Thursday, March 28, 2013

When Do You Just Give Up?

For the last two weeks my poor producer who sits behind me has been forced to listen to my dozens of daily conversations with a viewer in need of help.

Rarely do I feel comfortable stepping out to aid total strangers. I'm not an idiot and don't want to be killed!

But this particular viewer is a 54-year-old single female, working as a hostess in a local restaurant. She told me two weeks ago that she is essentially on the verge of homelessness. I remember my mother at that age. I could not turn my back on this woman.

I have called, emailed, Facebooked, and tweeted every person, pastor, and charity contact I know from several states, asking for any leads on a low-rent apartment.

So far, only two options have revealed themselves.

This woman in need moved in with the first. And she has not stopped complaining ever since. The locks, the air, the temperature, the neighborhood, the bus route. It's all bad.

She has changed the terms of the rent payment several times already.

Further, she has not returned the calls from Catholic Charities and other organizations who have reached out to her and offered financial counseling and other long-term, helpful strategies to help her rebuild her life.

On my lunch break today, I pursued the second option on her behalf: an apartment south of downtown Fort Worth. I spoke to the landlord and drove by to check out the neighborhood. Not the greatest, I must admit.

So I perused nearby areas looking for "For Rent" signs.  I spoke to a postal worker delivering mail on foot to see if he's stumbled upon available rentals. I asked several neighbors if they knew of any place for this woman.

Nope. Nothing's available.

And so I ask you this: What do I do now?
‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25: 35-40

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vacation in...Columbus?

Coach Coale, my Nicole, & the fab Whitney Hand-Jones
It's March Madness, and this Sooner mom is hitting the road, baby.

The University of Oklahoma Women's Basketball team plays Saturday at 11am North Texas time.

I can honestly say I've never been so excited to spend a few cold and dreary vacation days in Columbus, Ohio!

I've gotta tell you, I'm getting quite a kick out of my husband's enthusiasm through this tournament process. During the NCAA selection show Monday night, he was eagerly anticipating each bracket, his blood pressure rising with every pairing announced. He gave me the play-by-play on my cell phone, as I drove home from work.

"I can't believe how excited I'm getting," he laughed. "It's like I'm going through it all over again." Since the man (a former Vanderbilt University & NBA basketball player-turned-high-school-basketball coach) attended every OU home game this season, I knew we had to attend the initial rounds this weekend. This will be Nicole's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, something Frank insists one must never take for granted.

"You never know if you'll get this chance again, Tracy."

Thank goodness for just enough frequent flyer miles on American Airlines--and for wonderful co-workers. My boss kindly accommodated my last-minute vacation request, and my colleague Doug graciously agreed to emcee for me Saturday night.

So Mama Korn will be cheering and pacing and hyper-ventilating in the stands Saturday morning. Hopefully Monday night, too. Chances are you'll hear me, if/when my daughter gets a chance to shoot free throws.

"High and soft," you'll hear me shout. Nicole says it's mandatory whenever she's at the line.

I love that phrase almost as much as this rule I long to live by: You don't regret the things you do. You regret the things you don't. This weekend, at least, this mom will have no regrets.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Christmas in March

My Daughter & I: Top-down Drive to Dallas
This weekend felt like Christmas.

It's actually been that long since I had all three kids under my roof at the same time.

I was not expecting it to feel so different, so full, and so fun.

The reunion began Friday night after the 10pm news, when I picked up Luke at DFW from his school mission trip to El Salvador.
Nicole was unexpectedly granted two days off from practice, so she arrived around midnight Friday.
The next afternoon John drove in from Arkansas for a week of spring break.

For the first time in months, the driveway filled with the sounds of basketballs dribbling and kids laughing again.
The behemoth Armada was packed again for Sunday mass, followed by our regular post-church lunch at Chipotle.
Hoops in the Driveway
And by Sunday night, Mama Korn got to sip wine in the driveway, the dog in tow, while watching the kids move from basketball to football to skateboards.

I seriously savored every second, smiling the whole time.

We capped off our family weekend with steak, salad, and lively conversation by the pool. It was such a gorgeous night in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Luke Returns from El Salvador
I have missed my children so very much.

It made me extremely cognizant of the other downside to having children when you're so young yourself: they leave for college before you're ready to let them go!

So I will replay over and over the multiple conversations we shared around the kitchen island: such as John confessing his love for his girl "friend," to which Nicole grossed out; and Nicole and I reminiscing about the days I'd wash her face and brush her teeth for her IN BED, because she was too tired to walk to the bathroom.

I will continue to treasure all of these memories old and new--and pray for many, many more to come.

I must. Because life is so short. I want to seize every single second, especially with the ones who've brought such incredible joy and purpose to mine.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Success Magazine Chief's Lessons For Success

I met Susan Kane at a power breakfast, organized by our mutual colleague and corporate strategist Tony Jeary.

Within three minutes the editor-in-chief of  Success magazine and I were talking careers, kids, college, and the importance of connecting with girlfriends.

A few months after that, we met for coffee with the goal of getting together every few weeks.

This afternoon Kane joined me for a live interview on CBS11 News at 4pm to share her perspective on work/life balance, including how to become a successful leader while nurturing a successful family.

Check it out here--and please check back for more "Lessons to Success" with this wife, mother, rockstar writer, and boss...whom I'm happy to also call friend.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Darn "Lean In"--You're Depressing Me!

Been feeling a little down, and I'm not sure why.

At first I thought it was the contentious debate with my husband over which college we can afford for Luke. I say a school like Duke University is worth the money; husband says it's the same education wherever Luke goes.

Then I blamed my sadness on the switch from super-high cardio workouts to Pilates. Thankfully the fabulous owner of S2S Functional Performance convinced me otherwise with her research and expertise. Yes, this body and mind needs significant endorphins to function--but the physical benefits and core strength I'm developing will reap lifelong rewards. And this morning, sure enough, my Pilates class kicked my butt!

My third hypothesis is the frustration and disappointment from not being able to find a room for someone I'm trying to help. I have called charities, churches, colleagues, religious leaders for 2 weeks now--even drove around downtown Fort Worth last Thursday night, praying God would lead me to an available apartment or rental sign. I did stumble upon a women's shelter and actually talked to a live person. No rooms available.  (If you live near Sundance Square and could use some extra income, I know a 54-year-old, single female who needs a place to live!)

Then I figured I just missed my family, who is on spring break while I'm at work.

So to help me get to the crux of my issue, I went home last night and journaled. On actual paper. The first time in months I've spent quality time to reflect on how I'm truly feeling.

And you know what? I'm not sure I'm all that happy about what is troubling me.

Each of the fore-mentioned factors deserve a little bit of blame for my melancholy. Journaling also unveiled some of the key questions I find myself asking these days, such as: What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Where do I want to go with my career? And how do I ensure my needs for love, adventure, and intellectual stimulation are met, now that all three of my children will be in college come August?

These questions are truly plaguing me, inflamed a bit by the national discussion about work/life balance following the release of Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg's book, "Lean In."  I am reminding my ambitious self that once I became a mother--at age 22, I might add, way, way younger than I had ever imaged--my priorities did change. And I LOVED it. I remained seriously ambitious throughout their childhood; but I (so gratefully) was able to craft my career around my desires to be an involved, loving, and nurturing mom. To be there and snuggle and push and love and laugh and support my children while gaining great satisfaction and stimulation at work.

It's just that now--at age 44--I do wonder if maybe I "Leaned Back" on the working front a little too much?

I suppose therein lays the great equalizer of all of us women: perhaps we all regret or feel guilty about some of our choices. Perhaps there is really no way around it.

I suppose we must all do the best we can and cast our cares on God--trusting it will all be alright, believing He is the only One who can turn this little bit of sadness into joy again.

I just pray He will help me soon.

And while You're at it, Lord, would you please lead me to a long-term rental for this woman? 


Real Botox Diaries: TV Moms Weigh In on "Lean In"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Text That Should NOT Have Been Sent

I sent it Thursday night after an extraordinarily painful laser hair removal session. Thought I was texting my girlfriend. Instead, my embarrassingly descriptive text message went to a random male baseball contact stored in my phone.

Guess it could have been worse. Could have been my son on the receiving end. Now THAT would have scarred him for life!

It begs the question--how do you rectify random messaging mistakes? Is there some sort of protocal?

This is just one of the topics Gina and I talk about in this installment of the Real Botox Diaries. That, and helping her fight the funk she's in...along with some great tips for your trip to New Orleans!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Final Father-Son Weekend

This weekend marks the end of an era. After some 16 years of coaching our kids in sports, it will be the last time my husband coaches any of them in a basketball game.

Tonight the Liberty Christian Warriors varsity boys basketball team play for a spot in the TAPPS 5A State Championship game. Frank Kornet is the head coach; Luke Kornet is the 6'10" post and  a senior co-captain.

I'm sure it will be an emotional game. However, I promised all male members of the Kornet family that I will NOT make a peep from anywhere but the stands. I will also remain seated. I will NOT pace the sideline screaming.

In other news, I'm officially two weeks in on my 12-week Pilates pledge. I've found my energy again, am getting enough sleep, and am truly feeling fabulous. Plus, I LOVE the people I'm getting to know at S2S Functional Performance.

I also had a spectacular time emceeing the Go Red for Women luncheon at the Fort Worth Convention Center today. I invited 3 super successful, heart friends/collegues to join me, which made it all the more special.

I'm feeling exceptionally blessed today.

And if the boys pull out a victory tonight at 9pm in South Arlington, I may just have to call this The most Fabulous Friday in History.

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...