For the first time in the history of Utah Valley Magazine, we sent an issue to the printer without a finished cover story. And I’ve got nobody to blame but my postpartum self. I interviewed Holly Mendenhall 16 days after delivering Lola. Although March 27 was the first time my newborn and I would be apart, I felt comfortable knowing Lola would be taking her long morning snooze with her father. She didn’t even show her blue eyeballs during my two-and-a-half-hour interview with the wife of BYU’s head football coach. I put off writing the article because the photo shoot wasn’t until April 14, and I planned to ask Holly more questions while I also interviewed Bronco and their three sons. After the Saturday evening photo session, the days disappeared along with my newborn’s sleepiness. Promises of tomorrow came and went, and our printer deadline loomed while my heart palpitated. I still hadn’t thought of my headline, but I did think of a way to gain 48 hours. We could turn in the magazine without my Holly story and insert those pages (for a price) when we looked at color proofs two days after turning in the project. Still, I struggled to focus. My writer’s block had taken up residence like an eighth member of the family — and yet I only wanted to think about the seventh. With 24 hours left to go, Lola and I headed up American Fork Canyon with laptop in tow. I needed to be without cell service and without the Internet — status update? offline! While Lola slept, I organized my thoughts and my notes. The story began to emerge as the sun bounced around Timpanogos Cave perched above me. We came back down the canyon with a first draft and restored confidence. I finished trimming the article just as the color proofs arrived from Hudson Printing — way too close for comfort. If I could, I would fire myself for missing my deadline and costing the company extra money to insert the late pages. But if I got fired, I’d have to replace myself. And where would I find the time to track down a people-loving, drop-dead-deadline making, baby-snuggling, comma-correcting writer with a passion for Utah Valley, family, journalism and American Fork Canyon? I can’t imagine there’s another one of me out there. And if there is, I feel sorry for her and hope she’s getting more sleep than I am.So my “status update” is that I’m back on the job with my sidekick and with the flexible schedule I had in mind when I became an entrepreneur during my first bout with postpartum in 1997.
I watched my husband, Matt, pull up the Jeanette Gazette yesterday and then remark, “So Pops is still Tops?” (Referencing the title of my previous blog post, now nearly 8 weeks old.) As much as I love Pops, who is my endearing pops-in-law, he actually isn’t tops-of-mind anymore. For me, it’s Lola Fern Bennett. And that’s exactly why this blog has remained stagnant for nearly two months. Having a newborn in my arms has plummeted my productivity. My one-handed abilities are not tops. What I HAVE done lately is keep another human alive. I took her from Day One (see top photo) to 7.5 weeks old in this photo. She’s alive and kicking. And so am I. More blog posts to come soon.