity of the environment here. On the trail we hiked last Sunday there were signs posted that the forest department had released certain insects to try to rid the valley of certain non-native weeds, so this is obviously an ongoing battle. Missoula is overall a very "green" town, and with good reason, people who live here are proud of and protect everything that is natural. I can't say it enough, Missoula and the surrounding areas are breathtakingly beautiful.
So while it's natural to be sad when you see the formerly green mountain side blackened by fire, it could be looked at as the opportunity for an even better mountain. How freakin' deep is that????????? I know, I know...I've told Hunter a million times that "freakin'" is a bad word, but I couldn't think of anything else that I just needed that umph.
Isn't that just as true for life in general? When we have non-native weeds that overtake our lives and all of our attempts at ridding ourselves of, buggers? (I am having such a hard time with words tonight but I'm just dying to make this post, so forgive my choices here...where was I?)...oh ya, the weeds...sometimes all we can do is burn everything down and start from scratch.
I look at this in reference to my own life and that horrible time in my past when I was battling with so many demons and I tried (fruitlessly) to rid myself of these "buggers" one weed at a time. What I needed was a good ol' grass fire. Just knock everything out at once and start from scratch. And in hindsight, I think I had one.
You know that time in your life when it feels like everything has fallen apart and you're just sitting there dumbfounded and lost? Maybe that's our opportunity to start over!!!!!!!!! Well, no IS our opportunity to start over.
Get all of those WEEDS out of the picture and start with fresh soil. Take full advantage of this opportunity for a new beginning and take the necessary precautions to keep the weeds out for good this time...I know, it's getting a little cheeseball, but it's so true isn't it?
I hope no one reading this blog is in a stage in their life where they need a "good burn" or even going through one...because it's such a painful time, I cringe when I think about that time in my life...but driving around town, walking to the park, or even sitting in the backyard, I can see the black burned grasses on Mt. Sentinel and it's no longer a depressing sight for's hopeful.
It's a constant reminder of a fresh start and second chances, and that's what this blog (and my life) is all about. A person who's no better (who's probably worse) than anyone reading her blog. A person who's been through it all (literally) and who's made it through one impossibility after another (no, really)...someone who's sitting here on the opposite bank, looking back at the river full of currents no one should have made it through just thanking God for that good grass fire!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Clothes on the line

I will have you all know that I just got done hanging clothes on the line. Yes. Hung them outside to dry instead of in the dryer. It was FUN!!!! Not real sure why exactly, but I had fun hanging wet clothes on a wire stretched between two metal poles in the ground. Maybe it was the weather worn wooden (I love alliteration) clothes pins, maybe it was the warm Montana sun on my arms (notice I said warm, not breath sucking hot and humid as I assume it is in Houston), maybe it was just knowing that life moves as a much slower and kinder pace need to rush your clothes through the dryer when you can hang them out to dry.

That's a perfect example of how I'd compare life in Missoula to life in Houston. Everyday Cierra and I walk to the park (it's about 8 blocks away), with Ryland in the stroller...we WALK there yall. Kevin has the car most days and I really don't mind. We have to cross a semi busy street to get to it and EVERYtime the cars stop to let us pass. Missoula is cool like that. In Houston if you saw a lady pushing a stroller holding the hand of a three year old you'd just zoom on past and think she was a loony for walking somewhere she easily could have driven....not here, you step up to the curb and traffic halts. Love it.

Not to mention how great it feels to WALK places. It's that same feeling as hanging clothes on a line to dry. It's almost old-fashioned, but in a really good way. Like going to the farmers market to get your veggies...well the veggies you don't grow yourself in the back yard. And going to potluck with the neighbors every Thursday night. Neighbors who cut their kid's hair themselves. Neighbors who hold your baby so you can eat. It's just that kind of life here.

Yesterday morning when I'd noticed our bread (brand name, Montana Mrs. Bairds up here yall! they buy local...LOVE it) had gone moldy I just walked three blocks to the bakery and bought a small honey wheat loaf fresh out of the oven. Maybe you should re-read that sentence. In case you decide not to, I'll repeat it for you. I WALKED TO THE BAKERY AND BOUGHT A LOAF OF BREAD FRESH FROM THE OVEN. Oh, and I ate it (still warm) with some home-made strawberry rhubarb jam I got at market. It was as good as it sounds...maybe better.

And the park we walk to? It's a huge grassy expanse sitting under a mountain....and it has a splash pad....and an awesome play structure. It's full of Moms and kids and day camps and nannys. If you're there at lunch time you'll see the occasional Dad meet his family there for a picnic on his lunch break. Today a 10 yr old boy set up a lemonade stand that offers free refills...he never leaves without making $50 a day he tells me. I may have crossed paths with a future business mogul. Even though I'd packed snacks and drinks I still bought CC and I a cup of pink lemonade (as did most of the Moms) gotta support that kind of entrepreneurship. There are usual a handful of college girls laying out (I try not to focus on them, they haven't had babies....they're get where I'm going here). It's probably the greatest park in the history of parks.

So I just filled yall in on my day...feel free to be jealous. Missoula is amazing. Oh, and on Sunday....we went hiking :)

One day I'll take my computer to a wifi cafe downtown and post some pictures to go along with these stories...and I can assure you that they'll just show you that these things I'm describing are even better than you can imagine!

happy sigh,

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Big Sky Country

Well I see why Kevin took a job in Montana. It's BEAUTIFUL yall. Absolutely beautiful.

We've been here for a little over a week now and I've been meaning to get on and tell yall all about how awesome it is in Missoula, and just as a sit down to type...Ryland wakes up. Kevin's laptop has internet here, mine doesn't (not sure why that is) so I don't have a lot of chances to get on here....but maybe today after we go to Market I'll make it back on....but for now, my baby needs to eat :)

Oh...and yes, I said we're headed to "Market" as in the Missoula Farmers Market that happens every Saturday morning. Ya, it's as great as it sounds. Last week Ry got a BONNET. How cute is that?

Love from Big Sky Country,