Sunday, September 26, 2010

Don't mess... With Texas!


The final stop on my adventure was San Antonio, TX. My sister and brother-in-law were taking their oldest up to my old stompin' grounds, BYU-I. That's right, I have a niece in college!!!! I know it's so weird to me too. Even weirder... She started dating a return missionary not long after she moved in. I don't know if I am ready to handle all this just yet. :/

So while they were on the road I played mom for a week and a half to my sister's 3 younger children. We covered the whole spectrum from High School drama queen, to worry-some Jr. High schooler, to a weather obsessed 8 yr old. We had a good time, getting to and from school, seminary, piano lessons, young womens and scouts. We rented movies and ate ice cream... Apparently they only get one bowl of ice cream a week, and for any of you that know me that's just preposterous, so when I got the ice cream out the 2nd time my niece said, "are we allowed to have ice cream again?" I said, "Amanda, I eat ice cream just about every day, your parents aren't here so if you want some I don't care if you take some." haha (Shhhh don't tell Shannon!) haha Then there's my nephew who has become obsessed with the weather channel and at first it was cute but then after about a couple days or so, and having heard them talk about hurricane Katrina for the 10th time in just a day or so I had about had it. I tried to get him to watch something else like the Discovery channel. Man vs. Wild was on and I said, "Spencer, you should totally watch this, it's so manly! Cool people watch this." it worked for about an hour, he admitted it was a cool show but then went right back to the weather. Baby steps I guess. He's so cute though, he has some of the most sincere comments that just come out so hilarious. He made me laugh numerous times.

My first day there, the kids were all at school and I was looking around for some movies to watch and I bent over to pick up a CD case, my big butt hit the arm rest of the recliner and launched me forward into the china hutch. And that's where this lovely beauty mark came from.

It bled pretty quickly and swelled up a bit.
The kids came home from school and seemed more embarrassed that I was wearing a butterfly bandage than they were concerned for my pain. Spencer came home and said, "Do you notice anything different about me?" I said, "no... but do you notice anything different about me?" He just looked at me weird and said, "uh you have something on your face" haha And then quickly moved on to show me what was different about him. He went into the kitchen and found the heaviest thing he could find and picked it up and said, "now do you notice what's different about me?" I quickly realized he was proud of his strength and that he must have had some fitness test at school that showed he'd gained some muscle since the last test. haha It would have been great if I had caught him flexing in the mirror after that.

It healed pretty nice, got a bit of a black eye, and now I have a nice scar, nothing a little make-up can't cover.

I took the kids out to Jason's Deli one night and my nephew said, "YES! Mandy, you just went up on the coolness meter." That's right. I'm the cool aunt. haha It went up and down throughout the week. He even drew a diagram of the Coolness Meter at one point. Kaitlin (the freshman) had a really good quote, "I want to go to Ireland to get an accent. I have the strawberry blond hair, freckles, and blue eyes I'm a total shoe-in!" I asked, "Shoe-in?" She replied, "Yeah. I use big words." bahahahaha!

On my last day there we decided we wanted to go out with a bang so I took the kids to a movie they'd been wanting to see. We were late leaving, then made some wrong turns thanks to Kaitlin's map reading skills, then we got caught in traffic and it just got to the point we were missing the movie so we decided to go to the next showing. So to kill time we went to dinner at Chik-fil-A, we told Spencer to go be his cute-self and ask if they give out free ice cream cones. He went up and said, "do you sell free ice cream cones?" they thought he was so cute that they gave him two. haha We bought some candy and then went to the movies, of course my phone died before we went to dinner so I was trying to go off of memory from what I saw on the map. We totally went the wrong way and found ourselves at Rudy's The Worst BBQ in Texas (Which is really the BEST BBQ place ever!) and I had to stop and ask for directions. Finally we found the theater and I said, "This movie better be good to make all of this worth it!!" We saw Ramona and Beezus, and we all really enjoyed it so it was totally worth it! And we had fun in the car being loud and annoying, it was fun even though getting lost was frustrating, it just added to the adventure! ha Then heading home we got lost again heading into downtown, definitely the wrong location. We again pulled over to get gas and ask for directions and we finally made it home in one piece. It was a good adventure to end on. After being gone for exactly a month I finally made it back to FL. I had a few days to chill and then I started up a new job. I miss all the free time. :( Oh well you do what ya gotta do! Anyway thanks for the good times in Texas Landen's!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Part II: California


I drove from AZ to CA with my parents and spent the week hanging out until Brandon got there the week later.  First on the list of things to do was see my good friend Sarah and her Husband.  They have a new little guy that I hadn't met yet so it was fun getting to catch up and just chill... As a side note, it's Sarah's birthday today so HAPPY BIRTHDAY friend!!!! :) You'll forever be older than me. heehee ;) Anyhoo... Sarah is great with cutting hair and took the liberty of giving me a new do! :)

Happy day!
After the haircut Sarah's parents took us out to In-N-Out for dinner.  They're so great! :) The rest of the week was pretty chill, taking prego pics of my cute friend Meredith, check them out here if you haven't seen them yet, along with hanging out at the mall with her.  I also took pics of Sarah and her cute little family.  Then I spent time with my parents going to Sushi and the movies, we saw The Other Guys, kinda funny but more ridiculous than anything!  But needless to say I was a busy little bee and tried to cram a bunch of stuff in.  I was also very blessed to attend my friend Jen's wedding while I was in town.  I was so bummed I was going to miss it but turns out by miraculous circumstances I was in town!   There were 27 weddings going on the same day, I had never seen the temple so crowded or have heard it so loud inside from all the people visiting and waiting.  The ceremony itself started an hour late.  It was crazy!!! But I'm so glad I got to be there!  Here's some shots from her big day.
    
  

Totally opposite from the wedding I was at the week before in 100+ degree weather!

I'm pretty sure I would have cried if the temple was like this on my wedding day. :/

I love you Jen! I'm so happy for you!!!
Next, Brandon came to town and we spent the week in Corona.  Funny story about that... Brandon friend requested this guy named Greg thinking he was someone else.  Greg emailed him back saying, "Do I know you?" yeah a bit awkward.  But Greg got to looking at Brandon's Facebook page and noticed they had a lot of mutual friends in the Wakeboarding world and then he noticed he was LDS and it just so happened Greg is too!  So him and Brandon became instant friends and they offered Brandon to come out and wakeboard for the week.  So we stayed with them (Greg, his awesome wife Rachelle and their 3 super cute little boys Zachry, Colin and Asher) for the week having fun wakeboarding everyday and going to dinner and renting movies, playing with the kiddos and Rachelle and I reading books and talking about anything and everything.  Basically Greg and Rachelle are Brandon and my twins.  It's like they are us just 8 years further down the road.  So it was a blast!

                  
  
Their dad promised them they would go fishing.  The guys got back later than expected and the poor kids waited so patiently all day.  So... Wha-LA! They went fishing. :)

Colin REALLY liked his dinner...

Yep I got rocked by an 8 yr old in Sequence

Poor Zachry ate it on the skateboard and the asphalt won.  And of course this happened right before they were supposed to leave for a wedding...

My husband, killin it!


Eric Nolan, one of the greatest friends ever! He got up before the sun even came up just to come chill on the boat and spend time with us since he knew that was the only chance he'd get to see Brandon before he went back to FL.  Eric you rock and we love you!!!


Can you tell he's tired?

Greg Solesbee, Brandon's brother from another mother

Now can you tell Eric is tired? haha


Self-portrait
Colin. Such a stud!
Brandon coaching Colin. Both Zachry and Colin got up!

Zachry in Brandon's hat

I'm so happy to be awake and on a boat at 4:30 in the am


 

 One of the best mom's I know! 
Good morning boys!!!
And that pretty much concludes our CA experience! It was a blast seeing all our family and old friends and at the same time making new friends!  Thanks again to Greg and Rachelle for being so hospitable and so awesome. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Judd's Travel Log

Alright I've got some catching up to do! I know some of you have been wondering where on Earth I've been the last month, I think I will break these posts up by each state. So without further adieu...

Originally my trip was supposed to last just a few days while I went to my cousin's wedding. You already saw my awesome 1st class flight :) So we'll just start out after landing in AZ.

Photoshopped by me. Pictures taken by who knows.
I landed and then waited an hour for my parents to drive in from CA, they left late (what else is new?) but it was only an hour, lets be honest we all know it could have been A LOT worse. ;) We drove straight from the airport to the bridal shower. The next day was the wedding. I think I heard we missed the hottest day of August by 1 degree. Awesome. The sealing wasn't until 4:30 in the afternoon (so it would be "cooler") and they had a wedding planner so we basically had the day to chill. Mike and Emily decided to come last minute so I was excited to see one of my siblings while I was out west. (Little did I know I'd see all my siblings but one on my trek)

The happy couple
(Picture not taken by me, they took pictures a couple days before, and in the morning when it was in the 80's. My cousin is so smart!)
Stacie's brother, Ryan, is on his mission in Ukraine so they had a life size cut-out :)
It was so hot outside we decided to go get something refreshing to cool us off. One of my cousins told us to follow them to according to him "the best gas station" I didn't know there was such a thing. It seemed like we drove forever and we began to wonder how great this place must be for us to be driving so far just to get some drinks. Finally we made it to QT and we were not disappointed! It was the best gas station I had ever been too!

Coolest machine ever! You make your own Milkshake. It does everything for you!

Mike enjoying his Butterfinger Milkshake
Next was the reception. It was simple in an elegant and beautiful way. It was in a church building, assigned seating. And in each corner there was a white tent with a pretty chandelier hanging from each tent, under one was the cake, another they served Italian Sodas (my favorite part mmmmmm!) And awesome food, and a salad table etc. Each table setting had a piece of paper placed at it. On one side was the game that had funny sentences that sounded like common phases, you know like the game Mad Gab, they were all wedding/relationship type phrases. Then on the other side was a crossword puzzle about Stacie and Jesse. And then the best part... They played Minute To Win It games! It was awesome!

The bride and I

My cuz Mindy. I miss her!
video
Stacie and Jesse up against each other for the final Minute To Win It game to declare the winner. (sorry I ran out of space on my SD card so I didn't get a full video) They wound up in a draw (point-wise) so they both won prizes... I'm pretty sure it was planned that way. ha

The rest of the trip was way fun. I went shopping with my mom and sister-in-law, took the Watkins pictures which you can see here. We also got to visit with my Grandma Clement, and cleaned out her OLD camper that had every relief society roll and minutes for the last 40 years or more! My dad and brother had their own little adventure with the trailer that would take too long to tell here but it's a good one! It involves some crack heads... You know it's gotta be good when it involves crack heads. ha Also on the agenda, my Aunt's step-son came home from his mission so we went to his homecoming and made our own Cafe Rio sweet pork tacos and salads, it was truly yummy! And for the first time my cousins kids wanted attention from me :) Usually they kinda do their own thing or get attention from people they know a lot better than me, so it was fun to get to play with them.

Ashley's little boy, Slade. (my phone doesn't take the best photos)
Morgan at dinner with the cousins
I was scheduled to fly home August 8th but Brandon was going to CA for work and I really wanted to go with him, plus my sister needed me to babysit her kids at the end of the month in TX. So we decided to cancel my return flight. Bye bye 1st class :( And instead drove to CA with my parents and had my sister get my ticket from CA to TX then on to FL... So the travel log continues... in the next post!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Signs of Neglect...

I have clearly been showing signs of neglect to my blog!  I've been out and about for a month going from this place to that and it's kept me pretty busy.  I'm finally home and have plenty to post but I need to get some stuff done first since tomorrow I start my new job which means I no longer have the day to do whatever I want. :( 

In the mean time, check out Jimmie & Me for all kinds of fun updates!  I'll be back here soon... I hope! :/