Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch

Saturday Tyler and I decided to brave the windy, rainy weather and get one last day of autumn in before the cold winter really sets in. We spent the afternoon wandering around Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch looking at a variety of animals; they had everything from chickens and ponies to ligers, kangaroo and giraffe. The farm also had a corn maze, a small haunted house, camel and hay rides, a huge farmer's market, some tasty treats, and much, much more!

One of our favorite activities was the Swine Sweepstakes. As you can see from the photo below those little piggies were flying around the track- the winner got a double-stuffed Oreo, so you can understand why. I wanted Arnold Schwatzen-hogger to win, but he had a sore hammy.... hehe!

I had to stop and take a picture with Buzz cause he's my favorite and lately I keep telling Tyler how much I want the real (from the movie) Buzz Lightyear action figure. He's just soooo cool!!

The farmer's market had a bunch of fun autumn/Halloween decorations as well as lots of yummy food like apple cider donuts, homemade fudge and roasted corn on the cob. They also had every single type of pumpkin/squash/gourd for sale. I wish I had a place I could bring some pretty pumpkins home to, but I don't so photos will have to do this year. Enjoy!


Nauvoo: A Beautiful Place

Continuing on our church history tour, Tyler and I spent a weekend in Nauvoo, IL. This is the first church history site that Tyler and I have done together that I have actually been to before. Of course, it was nearly 15 years and I don't remember a lot, but it was fun to see things that I did remember and to re-live old, happy memories. I remembered the Nauvoo bricks, the blacksmith, the temple foundations (which are now gone due to the beautiful temple in its place), and the Relief Society garden.

We also made sure to take a tour of the Heber C. Kimball house, which was VERY nice, and to stop by Alpheus Gifford's (my only pioneer ancestor) plot of land right on the Mississippi. It was Tyler's first time seeing the Mississippi and he made sure to walk down the bank and touch it. [Luckily, there was no railroad running through Nauvoo and he didn't get stuck on a moving train car in his attempt :D]

Tyler and I both agreed that our favorite part of the trip was attending the temple- it was sooooo beautiful inside! However, I also really liked the oxen ride. (FYI: Though oxen like Duke & Don pictured above are extremely rare in the U.S., they are the most widely used work animal worldwide.)

Tyler & I also found the Trail of Hope quite moving- it's hard to explain the feeling of looking back at that gorgeous temple on the hill and wondering how the pioneers must have felt as they left Nauvoo forever.

If you ask nicely I might tell you how I got the amazing reflection in this photo when there is no reflection pool at the temple.

For some reason I just love the entrance to this temple.

My favorite photo of the trip. The statues represent Joseph & Hyrum Smith.

On our drive back to Chicago we also stopped in at Carthage Jail. I remembered the bedroom door vividly, but some of the stories of what happened there leading up to the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum I had no recollection of. Overall, we loved hearing new stories and seeing the sites together.

Please note: I couldn't decide which photos to post from out trip because I loved them all, so sorry for the slight visual overload in this post. Also, our camera was nearly dead by the time we arrived in Carthage and I wasn't really able to see what I was capturing when I turned the camera on, clicked, and turned it off as fast as I could so I'm pretty happy with the way this last one turned out!

“Where do you learn stuff?!”

Over the past year Kate and I have been fortunate enough to do an inordinate amount of traveling and sightseeing. A by product of this has been Kate and I spending a lot of one on one time together in the car. Though we have been married for over two years, this has provided us with extra opportunities to get to know one another even better. Our car trip to Kirtland was no different.

While driving we passed over the Chagrin River. As we passed Kate read the sign on the side of the road but mispronounced “Chagrin”. I kindly corrected her. She was unfamiliar with the word and asked what it meant. I did my best (not that great) at an off-the-cuff definition (for me it is one of those words that I understand when I read or heard it and even use it in common phrases—“… much to my chagrin…”, but when asked to define it on the spot my tongue gets tied).

There was an unusual silence after my definition, so I looked over at Kate. She had this incredulous look on her face and responded with the quote of the trip: “Where do you learn stuff?!” Our back and forth continued something like this:

Me: (confused) “What do you mean?”
Kate: “You don’t read, you don’t study or at least hate doing it… like, how do you know anything?"

Me: (slightly taken aback/dumbfounded) “I don’t know… the Discovery Channel?”

Thanks for the vote of confidence , sweetie!


Kirtland, OH

Tyler and I are really having a lot of fun visiting Church history sites together this summer. Last August during our visit to Boston, Tyler and I drove up to Vermont to the Joseph Smith birthplace. Since then we have gone in order along the saints' path from New England to Salt Lake City (with the exception of their final destination, of course), making our third destination Kirtland, Ohio.

In Kirtland we visited the Newel K. Whitney store and home (note the famed sign :), the Isaac Morley farm (where none other than Alpheus Gifford himself attended the 4th General Conference of the Church), the Johnson farm and home, and, of course, the Kirtland Temple.

Because the Kirtland Temple is not owned by the LDS church the tour inside was very interesting, and only inspiring so far as the architecture and workmanship of the building itself. I was able to finally learn what all those letters on the pulpits meant though, so I'm happy.

The Johnson farm and home were my favorites of the trip. I had never heard of the Johnsons nor their home located in Hiram, OH (about 45 min. south of Kirtland), until the sister missionaries at the Kirtland visitor center suggested we visit the farm if we had time. I liked the Johnsons' home best because the farm was gorgeous, Sister Johnson loved color and decorating so the house was very interesting and fun, the senior missionary couple who gave us the tour were the BEST tour guides ever, and the "Room of Revelation" (where Joseph Smith recieved the 76th section of the Doctrine & Covenants) was very powerful. The sun was setting outside the window as we sat inside the room and listened to the elderly sister missionary bear her testimony- everything was so cozy and made me feel like I was home.

On our way back to Chicago, Tyler and I also drove up to Michigan for a little bit which means we can now cross off Indiana, Ohio and Michigan from our 'Tour of the 50 States' list. Hooray. We also stopped and walked around the Notre Dame campus- soooo pretty! We decided this was the perfect weekend to take the trip because autumn is in full swing and we couldn't have had a more beautiful drive :)

P.S. On Saturday nite Tyler and I went to see Secretariat at the local cinema. It was AWESOME! I already knew the incredible story, but I still got nervous during every race and wanted to yell out "Go Red, go!" Alas, the only reason I didn't was because Tyler might have gone to sit by someone else. Go see it!


Last Goodbyes

Over the weekend I flew to Washington to attend my Grandmother's funeral. It was a short graveside service- sweet, peaceful, sunny, and with only a few tears. I'm happy knowing that my Grandma, after nearly 50 years, is finally with my Grandpa again.

Grandma Helen next to Grandpa Milton in her Scandinavian gold box.

Mo and her sisters doing the can-can the way Grandma taught them along to her favorite song “Nola” that was played during the service.

My cousin Mandi and I wearing our leopard print in honor of Grandma at the service.

The rest of the weekend was mostly spent chatting with relatives who I rarely have the opportunity to see, but absolutely love. I also spent lots of time reminiscing, shnuggling, hot-tubbing, and laughing with my mom and sisters, Amy & Sarah. Saturday evening the four of us drove out to some of the famous Washington Apple orchards together- there's nothing like eating a fresh-off-the-tree Red Delicious!