The Obamas may no longer be living in the White House, but they still get to enjoy some of the perks, thanks to the Bidens. On Tuesday, Michelle Obama took to her Instagram to share a huge basket of some of the prettiest greens I’ve ever seen, sent by none other than her friend and First Lady Jill Biden. But it wasn’t just any gift – filled with Tuscan kale, broccoli, turnips, and other leafy vegetables, the fresh bundle came straight from the White House Kitchen Garden, which Michelle herself built in 2009 and holds close to her heart.
“So thankful for this beautiful care package from our amazing @FLOTUS!” Michelle captioned the photo. “These fresh veggies from the White House Kitchen Garden were such a wonderful – and delicious – surprise. Love you, Jill!” To which Jill sweetly responded, “Food is love.”
The former first lady planted the garden when Barack Obama first took office in 2009 to start a national conversation about health and nutrition. Throughout the years, produce from the garden has been used for meals in the White House for the first family and guests alike. Get a closer look at the meaningful gift ahead.
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“I got offered the Freedom award from the Trump Administration. I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill and then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of COVID,” Dolly shared on NBC’s Today. Combating the virus is clearly a priority for Dolly, who donated $1 million to help fund Moderna’s vaccine back in April 2020.
The Biden Administration didn’t hesitate to reach out to Dolly about the award either, but she’s unsure if she’ll ever accept. “Now I feel like if I take it I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure,” she said. “I don’t work for those awards, but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But that’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.”
Break out the cake and balloons, because a celebration is in order for Michelle Obama‘s birthday. On Jan. 17, the former first lady turned 57. Naturally, our former President Barack Obama wrote a beautiful message to commemorate the occasion. We wouldn’t expect anything less from these two. “Happy birthday to my love, my partner, and my best friend,” Barack captioned his Instagram post. “Every moment with you is a blessing. Love you, Miche.” How sweet! After 28 years of marriage, Barack and Michelle have certainly spent many special birthdays together, but we hope this is the best one yet.
Michelle Obama gave Barack Obama an unforgettable Christmas gift this year. On Wednesday, the former president shared a peek at the priceless present from his wife on Instagram. Michelle commissioned an artist named Valentino Dixon to draw a massive piece for Barack, of the 12th hole at Augusta National in Georgia. For Barack, “it’s an incredible piece, but the story behind it is even better.”
Valentino was wrongfully convicted of a crime at age 21, and sentenced to serve 38 and a half years to life in prison. During this time, he reconnected with his love for art and began drawing for six to 10 hours every day. Despite never having set foot on a golf course, a warden asked Valentino to draw the 12th hole of the legendary Augusta National Golf Club. He used magazines as inspiration and created golf pieces during his two decades behind bars.
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Valentino’s art was recognized by golf publications, and through magazine profiles (and his family’s efforts) his case garnered more attention. However, it wasn’t until 2018 when three Georgetown undergraduate students uncovered evidence proving Valentino’s innocence that he was exonerated. He was wrongfully imprisoned for 27 years.
Although Valentino’s incarceration could’ve left him incredibly angry and jaded, he has devoted the last few years to advocacy and public speaking. He speaks out in favor of prison reform and uses his story in the hopes of making a positive change to the criminal justice system. Valentino also continued drawing, eventually connecting with Michelle when she purchased the piece for Barack. “Thankfully, for me and for so many others, he continues to draw,” Barack wrote. “I’m so proud to have one of his works to display.”
Barack Obama might’ve campaigned for President-elect Joe Biden, but don’t expect to see him working as part of the White House staff anytime soon. During CBS Sunday Morning on Nov. 15, the 44th president told Gayle King he doesn’t plan on a Cabinet position – and Michelle wouldn’t be too happy about that change of plans, either.
“There are probably some things I would not be doing, ’cause Michelle would leave me,” he joked. “She’d be like, ‘What? You’re doin’ what?'” Despite his jests, Barack praised his wife and daughters for their flexibility during his presidency. There was a constant pressure put on their family during his time in office, and he expressed gratitude for their support during his interview. In fact, he dedicated his upcoming memoir, A Promised Land, to Michelle, Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19.
Barack also told Gayle he never really intended to get involved with campaigning again, but he felt an obligation to get involved with the 2020 election. “It is not my preference to be out there,” he explained. “I think we were in a circumstance in this election in which certain norms, certain institutional values that are so extraordinarily important, had been breached – that it was important for me, as somebody who had served in that office, to simply let people know, ‘This is not normal.'” Watch the full interview below.