Winter Engagement Session at Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge | Lauren & Ethan

When Jake and I went out to the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge in Stevensville, we didn’t expect we would get so lucky! When we rolled up there was frost covering every leaf, blade of grass and pine needle! It was truly the most gorgeous time for Lauren and Ethan’s winter engagement session. Was I out there an hour before the photoshoot taking pictures of literally EVERYTHING with frost on it? Yes. Yes I was.


Ethan and I had planned on taking a day trip to soak and enjoy the delicious bloody mary’s at Quinn’s Hot Springs. It was late October and had been raining for days on end so we figured it would be a perfect activity to get us out of Missoula for the day. The night before I was doing something in our bedroom and noticed a fully packed duffel bag under our bed. I assumed this was the duffle that Ethan had taken on a trip weeks prior and was annoyed he had yet to unpack.

I opened up the duffle planning to throw all of the clothes into his dirty hamper and when I unzipped it, I was surprised to see our Halloween costumes and a couple of random clothes in the bag. In my head, I thought, “What the heck is he doing/planning?!”

When I questioned him about it, he started laughing uncontrollably to hid his nervousness when finally he confessed that he had booked us a room for the evening and there was a halloween party that night we could go to.

Flash forward to the next day, it was beautiful and clear, perfect for a hike that Ethan had scoped out before we could check in. We stopped at Windmill Bakery to grab one of their world famous donuts (seriously if you have never had one before, go get one) and started towards Quinn’s. Since we had so much time to kill, I suggested we make a stop at the Bison Range since it was such a beautiful day, with the Mission Mountains pefectly clear in the distance. To our surprise, the longer loop that takes you along the west side of the Bison Range weas open and I had never driven it before. We made our way up until we almost made it to the top and decided to walk out to a vista point.

I got out of the car first and slowly hiked along, enjoying the day while Ethan sped ahead of me. When we made it to the end of the trail, I was looking around enjoying the views when I looked down and Ethan was on his knee!

I can’t remember much of what he said because I was too excitd and apparently kept repeating, “Are you serious?!” I finally said yes as we stood and enjoyed the moment together, taking in the sunshine and mountain views. We never made it to the halloween party, but instead enjoyed wine by the river , enjoyed a delicious meal together and were in bed by nine. Typical.

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