Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sante South 2013

Sante South is a food and wine festival put on as a fundraiser for the MS Alzheimer's Association every year in Jackson. Last year Tracy and I went. It was awesome. The actual owners and vintners from the vineyards come and talk to you about their product as well as let you sample! Equally as exciting, several local restaurants provide excellent samples of some favorite dishes to accompany your wine.

I provably would purchase tickets to this event no matter who sponsors it...but the Alzheimer's Association has a special place in my heart. So I will go every year in order to support this charity. And I support it in honor of Thelma Ross, my grandmother. A strong woman whose last days were tainted by Alzheimer's. 

Also this year, my best friend Amanda went with me and my in-laws. Amanda's life has also been touched by loved ones suffering with this disease. I pray that one day, no one will have to watch their family members endure it.

I also got to run in to one of my new co workers, Jennifer and her husband Dale! Precious people. <3 em already.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Painting my way to the next adventure!

February 12, 2013 started as a normal day.  I went to work and everything was just plain and the same as it is everyday.  That afternoon though, my sister asked me if I wanted to go to an Easely Amused painting night with her and her friend Melanie.  Anyone that knows me knows that I love to paint and go and do things, but that day I was definitely not feeling it.  Jay had just left for a hitch.  My birthday had just happened. I just wanted to go home and hide in my bed.  But I decided that being anti-social would be the opposite of what I needed, so I accepted my sister's invitation and went with her and Melanie and had a blast! 
Melanie and Sissy

Me, Melanie and Winn

The process...

The finished products!  "Swirly bird"
I really was not prepared for the way that this night would change my life.  I can only explain it as an answered prayer.  The story is that I was speaking to a marketing major/teacher stranger across the table from me when the stranger to the right of me overheard me talking and said that her company just had a position in marketing open and that she thought that I would be perfect.  Her name is Cindy and after talking to her a little bit, she gave me her email address to send my resume to.  The next day I was contacted by Human Resources who wanted to set up an interview.  Two interviews, one online personality assessment and a timed test later, I got the job of my dreams--or so it appears.  I won't know for sure until I start work this Wednesday.  But I can definitely say that I have loved speaking with everyone that I have met so far and the company seems to really respect their employees and treat them well.  So TODAY, was my very last day with the employer that I have worked for for the past FIVE YEARS.  It was my first job that I had out of college and I must say that I have well outgrown it.  Adios, farewell, adieu....
Peace out! Headed to my exit interview.

My last swipe before they took my badge!

Badge I've had for five still has my maiden name.

Driving through the gates to freedom!

New Year's 2013

I have finally caught up the 2013 in the blogging department! Yahoo!  (I only have one 2012 one left to do--Jay's deer)  We spent New Year's Eve this year at Maggie and Kris's house.  We try to swap families with New Year's each year, and this year was the first year in three years that all of the "boys" have been home (Kris, Jay and Stuart).  We enjoyed it, but I definitely started feeling old this year!  We counted down to midnight with New York's ball dropping and then we were home in time for our time zone's midnight. 
Driving to the Hynums'

The girls and Uncle Earl making s'mores

Great pic of the offshore workin men!

Funny pic--Kris, Jay and Stuart

Tracy and me

Me and Mrs. Margaret

Maggie and Kris

Jay and me and my giant puffer wasn't even that cold.
Happy New Year!  (Love that jacket even if it adds 75 pounds to my pictures.)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bye bye Harley... (December 29, 2012)

On our very first date, Jay took me on his motorcycle to the movies.  I had never been on a motorcycle for longer than a few minutes, and certainly not with an almost complete stranger.  I was nervous to say the least!  Anyway, Jay tells the story alot better than I do, but I was completely terrified.  My terror was doubled when during the movie I realized that when we left to go home it would be dark outside!!  AHHH!  But he made it so easy. 

We also took some of our engagement photos on the bike!  We had a few good times with the 2009 fat bob...but it was time to say goodbye.  And in order to say goodbye, we had to take it on a drive across the reservoir and to Got Gear Sports in Ridgeland...Jay had to stop and warm up in the truck... it was FREEZING.

Bye bye Harley!
We had tried to sell the motorcycle online for about a year, and we never got any serious bites.  The only logical thing that we could think of was to trade in the bike for a BUGGY.

So excited!

Here we are the next day in our Got Gear hats taking the Ranger for a ride around the block!
One cool thing to mention that happened on the day that we got the Polaris is that we recieved a call from Jay's biological father Gerald who lives in South Dakota.  Jay and I have been married for over two years and this is the first time I have heard his voice.  It was awesome.  And we even got to go visit with him and Jay's Aunt Dot (whom I had also never met) that night!  Here are some cool pics from the event.  I will never forget it, and I know that Jay won't either.

Jay, Aunt Dot (Dorothy) and Gerald

Gerald's lovely wife, Brenda!

Jay, me and Gerald
I look forward to getting to know this side of Jay's was crazy to see the mannerisms and different things about Jay and Gerald that were so alike.  A great time was had by all that night!! Until about two in the morning!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Christmas Eve Traditions!

December 24, 2012 - To elaborate on the Ross side of the family celebrating Christmas Eve every year in Jackson, I should mention that December 24th is Papa's birthday.  Papa is Allan Semmes Ross Sr. and he passed away in 1995.  He was a great man, a wonderful father, husband, grandfather, a native Jacksonian, and came from a long line of great Ross's.  His favorite cake a Japanese fruit cake that Nana had made every year...somehow we dumbed down from Japanese fruit cake to coconut cake and every year we have a coconut cake in honor of Papa on his birthday--Christmas Eve.

Aunt Carolyn's beautiful decor.

An important Ross tradition is taking a picture of the table!!

Aunt Carolyn, Adam and Ben

Mom and Beth in front of Aunt Carolyn's hearth

Mrs. Emmy--Uncle Benny's mom
Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Benny spend all day preparing the food for this wonderful feast.  The house is always decorated to the just is always perfect!  Until the boys VS girls game.  I think Aunt Carolyn started this tradition, but it may have been Allison.  I mean, the claws really come out over what should be a friendly game amongst family...thankfully Aunt Carolyn has allowed Jay and me to take over the gaming portion of the evening.  It was getting so serious that we were scared someone would break something. Seriously. :)
So we headed back to the Jordan's house!
A little mingling pre-game.

More mingling...
Me and Beth

Aunt Carolyn and Mrs. Patty
 And, now it's game time:

Boys VS Girls (2012 winner: Boys...because they cheated)
 Last minute fun: Jay wrapped up pieces of charcoal for Adam and Brett's Christmas presents.
Jay and I got Ben a remote control truck that looks like Jay's truck...I think that the big boys had as much fun with it as Ben did.  And I also think that they tore it up that night before they left they were playing with it so much.
After everyone left, Jay and I packed up and made the trek to Meadville so that we could wake up and open presents (and Santa Clause stuff) on Christmas day.   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Christmas Eve at the Jordan's

Every Christmas for as long as I can remember, my family has spent Christmas Eve in Jackson.  It used to be at Nana and Papa's house, but when that was no longer possible my Aunt Carolyn took up the tradition...and it is one that is very dear to me.  Now that we are all older, Christmas Eve is the only time that my whole family gets together.  My brother and his wife come in from Texas.  My sister and her husband along with my Mom, Dad and grandma make the trip up from Meadville.  And my Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Benny prepare a feast for us along with their children--Adam, Allison, Brett and their kids Ben and Caroline.  And we can't forget Mrs. Emmy (Uncle Benny's mom) and Mrs. Patty, Mr. Richard and Beth!  Aunt Carolyn's house is always prepped like it is ready for a magazine..the food is perfect and placed.  It's perfect and peaceful--until the annual boys VS girls game.  That's when things get rough.  Too much competition in our family for Christmas always leads to a raucous!  Last year was the first year that Jay and I have lived in the Brandon area and in a house big enough to have any company...Last year was also the first year that we hosted the Christmas Eve tradition at our house.  It was difficult because Jay wasn't home at the time, but it was worth it.  This year, our second year, he was home and we were able to completely enjoy in all of the fun.  Prior to going to Aunt Carolyn's house, we hosted the First Annual Ross Family Talent Showcase.  I had emailed everyone earlier in the year and advised them to be prepared to share a talent on Christmas Eve and to come to the Jordan house early for a SPOONS tournament.  Jay had NEVER played a Ross at SPOONS.  He quickly saw how cutthroat it can be.
Dealing...and Allan.

One side of the table.  Don't let the smiles fool ya.

She means serious SPOONS business.
Thankfully, our first SPOONS tournament ended with no lost limbs, blood, eye balls out or broken windows.  Only the table has scars from this wicked game.  We were all too hungry to continue the tournament, but next year we will resume.
Quick break for a pizza lunch!
Background music on the new piano!
And next was the long awaited First Annual Ross Family Talent Showcase!!  First up, Jamie demonstrates his mastery of the art of barbequeing by providing us all with instructions on how to make his famous BBQ sauce and a cute little jar for sampling!
This is Winnie demonstrating while Jamie explains the process.
Next up was Lori, our couponing queen in the family!  She is such a coupon queen that she and her sister in Pennsylvania mail each other coupons when they find good ones!  We all learned alot.
Lori flipping through her magic coupon binder with Allan helping to explain and answer questions.
Next was our snake-charmin, oboe playin Mama!  She soaked her reeds and had me, Winn and Lori sing along with a beautiful rendition of "Greensleeves". 
The musician and her backup vocals.
Jay and I practiced for weeks...and then it was like we forgot most of the words to "Baby, It's Cold Outside"...well, I forgot the words.  :)  But it was fun and it was our first duet to perform!  We also played an extended introduction version of "Christmas in Dixie" as well as a crowd pleasing "Blue Christmas".
Jay on guitar/vocals and Amy on vocals/smiles.
And last, but not least....the Yo-Yo Champion of Jackson, MS 1957--Allan Semmes Ross Jr.!  What a treat!
Walkin the dog, goin Around the world and Rockin the baby!!!
I will try to post videos of these talents, but in case they don't come up, I needed these pictures to document!  Here are some more highlights of the afternoon:
Mom, Gma and Lilly

Photobomb by Allan

Photobomb by Amy

Winn, Allan and Lori

Jay and Amy

Jay and Winnie

Serious family run-in

Wacky family photo run-in

So, overall, this year's early Christmas Eve event was a success! Hope everyone is preparing for the Second Annual Ross Family Talent Showcase in 2013!

Next blog will try to attach videos, and also will update on the goingson of Christmas Eve night including Aunt Carolyn's house and the boys VS girls showdown.