Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hocking Hills

Friday I got off work a little early and Jamey came to pick me up at the BWC office downtown. It was 1:00 and a beautiful fall day...so we went to Hocking Hills. He went his first year out here but I never have made it out. It was beautiful. The leaves were all changing and luckily they hadn't all fallen down. We parked our car at Old Man's Cave and hiked a couple miles to Cedar Falls. We then took another route (longer but faster) back to the car. There were no crowds, the weather was perfect with our fleeces and on our way home we ate at this BBQ place with the best cornbread I've ever had. Perfect day trip.






little one

On October 8th I was at work eating my lunch and got a text from Jamey. Wreaked havoc on my heart. He said he thought we could get into the ultrasound lab and try and find the sex of our baby in only 2.5 hours! Aahh! I got off work early, he got off work early, and we made it happen. Our baby was more accommodating than either of us anticipated and I hardly had the camera ready when Jamey was telling me the sex. Most fun day ever.

video

Our official appt with our doctor was just this last week (and luckily she confirmed Jamey's findings). Definitely a boy. And not a shy one. We are so excited. I have been so protective of this baby, for obvious reasons. I just really started showing this past week and today at church it was fun to be able to have others be happy with me. So I decided it's finally time to share with the rest of the world. 

We are having a baby. A little boy. He's due March 2. We couldn't be happier.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chicago

Last month Jamey and I had a 4 day getaway to Chicago. Neither of us had ever been and it was fun to experience it all new together. I admit, I've decided the place is not for me - not to live. But, it did have some great attractions and we had a great time together. This was our first trip that we took for us and we let ourselves indulge a bit. We are typically so frugal and while we didn't go crazy, we did let ourselves be there and enjoy the city (ie we ordered appetizers and drinks at dinner, we overpaid for tourist spots, etc) and we didn't feel guilty about it at all. The motive for going was part of Jamey's Step 2 Board exams - the oral portion. he got that out of the way the first day and then it was game on!

Warning: lots of pics coming

chicago deep dish pizza. soooo much cheese

 cinnamon roll from Anne Souther's - more delicious even than it looks


slithery slimy animals that want to eat Jamey


I love seahorses


Willis Tower overlook...I got some serious vertigo stepping out onto that deck


Chicago Dog


the Bean! at Millenium Park


sunset tour on the Chicago River and out to Lake Michigan...best part of our trip

Ohio vs Michigan crossroads on the Magnificent Mile...Jamey was happy to see Ohio on top

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp apples are about the equivalent of my heaven. I had my first one when I was on my mission in New York, pined for them when I moved back west, and they were among the first purchases I made when I moved to Ohio. Every year I look forward to them and every year I am shocked/amazed/in wonder at how absolutely delicious they really are. One of the local farms here has a honeycrisp orchard and they opened it to the public for picking this Fri, Sat, and Sun. I called first thing Saturday morning to see how they were (since I had to work on Friday, go figure) and they were gone!! All gone! But, they had some already bagged at their market that would open at 9 am (and $8 cheaper I might add). It was 8:30 and I live 30 mins away. I was out of bed and in the car and made it at 9:07. The bins were more than half empty. I got greedy and bought 2 full pecks! How could I pass them up? I looked around some more, it was a fabulous place, and by the time I got in line to pay for my goods, they were gone! There was devastation all around but I didn't relinquish any of my spoils. As soon as I got back into my car I ate one. It was crisp and crunchy with juice running all over my hands. Heaven. Worth every penny.


So this weekend I've spent dehydrating and canning. I made my first ever applesauce and it is yummy. Jamey and I were wondering if we shouldn't have used just regular apples for applesauce but after tasting it tonight...divine. And the dried apple slices are pure candy.




I love when my attempts to be domestic pan out. I love you honeycrisp apples.

Never suppress a generous thought

Crazy that I am still learning this. BUT! I learn best by example. I have a very kind friend here, her name is Amber. She read my last post and popped over with a homemade fruit fly trap! Smallest simplest thing in the world and I honestly started crying when she gave it to me. I had shared a one sentence frustration and she thought, "Hey, I can help." AND THEN SHE DID. She totally could have written it off as too small or maybe dumb (like I probably would have) but it was the best part of my day.

She took a baby food jar, put a piece of fruit inside, covered it in saran wrap with a rubberband, and poked a little hole in top. Flies go in but don't come out. It totally worked too!

She also took a few minutes to write down a few ideas to help me with my Primary class. Jamey and I teach the 4 year-olds and while they're really cute and funny, they can be a handful. She taught preschool/kindergarten and was so happy to share with me some tricks of the trade. And I was so grateful!

Service can be simple and that's when it often means the most. I love reading talks and listening to lessons at Church on Sundays, but I am most grateful for those in my life who teach by example.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lies

Yesterday wasn't Grandma's birthday. Today is! I'm a nerd but it just let her celebrate a little longer, right?

You know something I hate? My house is never completely clean. Like completely. And I have been trying to come to terms with this for yearssssss (ie - not Jamey's fault). If I empty the trash but then wipe the counters and sweep the floors - then there's garbage in there. Once I unload the dishwasher it's time to eat lunch or dinner - and back in the dishes go. I'll do laundry but then when I get everything folded and put away, my dirty clothes from the day go straight into the hamper. Not a big deal, but always so sad to me. There is always something to wipe up, dust off, or put away. It's never done. I know I'm nuts.

Another thing - fruit flies never die!

But there are some things I really love. No matter how long I neglect my flowers, they never die. The ceiling fan in our room makes it the perfect temperature to sleep at night. Our couches are comfy and deep and I can do anything on them - sit, sleep, read, or study. Jamey doesn't mind being the one to clean out the shower drain (even though it's mostly my hair). And our windows let in a lot of natural light.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Happy Birthday my dear sweet Grandma!


Don't I have a lovely grandmother? I just love her. I called this morning and Jamey and I sang to her and then she and I just chatted...and I've been smiling ever since. I wish I was there to celebrate. We'd go shopping -window shopping and shoe shopping and look at a quite a few purses and a bit of this and that. Then we'd eat lunch. Then we'd start round 2 of shopping. If it was my birthday she'd be sure to pick up something my mother would certainly hate and insist that I must have it. She was always good like that. But it is her birthday so no good ways to make my mom roll her eyes. 

Grandma has spunk. She's feisty and quick-witted and I love hearing what comes out of her mouth. I'll giggle for days. When I was little and at their house, she and Grandpa Brown would let me drink my water or juice in the fancy wine glasses with my pinky up. She was at every dance recital, orchestra concert, and graduation (along with the numerous ones of all her other grandchildren). She makes the best tortellini soup. She is always in fashion. She enjoys road trips with her family. And she is always there.


Love you Grandma! Happy birthday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

more family time

Oh I am just such a good little blogger recently. We got to see more family this weekend! Lexi and her crew came thru Columbus on their major trek from Rhode Island to Washington. Not even a full 24 hours but we packed a lot in. And because I'm so awesome I didn't take a single picture on my phone. So I hacked Lexi's from Instagram. Thanks Lex!

About as soon as the boys were out of the car they HAD to go to the pool. This was a serious NEED that had to be met immediately. I was just about to change into my own suit when Lexi suggested pedicures. I didn't need convincing. Once we were in the wonderful massage chairs letting our feet soak Lexi was telling me a story and flipped her hand and away went her pretty pink nail color. It happened so fast and was really great. The Asian man was yelling at me to move my own purple away from danger but I was laughing too hard to comprehend.


When we got back I cut up a few apples and set out the nutella and peanut butter. Apparently Casey had never been introduced to nutella and I was happy to do the honors. Since I'm really classy I just dunk the apple straight in, no utensils. Casey tried but didn't get any so I told him he just had to really stick his hand in and scoop it out. The apple got lost but Casey went after it. I was so proud. 


Then last night we took them all to the Food Truck Festival downtown. There were 47 different trucks to choose from and all so delicious. The boys had hot dogs and pizza, of course Jamey and I had to choose the noodles truck which had the longest line (worth it!). It was such a gorgeous evening to be outside and with family. 


And that was pretty much it. Got home, kids went to bed, woke up, ate peach pancakes, and they were on their way. So glad we made the list of stops! Miss them already.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The letter P

Super fun weekend. We went pickin peaches! This was one of my favorite things we've ever done because 1) it's a nice drive thru beautiful rural Ohio scenery 2) it's time to be with Jamey away from school and responsibility 3) it's outside 4) the deliciousness lasts FOREVER.

We had mentioned this to the Hiltons and they were the instigators to be on our way by 8 am. Their company made it all the more fun. We go to Apple Hill Orchard in Fredericktown, OH - about an hour's drive from Columbus. We found it on a whim last year and were so pleased. Yesterday was the first day they opened the part of the orchard with the peaches we love and so the pickings were pretty high yield. They weren't all ripe and soft and perfect as last year but we'll leave them out for a few days and enjoy them even longer. We left with an overflowing half bushel of peaches, a half peck of apples, and some fresh homemade apple donuts for the drive home. Happiness.





Then last night Jamey and I went up the Gambier, OH to volunteer at Pelotonia, the bike race he participated in last year. We staffed the First Aid station. Pelotonia is such a neat experience to be a part of. I know Jamey would've loved to ride again this year but I felt like we couldn't really hit up everyone we know for the fundraising again. Everyone was so generous to support Jamey last year and we were/are so grateful for all the donations. So instead, we volunteered to staff it. I love doing these things with Jamey. I am so grateful we can share so much about our lives - school, work, and socially - together. 




And I guess Jamey was feeling like livin on the edge because we were leaving Gambier and the gas light was on. When we checked the trip computer we weren't concerned, it's pretty accurate with the mileage. We found on our phones that there were some gas stations ahead with about 5 miles to spare. But we forgot that in small towns gas stations are not always 24 hours. We seriously coasted into the gas station before the highway with 1 mile to go and then 0. Huge sigh of relief. I was very anxious. Jamey was too but of the 2 of us he had to be the calm one and he was trying hard, I know he didn't want to get out and walk it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blessed are they that mourn...

...for they shall be comforted.

I started this post a long while back. But only now do I feel like I can share it. Two nights ago I was reading the Sermon on the Mount and going thru the Beatitudes. When I got to v.4 I had the calming, strengthening, peaceful realization that I have been blessed. I have been comforted. It has come from my Savior, my Heavenly Father, my husband, my family, my friends. I have felt it thru prayer, in silence, thru service, thru laughter. It has been continual. I have been blessed.

In February Jamey and I had our hearts broken. We were 16 weeks along with our baby boy when we found out at my routine checkup that his tiny heart no longer beat. We were completely blindsided - there had been zero signs of miscarriage. We were devastated. We didn't know how to wrap our minds around it. We still hadn't told many people we were expecting and really didn't know how to share what we had lost.

The love was instant. People sent cards, emails, and texts full of love and support. Daily phone calls and check-ins to say whatever we were feeling was just right. We received beautiful flowers and delicious meals. No one tried to make it better. No one tried to tell us how to make it thru. They were just there. We felt their prayers and their love. It was very humbling. Too often I shy away from service because it seems like my small offering is in no way enough to help. But now I know it does - it means the world. Of course nothing could make up for the loss of a wanted child, but it is incredible how strengthening it is to know we were not alone. Far from family but not from love.

I remember a time when my brother and I were little. It was early on a weekend morning. Mom and Dad were asleep and we were playing quietly in the front room. My mom used to make beautiful porcelain dolls and I was playing with one with long brown hair that sat in a rocking chair. I loved her and I was being so careful, but I got distracted and she broke. I was scared and sad. Thomas tried to help me put her back together, but she was cracked. When Mom got up (I think something triggered when the "playing quietly" turned to "utter silence") she came out and I cried and showed her. I knew she was upset and maybe a little mad, but she said "It's ok" to my tears and got the glue out and I watched as she carefully pieced her back together. I see myself a lot like that doll now. My heart was broken, it was in pieces. But love glued it back together and now it is whole. Just like you can still see the faint crack lines on the doll, I know I still have scars on my heart. They have healed but they will never disappear. But I am whole again.

I have been comforted.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Friends

Jamey is so much better at keeping in touch with his friends than I am with mine. I wish it weren't the case, I wish this was an area that I was awesome in. But I'm not. It's not that I don't love you all, I do. It's just...don't know. I'm bad at it.

But, since it is an area of strength for Jamey, we often benefit from visits and last weekend was just such the case. Jason and Nicole with their kiddos came to play! We went to the State Fair, rode rides, ate fair food (pics are of a deep fried snickers), ate late night wings and talked into the night (the boys stayed up way later than us girls). I love when friends visit! They just stayed for the one night but it was great while they were here!



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Jamey

Jamey turned 28 a couple weeks ago and we had a good time celebrating it! We spent the morning lounging around and he opened his presents. Everyone was so nice to think of him. Then, unfortunately, a full day of work for the 2 of us. But after. We partied. It's so much fun that his birthday typically falls during Columbus' Restaurant Week. We have great friends that agreed to try a new restaurant, The Olde Mohawk. Our waitress was fun, Jamey got up on a chair and danced, and we ate lots of cake.





Monday, August 5, 2013

Lake House

Lake House + 4th of July + Family = Happiness

FAMILY!! Jamey and I were lucky enough to schedule a couple of days off together for the holiday weekend and mini family reunion. Seeing family is bittersweet. It's the BEST EVER and when it's over I'm so sad and realize how much I need them and want to be around them. We saw Jamey's Mom, 2 sisters, Shelby and Melanie and their families, and Home Bear. Awesome. We played in the lake, played normal games, went to Nauvoo, set off many fireworks, saw a Cardinals game, ate ice cream, and had the best of times. Now I miss family in a big way. 







Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cousins

I've been beyond blessed to see more family in the last 2 months than I have seen in the last 7. In June my cousin Rachelle and her family were in northern Ohio (Kirtland) on a church history trip. I was so excited when my preceptor let me rearrange my schedule so that I could drive up there and spend the night and a day with them (totally crashed her in-laws' family reunion - worth it). It was heaven. That sounds cheesy, but really I was so happy. I was so peaceful. I felt more at home and more loved than I had in awhile and wow did I need that. It's funny how I can fool myself into believing I'm Miss Independent and happy on my own and grown up and spread my wings yada yada yada. Then as soon as I spend any amount of time with my family I feel true strength restored - true joy, love, and completeness. What was most fun was I forgot how incredible hilarious and wonderful it is to try and cram as many people into a tiny motel room as possible. 2 double beds and 7 people. There were bodies everywhere!! I was giddy in the tight quarters. I love my family.