Wow, she is developing so quickly. I want to hold her all of the time but I see & understand how much she thrives from time in her pack n play with her toys and soft blanket. She talks to her toys and squeals with delight, reaches up for the unattainable owl mobile and practices scooting her body around in a wide circle. I am learning to set her down during the day and let her mind grow.
We survived our first major road trip, 9 hours to Missoula, a three day stay, then 9 hours back. Cora traveled with me and her uncle Jeff, Scott was working overtime on the weekend and will be for most of May/June as we prepare for some travel later in the summer.
Cora in her car seat:
I was really nervous to take Cora on this trip, her first long car drive and me without Scott to co parent. For several days before departure I sat with the question of whether or not to do this. On the one hand, in my pre-parent days I would take the chance of a quick trip at the drop of a hat, especially to somewhere that I love. I try to be flexible in my life and give priority to travel, and I've always loved road trips. On the other hand my daughter just turned 3 months old and I had never been completely alone for a weekend of taking care of her. In the end the urge to not sacrifice my love of travel and spontaneity combined with my belief in getting up and moving with your kids won. Away we went!
Cora and uncle Jeff along the way
The other major factor in taking this trip was the knowledge that my best friend in the whole world was graduating from college. This is a big deal as life has taken her on many adventures and she was never sure she would walk across that stage to claim her diploma, with her two beautiful daughters watching from the audience. I also knew she was having a party to celebrate and I badly wanted to surprise her. I am so proud of her!
I am so glad that we went. Cora did great and we had such a fun time. On the drive I pumped milk and fed her from a bottle, stopping every few hours to give her some time to roll around and get a vigorous massage from mama. Here are some of my most favorite photos of her, playing on a blanket at a rest stop in Idaho.
The weather was incredible for the drive to Montana. After months/years in the city it is a salve to my soul to get out where the vista stretches to the horizon. The sky was a brilliant blue with fluffy clouds spaced as perfectly as could be. The hills of eastern Washington and Oregon were brilliantly green which I've never seen before as they turn brown and yellow almost immediately once the warm weather hits. This stretch of the drive is normally a bit torturous for me as it can be monotonous in color and seems to take forever. This time it was like an awakening, driving through a technicolor movie set. Simply gorgeous and so relaxing.
Once we arrived in Missoula we helped celebrate the graduation of my best friend Heather and our beloved friend Mike (who married us). It was a great weekend spent with a balance of quiet time for us and a whirlwind of seeing friends and family.
Mike and Ushka greet Cora
Cora made a new friend, Anna Marie is three months older. Is it just me or does Cora look like she has had a bit too much to drink?
My parent's came down from the Flathead Valley and spent Friday with us. They brought their three dogs who we took to the dog park, Missoula has the best dog park in the world! You can't beat such a beautiful spot and it's an island in the river!
This was the first time my dad met Cora and it was so sweet to watch him hold her and talk to her and shower her with love.
Cora hanging at Heather's graduation party, rockin' the sun hat with Amy who was visiting from Seattle
Heather's daughters Mazey and Meta meet Cora for the first time
Cora loves Amy!
Another fun random allignment during our visit was that our friends Dave and Tele were driving cross country to move back from Portland to Baltimore. They happened to be staying in Missoula Sunday night so I got one more chance to see them.
Dave, Tele and their daughter Bea. Some of you may recognize their dog, it's Xena who we fostered last summer! Xena started her life in Anaconda, MT, moved to Portland, OR and is now headed to the east coast. That's one well travelled dog.
My favorite time of day in Montana is when dusk fades into night. The many layers and depths of blue that come alive are beyond my descriptive ability. The night seems to bloom up and wrap around you as the mountains and trees cease to be individuals and take on the appearance of an ink drawing.
Last but not least, one of my favorite spots, the place where we were married and where we first dared to dream of Cora...