Ezras 1st Ski Lesson


I can’t believe the time has come…..my baby is a BUCKEROO, enrolled in Ski School and just had his very first lesson at Whitefish Mountain Resort “Big Mountain” [as it was called when Reed was growing up].

Reed has been talking about this for years. I remember him dreaming about moving back to Montana, while we were still in Nashville….he so badly wanted to raise his family outdoors and enjoying activities such as skiing, together.

Last week was Ezra’s first ski lesson. And the cherry on top is that he got paired with Miss Dixie as his instructor! We were thrilled! He adores her….and so do I. She has such a sweet & happy spirit, she moved here to be an instructor on the mountain…and she just loves life! We have had the opportunity to get to know her at our shop this past year….so to have already known his teacher made this new class/routine a really smooth transition. There were no tears…..just a “bye mom” as he headed on up the magic carpet!

EZRA LOVES TO EAT SNOW. I’ll even catch him swipe a hood of a car on the way into the grocery store and lick his fingers!!! Gross and hilarious at the same time. On the mountain….its no different. Just more snow! Whenever it was his turn to sit and wait, before skiing further down the mountain….I caught him [many times] roll over on his belly and eat snow.

The kids area up on the mountain is fantastic. Theres a place to store all backpacks and gear in the kids room. After the class….Ezra enjoyed some winding down time and colored for a bit. It’s really nice to have a kid friendly environment where everyone can just hang feel comfortable. Un-rushed and not feeling like you’re in the way of the crowd.

Reed met us up there after work. Ski Class + Hot Chocolate will definitely be the start of a new tradition this year….so happy!

What a blessing it is to live here in Whitefish, Montana and for Ezra to have the opportunity to learn to ski at such a young age [3 1/2]. Each and every season has been so much fun….whether its summer lake days, evening campfires in the Fall and skiing on the mountain, which is just 10 minutes from our house…….I don’t take any of this for granted.

Heres our day in photos……


Our Christmas 2015


First all, can we talk about this adorable photo? A year tradition that I love so much!
2012 | 2013 | 2014

This year was by far the most exciting with Ezra. Christmas as 3 year old…..oh the WONDER!

It amazes me how quickly my parents come to mind as I am walking out certain seasons with Ezra. As my own excitement was building as I began to wrap presents and prepare the mantle for “Santas visit”…..I couldn’t help but think that my own parents felt these same feelings, towards me. How sweet is that? As we get older, our relationships change with and towards our parents and we tend to think of the most recent relationship & love we have with them…..but children throw it all back for us. This Christmas….I thought a lot about how my parents might have felt leading up to Christmas with my sisters and I being toddlers.

This Christmas was busy. I was intentional about not filling up my schedule and running around with my head cut off. I wanted to be available and most importantly, be present. I wanted to experience Ezra’s joy and wonder of the Season. And I’m so glad I did. No regrets there.

I lead worship for Fresh Life Christmas, which is always an honor and so much fun. Reeds family [mom, sister, and two brother-in-laws] joined us, which was SO awesome.

Our traditions include Church on Christmas Eve- then we head over to Reeds parents house for dinner, presents and games. Its ends up being a late night, but its a time where we are all together. Talking, laughing and catching up.

Christmas Day is spent at our own house. This time with the three of us is really special and important. I don’t want to rush the morning, by making plans to be somewhere……so we just get up when we get up and the day starts off in the kitchen. We did the whole SANTA thing, but its not the focus of Christmas for us…..so presents didn’t take center stage this year……who knows about next year, but it was awesome to enjoy some family time that morning.

Later that day, Reeds family came over and we made a real Christmas dinner……the turkey, potatoes, my moms salad that she would always make….and I brought out her silver setting. Just a few ways that I was able to bring her life and legacy into our 1st Christmas without her here.

Im so thankful for family…..and humbled that I get to be a mom to my sweet boy. He definitely made Christmas special this year.

Heres our Christmas in photos!

[Christmas Eve]



[Christmas Day at our house]


Christmas Cookies

We’ve been all about baking and decorating Christmas cookies this year. Gosh, its honestly been years since Ive done things like this……I love how our babies bring back the joy and wonder of the Christmas season. This Christmas has been so much fun with Ezra. He’s all about the lights, snow, Polar Express, wrapping presents and of course……COOKIES!

I won’t tell you how many cookie + movie nights we’ve had……but I’ll tell you this…..we’re racking up hours [and calories].


Christmas Tree Ornament Tradition


Its that time of year again were we head over to Stumptown Art Studio, just walking distance from our coffee shop…..and Ezra makes his very own Christmas ornament to hang on our tree!

We started this tradition in 2012, Ezra’s first Christmas at 5 months old.

Ezra really enjoyed this activity this year. He loved picking out his ornament, which was a TRAIN of course. Our love for the Polar Express runs real deep in our family!

He wanted to make one for grandma [Reeds mom] this year….so he was really in a creative mode. I love the way he picks out his own colors, dips the brush and swirls it around in the water and makes wild strokes in every direction.

We were all pretty proud of how his ornament turned out this year! Such a fun tradition we’ve started. Between cutting down our own Christmas tree and making ornaments…..December is one of my favorite months of the year.


Hunt and Cut 2015


We gathered once again with friends….and hunted for the perfect Christmas tree. I leave the cutting down the tree part to Reed. It’s a lot of hard work, but he’s certainly the man for the job!

This annual Hunt and Cut has looked different for us every year [check out 2013 & 2014]. The locations and the friends who have have gathered and hunted with us have varied as well. I’ve enjoyed every single year for their own reason……all have been special….and this tradition will always hold a special place in our hearts.

This years Hunt and Cut was with the couples in our AMAZING life group [plus the Brandeberry family]. One couple had NEVER cut down a tree before- so it was wonderful to see the sparkle in their eyes as we trekked through the forest, looking for the perfect tree.

There was a fantastic sledding area for the kids…..so their laughter became the soundtrack of the day. It was perfect.

Ezra was a trooper, walking through the snow……but eventually he got tired and momma had to carry him back to the car. Oh MY ARMS!!! He’s almost getting too big to carry, but I still take the chance to hold my baby as much as he’ll let me. He was a really big help this year….he loved adventuring in the wild. He’s good at that!

It’s been a while since I’ve brought out my camera- the iPhone has been so much more convenient, but when it comes to special occasions…..I bring out the best. I always enjoy documenting our life….and the annual Hunt and Cut always delivers such beautiful and memorable moments.

We found the perfect tree. Its tall and a little more like a Charlie Brown tree, even though every year we seek out to find the fullest tree in the woods. HA. Everything looks bigger and fuller with snow on it. Right?

Our day ended at the Red Caboose, where coffee and hot chocolates were passed all around.

Im so very thankful for the fiends in our lives here in Montana.

Do you cut down your own tree? Do you put up a fake tree? Theres pros and cons to both……what is your tradition?