Romantic Winter Mountain Engagement {Red Lodge, Montana}

When I first met Tiana she was a senior in high school. That was 6 years ago! I was at a game night her older brothers were hosting. She had just gotten home from a high school basketball game. This also happened to be the night I met my future in-laws for the first time. At the time I didn’t know they would be my in-laws! (Jared is Tiana’s second oldest brother.) Fast forward 4 ½ years to when Jared and I went home for a month to help the family build our in-laws new home. 7 adults living in two 5th wheel RV trailers in 100 degree heat on a Montana desert was definitely not ideal and it’s definitely a situation we have many fond and funny memories about but honestly never hope to repeat! The trailers on the plains happened to be the first time I met Tate. Que one of those funny moments I just mentioned! You know how families and siblings have those random things they did together growing up? Well, the Hanson family have this tradition of catching spiders… In Montana there are majestic mountains, beautiful plains, and spiders. Big ones. I still remember the first time I went spider hunting. YIKES! It was ROUGH! Well, Tate was new to hanging out with the Hanson family and it was the middle of the summer. Hot, dry, and the spider holes could easily be found on the ground. To catch a spider you need 4 things. A bottle of water to flush out the spider. A rock to cover the spider hole with so it can’t go back in. A Ziplock bag to put the spider in and a stick to guide the spider into the Ziplock. So there I was in one of the campers making dinner and watching the spider hunting going on outside. Jared,  Tiana, and Tate tried a few holes with minimal luck and were about to call it quits for dinner. Then they found a big hole. Just imagine 3 grown adults, all 6 feet tall or taller, gathered around this one quarter-sized hole in the ground with fingers crossed this one would be lucky. The water started to be poured. And poured.. and poured… Then suddenly all 3 adults screamed like little school girls and flew away from the hole! More yelling and screaming came as they ran further away from the hole. Ha! I knew this was either the biggest spider in the world or something was grossly wrong with this spider. I came out to them all talking about the biggest white spider they had ever seen and of course, they wanted to see it again! I figured this was a spider to see if I was ever going to try this spider hunting thing again. So, again they started pouring water down the hole… a bubble came up followed by a white body! It was massive!!! It took a second for the body to come all the way out of the ground and to everyone’s amazement, the spider was actually a frog! We all died laughing when we realized our albino giant spider was nothing more than a little pond frog who was probably eating our spider for lunch! Not nearly as scary to me! Ha!! Since that time I have been blessed to have many funny experiences with Tiana and Tate but few still make me laugh as hard as the spider hunting adventure! These two are and forever will be very dear to my heart. While I was not able to be at their wedding because of pregnancy complications and living in another state, I was able to be a part of their engagement session in one of my favorite places on earth: Red Lodge, Montana. Sharing in this special time with them was truly a treasured point of 2018.

The Journal


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