Spring Break Part 1: Washington D.C.

Day 1: On March 29, Mom, Ben, and I boarded our plane at Salt Lake International Airport early in the morning. We were headed to the east coast for spring break. We flew to Denver, where we had a two hour layover, then to Washington Dulles Airport. The flights were smooth, though I had some sickness due to air pressure at the end of the second flight, but it felt good to be travelling again. I had never been to this side of the country so I was looking forward to the trip.

After getting a rental car and loading up our bags we set off. We drove downtown and got burgers at Shake Shack before heading to the national mall. We took our time driving around so we could really see the city, which was gorgeous this time of year. We were so lucky to come when we did since the cherry blossoms had bloomed. We planned to go together to see some of the landmarks but the traffic was insane and there was no where to park so mom let Ben and I out at the Jefferson Memorial so we could look around. From there we also had a really nice view of the Washington Monument.

By the time Mom came to pick us up the sun was going down. We drove to the Lincoln Memorial and though it was too dark to get any good pictures but we still had a lovely time admiring the stunning landmark.

It had been a long day and the time difference was kind of throwing us off so we decided to drive to where we were lodging. We were staying with some of our old friends from southern California who lived outside the city in Virginia. We had a wonderful evening at dinner with them while we caught up before heading to bed.

Day 2: The following day we decided to do hit a couple of the museums on the mall, specifically the Smithsonian’s. Ben is really interested in aviation so we went to the National Air and Space Museum first.

Though I’m not as interested in this kind of stuff as Ben is, it was still pretty fascinating. I also really admired the way they set up their exhibits. I took an amazing shot from the second floor balcony where all the planes were hanging down, giving the effect that they were in flight.

I also really enjoyed the exhibits dealing with the part aviation had to both of the world wars, since history is more in my interest.

After spending a couple hours there and eating lunch we went over to the National Museum of Natural History. This museum was really captivating since it contained such a broad collection of exhibits on many varying subjects. The most memorable for me was an exhibit dealing with the evolution of homo sapiens and the other human species that lived on the earth.

We also spent time visiting the National Museum of American History and the National Archives Museum. These were both really interesting but we did have to wait in a massive forty-five minute line to see most of the historic american documents at the National Archives Museum. Though it was a really cool experience and those documents have a very symbolic meaning, we were only allowed to look at them for about fifteen minutes. Just a warning if you planning to visit that museum , it’s one of the biggest attractions and is often very crowded.

*There are one main things that I think people should understand: if you visit the national mall you will be doing a lot of walking. And I mean a lot. By the last day in D.C. we all had trouble standing and our feet were aching, which wasn’t good because we had three more big cities to visit. Beside that it was all very interesting and totally worth it.

Day 3: On our third and last day we spent in D.C. we started our day by going to the Nation’s Capitol where we took a tour. Though parts of the building were under construction, it was still a beautiful building and a really interesting experience. After that we went to the Library of Congress. This was one of my favorite places to visit just due it’s amazing architecture and art inside of it. We ate lunch at We The Pizza, which was a lot better than we expected(but then again I love pizza no matter what so I guess my opinion doesn’t matter).

We spent the rest of the day biking around the mall. We saw the Washington Monument up close and visited most of the war memorials along the way. This was one of the more difficult parts of the trip(until the 9/11 museum in NYC but I will talk about that in another post). Though the memorials are beautiful I always feel like these heroes deserved more than just their name engraved into some wall and tourists should spend more time paying their respects.

We spent that night at our friend house before heading on to Philadelphia the next day.
*Note*I am not the most patriotic person and I’m sure, despite political beliefs, most Americans can agree that this nation has many flaws especially during in chaotic time. But to see our country in it’s finest and to learn about the foundation this nation was built upon was humbling. I received a newfound respect for our freedom and became more gracious towards the system(though I did lose some of this respect as 2016 went on). I am sure I am not the only one who has had a similar experience while visiting this beautiful city, and that is why I recommend it so highly. Especially for teenagers. We live in an age where we get so caught up in what everyone is saying on Instagram or other forms of social media, that it is refreshing to see that this state was built on wonderful ideals even if those are not being held up to in our society and government today. It was really an amazing experience and I think everyone should have the opportunity to visit their countries capital at one point in their lives, just to be properly educated and receive the respect that the experience lays upon us.

Proposed Northern West Coast Trip Updates

(in case you don’t know what I’m talking about)

I figured that if I moved my idea one week earlier we could take more advantage of cheap plane tickets.  It really didn’t change much, but in my doings I figured out that if we moved changed the time table so we were flying to SFO on Tuesday the 17th of March, and then exactly two weeks later, we flew from Seattle back to Salt Lake City (with a very short layover in SFO in the evening) we could get cheaper airfares.  That would be about 240 dollars, for five people, on the first flight, and 578 for the return trip, including the flight change.

We would still be spending two days in San Francisco, following the same plan as I laid out yesterday, riding the train to Portland and arrive there on the 19th, stay until the 23rd, then ride another train to Seattle that afternoon and stay until the 31st.  My projected approximate cost for all transportation was about 2,064 dollars.  Based on that and other vague statistics, my estimate for how much the entire trip would cost is about 4,764 dollars.

Baptisms in Brigham City

For her birthday, Sophie wanted to go do baptisms. We got a recommend a little early from the Bishop so that we could go today and skip school. This is a temple she went through for the open house so she feels attached to it. No one else was there, so she had the place to herself and about 10 temple workers wishing her happy birthday and helping her through. That won't happen again, usually Ben and I wait in long lines each week! It is a very beautiful town!

Sophie says: It was the best feeling of my life! It was awesome!

Cleaning: My Quotidian Liturgy

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t clean very much and would love to build a habit of liturgy–daily worship–through my cleaning, but this blog post is a comfort to anyone feeling ground down by the daily grind and repetition of caring for a home and family. I am reading the author’s book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. It was recommended to me by my visiting teacher when I explained that Heavenly Father had started to gently show me that ingratitude was my greatest sin, the root of all my unhappiness, and conscious, deliberate and specific thankfulness was bringing my greatest healing. This book truly has taught me new ways to see that recent revelation. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Back to School 2013-14

Noah's in 3rd and Lucy is in 2nd. Ben (9th) and Sophie (7th) started earlier so I will need to get pictures after school. Everyone is very close to home this time so I'm hopeful for a more peaceful, simple way of life this school year with very little driving, yay!

Ben turns 14

Wow, my firstborn was ordained a Teacher on Sunday. Although he is getting a little bit too cool for everything, he actually is pretty cool. He is just about taller than his dad, give him a couple more months. He found a few of his dad's old suits in the closet and they fit! I'll add a picture of that.

Ben gets good grades and loves playing trumpet in the jazz band–he also got into the main symphonic band, the best one in the state! In his spare time you will often find him longboarding around town and he is starting to get into cycling, he got a jersey and some shorts and a helmet for his birthday, plus a bike tuneup from mommy's mom. Every winter he participates in the snowboarding club at school also. He also loves going up on the slopes with his dad a couple of times a year.

He got to move to the upstairs bedroom after hitting his head on the ceiling going downstairs, so he is now in the adult section of the house and happy to have a nice new bedroom. This year he has been getting into action movies, Ironman and Superman, the robots versus dinosaur movies, etc. and go ahead and judge us, we are letting him watch LOST. Most of all, Ben is an outdoors type of guy. He loves camping and fishing and hiking. Right now he wants to go into environmental sciences, and is taking his first AP class in this area this year as he goes into ninth grade. He's most interested in forestry but also considering geology. I'm looking for some kind of outdoor summer job for him next year that will allow him to be outside working in nature, possibly a boys camp or something like that, let me know if you have ideas.

Things I love about Ben: he is willing to work hard physically, he is very independent and generally stays on top of what needs to happen, which is a huge help to me. He is very intelligent and if you can get him to do it, gives a very nice hug.

He seems very low-key and unlike his early years, is not excitable at all, but can pop off with some pretty funny things sometimes, like his recurring joke that anytime you prefer a color of anything, even a snow cone, he will call you a racist.

He's trying to figure out the world and what is important and seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. He seems to innately understand that, and temptations for boys his age represents the restriction of freedom and the kind of shackles, and he seems to have an internal desire to avoid losing his independence in that way.

Socially he sticks to one on one situations generally and seems comfortable being on his own, like his dad–he likes peace and quiet. This is probably why he likes to go to grandma and grandpas as much as possible where there are fewer small and yelling children (and fewer larger, but sometimes also yelling, adults).

I love him, I'm excited for his future. We've been trying to make it to the temple together weekly, it's something I felt I need to do with him, and it has helped me have a sense of who he is. Teenagers are definitely a whole different world for me. Seminary is starting this year too, he's not super enthusiastic but I'm hoping it will be a place he can answer his questions and feel the Spirit. I don't know what the Lord has planned for him, but I know that Ben can do great things. I am very lucky to be his mom.

Davis County Fair

Although we live just one minute away, we have not come for the last two years. And although I was raised in Davis county, I don't remember ever being here. Our neighbor is heavily involved in 4H and the fair and encouraged us to enter our chickens. Lucy even participated in the showing competition where you hold and present your chicken. She got a blue ribbon. Sophie's hen won first place and got a champion hen trophy! Noah got first place for a warty Pat-A-Pan summer squash he entered in the living arts. Sophie also had some sewing projects in that I have not seen results for yet. This has been so much fun for so little effort. I'm so glad we did it.