Design by Sawyer Pennington



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My sister races Ferraris and Porsches as a hobby. I go to the movies. So, I would say the most "interesting" fact about me is that I have Black as my sister! I could go on for pages with this sort of question but just one of many "amusing" facts about my sister is that her pantry looks like an ad from The Container Store. But be very careful before eating anything! Why? Because food items are put in beautifully arranged containers because the colors and textures look good, and have nothing to do with food that's actually eaten. And how did I discover this? Have you ever eaten a really rancid pretzel? I rest my case.


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Besides the fact Red married my first fiancé? Or, that she once told me her husband would not talk to her, but that their stuffed animals sent her letters? Or, that as a child she played the harp naked?
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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I really needed time to think about this as there were so many images that immediately came to mind. So, at the risk of Black saying that I "cheated", I went online to see if I could narrow it down. But here's the funny thing. The one that I first thought about, and keep thinking about, I couldn't find. I saw it "live" when watching the inaugural concert and the image was only on for a few seconds. But that was long enough to know that, for me, it was incredibly special. It was Vice President Harris leaning her head on her husband's shoulder, watching the amazing fireworks, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. It was a simple shot, caught fleetingly by the camera; an unposed, spontaneous image that reminded me of one that you'd snap at a family gathering. But seeing our first female Vice President, who clearly has a warm and loving relationship with her spouse, with Lincoln "watching on" showing the history of the moment, just made it all come together in a single image. Will it "technically" become iconic? Probably not, especially since I can't even find it online. But will it always stay in mind as a memory of the inauguration? Absolutely.


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That's Red. The straight-A student that, although she had the answer, wanted to first do some homework. I, on the other hand, knew my answer immediately. Interestingly, it was a very similar image, but for very different reasons. It was President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden watching fireworks from the balcony of their new home – the White House. Besides it obviously representing a new beginning for the presidency, the fireworks were the grand finale of an evening of celebration that was for and about us – "We the people." And, then I noticed that she was wearing a wrist courage. It reminded me of a simpler and more thoughtful time – one filled with grace and small courtesies. Maybe this is a new beginning in more ways than one …
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Design by Sawyer Pennington


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Mixed. I'm scared because of everything that's happening in the Capitol right now. I'm excited because no matter the political party, it's incredible that we'll have a woman Vice President and what that means for all the girls in this country. And I'm thrilled that my daughters will see that. I'm full of pride because it shows that in America democracy is bigger than any one person or group. Finally, as someone that loves history, it does sadden me that it won't be a traditional inauguration, filled with traditions and peaceful transfer of power but I suspect that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are more focused on what they're going to do once inaugurated.


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Having an elaborate wedding does not mean you will have a successful marriage, any more so than eloping means your marriage will fail. The real work starts after the ceremony, and is a function of your commitment to uphold the solemn promises made during the ceremony. This inauguration will go down in history for many reasons and the fact its theme is "America United" is both heartbreaking and inspirational. But, as Americans, it is our responsibility to do everything within our power to help heal the country and work toward finding common ground so we can come together.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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The first thing that came to mind was movie tickets, but the truth is it's really all about the popcorn. But recently I did buy something that has made me happy, and I know Black's going to roll her eyes. First my rationalization – I've wanted one for years and the time seemed right since I'm not eating out these days and decided to start experimenting at home with some new recipes. So, what did I buy? A proper Dutch oven. If you're not familiar with them, you can use them on a cooktop and then put it direct into the oven to keep cooking for hours. Bottom line, they're really versatile and suitable for making lots of dishes. I found a great looking cobalt blue one that has a non-stick surface which I immediately tested as I made pulled pork with a brown sugar topping that baked for hours and hours. Can you say "baked on sugar"? When it came time to clean it, I gave it a quick spray, figuring it'd have to soak overnight. Well, one quick rinse later and it was completely, sparkling clean! And that, combined with how good the pulled pork tasted, made me very happy.


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Socks. Yes, socks. I succumbed to an ad for Bombas socks that appeared in one of the newsletters I receive. I needed athletic socks anyway and they claimed they were the most comfortable socks ever and that for every pair it sells, it donates a pair because socks are the most requested item in homeless shelters. But the main reason I bought a few pairs was because I liked how the colorful ones looked – they were "happy colors." After wearing them, I agreed they are the most comfortable socks I have ever worn, which makes my feet happy. Layer in the donated socks, and I can rationalize buying even more.