{ Nashville Trip to Watch Soccer-Just the Two of Us-Day 1 }

Last weekend Aaron and I got away for our monthly date-one that I had planned for his Christmas presents, just the two of us. I had looked online for anything I could that was some sort of Pro Soccer anything. I got so lucky and found that the Men’s under 23 Olympic teams were having playoffs this spring to see who would qualify to go to the Olympics this summer in London. They were playing in LA, Kansas City, and Nashville. Nashville is only 5 1/2 hours away-so doable for a drive and weekend get away for us.

Aaron had been gone all week at a Family Medicine Conference in Las Vegas, and by the time Friday came I was so ready for some us time. He was to fly back into town on Friday, and the plan was to pick him up from the airport in Atlanta after a quick trip for me to IKEA, and then we would head on up the 3 1/2 more hours to Nashville. We would go to the Nashville temple the next morning, and then see the two soccer games that afternoon and evening.

That was plan A, but Plan B was what we ended up with. We were on the “be flexible timetable”-which when it’s just the two of you is so much more doable than when there are 7 other little people with you, all of which each have their own agenda. His flight didn’t end up getting in until 8:40pm, so I was going to just go up to Atlanta early and do some shopping, and then head to the temple and then pick him up from the airport. We would stay in Atlanta that night, and then drive the next morning to Nashville.

I had everything packed (totally last minute ), the kids schedule ready for the babysitter, soccer uniforms washed and laid out (though rain seemed eminent for Saturday), Sunday clothes washed and laid out, the house pretty much cleaned, Brianna and Austin’s track meet coordinated (as much as we could), the van’s oil changed, sheets washed, towels washed, and was ready for some much needed rest. As I was getting ready I couldn’t find the GPS, and after texting Aaron discovered he had taken it with him to Las Vegas. It looked like my trip to IKEA was going to get postponed. I could have looked up the directions on MapQuest, but decided to just go to the temple instead, and then I could always shop at the mall around the temple afterwards while I waited for Aaron.

I was so grateful to have some time to just relax in the temple. Our temple Presidency has encouraged us to do more than one session when we come to the temple-they say it almost takes one session just to unwind from all the outside distractions of the temple, and then the real blessings come. Most times Aaron and I have a babysitter at home, and two sessions isn’t always an option. After the first session, my heart was full, and I was so grateful to have the time to stay as long as I needed to. It amazes me how much clearer things look within the walls of the temple. My fears are calmed, my heart is healed, and I feel like I can press forward with whatever the Lord asks of me. It was much needed for sure-though beforehand I couldn’t really see that. One of those tender mercies again. I love those.

After picking Aaron up from the airport we headed to the hotel to drop off our stuff, and then grabbed a bite to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. All those huge pieces of cheesecake lined up under the bakery glass were SO tempting, but I am still trying to accomplish my March goals-so we passed. I was glad they had a low calorie enchilada instead. It was okay, but the vegetables they brought were AMAZING! They were all out of something that was suppose to be the side, I don’t really even remember what it was now, but the chef came out and asked if this carrot, green peas, and zucchini blend would be okay. AMAZING! Did I mention that already? I am pretty sure they were not part of the low cal option-they had to be smothered in butter. But man were they great. I probably could have opted out of the enchilada altogether and had a whole plate of those if I knew how good they were. Definite idea for next time.

The next morning Aaron was able to get up early and go to the temple, and I stayed back at the hotel and exercised in their workout room. Okay, two observations from that:

1. I need to get a gym membership I think. We had an old, broken down treadmill we got rid of when we moved, and Aaron has suggested more than once about getting a new and improved better one. I didn’t really like the idea of having one take up space, and was afraid we wouldn’t use it. After using this fancy treadmill with built in TV, iPod connection, multi level workout system machine-yeah, well that was REALLY nice. I still don’t think I want to have one taking up space in my house-partly because I can imagine myself wanting to workout only to have to get two small toddlers off of it every 5 seconds while I tried to walk on it. A gym membership with a daycare center=nice equipment, uninterrupted workout time, and 3 happy people.

2. I need to practice more with high-tech exercise equipment before I go get that membership. There were two ladies in there exercising that I am pretty sure think I am about the dumbest workout gal there is. It must have been quite comical to watch me. I jump on the treadmill, and try to get my small personal TV part on, which I can’t figure out after walking for 5 minutes. At that point the one lady (the daughter) leaves and so I hop on her treadmill that already had the TV turned on. I take forever to get just the right workout I want, and then finally start walking when I try to use the remote that was with the treadmill to change the channel. No luck, and then I drop it and the back breaks off and lands somewhere under the machine out of sight, both batteries fall out, and the treadmill is making them fly everywhere. I stop and try to nonchalantly pick everything up, and then start again.

What you’ve never done this kind of workout before? It’s called the walk, drop and do squats while picking up remote, and then walk more workout. A little ways into my workout I notice that the heart rate light is blinking. I see this button that I thought I had to put my fingers on (that’s how our other treadmill was), for it to check my heart rate. That doesn’t do anything, so I move it, and the whole treadmill stops. Yeah, that would be the treadmill key. So..after the third time, I start again-and that other lady was out of there. I am pretty sure she didn’t want to get pegged with a flying battery.  Gym Equipment use for Dummies-is there a book like that?

Our drive up to Nashville was so enjoyable. Aaron drive for the first bit and we had so much fun talking. I forgot how much I missed uninterrupted talking with him. We planned out vacations, new jobs for the kids, updated him on the lessons I got to give in Relief Society, caught up on things from this last week, and everything in between. The jet lag was catching up with Aaron from the flight and the 3 hour time change, so I happily agreed to drive-my best thinking time. No fruit snacks to worry about passing back, no refereeing fights from the back seat, or making thing fair with who got to watch the last movie-just some time with me and my thoughts.

I was so glad I had gone to the temple the night before, it gave me some good food for thought. I thought about some of the last few lessons I have got to teach in Relief Society (I am the fourth Sunday teacher now),-they were so on target for my life. I love teaching! I am sure I will write a whole post about that sometime-it really is the best calling for me right now. I love finding those connections in my life-it makes all the difference for me.

As I sat and drove and thought, I was in awe in how the Lord works in my life. At Christmas, Brooke had asked for a Kindle for a present. She hounded us about it everyday, and was so hoping she would get it. I honestly told her that I didn’t buy her one-but what I didn’t tell her was that her secret Santa Brianna had used her own money she was saving for an ipad and bought her one. She was pretty sure that Santa would fulfill her request if her parents wouldn’t. When she opened her present on Christmas morning, she saw the cute little purse Brianna sewed for her (to carry her kindle in-but she didn’t know that). She was happy, and thought it was so cute. Brianna wanted to totally shock her, so she put the kindle inside the purse. When Brooke felt that there was something inside, she opened up the purse-I think expecting to find some little writing notebook ( she loves little writing books with pens). She pulled out the Kindle with the look of shock and joy and nonunderstanding written on her face. It was like she couldn’t figure out what was happening. She had it all figured out about how it would go-but this wasn’t what she had ever imagined. I thought she was going to cry out of pure joy, and partly for the realization that Brianna had done it all on her own. A camera didn’t need to capture it, I know I will never forget the expression on her face. Humble and sincere gratitude. For someone who is a little harder to get to reflect emotion about a subject at just that moment-it was a gift to me. It helped me see those two sisters hearts, and the love they have for each other.

My time thinking about how some parts of my life have unfolding in the last decade made me think specifically about this incident. I think I have everything figured out, and then the Lord lets me make connections and see a little more clearly the plan, and I feel like I stand there in awe. Totally and completely blessed beyond what I thought, and not quite understanding what’s happening. I think I have it all figured out, and then He surprises me, blesses me, and helps me see hundreds of little pieces of my life fall into place. Things I thought of as small and simple things, become all part of this grand plan, that I feel so small and unqualified to be a part of. I hope Heavenly Father can see my heart with that same expression on it’s face. Sincere gratitude. Gratitude for things I know I don’t deserve, and gratitude for the overwhelming amount of love He has for me. Blessing me with opportunities to grow, with this intense amount of faith in me that I can actually do it.

Sincere Gratitude. My heart was overflowing with it.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

So fun to hear about your trip and your thoughts. You are simply wonderful. Loved the little story about the treadmill too. So funny. So glad you're my friend.