As a member of the POPSUGAR Select network, and by the grace of baby Jesus, I was one of about 150 writers invited to the White House to participate in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move event. Upon receiving the invitation, my Type A flared up and I initially declined. Too much to do, too many people to bother for help. Once I got over myself (husbands are capable of putting kids to bed–imagine that!), everything else just fell into place.
I was feeling all the feels the day I left. I cried off and on, and as departure time grew nearer, I was actually shaking! I imagine that’s how my almost 2-year-old feels when she sees Pappy or yogurt, but I couldn’t convince myself that I wasn’t going to projectile vomit. As I snuggled with my 4-year-old on the couch, I admitted, “I’m really nervous!” When she asked why, I confided, “This is, like, a really big deal! I won’t know a lot of the people, and I just hope they like me!” Ever the sweet optimist, unless you touch one of her dolls then she’ll cut you, my girl didn’t miss a beat: “You’ll have a wond-a-ful time, Mummy, I just know it!”
And bless her heart, she was right.
I got to wear make-up and my hair wasn’t in a ponytail and I wore heels and I had intelligent conversation and I rode the metro like a big girl! Maybe some of you reading this are like, “Uh, yeah. That’s what I do every day.” Well pin a rose on your nose because this lady felt very cultured after her trip! It was a fantastic experience, book-ended with airport-style security and a Bob Evans bathroom selfie.
I learned so much while at the White House:
The hilariously healthy Fruits and Veggies (FnV) Campaign!
Farm to school initiative!
The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge with a Kids’ State Dinner as the prize!
The event was covered on the official Let’s Move site!
The come down from my White House high is kicking my arse; it’s a cross between a hangover and sleep deprivation. So in an effort to avoid having to write more complete sentences, I leave you with a video, a list, and a picture montage. Good night.
My Top 5 Favorite Things About Going to the White House
5. There were actually lumps of sugar. One lump or two? LITERALLY ONE LUMP, PLEASE. Very fancy. Also, I don’t get out enough.
4. The history that surrounded us was incredible. From the intricate architecture to the paintings to the collection of each president’s fine china, with each step I was reminded that greatness had walked the same halls. Spine tingling stuff right there.
3. GIRL POWER. I didn’t realize how many influential and wicked smart ladies were a part of the goings on behind the scenes at the White House. Check out the slideshow to see what I mean; there are so many women–mothers–involved with the Let’s Move initiative that the nursing room has become one of the most popular of this administration! These women are brilliant and creatively innovative, and I got to share a space and memory with them. MIND BLOWN.
2. In addressing us, First Lady Obama said she was proud of us. She called us powerful messengers. And I cried some more. She told us to look around the room and appreciate our influence; we are the voice of many, and we make a difference. Inspiring doesn’t begin to describe what I felt; I had the “oh thank goodness this isn’t all for naught” moment many only hope for. Whatever your profession or passion, being acknowledged for our blood, sweat, and tears makes it worthwhile.
1. I tend to measure most of my successes by how they improve my family’s life. But this White House trip? Just for me. And I’m not going to lie: it felt gooooood. Best of all, I was surrounded by other mothers who normally share that same family yardstick, but just for one afternoon, we got to reap the rewards of our labor and hear sincerity behind the thank you. Swoon.
Hope you enjoy the slideshow. I’m no professional photographer (which you will soon see), but hey–better than nothing, right?!
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HUGE thanks to my brother who stayed with my kids for what probably felt like the longest few hours of his life, my parents who were on kid, dinner, and wiffleball duty, and my in-laws who had a verrrrry long Tuesday. I appreciate your help–couldn’t have made this trip if it weren’t for all of you. Husband, you’re the bee’s knees, even if you did miss the bus. Teehee