Washington D.C. at Christmas time is GORGEOUS. I’ve been once before, but it was YEARS ago. I had the opportunity to go as my mom’s plus 1 for a work trip. Well, not exactly a work trip, but kind of. They were flying her out there for an awards ceremony. She would prefer that I didn’t mention it (she says it’s not a big deal), but she won Employee of the Year! (Uhm, sorry mom, but yes that’s a big deal!) It’s no small company either. NOAA. You might have heard of it. If you’ve ever seen the movie Twister, that’s NOAA.

Anyway, she was being shipped out for the awards ceremony that was on the hush hush, and asked if I wanted to go with her. Of course, do you even know me?! An all-expense paid trip to site-see for a few days?? Count me in.

The traveling process was less than glamorous, however. I sat in the very last row on the plane, squished between two people – one who refused to wear shoes and used my tray-table as his own arm rest (even though he took up both actual arm rests too), and a small child almost threw up on me in the airport gift shop… No, I’m not even exaggerating… As in inches away from having 4-year old puke on the back of my new black jeans.

The trip itself though, was much needed. I never have the chance to actually bond with my mom, just her and I, so it was time well spent, even if it was only for a couple days. The first and third days we spent mostly traveling and shopping, we also went to dinner with my aunt and her boyfriend who live there at a fancy bar near our hotel after flying in. The second day we spent the morning at the award show. My mom is THE CUTEST. She had on a blazer set and we plunked down in the auditorium seats awaiting the show to start. I was the designated picture-taker. Glancing through the program, I noticed a long list of nominees in the Employee of the Year category, my mom’s name included. She had been told prior to the trip that she had won (that’s why it was on the hush hush), but now we weren’t so sure. Was she only nominated and didn’t actually win? Were they just going to announce the winner here? I joked, “well that’ll be awkward if it’s someone else who wins…” She didn’t think it was as funny as I did.

Sure enough, the Employee of the Year category nominees were announced, I swear I was even more nervous than she was. “And the Employee of the Year award for 2016 goes to……..(mini drum roll)……Jennifer Mahoney!”

Yay, mom! She truly is THE CUTEST. If you knew my mom, you’d know that she’s tall, thin, and a little clumsy. (Sorry mom, it’s true). We had to plan how she was going to get out of her seat when her name was called, so that she didn’t trip over the red carpet leading up to the stage. She’s adorable.

Up to the front of the room she went, she didn’t even trip at all, and she grabbed her shiny new plaque, and took a picture with the President-elected-geologist-former-NASA-astronaut-and head of NOAA administration, Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan (she’s kind of a big deal), before heading back to our seats. Meanwhile, I am trying to stop my hands from shaking to take high quality pictures…Failed miserably.

We spent the rest of the day in downtown D.C. being as touristy as possible, and visiting all of the sights and national monuments…and taking a picture at each one, of course.

We walked more than 8 miles, and for some of you, you may say, only 8 miles? Well to you athletic-I-run-or-walk-20-miles-every-day types, I had on brand new booties that my little feetsies just weren’t prepared for. In pain and hobbling along the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the trip (except maybe my footwear choices) – my mom and I got to bond and it was nice to get away and see her doing her thing and being appreciated at work. She gave up so much for my sister and I as kids, including part of her career, to be there for us growing up, that it was so incredible to see her being rewarded for all that she does.

Love you mom!


Here are some IPhone  photos from our trip! My mom doesn’t like photos, so they’re mostly of me lol.

My outfit for the award ceremony: black long sleeve turtle neck dress, black sheer tights, olive suede belted waterfall jacket, and black booties. I will do an outfit post on this look soon 🙂

My mom accepting her award from Dr. Sullivan, while I fail miserably at taking share-worthy photos.

I have never been to the White House for Christmas, but I really loved the Christmas tree and train they have set-up between the White House and Washington Memorial. The large tree (it would have been better if it was the actual tree and not a tree in a cage, but I digress…) was surrounded by 50 smaller trees, one for each state.

We then walked around the Washington Memorial and into the World War II Memorial. If you’ve never been through this, you need to go. It’s a very solemn place, but it’s beautiful architecture.

In Colorado, the leaves are gone from the trees by Halloween. Here, it’s the beginning of December, 50 degrees, and the leaves are still on the trees. It was BEAUTIFUL. This is the long stretch of pavement alongside the Reflecting Pool on our way to the Lincoln Memorial.

Before heading to the Lincoln Memorial, we stopped by the Korean War Memorial. The first time my family visited D.C., this memorial was brand new, so it was cool to go back and see it again. I love this saying, “Freedom is Not Free”. But think about it, it’s true.

See, what did I tell you? She’s THE CUTEST. Before we left the hotel, I was making fun of her tennis shoes with her nice clothes, while I put on a pair of brand new cute little black booties that matched my outfit perfectly. Needless to say she had the last laugh when I felt like my feet were detaching themselves from my body after walking for miles.

The White House Christmas tree all lit up. The White House looked amazing with all of the lights, but you know how IPhones are… The picture just looked like a big blob of light in the middle of a black screen.

I had so much fun with my mom on our little excursion and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world. If you haven’t gotten to go visit D.C., I highly recommend going for the Holidays, it’s so beautiful.


Where have ya’ll gone recently?






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Jennifer Mahoney

Wow. You brought tears to my eyes!! I loved the time with you too!! You are absolutely awesome ? Love Mom