A little more than a week ago, I joined the Washington delegation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Many people have commented how much fun it would be to go and hobnob with the party darlings, cheer from the convention floor during VIP speeches and get pumped up for the coming election. I admit that while all of that happened and I had a blast, my experience at the convention was far more than a four-day party. The urgency of purpose that was felt left no question that this event was a serious and critical moment in our nations history. The convention felt like a railroad switch point. This country is on a runaway train, barreling down the tracks in the wrong direction at breakneck speed. At a time when this nation faces debilitating economic recession, continued record joblessness, alarming deficits and a catastrophic$16 trillion-plus national debt should the train keep going in this direction? The switch point takes us in a new direction. It felt like I was part of pulling a lever the switch point that will change the direction of America and put us on the right track. Amidst all the hurricane hoopla, the Tampa locals seemed to be carrying on with a ho-hum, business as usual approach, which set me at ease somewhat. I wasnt able to shake my concern about friends in Mississippi and Louisiana though. They stayed in my thoughts and prayers throughout the week. But in Tampa at it worst Isaac was like taking a warm shower in a Tri-City windstorm. Our delegation was made up of top-notch elected officials, state party leaders, campaign workers and financial supporters. (I fall into the campaign worker category). The first day in Tampa, the Washington State Republican Party invited 22 of the delegates from the state to sign the majority petition to nominate Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee for Washington. How often is it that a completely unknown stay-at-home mom from Eastern Washington gets a chance to participate so directly in the official nomination of the candidate running for president of the United States? I could not stop the tears from flowing as I put pen to paper. It was not the only time I got emotional at the convention. I was also touched by the strong, brilliant, diverse and inspiring women who spoke: Jane Edmonds (a liberal Democrat and former secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development), Mia Love (mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah), Susanna Martinez (governor of New Mexico), Cathy McMorris-Rogers (U.S representative from Washington), Condoleezza Rice (former secretary of State), and of course, Ann Romney. The convention floor was usually abuzz with activity, but during Anns speech, you could have heard a pin drop. I am the mother of six children, so her speech spoke to my soul. Its the moms who have always had to work a little harder to make everything right. Its the moms of this nation, single, married, widowed, who really hold the country together. I cant tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight as a wife and a mother and a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment: This man will not fail. Paul Ryans speech took me by surprise. He is an intense and driven guy. He runs on full throttle. He is the real (intellectual) deal. He knows the numbers inside and out. He has done the math and it doesnt add up. He is a problem-solver by nature, and I could tell it drives him crazy to watch problems getting worse, not better. So heres the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years? The Democrats have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we dont have. But it was Mitt Romneys speech on the last night that brought the convention full circle. If I am elected president of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight. I left the convention a different person. I feel connected to this country and its promise in a way that cant be articulated with words. We are all on the same train. We must all do our part to change its course. Lets choose the switch point that leads us to Americas greatest days, which are still ahead. To help with the Romney/Ryan local campaign efforts contact Stephanie by email: firstname.lastname@example.org To read more about, and see pictures of Stephanies Tampa experience, visit FranklinCountyRepublicans.blogspot.com. Stephanie Swanberg is chairwoman for Franklin County Romney for President campaign and a national delegate to the Republican National Convention.