Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bling Bling

This is partly for my mother.  I certainly hope it doesn't lead to me being mugged.

Here is my Granny's ring - I love it so much.  I think it's beautiful in and of itself, plus I love the meaning behind it.

And here are the gorgeous diamond earrings Michael gave me.  I am still so surprised!  They are beautiful and it's so neat that he had them designed to match Granny's ring.  I love them! I love the meaning behind these earrings, too.  Something that is ours.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We're Engaged!!!

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I'm so overwhelmed with joy that I don't even know where to start!!

It was Friday night. Between 8:10 and 8:30, I can confirm. It was chilly out and after walking around the National Mall, Michael and I sat for a break here, at the World War II Memorial.

It is BEAUTIFUL at night! So romantic! Michael had me pull out his laptop and a box he had sent to my apartment. I admit, when we were getting ready to go out that night, I thought it was semi-strange that he wanted to bring his computer (although not so odd that it made me suspicious) and I wasn't suspicious of the box either - when I asked about it last week, he told me that it was "just something he needed."
Mike'sDCTrip 011 I was sitting on a ledge beside him. The computer was on his lap. He pulled up a video he made for me. It had all of these pictures of me, us, my family, his family... friends... it was the perfect mix of comical commentary and meaningful memories.

I teared up. I knew what was going on at this point. The video came to an end and I was ready for a kiss! Eyes closed, puckered up, the whole bit! Michael told me to "hold on." Then, eloquently, he asked me if I'd give him the honor of making memories together for the rest of our lives!

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I was so overwhelmed I couldn't even speak! I was trembling from the inside out! This was it!! This was my proposal!! And it was PERFECT! Of course, I said yes. I told him I'd be honored. In the box were BEAUTIFUL diamond earrings!! I was so surprised! They are so classy and Michael had them designed to match my Granny's ring, which I now have happily on my left ring finger. :)

After that, we just held each other. We thanked each other and just professed our love. It was super sappy now that I type it out on a blog. But I don't care!! I love this man with all that I have to love him and it was PERFECT.

Notice how you don't see anyone else in this last picture? That's funny because there were people all around. I know I saw them before Michael popped the question, and afterwards. But in that moment, everything stopped. And everyone but us ceased to exist there at the WWII Memorial. The proposal was PERFECT! I love that he made me a movie. That's so me! I love that he played it on his computer. That's so him! I love that we were in the middle of Downtown DC at a beautiful monument, taking it all in! I love that I was proposed to while wearing a Roxy sweatshirt and he was rocking a fleece. That's so US! I love that we just sat there and let it sink in. Oh, that moment!

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I kind of always imagined that the second after I got engaged I would want to call my mom, or my friends, like right then...

Surprisingly, I didn't. I just wanted to be there with my man, soaking it all up. So, as I just mentioned, that's what we did.

Then, in the cab on the way back to my apartment, we spilled the news to our cab driver! He was the first person to know the official news!

There you have it. That's our story. I hope I did it justice. Because it was PERFECT. Did I say that already?

Mike'sDCTrip 018For some reason, Typepad will only let me post a little picture for this one.  Hmm.  How symbolic.  Brokaw will have to get used to the idea of having a little bit smaller of a role.  Aaawww.  Poor puppy!  He did really well this weekend.  Michael was the "alpha" dog.  I'm apparently "beta" or something, because Lord knows that dog sure doesn't feel threatened by me!

 Saturday afternoon, we did our press rollout, on Facebook of course!  We got SO MANY congratulations and well wishes, it was overwhelming!  I felt so special and loved!!

Mike'sDCTrip 017Mike'sDCTrip 014 Saturday night, we got together with some of my favorite people on the planet for dinner at my apartment.

I have to pause here and thank Gretchen & Jason for bringing DINNER.  My pork roast was a little late getting into the oven, and after a Google search failed to turn up a fix for my problem, I had to make an emergency call.

And Gretchen, Jason & Nicole showed up with two chickens from Harris Teeter.  I will now be known "Cindy."  My mother.
But that's cool! :)
  We went on the Ghost & Graveyard Tour in Old Town Alexandria.

And like last year, it was a good time!

Also like last year, Gretchen and I took some inappropriate pictures on top of centuries-old graves.

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A swan like gourd told me a secret ghost story.

Sunday, after church (which was awesome - I love doing those normal things with Michael - like something so simple as going to church becomes special, you know?), we met up with my friend Kimberly, for a tour of the Fox News DC Bureau.  It was a lot of fun!  Shout out to Kim for the tour!

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I'm pretty sure this beats the podcast!

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Cheesing it up outside of Brit Hume's office...

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I got to check another White House Correspondent off of my "get a picture with this person" list...

Brett Baier was very nice in congratulating us.

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So was Shannon Bream.  Apparently she's a former Miss Virginia. (Thanks Kristen!)

Yeah... put me in a picture with her... that's not intimidating at all....

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We had a little mini photo shoot all up in the Fox News Studio!

The view of the Capitol Dome from North Capitol Street is amazing!

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I think they should find a way to use this in a promo, don't you?

A magazine ad or something...

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I caught him off guard here, but I like this one.

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This may very well be my new favorite picture of us.  I need to darken up the background so you can see the dome better, but I like it!

Very Abbey Road, yes?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday morning, thanks to my super sweet contact at the White House, Michael and I got to go to the South Lawn to watch a Marine One Departure.  President Bush was heading to Louisiana for some economic something-or-other.  (Oh, the difference in details that are absorbed when I'm working vs. when I'm not!)

It was AWESOME!  Marine One is powerful!  It was a powerful experience, in general.  I love being at the White House.  I've been there many times now for work, but it never gets old.  It was really special to be there with my man!! 

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Here we are in the Rose Garden. 

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Doesn't he look all Secret Servicey in his sunglasses?  Haha

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This shows you how powerful the wind from the helicopter was!

Look at the press pass in my hair, haha!!

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POTUS totally waved at us!! Becky, I'm thinking since you weren't there, the low wave was for us!  :)

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C-ya W!

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After that, we totally geeked out in the Briefing Room. (Something I have always wanted to do, but I have yet to have a willing partner!)

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I found just the guy!

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Brown (for now), not Perino.  Get your Danas right!


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West Wing, baby!

Typepad is being stupid, and won't let me upload any more photos, but I have a couple more I'd like to put in this post.

Shout out to Elizabeth for the hook-up!  Thank you so much!!

I sometimes wish I had more control over how posts are stacked on my blog.  Maybe I do, and I just don't know it?

So, because I want the proposal details on the top, I'm going to blog about our fabulous weekend... backwards.

Michael left to go home to Texas yesterday.  I only shed a tear or two at the airport.  But when I got home, I lost it.  Thank God there are traces of him around my apartment.  I will cling to those as long as they last as I count down to Christmas!

He is an amazing man.  I mean it when I say that I am truly honored to be with him.  I look forward to a lifetime of laughing, loving and memories with him!

Mike'sDCTrip 105Shout out to US Airways for letting us have some extra hang out time in the gate!  I even got to get on the plane to kiss him goodbye!

Now... back to work.  My feet aren't touching the ground yet.  I'm overwhelmed by all of the well wishes from everyone.  Thanks so much for all of your kind words!

Now... I need to take some pictures of all of my diamonds!!!  Bling pics COMING SOON.

I said YES!!!!

I know you are all dying for details about Michael's proposal.  Stay tuned!!!!  I'm EXHAUSTED.  I won't be able to tell the story as it should be told in all of it's glory right now.  But I have to put SOMETHING up here, right?

Let me just say this.  I am HONORED to be engaged to Michael Ritter.  I go to sleep this afternoon OVERWHELMED with joy.  I miss him already, but we're not going to focus on that.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kenny & Coffee

The "before work" blog on a weeknight is RARE.   But here it is!  I'm watching Kenny Chesney on TV right now and I'm being essentially transported back to one of the best nights of this past summer.

Aaahhh.  I downloaded Kenny's new album, "Lucky Old Sun" today.  I can't wait to listen to it all as I get ready for work tonight!  He was on GMA Tuesday morning but I was TOO BUSY to watch.  Too busy for Kenny Chesney??? I know, right?   That's what back to back morning statements from President Bush and Henry Paulson/Ben Bernanke will do to me...  Thank God for DVR!!

I really like the change-up!  Jamming to Kenny, drinking coffee -- is a pretty sweet way to start the day.  I can tell that Robin Roberts loves him, I love her!  Okay, back to Kenny & Coffee for the next 10 minutes...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Brayden's Birthday Party

I cannot believe my youngest nephew, a.k.a "Baby Brayden" a.k.a. "Hooba"(who knows where that came from?) is 7.  Seven.  Seven years old.  I remember when he was born... I was young (like 21!), Friends was in its glory days... Ah, those were the days.

Enough of that.  Now he's 7.  He's in 1st grade.  He has the cutest smile a kid with no teeth can have.  I mean it.  He's stinking cute.  And at least for now, he's still my Baby Brayden.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Great Debate

No debating here.  Nope.  No debate commentary, either.  I have to keep it safe, peeps.  I don't feel like anything can really follow my Gene Simmons story, but I must press on....

I thought I'd give you a look at the Belmont Presidential Debate, from my view.  Let you "behind the scenes" of what I was dealing with while you were all cozy on our couch watching the debate.  Keep in mind how warm, dry and comfortable you were.  Be glad.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE covering campaign events in the field.  So, please know that my upcoming statements are OBSERVATIONS, NOT COMPLAINTS.  I love this job.  I can't believe they pay me to do this.  Seriously.

It's not as glamorous as you may think...


At a big campaign event, like a debate, you can always expect a sea of satellite trucks.

There actually weren't as many as I was expecting at Belmont, which was nice.

So, they all line up like this.

(Poor Belmont's soccer field)

IMG_2438 This is the truck we worked out of.  It belongs to one of our stations, WLKY.

Shout out to the engineer/truck driver, Jerry!! He did a fabulous job!!

Yes... it's NAVY BLUE.  Can't miss it.  WOW.  I liked this old truck, though, because it brought back some good hurricane coverage memories - it's just like the truck we had at WAVY.


This is another common occurance.  The media is all set up in a "filing center."  Basically it's a giant tent with rows of tables that have phones and power and the internet.  There are monitors where you watch the debate.

I took this before it got really busy.

There's another area of the tent called "spin alley" where crews do interviews and live shots.


This is our live shot position.  It was a little bit ghetto because we didn't have a tent.  In hindsight, we probably should have made another Home Depot run to get one, but at the time, it didn't seem like it was going to help because we were worried about "sideways" rain, and a tent doesn't really help with that...

But, oh well.


Here's the background of our shot.  That's the Debate Hall.


I was so wet you would have thought I took a shower in my clothes.


Here's my correspondent, Sally, doing an early evening live shot.

Note the step stool.  That was the fruit of our Home Depot run. 

See, they just line us up, one right after another on these risers.

We were next to CBS News this time.  Some people left the risers to set up camp on the ground below.

And I think I joked during the convention about how we use bottled water in bags to hold light stands down.

It's comical - but hey - it beats paying more overage charges for sandbags in luggage, right?


These are mic flags.  We switch them out depending on which station we are about to "go live" on or tape a report for.

We have almost 30 television stations - so that's a lot of saying the same thing, over and over!


This is how I roll in the rain for live shots.  Ziploc bags are your best friend!

I keep my phone list, my note pad and my blackberry in the bag!

You are lucky that is just my arm and not my entire self you are seeing in the Gordon the fisherman jacket! It was EMBARASSING.  But I was thankful for the borrowed rain coat.  I wasn't expecting all that rain!IMG_2448

 Here I am on debate night on the risers.  Don't joke the hair.  My hair is not friends with the rain.

I think my make-up had washed off by this point, too... oh well, like I said - not glamorous!


Here is our photographer, Wes, rocking a Croc Hunter hat.

I am not one to joke, though.  Wes pulled off an incredible feat - getting us on TV in that rain!

If he needs a Croc Hunter hat to do that, so be it.


And, although I was thrilled I got to go to the debate that my dog's namesake moderated - I did not get to meet Tom Brokaw.

I didn't even see him!  I watched him on TV like you did.  Except I was wet, freezing, and on deadline.

All in all, it was a GREAT trip, though!  Even with the rain - we made every hit, didn't miss a deadline, and we had a good time.