Sam I Am … Going to Miss You

When we first came in contact with Samantha Strong Murphey (second from right), we knew she”d fit in. It takes a special soul to work at Bennett Communications. You have to laugh at stories from the early days of our publishing company (tales get more exaggerated with each telling). You have to like Mexican food. You have to be OK with kids in the office from time to time. And you have to work hard. And harder. Samantha”s work ethic has been top-notch, starting with her first day 13 months ago and her last day today. She”s still planning blog posts and proofing pages even though it”s time for her to clean out her desk and turn in her key. I get attached to my team, and Sam is a key player on the roster. We”ve ordered velvet ropes to guard her desk starting Monday. You can get a taste for Sam”s talent at her blog. In her post about me, she is the one doing the exaggerating. I”m not a good boss, but reading her post made me want to deserve her description. To prove it, I”m sitting on the floor right now just in case someone stops by who needs a chair. Sam, I am. going. to. miss. you. Good luck in Atlanta. (Sam is third from left on the front row in last year”s Christmas photo. Maybe we”ll Photoshop her in next year, too.

Time for me to fly

On Tuesday I flew to Denver on what has been called the first commercial flight out of Provo Airport. (Our investigative journalism actually uncovered flight patterns back in the ”70s, but we don”t want to spoil the PR).It”s a good thing our plane touched down safely because we had the governor, congressman, Provo mayor, Provo City Council and the BYU president on board.\r\n\r\nWe also had C. Jane (yellow flowered shirt) with us, and if she didn”t return then her readers would stare blankly hitting “refresh” for decades wondering how they are going to start their day without her brand of wit and philosophy. C. Jane and I swapped all sorts of info that neither of us will be posting. Right, C. Jane? Right??So the only bad thing about Frontier Airlines landing us safely is that now I actually have to finish my articles for the next issue of Utah Valley Magazine, which is going to the printer tomorrow. I didn”t finish them beforehand JUST IN CASE. Bryant Livingston (Provo photographer extraordinaire) captured this pic of me talking to Daily Herald publisher Rona Rahlf in the Denver airport. For the life of me, I can”t remember what was so funny, but I”m guessing it was newsroom humor about deadlines. It”s hilarious when you have a story to write and can”t think of a lead! I”m laughing my head off right now! And this is where this post will end because I must save some words for the printed page. Look for more on this hobnobbing flight in the next issue of Utah Valley Magazine … if I can get this writer”s block to fly away.

Here comes the bride … magazine

College students living in Provo/Orem might have noticed a copy of Utah Valley Bride Magazine (summer issue) on their doorsteps in the past few days. And they also might have noticed the delivery boys and girls. I could say something here about their body language matching their personalities, but I wouldn”t want to state the obvious. And I could say something here about their shirt choices matching their souls, but that seems pretty clear, too. Let”s just say nature trumps nurture, and we”ll leave it at that.

Tale of two cities

Today I”m at our Orem office while Matt is shuffling kids to camps in north Utah County. After I settled into my desk and my to-dos, I realized I forgot an important paper from home — my narrowing process for pictures accompanying our next cover story . Luckily, Matt discovered the notebook in our crayon drawer (don”t ask, don”t tell), and e-mailed it to me. A little while later, he needed a paper from his desk. So I rummaged around his much-cleaner space and sent him a picture of the all-important yellow paper. Thank goodness for camera phones. Thank goodness for husbands. And thank goodness tomorrow we”re swapping job descriptions.

Head down

I’ve been keeping my head down the past couple weeks as we move several magazines through the production cycle. The happiest moments of my life are when I get to erase a magazine off my giant whiteboard. On Friday, we turned in the Northern Wasatch Parade of Homes magazine AND the next issue of Prosper Magazine featuring Xocai. Erase!We are oh-so-close to wiping off Utah Realtor Magazine and BYU Comms Department Magazine. But we need to dot many “i”s” and cross many “t”s” before the July/August issue of Utah Valley Magazine is ready for public consumption. Right now it would be a meager meal.My boss (aka myself) is telling me to GET TO WORK! My other bosses (Nathan, Hailey, Carson and Lindsey) are asking …How do you spell “cotton candy machine”?How much are you paying me to sweep the garage?Did we eat lunch?How many days till my birthday?Do you know where my other cleat is?…. I”m surrounded by adorable slave drivers. I better get to work so I can afford a cotton candy machine and pay for my clean garage.Head down, head down.

Miracles

Sometimes Plan B is so much better. We planned to see “17 Miracles” last night at Cinemark by University Mall in Orem. Kettlecorn? Yes, please! Local film? Love it. On the way there, I told my four children to watch for instances of love and compassion in the pioneer movie. We arrived just before showtime, but the box office had no compassion. Sold out! The Justin Bieber lookalike suggested we slip into “Kung Fu Panda 2,” which had started 10 minutes ago. Not exactly the type of compassion I was hoping for, young man. As we dejectedly walked back to our car, we saw the sign for Creativity Art Studio like a beacon of Monday night light before us. We had written about this new place in our May issue of Utah Valley Magazine, but we hadn”t experienced the ceramic art studio for ourselves. I got elected to go in and make sure they were open and could accommodate six. “Give us the tomahawk chop signal if it”s OK for us to come in,” my lighthearted husband and kids told me. A moment later, I chopped and they hopped. We quickly settled into an amateur table (me, Nathan, Carson, Lindsey) and an artist table (Matt and Hailey). We amateurs had our piggy banks and toothbrush holders layered with color before the artists had mapped out their motifs. “Dad, next time we should come by ourselves,” Hailey muttered. (Here are the artists at work …)
Even though my creativity knows all sorts of bounds, it was a fun and memorable night. And there”s no doubt our lightswitch plate, popcorn bowl and mug will last much longer than kettlecorn.

Maybe next Monday we”ll pick up our glazed beauties and head over to the theater before showtime. For information on Creativity Art Studio, read the writeup in Utah Valley Magazine here. For information on the tomahawk chop, try Google or YouTube. Or give my kids a call. P.S. Thank you, Chris, for giving us a tour and making us feel so welcome at Creativity Art Studio.