I found out on May 10th that I had breast cancer. I had to take a leave of absence from work, so I was free to go to Montana for Memorial Day. I was so excited and looking forward to this last minute trip. I needed to draw strength from being home, visiting my dad’s grave and just laughing with my sisters. It was everything I needed and more. Danielle has dogs so we couldn’t stay with her, so her boss graciously let us stay in her office apartment. She had the best backyard for the kids to play in. Just waking up and going out in the backyard woods, breathing in the clean mountain air, I felt instant peace.
Mountain Montana air and me mesh well.
They had a zipline in the backyard that was fun for the kids to play on.
All the kids ready to hike the M.
Danielle and I half way up. It is a short hike, but it is straight up hill with no breaks. It was a hard, hard hike. We didn’t know if we could do it, but we slowly made our way up and it was such a feeling of accomplishment when we finally made it to the top.
At the M in Missoula.
Sister selfie at the top. We sure laughed A LOT!
After the hike, I made us all go to Noodle’s Express for lunch. It is sooooo good! Everyone loved it. Next to Benihana’s, this is my favorite place to eat and they only have it in Missoula.
Then we went to the carousel which is a tradition every time we visit Montana.
After that, we headed back to Stevensville to visit my 101 year old grandma.
Grandma Ruth with some of her great grandchildren.
It was a special visit. I wanted Novalie to meet her great grandma even though she only speaks in jibberish. Novalie held her hand and told her about herself. Grandma Ruth loved the children around her. Her feet, hands and jibberish were going like crazy. It warmed my heart.
Me and my sisters with Grandma Ruth. I am so glad we went to see her!
The next day we went to sacrament meeting at my old ward. It was good to see a few familiar faces and hug people who are dear to my heart for the years I spent in that ward. We sat in the row we always would sit in every Sunday. It was fun sharing memories with Novalie about that building.
Danielle and I in front of our old church building. A lot of memories in that building.
We then went to visit my Dad’s grave. We spent a good amount of time there. We all had a good cry and I soaked up all the strength I could from being there. We also laughed and told crazy Grandpa stories. My dad was one of a kind.
One of my all time favorite pictures of Novalie and I.
We had a picnic, then drove up to our old ranch. No where feels like home to me more than the ranch. I grew up in Texas, New York and Montana, but Montana will always be home.
The loooong drive way alone holds many many memories.
In front of our old ranch house.
Outside my old bedroom window.
My heart aches for Montana more so now then ever before. I love the country. I love the memories there. It was the perfect place to go to visit before I had to face breast cancer full on. It gave me that extra bit of strength I was looking for to endure such a trial.
We ended our trip with a late night trip to Pizza Hut. I was starving and we were trying to find anywhere open to go eat. We called Pizza Hut and they were open still, so after screams of cheer from me, we loaded up and drove through a wicked rain storm to Hamilton. We laughed so hard at Pizza Hut. So hard. The people in the booth by us told us how nice it was to see a family have so much fun together. We laughed a lot.
Pizza Hut selfie with my selfie stick!
Got a little wild at the Pizza Hut.
Two cute girlie cousins who were sad to be heading home in the morning.
This trip was all about me, but Novalie loves Montana too and made a lot of good memories during our weekend there too.
We love Montana. I loved this trip. Can’t wait to go back again!
~Happy Memorial Day Weekend~