Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Part of American History

So, I should be in bed....but instead I'm posting these pictures of a fabulous day! Mark and I are in Maryland (with the kids) visiting his family. When we decided a couple months ago that we were going to come to MD in January, I made sure we would be here during inauguration week. We immediately started making plans. Last night, Mr. Noble drove us to the Metro station and we went into DC to stay with Bill and Diana. Bill is Mark's best friend growing up. We enjoyed a great dinner with them last night and dessert by the warm fireplace. Bill drove us down to the action area so we could try and figure out what our final plans were going to be for the actual day. We finally got our plan together, WARM clothes all laid out, sandwiches made and in the bed....well after midnight for our 5am wake up call. All I could think about going to bed was what in the world were George and Laura thinking and were Barack and Michelle able to sleep (yes, I'm on first name basis w/ them). Finally, sleep.

Tuesday morning we were out of Bill and Diana's house at 6am. Walked to the Metro and got on with no problems. We made it to our stop and once outside my hopes sank...the crowd of people, wait, the sea of people was unbelievable. I knew it would be, but was hoping that if we got there early enough it wouldn't be too bad. WRONG. All I kept thinking was I wanted a front row seat at the parade. The security lines were supposed to open at 7am - supposed to. They didn't open on our side of the Mall until 7:45 or so. It took us almost 2 hours to get through. Once at the security tents, we had to get rid of all our water and also they made us pull the sticks off our flags. We didn't know this until this evening, but apparently there was a significant threat to the actual inauguration, so security was tighter. We got in and that's all that mattered. Ok, so here's the scoop. You could go to the Mall with the millions to watch the actual inauguration on the jumbo tvs....or you could go to the parade route and maybe get to see the President. I opted for the later. We got front row seats on the curb on the parade route - we were right at the Newseum, right under where everyone (CNN, etc...) was broadcasting. It was a prime location and was incredible. By the way, the parade doesn't start until 2:30 but they were only letting about 300,000 on the route, so we knew if we didn't get there early we wouldn't get in. That's exactly what happened to so many people - they were turned away by security and they didn't make it inside. I would have been devastated.

We realized soon after we were in, that the motorcade would more than likely come right in front of us heading to the Capitol. Sure enough about 10:30 the police came screaming through and then all the SUVs came through. We saw Barbara Bush and realized that everyone would be taking this route. Before too long we saw the first ladies in a limo together, followed by the VPs and then President Bush was in President (elect's) limo. It was so cool!

We were able to see the inauguration area (closer with binoculars) and hear the inauguration. This is when the worst part set in for us...after the swearing in was over and the waiting for the parade started. Their lunch took forever, or so it seemed. They were running late too, so that didn't help. It was COLD, frigid cold and we had no fluids. No one was selling anything to drink so that was bad. We could have walked about 5-6 blocks to stand in line for 2 hours for coffee, but we would have run the risk of them closing down the side street and not getting back to our front row seat. So we sat. Bill had a hand held tv, so we were able to keep up with what was going on. We were hoping that because we were so close to the press box that would mean that President Obama would get out and walk near us - also, on the tops of all the buildings were snipers. We felt safe.

Finally the lunch was over. The announcer had told us that we would know the lunch was over because they would have what was called a "10 minute dash" - this is where the VIPs that are at the lunch with the newly sworn in President are also supposed to be at the viewing stand for the parade, which is at the White House. So they would have about 10 minutes to get people loaded up and down to the White House - thus the dash...and they weren't kidding. All of a sudden police escorts come flying down the street with 4 or 5 buses (Greyhound type) behind them.

The parade started. I can't describe to you the level of excitement at this point. The excitement was tremendous from the very beginning of the day, but now it was only growing. We saw the press trucks coming, so we knew President Obama was right behind. He didn't get out and walk in front of us, but he did look right at us and waved. He made eye contact with us as we waved. And the girls were just bouncing in the limo waving and smiling. It was incredible!!!

The entire day from the time we left until the time we got back was incredible. We ran into some wonderful people that wanted to be a part of history. We were a part of history. It doesn't matter who you voted for or who you stand behind, you respect the office and the person in the office. There were people today that weren't respecting the one that was leaving office and that made me sad. He deserves our respect, and so does the one that's in the office now. I was proud to be an American today, I am proud to be an American every day. I should be in bed right now because I'm exhausted, but I seriously can't wind down - just thinking of the President and First Lady dancing at 10 balls in that gorgeous white dress and wondering what the girls are doing and thinking about. Getting settled in a new home, the White House? Can you imagine? It was an impressive event and I loved it! I didn't really edit these pics because I just wanted to post them quickly - so hope you can get the feel for the day! Enjoy! Mark took this pic of the White House Monday night as we were driving around - kind of cool

The sea of people waiting to get into the security checkpoint - about 6:45am

About 8:30am underneath a building almost to the checkpoint

We're through! The view of the Capitol building from Pennsylvania Avenue. So beautiful!

Where we stood for the day - in front of this museum

The view from across the street from where we stood

Trying not to freeze our buns off! Actually the only thing that was cold were my feet - should I write to UGG and tell them their product is defective?

The motorcade heading to the Capitol for the inauguration - I think this was First Lady Laura Bush and Michelle Obama - we could see both of them in the limo and they were just so elegant looking and waving and smiling the whole time.

Barack Obama and President Bush in Obama's new limo - it's so big, so we couldn't see Bush, but we saw Obama as they drove by - I didn't try to get a pic of him as they drove by because I actually wanted to see him for myself

The Capitol during the swearing in

Very cold and windy - but a gorgeous day!

President Bush on his way to Andrews to go home to TX

Snipers on the roof of a building down the street with ropes down to the street....this is actually about where President and Mrs. Obama got out to walk for the first time - did they plan this???

More snipers - they were everywhere!

The Presidential Motorcade begins

Part of the parade - the uniforms were immaculate and beautiful! Perfect!

This is when we could see the beginning of the press trucks


This new limo was MASSIVE - nonetheless, here he is!

He looked right at us and waved!!!

Secret Service that followed the limo

Vice President Biden followed

Back at home - this is Bill and Diana and their adorable house in DC

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I've finally gotten around to posting some Christmas pictures. January has been kind of crazy already. I won't write a lot - just comment on the pictures.
Nina got into Heidi's cage one night and thought it was so much fun!Last Christmas, my Daddy gave Ethan his first Coca-Cola in a bottle....a HUGE Justice family tradition. We love bottled Cokes! So as soon as we pulled up at the house, Ethan was asking my Mom for a bottled Coke. She held him off til Christmas Eve. I seriously lost count of how many he had the week we were there....he LOVES them, just like his Poppa did!!!This is where Nina spent most of her time....in Hunter's carseat. She loved playing in it and would even take a cell phone and just sit there, rock and chat.Nina, Ethan and Hunter on Christmas Eve - yes, if you look closely you'll see Nina has just eaten M&Ms. I'll do anything to get a picture!Ethan got to open 1 present Christmas Eve - he had asked for a bathrobe and loved it! In our PJs ready for Santa!!! Here you'll notice that once again, Nina has eaten something right before a picture so her mouth is yet dirty again! Ethan and Hunter on Christmas Eve
Ethan let Santa take his pappies to give to another baby that needed them....here he is taking one last drag off this one...
...and this one...
...and this one... Ok, Santa, here they are!!!
The first reaction to Santa's arrival Chaos!
Ethan thought it would be funny to hide in this giftbag. He fit in there and he had a blast playing in this bag. He would get in and we'd put tissue paper over him and Nina would open it and laugh. It was funny!While Mom was wrapping presents, she found this Nutcracker that my Daddy had bought for me last year after Christmas (he was always shopping for a deal) - she forgot about it but found it and gave it to me. Very special!!! The first ride on his new bike Santa left
Nina playing with her dollhouse Ethan still popping out of the bag

Mema and Nona with the kids
Landon and Courtney with Hunter on Christmas Day Ethan playing a little Christmas tune
My bribes no longer worked - Nina would not cooperate!
Ethan taking a little ride down the driveway on his new wheels.
Playing on Poppa's trailer
Once we got back to Memphis, we still had Pa and Ro Ro's gifts to open. The kids were so excited there were more gifts. Nina loved her dollhouse furniture and people.
Ethan was thrilled with his scooter!!

He's very good and loves riding it!
Ok, now we're in January - this is actually today....Nina woke up early (6:45...and that's early for us) and by 9:30 so was so tired. Mark and I were both in the office and she passed out on the couch. It was funny.
It was sooooooo cold today, but we took the kids out for a little while anyways. Nina stylin in her coat and hat Nona and Poppa bought her last year. She loves this coat!Ethan helped Mark change the oil in the car and once again had to "work" on his Jeep. He has the best imagination!

My latest creation. Miss Priss!

Pacifier update on Ethan....we think we're home free. Once we got back from Georgia, Ethan kept stealing Nina's - naptime, bedtime, anytime. He would get out of bed and go in her room and literally take it out of her mouth. Mark would sit at the bottom of the stairs and watch for him. Ethan would get so mad when he realized Mark knew what he was doing. One day at naptime, Ethan told Mark that he should go in the office and get on the computer or go do the dishes. He told Mark not to read his book. How funny! This week though, he's gone to bed fine and is back to taking naps without trying to get Nina's pacifier. Oh, Santa left him a toy weedwacker as a special thank you for the pappies....! Thank goodness we can say that he's done with them!!!