The Stories

Our Trip To Iowa!

July 13, 2015

DSC_2193 DSC_2235Since I was a child, I have gone to Iowa every year. I have typically gone in the summertime for the 4th of July, but there were a few years in college that I would go during Christmas. My dad was from Iowa (but he moved to California after his Vietnam days,) so we always went back to visit his side of the family (my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins.) It is definitely my second home, and my family members there are basically a second set of parents and siblings. They are so awesome, that they took in Aaron like he had always been a member of our family, and they’re the same way with the girls.
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What do we do in Ohio Idaho Iowa? If I had to answer it simply: we spend quality time together. But guess what, that sounds boring…and our trip there is very far from boring, so let me elaborate. IMG_7523 DSC_2134Our flight departed at 5:20 am (you heard me right!) We thought we could bring our City Select double stroller to leisurely cruise through the airports, but it quickly got taken away from us when we were checking in our bags. Boy, am I glad that Aaron got the stroller bag so that we could pack that thing up nice and safe (I couldn’t believe it fit!) We had hopes that the girls would sleep on the flights, and Sadie (the MVP) cooperated nicely, Hadley though? Not so much. I will admit she was still so good, and she only got upset at the very end of our last flight to Cedar Rapids (she was so done with the seat belt!) What made the flights work: using a Boppy pillow to have Sadie sleep on my lap, bringing her swaddle (yes, she still likes being swaddled,) and having a white noise app on my phone that helped get her to quickly fall asleep. For Hadley, having plenty of Curious George on our tablet helped, a baby and baby bottle, and I bought this book for Hadley to look at with me. IMG_7341 IMG_7350 IMG_7272Our time in Iowa began with an indoor farmer’s market called Newbo, that is very reminiscent of the Embarcadero in SF (I am serious!) We all got to pick our own lunch, and of course I chose a fancy grilled cheese with tomato soup. Hadley got to play with some over-sized Jenga blocks and roam free for a while…she loved it! IMG_7371IMG_7400

My aunt and uncle's lawn is so green and beautiful!

My aunt and uncle’s lawn is so green and beautiful!

Our days would be spent visiting, eating yummy snacks, and taking it easy. I don’t think I could shut up about how beautiful and green it was there (I’m so used to seeing everything tan in dry California!) After we’d get the girls to bed, we would typically have an adult beverage (my drink of choice being a black pearl, a secret item from Disneyland’s Cove Bar that my dear friends introduced me to,) gather around the fire-pit, and play Heads-Up on the patio. Kelly and I had some amazing vibe going on whenever I would do the “Brand” section of that game–I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing to be so savvy with brands, but that’s just the way it went down! IMG_7527IMG_7663 IMG_7474We went to the country club for a family dinner one night, where both girls decided to unleash their inner beasts. The food was amazing (I opted for crab cakes, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, and french onion soup,) but we all took turns walking the girls around so that they weren’t crazy. When it was my turn, Hadley decided to beeline straight to a tether-ball court and accidentally slip in dirt. I almost laid down with her (Sadie in my arms) and submitted to defeat! So thankful my family could embrace the adventure that can be having a baby and a toddler, gosh I love them.

Blurry but fun!

Blurry but fun!

Pancakes for breakfast? Only Hadley! :)

Pancakes for dinner? Only Hadley! 🙂

DSC_1836 IMG_7465We went to the Cedar Rapids farmer’s market on the morning of the 4th of July, which is one of my favorite things to do there. I love that it seems as if the entire community is there, it’s huge! All of the adults got breakfast burritos, and I got some fresh, hot donuts for Hadley. Oh, she was a fan (I was too, just sayin’!) DSC_1875DSC_1899

Smiles for Uncle Larry

Smiles for Uncle Larry

With the girls having early bedtimes, we opted to stay home for the evening. I got to sit down and spend some quality time talking to my grandma, who is one of the strongest, wisest, and most loving women I know (she would light up with joy whenever the girls were around, it was so sweet.) We played corn hole (Aaron, we need to get one of those!) had appetizers, lit some sparklers, and watched big fireworks from the patio. We of course played more heads up, and sang very patriotic songs in obnoxious voices. 🙂 IMG_7873 IMG_7495 IMG_7509 DSC_2007 DSC_2003My uncle’s bank participates in the Zach Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament, and nonchalantly said that The Bachelor (Chris Soules) was going to be there! Kelly and I are big fans, and got ridiculously excited. My aunt and uncle went to a dinner the night before the tournament where I told her she had to get a picture with him…she did not fail me! 🙂 My uncle got us VIP passes for the tournament, so Aaron was a sweetheart and watched the girls so I could go! After watching my uncle golf a few holes, we set out to find Chris. At first, I got nervous, but then when I saw teenage girls taking initiative and getting a picture with him, I knew we had to make it happen. It made for a fun story and after we got to meet him, we couldn’t stop laughing about it. That night, we tuned into The Bachelorette. 🙂 IMG_7570 IMG_7584This time, I had a hard time saying goodbye. I loved my late nights of staying up talking to my aunt and cousins, all of the sarcastic fun in making fun of each other, and laughter (my uncle has the best laugh!) I have such dear memories of going every year, and my aunt has a way of taking care of all of us that reminds me of the sweet days of childhood. (For example: we were talking about how puppy chow [muddy buddies] sounded so good, and wa-la, we get home and she made some for us!)  She is one of the most incredible mothers I have ever met, I mean…her children made an actual song and performed it for her on her 60th birthday—only an amazing mom gets that kind of love! She stays up late with us, she would do anything for any of us, and she is also filled with tremendous wisdom. Even when my dad passed away, she has treated me like I was her 5th child. <3 DSC_2459 IMG_7652DSC_2483The girls did well on our flights home (even though we agree the Dallas Fort-Worth airport is still our least favorite,) and Hadley–Miss “I only sleep in my crib”–even fell asleep on my lap! Traveling with a nugget and a toddler isn’t the easiest, but it sure is easier when you are surrounded by family at home and far to help make it easier!

Delayed at Dallas Fort-Worth :)

Delayed at Dallas Fort-Worth 🙂

Happy Monday, and thank you for reading!
<3 Christie

PS: Scotch-a-roos! Is this just a Midwest thing? We were introduced to these pieces of peanut butter rice krispie treat covered in a butterscotch-milk chocolate on our trip! My whole family was shocked we didn’t know what they were. To. Die. For! Aaron and I both succeeded in taking a picture of Aunt Jan’s recipe to share with the California world! 🙂

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  • Reply LaDonna Aitchison July 13, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I still think you should write a book! What fun and I bet they loved having you and your family there for the holiday.

    • Reply henleyandhadley July 16, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks so much, you’re so sweet and supportive. I love seeing my family there!

  • Reply Caitlin Kane July 13, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I just love reading your blog. Your trip sounds like it was so fun. Your girls are just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

    Ps. We still haven’t started full on potty training with Hannah, though she uses her little potty at least once a day. 😁 we decided to do the transition of moving her to Joelle’s room first and then do the big potty training weekend when she’s made the room change adjustment.

    • Reply henleyandhadley July 16, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Your words mean SO much to me! Thank you so much for reading. ❤️
      I totally get doing one big change at a time. Hadley still has her bedtime paci and I’m not taking that away yet!

  • Reply Ina Library July 13, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Wow, these photos are beautiful! Everyone looks so happy and engaged. These are the moments you’ll cherish forever! I’m so happy that you and your little ones had such a great time! Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply henleyandhadley July 16, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you soooo much for your lovely words about my post! It means so much to me! ❤️

  • Reply Alicia Williams July 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    What a fun trip, and your photos are beautiful! And you got to meet Chris, I’m slightly jealous!! 😉 how fun!

    • Reply henleyandhadley July 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you so much! It was so fun meeting him, I think I’ll be forever giddy, haha! 😊

  • Reply Julie Butterworth July 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Christie…I so enjoyed your blog about your time in Iowa. So glad you are able to keep coming to visit them. I can only imagine how much hugging went on with those little girls! I can hardly stand the cuteness overload! Oh and Scotcheroos are about my favorite thing! Unfortunately I have many others too ha!

    • Reply henleyandhadley July 16, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Thank you so much! I really want all of us to try to get together! It would be amazing to reunite! I’m so thankful Facebook brought us together!

    • Reply henleyandhadley July 16, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      And I need to know more about these secret delicious Iowa foods! 😊

  • Reply Bethany July 13, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Love this post!! Such gorgeous photos! And I had to laugh at your skotch a roo part. I’m from Minnesota and we grew up with my mom making those as a treat! When I visited Washington while my hubby an I were dating, hardly anyone had heard of them!

  • Reply Tess July 21, 2015 at 1:58 am

    I don’t think there’s anything boring about good quality time together! That sounds like the best time. Your trip looks lovely and iv just gone back through your archives catching up on your life with those beautiful poppets! Such a lovely blog to follow and that your girls can read themselves when they’re old x

    • Reply henleyandhadley July 28, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words! That is SO sweet of you and is much appreciated. I love getting to write, even if my husband and I are the only ones that look back on it; it’s therapeutic. Thanks for reading. <3

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