white house wonderland

9

with the Obamas 2013
{Left to right: First Lady Michelle Obama, me, my boss Ellen, and Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States}

Oh man, did I get a kick out of writing that picture caption. Can you believe it? That’s me with the Obamas! 

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of accompanying my boss Ellen to the White House Press Holiday Reception. Up there with William and Kate’s wedding, it’s the kind of event that I would never expect to attend considering how selective they are with the invitations. And somehow the Washington gods smiled down on me when a couple weeks back, Ellen asked if I would go as her date. !!!. I haven’t had a solid night’s sleep ever since. 

December 12th, 2013 is a day I’ll never forget. I was in a daze most of the night, but did manage to snap a few pictures on the trusted iPhone to share with you today. Gather around and take a look.

Gather Around White House Christmas
{Trees from the Red and Blue Rooms}

“Gather Around: Stories of the Season” happens to be this year’s White House Christmas theme. Each room is decorated with a different style and story in mind. The official White House Christmas Tree (pictured above on the right), a formidable 18 1/2-foot Douglas fir from Lehighton, Pa., honors military families with hanging homecoming pictures and children’s drawings from each of the 50 states. 

I’d like to Gather Around again, but doubt my spot on the guest list was a standing one. 

White House Holiday Band
{The talented Marine Band}

These strapping guys provided hours of entertainment in the White House foyer. Playing their holiday tunes under a portrait of George W. Bush. 

Clinton, Kennedy
{Left: Bill and me, Right: JFK}

White House Party{In the East Room}

Journalists love a free meal. It doesn’t get much better than one prepared by White House chefs. Journalists like it even better when served alongside an open bar. 

George Washington Painting
{The Lansdowne portrait of George Washington in the East room}

Look closely. Does the picture on the right look off to you? 

I was quite proud of myself when I noticed the missing T all on my own. 

Dolley Madison White House
{Angelica Van Buren portrait in the Red Room}

White House Red Room Decorations
{Red Room decorations}

The Red Room was where I spent most of the time. The more intimate setting and comfy chairs made it a great spot for important-people watching. 

White House Presidential Seal
{With my colleague Mike under the Presidential Seal}

Mike, our White House Producer, is kind of a big deal and gets invited to this party every year. As you can tell by his pants, he’s a real natural at this point and made sure I got my picture taken under the Presidential seal. 

White House Holiday Treats
{Oh the desserts}

It should come as no surprise that I did most of my eating at the dessert table. The White House pastry chefs really pulled out all the stops. I want to be them when I grow up. 

Gingerbread White House
{The 2013 White House Gingerbread House}

The White House Gingerbread House is 300 pounds of Springerle-cookie artistry. It took everything I had not to take a bite out of it. 

You can learn more about the gingerbread house here

White House Holiday Party food
{Macarons for days, First Dogs Bo and Sunny outside the Gingerbread House, and eggnog} 

I’m not a fan of eggnog, but something about seeing it at the White House made me want to give it another try. So I did. I am still not a fan of eggnog. 

White House Blue Room
{In the Blue Room with a special Colorado shoutout}

Mike, being the pro that he is, also captured this picture of me by one of the Blue Room windows. I love that he got the Washington Monument in the background. Mike’s a good one to have around and knows how to take a picture. 

with the Obamas
{In the Map Room with our gracious hosts}

As good as Mike is, the official photographers had him beat.

You’re probably wondering what I said to the President and First Lady. I’m still trying to remember myself. I think it went something like, “Thank you so much for having me.” The rest is a blur. I know I said something about how thrilled I was to be standing by the Colorado emblem on the rug. He said something like, “what a happy coincidence,” Michelle was being her lovely, radiant self and the rest went flash, flash, and our time was up.

It happened so quickly that I was convinced I wasn’t looking into the camera. Turns out I was. I’m still not thrilled that I chose to wear a short-sleeved dress next to the best arms in the free world, but that’s on me. 

It was an incredible night that I’ll never forget and I owe it all to the generosity of our bureau chief. Very few people can say their boss took them to meet the President. I’m one of the lucky ones. Christmas came early, for sure. 

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9 Responses to white house wonderland

  1. Austen says:

    Best post yet!!! Love this.

  2. Ohhhh my gosh this is perfection! Those desserts! I’m incredibly jealous of you and so glad you got to go!
    xox

  3. Teesa says:

    seriously the best post ever. i shared your picture with my family, hope that doesn’t creep you out. my mom was so excited :)

    looove all the pictures you took. were you allowed to walk around and take pictures on your own? your boss and that mike fellow sound like wonderful people.

    i love that colorado ornament. i bet all of the ornaments were blue states 😉

    i still cannot believe this happened, but then it’s not too surprising since you’re you. so so happy you got to experience this!!!

    • Yang says:

      Teesa, I love you. You could never be a creep. So happy to hear you liked this post. Yes, I was allowed to walk around and take pictures on my own. We were allowed to roam about as we pleased with the exception of the upstairs level. No lounging in the Oval Office or naps in the Lincoln Bedroom. Maybe next time. And yeah, Mike and Ellen are good ones.

      I can’t believe it happened either!

  4. JillySue says:

    Too stinkin’ cool, Ys!
    You look absolutely beautiful.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us. :)

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