heat wave

This post is coming at you from the center of hell. This picturesque, rural paradise known as Iowa currently has a heat index of a roasty 121 degrees outside. That's ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY ONE DEGREES.

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?

we tried.
I felt like the queen of the world with my new hair. The salon is right on the Mississippi River, so we decided to put Gracie in the stroller and mosey down the river walk for a few minutes. Of course it started pouring which mostly ruined my curls. I wouldn't have minded if we weren't about to visit my dad at work so he could introduce Gracie and me to his employees. First impressions have never been my strong suit.

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. 


  1. YOUR HAIR! You look amazing!!! I think it is perfectly reasonable to drive to Iowa for haircuts, especially if you're going to look that good at the end of it. Dang girl!

    I heard one of my coworkers talking yesterday about a "heat dome", where the temperature reaches triple digits across a large cluster of states. I think yesterday it was about 21-25 states. So, while your 121 degrees is totally unreasonable and no one should be expected to live like that-- you're not alone!!

  2. Love the haircut! My husband's cousin is a story producer for American Pickers. Apparently the two guys severely dislike each other in real life, but he always comes back from filming with interesting stories!

  3. I got my hair completely chopped off (literally) when in Seattle a few weeks ago and if I'm sitting here seriously debating whether I can pull off a $350 plane ticket every 6-8 weeks to go back to the lady that did my hair, you certainly can justify driving a few hours to go to your own good stylist. It looks amazing!

  4. I agree, your hair cut is on point! Looks so cute:) And guess who just bought I Capture the Castle, and My Life in France? Yep...me! I'm bringing them to Tahiti with me!! Thanks for the recommendations:) It's all I can do to not crack them open before we leave this next Wed!!! eep!!

  5. I am OBSESSED with the $5 sunglasses from WalMart. I have a pair in my car, Matt's truck, my work bag, and my purse so that I am covered at all times and also because I couldn't narrow it down to one pair!!

  6. Your hair looks AWESOME!
    I can't wear cheap sunglasses...or at least I can, but if I do, I can't see much through them. My prescription sunglasses I've had for 4 years are one of my favorite possessions--looking cool AND being able to see at the same time? Magic.
    Hope you both survive the trip home!!! Seriously.

  7. I feel you. It's so warm here too. You look good still.
    Try to stay cool.

  8. So cool that you visited Antique Archeology! They visited a house in Ohio not too long ago that my parents know the owners of. I've never traveled to Iowa for a vacation, though we've driven through it. It sounds like you found some pretty cool places- despite the rain!

  9. Heck, I may drive to Iowa for a hair cut - you look fabulous, even in the heat. I am so tired of this weather. My co-worker told me to remember this in February. I just looked at her and said "I live in the frozen tundra of Western NY for a reason" Bring me fall and winter now!

  10. Your hair is fabulous! I would definitely support driving to Iowa for all future cuts ;)

  11. LOVE your hair! Avalon did not sleep very well on our trip either and had the most epic meltdown ever in the most echo-y part of the airport before our last flight. Why does everyone always have to look like they've never seen a crying baby? Of course, I'm guilty of the same. I'm glad you had so much fun in Iowa! I can tell you fell a little in love with it.


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