I have been trying to write this blog post for three days. I have organized and uploaded photos, thought about what to write and have sat down in my office to do it many times. Every time, I get interrupted. My boss needs something or the kids need something. Right now, Gwen is entertaining herself by playing the very highest notes on the piano over and over while Harris sits at her feet and watches her. This beautiful music will inspire me. I have 30 minutes before June gets off the bus. Let's do this.
Last Thursday, I took Gwen and Harris to the zoo with friends. It was an overcast and rainy day, but in the 50s, and after months of cold, it seemed like Bermuda to me. It reminded me of every winter semester I had at BYU. It would snow and be cold constantly, and then toward the end of the semester, spring would come and there would be a few weeks where I would wear a skirt and sandals around campus and feel like Bob in What About Bob? ("I'M SAILING!"), even though it was finals week and my sleep schedule had become non-existent and my previous 5 meals had been slices of cheese from a huge block I was finishing off before moving out of my apartment for the summer. The weather really affects me! Warm weather after a long winter makes me feel like I can do anything!
Gwen was waaaaaaaaaaaay more into the statues of animals than the real animals and that's where she spent the majority of her time.
On Saturday, we took June to swim lessons and then went directly from the YMCA to Washington, D.C. for President's Day weekend.
The Washington, D.C. temple is closing in March for two years while the Church renovates it, and we really wanted to attend the temple before it closed.
Plus, we really needed a weekend away. Dan works every day, comes home for dinner, helps to put kids to bed and then works late into the night while I go to bed early to rest up for Harris' early wake-up call. It's a good life we have, but we really needed to recharge.
I interned at DC the semester before I went on my mission. I love DC very much. The running joke over the weekend was how nostalgic and sentimental I was and how I couldn't prevent myself from mentioning my old DC life at every street corner, waxing poetic when walking by a restaurant I had eaten at or reporting the minute details of what time I would wake up in order to run to the monuments before work or my various important intern tasks of answering phones and sorting mail and giving the occasional tour of the Capitol building. I was reliving my glory days BIG time, and Dan would patiently listen until I could see the corners of his mouth curl up in a small smile when I would then realize that he was laughing at me because I had started to reminisce once again despite my many claims that this would be "my last story, I promise!"
He's a good sport.
We made decent time driving there, even though it was snowing the last hour or so. We brought audio books, and the girls enjoyed Stuart Little. Everyone began to be antsy toward the end, and just like many mothers before me, I tried to keep the peace by reminding everyone how much fun we were going to have at the indoor pool at the hotel that evening.
We arrived at the hotel, and the pool was under repair. And the TV was broken. Kind of a nightmare scenario.
We even got dressed up in our swimsuits and headed down to the pool when we saw the sign on the pool door. So, like many mothers before me, I attempted to salvage the situation by playing up how fun it would be to take baths in our swimsuits that night!
I don't know if anyone really bought into the garbage I was feeding them, but they humored me for a little bit.
After a semi-restful night in a hotel room with three kids, we got up and went to church.
We went to church, and it was a sweet experience. It was especially touching because the stake president there had died unexpectedly from carbon monoxide poisoning two weeks earlier, and there were many sweet tributes to him in the talks given. What a painful experience for a family and stake family to go through, and yet it was amazing to see how many lives he had touched in a positive way.
After church, we drove into DC and walked the national mall.
We decided to be really honest with ourselves what our kids could handle, and we determined that walking around outside was pretty much it. There are a million things Dan and I really wanted to do, but guided tours and the like would be torture for our crew and everyone else in the tour group.
Despite snow the day before and heavy rain the day after, the weather Sunday was great, and just walking around ended up being fantastic.
We also went to the MLK and FDR monuments, but I can't find my pictures for them. They were really cool, too.
And the last monument we saw was the WWII monument. Each member of our family took a picture with the pillar bearing his/her birth state's name on it.
My Joisey boy.
And little ol' me.
The next day, I was able to attend the temple early in the morning.
It was jam packed due to its upcoming closure. It was awesome sitting in a completely full session at 7 a.m.
And while Dan took his turn, I took the kids to the visitor's center.
This was right after June shouted for the entire visitor's center to hear: "I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE REAL GOD!" referring to the Christus statue.
I have more to say, but no time left. "Done is better than perfect" has become my mantra the past year or so, so I will just settle for this and hope to do better next time.