Home Sweet Home

Every time I'm about to go home to Montana, I get really excited. Tomorrow I'm flying to Billings with Laken to celebrate a best friend's new marriage, see family members and friends, visit Red Lodge (where I got married) and maybe even boat on Yellowtail Dam. Fun, right? But before any of that can happen, I must pack. The thing I dread the most because it means I have to pick-up around the house and do a lot of laundry that I saved until the last minute to do. That's not fun, so instead I started to look through my photos and found some gems from my last trip home. It was entirely different. I brought a six month old to take part in our annual cattle branding in northeastern Montana.

Let me paint the picture for you. Family and friends from all over Montana and Colorado travel to our ranch with dogs, boots, jeans, guns and four-wheelers. We all pile into one ranch house with a lot of beds. That was nerve-racking enough with a baby! Would she cry and wake up the whole house? Would I even be able to sleep for fear of this happening? Would I have to stay in the same room as my dad who snores so loudly I can't hear myself think? Laken and I ended up in a bed with my cousin one night. She only made a couple peeps, but my cousin and I still didn't slept well. She was afraid she was going to roll over the baby and I was afraid the baby was going to keep her and my two other cousins sleeping in the bed next to ours up. After one restless night we moved to a blow-up mattress in my sister and brother-in-law's room. The best part about family is that you just make it work! 

Over several days the group got very dirty and and had a lot of fun! We rounded-up the cattle, branded, shot guns, rode horses, four-wheelers and mules (not the animal), one cousin wrecked a mule, we ate good food, drank a lot of beer and played cards. Yes, that's what we do every year. It's super fun and very country. I didn't get to take part in everything because of the baby, but I still got to be there and capture the memories digitally. Hopefully my husband can join us next year! His first time branding as a California city slicker is a story for another time, but here's some pictures from five years ago that make me smile. :)

Branding 2009

Branding 2009

I had such a wonderful life growing-up in Montana. I grew up in small town, with a small school, close friends and so many amazing experiences that made me strong and shaped who I am today. I'm so lucky to still have that sprawling countryside to visit where I can roam, explore and make new memories. Montana will forever be my home and even though Laken is a California native, Montana and her family there will always welcome her with open arms. Hopefully she'll be less of a city slicker than her daddy. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend wherever you call home!

Lots of love,