As I write this, I am drinking from my last jug of sun tea for this year.  I made it the other day, sadly succumbing to the fact that it was likely the last hot day of the year, and therefore could be the last day hot enough to make sun tea.  That makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry a little.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fall.  I love the crispness of the air, I love the colors of the trees, I love Halloween, I love the clothes I get to wear, and I really love football.  But in Montana, fall really only lasts a couple weeks then we’re stuck with bone-numbing, snot-freezing winter for the next six months.  A logical person would wonder “Well, why do you live there?”.  Reasonable question.  The main reason is that I love being close to my family.  They’re weird and sarcastic and hilarious.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world and it makes me happy to be able to see them often.  A close second is Montana summers.  They’re incredible. In the dead of winter, when I think I just can’t stand another spirit-crushing day, I think about hiking in Glacier, camping in the mountains, biking with Pasha, road-tripping to Missoula, checking out historical sites like Virginia City, boating, baseball games, and barbeques with friends,  and I realize that hell has not, in fact, frozen over as it has seemed for the last few months.  I just have to suck it up for a little longer and I get to experience paradise when the weather warms up.

Eric, Jaci, Scott, and I with our dogs, camping on the Boulder River this summer

The stream by our campsite in the Beartooths. I mean, come on!

Nothing better than waking up in a tent on your birthday, and then coming outside to see this. I have the sweetest fiance ever!

This past summer has been especially eventful.  So many wonderful things have happened:  Eric proposed in June, my brother got married and I gained a sister in August, we got to watch two of my favorite musicians live (and got to meet one of them, as you can read here), we got to see tons of family that we hadn’t seen for a while, we nearly ran headlong into a moose while hiking, we got to do lots of camping, road-tripping, and were generally “tourists” of our own state .   Unfortunately, there was a tragedy also.  My poor dog Charlie of seven years was taken away from us in a drowning accident a few weeks ago.  That’s been very hard to deal with, but I’ve been slowly coming to terms with it.  I guess events like that tend to snap me back to reality.  No matter what happens, life keeps moving on.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve just had the best moment of your life, or the worst, time keeps marching.  It’s made me especially grateful that everything is in God’s hands and His timing is perfect even if I don’t understand or like it.  It also makes me joyful to think that someday, when we’re in His kingdom, we won’t have to worry about these highs and lows – the rollercoasters of life.  Knowing that makes the tough stuff just a little easier to deal with.

So, here we are, with the last little bit of summer hanging on.  You better believe I will keep doing my summer things until there is no getting around the fact that I can’t walk through the snow in my Chacos.  Because that’s how I get through the transitional periods: denial.  Does anyone else have these problems?  I hope everyone is dealing with this change a little better than I am!