Category Archives: Montana

A weekend of spoiling

I am ending this weekend feeling very, very loved!

It started with flowers on Friday for Military Spouse Appreciation Day – I think this is the first year Brian has remembered this day… 🙂 The flowers are beautiful but if you look closely, it looks like there is cabbage or something in the middle which made me laugh. B said it was called something like the Western Mountain Mix, so it is a good reminder of our time together at Malmstrom AFB in Montana ;).

photo 1-2


I also got my favorite types of gifts – the homemade preschool Mother’s Day gifts! Audrey made me a votive candle holder and Caroline made me a sweet little trinket box.

photo 2-3

On Saturday, something unusual happened: Brian and I each took one girl for the morning, so we got one-on-one time with them. Brian was volunteering at a rocket egg drop competition and since he & Audrey are space lovers/nerds ( 🙂 ), she went with him. Caroline and I spent the morning running errands, shopping at Target, making a Starbucks trip, and running around the playground.


This morning I started my day off with a 10.5 mile run (so hard, hilly, hot – ick! Good prep for Historic Half, hopefully), and then I came home to get ready for brunch with my ladies (and Brian) in Georgetown. After brunch, we walked around a little bit and visited Lululemon and Georgetown Cupcake, two of my favorite places. Lululemon was giving moms mini-Reisling bottles and dark chocolate. It’s like they knew I was coming – those are my two favorite things ever!

One thing that I have been working on since the New Year has been consuming less sugar. I guess it’s working because for the first time ever, I took a bite of my cupcake and couldn’t finish it. It was too sweet for me!

After we got home and napped, we whipped out the sprinkler! We had to practically drag them back inside – they loved it. I’m sure it will be out constantly from this point on.


It was a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend, and my sweet little things were so loving and affectionate. I could not ask for more – they are the best gifts!


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Filed under Celebrations, Family, Fitness, Georgetown, Home, Kids, Lilly Pulitzer, military, Military Life, Montana, Ristorante Piccolo, Run, Running, Washington DC, Wine

May in Montana

It has been a busy few weeks since we last posted. We (I) have been consumed with shopping for Audrey & trying to plan out her nursery, and we’ve both been consumed with work. Brian is pretty busy with his new job in OSS and it’s the busy recruiting season at the university. It’s nice to have Brian home the majority of the month now, but I’ve found that his being gone from 730am-430pm every day makes him even messier than he was before (sorry Bri)! And now I can’t justify giving him a to-do list as easily as I could when I was working all day and he was sitting at home between alerts.

Audrey has been busy growing and kicking like crazy. As you can tell from the bump picture, she’s getting pretty big. What’s funny is that I can’t really tell that I’m getting much bigger until I see myself in pictures. I started being able to see her moving around from the outside today…pretty strange to see your whole stomach move when she lets out a good kick or squirm. Brian and I are getting less cautious about “interacting” with her and will push gently on my stomach to get her moving. She’s pretty fun to play with, even before being born.

She can now also taste what I’m eating because she can swallow amniotic fluid. Apparently, what I eat now can influence her tastes when she is born. I’m trying really hard to eat healthy things, but sometimes cookies just call to me.

She is also perfecting her hearing and finds my voice most soothing. Brian and I did a little research as to why, and it’s because my voice is associated with vibrations she feels when I talk. She should be able to recognize Brian’s voice once she is born, too. She can also hear things outside the womb, especially if they are at low frequencies, so when Brian talks to her, he’ll talk looooow, haha. Even though a lot of people play classical music to their baby in the womb, studies have shown that they may not be able to hear it that well because of the frequencies of the string instruments/woodwinds/etc. She should be able to hear music with a lot of bass, though. And apparently, the type of music we play for her is less important than how that music makes ME feel. Interesting, huh? We also read that if we play the same song(s) for her in the womb frequently, that song (or songs) will continue to be soothing to her once she is born.

We are looking forward to Brian’s mom and brother coming out to visit next weekend for Brian’s promotion ceremony. We have a lot of things planned, including a 4-d ultrasound which we’ll definitely post pictures of afterwards.

We hope everyone has a great long weekend!


Filed under Military Life, Montana, Updates

the never-ending winter

Well, it seems like winter is never going to end this year. We have a winter storm warning in effect from tonight through Thursday morning with possible accumulation up to 15 inches. Ugh! Everytime it snows (the last time being just last week on the day I got home from LA) I keep thinking “this has to be it for the year!” and it never is…no wonder Montana doesn’t have any tulips or daffodils that last.

The weirdest thing for me is to think about how it is the end of the spring semester which means it should be SUMMER. What a difference between the end of spring semester in Great Falls and the end of spring semester in Charlottesville. Speaking of the end of the semester, I have one more take home final to do until I am done! I thought I was going to take the summer off, but one of my professors convinced me to take her class this summer…I am easy to persuade when it comes to someone I like. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a super fun class–it’s Standardized Testing and Individual Assessment.

In a follow-up to my last post, the last half of my LA trip was much better than my first half. I got a lot (too much) shopping done while I was there, both for myself and for the baby. It was hard to resist getting cute baby stuff at Baby Gap and the Carter’s outlet. I also got to see the beach and walk along Ventura Pier. I wish I could spend more time on the beach, but that won’t happen for a while. I was a little disappointed that there were no shows playing in LA while I was there, but maybe next time. And, as you can see from the picture, I came home with a little bit bigger of a belly than I had when I left…that was the first thing Brian commented on when I got off the plane!

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Filed under Military Life, Montana

today made me want to go back to Great Falls

(and that is a serious thing to say!)

I had the travel day from hell today. It actually started a month or two ago when my flight out of Great Falls was changed from a noon flight to a 6:25am flight. That’s irritating, but easy enough to get over. Anyway, everything was pretty smooth today until my flight from Salt Lake City to Burbank…that’s when things got a little nerve-wracking. We get an announcement from the pilot saying that the plane was going to be diverted to LAX instead of Burbank because one of the flaps on the wing was broken and the runway at LAX is longer than Burbank. Because of how short Burbank’s runway is, he refused to land it there because it wasn’t safe. Okay, no problem, especially since I didn’t really have any plans for the afternoon. Then, I watch the flight attendant get a call from the pilot and see her go back to talk with the exit rows. I know it’s just standard, but of course that makes me really nervous! Then she gets on the main phone with all of us and tells us that there are going to be a lot of firetrucks and ambulances when we land but not to panic…hmm. Much easier said than done, especially when I had been awake since 430am and was exhausted and prone to panic. We land at a speed about 1/3rd faster than normal which was sort of scary; the pilot used almost the entire runway at LAX, too. Thank goodness we landed safely, but it was definitely a sobering few minutes.

After we land, we sit on the plane for a while to figure out whether they are going to fix the flap and then fly onto Burbank or whether we can all get off at LAX. This process takes about 45 minutes, and eventually it’s decided that people who want to continue onto Burbank will be shuttled there and those who want to leave from LAX could do so because they didn’t want to risk flying the plane again. I waited for the Burbank shuttle because I didn’t have a) a rental car at LAX and 2) directions from LAX to where I was supposed to go. Getting off the plane and onto the shuttle was another ordeal, and the traffic was horrible (of course), so getting from LAX to Burbank was an hour-long trip. All of this was totally fine with me (and most of the other passengers, I think…aside from a few annoying ones, of course) because I was just happy we were there safely. As the day progressed, though, I was more and more ready for it to just end.

I get my rental from the Burbank Airport and much to my chagrin, it’s an off-airport rental. Last time, I was able to pick up my rental right from the airport. Any other day and this might have been okay, but I was already stressed and tired and running way later than expected, so this didn’t make me happy either. Then, after picking up the rental, I had an hour-long drive from Burbank to Anaheim. I get on the highway, only to see that my tire pressure light is on so I have to get off to check the pressure. The tires look fine and Brian tells me that Chevy tends to have horrible and inaccurate light gauges. So, we continue onto Anaheim. As a sidenote, LA traffic doesn’t stress me, it just annoys me. I want to drive rather than constantly stopping and going and having to watch out for interchanges. Argh.

Anyway. I get to the hotel and go up to my room. I decide to go set up the UGF table early at the fair and walk the half a block to the convention center with 40 lb bag plus a huge box of marketing materials. It was painful! Then, no one who worked at the gigantic convention center could tell me where the fair was, so I wandered between three floors trying to find it until I eventually called Brian (in tears because I was so ready to be done with the day) and made him look it up online.

After we FINALLY found it, Baby and I got to eat dinner (we hadn’t eaten since about 930am) and relax a little bit. It’s about 8pm here and I’m already close to crashing in bed. I figure it can only go up from today, right? Although it is supposed to be HOT (90s) for the next three days…so I can’t decide if I think that’s too hot or perfect temps. I was hoping for a gentler introduction to summer weather than going from 50 degrees to 95 degrees in a day!

BUT in exciting news, I’ve been feeling the baby today! He/she is probably angry with the lack of a peaceful, relaxed and well-nourished mom and is moving like crazy just to prove his/her point.

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Filed under Military Life, Montana, Travel

Spring has (hopefully) sprung!

It seems like spring has finally sprung in Montana. The weather this week has been absolutely beautiful and there is no snow in the forecast (at least for the next 10 days). Hopefully this sticks around. Everyone seems so much happier when the weather doesn’t suck, myself included. It’s been nice to be able to spend time outside and walk without feeling miserable because it’s snowing and the wind is blowing! Brian’s been doing a lot of work on our yard, and it’s starting to look pretty good. Too bad we’ll only be here for one more year…oh wait, thank God we’ll only be here for one more year.

We had our third baby appointment this week, and the baby is still healthy! The heartbeat was 156 bpm (again…baby is consistent), and our cystic fibrosis test was negative. We have our big gender ultrasound on 5/4 and we’re looking forward to being able to refer to baby as “he” or “she”…or even by name! We have some name ideas, and I’m pretty sure we’re set on our boy name. Our girl name may take a little more discussion, though.

Every time I hear the baby’s heartbeat, I feel really amazed that it’s still kicking in there. This probably sounds weird, but with everything that could go wrong with any pregnancy, it’s sort of a miracle when everything is healthy.

We have a busy rest of April coming up. We’ll definitely miss being home with family this weekend on Easter, but we’re having a potluck with our military family here in Montana. Next weekend I leave for Southern California for a week, so that will definitely make the rest of April fly by! Brian has a busy alert schedule this month and will move over the OSS in May (woohoo, finally).

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Filed under baby, Easter, Montana, Pregnancy, spring

Home sweet home

I finally returned to Great Falls after being gone for what felt like a really long time (12 days!). It’s good to be home and to get settled more into the newlywed life that I feel I’ve been missing because of travel. I hope to catch up with sleep, homework, laundry, etc this weekend. We’ll see how that goes!

My time in DC was really worthwhile. It was a treat to get to see so many friends (and twice within five weeks, no less!), though a little bit weird (and sad) to see everyone for only about two hours before I had to say goodbye again. Luckily, though, I missed Montana’s first “snowstorm” and instead spent the weekend basking in eighty-degree temperatures! In my head I know that chances of us settling permanently in the DC/Northern Virginia area are really high, and I can’t help but count down until when that time might begin!

Speaking of Montana and leaving, I think we’ve made the decision not to extend until 2011 like we had previously considered. This is for a lot of reasons, but it means that we are here until spring of 2010…only one and a half more years and two more winters to go!

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Filed under Montana, Travel, Virginia, Washington DC, Weddings

Fall comes early in Montana

This week I (Liz) am traveling across western Montana to attend college fairs. I must say, I feel gipped that the Air Force chose to have a base in Great Falls rather than somewhere in the western part of the state. It is beautiful out here! The trees have already started to change color (too soon in my opinion!), and even though it is not nearly as breath-taking as the foliage in Virginia, it is still pretty. When people talk about how beautiful Montana is, they are talking about this region. And apparently, I have the prettiest drive of all coming up on my way home on Thursday. I’ll be driving near Glacier National Park. I’ve been to Glacier twice, and it is stunning, so I’m excited for the drive; not only will it be a gorgeous drive, but it will also be my drive HOME. By the end of the week, I will have driven approximately 780 miles and will be very ready to be home.

The one thing that has disappointed me so far this trip is that I thought I’d have the opportunity to catch up with everyone on the phone since I have so much driving time. I didn’t take into account, however, that Montana is in the middle of nowhere, and the roads from city-to-city have little or no cell reception. I have had plenty of alone time, though! I’m getting a lot of reading done, both for school and for pleasure.

I’m currently reading Once Upon a Quinceanera by Julia Alvarez which is a book about the history of the “quince”. I recommend it! Then again, I was a Latin American Studies/Spanish major and I love the show “My Super Sweet 16” so it might just be something that’s up my alley only.

Anyway, off to bed! I’ll be exploring Missoula and the University of Montana tomorrow.

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Filed under Military Life, Montana