12 Years Ago....

Twelve years ago this summer, I met these 2 wonderful girls. We traveled abroad to Europe together with a study abroad program. Caren and Julie had already been long time friends, but the 3 of us instantly hit it off. We had the times of our lives living with French families, drinking in the culture, traveling on weekends to other countries, and just discovering another way of life completely! Our summer experience was one of the best times of my life - I long to travel back to France one day to show Mark & my boys the wonderful places I went as a 21year old girl. Our summer in France has forever bonded me to these girls. Caren and I were roomates together after college and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. Julie & I both traveled to Switzerland to be bridesmaids in Caren's wedding. We were able to get together last week as a threesome and reminisce. We had a grand time in giggles - looking back at pictures from 12years ago and sharing our different versions of the same stories!! Wow, how different our lives are now!!! I wonder what our lives will look like 12 years from now......
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Judd Home Grown 'Maters, Part III

The tomato posts are complete -(aren't you glad?), I have now harvested my first tomato. What a wonderful feeling!! We enjoyed some sliced tomatos with one summer supper and it was great!!! I can't wait to enjoy many many more (there are a couple more almost ripe for the pickin'!)

There she is, ready to be picked!

Anderson showing off my harvest! ; )

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The Judds new home!

Well, here it is! Our new home. It's been a crazy 1st week but we are getting settled and I am proud to say that most of the boxes are unpacked and we are making good progress towards being settled. From the above picture, we've already done a bit of yardwork - Mark gave the hedges some good haircuts and I cleared out an island and have planted some lantana and a couple rose bushes -already an improvement! The boys rooms are coming along and we will likely start painting Anderson's room in the coming days. We've hit the neighborhood pool everyday and the boys are loving it (as am I!). We simply load up the wagon, including a heavy 2 year old, and walk on over. The boys are LOVING their new playset and I'm working on my ability to let Anderson go outside and play on it by himself. I think I'm there, but it was a stretch for me. We've hit our new YMCA several times as I am sampling the class schedule offerings. The boys already enjoy going to the Y - and now they actually go to separate 'classes' which Anderson is thankful for. We've had our 1st near catastrophe yesterday when we came downstairs with some friends to find our entire kitchen under water. Apparently a hose wasn't on tight enough, and it decided to dump gallons upon gallons of water on my tile floor. I'm grateful that the water didn't get to our hardwood floors or our carpet, and I'm also thankful that the 'incident' happened during the day and not at night when it could have put my whole home under water, also tremendously grateful that we had friends over at the time for the extra help!!! Gotta love these opportunities to grow in patience! I hope to post pictures of INSIDE our home once these are a bit more settled!
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Blankie love

I kid you not, Anderson took a 1hour nap in the car just like this! I thought at first maybe he was joking, but after a bit I realized he was fast asleep!
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Do you recognize her?

That's Superwoman - my sister-in-law Monica. When we began our planning for the big 'move', I had asked her if Anderson could come spend several days with them knowing he might 'blend' in with their 4 children - she didn't hesitate for a minute. The original plan was that my mom would watch Carter - who can be a bit of a handful at times (hello, he just turned 2!); however, my grandfather has been ill and my mom wasn't able to watch Carter, so with that -I asked Monica if she'd be willing to watch Carter too - and again, she said - I'm willing to give it a try! I am so grateful to Monica for her servant's heart - I don't know how we would have managed if we had to take the boys to VB with us! Monica gave us great reports on the boys -they were having a blast with their cousins. In fact, in the end, Mark & I were worried that they weren't going to want to come home with us. Thank goodness -they were willing!!!! We love you Monica (and Brian too!)
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To spend a few minutes with good friends, we pulled together a last minute, no kids allowed dinner at California Pizza Kitchen in downtown Virginia Beach. We had a great time and enjoyed great conversation - as much as I LOVE our crazy dinners with bouncing kiddos and highchairs and spilled drinks, I really enjoyed this quiet evening with friends. These were some of our great friends from small group. Such amazing friends.

the girls

the guys
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It's so hard to say goodbye...

On Monday evening we began our adventure of moving out of our dear Virginia Beach home of 5+ years. We drove to Charlotte where we left Anderson & Carter with Mark's older brother's family where they would play with their 4 cousins for several days while we packed up the home where we brought them home from the hospital. While I knew it was the only thing that made sense, I hated that the boys didn't get one last farewell to their 1st home, but I knew that it would take us twice the amount of time & patience if we had little boys in tow! Tuesday afternoon we got to Va Beach where we drove straight to Mark's twin's home to meet our new nephew (see previous post), then we headed to good ole Kempsville Greens to begin the packing & moving process. We took a couple hour break on Tuesday nite to visit with some dear friends, but let's just say by Tuesday nite I was completely overwhelmed at the state of my house. Wednesday we were joined with a force of family members and wonderful friends to get the job done. By Wednesday nite my home was practically packed up in one big Penske truck. Thursday a.m. brought last minute tasks for the bright and early walk-thru and one last stroll thru a home that we have such dear memories of. First, I walked to each room in the home and took a mental snapshot and then allowed my favorite memories to flood my heart - as my eyes welled with tears. The few days prior had been all-business for me - no emotion - Mark had tried to take me down memory lane a couple times, but I dismissed his prods - not wanting to give in, but when I did give in to the memories, I was just overwhelmed. As much as I would complain about our home - the white tiles and white carpet that nearly killed me, I absolutely adore that home. That home represents so much to me - a time period where not only did my family grow, but I grew in many ways -on many many levels. So with that, I need to end this post as I feel those familiar tears welling up once again.

here's the parting shot with a full Penske to drive 10hours!

wow, can you beleive it?
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Aunt to the 6th Power!

Hooray! - I've become an aunt again for the 6th time! Mark's twin brother and his wife Rebekah welcomed their 2nd child, Adam on June 9th! He is my second nephew and we were so happy to get to meet the little man in his 1st week of life! He is precious - tons of hair and just a sweet little guy. I took a turn changing his diaper and it took me forever - it's amazing how not changing a newborn's diaper in 2 years can make you kinda slow! I hate to think of how much he'll have changed the next time we see him!

Proud Aunt Heather & Adam

me & Mark with Paul & Rebekah's new addition!

Mark getting his baby fix on...
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More Choking Hazards, please

I keep a tin in the pantry that stores the Judd candy supply - usually it's the candy the boys get from holidays. For the 1st time in I dont' know how long, our supply is dwindling. I usually sort out the gum or the choking hazards, but sometimes I think, we'll I could cut that candy in two so it's not a choking hazard. Well on several recent trips to the candy tin, Anderson has picked out candy that are considered choking hazards, in my book. I indicated to him, OK you can have that - but I have to cut it first- I explained what a choking hazard is and why he can't have those candies or his little brother.

This morning Anderson to mommy:
"Mommy, can I please have a choking hazard this morning?"

I nearly fell out in giggles! It's like an exclusive treat to him now!


Judd home grown maters, part II

So recall my original post http://thevabeachjudds.blogspot.com/2009/04/judd-home-grown-maters-part-i.html, well check out my awesome "mater" now - she has several big green tomatoes and I'm hoping that they'll start reddening soon! I can hardly wait! Hopefully soon I'll get to post a pic of me taking a big honkin' bite of a mater!!!

Unfortunately I don't have the same good news to share about Anderson's plant. While he nurtured and watered his plant, it just didn't thrive. His plant is still alive, yet he's not very pretty. There's still hope.
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So Wednesday was my bday (argh), and I had a great day that seemed to be all about food (of course!). After an amazing bday breakfast prepared by my awesome hubby, we headed to the pool with some friends. My friend suprised me with a bday cake with the initials 'H.B' on it - so I got it -ya know, H B Happy Birthday...., well my friend said, yes, but Happy Birthday H Bomb. I've been laughing about it ever since. I'm lovingly referred to as H bomb by many friends and often sign my name H bomb. Too funny. That evening we decided to be daring and head out to dinner for a bday dinner - what a disaster - besides the delicious food and fabulous company (my sister-in-law Katie Beth joined us), the meal was crazy because Carter refuses to be contained in a highchair and then Anderson seems to feed off of Carter's fits. So frustrating - I know the restaurant couldn't WAIT for us to go. Once we were in the car Mark & I looked at each other and said 'that's why we don't go out to eat- I remember now!!!!!!!!!!!!'. Anyhow, it was still a wonderful day and perfectly fitting for our boy-crazy life we lead! I wouldn't have it any other way (hmmmm...)....

Oh, and don't ask me how old I am - I'll lie. Only kidding, but seriously not thrilled with the idea of birthdays for me anymore.

Oh, and what did Mark get me for my bday - a House!!!!!!!!!!!!! (yoohoo!)

our pitiful attempt at a family picture - this pretty much captures how our evening went....

my wonderful sis-in-law Katie-Beth (love you girl!)
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Biker Dudes

For Carter's bday, he got a push tricycle - where it appears that mommy or daddy do all the work! It's a great alternative to a stroller and eventually he'll get the swing of the pedals, but until then.... we obviously had to go what is lovingly referred to in my home as the 'racetrack' (aka local elementary school walking track) so the boys could try out Carter's new wheels....

Anderson blazing by me on his bike - I need to make him wear his kneepads - YIkES!
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Let the celebration begin!

We had a mini birthday bash in Jacksonville to celebrate Carter's 2nd birthday (June 3rd) - I just wanted to call a couple of hours (or how about 30minutes) special for my little man.

the cupcakes - please tell me you can see the "2"!

getting ready to attack!

silly Daddy animatedly (I'm sure I just made up that word) reading a sweet bday card to Carter from his Nana & Papa

my sweet sweet boy

proud big brother

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My 2 Little Fish

WARNING: Proud Mom Alert
Boy oh boy do my little men love to swim. I love that they love the water and enjoy swimming as much as I do. Many of my fondest memories from growing up were at the pool. We spent everyday of the summer at the pool for several hours a day - in addition to swim team early mornings, late nite swim meets, etc. Some of my 1st jobs involved my love of swimming - lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons... In my family, summer = pool.

1 fish 2 fish 3 fish

baby fish
This visit to Jacksonville, Anderson was able to dive in and swim all by himself to the other side of the pool - all in the 'deep end'. It was so great not having to be 'in' the water with him. Of course we were always right there, and I often stood by the edge with a noodle, "just in case", but my little fish never needed my assistance. This is going to be a great summer at the pool for him and I think it will be a breakthrough year for his swimming skills!
Carter, like his brother, wasn't bashful at all with the pool- he is just as fearless of the water as Anderson was as a young toddler. He will totally go and 'jump in' the pool even if you aren't there. A bit scary - suffice to say, he is always within arm's reach anywhere near the pool. Jeepers!!!!!
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JAX Beach

We headed to Jacksonville for several days to spend some time with some of Mark's family - to get some much needed rest & relaxation (though I'm not sure watching 2 Judd boys in the pool is relaxing, but nonetheless..... One evening we headed to the oceanfront to listen to some music and stick our feet in the sand....

I just thought this was a sweet photo of my little man holding Nana's hand...

all the ladies- me, Katie-Beth, Jessica, Peggy & Cathy (aka Nana)

the Judd men -this is the only shot I could get of them - Anderson wasn't in a picture taking mood (rawrr!)

Papa showing Anderson how to look for sharks' teeth....
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Memorial Day Fun

We joined up with our soon to be neighbors, the O'Neills for some Memorial Day fun - my friend Jill got some fantastic pics with her nice camera that I can't wait to share (can you say AMAZING), but in the meantime, here are just a couple of random pics from the good ole 5year old Canon which has snail-speed shutter speed (oh well)! Brian & Jill are moving to a new home that will be only a few miles away from our hopeful new home. We had a blast -as usual- and if changing the boys rain soaked muddy clothes 2x is any indication, I think Anderson & Carter had a blast too!

Carter getting a baseball tutorial from Daddy

Anderson & Evan enjoying some dirt cups -complete with gummy worms 'oozing' from the dirt

all our boys racing - On your mark, Get set ...
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I'm Ready!

I just couldn't resist snapping this pic of Carter in the car - - we were on the way to the baseball field somewhere to let the boys run around with their 'equipment' and I just love how Carter was sitting in the car holding tight to the bat & ball -all set & ready to "PLAY BALL"!
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