Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin SHOW

While we've lived in the great state of Ohio, we have attended the Circleville Pumpkin SHOW (previously I've called it a Festival but I now stand corrected as it is a show and not a festival) twice before... we missed last year so we made sure to go this year. And we just got home. And it rained most of the time. And it was chilly. BUT there was delicious pumpkin food and fun friends to hang out with.

We obviously got our mini pumpkin donuts...

pumpkin donuts for the win!
And we also tried some pumpkin fudge (too rich), pumpkin pizza (surprisingly tasty), and pumpkin chili (tried before so nothing fancy).

There was more to do than eat... like looking at creepy face pumpkins.

the one with the hair might give me nightmares
And posing in front of a pyramid of pumpkins.

pretend this is a good shot...
We also watched a guy carve the outside of a giant pumpkin, saw a huge (disgusting looking) pumpkin pie (made with 96 lbs of cooked pumpkin), and saw some sweet homemade arts and crafts. All-in-all, a fantastic time. We will miss you Circleville Pumpkin Show.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cinci

It's hard to follow up that last blog post... because it was a bit of a downer. I turned off the comments before it was even published because I didn't write the post to get attention. I wrote it to get things off of my chest that had been brewing for weeks. It was cathartic and it may happen again in the future but only time will tell.

ANYWHO... despite hard things life does and will go on.

On Monday I had the day off and Brad decided to take the day off (wahoo for easy rotations) and we made a last minute trip to Cincinnati! Hooray for checking things off of our Ohio bucket list.

On our drive down we stopped at the outlet mall and spent way too much time shopping. Brad bought 7 board games. SEVEN. He might have a problem... but it both made us giggle (plus they were suuuuuuper cheap) so all is well.

Purple People bridge. Whaaat?!
Ohio River

Once we actually got to Cinci it was pretty late in the day but we were able to stop by our friends' place for an early dinner (thank you Tricia and Jon!). We then went to the Purple People bridge on the Ohio river. Apparently it is one of the nation's few pedestrian-only bridges and it connects Ohio to Kentucky. So we walked to Kentucky like the hardcore tourists we are. Once in Kentucky we went to a grilled cheese place called Tom & Chees and got ourselves a donut s'more (a donut cut in half with a smore inside {graham cracker included} - all grilled to perfection). Yessssss.

donut s'more. you jealous?

After we walked back from Kentucky (ha!) we went to Jungle Jim's (a ginormous grocery store with an amazing international foods section) and just went crazy. Seriously, we got so much junk food. But it is from other countries so we're like totally cultured and stuff. Fo' reals.

Brad was not excited to find his least favorite chunky corn drink beloved by the Bolivians
And then it was super late because we probably spent hours at Jungle Jim's so we headed back. BUT the adventure doesn't stop there because.... Brad got a speeding ticket. :/ It was fine though. Fo' reals.

Even with the ticket it was a great day and we had tons on fun in Cinci. Next time we go we'll make sure it isn't on a Monday because pretty much all of the major tourist attractions (read: museums...) are closed on Mondays. Who knew?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Grieving is Hard

No one tells you that dealing with death might get harder as time goes on - not easier. The longer they're gone the more you realize they aren't coming back.

It is lonely. So so lonely.

It is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Harder than almost dying at 11. Harder than constant physical pain for years and years. Harder than 5+ years of infertility.

I've hurt more feelings or put my foot in my mouth more than I'd like to admit. My brain isn't functioning properly at the moment and my relationships are suffering.

I'm pretty good at pretending I'm ok when I'm usually not.

I've had a headache for who knows how long because of how much I cry.

It's hard that other people have moved on when it is still consuming so much of my life.





Sunday, September 8, 2013

I don't like Fridays now

Lois Elaine Adams Bates
1951 ~ 2013
On July 7, 1951, the world gained an angel that kept giving and giving. On Friday, August 16, 2013, Heaven got her back. Lois Elaine Adams Bates passed away peacefully at home in West Jordan, surrounded by family. She was the second of ten children born to Margaret Larsen and Mack Spencer Adams of Heber City. With her heart of gold, Elaine helped raise her brothers and sisters, and from there went on to raise many others throughout her amazing life.
Elaine loved kids. She had a special way of teaching children how to sing, dance, clean and love. Elaine had seven kids and babysat dozens of others over the years. She loved teaching Primary and was considered a favorite second mom by all the many kids in her life. She saw the good in everyone and loved her children unconditionally.
She is survived by her husband Gary Bruce Bates and seven children: Maren (Darin) Lythgoe, Edward (Crystal) Bates, Spencer (Tammy) Bates, Jeanette (Hadley) Soffe, Christopher Bates, Elizabeth (John) Mann, Jessica (Brad) Prestwich as well as her honorary daughter Andrea Pina Kuhn, 17 grandchildren, her mother, Margaret, and eight of her siblings: Brent (Hilary) Adams, David (Patty) Adams, Lynn (Paulette) Adams, Leslie (Karl) Christensen, Suzanne (Matt) Wilkinson, Wayne (Marie) Adams, John Adams, and Russell (Rebecca) Adams.
Preceded in death by her father Mack and brother Michael (Ann).
There will be no funeral services. A private celebration of her life will be held by her family.

Lois Elaine Adams Bates
1951 ~ 2013
On July 7, 1951, the world gained an angel that kept giving and giving. On Friday, August 16, 2013, Heaven got her back. Lois Elaine Adams Bates passed away peacefully at home in West Jordan, surrounded by family. She was the second of ten children born to Margaret Larsen and Mack Spencer Adams of Heber City. With her heart of gold, Elaine helped raise her brothers and sisters, and from there went on to raise many others throughout her amazing life.
Elaine loved kids. She had a special way of teaching children how to sing, dance, clean and love. Elaine had seven kids and babysat dozens of others over the years. She loved teaching Primary and was considered a favorite second mom by all the many kids in her life. She saw the good in everyone and loved her children unconditionally.
She is survived by her husband Gary Bruce Bates and seven children: Maren (Darin) Lythgoe, Edward (Crystal) Bates, Spencer (Tammy) Bates, Jeanette (Hadley) Soffe, Christopher Bates, Elizabeth (John) Mann, Jessica (Brad) Prestwich as well as her honorary daughter Andrea Pina Kuhn, 17 grandchildren, her mother, Margaret, and eight of her siblings: Brent (Hilary) Adams, David (Patty) Adams, Lynn (Paulette) Adams, Leslie (Karl) Christensen, Suzanne (Matt) Wilkinson, Wayne (Marie) Adams, John Adams, and Russell (Rebecca) Adams.
Preceded in death by her father Mack and brother Michael (Ann).
There will be no funeral services. A private celebration of her life will be held by her family. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deseretnews/obituary.aspx?n=lois-elaine-bates&pid=166562164#fbLoggedOut

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Reformatory

Brad and I went exploring today at the famous Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. It is a (supposedly) haunted prison that is gorgeous on the outside and superfantasticcreepy on the inside. It was opened in 1896 and officially closed in 1990. Many a famous movie has been filmed there (most notable is the Shawshank Redemption). It was supposedly designed to be so pretty to inspire the inmates to turn away from their sins and to aspire to something higher.

And here it is.

It was pretty enough that there was a wedding going on during our tour... hence the limo.

 

And the insides.  
Ghost Hunters were here! (LOVE me some Ghost Hunters.)

In front of an old fireplace.
The floor in the warden's wing.

Shawshank Redemption trivia: this scene is supposedly in a hotel but was actually filmed in the prison.
Stuff.
The chapel. Skeletor. Mysterious cross made of light on the floor.
Now on to the cell blocks!




Success! We finished off our tour at the Der Dutchman (which I usually love but the location we went to made me frown).

Brad is serious about his Amish food. I was smiling because I hadn't eaten mine yet. Our tour wrist bands.

Ohio State Fair

A few Saturday's ago we (read: Jess) were bound and determined to finally make it to the Ohio State Fair. Now that we only have a year left in Ohio (most likely) we are trying to do as much on our Ohio bucket list as possible. That means we go to the fair, rain or shine... and in this case it was definitely raining. But we still had tons of fun and the rain made for less crowds and for a cooler (read: less scorching hot) experience.

At the fair! In the rain! Waiting for the pigs to race! ...!


First things first, we went and saw the pigs race. Worth it. It was hilarious and adorable all rolled in to four enormously fat pigs.


After the pigs we went and hung out with some chickens. Who knew they could be so interesting (obviously I have an extensive history with live chickens)?!
Brad totally won this staring contest
We also went to the petting zoo but me no touchie anything that poops where it sleeps. BUT, I did stand in front of an old carved tree. Neat.

No fair adventure is complete without fair food, so we partook. But we cheated a little and didn't get anything deep fried or covered in powdered sugar. Instead we got some Der Dutchman Manhattan sandwiches (turkey on homemade bread with a side of mashed potatoes - all covered in gravy). It was pretty tasty despite my aversion to soggy bread.
The Manhattan
We also saw some model trains, farming equipment, giant sand sculptures (not as cool as it sounds), and some other stuff I can't remember. But here is one last picture of my cute Brad. I like him.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Whatever

  • Every summer Brad and I participate in our local libraries summer reading program. We're cool like that. 
  • Speaking of reading, on Sunday I read an entire book in one sitting. It was awesome. (I read Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. Stupid title but super cute book.) 
  • I might get bangs again... I'm still deciding.
  • This product is awesome if you have gray hairs (which I do). It's my new favorite. 

  • We are planning a trip to Chicago in August. Brad actually has a test to take there and I'm just tagging along so we can celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary together. I'm excited! 
  • I recently discovered refrigerator food storage containers. I have this one and I LOVE it so far. It helped my green onions last for weeks - WEEKS I tell you. No more limp green onions for this girl. And I won't even tell you how long it extended the life of my cilantro (ok, I'll tell you - it was still fresh and pretty after a week when I finally used it all). Yes, it cost a pretty penny but think of how much it will save me on no longer wasting produce! Hooray!
  • I just started reading the Flavia de Luce series and it is great fun (apparently all I have to talk about are books - there could be worse things though). Flavia, the 11 year old protagonist is charmingly annoying and hilariously entertaining. Read it. 
  • This may be TMI, but lately I've been slightly obsessed with finding the right bra size (this obsession was brought on by some weight gain... if you get my drift) and this reddit thread solved my problems. Thank you reddit.
  • Oh, and in case anyone is feeling particularly nosy, yes I am on birth control pills now (hence the weight gain in the previous bulleted item)- not because I have problems not getting pregnant but because of endometriosis. And now (supposedly) I don't have periods. Worth it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Extra Utah Photos

my nephew Ben ready to swing his heart out... if only he could see the ball coming
 Ben showing me his awesome muscles
Photobombing by Toby
grandma with some of her great-grandkids
Eli pretending that my trying to annoy him isn't working
the house grandma grew up in... well, the back of it anyway
the natural hot spring in Wellsville that my ancestors used to make bricks for their homes (I think that's the story anyway...)
a blurry pic of  me and my niece Bryn
hams after Clare's blessing

Max loves spinning

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Husband Ditcher

Last week (or two weeks ago now?) I ditched Brad and went on a short little trip to Utah. While my time there wasn't extensive, I was able to pack in visits and it was a fantastic vacation. I'm a little wordier than usual so if you don't want to hear the play-by-play of my trip or my random thoughts... just skip this post.

I flew in on Wednesday and my cute parents picked me up from the airport and then we went to lunch at Zupas. Yum. I hung out with them for a little bit and then went over to my sister Liz's house to meet this little tiny bundle of squish. I am in LOVE with her (and not to brag or anything but I was basically her favorite person). Look at that face and that smile. I'm not partial or anything I promise.

Clare at 2.5 months old.
Later that night I went to two of my nephews last baseball game of the season. They are 6 (not twins - two of my sisters just happen to have boys around the same age and on the same team) and it was adorable. It was surprisingly cold at the game so we had to cuddle.

most attentive baseball spectators ever... or not...
Thursday morning I... don't remember what I did. Maybe went with my sister Jeanette to drop off her kids at school and... got some McDonald's for breakfast? Sure, that sounds right. Oh, and I went to Walmart with Jeanette because she needed to go grocery shopping and I thought that sounded like a valuable use of vacation time AND it was! I ran into my friend Melissa with her three kids. It was providence. I was going to see her that night anyway but the more time spent with Mel the better. That afternoon I met up with my friend Natalie for some frozen yogurt and catching up time. Then right after that I went to a friend's house for a girls night with some of my oldest and dearest friends. Love these girls. We ate a yummy homemade dinner and chatted for hours and hours and probably could have chatted for a few more.

Chelsey, Melissa, me, & Tia - I did not get the memo to wear pink
On Friday a play date was planned with two of my sisters and their kids and my friend Melissa and her kids. All of the kids got along great and and the adults had fun too.

Melissa and Peyton - the last time I got to see this munchkin she was less than a day old
That night I helped babysit my sister Liz's kids so her and her husband could celebrate their 10 year anniversary... which meant more Clare time!! Seriously, I am obsessed with this baby.


Saturday I went with my sisters Jeanette and Maren and most of their kids to Logan to help surprise my grandma for her 80th birthday. I was so lucky that my trip fell on the weekend of her birthday party and that I got to see her (I haven't seen her in years and have been wanting to for the longest time). It was great and I got to see a lot of my extended family that I haven't seen in forever.

yes, it is blurry, but it is the best I can do
After my grandma's party we went to a super small (and kinda ghetto) zoo in Logan while we waited for my uncle to give us a tour around Wellsville (right outside of Logan). The tour (not the zoo) was amazing and we got to see where my grandma was raised and were my family spent some summer vacations when we were little. We also got to visit the cemetery where my grandpa is buried. I haven't been to his grave since his funeral almost 10 years ago. I still miss him and his giant bear hugs.


Saturday night was sisters' night. We went to dinner at the Dodo in Salt Lake and had yummy food and chatted. Love my sisters. Afterwards we went to Ross for a little shopping (ok, it was just me who did the shopping because there is no Ross in Ohio but two of my sisters were nice enough to take me).

On Sunday, my last full day in Utah, my niece Clare was blessed. She wore the same blessing gown me and my sisters wore. It was a beautiful blessing and I'm so grateful they moved the date of the blessing so I could be there.


After the blessing I went and had dinner with Brad's family. His parents and most of his siblings were there (missed you Kelli & Jordan B.).  It was yummy and good to see them (was it yummy to see them? well... maybe that and the food was yummy too). Then I got ready to leave the next morning. It was an amazing trip and I loved every minute of it (except for when I realized that I had to leave my nieces and nephews) but I'm glad to now be home with my Brad. Everything went pretty smoothly with traveling but the airline did lose my luggage on my return trip. Luckily it showed up a few hours later and they even dropped it off at my house so I didn't have to make a trip back to the airport.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Oh Hey Blog

Several people have told me lately that I should blog. So here you go.

According to my camera, I made Irish soda bread this year for St. Patrick's day. And if memory serves me correctly, I also made corned beef and colcannon (mashed potatoes, cabbage, and bacon). Delish. With the leftover corned beef we made awesome corned beef sandwiches.


Also according to my camera we celebrated the Passover this year with some friends. It wasn't super traditional but it was still fun and enlightening. We made a delicious beef brisket and drank lots and lots of grape juice (so much grape juice).

Brad leading the Passover and holding some grape juice (best caption ever amirite?)

My camera also informs me that I had a birthday this year (the big 30) and that my super awesome neighbor made me this amazing and delicious fruit tart. My camera didn't tell me this, but I do remember that I also spent the night of my 30th birthday with a few friends because Brad had a conference he had to attend (and couldn't get out of). We went to dinner and then watched 13 Going on 30 (so fitting right?). The next day and as a part of the conference that Brad was attending, Brad and I got to go out for a super expensive catered dinner. We got to dress up and there were appetizers and first and second courses and a delicious steak and fancy dessert. Yum.


Other than what my camera has informed me of, not much has been happening around here. Brad just started his last rotation of his 3rd year of medical school (he is on internal med). I'm watching the cutest and happiest 6 month old boy (his name is Liam but I call him The Squish) at my house, Monday-Friday. I got sick for weeks and weeks and am still recovering but doing TONS better.

Also, we have been eating some yummy stuff lately (and apparently a lot of my memories revolve around food). Some of our favorites lately have been: