Oh baby!

After a careful, and completely thorough investigation, I am thrilled to confirm reports that Jefferson Jason Packard is one adorable kid. I flew out to Utah for a week between my spring and summer semesters, and I can't fathom a better greeting than Jefferson's hearty wails. Seems the young boy does not enjoy car trips, even ones to retrieve the much anticipated Aunt Lindy from the clutches of airline mayhem.

The trip was stuff dreams are made of. There are mountains! Holy hannah, the mountains! I do believe the good people of Utah take those for granted--my constant remarks on the landscape were met with luke warm acceptance. The very tops of the mountains were still covered with the last of the winter snow, and Jason took us all up there one night, and I got to tromp around in the stuff. It was amazing. You could hear it melting. And the fresh mountain smell! And the natural disasters! (An avalanche, to be precise. Jason related all the gory details to me.) In honor of the occasion (the occasion being the third time in my life to see snow) I built a little snowman. Alas, Jason has the picture, and all I can offer is words. He was about 9 inches tall, with long, somewhat twiggy arms, and big brown eyes. We christened him Ralphie, and he stands for honor and glory in the mountains of Salt Lake. (Shortly after this post, Jackie e-mailed me the pictures. So, there he is!)

Jackie and I had a smashing time. Oddly, we spent a lot of time in the mall. We're not usually the mall rat type, but we had errands to run, and the mall was the best place for it. I bought some shirts, the likes of which can only be found in the Mormon heartland. The shirts are long and sport conveniently capped sleeves. Truly a revolution in casual attire.

One of our trips to the mall, involved picking out outfits for Jefferson and his two year old cousin Kaden to wear in pictures. While the mommies shopped, I was on stroller duty, hanging out with the kiddos, watching the elevator doors open. While I held a 2 month old baby in my arms, and discussed the elevator operating system at length with a 2 year old, a kindly woman changed my life. She conversationally asked, "Are they both yours?" I answered, "Nope! I'm the aunt." And although this was the sum of our short conversation, it hit me with some gravity. Someday, I will be that mommy. But my goodness, when I am that mommy, I will seriously rethink taking two small children to the mall by myself. And I would definitely invest in a tandem stroller. Using state of the art technology, I made a composite of all the possibilities. Pretty scary, yes?

Besides the snow, and errands in the mall, I was able to witness Jefferson's first experience with professional photography. The little guy truly handled it with grace. He was passed around, propped up with books, and placed trustingly into the strapping arms of a two year old, all in the name of art and documentation. It was definitely not the most enjoyable experience of Jefferson's young life, but the photographer captured his true personality beautifully. What a charming young lad!

All good things must come to an end. My trip is over, and summer session is in full swing. My Spanish class is shaping up to be one of the more challenging experiences in my life thus far. I can now tell you that "Me llamo Lindy" and "Mi nombre es Lindy" but never "Mi llamo es Lindy". That was a pretty big breakthrough. The differences are subtle, but important. :)