Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Montana

Our trip to Montana was for somber reasons, yet it was some of the best family time.  While Conor's grandfather's passing was not a surprise, it was still a deeply emotional time.  Conor & he had quite an incredible bond.  I too had grown quite fond of him on our many huckleberry adventures as well as through our long chats over a glass of red wine (which of course had to wait until after 4 o'clock).  This has been the first big family loss that Conor & I have had since being married, and it was important to us both that the boys & I were there to support Conor as well as the whole Keenan family.





We were able to spend an entire week with family.  Remembering.  Laughing.  Crying.  Saying goodbye. We had plenty of uninterrupted family time that made the trip so special.  Seeing our boys with their cousins, aunts/uncles, and grandparents is always such a joy.  Conor's sister Sara is so so helpful with Liam & Finn.  Liam in particular just adores her.  She was on the ground building legos, playing cars, & even put him down for a nap one day (which is just completely unheard of)!  And even though Finn is all sorts of "stranger danger" right now, he would let her and his uncle Ryan show him all the animal heads on the wall of the family restaurant over and over (and over...) again. Deer! Elk! Bear! Pheasant! Fish!



We enjoyed gorgeous sunsets, a ridiculous amount of deer, & bottle after bottle of red wine.  I wasn't sure how much of the adult conversations Liam would pick up on, or how far we would need to dive into the death conversations with him.  He didn't ask much until the day of the funeral, and even then his questions were few, and he was satisfied with simple answers.  The cemetery was located in a beautiful part of Bigfork with the most gorgeous view of the mountains.  True Big Sky country!  Sure there was plenty of sadness in the air; but with all the great grandchildren running down hills, chasing one another, and giggling like crazy, it was a fitting setting to see Conor's grandpa's legacy live on while saying that final farewell.  I loved how the presence of children brought the whole experience full circle and even a few needed smiles snuck between tears to those watching.



It was hard to leave, especially knowing how things will feel just a bit different the next time we return. But Montana sure is an incredible place to visit, and we can never stay away from family for too long.  Not to mention that I simply could not get enough of the amazing scenery and photo opportunities!  When we are back, it will be party boating weather on Flathead Lake, and we cannot wait!






19 comments :

  1. i love love love love montana! it is seriously one of my most favourite places. It's sad that the reason you had to go was for a funeral, but its nice that you go so much quality family time.

    we are heading to whitefish for a couple weeks in the summer. maybe we would be there at the same time!!! it'd be great to meet up! :)

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  2. I bet that was a perfect tribute to him to have all the family and esp the kids running around. Joy in sadness. Although it never is easy to say goodbye even when you know it is close.

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  3. So many beautiful pictures. Was your grandfather in law a Marine? My FIL served as a Marine and I can now spot those uniforms miles away. Im sorry for your family's loss.

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  4. Such a gorgeous post, Laura. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a grandparent, whether it was expected or not, is so hard. Sending love and prayers to you and your family. These photos are just gorgeous. Anytime you want to invite the McCarty family out to fish and boat with you guys, we're totally in!

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  5. Wow. What a beautiful place with even more beautiful memories. I'm so sorry for your loss Laura. Being there as a family I'm sure helped during this time and seeing the boys have so much fun would definitely bring smiles.

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  6. love all of your pictures- how beautiful! So sorry for your family's loss.

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  7. So beautiful. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I'm glad you all were able to be there and give support.

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  8. I am sorry for your loss but I too love when it becomes more of a tribute, celebrating their life, and acknowledging the legacy left behind. This is how we treated my grandmother's funeral years ago.

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  9. Jim and I are the same- we've never experienced a great loss in our families since we've been married(which is a blessing for sure, but also I think what contributed to it being SO HARD when we lost our babies) but we know that the day is coming(soon) when we'll be dealing with this too. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  10. are you kidding me with these pictures?! they're absolutely stunning, and i know it must have been one hard trip- i am SO sorry. losing anyone is hard- never mind a grandparent you have a special connection with.

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  11. so sorry to hear about your loss, but what a great time spent with family! and you really are taking beautiful pictures of your boys!! i hope you're printing them out because they are just perfect!!

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  12. I'm so sorry for your loss but I'm glad it was a special time for you! <3

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  13. Such a touching post. No dry eyes here.
    I'm so sorry for the loss of your family, yet am so glad that your family was able to come together and lift each other up.

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  14. Such a touching post. An such a special time for you and your family. I'm so glad that you guys were all about to be there not only to support Conor, but the whole family. As sad that it is that his grandfather has passes away, you know he is smiling down on you all and so happy that you rallied together and spent time together as a family.

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear about Conor's grandfather. He sounds like he was an amazing man! And girl, these pictures are gorgeous. Love the shot of hearse with the mountains in the background.

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  16. So so so sorry for your loss. Even when it's known the end is near it's never easy to give the last goodbye. I am glad you were able to enjoy the family time together.

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  17. Laura, your photos are as beautiful as your words. What a touching way to say goodbye. Children truly bring those smiles back exactly when we need them.

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  18. You can never fully prepare yourself to say goodbye but being surrounded by family makes all the difference in the world! So many gorgeous pictures were captured that week too! Xo, Stephanie

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  19. So sorry for your loss. Sounds like it was a special time being together, remembering a special guy, that is important for healing, I'm sure.

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