Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Though I am currently a resident of Southern California, I will always be a northwestern-states girl at heart.  Growing up in Boise, Idaho gave me an appreciation for wide open spaces that I really miss here in my California life.  So, even though I'd never been to Montana before, when I stepped outside the Billings airport at the beginning of June, it felt like coming home.
Though Montana's official nickname is "The Treasure State," (no I didn't know that off the top of my head, definitely googled it)... it is often called "Big Sky Country"... and for a good reason!

This was taken right outside of Billings.  You leave the city, and it looks like this for miles and miles.  I just couldn't get enough of it!  Montana also boasts of some pretty spectacular clouds.  I love clouds.  To me, they look like paintings in the sky... and it reminds me of our Creator, the original artist! 

I went to Montana to see my friend Megan Hostetler (now Fremont) get married.  Megan and her best friend Sara Mallon (maiden name Borntraeger) and I all lived together (along with 4 other girls in a three bedroom apartment) back in the '05/'06 school year.  They used to tell me about life on the farm in Montana, and their tiny town called Bloomfield, which consisted of a 1-pump gas station, a 2 room schoolhouse, and a post-office.  The next closest town (with a whopping 9,000 residents) was 30 miles away, and everything else was farmland. The above pictures were taken right outside Sara's front door... literally.  It was fantastic to finally see the place where my friends grew up.

Since the closest hotel to the wedding was miles away and I didn't quite trust myself to drive those back country roads in the dark, the Borntraegers opened up their home to me.  Sara and her husband Scott, along with their two kids, Kali May and Caleb, stayed there as well... it was a full house, and so much fun!  One of the things Sara had always told me about was her mom Linda's weaving business... so I had to see "the loom room" as soon as I got there.  It was so cool!  She has these huge studio with several large looms and a walk-in closet filled with thread.  Linda showed me a few projects she was working on, and even sent me home with a hand-woven towel.  You can see more of her work here at www.weavemt.com.  Seriously, go look.  Its really neat.

The second night we were there Sara decided it was bath time for the kiddos and asked me to take a few pictures. She has the cutest kids, so of course I grabbed my camera right away.

After I took those I wandered outside to snap a few pictures of a few things Linda had in the yard.

One of the great things about staying with the Borntraegers was that I got a taste of what farm life is like.  My Grandma grew up on a farm in Michigan, so I've heard many stories throughout my years of life on a farm.  Even though Grandma has lived in a city for over 50 years now, when you ask her how she's doing she always says "not bad for an old farm gal!" So for me, seeing the garden where they grow a variety of vegetables, eating the most amazing home raised beef, watching Walter and Scott leave every morning for chores, driving past the huge bales of hay, and hearing all the stories about cattle branding days and raising chickens and the farming community was fascinating!  I kept telling Andrew "I feel like a farm girl now!" I mentioned this to Linda, and she asked me if I'd like to go out and collect some eggs from the chickens and we could get some pictures of me looking like a REAL farm girl.  She even found me a farmer outfit. Sunday morning before I left Montana, Walter took me out to the chicken coop.  It took a while for the chickens to come over to me... but one brave chicken and one barn cat come over first.

Since no harm came to chicken #1, the others seemed to think it was safe.

Next I got to gather some eggs:

Showing off my accomplishment!

The I went and pet the goats... I've always wanted goats!

After we finished the pictures we headed back to the house where I donned my city clothes and was a farm girl no more.  :(   I headed back to Los Angeles that evening, and it felt so strange to be around so many people again!  I've been back a few weeks now, and I have to say, I definitely miss that open quietness of the Big Sky Country.

If you noticed that I didn't mention the wedding at all.... stay tuned! I'll be posting a Montana Part II soon with the wedding pictures from Jason and Megan Fremont's wedding.


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