Iowa trip & our vow to never roadtrip ever again.

We came home late last night from our ten day trip to Iowa, I can’t really put into words the amount of chaos that went on & how happy we are to be in our own beds. We had planned to head back for my brothers wedding and just stay for a few days, but in recent news of both of grandparents having some health issues, we decided to make it a longer trip so we could spend more time with them. We are SO glad that we did, and know that all of us will cherish that extra time together. On the other side of things, it feels like we have been gone for six weeks & I feel like it will take me just as long to recover from it.
Fourteen hours in the car is WAY too long for three kids. We left Saturday afternoon, and were going to attempt to make it to St. Louis, but our wheels were falling off the bus by Nashville so we just stopped there. Word to the wise, never do the short part of the trip first, because by the time we were strapping the girls back in their car seats in the morning, they were screaming before we even left town, and we had 8 hours to go. We somehow made it to Iowa in one piece, but the same can not be said about the return trip. Harper got bored and stuck her gum in her hair, Eloise painted her entire car seat with an ice cream sundae & Claire shattered my iphone. At one point Claire & Eloise were screaming as loud as they could, while Harper was laughing hysterically with wide eyes. It was fucking bananas.
Did I mention how happy we are to be home? 🙂

We started the trip staying with Brandon’s parents so we could visit all of our family, the girls had so much fun seeing their cousins & we had fun doing a little food tour of the midwest eating all of our favorite foods. Happy Joes, Maid Rites & sweet corn are some of the best things about the midwest! We did slip-n-slides, sparklers, pools, sandboxes, sidewalk chalk & shucked dozens of ears of corn. Relaxed for movie nights & woke up extra early for good pancake breakfasts. We always wish we could be closer to our family there because they are so much fun & such good hosts, we love them all to pieces!!
We took the girls to Adventureland, our favorite childhood amusement park in Iowa, and ended up having a ton of fun! The park is so kid friendly, the weather was beautiful & there was tons of shade.  And only two rides had to be stopped to let Eloise off because she was crying & screaming her head off, so we considered that a huge success.

There’s something so special about getting to show your kids places that mean so much to you, especially by the time they get old enough to appreciate it. We loved showing Harper places we used to work or spend time together when we were dating.
We stayed with some of our best friends in Des Moines who have kids close in age to ours, got some good bagels for breakfast (love this little coffee klatch reading the auto trader) & visited a few more college friends before heading to southern Iowa for my Brother’s wedding. I will share lots of beautiful pictures & details from their day, which so stunning it needs its own post! 😉
It was a much needed break from blogging & most social media (I just can’t quit you snapchat) but hoping to return to regularly scheduled programming very soon! But first, coffee.
Have a great week, friends!!  


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  1. As a fellow Iowan, now live in Fargo, I can relate to your favorite food items! I will be driving to watch our NDSU Bison take on the Hawkeyes in September. Any bar recommendations in Iowa City? I've never been there!

  2. LOL I was dying over your snaps on your way home, because….been there!!! And then we forget how crazy it all is and do it all over again (kind of like having babies, I guess!?)

  3. It sounds like even though the trip was super stressful- rightfully so!- you still loved being there and that it was worth it in the end. As a fellow road trip warrior- my husband and I drive from Colorado to Portland, OR a couple times a year with our two little ones (2 and 4 now) & the only piece of advice that I can offer for next time-because as much as this road trip sucked you will most likely be crazy enough to talk yourself into it again- is to just keep doing it! Our kids now will allow us with the help of iPads, drive the whole way in one day if we want- 16 hours!!!- and I honestly thing it is because we keep forcing ourselves to take the trip. Sooner then later they will be good at sitting in their carseats and you will only need two glasses of wine upon arrival to your destination rather than a whole bottle!!! 🙂


  4. How fun!!! We were just in Iowa to see family as well and we are going back September 17th for the Iowa vs. NDSU football game! NDSU is where all my family graduated but we were all born in Iowa. I've heard the tailgating is AMAZING at Iowa and I know that is where you went to school. Any places we must see on campus or eat or have a couple drinks? I'm so excited!

  5. I always love reading about your trips to Iowa! I live in Muscatine! Always love the Maid-rites and Happy Joes! Adventureland is fun too! You're really brave to drive all that way with 3 little ones! 3 times a year we'd take a little trip that was about 3 hours driving and we always had babies crying! Love reading your blog! ~~Pam (mom to 8…mostly grown now though!)

  6. I've been following you since you were pregnant with Harper and I've always loved you, but I love you even more when you speak of Eloise. she is so much like my daughter Anna and it's so refreshing to hear that I'm not the only mama with a daughter who's keeping us on our toes!! Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  7. Yay for the midwest! I love it here.

    I know alllllll about vowing to never road trip with kids again. I just got back from Milwaukee and swear up and down that I will NEVER do that again. However, I don't have the option to not since we travel the US in the summer/fall and will have to drive to Kansas
    BY. MY. SELF. with a 3 year old and a one and a half year old. Last car trip the 3 year old screamed "I can't breeeeeave!" just 140 times while the little one thought screaming at the very top of his lungs was hilarious.

    I need a cocktail and a xanax. Or a punch in the face.

  8. We recently moved from Michigan to Oklahoma, which is about a 14 hour drive. I drove the minivan with three little girls while my husband drove the freaking slow moving truck. I hated him for the THREE DAYS it took us to travel. He had a quite truck to poke along in while I was behind him with the circus. My middle daughter would yell at me to turn my music off if I turned it up to drown them out. I feel you. Road trips with kids suck. I am thankful for DVD players and every Starbucks drive thru!

  9. I love Adventureland! I have such vivid memories of going there as a kid. I'm from Omaha but have lived in AZ for so long that I couldn't even imagine it being kid friendly. Thanks to you, we may have to take a little road trip to take my 3 year old when we go back to NE in a couple weeks! A

  10. So many great memories reading your post! Happy Joes, Maid Rites, Adventureland! Flashback of the Ice Cream Creamery. Love and miss all of it! Maybe homemade Maidrites will be on the menu this week!

  11. Glad you're back on the blog!
    So sorry you had such a shitty time in the car but happy the visit was good.

    I can totally relate to the road trip blues. We visit my husbands family 8 hours away monthly. My kids are 3 and 1 now. 3 year old is so used to going now and he's older so he's good with snacks and DVDs but babies are always the worst! Since she's been born we have to cut the trip in half and stay the night to give her a break. I couldn't imagine doing 6 or 8 hours in one shot so good for you! Brave parents!

    Have a good week and enjoy the coffee 🙂

  12. I second the advice above to drive through the night…it's the only way we can survive road trips with our 3 and 1 yr-olds. Fill up their bellies with a good pre-departure dinner (takeout food, ideally, so that you won't have too much cooking/cleaning to do before leaving), put them in their PJs and hit the road around 6-6:30pm. Take a quick bathroom/diaper break around 8pm, then just drive drive drive through the night while they sleep. My husband and I load up on coffee, chocolate, good music, whatever it takes to keep ourselves awake and have a rule that BOTH of us have to stay awake the whole time to make sure that the driver doesn't get too sleepy. It's a bit painful but way less so than making the trip with bonkers awake kiddos. As long as you have someone on the other end to watch the kids for a few hours after arrival while you and hubs take a nap then you're golden =)

  13. I know it is hard, we don't have 3 we have 2. A 4 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. We travel every summer driving for 24 hours, it is hard but each year it gets easier and we know what works better and what doesn't. My husband has put all our movies on a hard drive and sets up wifi in the car and the kids can watch movies on there iPads, you have beautiful girls.

  14. Sounds like so much fun! Beautiful pictures of the girls! Laughing so hard as we just finished up a ten hour road trip with our two girls, I can barely rest this with my shattered phone, and my two year old peed her carseat 45 min from our destination. An hour into the trip I said "next year were flying." Glad y'all survived!!

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