It’s been 10 days since my last post, but I swear, I have a valid excuse. 
My life has been turned

UP
SIDE
DOWN

or

RIGHT
SIDE
UP

depending on how you look at it. 

First, we managed to fit just one more trip into our already action-packed summer.  At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to take the kids to Washington, D.C.

And that’s just what we did.

First stop, of course, was a museum. 
My children are ridiculously fond of museums, and fortunately, D.C. has much to offer in this area.  As soon as we had checked into the hotel, we went by the White House and then made our way to the National History Museum (my favorite).

It seems that both Harper Lee and Isaac had a really hard time understanding the concept that the things inside the museum were, in fact, REAL and not manufactured replicas.  We spent no less than 20 minutes trying to wrap our minds around the fact that the Star Spangled Banner was the actual Star Spangled Banner.  Utter disbelief.

Harper Lee was super disappointed that Mary Poppins’ horse was in the section of the museum that was closed, but we did get to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers, so not all was lost.

We also saw Ben Franklin’s walking stick and Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch, but Isaac said it would have been cooler if they’d had his hat.

At the Museum of Natural History, Harper Lee got a chance to practice her science skills, her favorite thing in the world. 

And Isaac got to see lots of cool dead stuff, one of his favorite things.
I have to admit, the mummy and forensic science exhibition was my favorite too.
Cannabalism at Jamestown?
Creepy.

Harper Lee and Isaac at the WWII Memorial.

While Harper’s favorite memorial was the Lincoln Memorial, my favorite was the WWII.
This quote made me proud.
And a little sad.
There’s a reason those people are known as “The Greatest Generation.”
I’m proud to know so many of them.
I would like to think that my generation and those that follow would be as great under those same circumstances, but sadly, I’m not sure that we would.  We have become soft, wimpy and cynical about the ideals our country was founded on.  Not to put too fine a point on it.

I felt both inspiration and sorrow.
Inspired by all that our country has been in the past and all we have the potential to become.
And sorrowful about the fact that we were once bad-asses who could unite for a common good and didn’t feel the need to apologize for it lest we offend someone.

Rob in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The Washington Monument is surrounded by scaffolding because of the damage from the earthquake a few years ago.  It’s still pretty magnificent.

The thing that always sort of cracks me up about my kids is that while they are as small town as they come in most ways, they are also completely comfortable when traveling to unfamiliar territory.  Underground rail systems?  Hotdog vendors on the street?  Fancy restaurants and busy crosswalks?  No problem. 

They squeal with delight over the simplest things and experience all the newness with such joy and enthusiasm, the feeling is contagious.  I love seeing the world through their eyes.

Harper Lee took this photograph of the rest of us in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

My best girl.

We may have tried to cram a little too much into our first full day in the city.  The monuments and museums look deceptively close to each other on a map. 
They are not.

Harper Lee said, “You cannot be an unfit person and live in Washington.”
I have to admit, even Rob and I were tired.  Our feet hurt.  Really.  Badly.

The photo above pretty much sums up how we all felt by the time we finally reached the elusive metro station that Rob kept saying was “Right up here.”  It wasn’t.

Eating out of paper wrappers on the mall was a “must do” on Harper Lee’s list.  The Korean hot dogs and the people watching– groups of 20-somethings playing kickball, families from all over the world, people on bikes, Seg Ways, and skateboards, and performance artists– made the experience.

We love Washington, D.C.!!!

And our last day there?
I got a phone call at 5:06 p.m. offering me a job teaching English at our Early College.

We drove home Sunday night.
Monday morning, I marched into a room full of eager high school students with absolutely no preparation or clue about where anything was, what I was doing or how I was going to do it for the next school year.  But they are gracious kids.

And I knew right away I had made the right choice.

To say this past week has been wild is a bit of an understatement.  The first week of school is ALWAYS exhausting and crazy, but it was even more so this time.  I spent most of the week in a bleary-eyed state of euphoria/total panic.

But I made it to the weekend.  I slept in this morning.  I did a long run.  I painted.
And I know that, with time, things will get back to some sort of normal around here.
Though it will probably be a new kind of normal.

Here’s to a new school year.
A new year of possibilities.
A new year of creative projects, interesting people and personal growth.

I hope all of us have a great one!

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