Friday, December 28, 2007


I need to talk to you all about little planes. I recently traveled and was on several little planes for all my flights.... ya know the kind that always smell like cigarettes, even though you can't smoke on or near them. The lights are usually flickering, which makes you wonder what would happen if some fuses blew on a plane....and realizing you really don't want to find out. Then they do funny things like page the flight attendant over the intercom...when she's sitting directly behind the captain's door. The captain pages: Betty please call the cabin....and then she opens the door and says what do u guys need? And it happens three or four times...each time is funnier by the way. I was in seat 1A so I got to laugh out loud where they could hear me!

What's great is on a 27-minute flight to Chicago, they will serve you a complimentary soda...
What is the need? The flight attendant has just enough time to hop up once we're in air, scoot down the itty bitty aisle...then she takes your drink before you've sipped it because she has to throw it away so we can land. I find this whole process completely hilarious. Apparently I was the only one because I was cracking up the whole 27 minutes, and everyone was looking at me like....oh man, if anyone plans to bring this plane down it's that woman up there laughing at the voices in her head. Maybe I should have hopped on the intercom to tell the guy next to me I was laughing at the small plane experience.
Sidenote: While flying high in the sky we passed over a neighborhood and the lights were lit up like three huge crosses. This was not on purpose because you could see these were homes, and the homes in the crosses just happened to have their lights on. It was incredible and everyone on the plane was talking about it. Coincidence....maybe, but I was flying 32,000 feet above ground, so I said a quick Hail Mary just in case : )

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The advantage to working in news is you know everything that's going on in every state in this country and several countries in the world. The bad thing about working in news is you know everything that's going on in every state in this country and several countries around the world. Some things you read will disgust you, delight you, make you question your faith, make you have faith, and every emotion and thought in-between those things.
There was a story today that I will never forget for the rest of my life. A couple in Colorado had three sons. The first died of sids as an infant. The second was killed at the age of 16 on his way to homecoming. The third son was hit by a truck and killed at the age of seven. First of all, no parent should have to bury a child, let alone all three... it's unfathomable. But don't stop reading. The couple, obviously devastated, felt empty, useless, lost, for years. The only thing they wanted to do in life was be parents. So they decided to try again and this time they used a surrogate. The woman had a complicated pregnancy that had them once again asking, why us? Why all the heartache?? On Christmas Eve, their surrogate gave birth to triplets... two boys and a girl. The three voids the couple had for years were filled. The mother said she knows it was her boys sending them a blessing and she's also positive this is a sign of good luck for once...signifying that the future is full of hope. At this point of the story, I was full of tears and so many other emotions there are no words for.
So many questions were going through my soul throughout the dozens of times I read this. At the beginning I found myself asking how could there be a God when something like this happens? By the end, I found myself asking, how could there not be?? I don't know what the great lesson is here...people always say things like...maybe there's a reason for everything and positive things can happen from tragedy. Maybe the lesson is: when three doors close, three more can open. But what I think it says is this -- there are a lot of things in life we can't understand and for some reason shouldn't. But in the end, if you have faith that things will work out, they can... even when you think it's not possible to go on.
By the way, each of the newborns will forever be connected to the brothers they never got to meet. The three boys' names are the three newborns' middle names.
Watch the story from KMGH here. When I checked this, there was only audio from the parents at the end, but certainly some beautiful video of the babies all throughout.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Believe it or not, a Montel promo got to me. I was working the overnight shift falling half asleep, I have no idea what the first 27 seconds of the promo was, but I heard the words "what would you do if you had six months to live?" How in the world do you answer that? I need to give this some thought, but off the top of my head...I'd quit my job obviously, and spend as much time as possible with my family and friends. I'd probably pray more than I do. I would still take naps -- which tells me I really do appreciate what good slumber does for your body... and anyone who knows me knows I schedule naps and make them mandatory. What a poweful thought though... imagine if we all had six months to live, we wouldn't be doing half the things we are currently doing. That sure does make you wonder...

Monday, December 17, 2007


I was lucky enough to cover another story that changed my outlook on life. It's about a veteran who has had one hell of a life. It's a story you can't possibly do justice to in a 2 minute long piece for the news, but I did my best. He is a musician, and can play pretty much any and every instrument. He's a forester and has his masters from Purdue University. He suffers from a broken life, some misfortunes by choice, and some life handed to him. But what astounds me is he managed through all of that to hang on to some kind of spark that is evident when you meet him. He was homeless for 15 years. He may not say that to you if you ask him because he sometimes chose that life and therefore didn't consider himself homeless, but by most people's definition, that's what he was. He is full of knowledge and wisdom and strength, even though he calls himself a broken man. He's stern, yet fragile. He's extremely humorous, although he sees the seriousness in this nation and its problems. One thing I noticed and didn't write about is during my day with him, he complimented every person we passed. He lives in the Phoenix House in the South Side Office of Concern. It houses 30 men who are in similar situations as he...every person who passed in the hallway he would introduce me to, then compliment and say what a great person they were and why. He played on everyone's strengths... which is something some of us less broken could certainly do more often. Here's a guy with every reason to be bitter toward the world and everyone in it, yet he overcomes his demons to make others feel as though they shine. Truly inspiring.....
His story isn't as emotional in print without his song behind it, but still worth reading... Click here.


A conversation with my sister got me thinking... The holidays are way too stressful. Too many families worry about picking the get-together day and time and it gets to the point where everyone spends so much time driving around and making it from event to event, you can't even enjoy yourself. I am so lucky because my family is not this way. We have Christmas at Grandma Bertie's at 2 on Christmas day, but my immediate family (parents, brother, sister, nieces, nephews) just meet up whenever it's convenient. It could be the weekend before or after, a weeknight with spaghetti dinner, or July! It doesn't matter to us but relieving that idea of "we need to set a date and time now and stick to it and everybody has to come" is too much! Everyone has their own way of how they want the holidays to go down and deciding who's plan to follow is just's supposed to be a time to relax and enjoy each other and take a break from real life to live in a holiday bubble for a week or so. That's impossible to do when you're driving around pleasing everyone else's holiday plans. Here's my advice -- do whatever makes you happy and think as little as possible. Happy Holidays Everybody! And Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007


A Catholic commercial was launched not too long ago titled -- What have you done for your marriage today? The commercial follows with all these people saying the little things they do to make their spouse's day. One morning I was leaving for work and trying to get my lunch together when my boyfriend came in the kitchen to help. He noticed I grabbed pudding and he looked in the silverware drawer... No spoons. He then told me the dishes in the dishwasher were clean and grabbed me one. It was the littlest thing but number 1, he got up from watching tv to spend some time with me before I left, and 2 had obviously loaded and ran the dishwasher. Plus, he was helping me prepare my lunch. It made my whole day and I went to work with no sleep, but in the best mood for all nine hours...all because of a spoon. I think this commercial is great for several reasons. Can you imagine how much better our lives would be if we asked ourselves that each day...what have you done for your marriage, relationship, You can apply it to any relationship, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, siblings, children....
I will try to do this more. The little things do matter!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


For the last few days, I've been unable to talk. My wisdom teeth removal had some complications and it looks like my face could be numb for a month or so! However, this past miserable week has been an experience for me. It's amazing how different the world seems when you don't talk or don't really want to anyway. You learn to brush off things you would have normally piped up about, only to lead to a conversation that would infuriate you more and probably ruin your day. I swear things seem more simple. I'm certainly not suggesting I wish not to speak anymore, but I do wonder... If we kept quiet half the time we wanted to speak up, would the world be a more peaceful place???

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I finally got my wisdom teeth pulled... something that should have been done a long time ago. It's not going so well:
Day 1 - not nearly as bad as I thought. I was loopy and nautious, I threw up several times from the anesthesia, but the pain wasn't what I thought it would be.
Day 2 - doing pretty good, actually had energy to get up and move around, decorated for Christmas, watched a movie with friends.
Day 3 - Horrible! I feel worse than day 1 and I'm worried I can't even work tomorrow. Is this suppose to get worse before it gets better?
Sorry to use my blog just to complain, but it's really all I can think about right now.

Friday, December 7, 2007


I had a lunch meeting the other day with several people in the community, some law enforcement, some school administrators, etc. As we were leaving we somehow got on the subject of kids in school. I heard some stories that anger me to no end! A school administrator mentioned how a student had recently bit her, and went on to explain how she was trained to get out of a bite. WHAT???!!! It is horrible that it's even necessary to train teachers how to restrain a kid, how to get out of a bite, what to do if they hang on and rip your clothing. Let me clarify these are not troubled kids, and they are not young kids. They are junior high students that are perfectly normal. The officer contributed to this conversation with run-ins he use to have when teaching D.A.R.E. The most alarming part of this conversation is the parents who instantly pull their kids from a teacher's class and create a mess for the school administrators to defend their punk children. Let me say a few things:
I fully understand there are times when a child is treated unfairly and by all means parents, stick up for your kids. HOWEVER, if your child is throwing things at a teacher's head or biting a principal, I would sure hope you would discipline them and EXPECT the school to do the same.
It's so sad how this generation of kids has lost all respect and any fear of their elders, namely... teachers. Teachers have lost all disciplinary control... they can't even blink the wrong way at a child or someone is screaming "unfair!" When I was in grade school, if I even dreamed of that behavior, my teacher would lay me out, and my parents would say great job...she'll get it again at home. My parents weren't mean people or violent to their children by any means, but they knew what discipline was and they taught me to respect people in authority. They would defend me to no end if they were certain I did nothing wrong, but if I was throwing something at my teacher's head, you better bet I would fear their wrath... and that's how it should be. I could go on about this forever, but I'll wait for some comments...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


People are so intense about the words people use to tell someone they hope they enjoy this time of year. My trip to Wal-Mart today was a perfect example... The guy who mixed our paint said "Happy Holidays." When we walked away, my boyfriend said, notice he didn't say Merry Christmas. And that's what is sad.... We do notice when someone *doesn't* say Merry Christmas. Then as we checked out, there were two clerks tag-teaming the aisle we were in. The second one said happy holidays... The first clerk said you're supposed to say Merry Christmas! This is a problem... You are truly damned if you do and damned if you don't. Does it not occur to people that a long time ago, people said either phrase and it was fine. But now if you say happy holidays, you are obviously against saying Merry Christmas (please pick up on that sarcasm)! If you say Merry Christmas, there's someone there to complain that they don't celebrate Christmas. If you say happy holidays, it's because you're against saying Merry Christmas. Here's my solution: stop worrying about it! Say whatever you want that happens to come out of your mouth in order to convey the message that you hope someone enjoys this festive time of year. Don't assume anything... And just let it go. All this turbo politically correct-ness is taking away from the joy of this season. From now on let's say Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, and when we hear them from someone else, try not to note which one the person said and assume something about them because of it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Can you imagine how much better this world would be if people would listen to each other? ...I mean really listen with an open mind, open ears, and of course, respectfully. Some people don't realize that the *way* you approach a conversation, debate, or ethical question is everything. You can approach like a crouching tiger or you can approach like a civil human being. The two approaches will have very different outcomes every time! I don't often use the word every, but I think it's true in this case. Ethical questions come up daily in a newsroom, but even in regular life...don't you agree that your approach and ability (or lack there of) to "listen" to the debate plays a huge role in how you are perceived as a person? There's also something to be said for setting an example...I challenge us all to lead by example and start listening... even when all we want to do is tell the other person they don't know what they're talking about. Resist your urge to speak over people, and listen. That's all.... listen.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I'd like to take this opportunity to express an extreme concern I have for this nation. It's a problem I see on a local level right here in Peoria, it's prevalent in surrounding counties, and it proves to be a growing problem across the United States. At issue... is tacky holiday decorations....OMG! It is out of control. I am all for festivity, I say go hog wild on lights and garland and the whole nine yards. But there is a fine line between a festive "all out" attitude and raw tackiness. I realize I'm inventing words to describe this plague, but someone has to get a handle on it. I think I will start taking pictures of the most tacky displays I can find (and some good ones) and share them with you. Please do the same!


A co-worker and I were talking about lines from songs that stand out to us for one reason or another. His line was: "What about those shoes you're in today... They'll do no good on the bridges you've burnt along the way." The line I always think of is from John Mayer and it says [she] "poses for pictures that aren't being taken." I love that because it describes so many people that I know, but I could never find the words. It's completely perfect. I asked my boyfriend about a line that stands out to's from a controversial song by Audioslave... "Choose your battles, not your soldiers... you're never sure of their colors." We kind of disagree on whether this song is controversial, but that's not the point of this post. I'll assume I'm right for now since it's my blog.... very powerful words though. Tell me yours!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Today I met a woman I will consider one of my many heroes. Today I covered a story about a family who literally lost everything. Nine people lived in the home, and not one thing was salvageable. It inspires me to see people so full of faith and who can go on and on about how blessed they are, even at a time like this. When the universe does it's best to keep you down and you still have the courage to find your life a blessing, I think you have accomplished true success. Is there anything better than having hope and faith in yourself and those around you to pull through a horrific tragedy? I certainly don't think so.