Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Half Birthday!


Tomorrow you turn 18 months old! It is so hard to believe that you are already a year and a half old. Where has the time gone???

You are so much fun at 18 months, but you also have shown us your little attitude more than a time or two when you don't get your way. You definitely have a hard head just like both your parents do!

You are not just walking now--you are RUNNING! You run everywhere, and I've found myself having to chase after you in our driveway when you start taking off towards the street. Why do you like to play in the street? When we get close to you, you start running faster. It's always a game of chase with you.

We have to really watch you these days because you have learned to open all the doors in the house, and will even try to go down the stairs on your own. You have no fear.

You love to see airplanes in the sky and can recognize the noise long before the airplane is in view. You will point at the airplane and say, "airplane" clear as day. You are quite the talker and your Mommy and Daddy are understanding a lot of what you say these days. We are very impressed with your vocabulary. You are repeating a lot of what we say, which we are going to have to watch more closely! :)

You are giving the sweetest kisses now. Every night after bath, Daddy comes up to read a book to you and put you to bed, but not before you give Mommy a huge hug and a kiss on the lips and tell me "night night." It is probably the best part of my day. You will give anyone a kiss when they ask for it. I'm going to have to keep a close eye on this as you get older, but for right now, it is SO sweet!!!

You absolutely love books. You have no interest in anything on the TV, but you love to sit in our laps and read a book. You are becoming more interactive and are starting to point things out to us in the books. It makes reading to you so much fun.

You have no interest in food, but that is nothing new. I know that you will eat when you are hungry, and it is obvious that you are not starving, so I'm sure you will come around eventually. You definitely inherited your Mommy's pickiness when it comes to food!

You still take a paci when you nap during the day, and when you sleep at night, and you know that Mommy doesn't like for you to have it any other time. When Mommy shows up at daycare and you have it in your mouth, you immediately take it out and put it in your bag. All of your teachers think it's so funny, but I'm hoping they will get the point and not give it to you at other times of the day like they have been when I asked them to only give it to you at naptime! The other night, your paci was downstairs, so on a whim we decided we would try to do away with it and see how it went. Well, after about 45 minutes of screaming, Mommy came to your rescue. Mommy hopes you aren't too attached to it because it's not going to be around too much longer!

You got your first molar last week. It was a doozy of a week, but we survived.

Hudson, your Mommy and Daddy love you so much and this past year and a half has been the absolute best! Happy half birthday little man!!!


Mommy and Daddy

Monday, August 30, 2010

Parent's Night Out and Trip to the Lake

Our church offers Parent's Night Out once a month and we thought it would be good to sign up this year. It's only $10 to sign up and is $8 a child per night for 3 hours, so it's a good deal. The only thing is that you have to volunteer one Friday night for the 3 hours. Of course both sets of grandparents live here, but sometimes we feel bad for using them so much, and there are times, like this Friday night, that neither set was in town, so it's worth it to us to have Parent's Night Out as an option if we want it. We went out to dinner with several couples from our Sunday School class and had such a fun time getting to know them! We stayed out until around 8 (I know, we partied hard! Ha!), so Hudson gave those poor teachers a time since he normally goes to bed at 7, but I think it was fine.

I have to tell this funny story from the drive home Friday night. We were talking to Hudson in the back seat and we jokingly asked him if he liked Mommy or Daddy better. I know we shouldn't do that, but hey, we're always looking for bragging rights around here. Well, Hudson, without even pausing, said, "Both." Joel and I both looked at each other in awe! Did he really just say that?!!?? He's one smart boy and is growing up WAY too fast!!! The other day, Hudson said, "Melmo so big," meaning Elmo is so big, which is one of his books. I know, no verb, but that still qualifies as a sentence, right?!?!

Here is Hudson riding in his little play wagon. He loves to pull this thing all over the house, but he also likes to get in it and be pulled.

Saturday, we headed to the lake for what is probably the last time we'll get to go on the boat this year. Sad! We had an awesome time out on the boat, tubing and skiing. Hudson loved going out on the boat. Every time we went outside, he would run down to the dock saying "boat, boat" and wanting to get in it. He liked to "drive" it!

Here is Jordan skiing. Of course, right after this picture was taken, our camera battery died and we didn't get any pictures of the rest of us!

Hudson was obsessed with Jordan's dog, Shug. He finally learned how to say "Shug" and it was definitely the word of the weekend! It sounds a lot like "Shuuuug."

Since our camera died, here is a picture from the 4th of July at the lake that never made it to the blog! I love that everyone is smiling!

It was a great weekend and we're looking forward to the fun long Labor Day weekend ahead!

Friday, August 27, 2010

O Canada!

Tuesday we woke up and headed to Canada to stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel. It was one of the "grandest" hotels (and most expensive!) on the website, and we were looking forward to getting out of Glacier National Park for a day and going into Waterton National Park, which is in Alberta, Canada. It was about an hour and a half drive away, but it flew by with all the beautiful scenery.

Of course, we had to go through customs and show our passport, but it wasn't a big deal. Honestly, they didn't even check our car like the US customs did on the way back to the states the next day! Not that we had anything illegal...

This picture below is a little out of order, but this is Cameron Falls, which was located right in the little town of Waterton.

We were pleasantly surprised when we got into Waterton because there was actually a little town. It consisted of only a few streets, but there were several places to eat and it was just really cute! We were glad to not have another meal at a hotel! The funny thing about Waterton was that mule deer basically own that town. They walk around the little town and nothing bothers them, so you have to constantly be on the look out for them. They aren't like the deer here that freak when you see them and take off. They would just walk around and not get spooked at all. And, they were huge! All you hunters out there would have been in heaven because seeing an 8 point was not really a big deal because they were just walking around town!

One of the first stops in Canada was Cameron Lake (it probably is related to Cameron Falls above, but they weren't in the same place). This day was really yucky from the start, so our pictures from Canada aren't the best.

We did a short hike at Cameron Lake and this was the sign that was at the beginning of the trail. We got a little nervous because we weren't planning on doing a hike, so we didn't have our trusty bear spray with us! Nevertheless, we hiked anyway.

The only thing we saw were a bunch of deer. No bears. Darn!

The deer would just walk along the trail with you!

I think the picture below was taken at a stop off while we were driving back from Cameron Lake.

This was the view from the Prince of Wales Hotel.

This was our hotel from afar...

And, here is a close up.

And, this is a picture of the inside. They were having afternoon tea at this point. We did not partake, but it looked like fun!

Before we went to dinner, we decided to go on a bear hunt. Can you tell we really wanted to see one?!?! Well, we drove all around the countryside in Canada, right at dusk, at a time when we thought for sure that we would see one! No such luck. We did get another picture of our hotel though!

The next morning, we were going horseback riding. I was so excited! We were not but a few miles away from the hotel when Joel said, "Mindy, I think we just found our bear." I was SO pumped!!! We had to turn around and go back to where he saw it, which was up on a hill. It was a black bear.

This is when we really needed a zoom lense! Ours just couldn't get it any closer than this. Can you see it???

This is a better picture. We are down on the road jumping up and down and making noises so that it would look at us. Probably not the best thing to do (actually, they tell you NOT to do this!), but hey, we were near the safety of our car!

It was pretty cool! And, it did satisfy my need to see a bear. Been there, done that now!

So, we then went horseback riding and it was a blast. Joel's horse was named Joe, and mine was Comet. Comet did not like to follow directions. On a few occasions, the guide had to come and get me because he wouldn't cooperate. And then other times, he would just take off on me and start running! It's hard to remember to pull the reigns to get him to stop. I just kept yelling "stop!" to him, but that didn't work too well! Ha! Comet also liked to bring in the rear, so we were in the back the majority of the time (and of course Joe liked to be in the front, so I made some new friends while riding in the back!). This ride was different than any other ride that I had been on because we weren't restricted to staying in a straight line. We had to stay with the guide, but we could really do what we wanted to.

Here's a picture at the halfway point.

Let's just say that after almost 3 hours on a horse, our bottoms (and legs, neck, and pretty much everything else!) were hurting pretty bad! I'm sure you get used to it if you ride all the time, but I was still sore 4 days later! Totally worth it though! We got to see more of the valley and plains of Montana on this ride, instead of being in the mountains, so it was a good change of pace and still so beautiful!

After the horseback riding, we had a late lunch and headed back to the states. On our way back, we came across a herd of elk! Again, we really needed a zoom lense on the camera, but there were tons of them!

And last but not least, right before we got to the border, a grizzly walked right out in front of our car! By the time I was able to get the camera out and on, it had almost passed us, but I still got one good shot.

We felt pretty good about our time in Canada. The wildlife there was amazing and definitely exceeded our expectations.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trip - Part 4

I promise the trip updates won't last much longer! I'm ready to get it all done, but it takes forever to upload pictures and we took over 400 so trying to weed out the best ones takes a lot of time too!

Anyway, Monday started out with another batch of wildlife. We headed back up to Logan Pass to do another trail up there, and at the beginning of the walk, we saw a family of big horned sheep (I guess that is also known as a ram? Not really sure, but it looks like one!). See below!

This picture below is funny because on this trail, there was a lot of snow that we had to walk through (it was pretty chilly up there). I am wearing shorts walking through snow, and sadly, my legs are so white that they are blending in with the snow! Need to get to the beach ASAP and work on my tan!!!! The snow was really slippery so it was interesting trying to walk through it without falling.

This was our destination. It was only about a mile and a half hike (three miles total), so it was much better than the day before. This is Hidden Lake below. It was beautiful!

We saw another family of mountain goats, and again, they were not afraid of us at all! The baby is on the far left.

Here is a picture of us at Hidden Lake.

There were mountains as far as you could see.

After the hike to Hidden Lake, we got back on the Going to the Sun Road and sat in a bunch of road work! It took forever! We did take the picture below while waiting. It wasn't too bad waiting when you had views like this to look at.

Right off of the Going to the Sun Road, we stopped to see Jackson Glacier (see picture below). There are only a few glaciers left in the park and this is the only one that you can see from the road--you have to hike to the others. It was really pretty.

After lunch at one of the hotels that we didn't stay at, we headed to do another short hike to see several waterfalls. When we stayed at Lake McDonald, we had overheard some man saying that he saw a bear on this trail, so I was extra scared and on the lookout at all times! Of course, we didn't see one.

This was one of the waterfalls that we saw on our hike...it wasn't either of the two that we were going to see, but it was still beautiful nonetheless.

Here is another one that was on the way.

This is Virginia Falls.

Another view of Virginia Falls...

And this is St. Mary Falls. This was my favorite because the water was crystal clear blue.

After the hike, I told Joel that was enough hiking for one day and we headed towards the place we were staying that night, the Many Glacier Hotel. We were so excited about this place because we had heard it had the best view. I will say that it did have a nice view, but it was not nice and definitely not something to get excited about (but, I was beginning to learn that this was to be expected at all the hotels)!

We arrived at Many Glacier in a terrible storm, so we weren't able to immediately see the view. However, the rain moved on and we got to see a great sunset!

Here is a picture of the hotel. It was really neat looking from the outside.

And, this is the other side of the hotel. It is very historic...aka OLD.

We had dinner at the hotel and hung out with another couple from South Carolina that night (who we would soon find out that we couldn't get away from no matter where we went!). Oh well, it was nice talking to other people from the south and seeing how their trip was going.

The next morning, we got up and headed to Canada! This was where the REAL fun began! I'm talking BEARS!!!!