This past December, I had the huge honor of being invited to the White House for a White House Social event for the holiday season. The White House tweeted and pinned a link to the application, and on a whim (because why not!) I applied. That was on Monday, and by Thursday night, I was booking a weekend flight to DC!
My big bro Andy was my tour guide and gracious host for the weekend - thanks, Andy! I've visited him a few times in DC, but he recently moved to Bethesda so it was fun to see his new place.
Now, the official business ... the event! I have never been inside the White House before, so I was so excited to see everything - and in full holiday mode, no less!
The #WHHoliday day was put together by the White House digital team, and include a mix of 15 bloggers, teachers, military family members, photographers and social fans like myself. Our WH hostess, Kasie, gave us a tour ofthe East Wing and its decorations, and set up time with White House staff in the afternoon.
Twenty-four Christmas trees are on the White House grounds ... and each are dressed to the nines! Later in the afternoon, we listened to the White House Executive Pastry Bill Yosses (he says POTUS is a pie guy) and Chief Floral Designer Lara Dowling talk about the preparations for the holiday season. The planning starts in the summer, with the First Lady picking the theme and the team gathering the volunteers, supplies and stamina for the months ahead.
Laura said FLOTUS is a huge fan of recycling and repurposing materials to create the decorations. During the tour, I saw pipecleaners twisted to form a doorway arch, berries and pinecone scales in a geometric pattern, covering pillars, and golden leaves (from administration decor, decades ago!) glued on glass vases.
It was very cool to see the states participating in the festivities as well - inthe Blue Room, the White House Christmas tree was decorated in pictures and family photos from military families. The garland of "coming home" photos was a personal favorite!
It was definitely a day to remember. There's nothing like Christmastime at the White House!
**ah, nothing like using a social media phenomenon to cover for my lack of blogging skills! I'm going to try to resurface cool things I haven't blogged about (cough going to the White House, cough running a marathon) because toot toot, if you can't brag on your own blog ... where are ya going to do it?
Out with the old, in with the new ... desktop wallpapers. This early in the new year, I'm drawn to the calendar options - seeing "January" reminds me that it really is 2014! A few options up for grabs, by those talented folks on the interwebs: