Friday, October 29, 2010

Hawg Halloween

I had a squash on my desk. I had to do something with it. I added ear muffs later.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We've got a live one!

This past weekend we got in early on the Halloween fun by taking Jack trick or treating out at the Landing. He was a mudbug, and judging from the crowd feedback...he was a hit.

We pulled Jack in his new wagon down the site...I painted a sign for the side that said "Live Crawfish $1/a pound"

There were more than 400 people out there trick-or-treating. I saw a fair share of pumpkins, witches and cats....but only one crawfish!

By the end of the night, Jack was all halloween-ed out. We wound up pulling him back up the site in his wagon... while he slept.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A new baby to love

My grandmother tells a story about her grandchildren. She explains the arrival of her nine grandchildren in meteorological terms: she had a constant, steady drip of grandchildren coming in regular intervals and then it started pouring...when several came within a few months of each other.

Following that storyline, there's been a flood of great-grandchildren this year. One great is 8 years old...then there was a l-o-n-g drought.... and this year, there are 3 new babies to love. Christmas will be fun.

Meet a little boy with a big 4-name moinker: Joshua Alak Martin (last name omitted). He will be called Alak, pronounced Alec. Why the different spelling? His mother's name is Kala, pronounced Kayla, and Alak is Kala spelled backwards. Cute, huh? Why the different spelling of Kala? That goes back to my great-grandmother whose name was Lala.... pronounced, you got it, Layla.
That's why it's very important to spell your kid's names correctly, folks. One misspelling and you've got five generations of mispronunciations and misspellings as your legacy. But we love them all anyway, and I can appreciate the tip of the hat to family names and heritage and all of that. It's unique and it is special.

Big sister Rhealee welcomed home baby Alak. She was very happy to hold her newborn brother, but she just had to ask afterwards, "he's not going to look like that tomorrow, is he?"

I'm sure he'll be changed a bit by the time I can see him at Thanksgiving, but I'm sure he'll be just as sweet as ever!
Congrats Kala, Josh, Rhealee, Gamma, and the rest of the gang!

Friday, October 15, 2010

When is a first word really a first word?

Sometime before this last week of runny noses and earaches, before the bottles of Nyquil, before the sick days off, before I discovered Sprout network for babies, before the whining and lack of sleep....Jack said his first word.

Or did he?

Sure, he's been chanting "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma" and "da-da-da-da-da," but to our knowledge he has no idea what "ma-ma" or "da-da" means. Every once in awhile, he'll string two other syllables together to make a word with no realization of what the word is.

Rewind a few days......Jack has an exersaucer with lots of toys attached. It makes animal sounds, has animal names in English and Spanish, plus a little classical music if you hit the buttons in the right combination. Yes, toys have evolved supposedly to make kids smarter than we were when we just had a rattle.

Jack was banging on the duck button and right after it said "duck," he said as clear as could be "duck." He went back to jabbering and ever since I've been holding up a duck and saying "duck." So far, nada.

It could've very well been "pato." I don't think he would've known the difference.

A very eclectic affair and the black-haired mafia.

Dave and I attended a wedding a few weeks ago that was truly one of the most artsy, eclectic weddings I've ever attended. I loved it.

Our coworker Jen got engaged the December after I started work at the station. We've had three weddings and a baby this year at work, and no two events were alike.

Jen and Nick got married downtown in a coverted theatre that is used as an event and concert venue. "Hand in Hand" is a phrase from their wedding song, "Good Hearted Woman." That definitely set the tune for a fun reception! Jen had her phrase, along with her logo, on everything...only we didn't realize where it came from until afterwards.

She had a photo book for the guest book. You took pictures, kept one strip, and the other went in the guest book for you to sign. We took this set for the newsroom. The third picture down we are wearing the "morning meeting face."
See the logo on the bottom? Jen had the logo stamped on the invitations, programs, favors, everything.

Here's the newlyweds!

The ladies from work, plus Dave and a friend looking cool:

Jen's favors were as unique as everything else. For the guys, there were coolers with her logo.

For ladies, she had flip flops....and since all the good weddings generally have piles of shoes on the side of the dance floor anyway, I though this was the most perfect favor ever. Jen had a ten piece band that was awesome, so we danced all night. Since it is Minneapolis, I counted at least two Prince songs.

I'm not sure how much you can tell about the decor from these pictures. It was unlike any place I've ever been. I guess I'd describe it as somewhere between artsy and gothic. Jen didn't have to do any decorating, and why should she? It was a perfect backdrop as is.

Jen's family had seats in the dance area, and everyone else had a lounge style setting in the lower and upper levels.

I can't complete this blog entry without a note about the Black Haired Mafia. This is Nick's affectionate nickname for Jen's family, which is big, loud and always involved. When Jen moved, her family came en masse to help move, paint, and everything. I wish I had an army like that! She compares the women to the "Big Fat Greek Wedding" movie and I love hearing about their antics together. They definitely enjoyed the night, and we did too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A very Newsy shower

Recently I've been doing a lot of eating my words.

I've always found the small town showers at home amusing, and I've poked fun at my Aunt's insistence that the punch at these showers always match the bride's colors. Red wedding colors=red punch, light green=light green punch, and so on. You should have seen the puzzlement when a bride had teal as a color. I' not sure why this is mandatory, but I've always got a giggle out of it.

Apparently those church ladies are onto something. I've been addicted to party blogs in my meager amount of spare time, and those blogs are all about being color coordinated with everything labeled and revolving around a theme.

I channeled my inner caterer/party planner to help throw a coworker a "Breaking News Brunch."

We surprised coworker Jennifer with a themed breakfast right after the morning meeting almost a week before her big day. Lisa and I got to work an hour early with food and decor in tow and made this little set up.

You might not be able to tell it, but behind that sign are rolled up scripts. Jen's wedding colors were orange, navy, and a light green so I incorporated those.
We had "news holes" which were doughnut holes.

Our punch was our "not so" kicker. (sorry, no alcohol on company time!)
Our coffee was our backup generator... which got a laugh because we had to have a backup generator for every live show this summer and it caused many coworkers a bit of angst.
I did little yogurt parfaits in disposable shot glasses. Those were our "live shots."

We had color-coordinated fruit for our "filler." I let a breakfast casserole cool before cutting it into tiny blocks w/sausage for "news blocks."

And I'm missing a picture of Lisa's fabulous french toast bake, which was our "top story."

We also planned on a bowl of nuts for "interview subjects," but we wound up skipping those. Which worked out just fine because we had tons of food to wish Jen well.... our news director kept Jen cornered after the meeting while employees huddled in the breakroom. The receptionist called Jen to let her know someone wanted to speak with her in the lobby, so she slowly walked into the breakroom area not exactly sure what type of 'nut' wanted his or her turn to talk.

Surprise! And there we were. She seemed happy.

Ironically, no one captured the big moment on camera. So, I guess we wound up missing the top story anyway. Stay tuned for the wedding follow-up soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Walking for a cause

I never imagined I would be as involved in my college sorority as I am today. Since moving to Minnesota, it's become a fast way to network and meet some pretty amazing women who are doing amazing things in their lives. I'm on the board and we plan philanthropy, social, and educational events throughout the year. Since there currently isn't an Alpha Xi Delta chapter in Minnesota, all of the women I serve with are transplants into the cities, like me....from Indiana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan... other places I'm forgetting...most are around my age, but several older sisters are constants at events too. Most of us double as serving in advisory positions for the closest chapters. The collegiates remember me as the lady who was really big and pregnant at the chapter retreat, only to start labor less than 24 hours later. Even though I'm definitely not the most involved, this elevated me to a new level of commitment to sisterhood.

All year we've been planning toward the Walk Now for Autism Speaks, which is Alpha Xi Delta's new philanthropy. We've talked it up, we've spread information, we've volunteered, and we've fundraised. On September 25, it all came together at Canterbury Park for the big walk. We were there early as some of the first volunteers. The closest collegiate chapters in Wisconsin drove in to attend. Together, we had 75 team members and raised more than $9,000 for Autism Speaks.