Friday, June 3, 2011

It's my summer, and I'll blog about it if I want to...

As I mentioned, we spent last weekend in Washington, DC.  It was our regular Saturday to attend the temple, but we decided to make it a Memorial Day trip and to take our kids to pay tribute to people who have fought to defend our freedoms.  

But that meant, we weren't around to honor our neighbor Bill who served in Vietnam.  So, when we returned home, Guy made this card for him and I baked him a loaf of bread.  On the backside of this drawing, Guy started tracing the outline of his water gun.  I had to stop him and explain that Bill doesn't really like guns anymore, because they are a reminder of the awful things that he saw during the war.  It was my hope that our trip would also educate Guy on the fact that war is about so much more than shiny guns and strong men, and loud noises!

Another reason for our trip to DC was to "re-enact" our first three dates.  I told Scarlett "this is the place where Daddy and I fell in love."  She said, "Awwwwwwwwwwww!  That is so ceuuuuuuuuute!"

So here's how we spent our weekend honoring those who have gone before us, and honoring the events that have blossomed into such happiness and peace for our little family:

On our way to DC, we stopped briefly in Gettysburg to show Guy the battlefields.  We talked about the fact that many, many men died on these fields, in part, to help end slavery in our country.  Guy liked the cannons, but mostly we were all happy to be out of the car for a moment!  Steve and I spent our fifth anniversary in Gettysburg. We stayed at a B&B and toured the battlefields on horseback.  I totally recommend taking a horseback tour.  Ours was a private tour with just one other couple who also happened to be our guides.

On Saturday, it was our privilege to worship in the temple.  (Serving those who've gone before us and serving God, another great Memorial Day activity!)  I love this photo of Scarlett and Steve walking up to the temple.  We were married in this temple.  Steve proposed to me just outside on the temple grounds.

Here is the spot where Steve proposed to me!  

The bench and pergola have been changed, 
but this is pretty much what it looked like on that fateful day! :)

We enjoyed the beauty of the temple while Steve and I took turns going inside.

That evening, we attended a festival and concert in Rockville, MD...the scene of our first date. George Clinton was supposed to be performing, but for whatever reason, he canceled.  This local band was still very was our stop at Ben & Jerry's.

On Sunday, we attended our old ward...our married ward, not the singles one.  It was fun to see my friends Natalie and Crystal again.  It brought a big old smile to my heart to watch Natalie wrestling her little kids in Sacrament meeting...and it was great to hear that Crystal's entire family had been sealed in the temple last month.  It's difficult to explain, but it was even sweeter to see now--knowing the roads each of us had to walk and the sacrifices that had to be made in order for each of us to see these blessings realized in our lives.

Sunday evening, we dropped in on our friend Tiffany.  Tiff and I both got married a week apart, but haven't seen each other since.   Spending time with Tiffany in her home was really a highlight of our trip.  (As was seeing Natalie and Crystal.)  Tiffany hasn't changed a bit.  We swapped stories on motherhood, and I downloaded all of my secret Mommy tricks.  She is now an intercept.  We took a horrible picture together, and I promised not to share it with the world, but I will share this video with you that we made for a film festival in the singles ward.  (Steve and I weren't dating yet...)  Tiffany is going to kill me.  And you'll probably never think of me the same again.  

Moving on...

Sunday night, we attended the NSO Memorial Day Concert on Capital Hill.
(The site of our 2nd date!)

The kids had a blast dancing to B. B. King...

On Monday, we went downtown to visit a few museums and see the monuments.
(Our 3rd date.)  

Our main goal was to lay flowers at the WWII Memorial for my Grandfather who served in that war.  We arrived in time to see the wreath-laying.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff were there, so security was tight, but we managed to work our way to the other side of the monument to find the "Pennsylvania" column.  We laid the flowers and talked about Bon Papa and just had a moment to feel close to him....and recall how he used to tell a dramatic story about how he "died in the war"...although he was standing there telling the story, so he obviously didn't.

My grandpa was a pilot in WWII.  He lived an exemplary life and died at the age of 90 in pretty much perfect health.  On his last day on earth, he visited my grandma's grave, went out to lunch with my mom, came home and emailed his high priest group to remind them to do their home teaching.  Then he sat down on his "davenport" (That's what he called his couch.) and he died.  If my grandpa is a sampling of the type of men found in his generation, then he truly was part of "The Greatest Generation"!

Here are some boy scouts who were at the WWII Memorial to honor the men who died.  They were also there as part of the Spirit of 45 Project.  Have you heard of this?  Apparently, this group is trying to establish a national day of remembrance for the Greatest Generation--August 14th.  What I thought was neat is that they are encouraging youth to go into the archives and research the lives of the men and women of the Greatest Generation, to honor them, remember them, and learn from them.  (This would be a great family history project to get in to!)

Another event that is part of this movement is Bugles Across America.  My mom mentioned this organization to me this week.  If you play the trumpet (as I do!) you can volunteer to play taps at military funerals, but also, you can volunteer to be one of the 1,945 buglers who will play taps at the end of the day on August 14th to remember those who served in WWII.  I am totally going to do this in my community!  I guess I'd better get my trumpet out and start practicing!

After paying tribute to the soldiers, we visited the American Indian Museum, which my kids really loved, and learned about the people who inhabited the Americas beforeus.  This museum is really unique and beautiful.  Scarlett loved the "artwork" displayed in the form of beaded clothing, boats, and weapons.  The kids learned how to do indian bead work by making a daisy-chain bead bracelet.  And we ate some really good but really expensive traditional native american fry bread for lunch.  For some reason, I don't have any photos of that museum.

Then we played around in the National Botanic Garden, which is where Steve and I went to have our engagement photos taken!

So that was our trip!  Pretty action-packed for being a fly-by-night vacation.  We didn't really decide to go until Thursday night.  I grabbed some hotels online Friday morning, and off we went!  
No one can ever say that we aren't spontaneous! :)

I expect that we'll lay low for the rest of the summer...maybe...


  1. How sweet! I love that you took your kids on a tour of your important romantic locations.

  2. What a wonderful trip!!! Sounds great :)

  3. WOW! I want to have a last day like your Grandpa's - that is awesome. Fun trip, makes me wish I was closer to the East Coast!

  4. What rich experiences you had together. So meaningful.

    As for the video, I think you've missed your calling...


  5. Hey I LOVE< LOVE what you guys did to celebrate memorial day, it is in itself very memorable... AND I LOVE THE VIDEO so much, couldn;t stop laughing it was very entertaining!! You guys did a great job on that video!

  6. Washington D.C. is great! We teens really hated it when they built the Atlanta Temple (no more yearly pilgrimages to the D.C. temple during spring break). The Washington D.C. temple is the most majestic of all our temples, I think.
    I loved your story about your grandpa--made me cry.
    I'm sure this is a trip your children will recall for the rest of their lives. One of your best posts!

  7. sounds like a memory making and remembering trip shared with all your little ones...way to go! thanks for sharing...

  8. Oh, I really love your vacation pictures. They are amazing. And it looks like you all had a great time.