Let me apologize for the length of this post, but that's just how long my weekend was...
Whew! Too super long weekends back to back already in 2013 and I am exhausted. The pace of 2013 is proving to be full speed ahead. I am almost too tired to recap - almost.
I can say that 4 years ago, I was really into my DSLR camera. I had interchangeable lenses and took loads of pictures, but the getting them to my computer and trying to edit them was a pain! especially since my old laptop didn't have enough memory to keep up with me .. So I found it interesting that I went through this entire Inaugural Weekend capturing history with nothing more than my iPhone 5.
So - here is my weekend in photos galore!
I was invited to attend Essence Magazine's Inaugural Brunch at Acadiana Restaurant in Washington, DC on Saturday morning. SO, if you know you really know me, you know that the only magazine I have on my iPad on the faithful is Essence Magazine. Only thing I don't like about the iPad version compared to the print version is that the Crossword puzzle is not on the digital version -because clearly thats the only reason why I buy it. (kidding, kinda).
Either way, I was SO excited and super honored to be able to go to their Inaugural Brunch.
Ya girl had to turn the glam up!
I got laid out my whole make up bag on my mirrored vanity, whipped out the flexi rods and thought about what I would want to wear.
Decided to do a Purple Smokey eye with NYX Cosmetics and a pink lip with NYX pink lipgloss and Bovanti Yellow lipgloss blended together. (I do plan to do a more comprehensive post on my make up routine, specifically my eyebrow shaping and contouring since I was asked).
My OOTD: I chose a Purple Lace dress - which always looks great with leopard print, paired with turquoise accessories and neutral shoes. (I'll update with specifics once I unpack my suitcase, because I really just don't know).
It was just a really beautiful day on Saturday..
I met up with my sister at Acadiana for the Brunch. Essence was celebrating the release of their first hard cover book of a "Salute to Michelle Obama" which is a coffee table picture book filled with nice photo moments of our First Lady.
Brunch was AMAZING! Acadiana is a New Orleans restaurant, so the menu consisted of Bananas Foster French Toast made of these huge pieces of bread, shrimp and grits, andouille sausage, eggs and mini beignets. YUM!
A few of my favorite people were definitely there -
Ben Jealous, President of NAACP showed up with his baby Jackson strapped to his chest and I thought it was so cute that he would do that, not to mention Baby Jackson is too adorable for words! His daughter was having a grand ol' time with her pigtails. Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League was also there.
As much as I love all things Beauty, I think I was a little too excited to meet the former beauty editor of Essence, Mikki Taylor.
Lynn Whitfield was also there and let me take this photo with her even though I am sure she just wanted to enjoy her brunch.
As I was leaving, I saw Chris Tucker had just entered the room... I just saw Silver Linings Playbook the night before so it was like deja vu almost.
We had a great time - Thanks Essence! ... now on to the next Brunch that same day.
We went to go support The Young Professionals Empowerment Brunch, "Desire to Aspire" event, sponsored by our favorite people at Ciroc.
This event was held at the Saint George's Hotel - it was exciting to be around all the young professionals of D.C. who came in town for Inauguration.
Since I had on the same outfit - why not do a "Outfit of HER day"
Honestly, I love this outfit but I think it was a little early for the tutu - I associate tutu skirts I guess with evening events. But hey its Inauguration so anything goes.
One of my new favorite people, young entrepreneur Yodit was one of the coordinators for this event... this is what I also call a successful photo bomb by my sister.
Also ran into another Soror, friend, former co-worker Maddie at the event.
Time to get settled into the hotel and eat at one of the hottest restaurants in D.C. - The Hamilton. We called at 6pm and the next reservation was at 9:30pm. No pictures of dinner because it was too dark and I was too hungry to whip out the phone.
Sunday Morning, we knew that the President was going to be at church at the church where one of my cousins Pastor, Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC - so off to church SUPER early because of course you must be in your seat once the President gets there.
During the worship service, the first family was prayed over.
Our hotel was right down the street and within walking distance of everything, so a few blocks over was Georgia Brown's Restaurant and they were having a great brunch! (hmm I think i really like Brunch)
This was my catfish entree that I had to wrap up and take with me because the buffet of the rest of the food was so filling but I definitely tasted it while it was fresh! Everything was excellent per usual, and we were serenaded by a nice Jazz Band.
So - my mom hadn't landed until late Saturday night so we had yet to see our Inauguration tickets and know if everyone had a ticket to everything just yet.
I talked about in my previous post about having Wife Guilt.
I think after reading and responding to the comments I got and emails I got that "Guilt" was the wrong word. Its not that I necessarily felt guilty that my husband couldn't go to things with me but I did feel bad. It's what I call "The Marriage Struggle" - that moment where being a wife really makes you think about your spouse and make sure they are straight before you go and do your thing.. honestly I didn't want to have to deal with the disappointment he may feel so I was praying hard...
and guess what?? GOD CAME THROUGH!!!
My husband got a ticket to the swearing in!
Mom and Dad had red tickets, my sister had a blue and we had green... we knew that the hardest part was getting a ticket and the rest of it would fall into place. Because of course in a crowd that large I didn't want my sister to be by herself.
We had tickets to the Inaugural all, the Prayer Service and the Parade.
That night, mom and dad had to go to an Inauguration Worship service and then the Odyssey Ball.
We did some last minute shopping and then I styled mom and did her make up -
I even tied daddy's bow tie and made sure he was sharp.
They were ball ready!
~~ SUNDAY NIGHT IS FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA!!!!!!~~
I loved celebrating for Inauguration but there was nothing that was going to stop me from watching my team in the Championship Game.
C'mon now! I am a FAITHFUL Ravens fan!
By now, you know how it went!!!
AND I AM TOO EXCITED - It just doesn't seem real!
After seeing Silver Lining Playbook, and how the father in the movie was a die hard Philly Eagles fan and how he was so focused on the "Juju" that helps his team win, we decided hey.. might as well do the same. Its like the Bud Light commercial "It's only weird if it doesn't work".
The Boys from Baltimore took the trip to our house the first time and had the typical menu for men who provide their own food: Ledo's pizza and Hip Hop Chicken Wings with some Banana Pudding that one of the wives made. Since I wasn't away at Sorority Convention, it meant that all the wives were coming over this time to add to the spirit of The RavensNation!
If only I had the ability to upload the videos from this night - it was straight hilarious!
We had special chants and nicknames for our favorite players.
For instance, we called Ray Rice "Baby Steps" all night. LOL
I love being around my Baltimore crew because thats when all my hometown accents and isms come right on out - just feels like home.
The game had me worried in the first half, but the second half our defense and offense stepped up!
They were literally playing like the 2000 team that won the Super Bowl.
The media the whole day said nothing great about the Ravens and totally rooted for the other team in every commentators schpeel.. Blah blah blah. WE WON!
And Tom just sat there with the bitter face when he realized it. ahahhahaa. That smirk looked as dumb as that where's waldo hat they wear to stay warm.
The city of Baltimore was TOO HYPE - look at the Fell's Point area
WE'RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!
YUP! That just happened... an ode to that sign someone wasted money on in New England
~~ Well, after a light night at our house celebrating, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for Inauguration Day - one long and early day~~
This is my "I'm very happy to see this day yet again" face! I was blessed to be there at the first inauguration of our first black president and I can say that I was there when he took his oath for his second term.
Not only that, God really heard my prayer. He knew that I would not have been able to enjoy this day if I couldn't experience history without my husband by my side. Not that I don't love my family, but my husband is my best friend. Who wouldn't on a day like this like to be able to lay next to your man and share stories about this day that you will one day tell your grandkids.
What made this Inauguration Day different and more special?? The experience and opportunities afforded to us.
That morning, my mother was slated to be giving the the Blessing of the President and Vice-President at the Morning Prayer Service at St. John's Episcopal Church right across the street from the White House, per tradition of the President of the United States. And usually my dad would only accompany her because as you can imagine, security is TIGHT.
This time, my mother said she was able to get my sister and I on the list for church with the President and VP that morning - so we were very excited! But of course, my husband had to wait at our hotel until it was time to go to the swearing in..
That was until we showed up and was shown favor and was told my husband could come. I texted him and told him to come quick!
Thankfully our hotel was only two blocks away.
He was right there with me, just as proud-
as you see tired was becoming me...
But when the President entered the room, a bolt of energy came over me (at least for a brief moment).
Favorite part of the private worship service? Ledisi singing "I feel like going on"
and of course, my mom asking the President and Vice President to stand to receive the Blessing and praying down heaven to cover them for their next term. I mean honestly, SO PROUD of her!
Now the logistics post-private worship service called for us to board buses to head over to the capitol for the swearing in. We literally had to push and pray our way on to these buses because there were some confusing directions given and we were about to be without seats.
At this point, I am truly exhausted and just knew that once they drop us off, our tickets for the swearing in was going to have us fighting with an already crowded situation at the Capitol.
Our motorcade left the church and took the parade route towards the Capital.
The Yellow Section was fairly light at the gate-
The Orange Section however, was not..
We got to our turn and was able to just get a glimpse of the crowd from afar.
It was awesome to look back and see just how many secret service vehicles were following us.. I mean once in a lifetime do you kinda feel important like this.
We had arrived at our drop point - behind the Capitol building
Now, here is where the favor comes in.. and despite being thoroughly heavy in security with different types and levels of law enforcement at the Capitol, they dropped us off in a place where we were already within the Red Zone checkpoint gate.
As you know, my sister had blue and we had green.
Neither of us were going to exit the Red seated section to go to the Green and Blue standing sections...
So - we felt our way through..
Thankfully, once through a few checkpoints no one asked seriously where our tickets were - I mean they asked but we just kept walking with a mission.
We got to a point that looked good to us. Good meaning there were empty seats.
So - we sat down.
Yup, instant upgrade to the Red Seated Section 12.
Hey its once in a lifetime, might as well try to get good seats until someone tells you to move.
And no one did.
We cracked open our hand warmers and got comfy!
Down side: where we decided to sit, there was a heckler who climbed a tree and had an Anti-Obama message on his heart and a voice that travelled and would not quit. He heckled through the prayer, the the oaths- the whole program! He was SO annoying..
So when we couldn't take it anymore, we got up and decided to just walk closer and stand. We could still hear him but thankfully not as clear and therefore not as distracting.
I lost it in laughter when I turned around at one point during that Poem and saw my husband and sisters face looking like this...
They really were ready to just hear Beyonce.
As soon as it was over, we walked back to the buses - waited for a good bit and then was dropped off at our Parade seats.
But honestly, we were tired and hungry and did not want to sit out there for the Parade. I needed food and a nap!
So we walked back to our hotel from here, which luckily was only three blocks away.
We decided to go to this cool new restaurant called Lincoln for lunch.
What do you do when you go to a new restaurant?
Take bathroom pics of course!
Lincoln was of course the theme of the restaurant decor.
They had an all penny floor in the main dining space.
Mom decided to act silly with us and interview us using a knife to ask us about our experience today, which of course we said it was the Best Ever!
They had awesome artwork of Lincoln on the walls.
My husband gave me this look like, "haven't you captured enough today?"
So after this point, I stopped taking pics. But it was great food!
LOL, I swear this is the typical husband of a blogger face he is giving me.
After a brief nap, it was time for me to go to work.
I did freelance work with the Special Events Department at BET for their Inaugural Ball
Our fellow Bishops Kids were in town for the Inauguration, so why not have a good time at the BET Ball together! And we did have a lot of fun!
My boo came looking good in his Black Tie
and we jammed the night away to:
Celebrity DJ Jermaine Dupri
Big Daddy Kane
Bel Biv Divoe
who then starts Beat boxing and Wayne Brady comes out of no where and freestyles
and he was killing!
All in all - I had an exhausting, exciting, awesome Inaguration Weekend where the icing on the cake was my team winning the AFC Championship!
What's even more interesting, is that when Beyonce released her photo of the Inauguration, I was able to spot my parents in the crowd.
Well, if you have read this far- truly God bless you. Sorry for all the pics
and now its time for me to go get my house ready for the Super Bowl
and by ready I mean buy everything Purple and Black that I can find.
For the next two weeks, it will be Super Bowl preparations!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!