Saturday, July 14, 2012

Time keeps on slippin': Catching Up

It's been a month since I updated... and I feel like it's only been about a week!  The last few weeks have moved at such a rapid pace that everything is kind of a blur... how does that happen?  When I was in high school, I truly thought that high school would n.e.v.e.r end.  Never.  Ever.  But now, it's whizzing by in a flash of colors, memories and giggles.  If you were sitting here with me right now, sipping coffee in my living room, I'd tell you in my best old-person-voice: the older ya get, the faster it goes.  Cliche?  Sure.  True?  Mos' def.

So the last month... where to begin?
We made the pilgrimage trip to the little town of Keota, Iowa for the Conrad family reunion.  I've been married into the Conrad family for seven years, and been around for close to ten, so if I had a nickel for every time I've heard about Keota, I'd have a crap-ton of nickels, for sure.  So it was a whole lot of fun to go and see this place I've heard so much about.  The thought of traveling with a 4 year old, an almost-2-year old and a two month old was pretty daunting, to say the least, but it actually went impeccably smooth.  It didn't hurt that we always had some extra family members traveling with us on our flights- my mother-in-law and father-in-law on the way to Iowa; my brother-in-law and niece & nephew on the way home.  Phew.  For real, I'm not sure that it would have gone so well without those extra {amazing, helpful, sweet} hands.

Having never been to Iowa, I thought I knew what I'd find there.  My imagination conjured images of brown, wheaty, flat-as-a-pancake land that would lull me to sleep in an instant on the road.  Did you know that Iowa is kinda, actually, really pretty?!  Who knew?  We flew into Cedar Rapids (which I also had pictured as something completely different than what it was) and began our little drive into Riverside, Iowa where we were staying at the local casino.  The accommodations were in a little set of condos apart from the actual casino itself and were perfectly well suited to what we needed.

The next few days we got the grand tour: meeting aunt's and uncle's of my husband's that I had heard so much about, exploring little towns and even visiting the gravesite of the first Conrad to come to the United States from Germany.  How is that for a history lesson?  We visited the Kalona Cheese Factory and enjoyed a little fresh curd (one of the many places I'd previously heard about and was so very excited to experience).  The kids had an absolute blast!  I really felt very comfortable in the rural, small town setting.  The kids had so much room to run and play, the people were friendly and a big part of me wanted to buy a farm and settle in.  We didn't, though, and came home... back to the usual.  Which is ok... I do love our usual, too.

After Iowa, we've spent lots of time with family and lots of time outside!  Matt's sister and her girls were with us in Iowa, and were able to be here for a couple of weeks afterward, so the girls had so much fun together; Kate cannot get enough of them!  She loves being with them- even when they get into their girl drama arguments, ha!  They had so much fun playing "school" with grandpa... he is a pretty tough teacher!

Kennedy is growing by leaps and bounds; she is the sweetest little thing.  I'm not biased, either.  It's simply fact.  She has a killer smile, a snuggly personality and a laugh that makes my brain turn to absolute mush the second it starts.

We spent the 4th of July up at my mom's, because Grandma Pam's house has the BEST view of the fireworks without having to worry about parking or drunk people.  It is AWESOME!

I've been spending lots of time on Pinterest, trying to figure out great things to do with the littles now that Kate doesn't have school three days a week.  We've done some fun crafty crap, but honestly, the simplest things are the ones they love most.  Who doesn't dig finger paint and washing off in the kiddie pool?

I'll be honest- painting the cement with water is one of  No mess, just a little water and no kidding- they were SO entertained by it!  A lazy mom's dream come true.

So that has been our month in a nutshell ("Help!  I'm in a nutshell!  How did I get in this nutshell?  What kind of shell has a nut of this size??"... bonus points if you understand my crazy...).  We keep busy.  We make messes.  We love on life as it is.

Next up: Project 2nd Birthday Party.  My Will-man is going to be TWO!!!  Stay tuned... will it be Fishing themed, or Pirate themed... you'll have to check back to find out!

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