Well this Texan Gal has experienced some snow

Yes! It’s true, I experienced snow. I fell asleep seeing flurries fall, not thinking that they would stick. And I woke up to a soft snow fall. On my drive to work, I couldn’t help but have my mouth agape, and just falling more in love with Montana. It was such a sight, but it was also freeeeezing. I’m not used to this cold at all, this is all something that I need to get quickly used to because this is only the beginning.

After a full work day, I returned to a home with a foot of snow surrounding it. And of course, I quickly let my dog out in it to see how he would react. He was twinkle toeing around it and not really getting through it. This is new for my pup, but his breed should be able to handle the cold. I also had to throw my cat into it and of course she shot right back into my house. She was not a fan of it, and did not like what I did to her. Later that night, I took my dog on a walk around the block. The snow was still falling and I was loving every second of it, despite the freezing temperatures. Guy started to like the snow more and more just like me. And by the end of our walk, he was darting through the snow. I, of course, started to throw snowballs at him and he was enjoying the heck out of that.

This small little snow day was just the beginning. The snow has melted in town now, but our mountains are beautifully dusted with a snowfall. There is something magical about seeing mountains with snow on them. It really kind of shows you how small you are, if you didn’t already think that.  This weird weather has also helped Montana with the wildfires some, which is amazing and wonderful and I hope it keeps on happening!

So here’s a few pictures of our fun random snow day!

Anyways, I guess it’s time for another update as of late…

Things have been going extremely well, and I’m currently love the life I am living. I’m surrounded by interesting and exciting people. There isn’t a time I am bored, or hating life. I constantly have a smile on my face, and I feel like I might be annoying people with my laughter. I can’t explain all the good in my life right now, but it’s incredible.

Things on the horizon:
This weekend, oh my stars, will be an eventful one. Explosions in the Sky in Spokane, and then Modest Mouse in Missoula. Like omg. And I get to hang with some really cool people? What more could anyone want out of a weekend?! Oh, and next weekend…. Nick Offerman in Missoula. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME. My cheeks already are hurting.

I can’t go into too many specifics because I am still trying to ride these waves and see where they are taking me, but life is good y’all and I can’t complain about anything. Life is rad as fuck in Montana.

Au revoir Friends!

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Weekend Update

HOLY CANOLI YALL

I have had such a great weekend, and now since I’m back to work it’s been a rough day…

So let’s start with the weekend

So ever since I can remember (like 8th grade an on) I have been obsessed with The Decemberists, and moving to Montana I never thought I would get the option to see them. Living so close to the Music Capital of the World in Texas, I never got the option to see them, but fate and luck happened! I happened to make a perfect match on a silly dating website, matching myself with someone who enjoyed the same things I do and has such a strong appreciation for good music like me. He mentioned a music festival that was happening and I had to look into it! Already making plans with him before we even had our first date, I was already excited for this potential weekend. But was reserved because I didn’t even know who this cute guy really was.

Well…. long story short, our first date (really the 40+ hours we hung out throughout 4th of July weekend) went so well, my silly dating profile was deleted and tickets for Traveler’s Rest were bought. And the excitement continued to grow.

And this weekend, both myself and this cutie patootie’s excitement were at an all time high. A weekend together, in a hotel room, in a cool city about to see some really cool bands, what more could you possibly ask for? Well the only thing I would have asked for was less smoke, the wildfires are INSANE in Montana right now, and it affected my lungs and throat greatly. But I didn’t let that stop my weekend from happening. Cute sundresses in tow, and the weekend began. Saturday the bands we were able to see were SHAKEY GRAVES from Austin (a lil piece of home), THE HEAD AND THE HEART, and of course, THE DECEMBERISTS. All this good music paired with the good beer of Big Sky Brewery made for the best dance moves and singing on the top of our lungs.

Sunday brought more great music, and more great beer. JULIEN BAKER, SYLVAN ESSO, BELLE and SEBASTIAN and again THE DECEMBERISTS!

I can’t get over the fact that I was able to see The Decemberists (DID I MENTION IT WAS FOR TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW???). This is a band that I have followed for so long, and obsessed over. They played my favorite songs, and I was able to dance my little heart out. And I was able to do this with someone who enjoyed it as much as I did dancing right next to me! I was a happy gal this weekend 🙂 !!!!

And I guess I should also mention the fact that I fell in love with Missoula! I was told it was going to happened, but I mean I fell for that city hard. The culture of it, the people, the sights, the breweries, I want it all. This is a place I can really see myself moving to. And the fact that the university there has graduate programs I am interested in, makes the draw even stronger. I just need to wait it out a little bit, and maybe this can be a thing. (I’m hoping it will be!)

This has been such a great weekend, and life up in Montana gets greater and greater everyday. I love that I can plan trips with someone who is willing to explore and get weird! SOMEONE WHO IS ALMOST AS WEIRD AS ME! I enjoy my time with him so much, it’s always a great time, and I can’t say thank you enough! All thanks to silly dates, silly outfits and a weird mouse rat man in a jail cell (don’t even ask)!

Well, this is all for now, I need to get back to work because catching up on my stuff needs to happen now and I need to not be procrastination queen.

AU REVOIR!

I guess it’s time

Yep, I guess it’s that time again for a Montanan update!

sky

I guess I can get some sappiness out of the way first…

I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD TO LIVE IN A STATE THAN I DO RIGHT NOW LIVING IN MONTANA-

And I mean that full heartedly. I have found who I am supposed to be in life. I have never been this happy or content with life than I am now. Sure, I don’t make nearly as much as I should for the work that I do, but that doesn’t matter to me. I get by, and then some. I am not homesick, or hurting to be back in Texas (besides the food and the swimming holes, that’s what I miss the most). I know my family is safe, and I know that they know I am safe up here. I am stronger and healthier up here; mind, body, and soul. I have met people that have pushed me to do things that I never thought I would, like play softball and join the volunteer fire department. I feel a sense of community living in the town that I do, it’s such a small town that you are kind of obligated to feel this way, but it’s lovely.

The wilderness here is so pristine. It’s not like this in Texas. It’s also so wonderful to be able to hike and not be sweating waterfalls due to humidity. Being amongst the pines and the aspens bring me such happiness, two of my favorite trees. And have I mentioned the stars? Because SHOOT DANGIT, they are incredible. Never in my life has something made me cry the way the stars up here have. This weekend, I got to spend time in a place that the only sounds you here are the calls of the coyote, and the wind rustling through the trees. City light pollution isn’t a thing, except light coming from your own house or your neighbors. I saw the Milky Way. For the first time ever. Not on a picture. Not through someone’s lens. But with my own eyes. And I cried. And with each shooting star I saw, I squealed and did a lil dance, jumping out of pure joy. It was incredible.

Here are some of the pictures i’ve taken of the places i’ve hiked here in Montana:

Can you just see why I love it up here so incredibly much? This state makes me excited for the future of owning my own home, and building a life here. I have never felt so at peace and so at home than I do here (i’m pretty sure i’ve said this before).

Okay sappiness done for the moment:

Besides being happy about where I live and enjoying nature up here, work continues to challenge me. This last month here at work has really tested my thick skin and my purpose in life. Bottom line, I want to work in psychiatric settings and I want to continue to help people. My drive to go back to school has increased moving up here, even more than it was before. I want to continue challenging myself in every endeavor I take on in life, and school is one way I can do that. I have steered away from what I have wanted to do in the past and have moved onto something more. Clinical Psychology and Mental Health Counseling. Which is more clinical, obviously, than I have wanted to get in the past. My dreams have always changed but they still stay relevant at times. For those that don’t know me, and for the ones that read this that I do know, I am a person who always has her head in the clouds with dreams and aspirations. I wish I could be that person that has a degree in everything because I want to do and experience everything that I can. But one constant has always been the drive to help others. That will never change or falter.

Okay…. what more can I ramble on about…

Things that are coming up that I stoked about

A. TRAVELER’s REST: holy smokes i’m ready for this. So moving from a state that has the live music capital of the world, 45 minutes from my home, I was nervous about the live music here in Montana. I have met someone that has REMOVED that fear completely. He told me about this music festival that is happening very shortly, Traveler’s Rest. The Decemberists. Head and the Heart. Shakey Graves. Belle & Sebastian. Sylvan Esso. Real Estate. Julien Baker. What more do I have to say? I am ready to spend a weekend listening to great music, drinking great beer, and dancing with a cute boy (if you are reading this… you know who you are 😉 )

B. Wintertime: People think i’m odd for saying this, but i’m actually excited for snow. I haven’t been around it hardly, and it’s something i’m ready to experience. Snowball fights. Snowboarding. Building a snowman. Snow angels. Everything that has to do with snow. What I am not excited about is the driving in it. But luckily I was told I have snow tires already so that removes another fear I have, again thank you (you know who you are 🙂 ) I know I say I’m excited now, but probably once i’m a month or two or three in i’ll be begging for the Texas heat and humidity. But for now, i’m excited.

Goodness gracious, I feel like there’s more I can talk about. I’ll say that I am excited for the other hikes I have planned and a camping trip that will soon be planned and executed. I have fallen in love with Bozeman, Big Sky and I’m sure i’ll fall in love with Missoula. But for now, I’ll leave it at this. I am happy. I am thriving. I am enjoying life. I am enjoying the company I have been keeping. And I swear i’ve never smiled this much or cried at nature as much as I have. It’s been an eye opening experience, and I am so excited to see what more Montana has to hold and to see where this place takes me.

I’ll also leave you with a song that makes me giggle, and makes me miss Texas a lil bit. This popped up on my Spotify and has made me realize I enjoy silly country music like this song! I also wish I knew how to TWO STEP.

Head Over Boots – Jon Pardi

Tata for now!

 

OKAY ONE MORE I PROMISE

Man, this update sure has taken forever and I apologize. I thought I would update my friends back home about what I am doing at the Hospital!

So this is my 2nd week at the hospital, and I survived the standard hospital orientation, and now I get the lucky privilege to mentor a coworker and spend days alongside her. When I interviewed for this job I was told that I would be working on an adult unit that dealt with acute psychiatric conditions, which means high turnover rates, and quick discharges. This allows for all different kinds of groups to be had and fun that could ensue. But seniority rules and that unit was taken over by another Recreation Therapist. So I received a new unit assignment, and it definitely made me extremely nervous at first.

I now will be working on an adult Forensic unit. This means higher security, different protocols and precautions and different things to address. All good things, not many bad things, and this is a population that needs some serious help in all factors of mental health. I will be working with adults that have committed crimes in Montana that range from repeat common theft all the way up to murder. (are you scared yet? because I am not!) The groups I have observed and interacted in have made me excited to get to work with this population. Sure we have to improvise certain things, and incorporate new ideas, but that’s the fun!

So with this population, many of them are serving sentences rather than coming in for competency restoration, like I have seen before. And with this, there is a lot of depression, grief and stress. All things that can be helped with a lil TLC and some sunshine and smiles (not really, but i’m gonna try!) The depression and grief can come from their past, crimes that they committed and or the realization that they will be here for a while. Stress can come from not understanding their situations, not understanding the court process and from living in close quarters with some difficult individuals. I’m sure it’s not easy, I get to go home and decompress, these individuals do not get that.

THIS IS WHERE I GET TO COME IN AND HELP OUT A LIL BIT!

On top of taking over the Social Skills, Basic Life Skills, and other educational classes that have already been in place, I get to introduce new ones to the unit. This is my forte, I love being creative, I love learning and I love to help others. (SO FRIENDS WHO WORK IN TR AND MENTAL HEALTH IF YOU HAVE IDEAS I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW THEM)

So far I have come up with two class ideas:

  1. EXPRESS YOURSELF!: this class dives into emotions that individuals might be feeling and we get to explore those emotions, thoughts and ideas through different mediums. Each month we will explore a new medium, anything from writing/poetry to music, art, and movement and dance. Does this sound fun to you? Because it does to me! In this class we are able to address feelings and emotions towards the past maybe centered around trauma they’ve experience, or their crimes. We will be able to explore their feelings about the future too, maybe how they are feeling about potential discharging to their respective communities or maybe finishing their sentence. This is also an opportunity for individuals to explore new leisure interests in these art forms, which is always something I enjoy being a part of.
  2. Last but not least: Be Aware- Mindful Meditation: this class we get to explore different life attitudes and thought ideas while relaxing and learning new breathing techniques that can calm the mind, body and soul. I’m not a DBT expert but I do love yoga, breathing and relaxing. In this class we will get to learn breathing techniques that can help reduce stress and anxiety. Essential oils will aid in our journey of mindfulness discovery. And stretching and working the body will give an outlet of physical health and healthy mental spaces. This class will have a lecture and a lab. The lab is the practice of the mindfulness technique, and the lecture we will explore mindfulness techniques like compassion, empathy, etc.

Can you see how excited I am? Maybe just a little bit? Well I am actually bursting at the seams and I am ready to get this show on the road. Just about a week or so more of observations and I get to learn alongside my patients!

all right, last post of the night, last update for a while!

see yall later!

  • Hannah Montana 🙂

Yellowstone

So as some of you may know last Summer I won a trip to backpack the back country of Yellowstone. I fell in love with Wyoming and this park. I even looked into what it would take to become a Park Ranger at this park after that trip. I was so inspired and so in love with everything about that trip.

Well while my mother and sister were in Montana with me, we made a trip to Yellowstone and got to explore some of the things that makes this park so incredible. I fell in love harder and it made me want to backpack the backcountry again!

Gosh darnit my friends, this park is just so dang beautiful. I feel so at peace here, and honestly, it’s my favorite place in the world. If I could get married here, I would. If I could birth a child here, I would smack dab in the middle of the woods (just kidding). If you haven’t been here, I HIGHLY suggest it. The history of the park and these certain attractions (Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone) bring so much life to this park. And of course a lot of tourists. It’s insane how many selfie sticks and peace sign selfies I saw here. But, to each his own.

This trip has also made me excited to explore what Montana has to offer. I went hiking the first weekend after my mother and sister left with a coworker and got to see some trails here in Anaconda, and have been lucky enough to hear about other places around here to explore. I’m excited to hike around, visit new parks and see new things. It helps having someone as a personal tour guide, thanks universe for aligning this match (literally!)

Here are some pictures I took at Yellowstone, I hope you enjoy them. But seriously, come here, visit, explore and be able to take pictures of your own. It’s so incredibly worth it!

Shalom y’all!

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Updates as of Late

Goodness gracious what a whirlwind this has all been!

So let’s refresh… May 27th I left the great state of Texas for Montana. We made it safely and all in one piece in three days. This was a little bit longer due to the extra weight and the slower speeds we had to take through some rough passes and climbs of elevation. But again, we made it safely and in one piece. Thank the LORT.

I didn’t take many pictures due to the fact that I drove most of the way (yes that’s the control freak in me). But I was able to see the landscape and these beautiful places with my eyes and that’s all that matters!

the rig.PNG

So here’s the Rig (Montanans’ like to refer to cars as this, I think it’s cute). My mother, myself, my sister, Guy and Tallulah were in my car, and everything that I own was in the trailer in the back. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to fit everything in there, but I did all thanks to my sister for her help packing it up with me during the hottest part of the day in Texas.

So like I said, this trip took us three days to do. It took forever to get through Texas, had a lil car hiccup too that wasn’t terrible. New Mexico was a dream, and same with parts of Utah. Holy moly did I fall in love with that landscape.

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My mother was able to capture some amazing shots from the passenger seat including this one. Utah was a dream and Moab was incredible, I will return once I am able to accrue vacation time from work (I have to survive 6 months). Mulberry trees line the streets of Moab, thanks to the McDonalds lady who said we wouldn’t die of poisoning if we ate them, they were a great sweet treat!) Also Memorial Weekend is a horrible time to attempt to visit Arches National Park without much planning. The line to get in was at least an hour wait. Bleggh.

So once we got through Utah it was Idaho’s time to get conquered, and we drove straight through. By this point, I was tired of driving and being in the car. Guy and Tallulah were getting restless and we just wanted to get to Montana. When we finally reached Montana, it was dark and rainy. So we made the executive decision to stop in Dillon, MT and get a hotel for the night. Which was probably the smartest thing for us to do, because moving my bed into my house around a small neighborhood didn’t seem like a quiet or smart job at 2 am. So we rested, and we rested hard. I don’t really think we really exchanged words. Just some huffs and puffs and then snore central.

guy and tooters.PNG

Guy and Tallulah totally didn’t want to get up in the morning. But we did, and we drove through Montana. I immediately fell in love. It was flat in some parts, mountainous in others and it was just green. The views of the Rockies were incredible. Snow capped mountains off in the distance is one of my favorite sights to see. Let’s just say, from my house and my commute in the morning, I get to see those sights all the time. And it just makes my day so much better.

Okay, so let’s fast forward…. my house is cute and amazing and totally perfect for me and my animals so that’s awesome. Anaconda, MT is a cute little mountain town.

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Here’s a view of it from Mt. Carmel. My sister and I totally stumbled upon a cute cemetery nestled in the mountains and we were able to see this view. Absolutely breathtaking, and for the record, this picture was taken just after 8pm. So again, awesome.

My commute to the hospital is about 14 minutes, and the drive is just beautiful. So yeah you can say I’m falling in love with Montana. Everyone has been so extremely welcoming, from people at the grocery store I meet and people I meet at work. Even my patients, but we’ll see how quickly that’ll change. I haven’t reached the point of homesickness yet, but at times I do miss the heat. At night here it can get around 40 degrees. Wool socks and my space heater have saved me a couple of times. And the cold makes it hard to get up in the morning for work! But I’ll survive for now, the wintertime is another story.

So here ya go my friends, sorry this update has taken a little longer than I anticipated. I’ll be posting again soon about my Yellowstone trip and my introduction to working as a professional in a psychiatric hospital!

farewell friends,

Hannah 🙂

Five days

Howdy y’all!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty damn good and unfortunately I don’t remember much of it. I do know I had a lot of fun, barely spent any money and definitely woke up Sunday morning with a SERIOUS hangover. But shout out to my friends and family who came out to celebrate my last weekend in San Marcos, y’all are the best! 

Well in the midst of my serious hangover yesterday, I was able to get off work pretty quickly and I explored the area around my work property. I met some cows and longhorns and explored a flower field that was amazing. 


I made sure to stop and smell the flowers because I know I’m going to miss it. But who’s to say I won’t find a field like this in Montana? I’m getting more and more excited everyday it gets closer, but also more and more terrified. It still doesn’t feel real, it feels like I’m just going to summer camp for a little bit and then I’ll be back shortly. But I know that’s not the case. 

But this is huge for me, and I’m excited for this change. I have to make sure to pump myself up about this move because it’s past the point of no return. BUT I’m ready for it. I’m more nervous about becoming a recluse up there and how it could be hard to meet people since I’m no longer in college and I’m technically an adult now. But everyone tells me that it’ll be easy for me to meet people and that I’m a friendly person. I’ll be with friends in no time. So we’ll see! 

I’ll be posting again soon!

– adios, 

Hannah Montana 🙂