maybe the crazy neighbors would feel better after a cappuccino

Aside from our dramatically horrible start to this trip, it hasn't been all bad. It's actually been pretty good. In fact, I even extended my stay by three days. That's partially because we're having fun and mostly because I'm too scared to drive home with a carsick baby and I'm putting it off. I haven't been stung by anymore bees, but I did find a wasp's nest IN my mom's car and I will be scarred for the rest of my life.

Gracie and I have been completely spoiled. We went shopping the other day, and while I unfortunately didn't wind up with any more clothes covered in illegal substances, Gracie and I did walk out of a store with matching Nikes, and I'm not upset about it. We've eaten at all the cafes and bakeries and explored all the local parks--one resembling the English countryside, and another overlooking the Mississippi River full of eagles, trails, and a castle tower. Gracie has always loved being outside, but now she cries and begs to go outside constantly. We touch all the flowers, play with rocks, and run down the sidewalk. This kid has had the time of her life, so much so that she refuses to sit in her stroller or be held. She is only happy when she's holding my hands and walking.

We wound up driving north to an apple orchard on Wednesday. It was in the 50s and drizzly. The forecast was predicting 70s and 80s when I packed, but the weather has been more in the upper 50s and 60s. All I have are flip flops (aside from my new Nikes), and my feet and everything else have been freezing, but I love it. We drove on a little two lane road through cornfields and hills. There were barns and cows and old farmhouses everywhere. It was pure Midwestern delight. There was an apple orchard tucked away in one of the hills, and I think it's the most delightful place I've ever been. I walked away with homemade apple butter which I can't wait to smother on some cornbread once I get home.

There's also a coffee shop in town that I cannot rip myself away from. They serve the best breakfast burritos and cappuccinos I've ever had. Keep in mind we're in small town, rural Iowa here, and this is the trendiest, most hipster place I've ever been. It would put Columbus coffee shops to shame. I AM IN HEAVEN. I'm afraid they're going to get a restraining order because I won't leave them alone. They have some of the best coffee ever, and they have ridiculously delicious baked goods and sandwiches. They announced a few weeks ago that they were hiring, and I almost applied for a job even though I live 8 hours away.

In crazy neighbor news, they have only gotten crazier. The other day, he mowed the entire lawn with a push mower and then RE-MOWED IT with a riding mower. Yesterday, when Gracie was trying to nap, he decided to edge the lawn and then get the leaf blower out. He didn't just blow the grass of the sidewalk; he literally swept over the entire yard AND THE STREET with his leaf blower. I have never seen anyone so OCD about their yard in my entire life. They wake Gracie up from her nap everyday with their shenanigans. I have yet to go yell at them, but they've received some death glares through the window. Under the cover of darkness tonight, I plan to go rip out a handful of grass and put it on their driveway.

Tomorrow we drive home. If I think about it, I get carsick too from the stress. I was able to finagle a prescription for some anti-nausea medicine for her, so there is a chance we will survive. But if you could do me a huge favor and get down on your knees right now and pray, fast, offer up a sacrifice, whatever you have to do. JUST PRAY SHE DOESN'T PUKE. Because if she does, my next post will come to you from the insane asylum.

In the meantime, you can find me at the coffee shop stress-drinking cappuccinos.


  1. Good luck with your drive home! It sounds like rural Iowa treat you both well! Countryside Midwestern neighbors are the craziest. My parents live in rural Ohio and they have a few nuts, too... haha.

  2. I just read your post about your drive and that is horrid! I am so glad you got medicine and hope the trip is going better. I will indeed pray for you because as I am commenting you should be driving?

    It isn't it so fun to find a good coffee shop? I'm glad you had a good trip. Also, I'm glad Gracie likes the outdoors. I think it is good for kids to be outside.

  3. There are few things better than fall weather and truly excellent coffee shops.

    I love that you and Gracie have matching shoes. Sometimes Parker and I coordinate and I love it. This is why we have children.

    Those neighbours sound insane. Who has that much energy to put into their lawn? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

    YOU CAN DO THIS. Stock up on delights from your coffee shop and drug that child all to heck, poor kid. I'm praying for you.

  4. LITERALLY all the prayers are being said for you for your ride back. have you turned gracie's carseat forward-facing yet? ignore me if you have, but Amelia got carsick on multiple long trips as well as a few short ones, and so we turned her seat around to face forward (right before she turned two, although she is very tiny) and haven't had any sickness episodes since then...we think it was because she could see out the window from her seat and the backwards motion made her sick. worth a shot?

    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH. She's still rear-facing since the law in Ohio is that she can't forward face till 2. But she's the size of a 2 year old, so. I'm tempted. I really think that's a big part of the motion sickness.

  5. I love your comment about ripping up some of their grass and putting it on their driveway, I laughed out loud. Omg. I PRAY your drive home is a peaceful, puke-less one!! ;)

  6. All the prayers for a good trip back! Rural Iowa has never been on my bucket list of places to visit, but this post almost makes me want to make a trip there! It sounds so quaint and calm! Except for that neighbor...!

  7. OH MY. You poor woman. I just read the post from your trip out. You are a saint for even continuing. I would have legitimately just sat on the side of the road for hours. No wonder you are terrified to get back in the car. Throw up is my least favorite thing ever. EVER. I can deal with just about everything else, but that- nope. Nopity. Nope. Nope.
    I read someone's blog recently about their kid having the same problem and it mentioned a few options. Maybe these will help?Seabands (I've seen them at nearly every pharmacy), covering the side windows with the shade clings so she can't see out the sides, and maybe see if your car seat has a more upright angle. Maybe those will help until you can legally turn her around? (I understand the safety- my much older toddler is still rf- but if this were her, we would have been ff the second she turned 2. Good luck!)
    Those breakfast burritos sound divine! Sounds like an amazing visit, even if the journey was a series of horrors.

  8. I am literally PRAYING that your ride home goes smoothly. Tell me if this is frowned upon as a parenting technique because I wouldn't actually know, but- what if you just gave Gracie some children's benadryl or something that would make her sleep through the car sickness? Is that bad? Just a thought. Like I said, zero experience with children. But I know that when I'm car sick, if I can fall asleep that helps a ton.

    Also, your trip looked magical and I'm glad you stayed an extra three days. I might have to make a trip out there to that coffee shop.

  9. ALSO, girl- you are looking HOT. Skinny mama. For real. all the heart eye emojis.

  10. One of my friends hosted a prayer-focused 5K today, and I put your and Gracie's trip on the prayer board. In full disclosure, I did not run, but I prayed for you both while I was manning the sign-in table :)

    That coffee shop sounds every bit incredible, and it boggles my mind that rural Iowa would have that kind of place. The castle tower thing also looks pretty cool. I guess rural Iowa must be one of America's hidden gems!

  11. I'm in love with this place, girl. Like straight from a movie set.
    You and your girl look fab.

  12. Aren't you two just the cutest momma/daughter duo ever?! :) I am sending up prayers right now... although, I have not read the other post and I'm semi-terrified too. I just can't deal with puke and I may never take T in a car again if I read your post. I'll keep you updated.


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