Thursday, March 3, 2016

September Solo Sojourn South to See Some Sisters!

{okay, technically for that title to be correct I should have seen Eden instead of Quinn BUT it's easier to visit a teacher at work than it is a pediatric neurotrauma nurse (what's that? yes, my sister-in-law is amazing) aaaand let's face it, I've always thought of Quinn as more of a sister than a brother anyways ;)}

Well, since I'm leaving town this weekend to voyage into the wilds of Idaho with some girlfriends, I figured I should blog about the last time I left Chuck home with all four kids to remind myself a) how good it is for me to get away and b) that the kids will have a stellar time and hardly miss me because riiiight about now is when I start having anxiety about leaving my family. 

When I drove away on the aforementioned trip, it's possible that Carma and I were both crying and it's also possible that one of us got over it a bit quicker than the other, based on this text exchange from when I stopped for gas on the way out of town:
Luckily, minus some slightly weather-related slowdowns, the rest of my drive was smooth and tear-free and even included a D.I. stop, yay!

And at the end of the road was a reunion with the one and only Heidi, yayyyyy! We hadn't seen each other since she amazingly came up for my baby shower... a year and a half previously. Something about she graduated from college and moved to Boston and is a grown-up now. Whatev. Anyways, she was in Utah for a wedding and I obviously called dibs on some of her free time that week and I'm so glad I did!!
My visit was super low-key and poorly documented but so fun nonetheless. Some highlights: going for a walk because Courtney (wisely!) locks her door, the randomly high volume of water Utah received during my visit, corrupting Hudson with youtube videos, eating way too many of Courtney's amazing mint brownies, taking turns reading Mindy aloud and dying laughing, and just general bonding with Heid and Court, aka the best BFSCs ever. 

One of my favorite moments happened as the three of us drove up to Ogden one night - as per tradition, Heidi and I had the radio up and were belting out the song like our very. lives. depended. on. it. when from the backseat, Courtney, aka the voice of reason, pointed out that maybe we should find out WHY Adam Levine was getting locked away before we pledged that we'd love him the same hahahahaha.

  Another highlight of the trip was seeing Katie again and meeting Nora! Ohhhh she's a doll, and kept us all so thoroughly entertained during dinner with Gloria and Reed. Nora is just two weeks younger than Carma and it was so fun to notice their similarities and differences. One of these days we'll get the two of them together...
We laughingly lined up for pictures in front of the fireplace - where we used to make the guys line up for a picture before Priesthood session back in the days when we actually made it down for conference weekends. I'm so grateful for my friendship with all of these amazing Smith women!

Of course, seeing Nora did make me miss my kids even more, but luckily I was receiving reassuring texts from Chuck about their well-being... ha! Such a funny guy ;). (My very nice, not-old, sweet mom watched them Tuesday evening while Chuck was at the church for appointments.)
I did get some proof-of-life texts as well, which I was happy to return :).

I sneaked over one afternoon to see Melissa and Amanda and all the kids, which was SO fun. Melissa treated me to Fiiz, which I had never heard of (although it seems like it's steadily making its way north, so if it ever comes to Idaho I'll get to play it cool and be like, "Oh, Fiiz? Yeah, I've been there. Cool place, nice vibe. Good hot chocolate.")
 Mallory and I were having some slight difficulties coordinating our photogenic selfie game, but things improved once we added Courtney and Lily ;). You can tell this is before we sat down because Courtney is still willing to be seen with us - once we took our seats, some kids she knew from school came in and she immediately made every effort to act as if our sitting at a booth together was somehow assigned and she didn't know any of us hahahaha. I mean, it's possible I was talking loudly in an accent at that time, BUT WHEN DON'T I?? 

Oh man, talk about being grateful for friendships! I've talked about finding out on our first date that Chuck had two nieces and that allure of being an aunt right away - but I was also very psyched to hear about his two sisters. Amanda and Melissa are two of the most capable, thoughtful, generous, friendly, beautiful women I know and I love them both a ton. Also, I love how James senses he's the odd man out in this picture and is really working to hie his way out of it ;).
 Thursday morning I concluded my northern-ish Utah aspect of the trip (well, minus driving back through it later in the day...) and headed even more south to meet Quinner for lunch. Along the way I invited myself over to see my old BYU Deseret Towers neighbor Sherry! It was a random and quick visit but fun to see her in person after staying in touch via fb/blogs for the last 12 years :).

And then I rolled in to Quinn's school where they did everything short of taking a blood sample before letting me into the school (that's a lie, but I did have to enter my car make/model into their fancy computer, which then printed out a sticker ID for me) but it all made sense after I found Quinn's classroom unattended and promptly texted him pictures of me sitting at his desk and rifling through his wallet - no wonder they pegged me from the start as a security risk ;).
 Quinner and I lunched and chatted and laughed because we think we're hilarious and Quinn shared his chocolate chip cookies with me and then I punched him in the stomach in front of his students because he wouldn't stop clicking the camera button (I seriously have like twenty five versions of our selfie...) and I just love him and I wished I had planned better so that I had time to stick around town and see Eden and Isaac and Leila, but alas I had to hit the open road.

 Aaaand what a road it was! Seriously craziest range of skies ever (which I may or may not have photographed whilst driving.... but honestly, it's pressing like two buttons, you know? And I'll have you know that the first officer who ever pulled me over told me I was an excellent driver sooooo....). And of course I squeezed in possibly a couple more D.I. stops along the way :).
And then I made it home to my sweet babies and my even sweeter husband, who held down the fort amazingly well in my absence and will do so again this weekend :)... at least that's what I'll be chanting when I start feeling twitchy about leaving my five favorite people behind on Friday afternoon... but I think by the time I wake up Saturday morning after a solid night's sleep I'll be feeling pretty good about it haha. Yay for girl time away!


Ben and Courtney Hugo said...

My favorite moment is when Heidi realized that the loud music playing in the room was from her phone- hence two different songs playing at once. I'm laughing to myself just thinking about it. And also I want clarified that my house was locked because no one would tell me the plan or timing and after waiting around for hours I had to run to the store. I'm glad you came though.

Holly Cameron said...

Oh my goshhhh! That title though...and the explanation. Jana. I haven't even met like any of these utah people...but dang! I am dying laughing over here. They are freaking lucky to know you. Who am I kidding! I am freaking lucky. You and hiiiiilarious! I loove this. Your blog is just the best. And that pic of your kids on the tramp is too adorable!

jayna said...

That last picture is my favorite!! CHEEEEEESE!