Stephen recently accepted a new job which, while based near Baltimore, will still allow him to work from home. We've all been very excited for him, but cautiously, as this is a completely different kind of work for him and we know he'll miss his old job.
The new company wanted him to come to the office and meet everyone in person. He had flown up once already for an interview and this time I wanted to go. And I wanted the kids to go. And I wanted to make some side trips. (I don't want much...do I? ;) He agreed, that this might be acceptable since part of our gas, hotel and food would be paid for for us. But he was VERY nervous, as Lucy and I have NOT done well in the heat this summer and he would not be able to get to us easily when he was at work. But he trusted God to take care of me and the kids. And people prayed. And He abundantly blessed us!!!
On the way up (last Wednesday) we made an impromptu trip to DC. We only had part of a day. We had NO idea how to find parking or anything. So Stephen's faithful followers on twitter answered our tweets and informed us how to best travel DC.
Scene 1 : Us on the metro. Clyde, Stephen and I are lovin it. Lucy and Iris.....not so much. (Hopefully you can see what a very sympathetic mother I am by these pictures.)
Scene 2 : We are now on "the Mall". It is crazy big. We haven't the foggiest where we are and there aren't a lot of maps and helpful people standing around wanting to help. After some time, some heat and a slight onset of hunger....God decides to prove to my darling husband that he's got this.
You have to understand, that Lucy and I WILL pass out in the heat without food, water & salt much quicker than the average bear. Stephen is well aware that our bodies will not give him a whole lot of warning. Somehow (God), we forgot the very thing that we kept insisting over the course of the drive that we COULD NOT forget!! Food!! And drinks!! Because we can't just stop any ol' where. Most places cannot accommodate Lucy's allergies.
Well, five or six stops and some rude and inconsiderate restaurant workers later (did I mention DC is big and things are spread out), walking, in the heat, hungry...here we are. Stephen is fast approaching a panic attack. And as I start to ponder how things will go for us if Stephen just sits down and gives up, I start to feel one coming on as well. Stephen looks at me and says, "Pray! If the next restaurant we come to isn't the one, I might have a full fledged attack...I'm very close." And I can tell he means it.
And I start praying like I've only prayed a couple dozen times in my life. Something to the effect of, "God. We NEED you always, but we are really feeling it right now. Please help us. Please let the very next restaurant work out for us. Please help Stephen. Please don't let Lucy and I melt yet. Please please please help." And I felt like He said He would.
Scene 3 : Hill Country Barbecue Market. AKA- our promised land. http://www.hillcountryny.com/ This is where God basically informs us that not only will He provide for us, but as always, He will do it abundantly, exceeding all of our expectations.
Why yes, sir...here is our dairy-free menu. Yes, sir, of course we can work with her beef allergy too. Come over here and I will GET HER FOOD MYSELF. Yes, I am ABSOLUTELY sure that this has no milk. No, I don't mind you asking for the millionth time, I'd be a crazy lunatic....I mean paranoid parent myself. ;) (I may have taken liberties with the dialogue, but you can hear him, right?)
This place was designed to look like a butcher market. They chop your already cooked meat with a cleaver on a butcher block, weigh it and wrap it in butcher paper.
It was delicious!! The kids ADORED the bathrooms. They adored the food. They kept telling Stephen that it was the best restaurant in the world. If Lucy is happy, we are happy...and Lucy was VERY happy. They loved the nifty foot-controlled sink behind our table to wash the barbecue sauce off your hands.
You better believe there was some thanksgiving going on during our whole meal and the whole walk to the....
Scene 4 : Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. This is where things get more light-hearted. We thoroughly enjoy ourselves wandering with our renewed knowledge of Who goes before us.
Skeletons of both extinct and non-extinct animals....
The mummy of an elite, ancient Egyptian, who tended fires and didn't eat much meat (?)
THE Hope Diamond!!
And much, much more!
Scene 4 : Back at the mall...only not so nervous, not so hot, well fed, and on our way back to our car via the metro.
Exit Washington DC
Thanks for bearing with me through this very long post! You must love us a lot!