Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vandy Girl

I've got college on the brain.

In particular, how much it meant to my self-image, confidence, and aptitude for (relatively) intelligent conversations throughout my adult life.

It also sparked a blog I wrote this morning for our station site ( Tracy's Blog: Dream Big ) which happened to elicit an email from the dean at SMU's Lyle School of Engineering. In it, he shared a "gentle correction."

I am just honored he read it. Which is how I feel about any of you reading my words right now.

Thank you.

How did your university shape you, if at all? Do you think it was worth the money? Or your time? Did you REALLY learn anything?

Gina and I discuss our experiences in this edition of the Real Botox Diaries.

I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts, too.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Naughty Yet Wonderful Weekend

What a weekend. I spent Saturday in Waco watching my daughter's team take on Brittany Griner and the defending National Champion Baylor Lady Bears (so fun--and totally beatable team), followed by a full day of college interviews in downtown Dallas with my youngest son.

May I just say, parenting is the most rewarding, most exhilarating, most FUN privilege on the planet! I absolutely adore my children. What an incredible gift to be their mother.

There is only one major downside to the job: it requires me to eat at places where I can't resist the crap. Yesterday it was In & Out Burgers for the 10th time this month. Not kidding. My kid Luke is in love with the place. And yesterday this lactose-sensitive 44-year-old downed an entire chocolate shake and spent the rest of the day sleeping off the sugar-high in the backseat of my husband's Armada in the Highland Park Village parking lot. Classy!

To top it all off, it was my husband's birthday yesterday. So after the long day of driving, sitting, eating, and sitting some more, I had to bake his favorite fattening oatmeal cake. And, of course, I had to eat it. A huge, honkin' piece.

Thankfully, there is an easy way to reduce the bloat (and reveal your hidden cheekbones!).
Gina and I share this #1 makeup tip for us tv peeps in this edition of The Real Botox Diaries. Promise, it works.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kids as Career Killers? I Say That's Crap.

Let's look at my own circle of five female friends from high school, whom I've known now for almost 30 years:

One in 5 is single and wishes she could find a wonderful man with whom to share her life.

One in 5 is gay.

One in 5 has a special needs child.

One in 5 is divorced.

So it doesn't shock me a bit that research shows the number of American women without children is at an all-time high: 1 in 5.

What does surprise me is that modern-day columnists are suggesting that children are career killers.

It infuriates my friend and colleague, Gina Miller, and sparked the topic of this installment of The Real Botox Diaries.

Leave a comment and tell us what you think. There's a prize at the very end if you make it all the way through.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One Happy Girl

What is it about having your makeup done by a pro that just puts a spring in a girl's step?!

For the last two days, our former station makeup artist has been doing up everyone's faces for new station-wide pictures and promos. I swear, I've been walking on air.

Gina and I chat about it in this latest installment of the Real Botox Diaries, along with a hint of a blog to come--a "refresh" of my home decor.

My awesome neighbor helped me do it, and she is one of the most talented interior decorators I have EVER met. That's saying A LOT, as I've worked with many over the years, especially during my Phoenix years while hosting my magazine show, Sonoran Living.

I will post pictures soon--and promise to share the top tips I learned from my girlfriend Kimberly.

Feeling creative again (and shopping for beautiful fabrics) has absolutely ENERGIZED me! Now if I can just get this post-flu body exercising again...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fuel for a Fulfilling LIfe

Was honored to speak to two dynamics groups of leaders at Alcatel-Lucent headquarters in Plano: The University Relations Co-op group and the Leadership Academy.
I shared my career journey and the key values that, for me, have helped make for a fulfilling career and family.
Gina and I talk about one such passion we share whole-heartedly in this edition of the  The REAL Botox Diaries ! Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to Work & (Hopefully) Flu-free

Thursday afternoon my darling doctor Jenny shared the results of my flu test: "flaming positive" for Flu Strain B. I've never had an official case of the flu before, so I figured I'd be up and at 'em as soon as the Tamiflu kicked in.

Well, it is now Monday morning and I'm still fighting this ridiculous cough and lethargy.

What a butt-kicking this flu turned out to be!

I now have a much greater understanding of the stories we're reporting. How a delicate child or elderly person handles the violent fever and coughing fits that come with this illness, is beyond me.

I will assure you this: it pays to get your flu shot several times over. Not only is Tamiflu upwards of $100/prescription ($25 co-pay with good insurance), but the number of missed work days and possible ER visits could really set a family back financially.

I usually drag the whole family down from Argyle to get our annual immunizations here at the station. However, this year I happened to be on my annual birthday trip on flu shot day.

My sympathies to ALL of my fellow sickos!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

(No) Workout Wednesday

So I coughed up a lung between commercial breaks today. At least I made it to work, which is truly one of my happy places. (Especially now that Gina Miller and I are squeezing in a little girl time with these quirky, spontaneous tapings of The Real Botox Diaries.)
In today's installment we talk go-to foods, work-life balance, and I get a little mushy on the mommy front. Would love to hear your thoughts on "healthy selfishness," too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's a P.J.'s & Green Tea Day

I can't speak or swallow today. So I'm out for the count, sipping on green tea and sleeping off this fever.

To stay consistent, here's another entry from the REAL Botox Diaries with Gina and Tracy, tackling the conundrum of what to wear to work? 

Meanwhile, I'm staying in my PJ's all day. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The REAL Botox Diaries with Gina & Tracy: Monday Motivations

From staying sane to to keeping slim, stylish and relatively wrinkle free--
this is the diary of two working TV moms.

Here are most of the links we mention in this chat session:

Jeff Jamison goes viral
Gina Miller's blog
Hermes Wallpaper
Cashmere Eye Shadow

Anchor Makeup Must-haves

Check out my colleague & "It Girl" Gina's fabulous blog.

Girlfriends on the Train

“One of you will definitely not be dancing in the new video.”
Tracy, Andi, Michele Rene & Kaley at Train
“Pat couldn’t shake the image of one of you.”

“Someone on the front row has no rhythm.”

If you’ve seen the infamous Seinfeld episode, or worse, your husband or friends call you “Elaine,” you know little is more mortifying than finding out you just can’t dance.

Except this--hearing that sentiment from your record dude friend who is a trusted confidante of the lead singer of Train, after Pat Moynihan himself spots you dancing with your girlfriends at his Dallas concert.

“Oh my gosh. Is it me? Am I Elaine?!” our friend Andi squealed in horror, after what will be forever remembered as The Night of the Greatest Ever Train Concert in Dallas.

We girls are still trying to throw Andi under the bus, but honestly, I think Pat was talking about me.  Just in case, from now on I will be limiting my vaudeville moves in public!
Post-concert with lead crooner, Pat Moynihan
This fabulously mortifying moment is one of dozens that are typical of any gathering with my group of “Soul Sisters” girlfriends. Our cheesy name is certainly not unique, but our connection sure is. We are all former colleagues and co-hosts and have never lost connection through our myriad moves across stations and states.

This Dallas adventure is the shortest trip we girls have enjoyed together—just 28 hours total—but boy, did we make the most of every minute.  Friends like these light up a woman’s soul. They love and accept and support, no matter what. And the laughter and fun we provide each other will fuel us for months.

If you don’t have at least one friend with whom you have this kind of relationship, you are missing out. Like mama always said, “The best way to make a friend is to be one.”

So don’t wait another day to reach out to someone at work, in yoga class, at church, synagogue or Mother’s Day Out. Give of yourself NOW. And for Pete’s sake, stop competing with each other! As my girl Kaley phrased it several years ago, “There is enough pie for everyone.”

Diary of a Sooner Mom

The lights dim and the video rolls. Out from the tunnel the team emerges.

There is my Nicole, dressed in red University of Oklahoma warm-ups, curled hair pulled back in a ponytail with a thick, black headband to hold it all in place.

I watched my daughter play an official home game as a Sooner last Sunday night.

It was the first I’ve been able to attend so far this season.

She played wonderfully.

And I didn’t shed a tear!

Afterwards our family went to dinner and proceeded to engage in passionate conversation, which is simply a nice way of describing our typical Kornet loud, often confrontational, dialogue. We usually linger for a good hour almost every time we gather around the table as a family, talking religion and sports, stories from school, questions about sex, drinking, and other tricky topics. And we laugh. A lot.

But during this particular talk fest, I found myself feelings things I’d never felt before: I witnessed my daughter maturing right before my eyes, especially when she spoke about the new friends she’s making in college. She is meeting girls with diverse religious backgrounds and values. She is learning to love and accept the good in people, even if they indulge in activities she doesn’t think are right. She is experiencing the pain of believing in what’s right and wrong, and being one of the few trying to act on those beliefs.

We finished the evening at a local custard shop , where Nicole and I were laughing so hard, we literally almost fell over while standing on the sidewalk, saying our goodbyes.

She shared how her teammates make fun of how boisterously she laughs and admitted: “Mom, I laugh just like you. I see myself becoming more like you every day!”

But my favorite moment was watching her 6’9″ daddy pick up his 6’1″ little girl, hug her with all his might, and tell her how much he loves her, how well she played that afternoon, and how proud he is of her.

Luke then followed, leaning down with a bear hug and a “Grandma kiss” on the cheek, which triggered more laughs.

I leapt in with a huge hug and kiss, too.

I could have stayed there all night on that sidewalk–all three of us surrounding Nicole with the kind of love every child should experience.

For me, one of the greatest gifts of motherhood is watching my children enjoy a childhood I could have only dreamed about. And I am oh, so grateful for this second chance. 


You Can Choose Your Family

I feel like I’ve been in a time warp.

This is my first day back to work since Christmas Eve, and it feels like a couple of months.

On my drive in this morning, I kept the phone down and radio off, sifting through the events of the last two weeks.

I retraced my activities and conversations, seeking any emotional epiphanies or breakthrough mom moments which might possibly inspire a blog.

I got nothin’.

And I realized, therein lays the beauty. 

This break was truly a break.  My two college kids had only 5 days off from basketball practice, as the season is in full swing. So other than some last-minute Christmas shopping, I stayed home, hung out with them, and didn’t “rush” anywhere.

The morning after Christmas our Phoenix friends, The Flynns, flew in and stayed through New Year’s. The house filled with perpetual conversation, laughter, lots of coffee and Diet Coke, and loads of meat.  Seriously. I think we made one salad the whole week.

Sure, my workouts suffered greatly. But for the first time in some three years, I allowed myself to prioritize people over my perpetual quest for thin thighs and steady estrogen levels.

We didn’t visit the museums we hoped to see or the new Clyde Warren Park or even the Chihuly exhibit at the Arboretum. But we did cheer on all three kids in their myriad basketball games, including a rare opportunity to watch my oldest son John play close to home. We also managed a girls-only, overnight trip to Norman to watch my daughter play at OU. 

One of the most memorable moments of the holiday break happened on the way to the airport to drop off our friends. We stopped at Babe’s Fried Chicken for a final New Year’s Eve meal. My husband laughingly initiated our “Talking Fork” tradition, in which we pass a decorated fork around the table and share what we’re thankful for. On this night we suggested sharing a favorite memory or thought from our week together.

There, around the oversized round table in the corner of the restaurant, Dennis declared:  “Family doesn’t have to be someone you’re born with. You can choose it. You are our family.”

Julie and Grace both shared their memory of getting choked up watching the dramatic introductions at OU: “I started to cry seeing Nicole out there, this girl I grew up with. She’s come so far.”

Even my husband revealed his tender side: “You inspire me to be a better person, Dennis. You’re the best man I know, and I love you.”

Just goes to show you, with the right relationships, the most ordinary days can make for an extraordinary vacation.

5 Days to Learn Spanish: Day 5

Can a person learn a foreign language in just 5 days? After one week in Spanish immersion school in Valencia, Spain, I can officially tell...