Thursday, December 18, 2008

White House Christmas Party 2008

(ABOVE: We just got our official White House pic
in the mail but it's a hard copy
so I had to take a photo of it off my own camera.
It's a little blurry here but the real one is crystal clear!)
(ABOVE: on the White House grounds just outside the side gate)


This week, Travis was invited to the media White House Christmas party and he invited Mindy as his 'guest' to go! It was such an honor to be able to attend. We were like giddy teenagers going to our 1st prom!
The party started at 4pm and a long line of DC media employees lined up outside the northeast gate. We taxiied over from Travis' work with him wearing a black suit and silver tie...and Mindy a red holiday dress.

We had to show our i.d's and the White House checked our name on the guest list before escoring us through security. But once we got through the secret service, we were free to enter the gates of the White House!

We walked in and someone greeted us right away. "Welcome to the White House! Enjoy your time."

We checked our coats and were given a blue card. Each guest was given a red, white or blue card with instructions for the presidential receiving line. When our blue card was called, we were welcome to go get our picture taken with the President!

In the meantime, we wandered through some of the side rooms...pointing at large portraits of past presidents and historic books lining the walls. We meandered upstairs to a large entryway where a festive band in red uniforms was playing loud Christmas music. Hundreds of people crowded several of the rooms and we tried to find anyone we recognized. There was a small bar area for drinks and the large red/white/blue Christmas tree straight ahead. And Travis ran into several of his colleagues from work.

In large ballrooms to our right and left were long buffet tables with the President's and First Lady's favorite Christmas dishes. There were all sorts of fine cheeses, a cucumber and lobster salad, really delicious lamb with mint jelly and thinly sliced roast beef.

On our way to fill up our plates, we saw Helen Thomas (the veteran White House correspondent who has covered the briefing room for decades) and Mindy asked to get a picture with her.

That's when we also noticed the White House Egg nog! Mindy doesn't normally like egg nog, but she says it was the best she ever had....smooth, strong and delicious!

We managed to grab a single chair overlooking the South Lawn. As we inhaled our food....of course trying to appear dainty.....we marveled at the view overlooking the long lawn and white pillars. It was absolutely surreal.

Travis was in charge of the dessert and came back with a platefull of chocolate treats, bread pudding and white cream cake.

After dinner, we saw Dana Perino (White House press secretary) greeting guests. We asked to get a picture with her. You'll notice she still has a black eye after getting hit with a microphone during the Iraqi shoe throwing fiasco with the President!

After that, the White House announced the 'blue card' group so we stood in line. Several decorated Air Force military escorts took us by groups of 4-6 downstairs. We gave our names to the check-in woman who pulled a card out with our names, Travis' work title, and our home address. They confirmed the information and gave it to us so that the White House could later mail us our official photograph. We waited less than :10minutes before we were escorted to the President and First Lady. The President looked skinnier in person and Mrs. Bush wore a bright green suit dress. We didn't have much time to say anything but we did say "Merry Christmas" before the White House snapped our photograph! After, Travis mentioned to the President that he grew up in Athens and the two talked "Texas" for few seconds.

We stayed at the party for nearly 2 hours and had a great time experiencing a White House Christmas party. It was such a great moment but one that we hope we share again in the years to come!

Merry Christmas!

2008 Galey Christmas Newsletter

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
With now one year of marriage under our belts, we can honestly say that our first year as newlyweds can be summed up in one word: FUN!

Of course, “Year One” wasn’t perfect. There was, of course, adjusting to Travis’ snoring, his addiction to fantasy football and those countless hours of college Game Day. Or Mindy’s sticky hairspray in the car, her experimental ‘cooking’ and piles of bathroom trash that Travis says he still doesn’t know where it comes from. But 2008 entailed many other new…and more enjoyable…. experiences too.

In April, we took our first trip to Greece! We flew into Rome just 2 days after Mindy’s 30th birthday to join her extended family on a 2-week Mediterranean cruise. For those who didn’t know, we had originally thought we’d do a Greece cruise for our honeymoon.
Yet, just before we got engaged, Mindy’s family unknowingly announced they’d be taking a trip during the spring. We decided to do a smaller-scaled honeymoon and save most of our pennies for the bigger trip with them. It was definitely worth it! Much of the trip was spent touring the Greek islands, including stops in Mykonos, Rhodes and Athens. We also saw the ancient pyramids in Egypt, the Colosseum in Italy and the arena where St. Paul preached in Turkey. Our one regret? Not buying a Turkish rug! We didn’t leave empty handed though. We got many other souvenirs and hundreds of digital pictures. It was a great trip and we were so thrilled to have the opportunity to go with everyone!

In May, Mindy’s sister Meg gave birth to her 2nd child and we celebrated our first nephew! Malakai “Kai” Wallace was born on May 6th while we were still wrapping up our Greece trip. Mindy went back to Albuquerque the following month to see him where he was already wearing Sooner attire. Meg is now pregnant with her 3rd and due next summer!

In July, we took our first trip to Pensacola together. Many of Mindy’s relatives live there so we spent July 4th out on the beach with them. It was a fun road trip spent seeing cousins, aunts, uncles and getting tan!
This past fall, we covered our first presidential election from DC. Travis flew to Denver for 10 days to cover the Democratic Convention and Mindy reported for FOX News in Washington during the debates and on Election Day. We both really enjoyed the experience! (although we don’t share the same political party) This Inauguration Day, we’re already preparing to work a few more long days!

And a few months ago, Travis experienced his first Sooner game. He wore red, but nothing that said OU. That same trip, we visited the Galey family in Dallas. Many of you have asked us about Travis’ mom since her surgery before our wedding. We’re thankful to report that she’s doing great and her cancer still appears to be gone.

Before 2008 rounds out, we’re hoping to experience another new moment together…buying a house! On Dec. 20th, we’re going to an auction where more than 400 foreclosures will go up on the auction block. We’ve got our eyes on a little yellow Annapolis home. If we don’t get it, we trust the Lord will help us find something else. However, we would welcome your prayers on the 20th!
We’re sure these ‘new’ experiences are just the beginning of what’s to come in our new marriage together, but 2008 was definitely a lot of fun! We’re thankful for all that God is doing in our lives and for blessing us with such supportive families and friends.
Happy holidays!


Travis & Mindy Galey