Katlyn Murnion holds her niece, Andrea Loriene Wood, who was born on Friday, Jan. 17.

ROY, Mont. – Murnion nation grew by one on Friday, Jan. 17.

Rex and Lori’s oldest daughter, Kristen and her husband Doug, welcomed a beautiful baby girl on possibly the coldest day of the year.

“We had 50 mile per hour winds and it was 30 below,” Katlyn said of the day her niece was born.

The Murnion cattle hunkered down in the wind breaks to ride out the storm and they showed no interest in coming out, even for feed, so the Murnions loaded up and drove to Lewistown, Mont., to welcome the family’s new addition.

The weather broke in the afternoon, so everyone headed back to the ranch because, you know, the cows still have to be fed.

The middle of January saw a wicked cold streak hang over central Montana. Subzero temperatures and wind gusts made feeding and caring for livestock that much more difficult. Angie had a drawn-out battle with a couple of faulty tank heaters and a frozen water tank, but ultimately, the scrappy, middle daughter of Rex and Lori came out victorious and was pleased to announce the animals in the corral had access to fresh water.

The cold didn’t hang around for too long, thank goodness. Katlyn reported on Monday, Jan. 20, that the following week was supposed to get nearly up into the 50s. The warmth came just in time for her to start night calving.

“Tonight is going to be my first night and it should be nice,” Katlyn said.

Angie still has a little bit before she has to start calving herself, but unlike Katlyn, Angie has technology to help her night calve. The Murnions invested in a nice camera system that allows them to scan the majority of their cow herd from the comfort of their nice, warm home. It has certainly made calving less stressful. The camera system not only feeds images to a TV in the house, but the Murnions can also watch the calving lot from their phones.

Since things are relatively calm on the home front, and a state-of-the-art camera system allows them to keep a watchful eye on the place, Rex and Lori decided to take a much-needed vacation. They left the end of January for a fishing trip down in sunny Arizona.

Angie will be completely on her own while her parents are gone, but so far, everything has been going well. The calves have picked up and aren’t as sick anymore, the water tanks are unthawed and the weather is supposed to hold. Angie will just need to keep animals fed, a task she is very qualified to do.

“That’s the bad thing about that camera system though, Dad will look at his phone and know instantly if something’s not right,” Angie admitted with a grin.

Things might be slow and steady on the ranch, but life around the Murnions is starting to pick up speed. Rex and Lori’s youngest daughter, Kendra, kicked off her college track season the weekend of Jan. 10. Her track meets don’t often happen anywhere close to Roy, Mont., but supporting family has always been a top priority for the Murnions. Lori and Rex will try to make a meet or two before the end of the season and Katlyn and Angie love to watch their sister if the opportunity ever arises, as well.

With nice weather on the horizon, a new addition to the family and calving season right around the corner, life seems to be pretty dang good for the Murnion family.

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