Monday, July 27, 2015

visiting Iowa

First we flew from Singapore to Salt Lake City. After a few days there we rented a car and drove to Breckenridge, Colorado, and then after the reunion we rented a car again and drove to Iowa. It was kind of a lot of travelling. But the kids did (mostly) well and we all survived. 

Just like our time in Utah and Colorado, our time in Iowa was awesome. I was prepared to deal with humidity and heat not quite as bad as we have here in Singapore, but still unpleasant. Iowa sure surprised me though! Our first night and our last night there were the only times we needed the AC on in our room. It actually tended to get chilly at night and the days were absolutely gorgeous. I could not have asked for more perfect weather. But it didn't help when it was time to leave, just one more thing to miss.

The kids loved being at Grandma and Papa's house, of course. Declan wasted no time in discovering the treasure trove of cereal right at his level and I found him like this on more than one occasion. He continued his pattern of refusing to ever touch dinner and being an absolute bottomless pit from the time he wakes up in the morning until nap time.

We went to the grocery store once and let both the kids get mini carts. Declan is the worst age for this sort of thing. He is old enough that he wants to do what Tatum is doing so he won't be satisfied sitting in the cart if she is pushing one, but he is absolutely out of control steering that thing around. I'm sure everyone was glad to see us leave that store. But I do love his face as he picks up this pudding he's pretty sure we should buy.
We got to see some friends in Iowa! Yay friends! Camille was nice enough to drive down to Mt. Vernon and do a picnic at the park with us. Sadly, and unsurprisingly, Collin and Declan had no recollection of each other. 
But Tatum was sure happy to see Collin again. The poor girl, all of my friends have kids Declan's age but we don't seem to have any friends with kids Tatum's age. She's good about just playing with the little guys though.

We went back to my parents' house after lunch and the kids had a blast with Duke.
Duke is a pretty good sport most of the time.
This girl needs a dog.
We got to see Camille and Collin again at story time and then we got together with the husbands too for some good old bowling. It was fun to catch up!

One night while Grandma was working we went out for a bike ride with Papa to see trains from the train bridge. One of the best things about my hometown, in my opinion.
Tatum has her arm around Declan and he is smiling. A momentous occasion!
Here it comes!

We lucked out and got a train for both directions.  The second one came in a lot faster and hotter, it was a little overwhelming and slightly hilarious.
Duke was certainly a highlight of our stay in Iowa. The kids just can't get enough. Enough so that I am seriously considering getting them a dog for Christmas. We'll see...

I love this next picture. Declan thought he was the coolest thing holding the leash. Tatum loved to do it too, and could actually be trusted, but one time she started running so Duke started running and it ended with Tatum flat on her face on the sidewalk and Duke as free as a bird.

So much love!

We got to have dinner with the Lights and the Rices once before Brennan left. Always fun to get together with them. Gretchen, Kassy, David and I all went to high school together.

Declan and David having some deep conversation.
Claire, Declan, and Charlee. Declan started out okay...
Then he wasn't so sure about all the people looking at him.
Then he was sure. Sure he didn't like it. At all. It wasn't his best night.
Playing catch outside.

The weather was nice enough that when Declan fell asleep on the way home we could just leave him in the van with the door open and play outside while he napped.  Did I mention I loved the weather? :)
One of Tatum's favorite things to do was work in the garden with Papa. One morning Papa asked her if she was going to pick berries with him, and then we went somewhere in the morning. The first thing she said when we got back was, "Do you think Papa picked the berries without me?!" Luckily, he had not. :)

We did a little hopscotching. Having a yard and sidewalk to chalk on is so amazing! I had fun trying to take pictures.

Mom and dad have a fire pit and we spent many evenings around the fire. And on more than one occasion we roasted marshmallows.
His face in this picture makes me laugh every time.
Declan preferred his marshmallows unroasted.
Aunt Crystal gave the kids running club shirts. They are a little too big so they serve as nightgowns right now. They love to match though.

One morning mom took Duke out and it was raining. Declan followed her, of course, and she just left him. She came inside and said "you're son is out in the rain". Gee, thanks mom. Must be nice to be a grandma. ;) It wasn't storming so the kids got to play in the rain for a bit. They loved it.

I don't think it will ever get old to see him loving on his older sister. It is just too sweet.
And finally, here's a video of Tatum singing Grandma's favorite song while she plays with the bears I used to play with when I was little. 


  1. I LOVE the shirt that Declan is wearing in the marshmallow pictures. Where did you get that?! This was a great post! Now I want to go visit Iowa. wish I had a reason to! Those pics of Declan with Duke and Tatum hopscotching are perfect! Where are you guys going after Singapore?

  2. So fun to see you back in Iowa! And those lucky fun you got to get together. And at that cool park in Mt. Veron. We've actually been there before. Looks like an amazing total USA vacation. Hope the transition back to real life is going okay. We sure love and miss you!