Friday, May 21, 2010
I want to try and type the rest of the trip in this one post. It isn't going to happen but in many ways I wish I could get it all to fit. The trip seemed to go so fast but I learned so much!
Friday morning we woke up in Ohio. We got in the car and drove. We drove and drove. We had some really pretty scenery (been a while since we had that). We drove through the Appalachian Mountains. Those are some pretty awesome sites! We all kept commenting how awesome it would be to drive through those same mountains in the spring, summer and fall...when the leaves were blooming, bloomed and changing colors.
We pulled into Washington D.C. later that night. I had talked to my sister on the phone and she got us some rooms on Priceline for a decent price. We had 4 nights in the same place, a place to call home for a few days.
The girls were sad that we didn't have a pool in the room but THRILLED when they saw the room and how beautiful it was. We were at the Hyatt. I just LOVE the Hyatt Hotel Chain. I have NEVER stayed at one and not just loved the entire time I am there!!!
Friday was the first fight of the trip. The girls were done. I was so glad we were almost to DC. The girls were AMAZING troopers and considering it took them until the middle of the 3rd day driving to have their first fight, I am amazed! They are amazing!!!!
After arriving in DC we got our first warm meal in what seemed like days. We had been eating out of the cooler most of the time and honestly that wears on ya! We went to Papa Razzi's. It was good but definitely not as good as the first time I remember eating there.
Being in DC felt good. I was scared because I didn't know the future. I was excited because I knew that the next 4 days I had a place to stay and call home.
That night I slept really good. As I knelt in prayer and asked what should be done I felt a peace that the next day, Saturday, was a family day. When I got up the next morning and prayed again, same answer, I was excited to spend a day seeing the sites.
We slept in, ate breakfast then walked to the Metro station next door. I am always amazed at how CLEAN DC keeps their Metro. The Rosalyn Station is the station I have been to the most...probably cause each time I have been to DC since being married we have stayed in Rosalyn, Virginia...just across the Potomac from DC.
The day was a BEAUTIFUL day and we had so much fun. Honestly, that was probably the best day for family fun the entire trip. I was at ease. I struggle not knowing the future. I love having a plan. To be in a foreign, expensive city with no job, no plan...only know Ben was supposed to look for a job and that we were supposed to be there...that was HARD!
We walked the "Mall" of DC that day. Taking time to stop at each monument. I wish we had taken the time to stop at one or 2 museums but honestly we just didn't.
As the day drew to a close we headed back to our room. I had a compelling desire to go to the temple. We got in the car and drove. As we were driving, the most beautiful pull out appeared. The pull out let you see over the Potomac into Georgetown. We pulled off the Freeway for a minute to take in the scene...let the girls enjoy the surroundings.
We got back into the car and a few minutes later we were almost to the temple. The DC temple is surrounded by beautiful trees and rolling hills. We went to the visitors center first. We listened to a small excerpt on Christ. I held back tears. Once again I felt peace, I felt the same I had when at Winter Quarters. I felt the Spirit.
The sister missionaries, especially one Sister Crowfoot, came and talked with us. After walking around the visitors center for a while the girls needed to go to the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom, Sister Crowfoot went and talked to Ben. She found out our situation...and the Spirit spoke to her for her to know EXACTLY what I needed.
After we left the bathroom, she took us down the stairs to a little area. There was a kiosk type thing with pictures of all the 12 Apostles and First Presidency. She played a couple small excerpts of different talks by different men. As each played I thought, "How did she know I needed to hear this". Each talked about the journey of life and how we need to be prepared for it Spiritually cause we never know what will happen physically.
While drying my tears we walked back up the stairs and outside to the temple. The lights were on and the temple shone. Our family walked out onto the temple grounds. Katy wanted to take pictures and we stopped to let her take some pictures. She was soooo excited to be at the temple. I am ALWAYS amazed at children and how they are drawn to holy places! Katy oohed and awed at the temple. Lyse did too but she walked off with Ben so I wasn't there to really talk to her much.
As we were walking some deer suddenly appeared. The were right there, next to the temple. We tried desperately to get a picture but it was just too dark and the little camera wasn't enough.
We walked around the temple, the girls excited and Ben and I chatted. I don't really remember all we chatted about, I just remember how happy and complete I felt walking around that sacred building while holding my sweethearts hand and watching our children ahead of us. I felt the desire to be in the temple but honestly I knew it wasn't meant to be right then...no temple clothes, no babysitter, etc.
Saturday ended and it was honestly a beautiful day. It was a perfect day. We felt the spirit of our nation, the spirit of freedom as we walked the grounds of the Mall area and then even more importantly we felt the Spirit of our Father in Heaven as we walked the grounds of the temple. I am sooo grateful to live in this nation, to have the freedoms we have. I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who inspired men to sacrifice so much so we could be blessed with so much.
Sunday while I wish I could say was an amazing day...it wasn't. I was not as kind to my family as I wished I would have been. Sunday was probably the HARDEST of all the days. Sunday was a day I felt like I was the worst person in the world. Sunday was also the day that I kept feeling what we needed to do, none of it making sense and instead of following happily, I begrudged, fought and got frustrated.
Sunday I was a horrible mom to Lyse. Lyse went into meltdown. Honestly, who can blame her! We had been on the road for 3 days the site seeing all day the next day. We hadn't caught up on sleep, we hadn't had any "relax" time in which we just sat in the room and watched some TV.
Sunday morning I woke up early. I prayed and felt we needed to go get tickets to go into the Washington Monument. It was 7:00 and I got up and dressed. I was going to just drive myself, get the tickets and come back. As I was getting ready I had a strong impression that I needed to get the family up to go with me and take the laptop.
I woke Ben up and everyone quickly got dressed. The day outside was gloomy, rainy (down pouring is more like it) and honestly I felt so down and out I want to cry even thinking of it now. We got our tickets to go to the top of the monument and we headed to see if we could get some internet. We found a cute little cafe that was also a free wireless hot spot. Since we rushed out the door and didn't grab breakfast, the girls were starving. We went and got them a little something and set up on a table for a few minutes.
This is where Lyse had her melt down that continued for an hour. At the end of the hour, I had my melt down. The melt down started when we walked in the pastry cafe and the girls saw all the yummy, delicious morning treats. Katy carefully looked over her choices as Lyse grabbed the first one she saw. A few minutes later she saw another one she wanted but since she had already TOUCHED and grabbed the other one, she couldn't have the second one.
Honestly you would have thought I was starving the child. I ended up being a bad parent and purchased the second item too in order to try and stop the melt down...it didn't work. After we left the cafe and headed to the monument to go inside, Lyse continued her fit. It didn't stop...over and over and over she cried and whined. I hit my max and lost it. We were late to the monument and I was sure we weren't going to make it. Lyse wouldn't stop crying and then refused to get out of the car. I was no longer a nice mommy. I was mean. I am thankful that Ben was there...I am thankful I am not a single parent.
From there it just seemed to fall apart, unravel. I questioned why we had come to Washington DC, I questioned why Ben had to loose his job. I had many many doubting questions and didn't want to allow the peace of the Spirit to help me. The wait in the line for the monument was cold and wet physically...spiritually I felt dead.
Why were we sent here? Where was this job? When were we going to feel the prompting, "Be here and be here now" that we BOTH felt was going to happen. I had woken up that morning feeling like, "today will be the day". I felt like the Washington Monument was where we were supposed to be. I felt like the little cafe was where we were supposed to end up...the internet a life saver. Why had it all fallen apart there?
Looking back I think if I had handled the situation better, there would have been a whole different outcome of that day and experience. I think it could have been a VERY spiritual experience for me. I should have taken the time to talk to Lyse instead of just telling her we didn't have the money for both (which I ended up getting in the end anyway). Looking back if I had been a better mom...if I had not worried as much about money as I did about...there are a lot of if's looking back!