Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Preserve, Protect and Defend...

Oh my INAUGURATION! The crowds, the cold, the celebrities...it was quite the experience. The energy in the District has been catching, Obama fan or not. A peaceful transfer of power really is something to celebrate. What a country...I'm proud to be an American!

My first view of the National Mall was absolutely breathtaking! The masses and masses of people were astounding...from the Capitol all the way down to the Lincoln Memorial, climbing on top of statues and monuments, standing on the frozen reflecting pool...any inch of space was consumed by a body. And I had an awesome view, I basically saw what Prez Obama saw as he was sworn in! AMAZING...

Inauguration '09 baby...brrrr!

Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman playing for the President-Elect.

Taking the Oath of Office...

President Dad?!? Now that has to be weird!

Look closely and you can see the Bush's, Cheney's, Biden's, Supreme Court Justices, all the Senators, basically all my kind of celebrities :)

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned."~President Obama

I'm hopeful that our nation and our new president will continue to earn the right to be called great....

On a side note and for posterity's sake, let me name a few of the people I talked to, was within hands reach of, rode elevators with, or spotted today...Colin Powell, the Supreme Court Justices, Aretha Franklin, Yo Yo, John Cusack, Andrea Mitchell, all the Senators (and their spouses...very interesting interactions), Gov. Huntsman, Art Douglas :) and on and on and on...it was a political junky's heaven! As President Bush put it..."it's a good day for America."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bush Memories...

Living in DC, I've been lucky to see President Bush up close and personal a few times. And, by up close and personal, I mean in the same room, breathing the same air, usually with at least 1000 other people :) Since the countdown is on to his final day as President, I thought this was the perfect time to recount my Bush memories...and pay a little tribute to a man that I respect and thank for serving our country. He wasn't perfect...but I do believe he did what he thought was best for the American people.

Up Close 2006...The President's Dinner.

I was a young DC intern and this was one of my first "holy crap, I'm not in Kansas anymore" moments....and probably the only well rounded meal I ate the entire summer.

Up Close 2007...Memorial Day Address
Remembering the brave men that fight for freedom!

Up Close 2008...Marine One Takeoff
I may or may not have screamed like a school girl when the President walked out...and he may or may not have looked at me and waved.

Goodbye President Bush...and thank you for your 8 years of service.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year's Resolution...

One of my New Year's resolutions is to read more...more scriptures, more classics, more blogs :), more everything! I finished my first book of 2009...and it was inpsiring. I suggest you read it too.

For those of you that haven't read it, The Last Lecture talks about childhood dreams, so in no particular order, here are some of my childhood dreams:

~To be a TV news reporter
~To be a mom (and name all my children with K's just like the Veibells!)
~To be a mailman :)
~To be blonde (haha, not happening!!)
~To travel Europe
~To have a sister!

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted..."

I can safely say, I've had a lot of my childhood dreams come true and a lot of experience...and I wouldn't change any of it!

Disclaimer: I stole your book mom...I'll bring it back with me the next time I come home! Love you :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year....

My family sure knows how to ring in a new year! For as long as I can remember, my Great Grandma Rhoda, Grandma Tam, and my mom have cooked traditional Japanese cuisine, along with some more American dishes (prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc.) and invited our big family to come eat, eat, eat!

Rolling some sushi...my great grandma is an expert!

These are "brown cups." We're definitely Japanese-Americans-I have no idea what the Japanese name is. They're a tofu cup (boiled in soy sauce-hence the color) filled with rice.

Mochi is a traditional Japanese New Year food...and its basically just pounded rice. Growing up, we made our own mochi on New Year's with this nifty rice grinder. It's a lot of work for my 95 year old great grandma, so now we just pick some up at the Asian Market. Normally we put a little sugar and soy sauce on these babies but this year we added an extra topping...and they were still pretty tasty!

And these little gems are the delicacy we make all the new comers to Grandma Rhoda's house eat before they can have any other food...yummy, fragrant, Skimino (sp?). It's a pickled radish, that's an "acquired taste."

Grandma Rhoda cooked this huge prime rib...it weighs more than she does!

Everyone feeding their faces!

This is my dad...we (or my brothers) like to call him "Big Dangerous." I think he's kind of cute.

Happy New Year! 2009 is off to a tasty start for my fam!

Friday, January 2, 2009

I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams....

I love that Christmas song, especially now that I come home for Christmas from so far away. Being home for Christmas is a dream, but getting here was kind of a nightmare.

Normally, I'm such a good packer...I put all my liquids in a ziploc in my carry on, I have my clothes neatly folded in my suitcase, and I follow all of the TSA guidelines. Well, this trip definitely wasn't normal. I procrastinated a little on my packing and didn't get organized before my departure. I rushed home from work with 30 mins. to pack and get to the airport. Plenty of time, right? Only if you consider throwing a bunch of clothes (including some damp ones out of my broken dryer)and the family's Christmas presents into a couple suitcases. I didn't have time to bag my liquids so I threw all my makeup, hair stuff, contact solution, brushes, flat iron, etc into my checked bag and took off for the airport. I made it to the airport just in time to rush through security and wait 2.5 hours for my delayed flight :)

My flight to Cincinnati was late taking off from DC, and as soon as we landed I turned on my cell phone and was relieved to hear that my connecting flight to SLC was delayed! I ran through the terminal (New Years Resolution...go to the gym!) and headed to my gate (on the other side of the airport). After all that running, I found out I was too late and they wouldn't let me on my plane, which was just sitting there (and that wouldn't take off for another 30mins) :(

Bright side, Delta put me up in a hotel for the night and put me on a flight to SLC for the next day (with a very long layover in Atlanta). Not too bad right? That's what I thought, until I discovered I couldn't get my checked bag, with EVERYTHING I needed to get ready! Of course, the one time I'm not super packer I have problems! Have no fear, Delta is here. Check out the sweet goods in their little overnight bag!

Notice the XXL SkyTeam shirt, the fold out brush (the only thing I had to do my hair the next morning...scary), the handy dandy toothbrush (only useful item), some detergent, deodorant (it smelt worse than me), and other little goodies.

I slept in wet pajamas, used my $14 meal vouchers to buy contact solution, and arrived at the hotel at 11pm only to leave for the airport a mere 5 hours later. I had a lovely time in Kentucky! I realize it could have been a lot worse! But when you have to call your lil sis (the one you took the red-eye flight to SLC to see) and tell her you're stuck in KY and won't make it home for another WHOLE day, and she cries herself to sleep...it kind of makes you want to cry yourself to sleep too :)

I spent the next morning Christmas shopping in the Atlanta airport, looking like a homeless person! I eventually made it to Salt Lake...just a day later than originally planned. And then it was on to Tremonton...and with my luck, we got stuck in a traffic jam from Ogden to Brigham City of all places-haha! 4 hours later I arrived HOME for CHRISTMAS...and it was all worth it!