Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Day on Capitol Hill

I'm still in awe at the amazing experience our family had yesterday as we went to Capitol Hill. One of the wonderful opportunities made available to nominees and finalists for Mother of the Year and Young Mother of the Year is to spend a day at the Capitol Building. As the Young Mother of the Year for 2012, I, along with this year's Mother of the Year, Cynthia Richards, was introduced before the House of Representatives. I personally had never been inside the Capitol Building, so I was amazed at the hustle and bustle happening all throughout the place.We were quickly ushered in, introduced, given a standing ovation, then ushered out again before we could even have time to absorb the experience.
Mother Honoress in front of the Senate

After visiting the House of Representatives, we were then introduced in front of the Senate. This was such an amazing experience as they took the time to read an "Official Citation" about both of us, we were able to meet the Senators for our district and were presented with pins. The other nominees for Mother of the Year and Young Mother of the Year were also recognized--wonderful women who truly embody what motherhood is all about. Cynthia and I were then asked to say a few words in front of the Senate. Being the small Wyoming town girl that I am, this was definitely a new experience for me, one that was meaningful and memorable.

One of the best parts about the day was that we were able to bring our children along. I was definitely worried about how my five children would handle three hours in their Sunday best clothing, moving from one appointment to another, being expected to behave with graciousness and manners, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity for them to experience such a memorable day. Everything actually went quite well overall until we passed the three hour mark. By then, we were in the "Gold Room" meeting with Governor Herbert. It was a wonderful experience! He shook each of my children's hands and asked them their names. His personal photographer captured each moment, and they are pictures I will always treasure.
Governor Herbert shaking my five-year-old's hand

President Hebert was awarded a special gift honoring his late mother. He unexpectedly took time to tell us a bit about his mother and what she meant to him in his life. It was very personal and touching as tears rolled down his cheeks and he was caught with immense emotion at times. I felt it such a privilege to be with him. He honored mothers all over the state of Utah and talked about the immense gratitude he has personally for mothers and the importance of the role of motherhood in making Utah great. At one point, he humbly said something I wish I could remember word for word. It went something like this: "Although you mothers may never make the headlines in the newspaper, I want you to know that this Governor on Capitol Hill understands the sacrifices and contributions you make to society and the state of Utah." It was a powerful, poignant moment, and my appreciation for this man grew greatly.
Governor Herbert accepting gift in honor of his mother

It was about at this moment that I realized my little flock of children were losing their edge. My mother-in-law's phone started playing a Lady Antebellum song that my children accidentally started. And then, my five-year-old lay down on the carpet and started making snow angels, only a few feet from Governor Herbert's feet. That's when I knew it was time for the experience to end! I quietly gathered him in my arms and we thankfully made it through the last few moments before my husband and I whisked them away to be taken home.

Following the events at the Capitol Building, we were privileged to go to the Governor's Mansion for High Tea. There, we were all honored with roses and plaques. Then we listened as Mrs. Herbert gave an inspiring speech on strengthening families through her Uplift Utah Families initiative. It was a wonderful, memorable, exhausting day. I left feeling gratitude for the American Mother's organization and all it stands for. I felt grateful for my years of involvement and how it had blessed my life by uplifting me in the cause of motherhood and helping me understand the importance of my calling as a mother. And I felt grateful for the amazing responsibility and privilege of being this year's Young Mother of the Year and being able to be a voice for motherhood and work to uplift and help all mothers throughout the state of Utah understand how important and loved they are and how vital they are to Utah and to this country and to the world.

Being honored with First Lady Herbert at Governor's Mansion
Strong mothers definitely strengthen families. And strong families definitely strengthen our state and our nation.
Me with Governor Herbert and Cynthia Richards (2012 Utah Mother of the Year)


Glitzy Glass Stars said...

Hey hot momma! I actually just went to lunch with G. Herberts Daughter. She is Ben Cahoon's wife (a coach at BYU) Way nice, way cool.
I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing. I think your wonderful. So glad you are representing ME!

DisabilityDiva said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! Well deserved indeed!