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Many of my Twitter friends think that we live in a Hallmark card, as our small town in Montana is a very picturesque place.

Today was such a magical day that I decided to share it with you in photos. (And, if you make it to the end of the blog, there’s a musical present for you… or you could listen to it while you read through the blog and view the photos.)

As is the tradition in our family, Darryl and I reserved this day to find our Christmas tree. We left our home on Flathead Lake and headed into the Swan Mountains. The entire day was filled with one breathtaking sight after another. As we were driving from Bigfork to the Swan Valley, about 16 miles away, we passed five bald eagles, just hanging out in the snow.


As we arrived into the Swan Valley we went back into the woods on an unplowed road called Cilly Creek. As our tires broke through the foot-deep snow, our windshield was covered with the spray from blasting through the virgin snow.

It continued to snow from the two hours we were there, and Koda, Darryl and I just LOVED it! We were immersed in total silence- the only sound I could hear was the noise that the snow made as it hit my jacket. It was coming down so hard that on many of these photos you can actually see the streaks of the snow falling.


We hiked around the woods, sinking into more than a foot of snow with each step, looking for the perfect tree. Many times we found one that we thought was “the tree”, only to shake the snow from it’s branches to find a scraggly looking tree underneath the winter decoration. (Each year we invest in planting trees, a renewable resource.)


At one point Darryl and I were standing deep in a thick forest, when he pointed to a white area in the distance, through the trees. He hiked ahead and called for me to join him. The white area was a large open meadow, filled with 2′ bumps of snow that looked like moguls on a ski slope. But across the meadow, he spotted what looked to be the perfect tree. We hiked around the edge of the meadow, not knowing if there was water underneath the open area.

Sure enough, he had found the perfect tree! After clearing the snow from the branches and cutting down the tree, we exhausted ourselves dragging the tree through the meadow and back to the car.


Koda ran and played and thought this was the coolest place in the world!


But after two hours of extreme playing, he was one tired pup. He curled up in the snow and rested, looking a lot like a white wolf.


Our mission was accomplished. We’re headed home with the beautiful tree tied to the roof of the car.

What a perfect day!
(of course I’m saying this as I’m home, now dry, drinking cocoa by the fire… ah… finally warm again.)P1040867

As an early holiday gift, please enjoy the song below, Winter Wonderland, performed by our daughter, Carly.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter.

Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006.

Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love.

Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

This Post Has 7 Comments

    1. Miss Dazey,

      Yes, my daughter was a recording artist. She left the industry a few years ago when she got married, but we still get to enjoy her music. There’s more coming…. 🙂
      Hugs and thank you,

  1. What an adventure! It’s been years since I went out and got a tree like that. Happy to go to the local Farm Stand now. This is one of my favorite songs. Thanks for sharing! (and how fun for you to have such a talented daughter.)

  2. Dear Francie,

    Thank you for your kind comments. You are right- it was an adventure! I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful place where we can still do things like this.

    I’m glad you liked the song too. There are two more coming in the next few days that I think you will enjoy.

    Happy Holidays and hugs,


  3. That was a beautiful song by Carly! You have a very talented daughter! Thanks so much for sharing that and the lovely blog post about the Christmas tree excursion as well… very much enjoyed it.

    Happy Holidays,


    1. Dear Amy,

      Today’s project is to bring the tree into the house and decorate it. I’m sure it will look much different without all the snow covering the branches! Do you have your tree up yet?

      Hugs and thanks for your comment,

  4. Great photos of our Montana, Gail and Darryl! You have captured what we all love and respect in the magic of Montana!

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