Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

  • 2012

    Date: 2012.12.31 | Category: Books, Family, Friends, Leela Fish, Life, Mark, Me, Nostalgia, Pets, Sarah, Work | Response: 9

    2012 has come to an end, and I must say it’s been a fantastic year.

    We had some firsts:
    • Sarah had a first birthday and first birthday party!
    • I photographed my first (and second) destination weddings.
    • I took a baby to the beach.
    • I visited Pittsburgh for the first (and second) times.
    • We flew with a toddler.
    • We got to be the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
    • I ran my first 10k with Becki.
    • I led my first big scale donation collection for a family in need.
    • I became a gym regular.
    • I nearly mowed over an NFL quarterback with a stroller.
    • I took Sarah to the zoo (in Indianapolis).

    We traveled to:
    • Dallas, TX
    • Lafayette, LA
    • Indianapolis, IN
    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • Ft. Walton Beach, FL
    • Austin, TX

    I met some of my fellow bloggers for the first time in person including:
    Unapologetically Mundane
    Bluz Dude
    Carpetbagger (and Mrs. Bagger).

    We lost Mark’s grandmother, Sarah’s namesake, and had to battle with that grief.

    But there were babies born to best friends: Susan had Olivia and Tammy had Kiriel.

    We learned what Addison’s Disease is when we nearly lost Leela at the ER Vet clinic.

    I read a lot of books. According to Shelfari, 53 total. (I’m going to do a post on the best and worst soon!) And I gained an awesome reading partner in Noel.

    I redesigned a magazine and won awards for design on The Best of Times.

    2012 did have its share of sorrow, but it was also filled with so much joy and love. Here’s to a happier and beautiful 2013!

  • A New Appreciation for Stay At Home Moms

    Date: 2012.12.18 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Life, Me, Sarah, Work | Response: 18

    Sarah has been sick – bad sick with RSV, complete with coughing, throwing up, the inability to eat or sleep. Needless to say there was no way she could go to daycare. Mark’s schedule has been cram packed with the end of the year coming on, and both grandmothers and all aunties work. So that meant mamma was staying home with baby girl. Honestly, I was glad to be staying home with her. There’s no one quite like mama when you’re feeling bad, and Sarah agreed.

    She was bad sick though, so this wasn’t just one day home. It ended up being five days.

    I suddenly found myself stuck at home trying to figure out how in the world I was going to fill my days with a toddler without going stir crazy, running into the backyard and screaming. Of course she’s with us on the weekends, but our weekends are always so busy with shopping, visiting, playing outside… none of which can be done with a sick, irritable toddler.

    I’m not going to lie, Thursday and Friday were bad.  Mostly because she was so awfully sick and there was nothing I could do to fix it. She refused to nap, refused to eat and screamed a lot.

    Thursday I resorted to television and help from my mom, and Friday, the worst day of her illness, during which time she ran a 102.5 fever, I don’t really remember what happened. I’m still sort of in a daze.

    I do know that when she was “napping” aka screaming in her crib, I was saddled up to my Mac, desperately trying to finish the magazine to meet deadline. It also didn’t help that I had to spend my evenings after she went to sleep doing the same thing.

    By Saturday we learned she had caught a secondary infection and we started her on antibiotics. After that, her fever went away and she immediately started feeling happy again. At some point over the weekend, I figured out that we could get rid of the irritating silence in the house and break up the monotony by playing music, I introduced finger paints and successfully helped her overcome a couple of her texture issues.

    I even got in on the art, and made some “mistletoes.”

    I also managed to bake a lot for Christmas and Sarah, in the mean time, turned a cardboard box into a slide and colored pictures we printed off the Disney Junior website. I also cooked a couple of  great dinners (and even managed to get Sarah to eat this one successfully after she refused to eat anything but sweet potatoes for four days). So by the time today rolled around and I finished my brief, but hectic, two hour stint at work this morning, I was ready for stay at home mom time and I really enjoyed it.

    Turns out I just needed a mostly well baby, some background music, a little joint play time and a little personal time for each of us.

    It probably sounds horrible that I didn’t take staying at home all day with my baby for five days as naturally as a mom should, but we found our rhythm and eventually really enjoyed it. Good thing too because I’m going to have a long time off for Christmas!

    Suffice it to say, I have so much respect for moms who do this all the time, especially with more than one child and I now understand why they do so many great craft  and cooking projects. Something’s gotta keep mama sane too!

  • Thankfulness

    Date: 2012.11.21 | Category: Baby, Dogs, Family, Friends, Health, Holidays, Home, Leela Fish, Life, Love, Mark, Me, Pets, Sarah, Work | Response: 8

    People have been posting all month about the things they’re thankful for, and all month long I’ve been silently doing the same. Sometimes I find that I get so caught up in my goals and wants that I don’t appreciate the things I have.

    So here are the top 10 things I am abundantly thankful for.

    1. My home. The place that shelters my family keeps us safe and provides all the necessities. I remember reading a book one time about a refugee woman who couldn’t get over the warm, running, clean water we all take for granted in the U.S.

    2. My dogs. Leela has survived a lot this year and I’m so thankful that despite it all, her springy, frisky spirit is still with us. And Bonnie has become the most gentle, loving dog around Sarah, always happily baring her hugs with a smile.

    3. My family’s health. I’ve had years of bad health and hospital stays and seen a number of friends in the hospital with their little ones this year. Sarah had a terrible year of sickness last year. So this year I’m so thankful we’re all ok.

    4. My books. I have a healthy appetite for literature and it helps keep me sane. It is the one thing that I truly do and enjoy for myself without having to consult anyone else. (Though I do solicit opinions on what to read next!)

    5. My job. I love my jobs (day job, freelance and photography). They bring me great joy, push my creative boundaries, and allow me to  meet some amazing and inspiring people. And, with my husband’s work, they provide for my family, allowing us to live comfortably.

    6. My extended family – my sisters, parents, grandparents and in-laws. I’m so thankful to live near most of them and have them part of my life.

    7. My friends, both in real life and online. How have I been so fortunate to know so many wonderful people? People who will have lunch in the park with me, people who will council me through stressful times, people who will share a glass of wine and conversation and people who share my love for a good book.

    8. Mark. As I’ve said before, my husband is my rock. He is an amazing father, a caring husband and a good cook to boot. He listens to my worries and complaints and helps me put things in perspective. Sometimes he’ll even get up with Sarah so I can sleep or let me put my feet in his lap while we hang out on the couch. He is my support and my love and I am so extremely thankful for him.

    9. Sarah. My litte love. Sarah is my sunshine, my light on a dark day and my greatest source of entertainment. She is an independent little thing, but loves a good snuggle every so often. She has her mother’s love for books and her daddy’s interest in how things work. She’s full of smiles, hugs, laughter and joy. I was once told that getting pregnant would be a long and difficult road, and God gave me her anyway and she is one of my greatest sources of thanks.

    10. My faith. Faith is hard. My own has been tested and questioned a lot this year. But I am thankful that I have it in my life every day. It gives me strength when I feel I have none left and continues to help me build myself up and learn.

    I hope all of you have a thankful and beautiful Thanksgiving!

  • The Gift of Missionaries

    Date: 2012.11.14 | Category: Health, Life, Travel, Work | Response: 10

    As I’ve shared before, working in journalism I’m constantly running across stories and people who amaze me and open my eyes.

    In the works for a while now, we’ve been planning a story about a married couple who served as medical missionaries in Cameroon, Africa. In the states, he works at our local state hospital as an OB/GYN and his wife is a retired nurse. Through a Catholic-based medical missionary organization, the two of them spent three months literally living in a hospital in one of the poorest and most desolate area of Cameroon, primarily doing obstetric work. Assisted by a group of Franciscan nuns and other Catholic missionary doctors, they made do with three tables made out of boards with a shallow bowls in the center for delivering babies.

    Kelly conducted a lengthy interview with them and is writing the story for our publication, but I had the chance to talk to them for a while too and look at the photos they took.

    In the 30 minutes I spoke to them, I quickly became deeply grateful for the medical and obstetrical care I receive here.

    In Cameroon, you have to pay state hospitals up front or you’re turned away from medical care, even if you’re in active labor. Catholic mission hospitals will accept anyone, but the line to get into the clinic at 6:00 a.m. is already extremely long in the blazing heat. Women walk for days in labor to get to the hospital, and then line the hallways during their active labor, periodically being checked by the sisters and quickly ushered into one of the three wooden board tables when it’s time for delivery.

    The doctor told me about a woman who was eclamptic with extremely high blood pressure during her labor and she kept having seizures all day long. Without the medicine there to stop them, the doctors had to come up with their own cocktail to get them to stop. And they did. Both mom and baby were fine in the end.

    He showed me pictures of where they scrub up for surgery – rusty old sinks with a bar of soap, gloves that they wash and reuse, operating “rooms” made out of wall partitions. He spoke about the amazing work the sisters there do every day.

    And, of course, HIV is rampant there. Mothers and babies all suffer from it, and the medicine the government is supposed to supply is nonexistent.

    Their story makes me so thankful for people who are willing to put their own wants aside, and step in and help those who are most in need, especially these Franciscan sisters and the doctor and nurse team who so willingly spend their vacation time helping others and enthusiastically plan to do so again.

    I’ll post a link to the final story after it’s published.

    If you’re interested, you can learn more about the Mission Doctors Association by visiting this website:

  • A Big Decision

    Date: 2012.09.27 | Category: Family, Home, Life, Me, Travel, Work | Response: 10

    Sometimes life has a way of kicking you in the head and making you take notice.

    After high school, I wanted to go away to college. I applied in several different states, but after getting a full ride scholarship to a fantastic local, private college, I stayed put. While I was in college, I traveled extensively, even studying abroad one summer. I was terrified to do it, and once I arrived, homesickness reared its ugly head. I stayed though, and I’m glad I did. I learned a lot and spent a good amount of time in another country. But man was I ever glad to be home again when it was over.

    Similarly, after college, I was ready to pick up and move again. I even applied and got into a graduate program in another state. But then I got sick, really sick. Like laid up in the hospital for a week, constant monitoring for months and then eventually surgery sick. It kept me home for a year. And by then my fiancee had started his own business locally, so I stayed again, this time with a twinge of regret.

    But, staying allowed me to finally dip my toes into the field I was so interested in – the print industry. And eventually, I got a really great job in this field. A job that I’ve pushed and grown. A job that I’m passionate about. A job that I can continue to grow creatively in.

    Then we had our little girl, bought a house, and I’ve been happy. Really happy.

    Having close friends in states both near and far away, I’ve joked with Mark about moving, He, of course, lists a number of reasons why he’s happy we’re here, including his business, and I always laugh and then agree. We’re settled, we’re happy.

    And then, out of the blue came an e-mail. An e-mail from a very prestigious and large company that wanted to interview me as the editor of their weekly publication. Oh, and it’s only 20 hours north from where we live now.

    My heart stopped. First of all, I’m beyond flattered. Someone trusted by the company submitted my name for the job. But then, an onslaught of emotions hit me. Could I uproot my family and move them 20 hours north? Could I move that far away from Sarah’s grandparents? Was I an idiot for even taking all of that into consideration when such a big opportunity and “move up” presented itself? Make no mistake, this opportunity would be huge for me. I would take a giant leap up in the publishing industry and probably increase my paycheck substantially. And being “wooed away,” especially at 27-years-old, is a rare thing, especially in this industry.

    So I talked to Mark about it for several days. Leaving would mean closing down his business, something we’ve sacrificed years and lots of money for to get going. So if I did this, I would be effectively asking him to close it down and try to find a job 20 hours away. And to his credit, he honestly considered the move. He told me he didn’t want to be the reason I was held back.

    It would mean going through the daycare saga all over again. It would mean telling our parents that we’ll see them during the holidays at best, and telling my mother, who has an intense fear of flying, that she would need to make 20 hour drives to see her daughter and granddaughter.

    All of those are huge sacrifices. And most importantly, in my heart of hearts, after all those years of wanting to move, I actually feel at home here now.

    But the ultimate deciding factor was this. I love my current job, and have been working with them to have more time with my family. This new job would be a huge increase in work and stress load and take away all that flexible time I’ve worked to gain. When it comes down to it, my professional decisions have always come down to this: “Would I rather have a more successful career if it meant less time with my family?” And the answer, for me, every time is “no.”

    I don’t judge those who do what they have to do to meet ends meet, and I applaud those who take giant steps to improve their careers. And in this economy, I know the weight of turning down a “better” job opportunity. But in the end, I only get one life, and right now my family is at the center of that life, and I really don’t want it any other way.

  • Look Ma, I’m Famous!

    Date: 2012.09.06 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Home, Me, Photography, Sarah, Style, Work | Response: 17

    Guess what guys, my mom and Sarah are locally famous, at least for a month. They’re on the cover of a local magazine, The Best of Times, (and in the inside story along with my friend Susan’s baby and dad).

    I had a great time taking photos for this story. Here are a couple outtakes that didn’t make it into print, but made me smile.

    These two little girls did an amazing job during their photoshoots. Though that may have something to do with how often they’re already photographed!

  • Serving the Poor

    Date: 2012.08.12 | Category: Food, Health, Life, Work | Response: 18

    Part of being a journalist is going out and getting the story.

    This is a story I thought I knew. It’s on the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a national Catholic-based organization of lay people who actively volunteer to serve the poor. Where I live, we have a very active community of Vincentians. So active that their cumulative events and service for helping the poor next month have resulted in our local bishop declaring September St. Vincent de Paul month. And that was the lead for this story.

    Over the course of talking to people and researching events for the month, it was clear that the crux of what these volunteers do is visiting those in need at their homes. Calls are placed to a hotline and, depending on where the person lives, they are assigned to a SVdP group in a nearby church. The volunteers then take their case file and go out to the person’s home to meet with them, talk, take care of emergency needs and help them get on the path to help themselves and their families.

    This I knew.

    I also knew that I would need some photos to go with this story, and, in the name of journalistic integrity and personal curiosity, I knew I would need to go with some Vincentians on a home visit. I spoke to Gale at our local Cathedral and she eagerly agreed that I should go with her today.

    In my mind, I saw us stopping by houses, saying hello, delivering some food and moving on.

    But what happened was far more emotional than my naive imagination.

    Before we left, the three of us going on these visits prayed together to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to assist those in need to the best of our abilities.

    We then drove into the heart of a poor area. The first house we went to, no one was home. And while we knocked on the door and waited for an answer, a car pulled up to see who we were. Gale leaned in and whispered, “They want to make sure we’re not Child Protective Services or bill collectors.”

    We moved on to our next house. When we pulled in the driveway there was a collective intake of breath from the three of us in the car. Outside sat a young mother with four children running through the driveway. She was alone. The house was small and in questionable condition. The mother, *Dana, invited us inside. We entered into a naked room with only a tv on a table and a mattress against the wall. Her kids, ages 5-12 gathered in around us. The five-year-old proudly told me her name and jumped into my arms for a hug. We gave them food and cleaning supplies and Gayle asked the mother for her story.

    Dana had come from a northern state for the promise of a job. Her friend told her she had one waiting for her in town, but upon arrival she found out that was a lie. She took all the savings she had and found her family a place to stay. A place in a bad area of town with no locks, no fridge and no food. When asked about child support she whispered her boyfriend was “locked up” and she didn’t want him to know where she was. He had abused her and her children and threatened their lives, finally getting busted for a drug run that he had taken his two youngest children with him on across state lines. I asked her how she had heard of St. Vincent de Paul and she told us her neighbor had referred her to the hotline. The same neighbor who had generously supplied her with a used refrigerator and was voluntarily scrubbing it in her driveway. “You don’t know how hard it is for me to ask for help,” she said in tears, “but I didn’t know what else to do.”

    While the five-year-old proudly showed me her room, a small space with two air mattresses against the wall, a small t.v. and a plastic chair, Gale talked to Dana about enrolling her children in school. This was met with more tears and fears over obtaining school supplies and school uniforms.

    I stood by helplessly as Gale counseled her on going to the Louisiana Work Force, places to call for more assistance, how to get access to food stamps and medicare for the children. She assured her we would bring more food next weekend and Dana wept in thanks. She even agreed to let me snap some photos for the story, though for privacy I asked her and the kids to face away from us.

    Our next stop was at a low income housing complex. This time a mother holding a little girl Sarah’s age opened the door and welcomed us inside. We were quickly greeted by another enthusiastic five-year-old girl, eager to tell us about starting kindergarten and her new school supplies. In this situation, the mother, who was younger than me, had been laid off her job and her electricity was about to be cut off in the middle of the three-digit August temperatures. Fortunately, she had obtained another job and would be beginning in a week. She had her food and housing situation together as well, and her parents helped with the children. SVdP was able to pay the minimum to keep her power on by way of a pledge system with the electric company. When I asked her about where she heard about SVdP, she told me her ex-mother-in-law referred her.

    That was the second time someone in need had heard of SVdP through someone else who had been helped by them. It immediately brought to mind the scenes from he Gospels where the poor and diseased heard word that Jesus was coming and rushed to see him knowing they could be helped.

    The images of today’s events have followed me the rest of my day. I walked into my own house and was overwhelmed by how much I have. So thankful to God for all He has blessed my family with. And, more than ever, I am thankful for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the people who volunteer every weekend, on their days off, to meet with people and help them work to help themselves.

    The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has almost no overhead costs. Their work is funded completely by donations and volunteers. A friend asked me today for a good charity to give to, and I, without hesitation recommended the Society. If you have a Society in your area (and I strongly suspect you do), they are an amazing organization to donate food, supplies and money to. Your donations go directly to those most in need.

    *Name has been changes for privacy.

  • In Which I Nearly Take Out the Colts New QB with a Stroller

    Date: 2012.06.29 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Health, Mark, Sarah, Travel, Weirdness, Whoops, Work | Response: 10

    Our first two days in Indy were fantastic. Despite recovering from the Shingles, Mark was super dad (or as he referred to himself, the Traveling Nanny) and took care of Sarah while I oh-ed and ah-ed over all the things I was learning about page layout, social media and InDesign at my conference.

    I should have known things were going too well. On day three, I came back to our hotel room at lunch and Mark was in a miserable daze, and because I’m obsessed with my child running fever, I carry a fancy ear thermometer with me at all times. Mark was running 102 and barely functioning. We put a call into the doctor’s office.

    Not to be outdone, Sarah took a spill of the bed and injured her wrist. She kept grabbing at it and I was convinced she had broken it. After about 30 minutes of watching her move it though, I hoped it would be ok.

    In the mean time, I had to figure out a way to get Sarah out of the room so Mark could rest. I looked at the map and saw that the Indianapolis zoo didn’t look too far away, so we packed up and started walking. It was a long, hot walk to the zoo, but we made it and Sarah loved it, especially the underwater critters.

    I could do a long post about the zoo, but there is so much more craziness to tell you.

    You see, after my long walk to, through and back from the zoo in the 90+ degree heat, I came back to an even more miserable husband. The doctor’s office finally called back and was calling in a prescription for what we all thought was a sinus infection. After frantically calling Tammy and having her track down a pharmacy in the vicinity, they call in the script to a CVS about 10 blocks away. I called in a pickup order to California Pizza Kitchen so I could pick it up on my way back and have food for everyone.

    So take a moment to picture this in your head: I’ve been walking miles and miles in 90 degree temps all day and I’m exhausted. Mark can barely function, so I have to load up Sarah in her stroller and take her with me. I know the general direction of where the pharmacy is, but I’m not exactly sure and I know they will be closing fairly soon.

    So out we go and I start power walking it to pharmacy, baby in tow. Somewhere along the way, I start noticing everyone is staring at these three guys walking in front of me. They look like they have athletic builds. Then people start saying, “Welcome to Indy” to the tallest of the three. Finally I hear some Jr. High aged kids say, “That’s Andrew Luck!”  I have no idea who Andrew Luck is, so I nearly mow the poor guy over with my stroller because he is in my way and I need to get to the pharmacy immediately.

    I run into the pharmacy and literally have three minutes to spare before they close. Whew.

    Exhausted, I made my way back to California Pizza Kitchen, where they have royally screwed up my order. Apparently they let me place an order for something they don’t even have on their menu and it got lost in the kitchen. I wanted to cry, but the hostess there was amazing, and so was the manager. In no time flat they had free drinks for me and Sarah, took half off our order and then volunteered to carry it back to the hotel for me because they felt so bad for my pathetic, sweaty self and my tired, hungry baby. California Pizza Kitchen gets a hundred gold stars in my book for making it right.

    I make it back to the hotel, get Mark his meds and food.

    I then say, “Mark, is there some sort of sporting event in town or something?”
    Mark: “Probably, why?”
    Me: “Well I almost mowed this guy over with my stroller, he looked like an athlete and everyone was telling him ‘Welcome to Indy.’ I think I heard someone call him Andrew Luck.”
    Mark: “You’re kidding me. That’s the Colts new quarterback and number one draft pick.”

    Can’t you just see the headlines now: Saints fan takes out Colts QB with stroller for bounty.

    I was exhausted, hot, and stressed. I wanted to cry. But in texting Cassie all this I took a step back and realized what a heck of a story it was. I mean, you don’t go to the zoo and bump into NFL quarterbacks every day.

  • Flying and Babies

    Date: 2012.06.28 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Life, Mark, Photography, Sarah, Travel, Work | Response: 13

    I have so many amazing stories to tell you from the trip I just took and I’m having trouble deciding where to begin. I suppose with these sorts of things it’s best to start at the beginning.

    I’ve been planning this trip as soon as I saw my conference would be in Indianapolis this year. The conference itself is always interesting, plus one of my best and longest friends lives very near Indy and was expecting her first baby. Then Cassie and I schemed and figured out that I could make my way over to Pittsburgh cheaply from Indy the groundwork was laid. I convinced Mark to come with me and bring Sarah. The only problem with this whole plan was the SIX total flights it took to complete it with an irritable baby.

    I guess since flying with little ones is so difficult, airport security figures you have your hands too full to risk doing anything stupid because if you’re carrying an infant you can get away with the following:

    1. The baby can keep their shoes on.
    2. You can bring on a wide range of liquids exceeding 3 ounces as long as the baby might need them on the flight.
    3. You get to bypass body scanners.
    4. Everyone talks to the baby and you make a million new friends.

    Sarah was amazed by our first two flights over, anxiously looking out the window and blissfully sleeping through most of the long flight from Houston to Indy so she woke up refreshed and happy. She even liked the dogs in Sky Mall.

    When we landed, my friend Tammy’s husband Dylan was ready to get us with car seat in tow, despite having a one-week-old and being extremely sleep deprived. Tammy was doing so well that she met us at the Indianapolis Museum of Art with a packed picnic basket in tow.

    Just to recap, this is a mom who has a one-week-old and managed to pack a full picnic basket and drive herself and her newborn 40 minutes to meet us at a museum. There is no way I would have been capable of all those things one week postpartum. She’s an amazing friend you guys.

    So we ate the wonderful spread while Sarah enjoyed the freedom of outside and tried to jump in the questionably deep fountain about 100 times.

    We took tons of photos on the museum grounds, especially of her sweet little gal. I figured it was the least I could do since they were so amazing and all. Plus, their little girl is the best behaved newborn I’ve ever met.

    And did I mention the grounds there were beautiful? (Please ignore my awful post-plane hair).

    We finished the day with dinner at The Ram and local beer. It was the perfect first day in Indy. Too bad the subsequent days would prove to be a bit more insane…

  • The Power of Suggestion

    Date: 2012.05.30 | Category: Life, Me, Work | Response: 18

    I started working as an editor nearly five years ago at the age of 23. Prior to that I had put in several years in the print industry doing everything from layout to copy editing to writing, both while in college and during the couple years after graduation. And while I felt, despite my age, that they had made the right choice in hiring me as the publication’s editor, I was also sort of intimidated by my new job and all that it entailed.

    I wasn’t the publisher, but for the most part I was in charge of making decisions about what to print, how it was presented and making sure we had enough content to fill our pages.

    In the beginning, I let those who work around me sort of take charge, watching to see what they wrote, working reactively to what I got.

    After I had a fill for what was going on, I started slowly turning the table, assigning stories, planning editorial calendars, actively looking for ways to improve the publication. At first there was skepticism. After all, my predecessor was much older than me, as are almost all editors in my field. Additionally, things had been the same for a very long time. But I slowly proved my worth and when we got a new Big Man in Charge, I doubled the size of our publication and moved it to full color.

    And with time and experience I gained confidence. One of the hardest things for me to do at first was to make suggestions to writers about ways to improve their stories. But I find now that most of my writers want feedback and suggestions. And guess what, when I give them suggestions they often come back with far superior end products. It amazes me. I know it’s their writing and talent, but I’m glad that suggestions I make actually help them.

    It’s weird how much things change. I was so timid at first, but now I find myself leading meetings, presenting ideas and getting excited about new projects. This year I’m the chair of a statewide communications committee full of amazing editors who are many years my senior.

    Another publication in the southern area of the state has completely altered their own publication and it has some uncanny similarities to our own. As the Big Man in Charge says, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

    I’m not saying this to brag on myself, but just to take a step back and realize how much can change with experience, confidence and love of a job. While people (including myself) were skeptical at first, they now seek out my opinion and suggestions, which still bowls me over, but makes me incredibly happy. It’s like Neil said, if you want to be that person, pretend you are that person until you are that person.

    We’re continuing to start new projects, improve our publication and evolve to meet readers needs and, even though I’ll never be Anna Wintour, I am so happy to have a job that I truly enjoy.