It's official - we are Iowans. We were invited to our first driveway party. I have no idea why, but people congregate in their driveways here. Everyone brings a lawn chair and they all sit in a circle. Some church friends invited us over this weekend and lo and behold, it was a driveway party. As soon as we rounded the corner and saw their house, I said, "oh, so we're doing this Iowa style?"
I've been trying to explore our neck of the woods recently so that when winter rolls around and I am whining about how much I hate Iowa, I can (faintly) remember that it's not so bad in summertime. We've had a remarkably cool summer (we've made it to the 90s like twice?) and while it's kind of a bummer if you want to go to the pool, it's pretty awesome for hiking.
Jared and I did a 3.5 mile mud and obstacle run at a nearby park that I previously did not even know existed. On our run, we came across wild blackberries and stopped for a snack. The next week, I took Libby and Piper back to the park to look for the berries again, but couldn't find them. I had to get Jared to come back with us (for the 3rd time in a week, if you're counting) and we easily picked a few pints worth of blackberries.
I also found a great trail for walking and riding bikes. (I say that like I discovered it myself - it's actually a very prominent greenway that I pass all the time in the car but had never hiked on.) Libby is getting really good at her balance bike and this trail is a great place to practice. Mostly shaded, and it's exactly 1 mile from the parking lot to a playground. And, to top it off, there are mulberry trees on the route. I'd never had mulberries before, but they are delicious!
There is a minor league baseball team here (they're called the Kernels and their mascot is an ear of corn. Be afraid.) and we've been to 2 games. We might go once more this season. Libby really enjoyed it, especially when we sat on the lawn.
And of course, we've been going to the park as much as possible. I feel like a terrible mom that it took me all summer to finally go buy a $1 shovel and pail for Libby. Every time we went to the sandbox, she would sweetly and pathetically say "I don't have any toys." I'd usually tell her to dig with my flip flop. Now, she has a proper bucket and shovel and life is good.