Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Picture Perfect Weekend Away

Eric had to go to head East on business and so I got to tag along.  In 11 years of business this is the first time I have tagged along on a business trip.  Often my mindset has been if I am going to get away with him I don't want to share him with work.  Well this trip changed my perspective on that.  We really had a picture perfect weekend.  This was the first time we were going to be leaving Max for multiple nights.  I knew he would be just fine.  He LOVES papa and grammy and has adjusted so well.  My big kids had a couple days off of school so the timing was perfect.  They were excited to have time with papa and grammy and cousins.  The first night Shane prayed that their time at papa and grammy's would go really slow. I am so thankful we don't have to worry about them when we are gone.  I think we have to worry more that they will tire my parents out with a 2 year old in the mix again. 

We started our trip in Baltimore.  We arrived on Thursday night. On Friday Eric had meetings he had to go to.   I enjoyed sleeping in, having a lazy morning with a quiet breakfast, a LONG shower and took as much time as I wanted to get ready.  This is the view I woke up to.  It was a beautiful day.

I spent the morning walking on the pier, doing a little shopping and having a wonderful lunch sitting in the sun by the water. 

I spent the afternoon sitting by the water, enjoying the sunshine with a good book in my hand.  It has been awhile since I have read a book for fun. 

Eric got back from his meetings in the afternoon and we enjoyed a fun evening.  We had yummy food and good conversations with a beautiful view all around us. 

We finished our evening with a walk around the pier and some cheesecake to go from the Cheesecake Factory.  As we were waiting for our cheesecake some guy asked us if we just got married.  We said we had been married for 12 years and had 4 kids.  He said, "Wow, people I know that have been married that long don't love each other anymore or at least don't act like it.  That is why I never wanted to get married." I am so thankful for the way that God continues to bless and grow our relationship.  That doesn't mean life has been perfect and we haven't had our ups and downs but it is through all of those things that God has drawn us to him and to each other.  It was good to reflect a little and made me appreciate the man God has blessed me with and the marriage we have.

On our way back to our hotel there was a large group of people who were protesting.  They were following the lead of the New York protesters who were protesting Wall Street.  There were a couple signs that caught Eric's attention and he found himself in a conversation with a Buddhist, Nero-scientist.  Needless to say there was an interesting conversation taking place. Eric kept looking at me like are you ok with us taking some time for these conversations.  It was actually quite entertaining and new twist on date night. 

We had a relaxing morning and a nice breakfast. We jumped in the car and enjoyed a beautiful fall drive to Washington, DC.  Neither Eric or I had been to DC so we were excited to have a day to take it in. We were blessed with another beautiful day of picture perfect weather.  

The first thing that I was overtake with was all the amazing architect. 

All the details on the buildings were breathtaking. 

Eric and I continued to walk through DC and took in as much as we could.  

We met our dear friends, Greg and Laurie, for lunch and we got to spend the rest of our weekend with them.    Greg was our worship pastor, but as a couple they have had such a huge influence in our life.  They have walked through many ups and downs in life with us. Greg met with Eric and a couple other guys for 5 years.  He mentored them and I know all of the wives of these men can say God has blessed our marriages and families because of Greg's influence in their life.  He pointed them to the Gospel weekly.  He equipped them as men of God and leaders in the church and in their home.  Greg also met with me as I walked through some of the darkest days of my life after Leigh Ann's death.  He walked through grief with me but also walked through the all that was to come with bringing Max into our family and all the possible emotions, thoughts and feelings that could collide.   Laurie has also played a huge roll in my life as an example as a godly wife and mom. She has invested in me in so many ways.  One of the fun ways was through a fun cooking class she did for a couple gals.  Cooking is a gift of hers but it isn't just the food it is the way she shares Christ with those she shares it with.  She has always taken an interest in our kids and their lives.  They love Laurie.  We have been blessed to have them in our lives and were very excited to spend time with them and get a little glimpse into their life. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon taking in DC, enjoying the beautiful weather, walking many miles and cherishing the time we had with friends.

The kids were excited that we were going to see the White House so we took a couple pictures just for them.

It really is amazing to see all of these monuments in person.

We walked through the World War 2 Memorial. 

Then we visited the Vietnam Memorial.  It was humbling to see this wall with all the names of those who gave their life in this war.

We then walked to the Lincoln Memorial which was just massive. Look at the size of it compared to the people in front.

I am so grateful for the foundation of faith that our country was built on. 

We finished with the Korean Memorial.

We then decided to take in one of the Smithsonian Museums.  Our friends recommended the Air and Space one.  When we got there the protesters that were in Baltimore were also in DC and they just happened to pick this museum to stand in front of so we were out of luck.  They had shut down the museum.  Next we decided to go into the building of the Archives of the United States of America.  Well when we got to this building there was a line wrapped around the block to get in.  So we were really feeling like we were striking out.  We decided to sit on the step and find a good Sushi restaurant for dinner. There was on Dupont Circle so we got on the transit system and after a couple switches made our way to Dupont Circle.  Well we had our 3rd strike out when we found the restaurant but it wasn't looking like a place we wanted to try so we started walking and checking out menus.

This is the magical little place that we just happened across. I just can't believe I forgot to take a picture but this is pretty much what it looked like the evening we were there.  The weather was beautiful as we sat on this quaint little patio.  The food was amazing and so were our conversation.  There is something about skipping through the small talk and going straight to the heart with people that you have done life with.  It was an evening of laughs and tears. It was a perfect way to end our day and a night Eric and I will always treasure.

On Saturday night we drove to Maryland where Greg and Laurie are living.  Greg is in a 9 month program with Sovereign Grace Ministries.  They have stepped out in faith and are feeling like God is leading them to church plant.  We were able to see where they live, meet their new friends, see where Greg spends his days in classes and worship with them.  I can't even put into words how refreshed and filled we felt after walking out of their church.  God's presence was evident.  We finished our day with lunch with them and a little dessert at a fun cupcake shop.  We then headed back to Baltimore to board our plane and make our way back to our 4 little blessings.

Like I said, it was a picture perfect weekend.  I was able to have a very relaxing day, a little time to myself, some shopping, quality time and conversation with my husband,  good food, fun, beautiful weather, amazing sites, a sweet time with friends and feeling filled and refreshed spiritually. 


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