Yesterday was a day of ups and downs. There were some really great moments and some really low ones as well.
The day started off with a drive into downtown Tampa, to the Aquarium, for an event sponsored by RNC for Life. This was a pro-life event that highlighted several great pro-life politicians who are truly heroes for the cause of the sanctity of life. One reason I am a Republican is because this is the only political party that has a pro-life platform.
The drive into downtown was an adventure in and of itself. There were roads closed everywhere. We know nothing about Tampa, and my husband did an amazing job navigating us to where we were supposed to be. I will say it again, behind every great woman is an outstanding man, in my case, that is an understatement!
Upon arrival the first person we saw was Phyllis Schlafly, with Eagle Forum. Phyllis has paved the way for women in the conservative movement. She was the first woman, in modern politics, to begin getting involved in the political process in order to further the conservative movement. It was an honor to meet her, as she is a hero of mine. With us in the picture is my friend, Ginger Howard.
As special as the above moment was for me, the picture below shows my husband with one of his heroes. Tony Perkins, of Family Research Council, is a person we both depend on to keep us abreast of what is happening around the county in regards to social and conservative issues. What a great "up" this was for us both!
Probably the one politician, on the national stage, I respect more than any other, is Rick Santorum. He is a man of great convictions who hasn't let the spotlight diminish his passion for the sanctity of the family and the importance of establishing personhood for all human beings. It was more than an honor for me to have the opportunity shake his hand and speak briefly with him.
Here is Rick addressing the crowd.
Another great conservative hero - Rick Perry.
And Michelle Bauchman was outstanding. I was thrilled to hear her speak and was blown away by her knowledge of the pro-life movement. She is a shining example of why we need more women in this process. She was able to articulate the issues in a way that many of the men in the movement aren't able to do.
After the event, we had a short walk to the convention. I was really excited walking over. The weather was HOT and the humidity was awful. Being from GA I am used to humidity, but this was nothing like we have over in the Peach State. Despite the weather, and my impossible hair in this climate, I was thrilled with what I was about to do. Walking into the convention for the first time was emotional - in a good way. It made me realize that in these great United States we are given opportunities to participate in a process that will mold and shape our country. I have often dreamed of being in this position, but never truly believed it would happen. Realizing a dream is an unbelievable example of how God will give us the desires of our heart, provided it is in line with His plan for our lives. This moment was another "up" in this day of "ups" and "downs".
The security was thorough - they checked bags, really checked bags. They actually dug in my purse looking for banned items. The only thing they found was some lipstick, ibuprofen, and a Ring Pop!
Have you ever had one of those times where you feel like you are experiencing something so exciting that it can't actually be real? That was what happened when our Chairman, Sue Everhart, allocated the majority of our delegates for our party's nominee, Mitt Romney. I have watched this on TV and to actually be there to see it happen first hand was unreal!! To be on the floor right beside the microphone where she was standing - another "up"!!
The first "down" happens at this point in the day. I had left the floor to have dinner with Robbie. I was hot, tired, and my feet were hurting from trying to look cute instead of comfortable - my problem, I know! I had found us a table to sit, while he was getting our dinner. He couldn't find exactly where I was, so I was getting up from the table so he could see me when my foot got caught on my chair. Yes, you can start laughing now. I began a long five second fall and trip, fall and trip over the chair right into the arms of a man who found me, literally, falling for him. Had he not been there I would have landed, face down, on the floor. I am convinced he was an angel!! I have never been the most graceful person in the world - I suppose those ballet lessons didn't do their job after all!! The good news is, I learned long ago not to take myself too seriously. So, I regained my composure, gave a quick curtsy to the crowd, and followed my husband away from there as quickly as possible.
After eating, I excused myself to the ladies room to reapply my lipstick, however....my lipstick wasn't there. I emptied my purse to no avail. It was gone, lost, MIA. As a very prepared southern lady, I had a backup - but it isn't my favorite. This was worse than my graceful fall!! Another "down".
Once I was back on the floor things were looking up. The entertainment was great - the Oak Ridge boys sang a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. Thankful for a country where we can still sing about God's Amazing Grace!!
The atmosphere was getting more and more intense with each speech. Here is a quick shot of Rick Santorum - twice in one day - I could get used to this.
Just to our right is the special seating for dignitaries. This is another wonderful example of women in public service. Condoleezza Rice was listening to the speeches. How cool is that??
I had been interviewed by two radio stations (not sure where they were from) about Ann Romney and her speech. I was very excited to say in both interviews that Ann is a great example of the American wife, mother, and activist. She has been a stay at home mother and been successful in raising five boys while being a help mate to her husband. What a great example to all of us stay at home moms!!
Her speech was wonderful. She told their story. She was real and open about their lives, their struggles, and their successes. She is going to make a GREAT First Lady.
After her speech, Mitt and Ann when to sit by Condi Rice. They were just right there! Very surreal.
Here they are standing to applause for Chris Christie. For some reason I don't have any pictures of him speaking, but if you watched his speech, you know, it was amazing!!
So, the "ups" seem to be outweighing the "downs" at this point. However, the night wasn't over. Once the convention concluded we headed out to find the buses that were arranged to take us back to our hotel. There were no signs telling us which way to go, so we followed the crowd. As a mother, I should know, you never follow the crowd. We ended up several blocks away from the convention center at a parking lot full of buses. Great, right? Wrong!! These were for the California delegation only. Hundreds of upset people were starting to get very angry. I called Robbie who explained where we were supposed to be, which was probably 1/2 mile back from where we were. So, we started walking again. At this point my feet are numb (going to buy some shoes today)! We get to the place where we are supposed to catch the buses. It takes us probably 30+ minutes to get on a bus and start the journey to a football stadium where we will catch another bus to our hotel. Let me sum it up this way - the convention ended at 11:00 pm. I didn't walk into my hotel room until 2:20 am. I think you get the point. This was a BIG "down".
As we were disembarking from the bus I said to others from GA that were with me, "in the words of the great Southern philosopher, Scarlett O'Hara, 'tomorrow is another day'". Then someone commented back - tomorrow is today.