What I'm trying to say is that it's freezing out.
We had to suspend our touristy activities due to getting heat exhaustion from just looking out the window. We did, however, make a quick trip to Walmart for an emergency pair of sunglasses since I left mine at home. Walmart has a surprisingly delightful assortment of super cheap sunglasses. If you see a girl driving a black SUV wearing either a mint green pair, a turquoise and lime green pair, or aviators, it's probably me. The baby in the backseat might be wearing a pink pair of aviators. We had to cover all the bases. And also buy the pumpkin pie chapstick at the checkout counter. And maybe something from the Pioneer Woman line of kitchen linens.
Speaking of. I bought my mom some PW kitchen things for her new house as part of her birthday present. I opened a kitchen to drawer my first night here to find she had already bought herself exactly what I got her. But at least they weren't covered in pictures of illegal substances.
Yesterday my mom took me to get my hair cut. It's been 10 months since my hair was butchered, and I haven't gotten the nerve to find someone new. My mom loves her new stylist here, so we made an appointment before I could talk myself out of it. It's the best haircut I've had in years. She even curled it! Every other stylist I've gone to for the past decade always wants to curl the ends of my hair under with the flat iron and poof my bangs, and I walk out looking like a 5 year old. Would it be weird if I start driving to Iowa for future haircuts?
After the meet-and-greet in which Gracie was happiest pulling books on HIPPA laws off my dad's office bookshelves and flipping through them, we hopped over the bridge to Illinois for lunch. There's this tiny, cute little town with dutch windmills (??) and an amazing cafe. We waited an hour for our soup and sandwich, but the food was worth the wait. The sky was darkening throughout our lunch, and once we finished eating, I decided to put Gracie in the car while my mom paid the bill. I had a gut feeling the heavens were about to burst forth. The sky was black as we ran toward the car and it started sprinkling as I opened the door. I strapped her in the carseat as fast as I could, and just as I was finishing, lightning flashed right on top of me and the bottom fell out, further ruining my hair. If you've been keeping track, racing storms is becoming a theme on this trip.
My precious angel daughter who I love more than life and who is usually very happy and easygoing has been a perfect hellion this week. The combination of being off-schedule despite my best efforts, in new places and a new time zone, extremely sleep-deprived, and cutting a molar has been the death of me. I've learned the age old truth that the more tired a baby is, the harder it is to put them to sleep. Every nap and bedtime has been the fight of my life and has resulted in tears for both of us. The drive home this weekend should be a bundle of giggles for both of us. What I'm saying is: pray for us.
Today we're driving going to Antique Archeology--Mike and Frank's store from American Pickers. I've watched that show since college and one night we looked up the location on the map after they showed a bunch of gorgeous views of Iowa. I remember thinking it looked so pretty and I wanted to visit, but I knew that would probably never happen. But as Justin Beiber says, never say never.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out which pair of sunglasses to wear with my outfit today. Not that it matters because it's supposed to storm again. Expect stories.