Saturday, November 10, 2012

Benjamin, The Man!

This is a collection of photographs that Benjamin took or that were taken of him as he participated, especially in the media room, in the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate.

This is me looking around in "spin alley" to see which senators I could spot. Sen. Thune is behind me to the left. Photo by Mindy Wilson

This is in the "spin alley" room the morning of the debate. Photo by Mary Tanner

Photo by Mary Tanner.

The debate stage the week before the debate. We gave elementary school students tours through the debate hall.

Outside the debate hall.

The media room!

There was a perimeter of security fencing around the debate and media hall. On the day of the debate you had to go through airport x-ray security scans to get in.

Internet infrastructure for the phones and internet connections for all the media.

MSNBC filmed most of their day shows from this platform on the day of the debate.

Behind the debate hall - all the networks had their own truck and satellite.

This is the basement of the debate hall where Paul Ryan's family got to hang out during the day.

It's hard to see - but we gave the Abraham statue his own set of media credentials (hanging from the red lanyard).

Centre College President Roush (center left), doing the lottery drawing for the 100 students that got tickets to the debate.

Storefront in downtown Danville.

Me with my colleague Prof Dan Stroup in the media hall. There were hundreds of seats in here for the press and campaign officials. We watched the debate from these seats.

Chris Matthews filming "Hardball" on the day of the debate.

This is a panorama shot of the debate festival area in the mid-afternoon.

Photo by Charlie Compton, WEKU
Notice him sitting next to Don Gonyea! Wow! Photo by Charlie Compton, WEKU

Photo by Charlie Compton, WEKU

Photo by Charlie Compton, WEKU

Recording of Benjamin's NPR interview:

Recaps from the VP debate:

What campus was like mid-afternoon:

Benjamin's post-debate reactions and thoughts:

The evidence that the moderator used a question that Benjamin had tweeted to her ahead of time:

Also, his more organized post-debate ruminations: 

Friday, November 9, 2012


I enjoy blogging! I like having a forum where I can post pictures of my family in an organized way. I use it as a journal of sorts to keep a record of the important activities and events that we participate in. I do not love writing and am impatient with it, hence the many spelling and grammar errors that you can find throughout this blog. I know how to write, I just am not willing to take the time necessary to produce a polished post. I always post lots of pictures and then struggle to add a few coherent sentences to explain them. I am a photo junkie. I love to look at photographs of my family. Sometimes I read, or really just look at, my posts over and over again. I cannot get enough of my amazing and beautiful family. I love that blogs can be published and printed and I love the blog book that I have at home. I want to make more. I need to. I should do that....

Just today I was blogging and wanted to refer to a link from a previous post from two years ago. I went back to find it and was enthralled again by all of the pictures and the memories that each picture brought with it. Looking at my pictures makes me happy and I love it. That is why I blog. I am not the most prolific or even the most interesting writer. I do not enjoy writing. I love posting pictures. I cannot get enough pictures.

I also find it convenient that my mother and my mother-in-law both check my blog regularly, so that I never have to worry about sending them pictures or updating them on what we have been doing lately. We have regular conversations where they will say something to the effect of "oh yeah, I saw that on your blog." Although there is quite a bit of a time lag from actual activities to there appearance on the blog. My mom often asks me when she will see a post about this activity or that. This forum is great for keeping friends and family aware of us and I really appreciate those of you who are consistent readers of my blog. I love your comments and even your well wishes when you do not comment.

There are so many memories found here and I get so much joy from creating it and from looking at it over and over again. This blog is really just for me, and maybe a little for Abigail, so that someday she will have a record of some of the things she did as a young child. So here's to blog post number 600, one of my few pictureless posts. Thanks for reading! More pictures are coming soon, I promise.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Impromptu Photo Shoot

We met Benjamin downtown one afternoon and I snapped a few photographs of our sweet little girl. She even cooperated and gave me a few smiles. We haven't seen much of Benjamin this semester. Between three class preps, the VP debate, two hiring committees, the undergraduate research committee, church responsibilities, house responsibilities, and the election and exit poll, his free time has been nonexistent. He has been working sixty to seventy hours some/most weeks. When we actually get a minute to hang out with him, we try to enjoy it.

The city spent a lot of money decorating and preparing for the debate. Most of the stores downtown were repainted and a lot of them had patriotic window displays. I especially loved all of the flowers. They don't smell particularly amazing, but she likes smelling flowers anyways.

Daddy is so much more fun.

I just love her! The only way I can get her to smile for pictures is by telling her not to smile, then she does it because she thinks it makes me mad that she is disobeying. I wonder how long before she figures out my game.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And Again!

Sierra was sad that she had not been able to go the farm with us on Saturday and asked me if I would be interested in going again on Tuesday. I was exhausted from the weekend, but had really had fun at the pumpkin patch. I agreed to go with her. I know I am crazy, but I do enjoy fall activities and fun weather. It reminds me of the time in 2010 when I went to a pumpkin patch with Ben's work one evening and then I returned again the next day for a playgroup with my MOPS friends. I apparently like to experience each patch at least twice.

Abby was thrilled to go again and enjoyed things more now that she was familiar with what was available. She wanted to show her friends everything. The biggest challenge was that she would just run off without telling me where she was going. She felt so comfortable there that she did not seem to need me at all. We had to have some discussions about asking for permission and about always letting her mommy know where she is.

This time I put velcro shoes on her so that I did not have to deal with laces every time she got on and off and back on the jumping bouncy hill thingy. The weather was cold again, but it warmed up throughout the day.
This slide is so fun and Abby learned to go down it without having to be caught.

Sierra had gone through her bank drive up window on the way there and they gave all the children some stickers  (instead of suckers). Abby decorated herself with them and would not let me take them off. Also, I bought that hair bow there at the farm store, I thought that it was perfect for the season.

The tires were one of her favorites.

These two climbed up here and sat and talked and told each other stories for about fifteen minutes. Notice how her pants are now a sandy gray. She was covered, but at least the sand helped most of the stickers fall off of her pants.

I got to wear baby E. for almost two hours. I loved every second of it. She is such a calm and easy baby. The hayride was pretty full this time, but we made it on.

I made an effort to take some pictures this time of Abby playing in the pumpkins. She really loved it here and she was especially excited that I let her roam free through it and that I actually encouraged her to do so.

Her lips and moustache are blue from the gatorade, and I am in heaven holding this tiny, precious little bundle.  I am so glad that Sierra was so willing to share her with me.

The carts were all taken by the time we got off of the trailer so we had to improvise. It was a challenge to get all the pumpkins and all the children back to the car. We somehow survived it, and then went back to play some more. They practically had to kick us out when they closed at five. Five, seriously? Why could they not be open until six or nine....?

Sierra is so much better at just going with the flow and enjoying things. I am a little bit more uptight and get stressed so much easier.
I am glad that I went again to this farm. Abby really enjoyed herself and it was fun to spend time with our good friends. We then took our sandy, dusty, tired children to an Arby's for dinner. They were well behaved enough that we even let the older two sit by themselves at a table. It's is crazy to see her growing up so fast. I love it and I love her. She is so precious and I cherish all of the fun memories that we are making every day.