I celebrated another birthday (still holding onto my 20s as long as I can) while in Iowa. It was full of happiness in the form of love, donuts, apple crisp, and song and dance.
If you ever get the chance to see 42nd Street, don’t pass it up. I went with my mom and it was so fun!! It will make you appreciate all those years of tap dance more than ever before. And potentially make you feel inadequate after all those years of dance lessons…these dancers are fantastic and so much fun to watch.
My mom, Owen and I drove to Iowa City to surprise my niece and nephews at my niece’s volleyball game. It was a plan we’d had worked out for quite a while and I could hardly contain my excitement. I felt horrible because Maddie and Henry were starting to think I’d forgotten about them, but little did they know…
Last summer, Owen was very fond of his cousin Jack. Not much had changed this time around. He had to go wherever Jack went and do whatever Jack did. Monkey see, monkey do! I wish these two could spend more time together…they’re best pals!
Maddie played an awesome game and scored several points for her team. She has a lot of potential on the court – she’s quick, gets under the ball, is a great team player and uses her voice. She’s really the star of her team, but I’m also very biased and I’m so proud of her! I was that obnoxious aunt cheering her on in the stands. I am so glad I finally got to see her play.
The volleyball game was followed by playtime and pizza. And a big truck.
I’m also very grateful that I got to see my beautiful sister…she was sick when we were home in July and I wasn’t able to spend much time with her. I’d be so lost in this world without my sisters,
Right before we said goodbye for the drive home we snapped a picture of everyone…these moments are never easy.
In true American style, we packed the weekend full of football. We started off Saturday morning tailgating for the Iowa State game.
A couple of my dad’s cousins were tailgating also and it was so nice to see them again and catch up. We have the most fun family, let me tell you what…
Owen loved the biiig truck that my dad and his friends tailgate out of and he really enjoyed the football game so we were able to stay to the victorious end! (And we all came home with sunburns…)
Owen got to meet Cy. He wasn’t too sure about him, but did give him a reluctant high five and called him a duck.
After a nap, we immediately changed into our other State gear to root on our Bulldogs.
While we were home, I called my favorite hair stylist and friend (our families have been friends for years) to see if she could squeeze Owen in for his first big boy haircut. I let it go as long as I could, but it was time. He was getting quite shaggy.
Let’s just say, this haircut went down on Owen’s list of top things he hates about being human.
Angie did an amazing job. I have no idea how she got it to look so adorable. I basically had to hold him down and yet she still managed to get it cut perfectly.
It didn’t take long before he was all smiles again…and appearing to be ten years older or so it seemed. What happened to my baby?!
My grandpa was busy in the fields and Owen was perfectly fine with all the tractor action.
Turns out Owen and his great-grandpa share a similar sweet tooth for brownies…
Four generations. Blessed with the best.
The next day we drove to Cedar Falls to watch my nephew and his 5th grade team play football in the UNIdome.
Don’t they look so tiny on that collegiate field?! I just love it. I think they had a lot of fun and really looked good out there. Every time Cale got the ball, I was proud but cringed and had to bite my tongue to keep from yelling, “Don’t hurt him!” It’s a legit fear I didn’t realize I had – he’s the first football player in our family. And he’s quite good, I might add.
We went to a park to burn some energy and then to lunch. I spent most of the time with my sister…I’ll say it again, a world without sisters is no world at all. I love both of mine so much and am so thankful to have them in my life.
Hugs were given freely by Owen, per usual.
And he was infatuated with his Uncle Keith’s big truck (and loved pointing out that it’s a Ford).
Then the day I’d been dreading and looking forward to at the same time had finally arrived. The day Owen and I flew to Alabama to see Alex. It meant my time with family in Iowa was over but it also meant that our little family of three would be reunited after three weeks apart. My mom dropped us off at the airport and even though we knew we’d still get a couple more days with them before we moved to Korea, it was still tough to say goodbye.
The two flights to Alabama were fairly short, but it was not during Owen’s prime hours. He started out fine…
But the layover in Atlanta was pretty traumatic for the both of us.
Fortunately, the flight from Atlanta to Montgomery was only 30 minutes and Owen slept the whole way. He didn’t wake up until we put him in the car.
I’ll be back with a post about our time in the dirty south and probably one more about our last few days back in Iowa before the big move.