After one year in Montana....

So I guess if I were going to win any awards, I might be in the running for "Worst Blogger Ever" based on my frequency.  You may have been wondering if I were eaten by a bear by now, but I'm happy to report I am alive and well here in Big Sky Country!
It's been a crazy busy year, but I am rededicating myself to keeping in touch through blogging.  I hope some of you have stuck with me and are glad to get an update.  I have to admit, though, that this revisiting of the blog came with a bit of encouragement from a couple of my friends after a recent visit to California.

After so many months, I don't exactly know where to start, so I will keep it simple and to the point:
  • Boys:  good, growing like weeds, loving Montana and all it has to offer, asking for a dog on a regular basis.  Jacob will be heading into 3rd grade, Connor will start his 5th and final grade in elementary school.  They both loved their first year at this school!
  • Hubby: good, busy learning orchard and bee stuff, fixing everything that constantly breaks, loving Montana.  He's decided that maintaining the property is a full time job in itself.
  • Me:  good, one semester left of school but already doing lots of graphic design/web work, doing lots of laundry (socks get extra dirty in Montana), sewing and papercrafting, warming up a lot to Montana and still trying to be a good sport about the whole thing!
The boys are out of school and in full Summer vacation mode.  As soon as school was out, we headed down South for a three week visit with Grandma and Papa.  The older folks around here go to AZ in the winter to escape the socked in snow and cold, but noooooo, we wait and head down when it's breaking 100 degrees on a daily basis!  While in AZ, hubby and I slipped away for a long weekend to Temecula.  We were able to check on our house we left (with renters in it of course), visit with friends, drink some wine with said friends and I also managed to incorporate some work into the visit.  I have continued working with my former boss in Temecula and have since rebuilt their website and continue to work on optimizing it -- if you want to see some of my work, check it out here.
After our getaway weekend, we celebrated Jacob's 8th birthday and headed for a day trip to the Grand Canyon.  It was as beautiful as it was 25 years ago when I last saw it, and hubby & the boys enjoyed their first look at the Natural Wonder!  The funniest part of the trip was on the way home we visited Bearzona - a Wild Life drive through park just outside of the Grand Canyon park; it's main attraction are black bears.  Yes, you read that right.... I left Montana to visit bears in Arizona!
It really is a beautiful sight!  If you haven't been, I highly recommend it.  You could actually spend several days adventuring through the park.  Jacob was quite disappointed we didn't ride the mules down.
Boy, do they look thrilled or what?  Jacob is still in the fake grin phase, but Connor has clearly moved on to the "really Mom, can we just get this over" phase!

We came back to reality and luckily the weather had improved with our return.  (It rained the entire time we were gone -- even a freak hail storm that broke all the vent covers on our camping trailer.)  Now it's sunny and warm, but not too warm.  The garden is starting to blossom, cherries will be ripe soon and there's a baby fawn that I can catch a glimpse of often from my master bedroom window.

For now, that's the update.  I'll be back soon as I prepare to send the boys for their first week of away Summer camp.  They are so excited..... I am freaking out a bit!  -Amber

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