Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear Diary

What a day it's been and it's just noon.

For starters, I lost a client. We started pitching them on August 26 and here it is September 25 and they are not pleased with how well their HOLIDAY event publicity campaign is going thus far. Last I checked the holidays were not for some time. To gauge the success of a PR campaign in one month's time is absurd.

Here's what I would tell a publicist who just lost this account, "It's not worth the stress. Clearly they do not understand the PR cycle and frankly you don't need to spend your time convincing them of the benefit and value of PR only to have them micromanage you day in and day out."

BUT, here's how I feel. Defeated. Like a total failure. And truth be told- incredibly pissed. And thankful (for the 60 day clause I have in all our contracts that means they need to pay us for another 60 days--God willing they do so). Above all I do feel relieved.

So moments after that bomb exploded in my inbox I got a fabulous email from a woman I did a story with a couple of years ago for the Wall Street Journal.

Terrified that the Republicans may win office again she and 12 women got together and what started as a house party for maybe 150 women mushroomed into a full-blown event called Women for Obama Band Together. They are hosting more than 23 parties in cities around the country --all women, all vying for Obama. They are so inundated with postive responses--phonecalls, emails, letters, and media requests they need PR help.

A paragraph from the email
Katie, I don't know your politics, but I do know that we need a highly skilled PR professional to help us navigate this situation and you were the first person who came to mind!

Barack and roll, sister! My ego was surely boosted. I have 14 events between now and November 1 so not an ounce of time to assist but sign me up.

And diary, last night was one I never want to forget. Dear Eric (the sweet guy who called just now to see if I was off the ceiling after my a.m. upset--he was here when the break-up email came in) and then came home just moments ago between a story to check in (bless him!) took me to see Neil Diamond in concert! It was a Mother's Day gift from last year. The last thing he wanted to do was to sit through the concert but he did for me knowing that reliving my college days crooning Forever in Blue Jeans and Sweet Caroline makes my heart smile. So, to Eric, in the words of Neil Diamond, "And each time I stop to think, What it is I really need, Here's what I conclude, All I really need is you..."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sick Day

Driving to a media lunch today I was struck with the dreaded "aura effect" I get before a migraine attack. Loss of vision, numbness in my tongue and left arm caused me to immediately cancel my appointments and pull off the freeway into a parking lot for an hour until I could see again and drive home to bed.

Hours later the splitting headache over my right eye subsided to a dull ache and I was able to crawl out from under the covers, even do some work, and tuck the kids in. This was Audrey's bedtime prayer, "Thank you, God, for making Mama feel better tonite. Thank you for the grass that grows, flowers that bloom and get bigger and for sending angels to watch over mama and keep her calm and know that you were with her when she was so sick. Thank you for the good news that Papa Frank is all healthy again and thank you for making the dr's. news an early birthday present for Meme from you." With tears in my eyes, a heart filled with love and pride, and a soul full of thanks to God I went to say goodnight to Olivia.

"Please lay down, Mama, I have wanted to give you a massage all evening," she said. I slid in next to her and her touch was so soft and gentle for a usually bustling and energetic girl. Lovely...

Earlier in the day when I texted Eric to tell him I was out of commission he contacted Carrie who swung into action --picking up my girls from school, treating them to ice cream cones, and watching them all afternoon (while she did work for k PR as well!). Eric brought dinner home, the director I was to have lunch with sent well wishes via email and my client whom I canceled a meeting with called to check in.

Yes, God, like Audrey said--thank you for sending angels to care for me.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Here is Audrey this weekend decked out in some of my "real" and vintage jewels. She rummaged through my jewelry box and selected a few of her favorite pieces to wear.

I have a necklace with a locket that Eric gave me. The locket holds an apple seed and a bb inside it (Olivia was the size of an apple seed when I found out I was pregnant with her and Audrey the size of a bb). I let Audrey wear it. In a state of panic she ran through the screen door sobbing that she had lost it and how could I forgive her. Thankfully, she had not lost it (it was simply tucked underneath her dress and hidden behind another necklace).

How thoughtful she was with something I really value. As I held her I explained how far more precious she is than jewelry. I told her that even if she had lost it while I would be sad it would not be so awful afterall. "How about I take it off anyway?," she asked. I unclasped that necklace in a heartbeat!

We were out with friends a couple of nights this weekend (visitors and birthday celebrations- great fun!) and so on Saturday night we came home to find letters from Liv on the kitchen table.

She wrote to me that she'd been wishing on a star that I'd come home safely. She also wrote, When I am your age I'm going to do exactly what you do. (yikes) ;)

She went on, I want to be like you. I hope I will say "I am proud for being me" just like you should do, Mama.

With Olivia's eloquence, Audrey's honesty, and both their genuine spirits I am proud indeed-- of them.

Celebrating Carrie

My dear friend, Carrie, had a birthday this weekend.
Here she is pictured above as our kids surround her~ all of them adorned in royal attire dressed for dinner.

The night before we enjoyed dinner in, the adults went out. One of the high points can be seen below---the owner we know of a quaint English pub (Carrie is a Brit!) treated the two of us to dark chocolate truffles with Bailey's Irish cream. As the process below depicts~they were divine.

Here's to lifetime of enjoying your royal court, date nights, sharing decadent chocolate with girlfriends, and celebrating you~ beautiful you! Glad you were born.

Happy Birthday, Car!

Monday, September 8, 2008


The tears finally came at kindergarten drop off this morning. They were mine. After a bustling first week of school the reality set in.

As we ascended the steps to Audrey's classroom I relived the few short minutes I'd had with my young beautiful girl this morning. Her sweet, sleepy smile when I pulled back her curtains and turned on a lullaby from her Cinderella soundtrack. Her request for "high" pigtails and flower ribbons and kneesocks. Her warm, sticky kiss after a breakfast of waffles and syrup.

We tightly held hands as we do each morning. As we went up the stairs she asked me what I'd be doing today. I have to read some emails I told her. "I can read quietly next to you," she said. I'd like to get a quick walk in I added. "I love when we go on our walks." I told her I'd be going quickly and would have my iPod on listening to a church sermon that I missed. "I will go in the stroller and bring a snack and a book and I promise I wouldn't bother you", she said. I'll probably grab lunch while I work I continued. "I could do an activity book and we could have tea and cottage cheese together," she said.

After popping her lunchbox in her locker she took a book from the corner of the room and sat in her seat. I gave her a long hug goodbye. She blew me a kiss through the window and I continued to watch her for a moment. Her face showed concern and then I saw her approach a boy sitting in the corner. He was crying. Audrey asked him something and then nodded and walked away. She went back to him a moment later and just sat by him.

I know she would be a wonderful companion to me today--to read with, walk with, and eat with but I believe God wants us to share our gifts with others so I turned and left and for a few more hours gave Audrey to the world.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I am so fired up AGAINST Sarah Palin that I am having a hard time seeing straight. Regardless of how articulate and attractive she is I thought her speech at the Republican National Convention was snide, sarcastic, and hypocritical. She completely offended me.

Let me say--I enjoy watching The Daily Show and Bill Maher and many sarcastic commentators but here's the thing---I know what I am getting when I listen to them.
Sarah Palin claims to be a devout Christian (which to me means working hard at NOT passing judgement or demeaning, belittling, or condemning others). Appeared to me she did all of those things in regards to Barack Obama. Truth be told I struggle with trying not to judge others daily (and fail at it a lot) but this is not about me--and I am not running for VP on a platform of how Godly I am.

The morning after her speech I went to a TV shoot with a client. The producer asked me if I was proud to see a woman like her on stage. "Not at all," I quickly snapped---offended at the insinuation that I would be. He was shocked (and pleased, I might add) but nonetheless, shocked. "You're a strong woman, have your own business, the kids, the husband, the whole nine yards---AND you're quite religious, aren't you?"

I told him Yes to all (not sure about "religious" but have no qualms about professing my faith in God). My client chimed in, "You don't love her? I thought she was great--she is the hockey mom, she's confident and bold; she's the whole package and very real--like you." I felt sick. Seriously.

Upon further research of her beliefs I found information about her former pastor, Rev. Ed Kalnins (she attended his church since the age of 12 and left a few years ago perhaps upon entering the Governor's mansion?? She did visit the church just this past June, however, to deliver a speech). Below is apparently some of what he preached from the pulpit (there was a link to his recorded sermons where these quotes were pulled from which would serve as better proof but they've been conveniently taken down since Sept. 3). Strategic move on the Republicans part? I would think yes.

During the 2004 election season, Kalnins praised President Bush's performance during a debate with Sen. John Kerry, then offered a not-so-subtle message about his personal candidate preferences. "I'm not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation. I'm sorry."

Months after hinting at possible damnation for Kerry supporters, Kalnins bristled at the treatment President Bush was receiving over the federal government's handling of Hurricane Katrina. "I hate criticisms towards the President," he said, "because it's like criticisms towards the pastor -- it's almost like, it's not going to get you anywhere, you know, except for hell. That's what it'll get you."

Sarah Palin is a working woman, has a special needs child, has a son headed to war within days and a teenage daugher with a baby on the way. God bless her. And her children. I hope they find support and peace as they go about their days. My gut and my God tell me that wanting the best for them is the right thing to do.

I fear if the roles were reversed and my daughters (or Barack and Michelle Obama's daughters) were pregnant Sarah and her supporters would stand in judgement. I can hear James Dobson and his Focus on the Family rhetoric now if this happened to a Democratic candidate's family.
Reports show that earlier this year Governor Palin slashed funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live and during her governorship she slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62%. Will her mindset change now that it's hit close to home?

The God I believe in wants us to love and comfort all people not just our own loved ones. The God I believe in wants us to care for the less fortunate and troubled around the globe. I know it's not politically correct to say whether Jesus was a Republican or a Democrat but it seems to me like he and I would pull the same lever come this November.

Class of 2021

Audrey & Olivia, Audrey's First day of Kindergarten

Little Audrey E started kindergarten on Tuesday and the TV cameras were there to capture it! (video below)

I am a gloating mama!

Eric's station asked the other day if the staff knew of any soon to be kindergartners. They wanted to follow one through the preparation and routine (and excitement) of the night before school and connect again with the student on day one. Just as Brooke Shield's stage mom would do--I (naturally) jumped at the chance!

The camera crew spent time filming her on Mon. night and then were at our doorstep doing a liveshot at 6:45 this morning-- live from our kitchen as she at breakfast at 7:30 this a.m.-- and so on. Bits and pieces of the attached story ran in seven newscasts (the carpet cleaner I called today asked if I was her mom based on my last name and address--the woman at the nail salon (who speaks very little English) told Olivia today that she saw her on TV and her Sunday school teacher just left a message--and on and on!) Audrey feels like a superstar. Bless it. I am so proud of the little diva. You'd never know I was married to a guy on TV yet there's something about it being your KID. ;)

Here is one of the segments that aired live from her classroom...

Clearly, she is not lacking in confidence! "I'm REALLY great at math." ha! quick side note--after this story first aired Audrey was really down. When I asked her why she said she felt bad because she was "braggy" about her math skills. Bless her---I told her she should be proud of herself and they probably used that quote because when I grew up they didn't think girls could do math or science well.

OK--all for now BIG thanks for indulging me!