Friday, July 02, 2010


i heart des moines.
des moines is really such a fantastic place to live. i just saw a list that stated des moines was the 3rd best city in the U.S. for married couples with kids. no wonder i love it so much! (granted, the perfect weather we're having is probably tainting my opinion a bit...we'll see how i feel in february!) but seriously, we have a fantastic farmer's market (iowa should, right?), one of the top art festivals in the country, and when a hot new restuarant opens up, you can actually get reservations! it's big enough to have great food, music, and entertainment, but it's small enough to be managable.
it's just the right size for me.

anyway, one of des moines' best traditions is the yankee doodle pops concert. it is always held on the 4th of july weekend on the lawn of the state capitol building. isn't our capitol beautiful?
it is an outdoor symphony with a fireworks finale--such an incredible event. i'm ashamed to admit, this was the first year we attended! the weather was absolutely perfect for an evening outside. no humidity and just a slight breeze as the sun set over des moines. tens of thousands of people bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets-- filling the capitol grounds.
it is so neat to see people of all ages, nationalities, and walks of life enjoying beautiful music and celebrating our nation's history. 

we parked a few blocks away and loaded up the wagon...
i think quinn felt pretty fancy, riding with the big girl...
we joined my parents and some other friends for a picnic: greek pasta salad, 3-bean salad, fresh watermelon and berries, and sandwiches were just some of the goodies we grazed on...

i also nibbled and nuzzled my little girls. they were so smoochable in their little patriotic outfits with all that sunkissed skin showing.  
the girls were able to roam and roll and play...

 we were so lucky to see iowa native, simon estes, performing with the symphony. his voice filled the sky. it is so rich and thick and heavy...
it just coats you.
our friend, linda, plays in the symphony so my dad took piper up to say hello. she was pretty excited to see all the instruments up close and pluck linda's violin.

that's linda, above, with the long ponytail. i might have to talk to her about that scrunchie. just kidding.
the fireworks are set off far enough away that they don't drown out the beautiful music, they just add a bit of drama to the performance.

we had a fantastic evening.

 happy 4th of july!


  1. What a beautiful family! Sounds like a perfect evening!

  2. that last pic of quinn is such a YOU face, its not even funny!
    so glad you had a great evening with your whole family! and the part you wrote about the girls being able to roam and play...probably the biggest reason I would NOT have enjoyed it. My boys roam just a little too much! Maybe I should invest in some of those kid leashes...

  3. Piper looks so sassy and Quinn looks a little dazed.
    Too bad everyone just wishes their fam looked as good as yours!\
    LUH you.

  4. haverlee-they have really upgrades those leashes since we were they have fuzzy bears on them, which makes it seem a-okay to have your kid on a leash. :)

    b.a.- love how adorable your family is!! yay for mr. a being home!!!

  5. You have a beautiful family. Judging by that building, des moines does look like a lovely city.


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