The week in Washington DC was challenging because it took me out of my comfort zone, was physically exerting, and made me wish my IQ level was much higher. Jake works in this amazing city every other week, so the girls and I worked it into our school schedules to come out with him. It just happened that the best week for us was election week. I am so glad for the “perfect timing”. Conquering an unfamiliar city with three young girls was daunting and invigorating. The first day the girls and I had a conversation about “getting lost”. They were concerned and nervous. Their past experiences with my navigational skills wasn’t giving them confidence, nor should it have. So I had to think about what I could give them for confidence and said something along the lines of, “I’ve been getting lost since I was Ivy’s age (2) and I’m still here and doing fine. Getting lost isn’t the end of the world. You work through it and make it in the end.” Getting lost has always been incorporated into my traveling methods….or lack of. I’m used to it, but my kids weren’t. Jake does extremely well with finding his way around, and I do hope my kids latch onto this strength of his. Ivy had major meltdowns several times in every day. But it was something to see her confidence grow as she rode the Metro, and did so much walking without a stroller. Ayzia and Eden helped with navigation and felt grown up when they got to stand on the Metro, opposed to sitting. They were motivated explorers in a new territory. Elementary age is the perfect age to go to the DC! I am not going to go too much into my observations and personal feelings about election week. The Nations’ feelings are still raw and tender with the event being current. My girls haven’t spoken much about their opinions regarding the election and what they witnessed. But hopefully when they are older and can articulate their feelings better, I’d love to know how it shaped them. Within our tight-knit little family, we had both Donald and Hillary supporters. For viewer information it doesn’t matter what family member was with what presidential candidate. But our family had the discussion after we found out who won, that it’s important to always vote for who they feel is the best candidate, regardless of what their parents think. We can still be a family and be friends! I guess there is one personal experience worth sharing. I got an impression that it was important to express concern and empathy about Hillary and sorry that she didn’t win. (I was sincere, and was able think about their feelings.) Next, I want to mention something, but not sure how to articulate it so I’m just going to say it; I loved being around the local Americans that were black. Every where I went, there was a black person laughing and in good spirits. I don’t know how this will come across to the viewers reading this, but in the moments surrounded by black Americans, I was keenly aware of how calm, safe, loved, and “right at home” I felt. The diversity there in creed and color felt good within my soul. We are all one America, God bless our great country!
Waiting For the Metro
Walking Around the City
Smithsonian National Washington Zoo
I love beautiful cemeteries! I also love capturing haunting-looking pictures. Coincidently these two loves were met at the Arlington House.
Monuments that Were Planned to See
Natural History Museum
Air and Space Musuem
Native Indian Museum
Snowbird Ski Resort, Fist Ski Lessons
Jake and I took a trip to New York with some friends, Amy and Reagan Clark. We were there a full 3 day with 2 days of travel. It’s a lot to absorb in such a short time. Being in New York made me feel like I was ‘somebody’, because anybody important in the media has been there. It’s a place that connects a person to the world and its temporary residents. New York is not only an attraction for the United States but globally as well. Islamic radicalisms crashed into the twin towers in hopes to achieve their dominance over the world and emit their hate for America. However, the tragedy only made people love New York and America more. Their efforts didn’t drive our nation apart, but brought us together. It’s easy to feel like ‘you’re somebody’ when you are in New York. In fact, I miss that feeling. It’s invigorating, energizing.
I began each day asking Heavenly Father what lesson he wanted me to learn. These were the spiritual insights:
• How does feeling like a ‘somebody’ turn into pride? Or to put it scripturally, 1 John 2:16. Time square in particular, does a great job infiltrating pride. In the H&M store they have a place upstairs where anyone can dress up and pretend to walk the run-way with a live DJ. Outside, a huge billboard screen magnifies people down below on the walkways. They wait there until they see themselves blown-up in lights. Topless ladies walk the grounds with their chests painted red, white and blue. One lady rubbed her breasts on the person taking a picture with her, another lady was paid by a father to stand with his 4 year old son. The father took a picture of them while the lady bent over and dangled her breasts in the young child’s face. This father passed the perfect opportunity to teach his little-man the proper way of treating a lady and how to give them attention respectfully. There are great men and women, the world just needs more of them. An example would be, on the subway station a father was there with his young son who was playing a difficult piano piece on a keyboard.
• When you look at the moon, is it the craterous planet seen with a telescope or a smooth surface smiling down at you while lying on the grass? Each bright light of goodness has its opposite dark adverseness. In New York there were people who were loud and rude as well as loud and gracious. Much of my experience depended on a duo perceptiveness; one was positive and the other negative. For example, am I eating breakfast in an untidy ally way outside my hotel or is it a patio revealing the infrastructure of an awesome city? We spent at least 12 hours each of the 3 days trying to see Manhattan. At certain times of the day it felt like being in crazy mayhem. Peace came from good food, and beautiful architecture, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. However, the most success we found was in the Manhattan LDS temple. A serviced church is inside where Sunday meetings are held each week and the public is welcome. LDS temples and churches differ with one another. Anyone is welcome inside a church building as long as it is open., but the sacredness of the temple requires its occupants to live a life without worldly addictions. The inside of the church was similar to all the other ones around the United States in the way it felt, smelt, and looked. This was the only place in Manhattan I felt away from the city without actually leaving.
• The third spiritual lesson was received by watching people’s choices on how and where they used their talent(s). On a street corner was a group of men in robes, standing side-by-side. The middle man shouted proclamations with vigorous energy. Large in stature and handsome, his voice reached many. He obviously had courage and leadership. However, what stood out was the anger and his offensive words of belittling people’s appearances as they walked by him. The energy this group created left us no better than when we arrived. In an opposite comparison, our last night in Manhattan I saw my first Broadway play, Finding Neverland starring Matthew Morrison. Fulfilling every measure of my expectations, I was filled with deep gratitude: for all the talent and energy each person put into making this production amazing. I was grateful their fruitful labors steered toward edifying the human spirit. Their performances moved me towards greater light and I was indeed blessed to share this experience with my husband and friends who appreciate uplifting activities. The previous day we visited a firefighter museum by RadioCity. A gentleman there was a retired firefighter and now devotes his time to teaching young children about the work they do. Each day we saw New York police out on the streets keeping their city safe. My experience here has made me a better person and hopefully more kind and gracious to those around me.
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