Monday, October 6, 2014

The woods are good for walking

Sometimes, when Jared needs a break, or he is done studying, we go for walks together. On one such walk, through a place called Lyman Woods, we were discussing the Canadian geese that fly through this area all fall long. 

Our conversation started off pretty normal, but then this happened.

Jared, observing a goose doing his business: "Oh man! I wish I could poop and fly!"
Me: "don't you think it would be good enough just to fly?"
Jared: "No, that'd be okay, but being able to poop and fly at the same time would be even better!"

Honestly, sometimes I swear I married a 4 year old. 

He's the best. 

#nofilter. I love this picture. 

Haley's favorite bug

Jared' white coat ceremony

I figured this was the best place for photos and a little update. 

A week after I arrived, I got to celebrate the white coat ceremony for Jared with him and my momma. It was a very special event. 

The white coat ceremony is done at the beginning of the education because it is a symbol that all throughout the education, the students are professionals. They should esteem themselves as such, holding in regard what they learn and do with respect and proper behavior. The entire school where Jared attends is a medical professions school, so we went to the ceremony with PA's, Speech Therapists, DO's etc. I was amazed at how many international students there are at this school. It's wonderful, but I tell you what, I would not have been wanting to read those names--some of them were really difficult. 

They had an interesting invocation and benediction, which was really like a letter written to the students. In fact, the invocation started with: "Dear Students," talk about separation of church and state. It seems that if they are going to have an invocation, they should at least call upon a generic deity/God figure, don't you think? Anyways, the speeches were really good and I am so glad I got to support Jared on this special day. Doesn't he look handsome in his white coat? 

Blurry, but if you look closely, you can see Jared about to walk down the stairs.  He'd just been given his coat. 

Our little family. 

Practice makes perfect! 

I'm so proud of this man. And so happy mom could come celebrate with us. 

and of course we celebrated with Oberweis

First Impressions

I have been in Illinois for exactly one month now. I figure that calls for another blog update, yes?

First thing we did when I arrived was go to Oberweis dairy. Now let me tell you a secret. Oberweis is the BEST place to get ice cream. Hands down. When we were kids, we would go there for "grade shakes." It was a reward for doing well in school. (remember how I grew up about 20 minutes away from where we live now...?) The night I arrived it was our reward for being reunited. And it was just as good as I remembered, plus extra goodness cause I got to share it with my sweetie.

The next day was Sunday. Church was smashing--I met tons of people, recognized one or two faces from Provo of all places, and enjoyed hearing Jared's stories about his nursery kids. Ask him about his puppy game, it's hilarious. One less thing to stress about knowing we are part of a good and welcoming ward.

Our apartment is about 5 miles away from the campus, and I decided that first day that even though I didn't know where anything was, I needed to stay out of the apartment and figure stuff out or else I would lose my nerve and never learn where anything was. Off I went and had a great day getting some stuff to beautify the home/ make it liveable, getting to know the area and exhausting myself. Now I'm glad I did that because I know where most everything important is. Note for mamma here: I finally found the closest McDonald's to our place. So when you come again we won't have to drive all over to get you a drink. ;)

Jared is loving school. He comes home from his clinical days so amped up about the work he gets to do on teeth. His other classes are hard, but he feels that BYU really prepared him well. He has made lots of friends (of course) and is already doing very well in all his classes. I'm even more excited about what the next few years will bring.

Italian Beef dip sandwich. The best comes from the Midwest. 
Chicago Hot Dogs. The ONLY way to eat a dog. 

We both love it in Chicago (although truthfully we are in the nearby suburbs). We live in a place called Westmont, about 20 min by train from the city. It's close to the airports also so anyone who comes to visit will be greeted in style by yours truly. Westmont has a cute little downtown about 3 blocks from our house, where the train station is. Downer's Grove, another suburb, is even cuter downtown and has quite a few more restaurants, we've sampled two so far and they are amazing, but of course, Chicago is famous for the food.

Speaking of, here's some photos of our first "date night" to a place called Portillo's. Classic Chicago style decor and food--we love this place, as you can tell from our faces. We've also gone for deep dish twice. It's a special occasion food. Special occasions are pretty much anytime a friend comes to visit. We've had quite a few special occasions.

I'm sad I haven't gotten pictures of them, but we've made a few friends here already, and the funny bit is that so far, they have been friends with other friends of ours. Some we saw only at church-Jeff and Sara here's to you, come again! Others, Austin!! we enjoyed pizza and ice cream with. We were so sad Steph couldn't make it too. Also Mamma came to visit! She has most of the photos, dagnabit, but we have the memories.

In sum: we love it here, the people are fabulous, the food is going to make us fat, the weather is PERFECT. (except Saturday when it was 37 and snowing and only the first weekend in October). The leaves are just starting to change colors, I'm busting out all my biggest sweaters, and still busting out of them--good thing this pregnancy is almost over. We are happy happy happy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August so far

In case you were wondering what's going on now with the Holloways, and in case you aren't one of the people I call every day to bother because I'm bored and lonely, here's what's up. 

1. My in-laws and Haley threw a baby shower for me a few weeks ago! It was darling and I got lots of awesome presents, surrounded by friends and family and cute jungle decorations. 

2. This week I hit 31 weeks! Only 9 ish more to go! 
 3. Jared's in Chicago, meeting our new wardies, eating all the good foodies, and setting up our apartment and unpacking so I don't have to do that part later. I am missing him a lot since I'm still here in Utah. He has orientation next week and starts school the week after.

3. Haley and I get together sometimes and make messes. Sisters are the best. 

4. The biggest news, is that when Jared left, he forgot our vacuum. Not on purpose. I found it yesterday, and called the airline to find out if I could take it on the place. They said yes, as long as it meets regular baggage restrictions. I'm thinking that may or may not be one of the strangest things I've ever taken on a plane, but I'm more than happy to be a little odd to save the money we'd otherwise have to spend on a new vacuum.  

Canada Highlights Part Two

Or in other words, whales, local eats and relaxation.

One of the things that was on my list of must-do's for this trip was whale watching. We had been doing research on Quebec for nearly two months before we went, and all the guidebooks said that the St. Lawrence river is one of the best places for seeing whales. Our trouble in figuring out how to fit this into our trip was that we didn't have a car, and the whale watching place was nearly 300 miles from Quebec city in a place called Tadoussac. Well, when we found the tour that would take us to Montmorency falls and st. Anne de Beaupre cathedral, I saw that they also did a whale watching trip. We were in the Provo library at the time, and I nearly dropped my guidebook out of excitement. I did get some nasty looks because I was a little more vocally enthused than is appropriate at a library, but I didn't even care. We were going to get to go whale watching! 

On the bus. It only took 4 hours...

The tide was out when we got there. 

On the whale cruise ship. We actually paid for and were planning on taking the Zodiac cruise, which would have been a little speed boat close to the water, but because I was pregnant, the tour guide wouldn't let us go. Too much choppy water he said. 

Us and 700 others on the ship. It was still pretty awesome. And it got cold fast! 

Looking back at the coast, there was a big storm rolling in, turns out it was better to be on the ship--we stayed a little dryer. 

I have to brag. I was the first one to spot the whale spout. That puffy cloud between the heads is a humpback whale spout. 

I'm not sure if this video will work. Or which video it is, but it's a good one. 

Another whale, just below the zodiac boat. That sky makes it look like night time. It was 2 pm. 

Then the mist came in and we couldnt see anything! Plus it rained. I was loving every minute. 

I think this is the video where the whale dives. We saw 2 humpback whales, a school of  25 belugas, a minke whale and a fin whale. 

Boating into the fjords of Saguenay. They were stunning. 

Look at that view! 

The little town of Tadoussac. 

The bus. 

Off sails the ship into the mist for another tour. 

That night we finally got Poutine for dinner (with burgers too) Poutine is the classic dish of Quebec--french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. The place we got it from looked sketchy, and honestly we were a little let down, but we only paid $3.00 for the poutine, so we weren't expecting much. 

This place was awesome, it's an old cathedral turned into a second hand bookstore. All those boxes are FILLED with books. I bought Harry Potter in french. I still haven't started it...

This is one of those cute shops that you have to take pictures of for no good reason other than it's different from everything we normally see. A soap store. 

We spent the last three days with a couple who were renting out their spare bedroom. This couple was so much fun. They are both 26 and have been married for a year. They gave us great recommendations on places to eat and we stayed up late chatting with them every night. 

This little restaurant was one of those local places. They had old board games and a retro version of nintendo and tetris on game consoles next to the tables. We spent the evening (maybe 3 hours) at this place playing chutes and ladders, enjoying our meal (Jared had a white pasta and I had a beef stuffed cabbage roll with sweet potatoes on top ) and classic French Canadian maple sugar cake dessert. It was one of our favorite evenings. 

This dessert counter we found the day before we left at a local patisserie. The line was out the door when we went at lunch time, and we went back a little later. We ended up going to this counter three times since we got one thing to split and it was so good, we had to keep going back. That chocolate pear ganache torte above was the first thing we got. Mmmmm tasty. 

All said and done, Jared and I had an amazing trip and we were so sad to come back to Utah/go back to our old routine. It was a much needed retreat, and we felt like the combination of city, wilderness and city again was a good one. We saw some amazing things, and eventually (after about a week) felt like we were able to feel like we were in a different country. We took lots of notes so anyone who wants to go to Quebec, let us know and we will give you the scoop!