16 November, 2009


I'm back! I promise, I won't let my blog become silent. I just simply haven't had time.

I have been working non-stop the past few months. These times have been filled with emotion, both highs and lows, with good and difficult things coming from the left and right. It feels like there hasn't been an escape except for small shiny moments with D and friends. With the recent chaotic pace of my life as of late, I felt that I deserved a warmer, sunny autumn Sunday. Finally, I found a retreat.

There is really nothing better in life than falling leaves, a Starbucks ginger spice latte, incredible new music, and hanging out with people you love. So, I put on a pair of my new favorite shoes and went walking. One of my favorite places is Dupont Circle. It seems to be this eclectic mix of new and old, conservative and liberal, left and right, and inbetween. Needless to say, the people-watcher in me is always satisfied when I walk around Dupont.

Plus, the houses and small streets around that area simply take your breath away.

I walked around for a few hours, just watching and listening to Switchfoot's new CD "Hello Hurricane." I specifically put off buying this album so that I would have something to look forward to once our event was over. I was not disappointed.

For those who know me, if I find a song that tugs my heartstrings, I automatically put it on repeat. As I snapped the shot above of the leaf-lined street, "Alive" by Switchfoot came on my iPod. Take a look at the lyrics below.. I have a feeling they'll touch your heart as well.

With all of the stress behind me, good times and bad, I simply sat on a park bench and listened. For the first time in a while, I had no agenda. No to-do list. No urgent meetings or e-mails on my iPhone. No communications pieces to produce or auctions to orchestrate. A lot of hopeless feelings washed away with the lyrics that "I'm always, I'm always, I'm always Yours." It was the first time I could fully breathe... and it felt so good. I think D noticed the difference too.

When was the last time you took a moment to breathe? I would suggest taking one soon...

"Always" by Switchfoot

This is the start
This is your heart
This is the day you were born
This is the sun
These are your lungs
This is the day you were born

And I am always yours

These are the scars
Deep in your heart
This is the place you were born
This is the hole
Where most of your soul
Comes ripping out
From the places you’ve been torn

And it is always yours
But I am always yours

I’m caving in
I’m in love again
I’m a wretched man
Every breath is a second chance

And it is always yours
And I am always yours

26 September, 2009

Mat Kearney!!

I've been waiting for this concert for a very long time. It didn't matter that I was tired and sick and grouchy... gosh darn it, I was going to go. And, I'm so incredibly glad I did. Do you ever have those moments were you get so lost in the music that you can actually worship, not the one one stage, but the One who created it all? Yeah, I was there all night.

Mat Kearney is an incredible musician and songwriter. He had the best mix of both his old and new favorites, and each one spoke to my heart. This was one of the top 5 concerts I've ever been to, and he tweeted that it was one of his top 10 concerts as well. Rock on Mat! Follow him on twitter: @matkearney

I love it when friends speak Truth

It has been a weird few weeks and I've been up and down emotionally. I'm not quite sure why, but I'm incredibly grateful for the people in my life who have put up with me. They've dealt with grace and honesty, and I couldn't ask for anything more.

An example of this is my new friend Rach. She's such a sweetheart, and I found this on a gchat one morning as I started my early workday:

hello love, I just want you to know I think you are beautiful and smart and kind and funny and that anyone should consider themselves blessed to have you. God's got you where you are for a season, and hopefully that season will soon change. Never, ever doubt how valued and important you are. Nobody, can take away your worth. You are remarkably capable and your experiences will only make you stronger. And whenever you get pissed and want to scream or cry or cuss or pick all your cuticles beyond repair, that's ok too, cause you know what? God's got this. And you can pick and cry and fuss, and he'll never think you're too much of a handful. Because you are his perfect, lovely Amy and he desires nothing more than to see you grow until you're in a place where you can really flourish.
anyway, just thought you may need to hear that. love you my friend!

I love my friends, don't you?!

18 August, 2009

Chubby cheeks and ice cream - photos

Since most of you know that my boyfriend is a photographer, many have asked for pics of the drama that was my wisdom teeth extraction. Well, "drama" is not necessarily the word I should use since the weekend included lots of ice cream, smoothies, and ibuprofen. Oh, friends of the blogosphere, here they are:

The first day that the teeth were removed. Let's just say I don't remember this pic being taken.

A common sight of the weekend: me and my love of salt water (notice the sarcasm). Another common sight: Dave taking pictures.

Check out other photos of his new place on his Web site or his Flickr page. Luckily, these are the only two published photos of the fun of wisdom teeth freedom.

14 August, 2009

A crazy three months

Well, folks.. its about time for a long overdue update on the life of Amy. I feel like the summer has been an absolute blur of changes, learning, frustrations, joyful times, headaches, and the good ol' DC heat, humidity, and tourists. I'll see if I can break most of it down for you.

For starters, I started May with preparations for ICFJ's bi-annual board meeting and cultivation dinner in NY. It took up a lot of my time, but the results were worth every moment. At the same time, Dave was moving out of his condo in B-town (and no, I don't mean Boston or Bethesda) in the hopes that his condo in the heart of DC would be finished. Construction delays ensued and voila... he was "homeless" as of May 31.

On top of all of this, we had 7 or 8 visitors in 6 weeks. Of course, my favorite was Nae's visit to the Capitol. It is amazing how heart friends just mesh as if no time has passed when they get together. We had an absolutely wonderful time. Since she wrote about it here and here, I'll spare you the details. She's a better writer anyway.

The visitors and "homelessness" carried through June, but work took centerstage as we had many programs and events. We had an amazing reception at the Newseum to announce the Knight International Journalism Award winners and Founders Award winner Seymour Hersh (The New Yorker) I absolutely loved the view and some of my favorite people were there(L: Sarah Marshall, Gary Fabiano and me).

July began with fireworks, literally. The Fourth of July is always special in the nation's capitol. Where else can you see firework displays like this one?

Let's just say that I'm not divulging where we watched the show, but we will be going back there next year with a full day's picnic, and y'all are welcome to join. I wish we could have these seats, though...the Obamas always get the best stuff! If you look closely, you can see them on the roof of the capitol.

The rest of July and the beginning of August was a blur. I started getting massive headaches each day and never knew the cause of them. Then, my wisdom teeth started to hurt. Mind you, I haven't been to the dentist in over 5 years, so I was n-e-r-v-o-u-s. Super scared. Of course, they told me I had to have them taken out and the first time they could schedule an appointment was early August. It was a painful 3-4 weeks, but well worth it in the end.

Ironically, Dave ordered his new Canon 5D Mark II camera and it arrived a few days before my surgery. For those who don't know, the camera is the newest in Canon's line and actually takes HD video. He bought it for the weddings he will shoot this summer. Of course, who could resist taking pictures and video of a chubby cheeked drugged up girl? Yeah, I'm sure there is footage floating around somewhere, but I haven't seen it yet. And no, you won't either :) However, you can check out his other photography here and here.

In the midst of that, Dave finally moved! They finally finished his condo mid-July and he closed at the 11th hour. He's settled and finally feels like he has a home, which is a huge relief.

So to recap, in 3 months, there have been 8 visitors, 4 wisdom teeth removed, 2 amazing concerts (Jason Mraz and Paolo Nutini), 2 major work events, and one new home for the bf. Oh, and one incredibly happy Amy that has no more headaches!

20 July, 2009

On a mission

I started thinking about writing this blog post this morning. I formulated the entire entry to go over the many reasons why I detest the Metro system. Since the accident, fewer trains are running, the trains that are functional are running on manual controls and about 30 mph less than normal. All of this equals incredibly upset Washingtonians and frustrated commuters. For a city that doesn't say "hi" to each other in the morning and ignores everyone else through their iPod earphones, I would say this is a brand new level of grumpiness.

I was going to post this really long rant about how people were being rude and inconsiderate, pushing excessively on the train, and not obeying social norms (i.e. walking on the left of escalators). Each person who steps on and off those trains each day is "on a mission," as my grandmother would say, to be the first through metro turnstiles, the earliest arrival at their workplace, and the best at getting through their to-do list.

And, I'm no exception. I'm a to-do list junkie. But after listening to Will's sermon at Frontline, I realized that my view of "mission" as a 9-5 job is completely screwed up. My goal for each day is not to accomplish all things on the unending checklist. My mission is to live, love, breathe, serve, and be. And, that is so much more freeing than any other mission I've ever known.

Instead of whining and complaining about the people I see each morning and their inconsiderateness, I need to love them despite their mood and attitudes. When I groan about the fact that our train is stopping for 5 min. at each station, I need to be thankful for a way to work and people who are willing to operate it. I just hope I remember those things over the course of this week.

06 July, 2009

Rekindling fires

This weekend I realized three things that make my heart soar. First, I love watching God be faithful in how He provides extraordinarily so that others will believe Him for bigger things. Second, I'm a sponge when people come back from mission trips and need to simply verbally process. Third, I constantly crave for God to take me out of my comfort zone, and get jealous when He does that in others but fail to recognize it in my own life at times.

On Independence Day, I spent a few precious hours welcoming a dear friend back to the States after her 2 week trip to Tanzania. To be honest, I'm incredibly jealous of her experience. L touched a part of the world that I desparately want to know and constantly pray for. She was able to hold African babies, walk alongside women who needed to know who Christ is, and allowed God to break her heart and humble her spirit. She also had the opportunity to serve people in Southall, London that I embraced 6 years ago. And then, she pushed her physical limits and summitted Mt. Kilamanjaro. Yes, friends... summit. I am inspired by her.

As she spent a few hours describing her trip, her struggles, her joys and fears, one thing stood out the most: She CRAVED for Christ to move in and through her life and wanted Him to have authority, no matter the situation. She shared her story and I was just caught up in the fact that this craving lives in me too. Sometimes the stirring is small, sometimes the rumble is overpowering. At all times, the hunger is there.

I left her house praising God not only for the ways He brought her closer to Himself in Africa, but also for the fact that there are a group of women in my life who exemplify that hunger and thirst for God's word that I strive for as well. There are 10 women(and you know who you are) who give God authority in their lives, the direction of their paths, and their sole goal is to know Him and make Him known among others.

That kind of vision is unstoppable and passionate, and I pray that for that fire in and through my life. Iron sharpens iron, and I long to be around those who want to know Him more and sharpen me through that experience. I love when others around me point others to God by exemplifying His love, and I'm constantly encouraged by those whose desire to know God is unparalleled. I want to engage in that more and more each day. I want to put God first and do His work, His way, no matter what (as the great Hudson Taylor would say).

05 June, 2009

Super Secret Sangria Recipe

A few weeks ago, the Chesapeake Girls had a BBQ. Apparently, we were incredibly popular as people filed in and out from 1 - 11pm. My contributions were the veggies, burger fixins and sangria.

Now I don't brag about much when it comes to food preparation. I do like to cook, but I can't claim to be a top chef. I just follow the recipe. With this one, I'm bragging. Its GOOD!

So, here it is by popular demand..... sangria:

-3 bottles of white wine (I generally used red, and you can really combine the two depending on what you feel like. For white, I go with a couple chardonnays and a sauvignon blanc. For white, I go for pinot noir and a merlot or malbec).
-1 two-liter of ginger ale
-1/2- 3/4 cup of sugar
-Whatever fruit you want to put in it (I usually put strawberries, lemon, lime, and oranges)

-Cut up the fruit into wedges or smaller pieces
-Pour in the bottles of wine and sugar - it isn't going to be sweet when you taste it then, but it will be the next day.
-Let it sit overnight, preferrably for 24 hrs
-About an hour before serving, pour in as much ginger ale as you want. Mix it really well

See.. it isn't rocket science, is it? So, make a cold drink and enjoy the summer! If you're ever in the area, I'm sure we'll have it on hand for another bbq with these fun girls

19 May, 2009

Stories from Hearst Tower

Let me first say that I am incredibly lucky. I have a job that gives me a wide range of experience and allows me to develop specific skills relative to my career in public relations. It also gives me the opportunity to meet some of the most unique people in some extraordinary circumstances. For example, let's flash back to a week ago last Monday.

We have been planning our May 11 Board meeting and dinner for a few months. The two weeks leading to the event were especially hectic, arranging materials, planning Web sites, doing seating arrangements, and figuring out how-in-the-heck we were going to do a live auction. I walked into the Hearst Tower and was automatically blown away. How many people can say that in their first year at a job, they helped plan a cultivation event in the Hearst Tower in NY?

The Future of the News panel was amazing and the experts were incredibly insightful. I felt as if I was in the room of greatness. However, two people stood out in my mind, and they didn't even attend the dinner.

I was responsible for greeting guests at the main entrance and giving them directions to their table. The hustle and bustle of the day made me crave a chance to sit down and be still, and I welcomed the opportunity to be silent and wait for guests to arrive. This was not exactly how the hour went down.

My table was situated next to the front security guard who allowed guests to enter as they checked in. I heard stories from these two men, we'll call them W and E, and their words captivated me. We talked about Judy Garland (my all time favorite ruby red slipper wearer) to Barbara Streisand, to the other famous faces that walked into the Tower.

Conversation flowed to their ambitions as one moved to NY to be a musician and the other's dream was to create amazing movie trivia games. Both had a great place in life. Both were overjoyed at their station. Both knew that they were ultimately happy and believed in the absolute best for themselves, the employees they interacted with each day, and the company they worked for.

Their passion renewed my passion. What struck me is that one said "Amy, you're such an amazing young woman. You'll do anything you want in life. Party planner? Sure. President of the United States? I see it in your future. I believe in you."

Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that at a moment when the soundtrack of your life is playing the most uplifting song that it's sung in a while. I love those moments and the stories of the amazing people who walked past those two men each day.

02 May, 2009

Twitter theology

A few nights ago, I was reading my Twitter feed (of all things... shocker), and came across Mark Batterson's tweet. He's the pastor of NCC here in DC and I find his thoughts really intriguing. His tweet:

"not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, has promised you." Joshua 23:14

and then...

"Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke." Joshua 21:45

It brought me back to Joshua for the first time in a long time. I really needed a reminder of God's faithfulness this week. I mean, if you think about it, there are times where we all feel like the Israelites. We have blessing and provision, yet we don't see it as a burden at times. We have everything we need and, most times, more than we ever desired... and yet we're not satisfied. We keep striving for this ultimate "grass is greener" syndrome, and fall short by spinning our wheels...

"So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took posession over it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them, the Lord handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed;
every one was fulfilled."

Joshua 21:43-45

I like Joshua.. he reminds me of the attitude I want to have.

05 April, 2009

What is your passion? (pt 3 of 3)

Finally, right? Finally she updates her blog. Let's just say the last few weeks have been an incredible ride so far. I just haven't had a chance to update.

A few weeks ago I finally got the chance to sit down and journal. I typically go through a journal a year, but I'm slowly working through this one. DC life tripled my normal pace and I've been trying to keep up. So, I sat down one Sat morning at a Sbux and wrote:

"It has been a rough week. Just one of those weeks that has made me question why I'm here, what God is doing, and if there's really a hope and a future in DC. I feel like all the creativity in me is sucked dry. So, I'm taking some breathing space to rediscover my passions - the things that make me tick:

*Lattes - specifically skinny gingerbread lattes WITH whipped cream during Christmas
*Great handwriting
*Clean lines
*Worshiping to a God I want to desperately seek with people I don't know
*Relationships that are strong, vibrant and productive
*Smart ways for people to give back to the community, earth, etc.
*African babies who need love
*People with bright and brilliant eye colors
*Embracing the many complexities of me
*High impact, high energy
*Fleur de lis
*Romantic wistful graphic designs
*Yogi tea
*Music that is thoughtful and frees your soul
*Intricate fashion designs coupled with strong fabrics and colors
*Yoga and yoga pants
*The cleansing power of water
*Wine and it's ability to bring people together
*Strength in weakness
*Being purposeful with your words
*Photography that allows you to enter into the shot and wonder what is happening
*The tension of order vs chaos
*Spontaneity in the midst of routine
*Singer/songwriters who put their all into their music to create more than a catchy hook
*People watching
*Intelligent and genuine conversation
*The hard work ethic and wide open wheat fields of ks
*Classic pop culture icons
*Sensible and rational choices
*Being observant in the every day life to learn lessons that I otherwise may have never seen
*The "alive" factor of God's Word and how it affects people differently
*Songs that transport me back to a certain place and time
*Jackets, scarves, and handbags with lots of pockets and great liners
*Deep earthy tones in tiles and back splashes
*Comfy sheets and fleece jackets
*Reaching new audiences with a message through new forms of communication
*Cooking with wine and trying new recipes I know I'm going to screw up.
*Growth: plants and people."

This seems to be a very random list, but it's a great start to rediscovery.

15 March, 2009

What is your passion? (pt 2 or 3)

Finally, a new blog update and a chance to breathe. The last 4 weeks have been hectic with my bro, sis-in-law and cousin coming to DC. Pile that on top of work and other commitments, and you have one incredibly exhausted Amy. I still haven't learned the art of saying "no," but I was too excited to have visitors that tiredness didn't matter.

I was ecstatic to have a chance to be still and took advantage of the opportunity this weekend. It seemed like the perfect time to take a Saturday morning and fill it with a latte, a great book, and my journal. Here is part of the result:

First, I finally finished Crazy Love. Oh my gosh, folks. If you want to read a convicting book about what it truly means to change the world, read this. Francis Chan asks the simple, yet complex, question: What would it look like if we actually did love others as Christ called us to? What if we took God at His Word, let His Word guide our lives, and simply do what it says? What would happen if we were so captivated by God's love for us that we acted upon it in radical ways? It was an eye-opener for me - I would treat people with so much more respect and much less judgment. I would sacrifice more.

It's a lot to think about, even though it seems like it could be so simple. I'm faced with people who are incredibly disillusioned by Christianity all the time. Either it was a friend who was a Christian that hurt them or a pastor or minister who rubbed them the wrong way. Maybe it was a really difficult personal situation, and no one was there to walk with them through the darkness. Whatever the situation, there seems to be this great disconnect between our actions and what we ought to do. I'm as guilty as the next person - I'm human and I've hurt others deeply. If there is a disconnect and people feel there is a miscommunication between what God says and what we do, there's a problem. At the end of the day, it is all about continually seeking God, pursuing a relationship with Him, and loving others as He loves us - and that love will automatically be what the world needs to see to signify what God is truly all about.

The second part of the morning was a bit of rediscovery...and since I've rambled on and on, it will have to come in the next post :)

23 February, 2009

Let's hear it for my mother

The Inter-webbiness of our lives is insane. In elementary school, I remember when we got our first Apple MacIntosh computer. Aaaah, the floppy disks... Oregon Trail (I always died of typhus)...memories. Then, we moved onto more important technological things on our new PC, like Carmen SanDiego. Those were the days. Life was more simple then.

Now, we have social networking coming out our ears. I cannot count the number of accounts I have: Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and my unfinished Linked In account, among others. I still hold onto some sense of privacy - I pride myself that it truly is a treasure hunt to find me on Facebook. As I signed up for all of these, I thought that our generation was the best because we were so advanced in this area. So technologically savvy. I mean, I can't build my own web site, but I have a blog - that counts, right? And surely, my parents will never figure out how to run this thing...much less see what I'm posting on all of these sites, right?

Wrong. I discovered I was incorrect when my mother found my blog and started following me on Twitter. She not only blogs, but also tweets (Who came up with these words, anyways? SERIOUSLY?!?!). I'm amazed that, sometimes, I can read enough about her life on her blog to catch me up for a few weeks. Of course, this doesn't and shouldn't replace the phone calls, but it makes life a bit more interesting (hint hint, mom... call me).

So, check out her blog... tell her I sent ya. Also, while you're at it, check out Remember the Milk. It is a web application and organizational tool, helping those who can't plan ahead to begin prioritizing tasks. You can add it as an app to your iPhone or iPod touch. I'm all for anything that helps disorganized individuals get back on track :)

14 February, 2009

Love is Waiting

This is an amazing song that we sung at church last week. Not only is Brooke Fraser a talented singer/songwriter, but she also loves Rwanda. Go to her website (www.brookefraser.com) to see photo albums and listen to her album "Albertine."

I just thought this was an appropriate song for today. Many of my friends have resonated with the lyrics and asked me to share. Lots of love to y'all on Valentine's Day!!!

Love is Waiting
In the autumn on the ground
Between the traffic and the ordinary sounds
I am thinking signs and seasons
While a north wind blows through

I watch as lovers pass me by
Walking stories, who’s and how’s and why’s
Musing lazily on love, pondering you

Let’s give it time, give it space
And be still for a spell
When it’s time to walk that way
We wanna walk it well

It’s my caution not the cold
There’s no other hand that I would rather hold
The climate changes, I’m singing for strangers about you

Don’t keep time, slow the pace
Honey hold on if you can
The bets are getting surer now
That you’re my man

I could write a million songs about the way you say my name
I could live a lifetime with you and then do it all again
And like I can’t force the sun to rise
Or hasten summer’s start
Neither should I rush my way into your heart

13 February, 2009

What is your passion in life?

Last night, our small group had a mixer with another 2 small groups at Frontline (Again, have I mentioned how much I love these girls?? Absolutely love 'em). During one of the icebreaker activities, we were instructed to read questions to our smaller group of participants and answer them. Some of the questions were "what is your favorite candy?" or "Are you a morning person or night owl?" During one of our q & a sessions, one of the guys said "enough about these stupid questions, let's make up our own." Then, he promptly asks: "What is your passion in life?"

For some reason, the thought took me by surprise. What was my passion? Do I have just one or are there many?

Let's just say that these questions have been circling around my head the past 12 hours. How do I define myself? How do others see me? Am I following my passion in life? All of these questions are enough to make this head spin a bit.

So, I'm planning on taking some time and reflecting on these deeper insights. We'll see what comes out of it, but I'm sure that it will include a new blog design and possibly a new Web site (I've been dying to really dig into Web and graphic design). The next post this weekend will have a few polls, so get your thinking caps on and help me decide on a few designs/ideas/thoughts/musings!

11 February, 2009

Heartache and Inspiration

Yesterday was a rough day for the K-State Challenge family. If you know Joel and Jess McClenahan or read any of the Challenge alum blogs, then you know the pain that they are going through. On Sunday, their sweet 10 month-old Cora Paige passed away fighting a battle with neuroblastoma. She was a beautiful girl who was loved and fervently prayed for.

I don't know Joel and Jess as well as I would like to, but I've spent my lunch break reading the blogs of so many of my dear KS friends who attended Cora's funeral yesterday. In each of them, you can hear the heartbreak and can't help but feel it yourself. The tremendous pain is evident in all their stories. But what I also hear is how faithful and loving God is in all of this. I read about how strong Joel and Jess were at the funeral. I saw how God was taking this devastation and creating happiness through Cora's future playground.

The beautiful part is that the God who heals was the same in the beginning as He will be tomorrow. My heart hurts for Joel, Jess, their family and the Challenge community that knew Cora. But, I am inspired how one little girl can make us all cling to God and worship Him more.

If you'd like to learn more about the story, go to Joel and Jess's blog: http://themcclenahans.blogspot.com/
Check out Tim Seley's Lullaby for Cora: www.newmusicmonday.com

You can also read about others' thoughts at All Dolled Up(Date), Breezy Acres Farm, or C's Confetti

To donate to Cora's Playground, go to www.corapaige.com

In the freezing cold for history - Inauguration part 2

After about 3 hours of sleep, I woke up and dressed in about 5 layers on Jan. 20 (That is, if you count the long johns, 3 shirts, 2 coats, hat and gloves). E and I decided that we were safe to leave at 8am because we had tickets - surely our yellow seats were guaranteed. We packed on the cattle car, um, I mean Metro, around that time and jetted to Union Station only to find that the line for our gate stretched around 10 blocks. Seriously? 10 blocks?!?! Seriously...

We schlepped for about 8 blocks and then realized that there was mass confusion around Louisiana and C St NW. The purple and yellow lines converged into one massive cluster. People were climbing on garbage trucks to find their designated entrance and there were no cops in sight to help. Finally, the event planner in E and I kicked in and we started directing traffic until we saw a break in the line.

Finally, we reached the real yellow gate entrance and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Our hands were freezing and we weren't talking so that we could conserve energy. All of a sudden we see people running and high-pitched squealing. E shot me this confused look, glanced back at the commotion, and froze. It was Diddy. Yes, the Diddy (although it took us a bit to remember what he calls himself now). I fumbled to try and find the camera, but it was too late. He ducked into the Capitol's side entrance and vanished.

Once we got through the gate, it was smooth sailing. We flew through security and found some great seats. I still can't believe we were so close and were able to enjoy a significant moment in history. People were crying and cheering. I was a bit upset at the "Hey na na na, Goodbye Bush" song and boo-ing that was going on in the background. All in all, it was an amazing and exhausting day. There are many more stories, so please ask if you want to know!

All the other pictures are on my flickr site: www.flickr.com/amylizlovesjava. Go check them out!

01 February, 2009

All gussied up with out the boots... Inauguration part 1

Ok, it is about time I recap the inauguration weekend. As scaffolding was built and roads were being blocked weeks ahead of the big day, Washingtonians became uneasy. City officials projected a record turn out, giving statistics such as one bathroom for 6,000 people. My friends and I discussed how we didn't want to be here and I started making plans to fly as far away from the District as possible. The plans fell through and I realized that I had two options: make the most of the weekend or hibernate.

I'm the "make the most of it" kinda girl, so I started trying to figure out plans. They all fell into place, starting with the Texas State Society's Black Tie and Boots inaugural ball. The day started with my three hour long attempt to pick up my tickets. All of the Congressional offices opened their doors on MLK day to hand out tickets. I figured it would be a good time to see my friend Josh Lewis and hang out for a while. So, I waited in line for an hour and then hung out with him for a few.

Seeing that this was as good a time as any, I decided to take pics in front of the Capitol before the craziness.

I rushed home and attempted to put myself together for the ball. This was always the one that the Bushs loved, but no one from the family showed up. Our entire bible study volunteered at the media table, so we all got in free and were able to enjoy the show. The best part were the dresses and people watching. Cowboy boots and formal dresses... I'm not kidding. We had a fabulous time dancing and holding a running fashion commentary ("did you see that dress with those cowboy boots? Oh my...")

Neal McCoy sang the national anthem, and Jack Ingram rocked out all night. Denzel Washington even showed up!

It was an amazing experience for my first Inaugural ball. More to come about Inauguration day...

31 January, 2009

A brief commercial break

I promise that I'll blog about Inauguration. Many people have asked about it and why I haven't done it yet, and my only excuse is that I've been incredibly busy. So busy that it feels like we've planned for 2009 and it has already past. Have you ever had that feeling? You plan so much for the upcoming year that January is suddenly over and you feel panic to get it all done. Yes, that is the feeling.

However, I'd like to take a break before I create the Inauguration-blogs (with pics, dear web friends), to talk about last weekend. On Friday, Anna facebooked me to let me know that her and her amazing guitar playin hubby would be in Hampton, VA. I quickly flew to Google Maps to realize that it was only 3 hours away. I am the queen of the roadtrip... I love them SO much and haven't had one in forever.

Those who don't know Anna probably need to understand her awesomeness. I knew Anna and Justin at K-State through Christian Challenge. We all knew what was going on in each others' lives, but were never super close. When I moved to Nashville for summer 2007, I was able to hang out a lot with her. I love her.. I think she is incredible.

That said, I happily raced out of the District to see my friends. Justin is playing for an up-and-coming Country sensation Whitney Duncan. She is so sweet and has an amazing voice. As a singer/songwriter, she rocks out and really cares about her band, how everyone is doing, how it sounds, and all the aspects of being in the business. She has an EP out on iTunes now, and her full album releases in April. Check it out, people... I HIGHLY recommend it.

So, Anna and I saw the show, caught up a bit, hung out with the band, and went out to eat with everyone. It was so much fun to see all of them, but especially to catch up with Anna. Apparently, I missed the fun on the bus afterward, but I was sooooo tired and had to drive home. The only bummer of the whole thing was that I forgot my camera. Anna and I have nothing but our blogs to document the visit.

Thanks Anna and Justin!! I had a blast. Everyone, check out Whitney on iTunes or WhitneyDuncan.com!!!!

22 January, 2009

Coming soon

Hey all! I promise that I'll post soon about the Inauguration weekend. It has been insane and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. Luckily, we have a 3 day work week and can take the weekend to recover. So, more info/pics/amazing inauguration coverage coming soon!

16 January, 2009

Inauguration Craziness

When I moved to DC in May, I knew that Jan 20,2008 would be a momentous occasion. Little did I know that it would be the social event of the year. I'm incredibly fortunate to spend the weekend here in the nation's capitol (even though, at times, I'd rather be on a plane to visit people far away from the insanity).

Let's just say that celebrities are out in full force. A coworker of mine talked with Sarah Jessica Parker at the "Betrayed" play premiere at the Kennedy Center. George Clooney has been spotted in Georgetown. And, to top it all off, there is a MASSIVE free concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, featuring Beyonce, Will.I.Am, and many others (U2 is even rumored to play as well).

So, in my attempt to document history, I'll be updating as much as I possibly can. You can also follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/amylizmartin) to see where I am. Here's my schedule thus far:

Tonight: Friend's party in Eastern Market/ Capitol Hill area
Saturday: "day off" from Inauguration activities, but I'll probably do a photo shoot day around the Mall.
Sunday: Lincoln Memorial Concert
Monday: Texas State Society's Inaugural Ball (Denzel Washington and Marcia Cross from Desparate Housewives may be there. I'm not sure of their connection to TX, but who knows!)
Tuesday: Seats for the Swearing In and Parade.

Happy Inauguration weekend, everyone!

12 January, 2009

I fought the DC DMV....and I won!

For those of you who are unaware, the District's government bureaucracy is a bit intense. You would assume that the nation's capitol would function a bit more efficiently, but there is an unending stream of paperwork to do anything in this town. I encountered it when I first moved here and had to hassle with getting a parking permit for my moving pod. It has gone downhill from there.

Since that time, I've received at least 3 parking tickets and have had to pay a lot of money to fix them. The fourth happened on the day of our Awards Dinner as I was picking up photos for the exhibit that evening. It was d-day and I found my car on a towing truck because I parked it in an area I shouldn't have. I was so incredibly lucky to get it off the tow truck, only to be handed a $100 ticket. This was when I discovered a loophole:

If DC DMV doesn't post your ticked on their Web site within 20 days of issuing the citation, it is void.

Yes, you heard me correctly : v-o-i-d. And, 20 days after the fact, I checked the Web site to find the ticket was not posted. Ultimate vindication came today as I hestiantly checked the Web site one more time to see the message "This ticket is null and void."

How I love that phrase :)

05 January, 2009

New Years Resolutions

I'd love to say that I make - and keep - all New Years resolutions. I've had the resolution to stop picking at my fingers for at least 6 years now. it never worked. One year, I decided that I would give up coffee... everyone begged me to grab Starbucks on my way to work. The only resolution that has ever worked was to go at least one new place each year. I've done that the past 2 years in a row.

I'm not a superstitious person. Being born on a Friday the 13th kind of makes you that way. You forget paranoia and somewhat throw caution to the wind. When it comes to making promises on Jan 1, I tend to forego the tradition. I believe that if I really need to make a change in my life, I need to do it on a day that doesn't already almost qualify it for failure (I read a statistic that says 78% of those who make resolutions break the promise in the first month).

What I realized today was not the need for a fleeting resolution, but the desire for a lasting change. There are two areas in my life that really need some work, some TLC. The first is to let things roll off my back and not take things personal. Nothing really triggered this realization, but it has been a common theme woven through my life. I'd like to fix that.

The second is that I'd like to release my inner creativity more than I do. Over the past few months, I've been caught up in the 9-5 life that I've had little time to write, work on photography, and explore. I also want to stop taking crappy pictures and start learning the trade, along with the photoshop that follows. I have the tools, I just need the know how. So, I'm going to start taking a picture every day of the things I see in my life, and hopefully those pics will tell a story of a woman who wants to express a bit more. Who knows, maybe it will lead to the IKEA desk I've had my eye on for years :)