Big Sky Country

This year, the Knight family embarked on another trip out West — this time to Glacier National Park in Montana. It’s safe to say that we were blown away by the beauty of the landscape. Now I understand what they mean by “purple mountain majesties.”

We stayed in Whitefish, which is about 45 minutes from the park entrance. It was a great mountain town with lots of delicious restaurants and quaint antique and gift shops. Our condo was actually on Whitefish Mountain. The ski village is about 15 minutes from town and offers a TON of outdoor activities as well. We took advantage of the mountainside zip lining, alpine slide and ski lift up to the top.

In Glacier, we obviously drove the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It took us an entire day, and it was definitely a thrill ride. For the majority of the ascension, you’re driving round and round up a mountaintop with little to no shoulder on the road. We also completed a few hikes in the park. The first was just a 2-mile round trip, easy hike near Lake McDonald. The other was a 4-mile, intermediate hike to Avalanche Lake. Ryan and I hiked carrying both girls, and it was quite the workout.

Both girls did great during our travels — especially Amelia! She definitely surprised us with how well she tolerated the interruptions to her schedule.

After these national park trips, Ryan and I say we’re going back with our girls and renting an RV for two weeks. The girls will probably think it’s the worst vacation ever — but we think they’ll secretly love it. Though we’re so thankful to be back home safely, we’re definitely looking forward to our next trip out to Big Sky Country.

SB2K16 Continued…

Sorry for the super long hiatus. After trying to launch my last post, I was notified by WordPress that I had run out of room!!! This blog is three years in the making, and I debated giving it up for good. I’m not the best at maintaining it — BUT it has served as a pretty nice virtual scrapbook of the girls’ younger years and months. I want them to have something to look back on, and I’m DEFINITELY not the type to spend years of my life haunting the scrapbooking aisles of Hobby Lobby and working late into the night on cutesy little pages.

This is much faster and easier for a 21st century mama.

So now that I have tons more space, here are even more photos of our Florida trip.

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An annual tradition to take a photo on the big chair at Back Porch — so they obviously chose a big spring break week to repaint it. Good move, guys.

Disney Familymoon!

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There were several times over the course of our five-day trip to Disney that I was overwhelmed with how wonderful and how thankful I was that we took this trip together. I’ll admit, as much as I’m a fan of Disney World, I was a little anxious in preparing for this trip being 30+ weeks pregnant and taking an almost three-year-old.

But IT.WAS.AMAZING.

Charlotte was a champ and loved “playing” the whole time she was there. After every ride, character meet-and-greet or show, she declared, “I want to do something else!” Everything was magical and fun to her — so much so that on our last night, she was plowing full-steam until we MADE her stop at midnight.

It was so fun to indulge her whims and experience the magic of Disney through her eyes. There were so many times Ryan and I looked at each other with glee because of her reaction to characters, fireworks or rides. Given this, it was a little bittersweet. We’re thrilled to become a family of four in a few weeks, but I know we’re both going to miss the abundance of one-on-one time we both get with Charlotte. We’ll just have to remember that everything we experience as a family will be double the fun with two in tow.

Again, I’m so, so, so glad we did this, and Charlotte’s first trip to Disney will undoubtedly go down as one of my favorite family vacations of all time. And now, here is the photo and video overload of our Disney trip — enjoy the magic!

Rapunzel's village.
After landing and getting to our hotel room, we took the bus over to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Ryan and I have gone before, and though it seems crowded, the numbers are actually lower than a typical night at Magic Kingdom — so you’re able to enjoy short lines and trick-or-treat stations around the park!
Rapunzel's Tower!
Rapunzel’s Tower!
First of several rides on Prince Charming's Carousel.
First of several rides on Prince Charming’s Carousel.
This quickly became a trend -- falling asleep on our way out of the park.
This quickly became a trend — falling asleep on our way out of the park.
First impressions of It's a Small World -- creepy.
First impressions of It’s a Small World — creepy.
Breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table!
Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table!
Most of the time, she was way more interested in her activity mat. Sorry, princesses.
Most of the time, she was way more interested in her activity mat. Sorry, princesses.
Meeting Ariel in her Grotto.
Meeting Ariel in her Grotto.
Classic Disney moment!
Classic Disney moment!

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Charlotte starred as “Chip” in Enchanted Tales with Belle. You’ll also be able to barely hear her saying, “Belle’s here, Mom!” This was one of the coolest things we did at Disney — highly recommend it!

We brought a photo mat for all of the characters to sign -- thanks, Pinterest, for the great idea!
We brought a photo mat for all of the characters to sign — thanks, Pinterest, for the great idea!
I had to get in on a couple of character photos too!
My Mom shoes and I had to get in on a couple of character photos too!

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Disney does such an amazing job of making every kid feel special. This was one of the best moments of the trip:

Elsa asked her if the cold bothered her. Charlotte’s simple reply was, “No.” Ummm, I don’t think that’s the answer for which Elsa was looking.

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Again...
Again…

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Charlotte's new boyfriend?
Charlotte’s new boyfriend?

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Meeting Belle (again!) at Akershus Royal Hall in Epcot.
Meeting Belle (again!) at Akershus Royal Hall in Epcot.

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Fun fact: this Snow White was SO annoying.
Fun fact: this Snow White was SO annoying.

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Charlotte loved Mickey -- I think the feeling was mutual.
Charlotte loved Mickey — I think the feeling was mutual.

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I'm pretty confident that the Photopass folks take blurry pictures on purpose so you have to buy theirs instead.
I’m pretty confident that the Photopass folks take blurry pictures on purpose so you have to buy theirs instead.

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Charlotte leading the conga line with Mickey at our breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at Ohana. Again, thanks for making my kid feel special, Disney!
Charlotte leading the conga line with Mickey at our breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at Ohana. Again, thanks for making my kid feel special, Disney! Aaand the blurriness of this photo is why I shouldn’t ever take photos. This was, funnily enough, the best in the bunch.
Showing Lilo how she hulas.
Showing Lilo how she hulas.

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Sorry I'm not sorry that there are a bajillion pictures of Mickey.
Sorry I’m not sorry that there are a bajillion pictures of Mickey.

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Watching Festival of the Lion King -- I think this is the exact reaction Disney is hoping to get.
Watching Festival of the Lion King — I think this is the exact reaction Disney is hoping to get.
Trying the Grey Stuff (it's delicious!) at Be Our Guest.
Trying the Grey Stuff (it’s delicious!) at Be Our Guest.
Thanks, Beast, for hosting us for dinner!
Thanks, Beast, for hosting us for dinner!
Last night in Disney :(
Last night in Disney 😦
She came, she saw, she conquered.
She came, she saw, she conquered.

Snow Storms and Sandy Beaches

March gave us the most beautiful snowfall of the season as well as respite from the wintry, cold temperatures. It was quite a unique thing to experience the magic of a winter wonderland followed a few weeks later by some of the best weather we’ve had on our spring break to date. Not to mention — both occasions were made even more fun through the eyes of Charlotte.

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Charlotte’s first snowman.
Ryan takes his snowman building very seriously.
Ryan takes his snowman building very seriously.
Pretty dapper!
Pretty dapper!
Snow much fun!
Snow much fun!
Beach babe.
Beach babe.
Beach + buckets = paradise.
Beach + buckets = paradise.
Working hard on a big project.
Working hard on a big project.
C-H-A-R-L-O-T-T-E
C-H-A-R-L-O-T-T-E

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Goofing around with Granddad.
Goofing around with Granddad.
BFFs.
BFFs.
Learning valuable life lessons.
Learning valuable life lessons.

Oh, the Places We Go — Wedding Edition (Nashville)

Finally, we finished up our travels in Nashville, Tennessee for Josh and Jessica’s wedding. Though we didn’t get to sightsee a whole lot with all of the festivities, we did have our share of fun. Plus, we got to be a part of a really beautiful wedding ceremony for two people who just really love the Lord, their families and one another.

Boy facials at the Bachelor Party.
Boy facials at the Bachelor Party.
Whiskey tasting.
Whiskey tasting.
The King of Selfies.
The King of Selfies.

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The Partay.
The Partay.
The couple that cliff jumps together, stays together.
The couple that cliff jumps together, stays together.
Boating on Percy Priest Lake.
Boating on Percy Priest Lake.
The Rehearsal Dinner
The Rehearsal Dinner
With the beautiful flower girl.
With the beautiful flower girl.
Can it get any more Tennessee than this?!
Can it get any more Tennessee than this?!

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The Best Man
The Best Man
First Dance
First Dance

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Sleepy Flower Girl
Sleepy Flower Girl
Mother and Son Dance
Mother and Son Dance
Amazing night for an amazing couple!
Amazing night for an amazing couple!

Oh, the Places We Go (New Orleans)

Most of our time in New Orleans was spent eating. I don’t know of a better place to eat in this country, honestly. From po’ boys to chargrilled oysters, we had our fill of the culinary delights of this city.

We also visited the zoo, aquarium, Garden District and French Quarter, in addition to a few day trips to the beach in Mississippi and Oak Alley Plantation.

Fun at the Aquarium.
Fun at the Aquarium.
That toddler life.
That toddler life.
Walking around the French Quarter.
Walking around the French Quarter.
Preservation Hall
Preservation Hall
Fun on the Gulf of Mexico
Fun on the Gulf of Mexico

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The beautiful Oak Alley Plantation.
The beautiful Oak Alley Plantation.

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Oh, the Places We Go (Out West)

If you know us at all, you know we love to travel. Having a baby didn’t stop that, and having a toddler certainly didn’t stop us either. This summer, we made our way out west to the Grand Canyon and Jackson Hole with the Knight family, New Orleans on our first ever just-the-three-of-us vacation and finally, Nashville for Josh and Jessica’s wedding.

Even though we’re avid travelers, we’re happy to be resting quietly at home for a few months. Nonetheless, we made some awesome memories this summer…

The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
Jeff Knight and me.
Jeff Knight and me.

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Charlotte fell asleep on a rainy, hour and a half hike to a waterfall in Grand Teton. She definitely got the better end of the deal.
Charlotte fell asleep on a rainy, hour and a half hike to a waterfall in Grand Teton. She definitely got the better end of the deal.
Ol' Faithful fizzling out. #notimpressed
Ol’ Faithful fizzling out. #notimpressed
Grand Prismatic Springs
Grand Prismatic Springs
Quality time with Jacky Boy.
Quality time with Jacky Boy.
Lewis Falls in Yellowstone Park with two of my sisters.
Lewis Falls in Yellowstone Park with two of my sisters.

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Mormon Row Barn
Mormon Row Barn
Atop Rendezvous Mountain.
Atop Rendezvous Mountain.

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Inspiration Point in Teton National Park.
Inspiration Point in Teton National Park.

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Cascade Canyon Trail, i.e. Heaven on Earth.
Cascade Canyon Trail, i.e. Heaven on Earth.

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To be continued…