We didn't make our annual trip to Montana this summer because we were awaiting the arrival of our sweet Jaylie June. We did get to see the Phillips family several times with Jaylie's birth, Thanksgiving, and an SOS to Kory's mom to help us out after the heart attack, but Kory hadn't been HOME. Waiting all the way to July seemed like too long for us so we decided to try to make a trip up there this spring while they were calving (all the cows having babies). Then we upped the challenge and decided to try to do it without telling Kory's parents! We told his brother Tye that lives there and his other brother Clint whose town we would fly in to. It was all pretty last minute, but we had a blast and we pulled it off!
I didn't tell the boys where we were going (they're terrible secret keepers). They were pretty suspicious with all the packing going on Friday so I told them the good news that we were going to a HOTEL that night! They were totally thrilled. We left after Kory got home from work, so it was 10:30 by the time we got to the hotel. As if calming down to sleep in a hotel isn't hard enough, the boys were going to be sleeping in the same bed which they've never done. After the initial freak out excitement, they settled in and did pretty good. We think they were asleep before midnight so that was pretty good! Ha! Aaaand we had a 3:30 wake up call to leave the hotel by 4 to get to the airport!
Here we were at about 4:45 in the morning.
We had a little breakfast once we got to our gate.
The early morning is kinda brutal, but with the time change and short connection time, we are in Montana by 10:15 in the morning! yay! Travel wise, this was probably our easiest, smoothest trip yet. The kids were troopers, they even slept on our 2nd flight (that's never happened) and Jaylie did great. The first flight Jaylie blew out her diaper and Quinn declared he had to pee and couldn't wait so I had to do a fast diaper/clothes change for Jaylie and a potty break for Q before the seat belt light came on for landing, but other than that it was smooth sailing! Clint, Sydni and the girls picked us up from the airport. The kids picked up right where they left off, best of buddies. We ate a quick lunch, Me and Sydni made a Wal Mart run and then we hit the road to drive to Lewistown. They let us borrow their truck for the week! We got to town and Tye met us in town and we decided to drive out towards the house and then get in his pick up with him on the county road so they wouldn't see us driving up the road/driveway. Wes happened to be at the end of the driveway in his pick up, but we ducked down and made it past him. We all piled out of the pick up and ended up just walking in the house where Susan was sitting at the kitchen table (she had seen Tye's pick up drive in but had no idea we were in there with him). She was so completely shocked! Almost confused as to how in the world we were standing in her kitchen! It was such a fun surprise! Wes was back in the shop so we all walked down the driveway to the shop. He was busy working and never heard us or saw us coming, his back was to the door when we walked in and we were about 6 ft. from him when he finally turned around! He was floored as well! It was really fun! Then everyone jumped in and got to work.
This picture was taken shortly after we got there. They had already pulled a calf, doctored a couple, and moved a few pairs. And to top it all off, the weather was PERFECT all week!
Tye is being silly trying to be as tall as Kory!
jjp and Chief sharing a slice of cheese
They had just gotten new puppies the day before we got there. Here is Tye with Bea.
Cheif hopped on the pick up to talk a few things over with Tye.
Me, Wes, and klp drove over to see if we saw any gophers. They are pests so we brought the .22 Just as we were about to give up and head home, we saw a couple. And shot a couple. I needed proof that it was dead, so klp and Chief looked down the hole and there it was.
Jaylie June had a blast!
Here are the CUUUUUUTE puppies. Murphy and Bea.
Gram and jjp snuggling.
A couple of Christmases ago, Wes and Susan got a Jeep Power Wheel for the grandkids to enjoy. And enjoy they did!! This time they were old enough to drive it around all on their own. We had it fixed so it couldn't go too fast, but they LOVED IT! We charged it at night and the next day they drove it til the battery was dead! They even learned to put it in reverse and push each other out when they got stuck. It was pretty cute!
The boys were able to go out and check cows or do whatever else needed to be done every day. They had fun and maybe kept the big boys a little company while they worked.
I just crack up when all the cows stare at me. So I have to take their picture.
Q lookin' for gophers. Or something.
We're thinking puppies AND nephews were driving uncle Tye CRAZY!!! haha!!
klp went out with Chief one morning and came back like this. Crashed in the seat. Haha! I guess the bumpy ride lulled him to sleep. He was literally snoring. Ranch work wears a little boy out.
While we were there the weather was nice and warm. One evening it got a little chilly so j had to put her hat on.
Uncle Tye and June (thats what he calls her. Ever since the day she was born.....eerrrrrr the day we finally named her, he has called her that. I think its cute.)
There was a chain in the back of the Rhino and it provided hours of entertainment for the boys.
Look closely and you'll see Kory, Tye, and Wes all in the corral.
klp and KLP gettin' a mama where she needs to be.
My goal this time was to actually watch a calf be born. I've seen plenty just after they were born but I wanted to see the whole shebang. And so I did. Tye and I sat and watched and it was the neatest thing. Unbelievable.
Watching him try to stand for the first time was pretty cute.
He finally made it!
Being there for the calving at this point in my life made it hard for me not to humanize and feel quite a kindred spirit with all these mama cows pregnant, birthing, and nursing all the babies. Haha! Kinda funny. I would see one walking SOOO pregnant and feel like I knew just how she felt. Then I would see one who they would say was about ready to have hers and I would think, "I'm so glad I'm not going to be in labor tonight" and then I'd see them nurse and it would be so sweet and THEN I'd see one trying to nurse and the mom sort of nudging it away as if to say, "could you just GIVE ME A SECOND! I JUST NEED A FEW MINUTES TO MYSELF!" haha! Yep. I've been there.
Cooper (the dog), Gram, Chief and the Jeepsters headed over to check on the cows.
One day Kory's Aunt Julie and Uncle Aaron were in town with their 4 kids. We were so glad we got to see them even though they had no idea we would be in town. It was so fun to see them and their sweet sweet kids! I decided after this that maybe kids and puppies was asking a bit much for this picture, but its cute anyways. Isabel, Kanyon, Aiden, Quinn, Eloise, Ainsely (and Murphy and Bea)
There were a few sick ones while we were there, so Kory and them had to try to help them. Kinda cute Kinda sad.
What a look from Quinn.....
This was taken right after he pointed to that pile and said, "MOM IS THIS COW POOP?????!!!!" He thought he was soooo funny!
We got to see some of the Hills, Kochs, and Fosters, which are dear friends, but I am TERRIBLE about taking pictures of things. I always leave feeling like I have too many pictures of cows and not enough of people. Jaylie blew out her diaper when we visited some of those people so she spent her visits in nothing but a diaper (because her mom can't remember to keep extra clothes in her bag. GET WITH IT MAMA!)
We took this picture as we were leaving. It was a mistake. I was wearing yoga pants and Uggs, and I looked like I'd been hit by a train. I guess packing up kinda stressed me out. Oh well, here we are by the sign.
This series was pretty comical....Jaylie wasn't as amused as the boys.
Maybe its best with no people......the stormy clouds were rolling in.
Driving away we saw some pretty neat skies. We headed to Bozeman back to Clint and Sydni's house to hang out with them and fly out the next morning.
And the boys crashed.....in the most uncomfortable positions ever.
These Mountains are called The Crazies. They were soooo pretty!
....and I tried making my jacket into a pillow.
Kory's brother Clint is a partner at an accounting firm so this is a super busy time for him to travel. They were so gracious to let us stay and interrupt his work! We had so much fun and the kids loved being together!
The Phillips Cousins: Jaylie, Sayler, Quinn, Kanyon, and Hayven (notice the pattern of MY kids ruining all the pictures....sheesh!)
This was the next morning at the airport before we left. We had a great week with everyone!
The trip home was longer and more tiring. We had a 3 1/2 hr. layover in Denver as opposed to our usual 45 min. one. I never gave the kids their Easter treats, so I gave them to them before we left for their new fun travel toys. Little did I know how great they would be.
Jaylie got a Wonder Woman Little People (mostly because I knew her brothers would get a kick out of it) She enjoyed chewing on it all day.
We found an empty gate and spread out and pretty much took over a corner of it. Here we are eating lunch.
The boys Easter treat was just a book. They were obsessed with them. They were seriously the only think they looked at/played with all day. Over and over and over. I was thrilled with the success!
This is what happens when Daddy decides to try to lay down and rest his eyes for a few minutes. He gets pounced.
I have no pictures on the actual plane because quite honestly I couldn't mess with a camera with all we had going on. But the kids did great. Jaylie slept both flights on the way home and the boys were great. We finally got to Dallas, shuttled back to our hotel, in our car and on the road to drive home. The boys were asleep in no time.
We didn't want them to sleep too long because we wanted them to go to bed when we got home (it was evening by the time we got to our car!)
We grabbed fast food in the car and then the boys were back to their books the rest of the way home. Best $2.99 I've ever spent!
I think 2 days after we left it got super cold there....we left just in time! :) We had a great week and always love being with family!