Monday, April 22, 2013

Hello, Mr. President.

Hey, y'all.  I had my first "normal" day back at work today in over a week, and it sure feels good to have that behind me. The students claimed to have missed me, but I know better - ha!  

I'm fresh off an educators conference in Atlanta where I had a great time (hung out with teacher friends, learned a lot, and networked).  I took a few pics here and there, but they were mostly for our state association's Facebook page.  

Since I was in my dad's neck of the woods, he stopped by the hotel on his way home from work. We didn't get to visit for long, but I was so glad to see him. 

(Thanks for stopping by, Dad!)

I was happy to see my krew when I got home.  DK actually kept M while I was gone those four days.  That's kind of a big deal because we usually send M to one of our moms when I'm away for that long. But he did it, and he did it well.  He makes a great Mr. Mom. :-)

I came home and spent the weekend cleaning (focusing on my closet -- it was a DISASTER) and trying to relax. When we couldn't take being inside anymore, we went out for a little sunshine.

Oh, how I love this sweet little face.

So, I'm FINALLY able to sit down and recap our trip to DC.  This gets a little long, but here goes:

Alabama Football recently visited the White House for their official congratulations from the President on their national championship.  If you know us (or have been reading this blog for a while), then you know we're never too far away from anything Bama Football.

While this certainly applies in this case, I have to make clear that the White House visit is a whole 'notha story.  It's not quite a place you're gonna find random fans. You can't just "go" there because you love Alabama Football...

Lucky for us (and I do mean very, very lucky), my mother-in-law has a good friend who works for a US Senator. DK and I knew there was a slight possibility she could get us in this White House visit, but I'll be honest -- I never got my hopes up. Anything involving the President of the United States is super exclusive -- and...well...we're just regular people. MIL's friend, Ms. A, worked some magic because we got a call that we were IN (say what??!).  We hopped on a flight the same day (thanks to another family friend who hooked us up with buddy passes).

We got there the evening before, and were sure to put M in bed at a decent time to minimize the chances of a meltdown at the White House the next day (the very last last place in the world I'd want her to have a meltdown.)

The next day, we took a train to the capital.  M was super excited about that!

The In-Laws

We got off at Union Station and headed to see Ms. A at work first.

MIL and M with Ms. A

Ms. A and her colleague gave us a quick, private tour of the capital.  I've been to DC a couple of times before, but I don't recall ever touring the capital.  So it was a real treat.

They were sure to show us this balcony, which overlooks the area where the inauguration was held.  So very cool (and what a view).

The amazing rotunda.

After our tour with Ms. A and her colleague, we changed the little one into a cute little dress and grabbed a quick lunch.  Then we headed over to the White House... 

^^  Waiting to get in. ^^

Once we made it to the lawn where the ceremony would be held, we immediately saw my sister-in-law (who was already there with the team).  She grabbed M and took her up to the podium!  One of the coolest pictures ever!

And then we snapped a few shots.

I love this pic.  Even though we have gone countless places as a family, there are very few pics of all us together.  It's perfect (even if my little one is acting silly)!

Once we were seated (on the second row??!!), these two cool dudes made their way out:

And then Mr. President began his speech.  

People have asked what was M's reaction to seeing the President in person...well, she actually thought it was pretty cool.  She knew exactly who he was and has always loved to point him out on TV.  That lasted for about 30 seconds, though...then she was back to eating her crackers - ha!

She IS thrilled to say she's "met" him now, though.

The Team

Once President Obama finished his speech, we had no idea if he would come see the "audience" after he shook all the players' hands.  In the meantime, we got a quick pic with this guy:

Then Mr. President turned around and said something like, "Let me get over here to everybody else..." or something like that.  We were in that "everybody else" category! Can you say excited?!

Once he made his way to us, I shook his hand and said something (sadly I have no idea what). I think I remember mentioning that he should take a pic with my baby. :-)

While technically he couldn't "take a pic WITH" anyone, he was sure to spend a few seconds having a "conversation" with M (so cool).  She was being a little shy, of course. I don't recall what all was said, but I do remember him asking how old she was, to which she replied:

He also commented on DK's tie.

If I was smart, I would have had someone video the whole thing...

...because this will probably be the coolest person she'll ever meet.

Priceless moment, y'all.

The US Surgeon General was also there. She is from and began her career in Alabama.

She was a very cool bonus on the visit.

As you could imagine, it was an amazing experience -- one I can't really put into words.  I am so appreciative of my mother-in-law who asked her friend to get us in. I'm so grateful for Ms. A working her magic to give us such an amazing experience. And I'm also thankful to our friend, M, who got us buddy passes (which, by the way, went smoothly).  I am so very grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This day was bittersweet because not long after leaving White House grounds, we heard what happened at the Boston Marathon. On the train back to the hotel, it was really all I could think about.  At that point, the situation was fresh and we weren't quite sure what was going on.  Obviously while I will never forget this amazing day and opportunity we had, I will always associate it with this sad day for our country.

On a lighter note, I thought it'd be cool to finally post this video of M reciting her US Presidents.  She's known them for a while, which I completely get a kick out of.  When did kids start learning their presidents in PRESCHOOL, y'all?  I'm pretty sure I didn't learn mine until 4th grade (versus four years old!) and even then, it had to be in some cute little song for me to remember them - ha!

Note:  While she IS starting to read (more on that another day), she's NOT reading the presidents' names in this video.  This just happens to be a book of presidents I bought from the Target dollar section a while back.  She has memorized them, but it certainly helps that she can see the pictures (because they learned them using a picture poster at school)...

Anyhoo, have a great week, y'all!


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