June 2011

I realize this isn’t necessarily a wedding related post, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for the past couple days.  I get a daily devotional sent to my email called “The Upper Room“, and they sent this Bible verse yesterday:

Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”

-Luke 15:11-32 (NRSV)

When I was little, I heard this verse and couldn’t help but think “Well, that’s great for the prodigal son, but what about the one that’s been good the whole time?”  I thought it wasn’t fair, in the same way that I always thought my brother got more ice cream for dessert than I did and that wasn’t fair.  Now I read it, and I am so thankful for the grace God shows us.  The things that stick out to me about this passage are 1) God’s judgment and justice are perfect.  Whether or not we understand or agree with His reasons doesn’t matter.  2) No matter how much or how little we think we deserve, if we come to Him, He will give us much more than we really deserve.  God will forgive us for everything if we ask for it.  I know that in my life, I have made more mistakes than I can even remember so knowing he will forgive me is an incredible feeling.  Some days I forget how blessed I am, and I love reminders like this.


We have music!  The good stuff.  Here’s a little sample:

Tom Catmull and the Clerics are a band from my former town, Missoula.  They play what they call “unpopular country” and are just all around fun people.  My friends and I may or may not have had a small obsession with going to their shows when we were in college. There’s nothing better than great music and two stepping/swing dancing with good people.

Bottom line – if you like fun, you’ll like these guys.

That’s the date we picked for our wedding.  Turns out it’s also Eric’s parent’s anniversary. I was a little worried about that, but when Eric called them to ask if they would mind if we used their date, they were excited.  So, next summer it is!  (And no, mom, I’m not popping a kid out on your and dad’s anniversary!)

Gorgeous views!

I always wanted to get married in the mountains, but since there are none to be found in Billings, we decided to check out a place just outside of  Bozeman called Springhill Pavilion.  We were impressed with its history, but we fell in love with the view.   I can’t even describe how beautiful it is to stand there and see a 360 degree view of the mountains and the valley below.  We just looked at each other and said  “I know we should probably look at other venues…but why?”  So, we made our minds up right then.

The dance hall and the dining hall

Springhill Pavilion is an old dance hall in the mountains built around the time of the Civil War (before Montana was even a state).  People in the surrounding area would come by horseback or buggy for the Saturday night dances that would be held at the Pavilion, and because there were no headlights, they would stay the night and leave the next morning.  It was added on to in 1907.

In case you have no idea what movie I'm talking about..

Apparently Robert Redford has a love for the Pavillion, too.  If you’ve seen the Horse Whisperer, do you remember the dance hall scene?  Yup, that’s the Pavillion.  When he was filming “A River Runs Through It”, the cast ate their meals in the dance hall.  Yes, the best movie about Missoula ever was filmed partially in Bozeman.  I don’t want to talk about it.

Ross Peak, directly above Springhill Pavillion

So yes, we’re excited to be getting married here.  And I can’t wait for everyone else to see it, either!


I love sapphires!  I have always thought they were such a beautiful stone.  I used to beg my mom to let me wear her sapphire ring around the house (I don’t think I was ever successful…that ring is a prize possession of hers).

There are a lot of reasons I wanted a sapphire for my engagement ring.  First, it’s both Eric’s and my birthstone (September babies!).  Also, it’s a gem that is mined in Montana.  And, of course, my favorite color is blue 🙂  I was really excited when Eric and I started ring shopping, but nothing was really catching our eyes in the bigger stores.  We decided to try this small mom and pop jewelry store in Columbus called “Montana Gem“.  They actually design their own jewelry and mine their own sapphires or purchase them directly from the person that mined them.  The bonus?  They pick and choose diamonds to make sure they are conflict-free.

Because they didn’t have the exact ring we wanted in their gallery, they let us look through their catalogs and select a setting we loved.  Then they brought out their sapphires and let us select one from their collection.  I still have to ask if this particular sapphire came from Lewistown or Philipsburg.  The end result is a ring I absolutely love!  The stone is gorgeous, and the setting is very vintage-looking.  Thanks, Randy and Katie (Eric too, I suppose)!

Well, I think everyone knows by now…Eric and I got engaged on June 20th, 2011! Because Eric’s entire family is at least 1200 miles away, I decided to start a blog (which I have never done, so be gentle) so everyone can feel like they’re in the loop when it comes to our wedding. I will try to update this regularly so you can hear the very latest on music, flowers, frustrations, etc… All the stuff you never thought you’d want to know 😉 Stay tuned, and I’ll start getting pictures and stories up as soon as I can!

So it would probably be good to start with some basic information. Eric and I just got engaged on June 20, 2011, but who am I kidding? Everybody saw this coming from a mile away! So, needless to say, we’ve been doing a little bit of “pre-planning”, if you will. I’ll get to that information in later posts. I figured I should probably dedicate this post to the “Proposal Story” (awwww…). So here goes:

Eric and I went to Missoula to see a concert of one of my favorite artists – Ray Lamontagne and his band, The Pariah Dogs.

I think I was meant to quit my job and be their roadie...

He was playing with another artist: Brandi Carlile (she’s pretty incredible, by the way).

Can cover Johnny Cash and do it well.

This show was so good that I want to quit my job, buy a Volkswagon Bus, and follow them around the country. Anyway, I digress.

We didn't quite make it this far. Stupid snakes.

We were staying with my cousin in Hamilton and decided that since we had some time to kill before the show and it was such a beautiful day, we would go for a hike. The Canyon Creek Trailhead in Bloggett Canyon is only about 10 minutes from her house, so we drove up there and hiked. It was a great trail: rushing creek, beautiful mountain views, etc…  It was great up until the second snake we ran across.  That’s about the time we decided we had gone just far enough.  So, we went back down the trail and started driving to town.

At a clearing in the trees, Eric wanted to stop and take some pictures of the valley below. He brought his tripod and asked me to stand so he could adjust the camera to get us both in the picture. I wasn’t paying attention (not unusual for me), and when I turned around, he was next to me on his knee and holding a ring box. To be honest, I don’t remember what he said because I was so excited. I think I said something like “Eric! What are you doing!” as if I was the only person in the world who didn’t know what the single-leg kneel was going to lead up to. Of course I said yes, and he had to remind me that there was a ring involved in this process and he would like to be able to put it on my finger, so I needed to stop hugging and kissing him for just 30 seconds.

Fortunately, Eric had set up his camera to automatically take pictures every 30 seconds, so we have documentation of the whole thing. Very creative guy! You may be asking yourself “Well, if there is evidence of this event, where is it?” Valid question. 99% of the pictures we have are taken by Eric, so they are just sitting at his house waiting to be uploaded. I promise I will post them as soon as I can! Ladies: ring pictures will be included.

Update:  got the pictures! (Note: these aren’t staged.  Somehow Eric’s camera got the exact pictures we wanted.  Pretty amazing!)

I was not expecting this!

"Oh yeah! The ring! I forgot!"

Awww, precious!