Monday, November 26, 2012

big big sky

Many of you may have heard it called "Big Sky Country". 
Maybe you have wondered why......
I am about to show you.

Let me just tell you first how thankful I am 
for this wonderful state. 
When I was little, I lived in a small mountain valley in the west. 
We were close to mountains for picnics and camping and playing in creeks.
We spent summers at rivers, lakes, and the county fair.
We would hunt for our Christmas trees, and spend time sledding and drinking hot cocoa in the snow.

When I was eleven, we packed up and headed to the country--the middle of the state--in the middle of....well....nowhere. 
Miles and miles of plains to the east, and the Rocky Mountains to the West. 
We could roam forever, and even had horses to help us do so.

But come 18....I was ready to flee (I'm sure if you grew up in a small town you can relate to this "need to get outta here" feeling. )
It's been more than eleven years now since I've been gone, and some days I just miss it so much. 
When we drive to Montana we honk and cheer as we cross over the border. 
It's always so hard to leave--the mountains, the plains, the old barns, the haystacks, 
and that outrageously giant, enormous blue sky.
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seriously though, have you seen a bigger sky?

We were able to hike up on to Crown Butte while we were there. 
Just my little family and my sister's family, on top of a giant flat topped mountain. 
The hike is short and easy, and the views are spectacular. 
The wind on top was, blowing my kids away, crazy. 
We weren't able to spend as much time on top as we would have liked, but I'm so happy I got to do this with my family. This butte sits right outside my parent's house and I've starred up at it so many times in my life, and haven't been on top since high school. 
I can't wait to get back and explore much Montana to see!

Did you move away from where you grew up?
Do you miss it?


in dreams said...

wow, sheena - some of these look like paintings! i see what you mean about montana being all about the looks like it must have been an incredible place to have grown up in. :)

kassidi bridge said...

To your last two questions, yes & yes. These pictures capture it so magestically. Can't wait to get back up there. Your cute cute family is the best!

Romney Family said...

Sheena-you make me miss HOme so much. We live out east now and it makes me long for home seeing those pictures. I really enjoy reading your blog!! thanks for all the wonderful recipes and pictures. PS. i grew up in Fairfield!!!-Jessie(smith) Romney

Unknown said...

LOVE these pictures. I keep looking through ours wishing we would've had more Montana time to go exploring!

Elise said...

I moved away from Colorado when I was 14, I've only been back a few times, but I still dream of the rockie mountains and "green" lifestyle. I also lived in New York for awhile and that was a difficult place to leave, especially since it meantoving to Wisconsin. But my husband and I are moving to lakeside Montana during the 1st of the year and I'm excited for this new place!

Laura said...

may I be cheeky and ask what lens you shot this one with?

I love it & the aspect is brilliant!

summer said...

WOWWWW. I really didn't know anything about Montana before this post. It looks breathtaking!!! You guys and your cute faces in pretty places :)

I grew up in a city and moved to a small town. Although I miss convenient city things (Target, movie theaters, places to eat) I think I really must be a small town girl at heart. Or else I'm such a homebody that it doesn't matter either way :)

Lori Folkman said...

You brought a tear to my eye! Love Montana! Beautiful pictures!

gram said...

So pretty!...made me homesick & I've never left our beautiful state!

Sarah Beth said...

I love love love when you post pictures of Montana. I still live here and it still amazes me each day that I get to live in such a beautiful place.

Plus seeing you on top of the butte reminds me of the hike up there during high school. And almost being bitten by a snake.

capturingtheride said...

I'm from a small town in Oregon and I needed to flee - totally know that feeling. I was 18 and fled to Seattle in my flannel shirt (I graduated in the 90s). I lived in Seattle for almost 15 years - left twice (once for 18 months of missionary service in Spain/Canary Islands, and once for a 10 month stint at BYU, just wasn't the right place for me) - I always came back to Seattle. it was home. Now, I have 3 little ones age 4 and under. It was time to move on -- and now we're in Texas of all places (I NEVER imagined we would live here, but Austin is a cool city and we're loving it!) I DO miss Oregon, and now the Pacific Northwest in general. I miss the mountains, the pine trees, the beaches. But I've also found that, really, you can bloom whereever you plant yourself, as long as you're getting the nourishment you need.

Your pictures make me want to take a nice long trip to Montana, though. It's so hot here in the summer I hear everyone leaves...Montana looks pretty perfect!

sheena said...

@laura all the photos were shot with my 35 f/1.4

Melissa said...

WOW! Montana is gorgeous!! No wonder they call it Big Sky... That's some crazy sky going on!

Hayley said...

next time we are coming with you!!

Sarah said...

So beautiful! I really need to visit Montana one of these days!

Sara Gatlin said...

Gosh I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Montana! & whenever I do (I WILL eventually!) I am going to listen to "Big Sky Country" by Chris Whitley & be very very happy :)

Rachael said...

That really is a big sky! Wow. I like it though, because you really are more close to nature in a place like that.
I've never been to Montana before, or any place that wasn't by a coast, but I would love to visit.
I am currently in my hometown, living here. But I'm itching to explore other places out there. There are so many great places to see!

Lauren Ashtin Mocny-Branum said...

I can definitely relate! I am from a small town in north east Texas and moved to Austin a couple of months ago. It is certainly culture shock! I feel like everything is moving so fast I can't think, much less relax. I went home for Christmas and it was an amazing feeling to be in the country again. I haven't settled in yet. It's always nice to go "home"

Rach H @ FamilyEverAfter said...

Gorgeous! I grew up in South Dakota, not too far away from your Montana. There is nothing like the prairie and the big sky. We are really crossing our fingers to be able to move back home in a few years.

Olya said...

The scenery is breathtaking. And the clouds... You got to reach up and touch them, right? Because they look like they were just within your reach.

I can relate to the desire of wanting to flee your hometown as a teenager, yet, missing it years later, when you develop a new appreciation for the places that you have your childhood memories tied to. I grew up far FAR away from where I live now, and for many years after I got married (in my wee twenties) I didn't miss my 'motherland' a bit. Now, as I watch my children grow up, I want for them so badly to visit and become familiar with the places where I grew up. I can tell them stories, yes, but seeing that life and experiencing it firsthand would be so much more meaningful. I didn't find that way of life particularly exciting back when I was young, but now the word 'exciting' has a whole new meaning to me...

Sarah Jane said...

I haven't seen so many photos of such a beautiful sky all in one place. Now I really want to go there. I've always wanted to live in the country, the "country" I grew up on was never rural enough for me. These are breathtakingly beautiful.

Bridget said...


i want to see one HUUUUUUUUGE on a wall somewhere in your house. if you want, anyway.

AllAmericanGrl said...

wow - beautiful pictures as always! :)

I grew up in Sunny Southern California, and I now live in Switzerland. I do miss it a whole heck of a lot, especially during the holidays!

Darcee said...

Wow......those are amazing photos Sheena!!!

I moved away from my "home". I grew up in itty bitty small town Iowa. Seriously, a town of 1000 people. A speck of a town. I couldn't wait to grow up and get out. Life had another plan for me. When I was 30, with my 3 kids in tow, I finally moved away. To Vegas. And hated it there. Which is a loooooong story that I will spare you:) 2 years ago the monsters and I moved to the SF bay area. We found home. We love it here, and have no desire to be anywhere else. I do miss some of the things from my "home", but mostly just the people.

kylie said...

you are such a source of inspiration, sheena!

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