I am still trying to organize this website. I want to differentiate between my personal photos and adventures, and the photos I take for others. I'm going to try to do that here. This "personal" page will be all of the Judd Family's goings on. I'm not sure what to call it yet; this is all constantly evolving.
Annie learned to write her "A" for Annie. Michelle taught her to say, "upppp, downnnnn, anda yiinnne (line). uppp, downnn, anda yiinnne." She did it over and over again and couldn't have been more pleased with herself. All of the drawings below are hers.
This is only one example of the endless fun we enjoyed in Provo the week of graduation.
We arrived so late (or I guess, early…) to Jessi’s house, after driving 15 hours allonnne (thanks to Costco fruit snacks that I passed to the back seat with any sign of the slightest whimper) and she greeted us with open arms and lots of kisses. She grabbed the babies while I unloaded the car and then we sat on the couch for hours talking about the latest.
The morning we woke in Provo was a breath of the freshest air: we made oatmeal, stepped outside the front door to play on the grass in the sunlight, walked up and down the walkway and driveway barefoot and in pajamas. When I needed something from the car I walked straight to it and grabbed it. The girls meandered in the house and out of the house. I sat on the porch and watched. Observed. Enjoyed. Listened. Watched. Breathed. Sat. Observed. Listened. Enjoyed. Breathed.
One of my first thoughts was, "How do I not live in the most family friendly place on earth where my mortgage - for a house 7 times the size of my 1-bedroom apartment - would be less than my rent?" And then all I could do was laugh...
I got in touch with families I used to work with, saw friends and former roommates (and their babies I hadn't met yet), and hung with my family for the week. Life was the dreamiest of the dreamy. The rec center really is the place to be. While swimming there Annie saw a kid go down the water slide. She said she wanted to but I told her she had to walk up the stairs where the big bucket of water falls on your head, where she previously didn't want to go. She walked straight up the stairs. I thought she was going to go down the green slide so I was waiting at the end of it. When I saw her go down the blue slide I was running through the water to be there on the other end because I assumed she didn't know what she was getting herself into... Right before I turned the corner to see her come out the end of it I heard it: her scream - the exact same sound I heard the second she came out of me; she was clearly dying. Her face turned bright red, her mouth opened wiiiiiide, and her lips turned purple. She screamed and screamed waddling towards me in her shorts and puddle jumper. I, with a huge smile on my face said, “Yay! Annie!!!! You did it!!!!! You went down the slide all by yourself!!!!!! Do you want to tell daddy you went down the water slide all by yourself?!” She was screaming and saying, “No, no! Abba , abba (arriba, arriba)!”) When something "bad" happens I always start clapping and telling the girls how great they did and "I can't wait to tell dadddy!!!!" and "you did it all by yourself!!!!" while they are begging to be held and cuddled. I like to talk them up and tell them how awesome they were and ask if they want to do it again. She said, "no." After a minute of her huge, wide-mouthed crying she stopped, smiled at me, and said pointing every which way, "I did it! I doe down da syide! Wa-doe (water) my nose!!!" And then I scooped her up and talked about how fabulous I think she is and how she did it all by herself.
After our fun swimming we headed to Kristina’s house where I said I would be there at 5:30pm. I hadn’t changed my car clock, my watch, or my phone to UT time and I told Kristina we would be a bit late because the girls went swimming. We arrived at her house an hour and a half late!! I didn't realize until we had already been there a bit and I saw the clock on her stove. Kristina was my roommate my first semester at BYU-I in 2003 and we have stayed in contact forever. I love her. After visiting Kristina we headed to Mark and Becky’s house to say hi to the kids and chat with all of them!! Going to Mark and Becky’s house throws me back in time 6 years. Tyler and I moved there for a few months when he transferred to BYU and I was working in Orem at Kids on the Move. We were looking for a place and they so graciously allowed us to stay there for the interim. It’s fun to go back “home.” When I did my student teaching at West Kearns Elementary, in a 2nd grade Spanish Dual Immersion classroom, we stayed with Becky's mom and dad in Taylorsville. That family is the most generous family around and Tyler and I will forever be thankful for their housing us all of those months.
Again, after arriving at Jessi's house we sat on the couch to gab and and then headed to bed. This time Annie wouldn't let Jessica sleep upstairs on the couch, she had to sleep on the floor with Annie. "I want Jessi. I want Jessi." Kate fell asleep in my bed, which I knew would be a nightmare. It sounds so romantic: baby falling asleep snuggled up close with her mama. Maybe it would be if Kate didn't roll across the entire floor while she sleeps, or spread her arms and legs out wide, or kick you in the face, or roll over you and fall off the bed. Anyway, I woke up to her crying in the middle of the night because she was wedged between the wall and me, her arms straight above her head, unable to move due to lack of space. I put her on the floor with Annie and Jess and she slept the rest of the night with the freedom to roll all over the place.
The next morning, Thursday, Jessica went to the Provo airport to pick up Michelle and Luke. Michelle had forgotten Luke's carseat in the hustle of loading a baby on the plane. We finally found one, thanks to an amazing friend, and played the morning away with chalk, balls, and sunshine. We headed to Cupcake Chic where our good friend works and ate treats. We grabbed groceries and headed to the Airbnb to check in. It was the cutest Airbnb ever - a brick victorian loaded with swings, dollhouses, and located only a couple blocks from center street. Tyler's parents arrived that night, Tyler flew in as well, and the party officially started.
On Friday we celebrated the graduates! Tyler and Jessica walked at graduation. He was able to walk with her, in her college, because he didn't walk when he graduated (I had just had Annie weeks before graduation and couldn't leave my house ever due to her not being able to eat/nurse/latch, etc.) We took loads of pictures and then went home and slept. Everyone took a huge nap, we watched the olympics, and that night went to Rancheritos for dinner.
Saturday was loaded with more fun. We were invited to breakfast at some close friend's cabin near Sundance. We ate delicious food, played at a nearby swing set, then hiked Stuart Falls. I frequently want to ask people for their email addresses so I can take their photo and send them to them! There is a photo below of a string of people walking in the valley with the mountains behind. If that is you I'll send the photo to you - haha!
The hike and fun was followed up with the splash pad and pizza at the Riverwoods, in addition to shopping at Called to Surf for new dresses, or "dwesses" as Annie would say. When we went home the babies napped and Michelle, Jessica, and Tyler went surfing back at the Riverwoods. The photo of the girls swimming in the "no swimming or splashing" zone is right before I told Annie and Kate they couldn't swim there. There happened to be another man telling his boys they couldn't swim there. I was following the wording along with my hand and reading it to Annie. She kept asking me, "Dat yay-dee say no? Dat yay-dee say no?" I just laughed at her. Then she started reading the words, moving her hand along the wording, "Daaat yayy-dee sayyyy noooooo (That lady say no)." As she read it multiple times.
My brother drove down from Logan to hang with us that night. We spent the evening on a walk to the Provo City Center Temple, eating creamery ice cream, and watching more olympics.
The last image in the set is of Tyler and his sisters. I took this photo because Chantal asked for it and said, "This has always been them - Tyler saying, 'guys come here! look at this!" And the girls getting in on whatever he has to show them." Some things never change, like Tyler's sweet relationship with each of his sisters, and that's why we had to have the photo.
Sunday was all about waking up slow, cleaning up, and prepping for each of our long drives back to Seattle and California. Tyler came back to Seattle and the girls and I drove with Jess home to CA. The week in Provo kicked off the last hurrah to an amazing summer, and the week in California only added to all of the fun.