I can't believe it has come and gone - more than a month ago now! Seems like so long ago my family started planning our trip to Crooked Canyon Lodge. I know I can't do it justice, so rather than try to describe the whole affair I'm just going to share some of my favorite pictures and bits of the trip. It was the kind of magical thing that only happens every now and then and I will never forget it.
It all began two years ago during a previous family Christmas in Texas (read: sunny and warm) when my parents offered to rent a lodge in Montana for our next family Christmas, in 2011. We were pumped! All of the Colwells had lived in Big Sky country, but most of our spouses and children had never been. Here was our chance to show off our beautiful home state and have a white Christmas together! A few months later my parents reserved the Crooked Canyon Lodge in Gallatin Gateway, Montana, about 20 minutes from Bozeman.
Finally - after two years of waiting - the day arrived! Travel was smooth for us (Mikey did awesome - he has become a pro at flying by now), but Van and Grant flew in to Bozeman in a snow storm, and Amy and her family drove through a blizzard all the way from Texas to Montana. It's hard to describe the giddiness I felt once we were all together, safe and snug in that beautiful place. There were lots and lots of hugs, and I will never forget Leah and Logan so happy to be out of the car and with family, silently running laps around the great room (so they wouldn't wake Michael) with huge smiles on their faces. Ryan built us a roaring fire and we all settled in and started visiting. Pure joy.
The house and the views were gorgeous. The back side of the house faced pine trees, the Gallatin River, and Storm Castle Peak beyond, all white with snow.
We got right to work decking the halls. It was so fun to do that as a family! And the lodge got even prettier!
There were lots of amazing meals, including breakfast in our pjs every morning - my personal favorite :)
And every night when the kids were all tucked into bed the adults gathered around the big table and played games and laughed and laughed. It was so good for the soul.
During the day we would laze around the house, go out and hike down to the river, or go into town to shop and get coffee.
I love this picture so much. Total relaxation :)
My mountain men :)
The very best part of the trip, for me, was watching Michael get to know his family. He loved playing with the kids, and snuggling with the adults. It broke my heart to take that away from him when we all went our separate ways.
Are these three cute, or what? :)
Foot nibblers :)
Loving on his Uncle Bubba
Snuggling with Papa
Lunch in Bozeman with Gigi and Grammy
(and the rest of the crew at the table behind us)
Enjoying the fire with Gigi
I love how much Michael looks like my Dad :)
The guys enjoying the hot tub. (Love their Zissou-esqe hats :)
Here's the serious family picture we took. I love it, and I love these people.
This is one of those posts that could go on and on. But pictures and words never can do justice to the way we feel about our loved ones, so I'm just going to leave it at this and say how thankful I am for my family. This week was a perfect example of why I love them. We laugh together, we cry together, we do our best to support each other, we take care of each other and we celebrate God's blessings over us.
Thanks so much, Mom and Dad for bringing us together for an unforgettable week.