Monday, May 28, 2012

DC Part Duex

May 13, 2012

Sunday was really nice. We got up and found the nearest LDS church and the most convenient time. We scrambled to make the metro shuttle (I literally had to bang on the window as he was driving away!). And raced to Chevy Chase (which is where I think Carolyn Franklin is from), and caught the Singles Ward. It was eerily quiet. Well, correction, it was freakishly LOUD before the meeting and then eerily quiet once it had started. It was ironic that it was mothers day since I was one of only a small handful of mothers in the enormous room. We enjoyed hearing the speakers and attending the first sacrament meeting I can remember in a long time where I wasn't taking care of kids :). Oh we also enjoyed that one of the callings extended during the meeting was "ward tweeter". That's a new one.

After the meeting I was able to meet James (Blaine's housemate), and I also got to meet um. Dang it. I can't remember his name. But the guy that Blaine met on the metro his first day in DC and had invited to church. Apparently this guy had kind of fallen for one of the girls that Blaine was with and has called her almost every day since then. So, his motives maybe weren't most pure, but at least he was there, which was fun.

We then got back on the Metro and headed to Arlington. We figured that would be a great Sunday activity. And it was! I loved Arlington. We meandered around, saw the flame on JFKs grave (lit by Jackie at his funeral and hasn't been put out since).

My favorite part was the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Wow. There's not much else to say but ... wow. I sat there for a long time, just indulging my thoughts of gratitude towards those who have given their lives for our country. We hung around long enough to watch the changing of the guard, which was also amazing. We even got online and read some interesting facts about the soldiers who protect the tomb. We were also able to witness a couple of groups who were presenting wreaths to the tomb, which was awesome (an amazing rendition of TAPS was played each time). Wow, it was just an amazing experience to be there.

Afterward we meandered around and found the memorials to those on the Challenger, and a couple of other memorials. Then we made the long trek back (maybe it wasn't really that long but we got lost a couple of times). The sheer quantity of graves is just enough to blow your mind, and break your heart.

We stopped on our way home at Whole Foods to buy some breakfast for the next day (chocolate croissants!), and then grabbed some dinner at Cosi, where we tried to pretend our expensive yet meager portions had filled us. Unfortunately we had to resort to eating our next days breakfast for a second dinner later on! 

We spent some time on FaceTime watching the kids jump on the tramp and being jealous of all the people who were eating homemade ice cream!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

DC Part 1 of Many

In honor about this blog now being more about me than you... (wow, when I put it that way it sounds kind of rude!). An indulgent, indepth recap of my trip to DC. I tried to keep it bare bones for you. And I wrote this for our Bassett Family um, if I refer to "you guys" it means Blaine's family. Just an FYI :)

Friday May 11 -

I left Salt Lake about 10:30AM, I was relieved to sit by THE NICEST man in the world. He was probably 55-60 years old, owns a 600 acre cattle ranch in Kansas and was just a pleasure to talk to. It came up that I was mormon and he got a puzzled look on his face and asked, "wait, so, if you are mormon, what is your husband doing in DC?". Which made me laugh. Apparently he didn't realize that mormons were allowed to stray from the "homeland" :). We both had four hour layovers in the Denver airport and he was so kind and bought me lunch and kept me company for the layover. Probably seems weird to write so much about the person I sat next to on my first flight but it really changed the tone from being a scary thing to being a fun thing. So, be nice to people on planes! You never know when you are sitting next to someone who is terrified! (Unless they tell you, like I would!). Ha.

I got in to Washington Dulles around 9:30 that night. One of Blaine's co-workers (well, not exactly a co-worker...but an acquaintance who happens to be LDS as well) was so nice and offered to drive him to pick me up from the airport. We stopped at McDonalds for dinner and then he dropped us off at the Marriott Bethesda. Blaine had bought flowers for me, which was kind of a big deal since he had to drag them, along with his luggage around DC and the metro all day!  The hot tub was closed, much to Blaine's dismay.

Saturday May 12 -

Our hotel had a shuttle to the metro, which was nice. To get down in to the metro you have to take the worlds longest escalator, which was a fun adventure.

 Turns out I kind of have an irrational fear of mass transit too. The
subway kind of stressed (and grossed!) me out. I eventually got over that during the week, but it took a while : ) Our first destination was to Wingos. See-- being that this trip was sponsored by student loans, and that no matter what we did the trip was going to be pretty expensive, we did our best to save on hotels and meals. Groupon has a cool thing in big cities called "Groupon Now" where it posts a lot of deals that have to be used within a couple of hours. So we paid $5 for a $10 certificate at Wingos, and I had $5 of groupon credit, so this was a free meal. And we walked about two miles to get it :). Ha ha. It was literally a hole in the wall, but man, I've never tasted such good wings! The area Wingos was in was kind of a ritzy shopping district (Georgetown), it was fun to walk around and see Hugo Boss stores in really old buildings. I was in awe at how green the city was. 

Oh also while we were eating our wings I had a nice conversation with a policeman, and being LDS came up again. Man, if you ever go to DC don't forget to take your pass along cards! 

We then walked over to the Potomac where there was a big Crew race going on. It was kind of fun to watch for a while, seeing as how I've only ever seen people rowing in movies!

Then we rented a kayak. When I got in I kind of broke the seat. And as we were drifting while getting settled some dude in another kayak started freaking out, "watch my oar. Watch my oar! WATCH MY OAR!" And I was thinking, dude, I am not in control, you may want to get your oar out of my way. Oh well. Now we have a fun quote (WATCH MY OAR!).  Since the crew race was going on (which the guy on the doc so kindly reminded us of as we started paddling that way), we headed South down the Potomac. Saw a dead fish. I had a panic attack because I thought I saw a snake. And finally about half an hour in to our hour rental we made it to see the back of the Lincoln Memorial :) It was pretty darn fun!

Then we walked around "the mall" and just kind of got the lay of the land and saw the memorials and monuments and the white house. Blaine showed me where he worked. I thought my feet were going to fall off. I can't remember what we had for dinner that night -- I think we took the hotel shuttle to a mall and ate at The Cheesecake Factory (don't worry, I only got an appetizer to save $$). Oh yeah, when the table next to ours got their meal Blaine said something like "dang! I wonder what that is, it looks good!" And the girl just turned and told us what they had ordered and offered us some, it was so funny. Turns out they were LDS and in town for a DoTerra convention (DoTerra is the essential oil company my granola neighbor sells for). They were really funny and nice, it was a mom with two of her TWELVE kids. Crazy. I can't imagine raising 12 kids here, but they must have gotten some stares raising 12 kids in Delaware where they were from!

We made it back in time to sit in the hot tub (thankfully!). And I think maybe this is the night that we were with three older women in the hot tub who had taken a road trip together to DC. We talked about the price of milk in our respective areas of the country : ) Oh and I had fun being cynical of the lifeguard who sat in the corner applying her makeup while kids were swimming in the pool. Awesome. 

Wow, Maybe I better take this one day at a time so as to not write the worlds longest post!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Out With A Bang

Do I really think I am going to die on a plane tomorrow? Meh...I'm like 60% sure that I won't.  But considering I white knuckle the calmest of flights, I know I am in for a long, exhausting, trying day. And if I come through it all in tact at the end, well that would just be great.

This anxiety does weird things to me. I've been really sluggish the last few days, I can't get myself to do anything but sit and think of the worst possible things that could happen. Add to this that I also suffer a fair amount of anxiety about leaving my kids. Don't get me wrong...I enjoy leaving my kids, I love time away from them, but boy do I ever worry about them. We have close calls all the time and I am the hyper vigilant helicopter mom. I worry they'll choke on food. That someone will back over them in a car. So scary. So anxiety is the name of the game for me for the next little while. I wish I could just not be so wound up about it. But, yeah, it is what it is.

In honor of all of my anxiety though we took today by the horns and just rocked it. I let Gwen miss school. Originally it was because she had a doctors appointment at 11am. But, it turned in to an entire day affair. She slept in two hours past the time that she normally has to wake up for school ( which makes me wonder if she is getting enough sleep normally?!). I made blender whole wheat waffles with lemon curd on top for breakfast. Then we had about an hour long dance party.

That was my favorite. I always had visions of dancing around with my kids and singing and laughing. The reality is more me singing, Gwen moping and rolling her eyes, Ivy crying, and Ben screaming and running around like a wild man. Not today! Today was awesome. We sang, we danced, the kids even got along with each other. That's huge for us.

We hit up the doctors office, Gwen's little growth on her leg isn't cancer (holla!). I had the kids in hysterics and I did impressions of them when they get their shots as babies. They literally had tears rolling down their eyes from laughing so hard (I guess you just never know what will be funny to kids, eh?).

Then we hit up the library, maxed out our card and prayed that that would be enough books to last Gwen while I am gone.

Stopped and grabbed a sub sandwich (and an extra extra large Dr. Pepper). Took it to the park to eat.

Then we played at the park, more specifically the swings. I swung as high as I could. It. Was. Awesome.

Then somebody's car ran out of gas and we gave them a ride to get a canister and gas. The kids were completely weirded out by it and weren't shy about saying so. "MOM! What is SHE doing in our car?". A bit awkward. Especially awkward when she came out of the  store with a gas canister AND a lighter. In the spirit of being overridden with anxiety I was sure she was going to blow us all to smithereens. She didn't. Also awesome.

Then I went to the mall. And I found stuff I liked (rare!). And the kids were good! They were entertaining each other!

I ran those suckers ragged today and they were being so good. It really was monumental.

Back home for some while I tried to get some packing done (fail). A few more errands.

And finally we ended with a delicious healthy dinner of twist cones at Thanksgiving Point. Then prayers and scriptures. (I am ashamed to admit that they had to beg me to read scriptures, but man was I ever proud! "Mom, I love reading scriptures. Jesus wants us to read scriptures!"). Bentley prayed for me to be safe and to make lots of new friends in DC.

Really, if today were my last day, I couldn't ask for a better one. (Well, I guess I could ask for one where I actually get to see my husband, but..beggars can't be choosers ;).

Everyone cross your fingers and say a little prayer for me. I bet none of you guys pray for your pilots the night before your flights do you? (ha ha, I just love to give you all insights to what it is like to be certifiably insane--- at least my insanity has a specific trigger-- it would be exhausting to be this worked up about every day life!).

Peace out!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The other night I stayed up until 3AM. I didn't intend to. It started out because I had an idea to follow up on a blog I had read about a year ago about a guy who had lost his wife suddenly. I just thought I would check in and see what had changed in the year since her passing (such a sad story). But then I made the mistake of reading some of the comments on his blog, which lead me to this blog. I had heard the story of Sheldon and Jace a few weeks earlier on facebook, they are friends of a friend of mine.[If you don't hop over to read- On Julie's 31st birthday her husband took her toddler out for a canoe ride on the lake behind their house, and they both drowned]. Wow,  reading her blog really did a number on me. I literally felt so much physical pain for her, such an aching, such empathy. I couldn't help but just sit and sob the whole night through. And of course, reading some of the comments on her blog led me to others. It was a long night full of tears, love, and mostly full of prayers of gratitude that I have not had to experience such tragedy, and pleading that I never will. 

It was timely to read those blogs when I did. I had had a hectic day, it was day 10 of being a temporary single mom. I had made it through the day but had hastily thrown the kids in bed, no story, a rushed family prayer, a quick goodnight and a sigh of relief. I think there was quite a bit of yelling in there too. As I sat alone in my bed reading I just wanted my family to be with me. I wanted Blaine by my side, and all of my kids in my bed. I didn't care if Ivy's feet were in my face, or if they were all fighting, I just wanted them close. It pained me to not be with Blaine. The pain eased only by the fact that he is not gone forever, just for a little while. And that I can call and talk to him on the phone each day. A luxury all of those people I mentioned no longer have. 

Lots of things struck me on those blogs. It was heartbreaking to read the posts that happened right before the posts that talked about the tragedy. These are normal people with normal lives. Doing fun things, having fun days, having rough days,  playing at the park and then BAM. It ends. It's over. A huge part of their life is gone in an instant. I bet they'd give anything to read their kids a story, to fold their husbands laundry. Julie talked about a dream she had where she was wiping Jace's face after he had eaten lunch. Such a simple thing, a thing we do twenty times a day, something we likely dread doing, and she misses that so much and would give anything to wipe his face. 

It made me realize too how we need to live for the now. For instance in the case of Julie and Sheldon, he had just barely finished optometry school. He had been in school for their entire marriage (10 years I believe) and then six months after finishing the accident happened. I am so glad Blaine is in school and following his dream. We've been lucky, our lifestyle hasn't suffered too much (thank you student loans!), and I really am enjoying life right now. The days are long, Blaine is working his tail off, but things are good. Blaine is learning and growing in so many ways. It's amazing to be a part of his growth and to watch his accomplishments. His work, for example, is practically on the back lawn of the white house ( he has fun making his way through protesters of some sort almost every single day on his way to work, exciting right?). I think if something happened to Blaine during school or shortly thereafter that I wouldn't consider the decision to do law school a waste of time or money, because he is truly a happier and more fulfilled person because of it. I just hope that we can always focus on being happy where we are at in each stage of life, because accidents don't care if you are just finally starting your "real" life, the part you've been waiting for-- or if you are in the middle of working towards that life. They just happen. So I'm determined to be doing everything I can to ensure our family is just living up every stage of life we are in. Sorry, random thoughts I know.

I've been thinking a lot about my kids too. Each of those bloggers I mentioned probably clings so tightly to any and every memory, snippet, post, picture, video, etc they have of their lost loved ones. I've been horrible at blogging or documenting anything for a long time now. Something about being back in Utah made my life seem completely boring and dull and overall not worth writing about. I had been writing this blog for the masses, to make you all laugh, and to be validated as a good writer. And I didn't have fodder for that any more. But...if something were to happen to the kids or Blaine, I know I would wish that I would have documented more of our everyday lives. So I am going to try to do that more. (I just heard a hundred of you go and delete me from your google reader feed, ha ha). Oh well ;) 

So now I am basically just rambling. But I love my family, I hope they know it. I also love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that has allowed me to be sealed to my family forever. So that if something ever did happen, I would know that this life is not the end. That we can be together again. What peace that brings! 

Now... off to write sappy individual posts about each of my kids. Look forward to that!