School. Life. Change.

My first year of school is done. I can’t quite believe it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about change, about how everything is changing.
I was with some friends the other day and we were talking about our proudest moment. The first thing that popped to my mind was the past seven years. School is so different now than it was seven years ago. Everything is different. I couldn’t be more thankful, I couldn’t be more blessed.

Seven years ago was the summer between my Sophomore and what would have been my Junior year at UArts. Half way through my Sophomore year, I dropped out of classes. I started second semester not making it a single week where I made it to all my classes. Around midterms, I stopped going entirely. I couldn’t leave my house. If I did leave my house and needed to go anywhere in Center City, I took long, circuitous routes as to avoid the UArts dance buildings. I spent the entire time outside of my house, terrified I’d see a classmate. I heard their whispers, the comments they made behind my back, and I couldn’t take it. That summer, I didn’t sleep. I would stay awake until the sun came up. I’d sleep from about 8am to 1pm. I’d work 2pm to 10pm. I’d stay awake until 8am and the cycle would continue. I lived in my awesome apartment until July, when I moved into my terrible apartment. Terrible apartment was not ready upon move in, so I moved into Gabi and my then-boyfriend’s apartment. Not living with my crazy roommate helped my anxiety and sleeping habits. The school year started and I moved into my terrible apartment. With friends back in town, I was able to mask the depression I was feeling better, but inside I felt like I was dying. Sometime that semester I read Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. I don’t know if it helped or made it worse.
Somehow in the midst of the blackness, I found the strength to start seeing a therapist. I reached out and very thankfully found Dr. Jenna. And even more thankfully, I continued to see her. Reaching out is the single most important decision I have ever made.
Around the same time I started seeing Dr. Jenna, I also applied at Drexel University as a psychology major. I told myself if I didn’t get in, I would move home to Oregon. I filled out the paper work, but didn’t write the essay. I figured theres no way I’d get in with a semester of Fs on my transcript and no essay. However, I got in. That night I called my Mom and told her I needed her to tell me to move home. I couldn’t make the decision myself, thats why I didn’t complete the application. I needed my Mom to make the decision. And she did. I’m so thankful I moved home when I did. Through the darkness and the fog, I saved my own life.

My depression seemed to get better after I moved home, but really it just changed. The dark fog I was lost in became a pit in my stomach. I stopped eating and started working out late at night in my room. Finally, I decided I needed to get myself together. I struggled a lot, but I fought with all I could. I in no way was recovered, but I stopped actively trying to die.

Eventually I saw through the fog enough to decide to move to Seattle. I love Astoria, but I knew I needed to live some place with more dance. I had found it again and knew it was the only way I was going to live. April 2010 I moved to Seattle and into my friend Lynne’s house. For six months I lived with her family and danced with New Vision Dance Company. One day while walking to the bus from work in Pike Place, my best friend Becky called and asked if I wanted to move in with her on Capitol Hill. I jumped at the opportunity and made plans for the move. Shortly after I moved to Capitol Hill I found out about an audition for 127th St Dance Company. I wanted to go. I was terrified to go. I almost turned around three times on the walk from my apartment to PNBs studios. Going was one of the best decisions I ever made. New Vision was a dance home because it was comfortable. It was a home because I had known Melissa since high school, because I knew other company members since high school. 127th St was scary because it was the first time I auditioned for a company and I made it in. I didn’t know any of the dancers, I didn’t know the director, I didn’t know the choreographer. But they still wanted me. It was scary and amazing and the best thing I ever did for myself as a dancer.
There were a lot of ups and downs that year. I was living with Becky and it was perfect. I was homesick and I was miserable. I was dancing in two dance companies, plus teaching a ballet class. Everyone died. I was going to the gym. I was going to the gym almost obsessively. At the end of our lease, I decided I needed to leave Seattle. I love Seattle, but I was so over not being able to park my car and crack heads yelling in my alley. Daryl and I made plans to move to Montana. Change was on the horizon and I was so excited.

The three year anniversary of Ari killing herself is coming up. Every time I think about change, I think about her. My life was so different, so hopeless, so desperate seven years ago. But I stuck it through and I am so blessed and happy. How would Ari’s life be different if she were here today? What unimaginable joys would be in her life today? I know it’s not necessarily healthy for me to think about the what-ifs, especially in this situation, but I really can’t help it. I have accepted that I wouldn’t have been able to save her life if I had called. Yes, I might have brightened her day a bit – but whose to say if she would have even answered her phone (or if I even had her correct number!)? I would not have been able to save her. She had plans with friends for the next day. She had plans. She killed herself with plans for the immediate future – me calling her would not have changed that. I have accepted this. However, I will always wonder how her life would be different today.

My life today is so different and so much more wonderful than I ever thought possible. I live in a beautiful town, snuggled in a valley surrounded by wilderness and mountains. I am a double BFA in Dance and Lighting Design at the University of Montana, a school that was never on my radar 10 years ago when researching colleges. I am in love with the most wonderful man on the planet. I am loved by the most wonderful man on the planet. I am so blessed. I am so thankful.

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2013 Year In Review


JANUARY

  • 1/1 – Third Annual Ride-N The New Year with Daryl, Nick, Conner, and Lori at Lost Trail
  • 1/10 – 4th anniversary date at Red Bird Wine Bar
  • 1/11 – Missoula got a dumping of snow, so I skied to work!
  • 1/14 – First day of rehearsals for Jumping Into Fire at the University of Montana. I’m really proud of myself for putting myself out there and not shying away from the show, even though I decided not to go back to school this semester.
  • 1/20 – Daryl, Nick, and I spent the day at the Darby Dog Derby supporting Aiyana. We got lots of photos and loved on the dogs.
  • 1/21 – After staying the night in Darby, we were joined at Lost Trail by Liz and Tommy and spent the day skiing pow.
  • 1/25 – We had a “surprise” going away party for Daryl.
  • 1/27 – Daryl and I went to Great Falls for the day and spent the whole time playing with Fisher, Ike, and Elsie.


FEBRUARY


MARCH

  • 3/3 – Nick and I spent the day at Lost Trail, shredding the gnar.
  • 3/7 – I came home from the show and found a facebook message from WAPA kids. Julie Denninghoff, one of the most important teachers at my high school, had a heart attack and died. I’m tired of people dying.
  • 3/9 – Closing night of Jumping Into Fire!
  • 3/15-17 – I made a whirlwind trip to Seattle for Julie’s funeral. After the service, most of the WAPA kids went to Red Robin for lunch, as per tradition. It was so wonderful to see so many faces of people I love, but I’m really over having high school reunions at funerals. On the drive back I encountered white out conditions between Wallace, ID and DeBorgia, MT (32 miles). I drove the entire way with my flashers on, barely moving. Four hours later, I got out of the storm and still had an hour and a half to go. Hands down, the scariest drive I’ve ever made.
  • 3/22-23 – Two nights of Yonder Mountain String Band at the Wilma!
  • 3/24 – Spent the day playing folf with Conner, Lori, and Nick.
  • 3/30 – Lori and I caught a gorgeous day skiing at Lost Trail! After we got home, we played poker all night.
  • 3/31 – Jessie and Adam invited everyone over for Easter lunch at their house and I brought the most beautiful peach pie. After, Nick, Erin, Conner, Lori, and I hiked around Blue Mountain and summited a peak just the sun dropped behind the ridge.
  • For the first time, I can say I’m recoverED. It feels really amazing.


APRIL

  • 4/7 – Conner, Lori, Nick, and I went to Weir to soak in the hot springs today. It was so relaxing and wonderful.
  • 5/15 – Liz moved in! Tommy left for a walkabout in California last week, so I gained a wayward hippie and a deg.
  • 4/19 – Nick, Liz, and I invited Adam over for a hippie bonfire tonight. I love our house and our backyard and our friends.
  • 4/21 – Nick and I went rock climbing with Conner and Lori (and Tucker!) at Rattler Gulch today. It snowed and we were freezing, but it was awesome.
  • 4/24 – After work I drove to Spokane and flew to Seattle. Michelle picked me up, then she, Becky, and I went out to dinner.
  • 4/25 – Before Becky had to go to work, we walked down to Pike Place and ate breakfast at Biscuit Bitch (holy moly, so much delicious food!). After wandering Seattle for a bit longer, I caught at train to Portland at the newly renovated King Street Station. Daryl picked me up and I covered him with kisses!
  • 4/26 – Daryl and I hiked Silver Star Mountain and had some of the most unbelievable views of the Cascade volcanos.
  • 4/27 – Blind Pilot & Oregon Symphony concert! I wanted tickets to this show when it was announced, sometime early 2012, but I didn’t dare purchase them because I figured I would be busy with school or work. I was a very happy girl when I realized I’d be able to attend with my handsome love. It was AMAZING. The orchestrations for the Blind Pilot songs were so much more amazing than I envisioned in my head. It was so beautiful and I definitely cried.
  • 4/29-30 – We went to Astoria for the weekend. I love my hometown.
  • 4/30 – On the drive back to Missoula from Spokane, Sue Ann rolled over 280,000 miles! I love my girl and am so happy she’s still chugging along.


MAY

  • 5/1 – Woke up to a flat tire and cars covered in snow. Thankfully, Liz was able to drop me off at work on her way to school.
  • 5/2 – First day at Black Cat Bake Shop! So happy to finally be working real coffee again.
  • 5/9 – First river trip of the year!
  • 5/11 – After Conner got off work, Nick and I joined him and some friends for some rock climbing on the Kim Williams trail.
  • 5/21 – Conner, Lori, Nick, Erin, Tucker, Ozzy, and I went headed out of town for the evening to rock climb and bbq on the beach. I really love my life in Missoula (though obviously it would be better if Daryl were home).
  • 5/22 – Daryl visits for a long weekend!
  • 5/24 – I convinced my boss to let me borrow a pop-up tent for our bbq, so we had a Trail Head Sponsored Event. One of my really great friends from high school, Friday was in town working MissCon, so she stopped by with some friends. I love hippie-house-bbqs.


JUNE

  • 6/4 – Happy birthday to my sweet Daryl!
  • 6/7 – A bunch of us biked downtown for First Friday. Ozzy was the the belle of the ball in his cart and there was double dutch in a parking lot. I love this town.
  • 6/9 – Since I bought myself a new-to-me bike, I decided I’d start taking myself on Single Lady Bike Dates – an hour or so biking on the Kim Williams with a stop at DraughtWorks on the way home.
  • 6/12 – Missoula’s summer was shaping up to be a perfect one.
  • 6/18 – Officially became a Griz today!
  • 6/22 – Hippie bonfire and middle of the street frisbee night.
  • 6/27 – Happy birthday to me! Gorgeous birthday sun and delicious birthday beer.
  • 6/29 – Daryl came to town for my birthday. He, Liz, and I went to Frenchtown Pond to enjoy the hot weather and cool water.


JULY

  • 7/7 – I can’t believe it’s been two years since Ari died.
  • 7/19 – Driving to Spokane for a flight during fire season means lots and lots of smoke.
  • 7/19-24 – I spent a long weekend at home with my forever love. Gorgeous weather, some hiking, and time with my parents.


AUGUST

  • 8/4 – Cave shwag has started to arrive!
  • 8/7 – Daryl and Brian both arrived in Missoula and the Scapegoat prep officially started. Most importantly, there was Vortex, OPA, and 3-Way IPA to drink!
  • 8/8 – My singular goal for the summer was to burn through the bottom of the fire pit. We finally achieved it!
  • 8/9 – Daryl, Brian, and I caravanned to Benchmark. Scapegoat ’13 official began!
  • 8/10 – Brian took off before Daryl and I so he could meet the packers and mules at camp. Daryl and I make the 12 mile hike in about 6 hours.
  • 8/11 – We spent the day hiking around the plateau, then I did the most bad-ass thing I’ve ever done and rappelled down a 200′ rock face.
  • 8/12 – My first day in Green Fork Falls Cave! Also, I spotted a cute little black bear near the entrance.
  • 8/13 – Camp day!
  • 8/14 – Cave ‘sploring day
  • 8/15 – Cave mapping (which makes me officially part of the Scapegoat Cave System history!)
  • 8/16 – Spent the day on the Plateau again (after climbing UP the 200′ of rope!), searching for caves. A pit Daryl found four years ago proved to be a legit cave, so we mapped it and got some photos!
  • 8/17 – Camp day. Daryl built a raft and floated on the tarn for a hot second before it sank.
  • 8/18 – River Gallery day in the cave! We (wet) suited up and swam through the freezing water. I never in my life envisioned I’d do something like that!
  • 8/19 – We visited One More Day cave and discovered that I am physically too short to get into the cave without rope, so I hung out while the boys went caving for a bit. In the evening, Daryl and I hiked out to the Green Fork Cabin.
  • 8/20 – I hiked out 10 miles from the cabin to my car. The longest solo hike I’ve ever done! I was so excited when I got to our hidden beer! The drive back to Missoula was uneventful, but the Lolo Peak fire made the drive super smokey. I took myself to DraughtWorks before stopping by the house and found Liz and Jessie there!
  • 8/23 – Tommy and Debo got back from California! The Wayward Hippie House gained a true long-haired, unemployed hippie and another dog.
  • 8/26 – First day of school! I am so proud of myself for going back, especially after a seven year break from being a dance major.


SEPTEMBER

  • 9/7 – Daryl came home for the weekend and we went on a fancy date to The Pearl. I’m so happy when his cute face is home.
  • 9/22-23 – Hana, one of the people I met during Jumping Into Fire, asked me if I wanted to participate in the 23 1/2 Hour Play Festival at school. I was so excited to be asked, and at the idea of doing stuff with theatre majors, that I jumped on it. It was so much fun! I drank a lot of coffee and met some new friends.
  • 9/29 – First Swan Lake rehearsal! I am so excited we’re doing Act II next semester!


OCTOBER

  • 10/5 – Tommy, Liz, and I went to Bart and Nicole’s for a bbq tonight. We got to meet their new baby!
  • 10/12-13 – Dancer’s On Location! My first show as a student and my first show with the dance department.
  • 10/18-20 – I flew from Spokane to Portland for a weekend visit. Daryl surprised me with the most beautiful bike in the whole wide world, a near-mint condition August 1979 Schwinn Suburban (I’ve named her Lady). We spent Saturday on a brewery bike tour in the beautiful weather.
  • 10/21 – The cast list went up for Swan Lake and I’m a Little Swan!
  • 10/24-26 – My parents came to Missoula! They spent two weeks on a long road trip for their 30th Anniversary trip and Missoula happened to fit perfectly into their plans. It was so wonderful to show off my new home to them, as well as show off the campus. It was gorgeous the entire time they were in town, for which I am very happy. I love them so much.
  • 10/26 – Daryl came to town just as my parents were leaving. We changed Sue Ann’s breaks!
  • 10/28 – The ten year anniversary of Kiana dying. Seems like a lifetime ago.


[photo credit: Nathan Snow]
NOVEMBER

  • 11/10 – Taking two dance classes a day and eating healthier definitely has its perks: fitting into a pair of Express jeans that have just hung in my closet for the past several years!
  • 11/13-17 – Mike had a few days off of work, so he came to visit. I love when he’s in town!
  • 11/15-18 – Daryl came to visit for the weekend. I’m so happy he was able to visit while Mike was here!
  • 11/15-16 – Fall Studio Works! So many friends came to the show: Daryl, Nick, Erin, Liz, Tommy, and Mike!
  • 11/23 – Clare and Sydoney performed in a cabaret at Missoula Winery tonight, so Brooke, Arina, Emily, and I went out to support them. After, we sang karaoke at their house. Life is very good here in Missoula.
  • 11/27 – Liz, Aspen, and I drove up to Polson for the first night of Hannukah. When we got to Liz’s parents house, Patsy insisted on taking Aspen to the vet for her limp. We found out Aspen had bone cancer. It was a rough night.
  • 11/28 – I drove back to Missoula and found a Daryl in the living room! We went to Friendsgiving at Nick, Conner, and Lori’s house and ate way too much food and pie.
  • 11/29 – I finally treated Sue Ann to some new tires. And, I paid for them outright, no credit card. I’m oddly proud of myself for that.


DECEMBER

  • 12/3-7 – Dance Up Close! I’m really proud of the two pieces I was in and am so happy so many friends came to the shows.
  • 12/5 – First portfolio review for my Design Tech major. I went in feeling a bit unprepared, since it was my first review, but it was not on that “counts” (this year they had all Freshman and Transfer students do a review at the end of first semester to help us prepare for the end of the year review, which is how we “interview” for the BFA program. Despite the fact that I cried twice (I’m super emotional when I talk about coming back to school and how perfect UM is for me), I feel really good about it. I think I made a good impression with what little I have in my portfolio and I know I impressed them by how put together my resume is (which is great, considering I told them I feel like I need a lot of help with it).
  • 12/6 – Liz and Tommy took Aspen up to Polson today to put her down. Rest in peace, my favorite beer drinking Labrador.
  • 12/11 – Should (Not) performance! I’ve been working with a group of 11 other dancers and actors all semester on a piece facilitated by one of the MFA Acting candidates, Clare. I’ve learned so much about myself during the process, it was really nice to finally show it to people.
  • 12/12 – Cast party/end of finals party at Clare’s house. We were all there until 2am, singing and crying and laughing. I love my group of friends at school.
  • 12/14 – After trying and failing at finding friends to ski with, I decided on a solo trip to Lost Trail. I was rewarded with great snow and I found friends in the lodge!
  • 12/16 – Having friends at school who are from Portland means I don’t have to drive home for break alone! Arina and I had great weather the entire drive, though Sue Ann got terrible gas milage (she needs a tune-up).
  • 12/20 – After checking obsessively for the past week, grades were finally posted. 3.95 gpa! I am so proud of myself!!
  • 12/21-22 – For Christmas, Daryl and I treated my parents to a night at the Edgefield and tickets to OBT’s Nutcracker (which Daryl had never seen before!). It was such a wonderful weekend with my family.
  • 12/23 – I braved downtown Portland and spent several hours in Powell’s. I stayed within my budget and still bought a bag full of books!
  • 12/24 – We’ve been on a “buy $50 or less Chicago made Schwinn bikes” kick recently and today we bought a February 1974 green Schwinn Suburban for $20. I can’t wait to fix it up – we’ve decided since it’s in less good condition than Lady, it’ll be my inclement weather bike.
  • 12/25 – Christmas at my parent’s house! Highlights include a double-point needle set for my Mama from my Dad, knitted items for myself and Daryl from my Mama, and I got a gorgeous Cinema Display from Daryl (I’ve been wanting one for several years now!). The weather was amazing, so Daryl and I went to the beach for a couple hours and took photos.
  • 12/26 – While driving back to Portland, Daryl and I came upon a roll over accident. Daryl saved the day and got a woman out of the truck.
  • 12/28-29 – We camped at the Mt. Hood Sno-Park with hopes of skiing on Sunday. However, when we woke up, it was almost 40° – we’re both over skiing in terrible conditions, so we ended up just reading and napping in the truck. Highlights of the day include seeing a guy get his Tahoe semi-stuck in approximately 1/2 inch of snow/ice and then proceed to not put it back into gear after parking so we watched it roll out of the parking lot, into the trees. Later we drove up to Timberline in time for sunset.
  • 12/31 – Daryl and I went up to Mt. St. Helens after Daryl got off work for our Fourth Annual Ride-N The New Year. As with skiing the previous weekend, it was a bust. We did make plans to come back next weekend to summit.

2012201120102009

threehundredfiftyseven – threehundredsixtythree

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december 23, 2013

Stumptown.

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december 24, 2013

A perfect breakfast.

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december 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from Daryl and Katt!

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december 26, 2013

Daryl and I drove back to Portland this morning from Astoria. We turned a corner on hwy 26 and saw some cars pulled over, then noticed this flipped truck. We of course stopped and Daryl saved the day by helping a woman who was trapped get out. Since my Daddy was a paramedic and a corpsman in the Coast Guard for most of my life, and therefore was always stopping for wrecks, I’m very thankful Daryl was also a paramedic and always stopping for wrecks.

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december 27, 2013

After wandering Alberta for a bit, I decided to treat myself to a decadent waffle. So yummy!

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december 28, 2013

I love this plant-sculpture! Succulents in pipes!

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december 29, 2013

Sunset from the Timberline parking lot on Mt. Hood.

Weekend home

Long distance is hard.
The Explorer and I recently passed the 4.5 year mark. We’ve spent nearly two of those years apart. It’s hard.
I definitely believe it’s been good for us. I know being apart has made us stronger and better than we ever could have been if we hadn’t had to grow and learn through distance.  Me moving to Seattle in 2010 was absolutely the best decision I’ve made purely for myself. And while it was really hard living three hours apart from each other, it was wonderful for our relationship. It taught us a lot about communication. It taught us a lot about making the most of our time together. It was hard, but it was good.
I was so excited to move back to Astoria and then for us to move to Montana, because we were finally going to be together. We were finally going to live together and start our life together, not three hours apart. Life is funny that way – you set your sights on a goal and plan for it, then someone gets a job 10 hours away.

Moving to Missoula and then having Daryl get a job back in Portland was hard. If I didn’t have great friends here, and I didn’t have a job I love, and I weren’t so excited to go back to school next month(!), I’d be in Portland with him. I love Portland. I have always wanted to live in Portland. But Missoula is where I’m supposed to be right now, even if it means we are apart again.

We’ve decided that while it will delay us getting out of debt a little bit, it is more important that we see each other every month, or as close to as possible.


In April I visited D in Portland. It was so wonderful to see him. We climbed Silver Star Mountain and had one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. We saw my favorite band, Blind Pilot, in concert with the Oregon Symphony. We went out to the coast, had dinner with my parents and Grandma, and saw two Bald Eagles fly down the beach. It was a wonderful visit.
In May, Daryl came out to Missoula for a long weekend. He and Nick skied St. Mary Peak and I worked the entire time. I was bummed I couldn’t go off and have fun, but it was wonderful having him home.
My birthday was on a Thursday this year, so Daryl came out for the weekend. It was laid back and wonderful. He also came out for a few days the following weekend and I was so happy to see him again so soon!

For July, it was my turn to travel! I opened at work, then hit the road. (Note: it is cheaper to drive three hours from Missoula to the Spokane airport, pay to park for the weekend [and even a full week], and drive back to Missoula than it is to fly out of Missoula.  Ridonkulous.)


About 45 minutes west of Missoula, I drove by the West Mullan Fire, which at the time was 4,500 acres. Fire season is definitely officially here.

I purchased a ticket for the 6:25pm flight just in case I didn’t make it for the 5pm flight. But I made it to the gate as they were loading the earlier flight, so I snagged a seat and off I flew! It was an uneventful flight and I landed in Portland in a glorious 84°! The Explorer met me inside, I covered him with kisses, then we went to Breakside Brewery for delicious beers and dinner. I had the most perfect grilled ham and swiss sandwich with caramelized onions – I’ve never had a grilled ham and cheese with onions before, but it revolutionized my favorite sandwich! After dinner we went back to the truck and accidentally sat there talking for HOURS. No joke, probably two and a half hours went by between when we left the brewery and we finally started the truck to find a campsite.


We camped that night on an overlook between Portland and Scappoose. The next morning we drove into Scappoose in search of a perfect breakfast. We followed our usual MO of driving around a town until we find the restaurant with a million cars parked in the lot. Ichabod’s did not disappoint! The parking lot was full and we had to wait for a table. We each ordered our usual diner breakfast – chicken fried steak with scrambled eggs for The Explorer and biscuits and gravy for myself. They were so good! And I was starving and scarfed mine down before D made it half way through his!

We decided to hit the back roads on the way to Astoria. I love the windy roads to the coast, and the weather was perfect for a day drive. We ended up stopping at Fishhawk Falls. We got out to stretch our legs and took a little hike around the falls.





We found a great thimbleberry patch along the way and picked ourselves a nice little snack.

After we made it to Astoria and stopped by my Daddy’s coin shop, we decided we needed lunch. I declared we needed fish&chips, so Clemente’s it was. Neither of us had been before, and since it is the only place downtown that had cod (both of our preferred fish for fish&chips), it was perfect. And let me tell you – it was DELICIOUS! We got an order of fresh Salmon and two orders of local Cod. With Fort George Brewery Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale, of course! After a quick stop at the house to say hi to my Mama, we headed out to the beach so I could see my favorite ocean.

That night we were going to camp at Saddle Mountain so we could get up early and hike it the next day, but the camp sites were full – and the clouds moved in. We found a primitive camp site off the beach path of highway 26 and sat and talked for hours again. Even though we talk on the phone a lot, I always forget how much I love talking with Daryl. Just being, not talking with him, is wonderful. He is my heart.


Since Saddle was still socked in when we woke up on Sunday, we headed back to Astoria. Breakfast at 3 Cups Coffee House was just the ticket, so we sat and planned for Scapegoat. After we finished breakfast, we went to my parents house and hung out watching baseball. I love spending time with my family, especially all together!


That evening we all went to Fort George to check out the BEAUTIFUL new upstairs and check out the new wood fire pizza. Ack, I cannot get over how beautiful it looks upstairs now. My next trip I’ll get some photos, so for now you’ll just have to trust me. It’s perfect.

Leaving Astoria is always hard, especially when I have to leave Portland the next day to head back to Missoula. There was a part of me that really wanted to oversleep my alarm and stay in Portland with my forever love. It’s the same part of me that, when driving back to Seattle from Astoria, wanted to get off the Interstate to turn back around. Being with Daryl is what I want, but I know I’m supposed to be in Missoula right now. Without him.

Long distance is hard.  Absolutely worth it.  But hard.

onehundrednintysix – twohundredtwo

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july 15, 2013

Kisses so soon!

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july 16, 2013

Pretty sunset tonight.

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july 17, 2013

That is not a wall of clouds, that is a wall of smoke.

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july 18, 2013

Took a little tan today before packing for my trip home!

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july 19, 2013

Fire season.

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july 20, 2013

We took a little hike to Fishhawk Falls today on our drive from Portland to Astoria.

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july 21, 2013

A pretty fantastic breakfast with my pretty fantastic mister.

2012

JANUARY

  • 1/1-2 – Daryl and Nick continued their tradition of skiing in the New Year and this year I got to join them! We rang in the New Year on Mt. St. Helens, camping in the snow and drinking Pliny The Elder. That afternoon we skinned up to about 6500ft, then skied back to camp. The next morning we skied back to the car, in the rain.
  • 1/8 – Since we were all in town, my favorite coffee girls and I got beers at Fort George. I miss those two so much!
  • 1/10 – The Explorer and I celebrate three years!
  • 1/14-15 – Nick came out to the coast to fly his kite, then we caravanned back to Hillsboro to hang out with the Worden’s.
  • 1/15 – It starts snowing in Astoria.
  • 1/16 – Mama and I go yarn shopping. We were going to head down to Manzanita to our favorite yarn shop, but they were closed because of the snow, so we stayed in Seaside. Mama made friends with the shop cat. That evening Daryl taught a CPR class for Daddy and me. I’m now officially certified to attempt to save your life!
  • 1/17 – There was SNOW in Astoria. Not just the usually light dusting, but actual, legitimate snow. So of course, we decided to ski Saddle Mountain, the highest point in Clatsop county.
  • 1/18 – Indian Food and IPA dinner at Fort George.
  • Spend most of the month packing up the basement. It was a long, long process.
  • I attempted to write in my journal every day again. I made it 25 days before I gave up. Maybe one day I’ll do it again,
  • 1/31 – Drove out of Astoria at 11pm to head to Nick’s apartment in Portland. We were officially on our way to Montana!

FEBRUARY

  • 2/1 – We head to Montana. Since we were in two vehicles, we caravanned to Pasco before stopping for the night.
  • 2/2 – We made it to Missoula! We stopped for pizza before heading to Mike’s house for the night. Oh man, it was good to not be driving any more!
  • 2/4 – We settled into Doug and Jen’s the previous night and then met up with Mike to ski at Lost Trail. It was a bluebird day and perfect!
  • 2/9 – Doug and Jen’s daughter Aiyana is a musher. She was deep in training mode when we got there, so Daryl and I decided to head out with them to get pictures and video for her website. Skalkaho Pass it was!
  • 2/12 – Aiyana’s last local race of the year was the Jr. Race To the Sky, a 100-mile race from Lincoln to Seeley Lake. We had planned on meeting them in Lincoln to help with the start of the race, but were stopped by an accident on highway 200. Instead, we met them at the halfway point, White Tail Ranch. Aiyana was obviously out on the trail, so Daryl and I helped Doug prepare for her arrival. Once she got in, she bedded down the dogs, then we watched them while she slept. After she and the dogs took off again, we drove to Seeley Lake to wait for her. She rocked the race and kept a steady pace for the full 100 miles.
  • 2/13 – After the award ceremony ended, Daryl loaded into the truck with Doug and Aiyana to hit the road to Alaska. Oh, how I wished to tell Daryl not to go. I was so, so, so bummed that I couldn’t go. That I couldn’t show Alaska to Daryl on his first trip. I have wanted to go back to Alaska since I was 5 and I hated that I didn’t get to go.
  • 2/15 – After wallowing in self pity for a day about not going to Alaska, I got my ski stuff together and went on a little solo trip.
  • 2/16 – After dropping the kids off at school, Jen, Zila, and I went on a hike.
  • 2/17 – Bowling night with Liz, Tommy, Bart, and Nicole. I felt I was back in Seattle – on one side of us was a group of Asian students who weren’t speaking English and on the other, a group of hipsters wearing old school Mariners gear.
  • 2/20 – I decided that while I was staying at Doug and Jen’s I was going to try my hardest to make sure Jeremiah didn’t get lost. His oldest sister is an all-star musher and he has two little brothers who get categorized as “the babies”, so he unfortunately is a bit of a middle child. Since it was President’s Day, he didn’t have school and Lost Trail was open on a Monday. Ski trip time! It was an awesome day for skiing. Doug, Daryl, Aiyana, and the dogs make it to Alaska (after six flat tires in two days!).
  • 2/21 – I officially become a Montana resident!
  • 2/22 – I set off on my first solo drive from Montana to Seattle, stopping at Molly’s house in Ellensburg for the night.
  • 2/23 – My tax return deposited into my account, so after paying off my credit card, I buy my precious Arc’Teryx Stingray (in Peacock) for $100 off (and only pay $50 out of pocket!).
  • 2/24 – My Becky-girl has her senior show at Cornish. Sue and John, her parents, flew out from Pennsylvania and we all had a joyous reunion (I don’t think all six of us have been together since her family moved there in 2002). Becky was of course beautiful and amazing and I cried during her solo and the piece she choreographed. After the show, when we all met up in the lobby, I burst into tears when I gave her a hug. She is absolutely my soul-sister and I was so incredibly proud of her.
  • I was glued to my phone all of the 24th and 25th to track Aiyana’s progress in the Jr. Iditarod. I am so proud of her!
  • 2/27 – I went to a very talented high school. Last year Logan (quoted in that article), one of the few boys who graced our hall, was cast at Gaston in his very first National Tour, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Somehow the stars aligned so that the tour was in Seattle the same weekend I was there for Becky’s senior show. We snagged last minute tickets and giggled every time he made an entrance (when a boy you dated and who called himself “Logie Wat-Wat Denninghoff” as a child is suddenly on a big stage playing the macho anti-hero, you are required to giggle). Abbi was also at the show, so we had a mini-WAPA reunion and it was wonderful. [Also, the theatre world is so small because a girl from my Musical Theatre History class in college was in the ensemble.]

MARCH

  • 3/1 – After driving back from Seattle, I stopped at Mike’s house and discovered one of my favorite nephews was there too! I hung out with Mike and Fisher for a couple hours and it was awesome. I love my family.
  • 3/3 – Daryl, Doug, and Aiyana stayed longer than anticipated to help Kirk with the start of the Iditarod. Thankfully it was broadcast online, so Jen, Jeremiah, Kai, Noah, and I watched it from Hamilton.
  • 3/4 – I had planned on a little solo ski trip again, but the snow was against me. I broke out an OPA and read about ballet history instead.
  • 3/6 – Daryl, Doug, Aiyana, and the dogs start the trip home! I was SO HAPPY! I finally got my butt in gear and took a ballet class at Ballet Bitterroot. It was my first class in MONTHS AND MONTHS and I nailed a triple pirouette.
  • 3/8 – Daryl gets back from Alaska!!
  • 3/10-12 – Nick was randomly in town, so the three of us head out on a backcountry trip. After attempting the drive up Trapper and Saint Mary, we settle on Lost Trail.
  • 3/16-21 – We help Mike move to Great Falls. After unpacking in Great Falls, we hang out with the kids. I adore those three.
  • 3/24 – Lost Trail Cold Smoke Tour.
  • 3/25-28 – I woke up the morning after the Cold Smoke Tour feeling icky and gross. Since we had no home to head back to, we instead went to Goldbug Hot Springs for the “healing vapors”. We spent three glorious days camping and soaking and I felt a thousand times better by the time we left!
  • 3/29-30 – From Goldbug Hot Springs, we headed to Panther Creak Hot Springs for a few days.
  • 3/31 – Lost Trail Skiesta. We didn’t actually ski, but instead hung around like skibums.

APRIL

  • 4/2 – After our hot springs and skiing trips, we spent a few days at Mike and Nancy’s, caving friends of Daryl’s. I unfortunately developed the worst toothache of my entire life and was miserable (and miserable to be around, I’m sure).
  • 4/3 – Liz and Tommy have a BBQ at the cabin. I’m sure it was great, and the food was fantastic, but I was in massive amounts of pain and alcohol made it worst. I basically sat on the couch and tried not to cry.
  • 4/4 – I woke up and looked like a chipmunk. Liz gave me the name of her dentist, who was able to squeeze me in. He then referred me to an oral surgeon, and I had an appointment to get my tooth extracted the next day.
  • 4/5 – My face continued to swell, despite the antibiotics and pain meds the dentist gave me. I have never cried from a shot at the dentist before, but man, I burst into tears when they gave me the numbing shot. I was so swollen and in so much pain. Thankfully, the tooth came out easily and the oral surgeon upped my antibiotic to a heavy duty one.
  • 4/10 – Daryl and I head to Great Falls. We hung out with the kids for a day before heading off on a week and a half long caving trip.
  • 4/12-16 – Logging Creek and Lick Creek Cave
  • 4/17-19 – From Logging Creek, we moved camp to Smoke In Hole Creek. We spent a couple of days at a great camp site, convinced we would see the moose who clearly regularly occupied the area. No moose siting to be had, but Mike scared up a sow with two cubs and Daryl and I were charged by the Mama!
  • 4/20 – We head back to Missoula and I take my first shower in 17 days. We order Philly West for delivery and I enjoy my first cheesesteak since I left Philadelphia. It was perfect.
  • 4/22 – Spring sprang and I bust out shorts and a tank top. While attempting to drive to Trapper Peak, the truck started acting funny. We detour to Como Lake and enjoy the gorgeous weather, before limping the SKIburban back to Hamilton.
  • 4/23 – After trading the truck for the Subaru, we actually make it to Trapper and camp on the road (snow levels were too low for us to make it to the trail head). We got up super early and start up the mountain. We didn’t summit, but we did have gorgeous weather the entire way up and I impressed both of us with my skiing on the way down.
  • 4/24 – Date night!
  • 4/25 – After weeks and weeks of contemplation and annoyance, I chop my hair off!
  • 4/26-39 – Daryl and I go on an Asparagus Cavers trip. D has been to the cave several times in the past, but this was my first trip (and also my first time on rope!). It was so much fun! After the week and a half trip to the Little Belts with D and Mike earlier in the month, caving actually became fun for me. It wasn’t something I ever disliked, I just wasn’t comfortable. But this trip was the first truly FUN time I’d had caving.

MAY

  • 5/1 – On the way back from our Asparagus trip, we stopped by Argenta Cave to place a data logger (Daryl is contracted through Fish, Wildlife, & Parks and the Forest Service to place data loggers in caves known to have bats). It’s a fun little cave! The entrance was a bit scary, since it was forty feet of ice, but I impressed Daryl because I’m ballsy and awesome.
  • 5/2 – On the way back to Missoula from Argenta, we stopped in Bannack State Park, Montana’s oldest territorial capitol. It was awesome! I definitely want to go back for Bannack Days some time.
  • 5/5 – After a brief recoup in Missoula, we headed back on the road to Idaho to visit Brian and Hadley in Hailey, ID.
  • 5/8 – The snow was beautiful and tempting, so we of course hit a summit while we were in Idaho!
  • 5/12 – After getting back to Montana, we try to camp on Saint Mary, but were stopped by fires. Literally, we turned a corner and there was a wall of (prescribed) fire. We instead camp at Bass Creek Campground, but went back to Saint Mary the next day to drive through the land of a thousand smokes.
  • 5/15 – Tommy and Liz went to Idaho for a long weekend at Schwitzer, so Daryl and I dog-sat. Since it was nice, we took Debo and Aspen to the river and had a little picnic. I can’t wait until we have a dog of our own!
  • 5/17 – Liz had the day off so we hiked for a while up the trail to the L on Mount Jumbo. We made it probably half way before Aspen was a bit too worn out? Never the less, it was a beautiful day and a good little hike.
  • 5/21 – My first Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto sponsored trip: Ophir Cave. Daryl (our “experienced cave explorer” and trip leader), Liz, and I met Liz’s coworker Logan and Ann and Lee, two grotto members from Big Fork, and then we caravanned to the cave. It was a great trip! Liz nearly died using a Petzel “Go” and Ann and Lee didn’t get home until nearly 2 am, but it was highly successful and I definitely think it’d be fun to go back.
  • 5/24 – We start another weekend of caving with a trip to Lewis & Clark Caverns. We stayed in a cute little cabin then played tourists on the cave tour. I can’t wait until the annual Grotto trip so we can see the rest of the cave!
  • 5/25 – Asparagus Cavers – if it don’t snow, we don’t go!
  • 5/30 – I became a “real” Missoula resident and climbed Mt. Sentinel.

JUNE

  • 6/4 – My sweet love’s birthday! We camped at the Trapper Peak trail head, then drove through Painted Rocks State Park. It was laid back and no where near as memorable as I wanted it to be, but we were together, and that’s all the counts.
  • 6/8 – We went to Great Falls to pick up Mike for another weekend of caving. We of course spent time with the kids and I melted when I was able to get Elsie to sleep when she was fussy. I just want to squeeze them all, they are the cutest kids ever. I’m not at all biased, since I’m not blood related to them. They are the cutest kids in the entire world and I will not be convinced otherwise.
  • 6/9 – A classic Montana cave: Whitaker’s Sink. After a false start and deciding we needed more rope, we finally descend into the cave at 9pm and emerge 8 hours later as the sun rose. The next day (read: later the same day we got back to camp) we were rain/snow/wind stormed in our tent all day long.
  • 6/11 – Drop another data logger, this time in Old Dry Wolf Station.
  • 6/12 – Daryl leads another Grotto trip, this time to Wagner’s Cave with myself, Liz, Logan, and Logan’s roommate Joe. We saw a CRAZY ant pile. There are some beautiful formations in Wagner’s and we found some pretty old signatures on the wall.
  • 6/14 – Nick and his Mom were in town on their way from Missouri to Portland, so the four of us (plus Ozzy!) hiked up Mount Jumbo. We sort of, kind of, definitely lost the trail and bushwhacked through trees, but we made it to the summit! Missoula really is so beautiful.
  • 6/17 – Head to Astoria! We make amazing time and do the drive in one shot. Trading off every two hours was the most brilliant idea we’ve ever had. We got into Astoria late that night and sneak into our old house with the boys. The next morning we snuggled Sasha and surprised Spencer when he walked down stairs. “That’s what you get for leaving your door unlocked: dirty hippies grow on your floor!”
  • I spend most days working in my Dad’s coin shop. Daryl finally got to experience the perfect Astoria summer days that he always missed because he was in Montana.
  • 6/24 – We head to Portland for a couple of days and play tourists with the Worden’s.
  • 6/25 – Happy 29th Anniversary to my parents!! They are absolutely my inspiration.
  • 6/27 – Happy 25th Birthday to me! Daryl, Nick, Ozzy, and I head off on our First Annual, Non-Segregated, Birth Month Trip to Mt. Adams.
  • 6/28-7/2 – Mt. Adams

JULY

  • 7/1 – Summit Mt. Adams!
  • 7/4 – Daryl and I pour beer at the Fort George 4th of July/Liberate The Ales BBQ. They actually didn’t have customer volunteers this year, but because they love us and miss us, they let us pour anyway!
  • 7/7 – It had been a while since we last saw Amy, so the three of us decided to meet in the middle between Sequim and Astoria – in a very small town called Westport, WA. None of us had been there before, so we decided why not? Originally we were going to boogie board, but the weather was no cooperating, so instead we had a mini-brewery and wine tour.
  • 7/14-15 – The day had come: yard sale time! I couldn’t believe how much junk we had to sell. And I couldn’t believe people bought nearly $500 of it! Everything we didn’t sell we took to the Women’s Resource Center. It was our junk no longer!
  • 7/16 – Daryl, Alexis, and I head to Portland.
  • 7/17 – The three of us leave Portland and caravan to Spokane. We stayed at a hotel with a water slide – it was AWESOME!
  • 7/18 – We make it to Missoula!
  • 7/19 – We head down to the Bitterroot and swim at Bells Crossing then we camped at the Bass Creek Overlook. We saw the edges of some Northern Lights! They were really faint, but they were there!
  • 7/20 – Alexis said she wanted to rock climb, so we rented shoes at The Trail Head then went to Kootenai. She’s a natural! D and I couldn’t believe how she flew up the rock face! That night we went to Doug and Jen’s for dinner. Alexis and Aiyana hit it off almost immediately.
  • 7/21 – Jessie and Adam’s wedding! It was so beautiful and perfect! The ceremony and reception were both at Lubrecht Experimental Forest. When The Explorer and I get married, we’re definitely getting married there too.
  • 7/22 – We had planned on a float trip, but the day got away from us before we could rent tubes. Instead we decided to float the next day and camped at Corrick’s Riverbend. It was beautiful! We hung out in the river for a bit and watched the stars.
  • 7/23 – Float trip! We rented tubes and were dropped off at Whitaker Bridge. We spent several hours floating down to Johnsrud. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to float more next summer!
  • 7/24 – We packed up the truck and set off for a week at Glacier, with plans to back pack a little bit. That night we camped in this AMAZING campsite near Hungry Horse Reservoir.
  • 7/25 – We made it into the park around the same time everything was opening up. Gosh, Glacier is so, so, so very beautiful. Definitely one of, if not the most, beautiful places I’ve ever been. We drove the Going To The Sun Road and along the way saw three grizzly bears, a ton of mountain goats, and ram horn sheep. From the Logan Pass visitor center we “hiked” up to Hidden Lake. A chipmunk tried to make friends with Daryl.
  • 7/26 – It is decided that we aren’t going to do any hiking or backpacking (sad face), so instead we drive through the east side of the park. We nearly hit a moose when it ran across the road! We stop to picnic at Two Medicine Lake. It was so beautiful, we stayed to float, and end up camping next to the lake. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was!
  • 7/27 – The Glacier trip unfortunately stopped being fun, so we drove back to Missoula. After we got back to town there was an awesome thunder and lightening storm and we got Big Dipper ice cream.
  • 7/28 – Daryl, Tommy, Alexis, and I take the dogs to the river. Tommy made an unbelievable dinner that night.
  • 7/29 – It was hot and beautiful again, so Daryl, Alexis, and I take the dogs back to the river. It was a very river-y summer.
  • 7/30 – Alexis flies back to Portland. Liz, Tommy, and Jamie all had the day off from work and it was hot again, so we filled two growlers at Kettlehouse and head to the river with the dogs. We were lush and got dinner at Tom Dooley’s (the hot dog place in town), then ice cream at Big Dipper, then filled two more growlers, though we were all asleep by 10pm, so they remained unopened.
  • 7/31 – While the boys played with tools, Liz and I rode bikes around downtown Missoula. I love how bike friendly it is here!

AUGUST

  • 8/2 – Our original caving plans for the summer was in the Scapegoat Wilderness, however the entire place decided to catch on fire, so that was out. In honor of our scrapped plans, we bought a keg of Big Sky Scapegoat Pale Ale to take on our new trip.
  • 8/3 – Daryl, Liz, and I head down to Doug and Jen’s for dinner. We tap the keg and end up staying the night.
  • 8/4 – We make it to Idaho and meet Brian and Hadley at Poison Peak. We set up camp and chillax around the fire.
  • 8/5 – We spend the day around camp, organizing our gear and finishing the camp set up. We also discovered a great little “vacation camp” next to the creek and head there for a few hours. Somehow, the keg was empty by the end of the day.
  • 8/6 – We drive up the trail head then hike to the cave. Drop rope and gear, then hike around for a bit looking for caves. Brian found a hole that looked like it went.
  • 8/8 – We dig at Brian’s hole for several hours. Unfortunately, it didn’t go anywhere. We were all disappointed. That night at camp, Liz, Hadley, and I had a 90s dance party and annoy the boys. We were enjoying out numbering the boys for the first time ever!
  • 8/9 – Daryl, Brian, Liz, and I head up to Poison Peak Blow Hole. Brian re-rigged the cave and Daryl set up a “ropes course” for Liz and I to practice change overs.
  • 8/10 – We finally make it in the cave! Once you get into the cave, there really isn’t much to see. The boys did some work while Liz and I explored a little bit. We decide we’ll stay in camp the next day as we couldn’t really help the boys at all.
  • 8/11 – Relaxing lady day at camp. Lots of reading and scaring off the cows. Liz started a fire in approximately thirty seconds and it was awesome.
  • 8/12 – We all head home. Daryl, Liz, and I somehow manage to make it back to Missoula by 4:30pm!
  • 8/14 – While walking around downtown turning resumes in to all the coffee shops, I was called in for an interview for the coffee shop in The Trail Head. I interview and then am offered the job within an hour. We head to the river to celebrate!
  • 8/16 – My first day at work since November!
  • 8/18 – Daryl, Liz, and I head down to Lolo to go to the river with Nicole. It was another beautiful Missoula summer day.
  • 8/19 – Daryl heads to Oregon to work. I am sad.
  • 8/23 – We got the house we looked at! I go in and sign the lease and start moving in!
  • 8/24 – In lieu of an audition, the head of the dance department said I could just take the modern placement class. I of course felt awkward because I didn’t know anyone and modern isn’t my forte and I am the most awkward person in the world, but it goes pretty well.
  • 8/25-26 – Elizabeth Parkinson workshop! It was so, so good. And, she complimented my technique during ballet class! Pretty good for someone who never ever takes class because I’m the laziest talented person I know. She taught us part of the opening number from Movin’ Out and a section of “Sing! Sing! Sing!” from Fosse. It was such a great workshop!
  • 8/29 – Fiddler On The Roof and Jumping Into Fire auditions for the theatre and dance departments. I was so happy when I found out I could audition for shows even though I’m not in school yet. I pulled out my Amelia Earhart monologue from Chamber Music – it wasn’t perfect, but for my first theatre audition since college, it wasn’t too bad!
  • 8/30 – I got called back for both Fiddler and Jumping Into Fire. I couldn’t do Fiddler because of the time commitment, so I only do the JiF call back. It was a fun, but extremely long, dance call back.

SEPTEMBER

  • 9/1 – Daryl finished work a week early and so came home a week early! I was the happiest girl ever!
  • 9/5 – We ended up with a keg of PBR in the break room at work, so we had an official kegger after we closed one night. I baked some killer cookies and we made friends with Conner and Lori. Daryl and Conner bonded over keg stands.
  • 9/8 – I drove D to Spokane to fly to Portland so he could get the rest of our stuff. My new RAM for Millie came, so I upgraded from 2gb to 8gb!
  • 9/11 – Daryl drive back to Missoula with a UHaul and all our stuff. We officially move into our first house!
  • 9/13 – I rode my bike to the Hip Strip to get my hair cut and get hit by a car door. Thankfully, I had a feeling the woman driving wasn’t going to see me, so I slowed down and was prepared for her to open her door onto me. I get knocked off my bike, but was unhurt.
  • 9/16 – My Dad let me have his upgrade, so I upgraded Frank The Third, my iPhone 3GS to Frankenfourther, an iPhone 4. For a dollar!
  • 9/17 – We invite Liz, Tommy, Jamie, and the dogs over for dinner. I made a pot roast in the crock pot and killer mashed potatoes.
  • 9/18 – I finally switch Sue Ann’s plates over to Montana plates. MNT KATT!

OCTOBER

  • 10/2 – Daryl and I decide to fly up to Hot Springs, MT to spend the day soaking. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t exactly cooperate, so we turned around and flew back to Missoula. D made a post about it on his blog!
  • 10/3 – First snow of the season! The Trail Head hosted PowderWhore’s Choose Your Adventure. Afterward, Daryl, Conner, Lori, and I went out to drinks with the guys behind the movie.
  • 10/4 – Daryl and I rode out bikes and met up with Conner and Lori at the Urey Underground Lecture Hall for Reel Rock 7.
  • 10/5 – Pray For Snow party at Caras Park. D and I rode over to Liz and Tommy’s (and I got my first ever flat tire on my bike), then the four of us rode downtown. We ate, drank, and were merry!
  • 10/11 – I went into battle. Millie was in fighting mode, but I was prepared. I spoke to four different people at Apple, stumping all of them, before discovering on my own that the hard drive I had recently installed was in the same line as the hard drives Apple had recently recalled (rather, they recalled computers that came preinstalled with the hard drive). Daryl and I took it back to Best Buy and exchanged it for one we knew would work. BAM! Millie was finally the Mac I knew she could be: 8gb of RAM and a 1T hard drive, all wrapped up in a beautiful aluminum shell.
  • 10/12-14 – Daryl and I went to Great Falls for a few days. Have I mentioned yet how much I adore those adorable nephews and niece of ours?
  • 10/19 – Nick moved back to Missoula!
  • 10/21 – Spencer came to visit! He had a week off for vacation, so he and Sasha-girl came to Missoula for a couple of days. I miss seeing Spencer every day.
  • 10/22 – While I was at work, Daryl, Nick, Spencer, and Conner climb Ch-Paa-Qn. They got caught in a snow storm!
  • 10/25 – It snowed for most of the day and I baked like a crazy person in preparation for our party.
  • 10/26 – Happy 30th Birthday Liz & Tommy/Welcome Back To Missoula Nick/House Warming Party!. It was awesome. We had 40 people over. My cakes were a major success. We had a rockin’ fire in the backyard. We played frisbee until 4am in the snow.
  • 10/28 – Daryl, Nick, and I attempted to go to Saddle Creek Cave, however Hoo Doo Pass was covered in snow. Instead, we made a snow lady, then went to Hungary Hollow Cave instead.

NOVEMBER

  • 11/1 – Daryl and I make a quick day trip to Great Falls for a bat meeting with the Forest Service, Fish Wildlife & Parks, and the Montana Natural Heritage Program. I knew Daryl was really important in the work they’re doing to help protect our bats from White Nose Syndrome, but it made me so very proud to see it in action.
  • 11/2 – Daryl and Nick went to Idaho and met Brian to go caving at Papoose Cave. Daryl got to lead the trip! I can’t wait until I get to go!
  • 11/6 – Ozzy was pretty bummed with Nick gone, so we went on a hike up to the M. He’s such a great dog.
  • 11/10 – Our heat died. It was awesome timing.
  • 11/14 – Daryl, Conner, Nick, and I took a little 24 hour vacation from Missoula and went to Weir Hot Springs. We got there, set up camp, then went to the hot springs and soaked for a couple hours. It was awesome.
  • 11/15 – Devil Makes Three concert! It was so great, especially when compared to the concert of theirs we saw at the Roseland in Portland. The Wilma is such a great venue and Devil Makes Three are awesome and it was so much fun.
  • 11/16 – Date night! We got an awesome dinner at Iza then saw Sleepwalk With Me at the Wilma. I love date night. ❤
  • 11/21 – Friendsgiving! Conner and Lori suggested having a friends Thanksgiving and since we have a big house and a big yard, I counter-suggested having it at our house. Tommy sold Conner an amazing turkey, I made my Mama’s cranberry-raspberry pie, plus we had a ton of other amazing food. Plus, Pilgrim Juice and fire!
  • 11/25 – Day One of the Skison!
  • 11/27 – Saint Mary with Daryl, Nick, Conner, Lori, Tommy, Jamie, Ozzy, and Debo.

DECEMBER

  • 12/1 – Daryl, Nick, and I drove to Idaho and then practically to Canada to place a data logger. Never in my life have I seen so much road hunting. For that matter, never in my life have I seen that many cars on a dirt road! After mine-caving for a bit, we drove back to Bonner’s Ferry and ate dinner at Kootenai River Brewing Company. The beer was good, but the food. Oh, the food. I got a half pound Salmon burger and Daryl got fish and chips with three of the biggest hunks of fish I’ve ever seen! So delicious!
  • 12/4 – I caught the pinterest bug and made my first project I found there. Growing up we had a couple of cinnamon ornaments shaped like a moose. Since this is the first Christmas Daryl and I have decorated, we have no decorations. To rectify this, I made cinnamon ornaments. They were so easy and so cute. I decided that every year I’ll make a new decoration of sorts and then, in 25 or 30 years, we’ll have a house full of Christmas decorations that date back our whole life together. ❤
  • 12/6 – Lost Trail opening day! I’ve never been to an opening day of the skison before, I don’t think. It was great, great fun. I love it there.
  • 12/7 – It snowed nearly all day in Missoula, it was fantastic. I was at work, but it was very pretty to look at. On my way home I stopped at the store. When I went back out to my car, Sue Ann wouldn’t turn on. D came and saved me and we got her home, but I was less than pleased. That night, it snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed. We had six inches in the back yard, I’m sure!
  • 12/8 – Liz and her parents invited Daryl and I up to their house in Polson for first night of Hanukkah dinner. We drove up and man, was dinner delicious! Tommy couldn’t go because of work, but he gave Liz’s parents the recipe for the meat and oh gosh, even when he’s not there, he makes the best meat. We stayed the night and the next morning Daryl, Liz, and I soaked in the hot tub while looking out on the Mission mountains.
  • 12/9 – We went Christmas Tree Hunting! It was only $5 to get a cut-your-own permit, so we went off in search of the perfect tree. It was so much fun! After we got home, The Explorer make a perfect Christmas tree stand.
  • 12/12 – After work, I drove north to Whitefish and caught my train to Portland. I got a week off to go home for Christmas and I was so excited. I really wish D could’ve come with me, but never the less. I was going home to Astoria!
  • 12/13 – I woke up in central Washington and stared out the window as we rode down the Columbia. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Multnomah Falls! I got into Portland around 10:30am and was so happy to see my Mama! We wandered downtown for a bit and said a quick “hi” to Lindsay, a friend from high school whom we’ve not seen since 2004 or 2005. It was so great to see her! Then we went to Powell’s and tried not to spend too much money. Oh, it was so good to be home! That night I snuggled with the kitties and it was good.
  • 12/14 – My first full day in Astoria was beautiful. Perfect. My favorite kind of Astoria winter day. I hung out at Coffee Girl for a few hours, then worked in my Dad’s shop for a bit.
  • 12/16 – Growing up, my Mama always sang in The Messiah at Christmas time. I was so excited when she told me I’d be home for one of her performances! I may have told her she sang too loud when I was little, but she’s always been my favorite singer.
  • 12/17 – I went to Fort George and had a beer date with my favorite ginger and unsuccessfully attempted to steal Sasha-girl.
  • 12/18 – I spent a few hours in the morning at my favorite Coffee Girl, listening to live music and slow dancing with Tammy. I met Kelsi for lunch at T. Paul’s Urban Cafe, then we walked around town in the rain for a bit.
  • 12/19 – Time to leave Astoria. =( Mama and I headed out in the rain (a proper Astoria send off, if you ask me!). When I got to the train station I had to do a bit of repacking (did you know that 4.5 cases of beer weighs upwards of 120lbs?). The train left Portland on time at 4:45pm and arrived on time in Spokane at 12:15am.
  • 12/20 – For future reference, if one must drive three hours to the train station, one should drive three hours to Spokane, not three hours to Whitefish. The Seattle section of our train (the Empire Builder starts in Portland and Seattle, then meets in Spokane and travels as one train to Chicago) got delayed and rerouted because of a mudslide. Eight hours after we were supposed to leave Spokane (around the same time we were supposed to be arriving in Whitefish), we finally pulled out of the station. It killed me, knowing I was only three hours from Missoula, but seven hours via train then three hours driving away in reality. At 3pm we arrived in Whitefish and I was so happy to be off the train! I got some food then hit the road home!
  • 12/23 – Daryl and Nick left on a caving trip, so I enjoyed a wonderful day off, at home alone. An 11am nap might have happened. I also managed to get in and out of Target in 15 minutes (including parking!), which was a small miracle considering it was two days before Christmas.
  • 12/25 – Christmas! We had planned on going to Lost Trail to ski, but I woke up not feeling well and D woke up with a kink in his neck, so we spent a relaxing day at home instead. Drank some coffee, had some Baileys, watched documentaries online, drank some wine, and read some books. That night we opened our (few) presents (being broke at Christmas is less than awesome).
  • 12/28 – Daryl, Nick, Ozzy, and I went over to Liz and Tommy’s for our weekly dinner. Liz made a super delicious elk stew and then we had chocolate-chocolate chip cookies and Holiday Indulgence for dessert. We were good kids and walked the 12 blocks home.
  • 12/29 – Absolutely gorgeous day in Missoula. D and I ran some errands, ate some pasties, and checked the mail for the first time in a week or so. Boxes galore! Our Christmas presents from my parents came (Wild Snow for Daryl and the Smitten Kitchen and Joy The Baker cookbooks for me) and the boxes of things I left in Oregon (including a very nice haul from Powell’s and four pounds of Thundermuck from Columbia River Coffee Roasters. It was Christmas all over again!
  • 12/31 – After work, we filled growlers and finished getting stuff together before picking up Lori and Conner and heading to Lost Trail. Our 3rd Annual Ride-N The New Year! Happy New Year!

2012, you were a great, amazing, awesome year.
2013, you have a lot to live up to!

201120102009

threehundredfiftytwo – threehundredfiftyeight

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december 17, 2012

The deer love my parents apple trees. They are always out there at night, munching on apples. A couple weeks ago my Dad got a great video of a deer standing on its back feet to reach an apple in the tree!

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december 18, 2012

I spent the morning at my favorite Coffee Girl.

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december 19, 2012

A rainy goodbye from Astoria.

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december 20, 2012

My train got into Spokane as scheduled at 12am. However, the Seattle half of our train got delayed and rerouted because of a mudslide in Everett. We finally left at 8am.

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december 21, 2012

While I was in Oregon, Daryl and Nick switched our office into the back room. I really like it!

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december 22, 2012

Todays best latte art.

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december 23, 2012

Santa came a night early with our Christmas Eve gift. New flannel sheets!