Tuesday, August 22, 2017


She's six now. She puts on an independent face in light of most everything. Maybe needing a nod of encouragement here or there but otherwise she's ready to take on what awaits.

But in the quiet moments, she still wraps her arms around my neck, nuzzles her head under my chin and exhales as if the weight of all that independence was running on battery power that now needs recharged.

The most wonderful part of it all though is that it recharges us both.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Day of School: C First Grade

Well, we made it back from our end-of-summer road trip just in time for the first day of school.

Big day today. First day of first grade for C. Which means....you get to take your own lunch. Excited to see what first grade brings. New friendships, new teacher, new routines. 

The drop off at the first day went fantastic. All four of us walked over together and little sister loved being a part of the day. So much energy in these two this morning.

The day ended just like it started. Lots of excitement and smiles for miles. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Still In Iowa

Just Chill'n in Iowa with Oma and her silliness. Can't take anything too serious around here.
Almost time to head home of the start of a new school year.
The last week of traveling and visiting has been a blast.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Next Stop: Iowa

After leaving Memphis we made the 10 hour drive north. The girls did amazing with a combination of movies, snacks, funny conversations and naps. We stopped occasionally to stretch our legs and didn't try to rush through it. The whole day was a road trip day regardless of how fast we drove, how many stops we made or how many podcasts we listened to.
We had snacks, really off tone signing, and a whole lot of road to cover. 

We made it to Iowa late. We stayed at the farm, and then headed to the fair. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Memphis Continued

Our one excursion into Memphis, other than for groceries, was a visit to the Peabody Hotel. We had been told by anyone we talked to that this was the the one thing not to miss: The Peabody ducks. Every day, twice a day, they are escorted from their penthouse home down the elevator and into the main lobby of the hotel where they walk, by red carpet, to a fountain in the middle of the lobby and swim for the day. They are then escorted back out and up to their home each evening. Every day.

So on what we thought would be a quiet Tuesday afternoon we made the trip in. Unbelievably we found the place packed. To think that they do this twice each day and it draws this type of crowd is simply dumbfounding. 

The kids managed to get a front row seat on the carpet and we all stood back and watched. It's really quite a production, and glad to say that we checked that one off of the list. 

We followed the duck show up with lunch/early dinner at Huey's, a burger place across the street where the server politely explained that it was completely acceptable to use straws in shooting toothpicks up at the ceiling. Fun!
We were all terrible save the Dads, but the kids loved it. 

Memphis. Check. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Next Stop: Memphis

It had been far too long since we'd had a reunion with kids with one of our favorite families. And after trying to figure out logistics of flying, staying, where to to go, how long, etc. I just pulled up a map, and picked what looked to be halfway between Chicago and where our friends live down in Houston: turns out it's Memphis.

I won't lie and say that I've always wanted to go to Memphis, but having a reason to go meant an excuse to check off a few more states from the list. 

In total by the time our trip was done we stopped in 7 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and Iowa. They were all flat. 

The place we rented in Memphis was perfect for us. Plenty of bedrooms for both families to have their own space, and an outdoor pool area that exceeded expectations. Plus, there was a cat on the property that the kids fell in love with. I don't know that the feeling was mutual. 

August in Memphis is hot. We didn't plan much on purpose. The goal was quality time together building memories, relaxing and catching up with wonderful friends. And that's exactly what we did. We did take one excursion into the city, but otherwise we rarely got out of swimsuits, can't guarantee all the kids brushed their teeth twice each day, or for that matter ever got fully dressed each day. We played cards, yard yatzi (homemade by our friends!), and swam so much that our fingers constantly looked like prunes. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Off We Go

Road Trip 2017 has officially begun. Forcast looks rainy.
But who cares. We're on vacation. If it rains we'll find something fun to do inside. 

First stop, Metropolis Illinois, the home of the Superman Museum. Because lets face it...you don't drive directly by the Superman Museum and not stop...especially if you were born and raised in Kansas.

The museum is a collection of all things Superman including toys from all eras, official movie set paraphernalia, autographed collectibles, and many many more things so long as they relate in some way to Superman. It was pretty amazing to see so much stuff in one place.
It was fun to see a small town embrace the comic book culture. In fact they had an enormous statue of  Superman in their town center.

Fun way to start out our road trip!