The July/August issue of Utah Valley Magazine will hit mailboxes starting today! It’s always exciting (but a little bit scary) to send each issue out to the masses. (Did I doublecheck the spelling of his name? Did I leave out any advertisements? Should I have highlighted my hair before getting the editor’s photo taken?) The cover story is on Audra McDonald, who is a Tony and Grammy winner and is performing at Hale Center Theater RIGHT NOW. She’s amazing, and I hope the story does her justice!
Barry Manilow said it best. Looks like we made it.
Yes, we both missed our flight on Thursday and then waited (impatiently) for the next plane to the windy city. Only one spot opened up, and so I flew off while Matt went home and spent another night with the kids. Then he got up with the sunrise and headed to the airport Friday morning for another try. He was able to get on a direct flight to Chicago, but it was delayed two hours, of course. When he finally landed, Matt started texting me from the taxi.Matt: Cab driver says this is the worst traffic he’s ever seen.Matt: I’m getting sick from the stop-and-go.Matt: Driver says it’s never taken him more than 40 minutes to get downtown.I didn’t have time to respond because I was doing both of our jobs at the conference.Eventually Matt made it and we had a quick hug in the hallway before we both got busy. We did about 20 interviews and photo shoots at the For Every Home convention (awesome fragrance company based in Utah).
And when it was time to leave for the airport to go back to Utah, we left 2.5 hours early — and that was 5 a.m. Chicago time! Not a relaxing trip, but we learned our lesson on punctuality (maybe my parents were on to something after all).
Being the owners of Utah Valley Magazine means a lot of things (thousands of e-mails, big printing bills and meeting the Osmonds). But one of my favorite aspects is getting invited to community events such as the SCERA’s Star Awards. This is an annual gala where local artists are honored for their brush strokes, vocal chords and volunteer hours.In February 2009, Matt and I attend the Star Awards, where we ate dinner at a table with Alan and Karen Ashton. Love them. I also met Kurt Bestor and asked him for an interview, which ended up being our Nov/Dec cover story for Utah Valley Magazine.But perhaps the best part was meeting Arnold Friberg, who is best known for his patriotic and religious oil paintings. After receiving his Lifetime Achievement honor, he spoke eloquently and passionately — especially for someone in his mid-90s.Today, he passed away at age 96. Thank you, Arnold, for using your talent to paint “The Prayer at Valley Forge,” which hangs in the office Matt and I share together. It reminds us where true leaders get their inspiration.
‘In elementary school, I spent a day shadowing a reporter for The Post Register in Idaho Falls. We did cool things like interview a bus driver who slid off the icy roads with screaming kids on board. When I reported my career exploration project to the class, I created a giant front page with headlines like “Black and white photo developed in dark room” and “Reporters drink a lot of coffee.” The name of my made-up newspaper project was “Jeanette Gazette.” People laughed. This was my first successful rhyme and my first journalistic endeavor. But not my last.I liked the newspaper name so much that I created a second “Jeanette Gazette” for the pretend schoolhouse in our unfinished basement. (My older sister become a teacher. Probably because she practiced her lessons on me every day for years. Did I tell you I could read at age 4?) This version of Jeanette Gazette included info on upcoming parties for the faculty (which consisted of my sisters and a next-door neighbor) and field trips (which included the Idaho Falls Zoo, which I’m proud to say has gotten rid of its dingy, green lion cages). This time Jeanette Gazette was published by hand with markers on lined paper. Not very Gutenberg-esque, but it was the 1980s when people still rented VCRs and thought “laptops” were small dogs or thick afghans.Fast forward. My journalistic side turned glossy when my husband and I started Utah Valley Magazine 10 years ago. I’ve spent most of the past decade blurry eyed from spellchecking. (Why can’t the computer recognize “Timpanogos” and “BYU” as actual words?) People have suggested I start a blog where I give juicy behind-the-scenes details about being a magazine editor and a mom. Which always made me sigh deeply and slump back in my chair. The idea of blogging just seemed like more stress. More time. More spellchecking.Even so, I’ve finally decided to throw my reporter’s cap into the blogging ring and revive the Jeanette Gazette. (I just sighed and slumped.)
6 a.m. Wake up. Notice there are two kids in my bed. And a husband. 6:43 a.m. Leave for the office. Wave to the friendly walkers in the neighborhood. 7 a.m. Arrive at the office. Prepare for staff meeting. Answer e-mails — including one telling me I misidentified an aerial shot of Utah County (page 97). Turns out there is a difference between Springville High School and Maple Mountain High School. Hard to tell from a helicopter. 9 a.m. Staff meeting. We discuss our plans for Utah Valley Magazine and BusinessQ. We also pass around pics of the fiance of Ashley, a well-loved former employee. Facebook, sweet Facebook.
10:15 a.m. Leave the office to go home and grab my son for the Travis Hansen Basketball camp.10:35 a.m. Leave my neighborhood with a van full of basketball campers.10:50 a.m. Arrive at the Travis Hansen camp and look for my daughter, her friend and two cousins who are finishing the 9 a.m. session. Camp ends a bit late thanks to a great talk by Devin Durrant (note to self: write about him someday). Now we are cutting it close to be home in time for the next to-do.
11:10 a.m. Leave the camp in a hurry. Travis Hansen stops me and says, “Hey, you are famous! You do that awesome magazine!” I didn’t expect him (a somebody) to recognize me (practically a nobody). We chat. Now we’re even later, but it’s worth it to talk to Travis (note to self: good job writing about him and his wife a couple years ago).11:30 a.m. Get back home JUST in time for Hailey to get picked up for play practice at Hale Center Theater and just PAST time for me to jump on a conference call with Isagenix, a Phoenix-based company we’re featuring in the next issue of Prosper. 11:45 a.m. Put the conference call on mute so I can tell Carson not to worry. The dog will come back when he wants to.12:05 p.m. Head to Kohler’s for dry ice. Carson has a science experiment in mind, and it must be done today. Apparently, I promised.
On the first day of summer, I made a to-do list for each of my four children. I did it again the day after that. And the day after that. And so on. The first few days were exciting. The kids loved checking the box by “make bed” and “brush teeth.” I gradually added more difficult tasks like “clean the basement.” The excitement started to wear off. Which didn’t stop me from making their lists every day. This morning, I told all four of them they could make their own to-do lists. They could pick five chores and be captain of their own ship, master of their fate. Six-year-old Carson listed “Practice riding bike” and “Jump on the tramp.” Not exactly what I had in mind. If I had a “rewind” button, I would have changed my words to: “I’ll pick five chores and you pick five chores today. That’s 10 possible boxes to check off!!! Talk about summer lovin’!! You see, I’m a chronic list-maker. My condition is at its peak when I’m at home, where I change hats all day long (not literally — I don’t have the right face shape for hats). Today I made a list of 19 things I need to do including “write article about Nu Skin distributor” and “process 100 e-mails from my inb0x” and “clean my nightstand.” I also listed the estimated time to complete each task. It added up to 9 hours 45 minutes. Do-able. But I didn’t factor in my cool neighbor stopping by to return my reflective vest. (I bought it for the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, but then a stress fracture gave me the boot — literally.) We chatted. That’s 30 minutes I hadn’t accounted for. Maybe I should put it on my to-do list so I can cross it off. I also didn’t plan to sneak in a few pages of “The Help,” a book my friend loaned me yesterday. Reading is easier than writing. Another 30 minutes unaccounted for.