Walk in Our Shoes

“How do you do it?”

“Do you ever get tired of moving?”

“Do you have a nanny?”

“What does your typical day look like?”

“What do you do about date night?”

I’ve been hit lately with all of these questions, and many more. I want to share what a typical day looks like for us as we live in downtown DC, and hit our most frequently asked questions.

First of all, I just want to hit how very grateful I am so have this opportunity. Anthony and I dream big, and never put a limit on what our God is capable of, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would get the chance to live in the heart of Washington DC for six weeks. If you’ve been reading for a hot minute, you know that I love history, US history in particular. I feel like this is a fairy tale. The Lord is continually opening doors, and I’m continually blown away by his goodness on this journey.

We arrived in DC on September 2, and moved into our apartment about one block from the White House. Typically, we live in hotels, so this was such a treat. For the first time in over 8 months, I felt like we had a HOME. Our rooftop view of the Washington Monument was absolutely breathtaking, Anthony and I had our own bedroom (what?!), and we had our own in unit washer and dryer. I never loved doing laundry so much. HA! I shared really vaguely on Instagram, but something bizarre happened on Thursday with our apartment, and we had to move. We went to a hotel for four nights (2 in DC & 2 in Philadelphia) before we could move into a new place. Our life was once again in limbo. Was I disappointed? Maybe. But I knew as well as I know my name that God would turn this crazy situation around into something even better.

I’m sharing this because I want you all to know that. I don’t always understand the “why”, but I do know that ‘All things work together for good for those who love the Lord’. Curve balls are going to be thrown your way. Whether you’re facing sickness, financial problems, marriage struggles, infertility heartache, or anything else, God knows. He has a plan. We can’t see ahead. We can’t understand. We can only trust Him through our fear, disappointment, heartache, sadness, anger, confusion, etc. It is OK to have these feelings. But I encourage you, joy comes in the morning. His plan is greater than ours. He can turn what we see as bad into something so good.

Ok. Back to our story… Those days were filled with a lot of unknown, but last Monday we moved into our new apartment that has far exceeded our expectations. It’s beautiful, safe, spacious, and only a few blocks away from our last place. I know our waiting was short, but this is just one small example of challenges we’ve faced where we trusted the Lord, and the prize was greater than the waiting and praying. We have less than 4 weeks left here, but we plan to soak in every last second.

Every morning starts out about the same. First, I cook breakfast for the girls instead of going down to our hotel lobby to get it. Then we spend the next 2 – 3 hours on 2nd grade for Presley (and a little preschool for Sailor). I’m not a planner, so I was a little concerned about homeschooling, but Presley has a deep love for learning and makes it pretty darn easy. We hit math, spelling, reading, etc before heading out for some in real life history lessons. Oh, how I love this life. We walk everywhere or take the metro occasionally. I’ve only drove my car twice since we got here.

The only ride on toys that we have been able to travel with are the girls’ scooters. In the late afternoon, I let them ride their scooters to the White House, make loops around the statues in Lafayette Square, watch a motorcade, race around the Ellipse circle between the Washington Monument and the White House, and then head home. I can’t even believe this is our real life right now. After Anthony gets home, we cook dinner and sometimes make the 6 block walk back to the White House, and grab ice cream because we’ve earned it with all of our walking. These days are good.

FAQ:Are you military?No. My husband works for Chick-fil-A helping open up new stores.

Are you lonely?There are days that I am, but overall, no. We try to connect with other Chick-fil-A employees some. I talk to random strangers, secret service, apartment/hotel staff, moms at gymnastics, etc a lot. Presley and Sailor also keep me pretty entertained. We also Facetime my parents daily. Thank God for Facetime.

Do you have a nanny?No. Truthfully, we don’t need one or want one. I’m not against people using one, but this does not make sense for our family. I’m physically with my girls 24/7 except when they sleep or while they’re at church class. I don’t mind one bit.

Date night?We don’t have the ability to do this. We typically don’t know anybody in the area well enough to feel comfortable leaving our kids with them. We went once in Florida in the last 8 months while my mom was in town.

How do we pick a church?Sometimes, we go somewhere based on a recommendation. Other times, we research them online. A good website says a lot these days. We try to only go to 2 (3 maximum) before choosing, so that we can feel established and our girls feel comfortable going to class. We’re professional church hoppers.

How do you do it?We’ve moved to new cities/states five times this year. It has actually become easier. The first move or two seemed a little overwhelming, but now we’ve got it down to a science. I try to keep a good attitude, take one day at a time, and expect everything to change.

Do you get tired of moving?Not yet. We have enjoyed every place that we have lived so far. We have stayed as little as 4 weeks up to 11 weeks. It’s the perfect amount of time to explore the city and not get bored.

How long will you move around like this?I don’t have an exact answer, but approximately 2 years give or take.

How do your girls do living like this?They are best friends. They get closer every day. At times, they miss family and friends, but overall, they are very happy. I keep them busy visiting new places almost daily, and they turn everything into a game.

Where are you moving next?As of right now, we are headed somewhere south next, but I hate to share too early. Our current assignment was supposed to be Denver, then Boston, but we actually ended up here in Washington DC. I’ll probably share about a week before moving.

I could share and share all day long, but I tried to hit some of the big questions that come often. I feel so overwhelmed by all of the love and support on this journey. Thank you for reading the blogging, liking our pictures, commenting, asking questions, and encouraging us.

Until next time…xoxo,

The Gilmartin Girls

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