Starting on February 20, '11 Blake left for Washington D.C., he was gone for 3 weeks before he could come home for the very first time. Each time he would come home it would be for 2 days then leave again. He would be gone anywhere for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, depending on his schedule here in D.C. We were by ourselves over 3 1/2 months before he came home to get us for the summer. We went home to Texas for 2 weeks (to visit my side of the family) just shortly after the tornadoes hit in Alabama. The tornado delayed our trip due to the power outage. I must say the time he was gone was pretty rocky at times, and complete exhaustion had set in after the first 2 weeks had passed just with normal activities. Such as: working part time/work responsibilities, continuing education credits for my hygiene license, taking care of kids, attending birthday parties, managing the household, mowing/weed eating the yard at first (until my neighbor started helping me, SO thankful for Mike & Michelle), keeping up with bills, boys school (functions, meetings and withdrawing the boys 1 month early), church activities/Sunday school lesson for each month, enjoying the Easter holiday, saying good-bye to my pastor, seeing a new merger with my church -we'll be coming back home to something completely new, making sure our favorite Epworth teachers/directors had a special end of the year gift to know how much we love them, finding childcare when I needed it, and getting the boys registered for the next school year.
THEN the problems started surfacing one after another unannounced. The air conditioner went out, the refrigerator started leaking, the plumbing system (alarm went off)- called the plumber, dog to the vet/behind on his shots, planning a trip to Texas, scheduling our D.C. trip, taking my mom to and from the Birmingham airport, car court hearing that I've been fighting since last July (I finally won! I'm getting my money back), my mom in the hospital, tornado and power outage, car problems, the dealership was servicing it during the power outage - I couldn't leave out of town until I had the car back, I had their loaner car. I was also trying to make the boys 5th birthday as memorable as possible, we had planned on celebrating their day in D.C. that's where we were originally supposed to be.
(WHEW, feels good getting all of that stuff out!)
But, things change and God is so good, even though I was frustrated, exhausted beyond belief - we were healthy the entire time, and our home wasn't damaged due to the storm. God has a plan in everything - every event, through trials and triumphs. I know he does, he's shown me in the past, and I depend on him. I may not understand at the moment, but in the end it seems to all come together as it is finally right now.
Blake was supposed to get us May 20th, but he had a congressional meeting on Monday, and he had to stay for it. There was no one else to cover for him. So we decided to wait. Not a problem, we've been waiting, what's one more week? He normally travels on a Friday, and he would leave on a Monday.
He arrived home on May 27th, it had been 1 month since we had seen him, and we left on May 31th. It took 12 hours of good old driving to get here. The boys traveled so well, especially due to the fact that they had just ridden from Texas the weekend before.....another 12 hour trip!
(I certainly cannot discount that during this weekend what are now 5 year old little boys, had a fantastic birthday...a Star Wars birthday. Just what they wanted. This will have to be another blog at another time, when we return home to Alabama.)
The boys attempted to sleep in the car and did, for a short while. I managed to get a photo of Nolan, but not Wyatt. The one I managed to get of Wyatt he was awake.
In the car, Nolan asleep
Wyatt, saying "I really wish I had a travel pillow."
The boys kept looking for Washington D.C. signs and the Monument to know that they were here! You should have seen the look on their face when we arrived. Nothing like seeing a beautiful D.C. skyline! It was so nice knowing we were here and about to relax, stretch out and go to sleep. Blake walked us up to the apartment, he unloaded the truck from the parking garage. We all fell into the bed and slept solid. Blake had already left for work this morning when I got up. I was awakened by the sounds of trains, buses, garbage trucks, air conditioning motors from restaurants, ambulance and over head flying airplanes landing at the Reagan Int'l Airport. YEP, we're here! :)
Entering Arlington, Virginia (where we are staying)
4 miles from Washington, D.C.
Building at the end of our street
Our apartment is right above this restaurant
(McCormick and Schmick, ummm good!)
The sun is shining and it's nice to sit here and not be rushed around, taking my time this morning, so Good Morning Washington D.C. as the boys have said earlier today! We made breakfast and the boys have been settling in, hanging out on the couch, people and train watching.
Lounging around, trying to catch up on rest
I'm still putting some things away, and finding places for everything to go. I need to make some lunch now for the boys. After dinner we are going to Trader Joe's to buy some groceries - looking forward to checking this place out. Heard it's reasonable, and it's like Earth Fare, so I should love it! The only bad thing about this trip will be that I'll miss my friends and family! But, we'll be back soon! I'll try to keep you updated with this blog while we were here!
One view from our apt
Another view from the apt
Living room with view
Boys hanging out/relaxing