Friday, July 23, 2010


Last week we had the joy of more Langleys in town. Steve's older brother Christian came for a visit with his wife Katrin and their three adorable boys Tom, Timmy and Terrence all the way from Berlin. They rented a beautiful house high up in the Rattlesnake area complete with an entire third floor that doubled as a giant game room/kid paradise.

The five boys playing together reminded me of the summer days that I spent playing with my own cousins. The kind of days that were packed with fun until bedtime. Aside from the game room, there was soccer, dirt clod throwing, rock throwing and all the general mayhem that comes with five boys playing out on the side of a mountain.

While the kids played, the grown-ups sat around doing what we do best; drinking, eating, talking. We were fortunate enough to have Steve's sister and her family and my sweet friend Karen in from Seattle at the same time. The only thing missing was Steve.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Henry's New Favorite Toy

I did not buy Henry a gun. He bought it with his own money. I always swore I would never let my kids play with toy guns. People told me it would be unstoppable. They will use a stick, they will use their fingers. They will aim their half eaten toast at you at the breakfast table. Well, it's all true. We've had water "squirters", laser "blasters" and even nerf guns (which are also cleverly marketed as "blasters"), but this is our family's first realistic looking gun. We are in Montana and I guess a rifle just felt right to Henry.

Today I let him take it over to the park across the street to play. I felt a little uneasy walking onto the playground with my gun toting preschooler, but why? Almost every little boy I know loves guns. Didn't we play with guns (yes, even girls) when we were kids? Check out this article from Mothering magazine which my dear friend Audrey, mother of three boys, pointed out to me a couple of years ago.

Henry seems pretty comfortable with it. I snapped this photo of him last night, after he asked if he could please have his gun so he could snuggle with it. He's a very sensitive and nurturing boy who cares for his gun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Sky Country

We are spending our summer in Missoula, Montana. Steve was able to save up three weeks of leave and stay for most of June, and now the boys and I are on our own until the end of July.

Missoula is a special place for our family. Steve and I both graduated from the University of Montana. We were married here, and it's Truman's birthplace (he's fond of reminding us he's the only one from here). We have family and friends still living here, and we could fill many hours reminiscing happy memories and funny stories. Now we're busy making more.

To say we are having a great time is an understatement. We were able to find a great little house to rent for the two months that we'll be here. We have two parks within walking distance, a school with a great place to play soccer right at the end of our block, and best of all a yard! We are within walking distance to the local Farmer's Market and downtown. The weather is cool, and the air smells so fresh and piney it almost makes you cry everytime you walk outside. We are outside a lot. From hiking and biking to just eating dinner out on the deck, we are in heaven.

We are in full vacation mode. The sun doesn't set here until after 10pm and we're usually all still up to watch it sink behind the mountains. On a normal day we manage a leisurely breakfast around 10:30. We've decided it's probably a good idea to eat ice cream everyday too, especially since Missoula has the best ice cream ever. The boys have become master hikers and Truman has put countless miles on his bike. Some days are filled with doing "nothing". These are the days when the boys catch spiders, try to catch birds and trap squirrels (no luck!), play in the dirt, have water gun, balloon and, strangely, pinecone fights.

Have I mentioned we love it here?