On Friday night we returned to AZ from a 12 day long adventure in Iowa (and in my case, Iowa and NYC) where we visited friends and family and escaped this wicked hot heat.
Unfortunately Alan wasn't able to join us this time, so the girls and I flew out on our own. Yes. You read that right. I flew with the girls by myself. Even after "successfully" (aka: none of us died) completing two flights by myself with the two girls, I still wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Unless absolutely necessary of course.
Thankfully we made it all in one piece and we had lots of people that were thankful we did!
Here's a little picture recap of our time away...
1) Nora making brownies with GG Mary in her new apron (made by GG herself).
2) Nora playing with homemade play dough with Great Aunt Debbie.
3) & 4) I was lucky enough to see my sweet high school friend, Liz and her two boys, Easton and Titus, before they move overseas this coming weekend.
1) My beautiful hometown, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. As I grow older, my appreciation of the beauty of this small town only grows greater and greater.
2) There's no denying it, Nora LOVES carousels. Honestly, if she could ride a carousel each and every day, she'd have such a happy little heart. It must be the combination of quick movements, lots of pretty colors and fun animals. Thankfully this time I was able to "con" my dad into taking Nora on the carousel. Let's just say carousels are just not very pleasing to this mom's stomach.
3) & 4) Nora and Elsie just loved my parent's dog, Carly. Carly proved to be the best playmate, toy and friend to the girls while we were away. If dogs weren't a decent amount of extra work, I'd sign us up for a dog today. (Alan maybe not... but the three ladies in this house, hands down yes)
Before flying to NYC for my first ever BlogHer Conference, I was able to spend the night at one of my dear college friend's homes. Katie and I were joined by Allie, another friend that I met from Iowa State. Between the three of us, we've shared so many memories and I truly consider these two women sisters in the faith. We've walked arm-in-arm through some of the hardest times and some of the best of times. What a sweet treat it was to see them both during my trip to Iowa.
And then I was off to the Big Apple to represent the quickly growing network of local moms blogs, the City Moms Blog Network.
It really is a huge honor and privilege to "work" with these ladies as they influence their communities.
1) & 2) What some of you may not know is that I traveled to the city BY MYSELF! Eek. It still sounds scary after doing it. And I wasn't so much scared for my life but just scared that I didn't know a single soul (except through Twitter). Out of all 5,000 attendees at BlogHer, I was alone (kindof).
Thankfully I passed the time trying to figure out how to make a conference Bowflex lanyard look cute. (Hehe... that's not the only thing I did of course... but these pictures needed some sort of caption)
3) My roommate, who I met via Twitter, Brittany, proved to be a great blessing. Here we are in the Out My Window suite.
4) One of the fun things I was able to do while in NYC was support a Phoenix based non-profit, the Lost Angels Foundation of Hope and help the founder, Kelly, get the word out about the lip gloss, Lite n Glossy, that she created to help raise awareness (and funds) for the Lost Angels Foundation of Hope and help raise awareness of the epidemic of child sex trafficking.
LOVE this lip gloss. (Plus it has a pretty cool side mirror and LED light built into it).
My parents were sweet enough to take the three of us out on the boat on a couple of occasions. Nora just loved it. Elsie... not so much. Could our girls be any different?
But above all, I think the one thing that the girls (and I) loved the most about being in Iowa was being with their Mop and Papa outside. The temperatures were AMAZING. We'd spend hours upon hours running barefoot in the grass, picking vegetables from the garden, playing in the sprinkler and laughing throughout a game of hide-and-go-seek.
Let's just say we're dreaming of the days that the temps drop below 100 here in AZ (which probably won't be until the end of September at the earliest).
All in all, the trip was filled with so many special memories. We're certainly happy to be home and re-united with Alan, but we're missing all of the fun (and cooler weather) that we enjoyed in Iowa.