This past week, my little sister and brother (well... not so little brother... he's actually freakishly tall compared to the rest of us siblings) came out to Iowa to visit friends and family for a few days. It's crazy how much I've seen my family lately! Hayley, Tyler and Lyndi were visiting a few weeks ago, my younger siblings cam last week, and my mom and stepdad will be here in a few weeks from now - so exciting!
When trying to think of things to do in Des Moines, Iowa that doesn't cost money and that is always good for pictures, the crazy sculpture park always comes to mind. It's a park downtown, amongst all the tallest buildings, that has a winding path going through it, few trees and shrubs other than the rose bushes around the edges, and is full of THEE most random sculptures. I'm not sure what the whole story behind them are, but they are ridiculous and very "abstract," meaning that we can make them be whatever we want them to be, making them as serious or hilarious as we want. Anyway, so Alyssa, Spencer and I took a little visit over there for some funny pictures and came out of it with some pretty hilarious quotes such as, "Spencer has some happy poops" and "Alyssa has the scary ones." This is kind of gross, kind of took me back to being in middle school or younger, but it was actually hysterical when you put those with the pictures below...
There is everything there from random, poop-like figures, to giant spider-looking trees, to potato bug-looking steel pieces, to creepy doll-like girls, to simple cubes. My favorite, and what is probably most people's favorite, is the letter-person as shown below...
Last weekend was the final few days of the amazing Iowa State Fair and, luckily, Brandan was able to break away from his crazy busy school schedule for a while so that we could go to it. Last year we really only saw about half of it but this year, we went to everything we possibly could. I've decided that yes, it's fun to just show up at a state fair and roam around, but it's even more fun to plan it a bit so that you can actually see some good shows and contests going on. We got to see a gator show, an acrobatics show, a car show, sit through a water-free cooking show, listened to a few concerts, watched a part of the horse show, saw all the biggest and prettiest animals, and hit up the delicious (and deliciously bad for you!) food at times that were less busy. NOTE TO SELF: wear extrememly comfortable running shoes to the fair if and when you are pregnant! All of the walking around we did was noticeable the rest of the evening and the next day in my lower back and walking gate. Oh well - I'm glad I didn't have to miss out on anything there!
Something that was really cool for Brandan and I was that this is the last time we will be able to spend an entire day doing something like this without kids that might possibly keep us from seeing everything we wanted to see, walk for as long as wanted to, and be there for however long we wanted. I know that makes me sound like I think kids ruin parent's lives, but I'm simply just saying what I have heard from everyone else who are parents now, haha. Everyone keeps telling us lately to take advantage of going out to eat, seeing movies, taking trips places, etc while we can. I don't imagine it changing immensely once we have kids, but it will definitely be a new obstacle we'll be dealing with for the next 20 years! :)
["World Super Bowl," a 7 yr old Angus weighing 2,646!]
[Reggie, the 5 yr old Champion Big Boar, weighing 1,335lbs!]
I'm not sure why, but Brandan and I have a weird fascination with gigantic animals and plants at the fair, haha. I would post the rest of the pictures, but I'll stop. The largest pumpkin this year was 933 lbs! We were trying to figure out how people decide that they are going to set a goal to have Iowa's largest pumpkin to bring to the fair and came to the conclusion that once we've been out of grad school for a few years, we'll have more time to begin having random ambitions like that. For example, Brandan has a life dream of building a huge, temperature-regulated green house so that we can grow our own food year round. It might happen... it might not... I'll let him seriously think it through again in a few years ;)
Another thing that is unique to the Iowa State Fair is the butter sculpting. This year there was a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs theme. They had Snow White, the evil queen, the Seven Dwarfs, and several other random things like cows and alligators, etc. So creative!
After a full day of touring around and enjoying ourselves while becoming super tired of being on our feet, we ended the day with one of my guilty pleasures - funnel cake. This year they even had red velvet funnel cake! I didn't think it tasted much different from the regular kind, but it sure was delicious!
As for the pregnancy, it's going really great! Two days ago I woke up and, having fit into them even the day before, all of a sudden couldn't fit into ANY of my skirts, capris, or shorts. Pregnancy is funny that way, but it's not very fun not having anything to put on when I have to leave for an activity in the next hour! I finally broke down and went out and bought a pair of maternity pants and two shirts. Those things are sooooo comfortable!! The next two pictures are of the last time I fit into regular clothes (even though I'm wearing a dress, but it was taken the day before I could no longer fit into regular clothes with a belly band or maternity tank top) AND of what is probably the last time I will straighten my hair before I am debating chopping it all off. Most days I feel like a high schooler with it as long as it is and I just don't know if a 23 year old, married and pregnant, future-mommy and med school student can pull it off anymore? Opinions?