Sunday, May 27, 2012

White House Correspondents Dinner Weekend

Okay, okay... so the WHCD weekend was a month ago. Oy! Let's just pretend it was all last night, okay? It's taken me a long time to put this post together, so I hope you enjoy. Prepare yourself for TONS of pictures. Here we go.

In the week leading up to the big dinner, I got a new haircut with highlights, and my first-ever spray tan.
I loved the spray tan! Definitely recommend this.
The day before the big dinner, I went to a panel discussion/luncheon at the White House Correspondents Association.  Here's the thing - the White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) is often referred to in Washington as "nerd prom."  This is the "nerd" part - a discussion about journalism.  I loved it! Fascinating!
That day, I left work early, went to pick up my dress from being altered, went through the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, and then went back to work, parked my SUV, and loaded up my "granny cart" and made my way to the hotel I was staying in (alone) for the weekend in DC.
I include this photo of my granny cart being pushed down M Street - because it provides you with an accurate picture of my life. There will be glamorous photos to come. That is not real life. The granny cart is.  Humility is key.

I checked into my room, ordered a crab cake sandwich, read the special edition Politico about which celebrities were going to be at the dinner the next night (I had to study because I do NOT pay attention to celebs AT ALL) while I listened to the Supreme Court arguments about Obama's health care law. (NERD ALERT: This is what I choose to listen to/watch when I have cable for a night, people, I am a nerd.)
Friday night, we got ready and went to the NPR pre-party.  Don't ask me "who" was there, I can't tell you. Mostly because I didn't wear my contacts. I can tell you that Beyonce's little sister was spinning tunes, and it was at this really cool Gibson guitar place.
So, naturally, Jennifer and I played our guitar purses.

Then, it was back to the hotel for a night of sleep by myself.  Michael usually comes into the City and stays with me, but this year, he was cranking on a website deadline, and it was just easier to work from home, so that's what he did.

Saturday morning, I got up and headed to the office to make the favors for our table.
I put on one of Michael's button-front shirts, and got my hair and makeup done, and then I took a cab over to the Hilton, so I could set up our table for the big night.
Then, I got ready for the big night, and met up with the rest of our group, including our guest for the night - Colton Dixon from American Idol.
We headed over to the Washington Hilton in two separate cars, and we got separated, so I missed seeing Colton walk the Red Carpet.  Security is crazy, and they don't just let you stand around and wait for your party.
Then, we headed to a couple of pre-parties. The best one this year was ABC's party.
Here are my pictures from inside the ABC News tent.  You'll recognize the people, so I'm not going to caption every single pic.
It was super fun.  Then, we made our way into the ballroom for the dinner. This involves going through mags for security, and it's really crowded and sweaty and gross. Just some inside info for you.
Jennifer and I spotted Charlize Theron (I think that's how you spell her name) on the way in, and promptly decided that we did NOT need a photograph WITH her. I am not standing next to that.

I think seeing my actual real-world friends is WAY more fun and exciting than seeing celebrities and taking pictures with them.
This is my friend Patty Culhane. She's the one I wrote about a few weeks ago who organized all of that help for a wounded warrior who recently, sadly, passed away. I love Patty!
This is my good friend, Joe Shaw. Joe and I worked together at the Hearst DC Bureau, and now he's the White House Producer for NHK, a Japanese Broadcasting company. He recently was INSIDE the Oval Office when the Japanese Prime Minister was in town! Joe is way cool. 
Oh, and I don't work with this guy covering the White House. But he is kind of a big deal: Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell.

We did turn our cameras off (kind of) for a few minutes, while we made our way to our table.
On the way, I did spot Goldie Hawn.
At least, I was pretty sure it was her. Jennifer confirmed it for me.

We made it to our table, enjoyed dinner and laughed at the jokes by the President and Jimmy Kimmel, who I though were BOTH very funny!
I tweeted throughout the dinner, and impressed my boss with my fast iPhone skills. That was fun.  Too bad the only course of dinner I remembered to photograph was dessert. It was all delicious.  I know a lot of people don't eat at this dinner. I do! This is seriously delicious food, and I squeezed every single bite of it into my spanx, girls! :)
The CBN News girls with Colton Dixon.
This is my Bureau Chief, Robin Mazyck.

And I saw another old friend from Hearst, Nikole Killion!
On the way out, of course, we stopped to take the obligatory, annual "me on the red carpet" pictures.
I noticed Newt and Callista Gingrich off to the side, totally by themselves, and it made me kind of sad.
And I saw this beautiful lady, Sade Baderinwa. She is a news anchor in New York City now, but about 13 years ago, she was the weekend anchor at WSLS in Roanoke, VA, and I was a little baby intern. Sade told me I needed to wax my eyebrows. It hurt my feelings, but she was right! Haha. Funny story. I'm not convinced that she remembered me, but I definitely recognized her and for the record, I did NOT say anything about my eyebrows. 

After dinner, we made a quick flip flip pit stop back at the hotel for a footwear wardrobe change.
This is my 3rd WHCD and the first time I wore flip flops to the after parties. Best decision of the night.
Then, we were off to the after parties. First, the Capitol File party, which was held at one of my favorite places on earth, the Newseum: 
And I saw some more old Hearst buddies - Wes Barrett and Kimberly Schwandt.  Isn't it CRAZY how many of my former co-workers are now covering the White House? Dreams do come true, people. Look at us! We have all worked so hard, and here we are, together again. So neat.

After the Capitol File Party, we headed to an ambassador's house for the MSNBC after party. Don't ask me which ambassador's house it was, I think it may have been the Italian Embassy, but I'm not really sure. I was about to fall asleep at that point, it was about 3:00am!
I took one last pic with Colton. What a sweet kid. I know God has big plans for him!
And, a pic with Chuck Todd, for my Granny, because she is in love with him. 
And that was it!
I went to sleep at about 4:30am, which, for the record, is pretty close to the time I am used to getting up at!

Now, just to bring this whole fairytale weekend to a complete close:
Sunday morning, I slept in, ordered room service for breakfast...
Packed my granny cart back up, made my way back to work and my SUV, and went home to pick up Michael. That was the same Sunday we met Heather and Colin at Mount Vernon.  What an awesome weekend!
Nothing like a good old granny cart to give you a little perspective.  I hope y'all enjoyed all of these pictures, because this post took me about an hour and a half to put together! Now, I have to go get M up, and get ready for my POOL day, which I will now be able to fully enjoy, knowing that this massive blog post that's been on my to-do list for a month is DONE. 
Peace out.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Here's Your Sign

  by danabrownritter
, a photo by danabrownritter on Flickr.

We try to live like this canvas sign that we have hanging in our entryway.

Saturday Morning Post

Happy Saturday, y'all!
How sweet it is.
It feels like it has been FOREVER since we had a real Saturday morning.

Because last Saturday morning -- we were driving back from vacation.
The Saturday before that, was our BIG interview with Mitt Romney at Liberty University.
The Saturday before that, Michael was at a mens' retreat, and I spent the day cleaning and organizing.
And the Saturday before that, was the White House Correspondents' Dinner. (I know, I'm horrible and haven't blogged about the dinner - it's on my list - I just feel so FAR behind on this blog and life in general, it's a little overwhelming...)
So... yeah... we've been a LITTLE busy.
It's nice to be back to a nice, quiet, "normal" Saturday morning.
M is actually up. He's awake in the bedroom, the bed is sitting up, and he's reading a book for work.
I won't gush on how proud of him, because if I did, this blog could become entirely about that. I'm really proud.  Okay. I'll stop.

Brokaw is snuggled up next to me, and Princess is asleep too. I had Angel Food Cake for breakfast.  

My hopes for this long weekend are to catch you up on our lives over the last month or so on the blog, to make strawberry jam and homemade ice cream, to have friends over to grill out, and to spend some serious time at the pool.  Oh, and I guess I should go grocery shopping. 

I better get on it.
Cheers to Saturday! What are your plans for this weekend?