Is it possible to be speechless but have SO MUCH to say? I’ve started the first line of this post about a million times and deleted it a million times. So I’ll just start like this… I was invited to the White House and it was a surreal and beyond fantastic day that I will truly cherish forever. Phew, I’ve got that first line out of the way. Now I feel better. Settle in, friends because it’s time for LOTS of pictures. But first, a little back story of how I got the invite to gallivant through the East Wing and the South Lawn.
A few weeks ago I received an email from SheKnows Media asking if I would like to attend an event with the First Lady at the White House. First, I screamed and scared the crap out of my kids. Then I wondered if this was all a ruse to somehow gain access to my social security number. Finally I calmed myself down long enough to RSVP YES, YES, YES. Then I got into business mode and was all “What do you wear to the White House?” Priorities, people.
On the day of the Let’s Move Initiative event, I just kept saying over and over “Is this real life?” and I was a little weepy because I was so excited and so proud and so humbled, and you guys know I cry all the time.
So what do you do if you have a day at the White House? Well, let’s see….
You have coffee with Bill….
You pose with Jackie
You stash a few of these fancy paper towels from the bathroom in your bag. Hey, if they have their name on it, they WANT you to take it. It’s good PR, right?
You send a video to your mom of all the White House China because she is so jealous you didn’t take her with you to the White House and you hope this video helps a little.
You tour the White House Kitchen Garden and strike a little pose because you feel fancy.
You realize those killer heels were a bad choice for walking through the garden…
You somehow snag a front row seat and you say over and over “Be cool, Amanda. Be cool”
Then you settle in because now it’s time to hear from the panel and the First Lady ,and you were one of the 150 influential bloggers invited to this event.
The panel consisted of a powerhouse of ladies that were wicked smart, influential, and making real changes that will benefit our kids. After every woman spoke, I wanted to know more about their organizations and The First Lady’s Initiatives like:
- The awesome Fruits and Veggies (FnV) Campaign that is simply brilliant and so cool.
- Farm to school initiative that you can bring to your kid’s school
- Everykidinapark.gov that let’s kids go to national parks for free
- The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge with a Kids’ State Dinner as the prize–seriously how cool.
- The event was covered on the official Let’s Move site.
We first heard from Deb Eschmeyer, Executive director for Let’s Move!, and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition, who told us a bit of background on the Let’s Move! initiative. Did you know that ONE in every THREE children in the United States are considered obese? How scary is that statistic? In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted the White House Kitchen Garden and in 2010 she launched Let’s Move! which is an initiative to help kids and families lead healthier and more active lives.
Here’s Olympic Gymnast Dominique Dawes introducing Michelle Obama, White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford wiping up a kale salad, and Ryan Shadrick Wilson the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel at Partnership for a Healthier America who introduced the super cool Fruits and Veggies (FnV) Campaign.
Then the First Lady Came out to speak, and let me just tell you, she was AMAZING. Smart, funny, and at times, I felt like she was talking RIGHT to me.
Mrs. Obama said that this was an initiative near and dear to her because when she was working full time, she found herself taking the kids to too many drive thrus and heating up too many dinners in the microwave. But after a doctor told her she needed to focus on her kids’ health and weight, she got down to work in her own house, and when he found herself in the White House, she knew creating Lets Move! was going to be where she spent her time as First Lady
Because of the work of Let’s Move!
-1.6 million kids are now attending healthier daycare centers where fruits and vegetables have replaced cookies and juice.
-Over 10 million kids attend Let’s Move! Active schools where they strive to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day
-More than 30 million kids are eating healthier school breakfasts and lunches
-Nearly 80 million people, that’s 1 in 4 Americans, now live in a Let’s Move! city, town or county where kids can walk to school on new sidewalks, participate in a summer meal program, or join a local athletic league.
And as Mrs. Obama said, the 150 bloggers in the room had a social media reach of tens of millions and that the voices of Mommy Bloggers have power and can help to make changes that are important to our kids. And then I got weepy again, because come on, how amazing is that? The First Lady thinks blogs like mine are powerful messengers and that she is proud of us. Excuse me while I cry a little again.
After the event I basically floated all the way home and couldn’t wait to see my kids who were more impressed by the goodie bag that had a beach ball in it then hearing about my day at the White House. Oh well, someday they will get how amazing this day was for their Mamma.