27 Aug

I posted this on Facebook yesterday after news of the terrible shooting in Virginia or a reporter and cameraman.

When Mike was a tv news photog, I worried about him getting burned alive by a wildfire when he was out in the field covering them. I worried about him getting mugged by Raiders fans when he was in Oakland covering Chargers games, hauling his gear around on BART. I never worried he’d be shot by a disgruntled colleague while doing a live shot. How tragic for those poor people in Virginia, and how tragic for our country that we can’t have a real conversation about how to stop things like this.

Growing Up

19 Aug

In less than three weeks, Michaela will be a kindergartner. How did that happen? I guess… she grew!

1st Day

last day of preschool

Out of Order

13 Aug

The screen of my cell phone broke while we were in Colorado. Mike took it to be repaired when we got home, but it was a difficult case so it took 2 days… to find out it couldn’t be repaired. Mike had an old one for me, but he was out of town on the 3rd day, and today, the 4th day, he got the new (old) phone activated and I had it back in my possession once I got home from work.

(Never mind the fact that it doesn’t have any of my contact info in it or email set up or any of the apps I use. Ugh.)

What I’ve realized in the four days I was phone-less is how incredibly dependent upon it I am. This morning I was meeting a friend for coffee and I was a total mess. I had to set the alarm on our alarm clock for the first time in years; I usually use the alarm on my phone. I walked out the door and had to come back to look up the address of the place and directions on how to get there. I got there half an hour early because I misremembered what time we were meeting– but I also thought at first I was late and felt terrible about not being able to call or text her that I was running late.

Reporters call and text me as part of my job. I wasn’t able to pick up any of their texts. We’ve had some network troubles at work lately, so colleagues texted me. Didn’t get those messages in a timely way. My Words with Friends games are languishing. My Fitbit hasn’t been synced in ages. I never know what time it is (because I don’t usually wear a watch; I check the time on my phone).

I usually check email compulsively. Can’t do that with no phone. I tweet from my phone a lot. Haven’t been able to do that. I was going to take a picture of something the other day, just to remember that I didn’t have a camera with me because I didn’t have a phone.

It’s kind of freaky how much a small piece of technology pays such a huge role in my life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go set up my new (old) phone and pick out a new (new) one for moving forward.

Like a Rolling Stone

13 Aug

We got back from a week in Colorado a few days ago. We’d gone to honor/celebrate/remember Mike’s grandmother. It was a lovely trip, as far as those things go. Still, I was so happy to be home.

I calculated that I have been gone 6 of the last 12 weeks. Mike and Michaela were gone 5 of the last 12 weeks. We did 3 weeks in Europe, a week in Oklahoma, and a week in Colorado; I also did a week in Nashville for a work conference. Traveling is wonderful and I love it and even as I think about how tired I am of coming and going, packing and unpacking, I can’t help but think about other trips I want to take. But as the famous line goes, “there’s no place like home.”


3 Aug

There are few things that make me happier than watching Michaela with her grandparents. Whether it’s with my mom and dad (Grandma Janice and Grandpa Bill), Mike’s mom and stepdad (Nana Laura and Papa Var), or Mike’s dad and stepmom (Grandpa Bruce and Grandma Lynda), it’s just the best. This summer we’ve been lucky enough to see all of the grandparents; we see my parents all the time because they live so close, but we’ve also spent a week with each of Mike’s parents, who we don’t see as often. Michaela is/was spoiled by all of them, which is as it should be.

Cosmo Girl

23 Jul

Michaela is growing to be a cosmopolitan kid.

Tonight, we went to dinner at our favorite sushi place. I ordered her a shrimp roll, which was huge, and she polished it off, along with some miso soup and edamame, neither of which I tried until I was an adult. I know some kids who eat only bread, fruit, and cheese, so it makes me really happy to see how open she is to a wide variety of cuisine.

Before she went to bed, she was flipping through my new Smithsonian magazine that came today. I was doing something else but heard her excitedly exclaim, “I’ve been there!” I looked over to see what she was looking at and it was a spread on Pompeii. Together we flipped through the article’s pictures and she pointed out all the things that we saw when we were there and we talked about the things shown in the pix that we didn’t see on our visit. It just goes to show that at five years old, things “stick” and it’s worth exposing her to them.


13 Jul

Each night before bed, I ask Michaela to tell me about her favorite part of the day. Then I tell her mine. It’s our tradition and I love it.

I’m in Nashville this week, so have been talking to Michaela on the phone and videochatting with her. Tonight we were wrapping up our videochat and she said, “Mom, wait!” I asked her what was up and she asked, “What was your favorite part of the day?”

My heart melted. I think she loves our tradition as much as I do!

What’s in a Name

13 Jul

When I met people for the first time, they often comment on my unusual name. In fact, they do so so much that Mike made me cards with answers to frequently asked questions about my name. (I love the cards; they’re one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. My husband is a genius.)

One comment I hear a lot is, “I’ll remember that!” or “You can’t forget a name like that!”

Actually, people forget ALL THE TIME.

I can see the wheels turning in their head, when I meet someone who is struggling to remember my name. “It’s a noun. It starts with an ‘M.'” Then they call me Magic or Melody or Miracle.

This week, I’m in Nashville at a professional conference. I’m fairly involved in the field — I am president-elect of the board of the California School Public Relations Association, I serve on some different committees at the local and national level, and last year, I gave a talk to about 100 people on crisis communications. I focused on how school PR people can prepare for disaster before it strikes and it was very well-received.

Where am I going with this?

I was in a room of about 30 school PR people from across the southwest yesterday and one of my colleagues from Arizona said he attended Monica’s session at NSPRA last year on crisis communications and it was a good thing he did. Once he got back home, they had crazy flooding that led to them having to close campuses. He was out on the road and said he had only his cell phone and a link to Monica’s materials.

I was sitting there thinking, “who is Monica and what was her session about? I should have gone to that one!”

But this fella was looking at me and gesturing at me. Then it dawned on me. He was talking about me!

Me. Monica.

Can’t forget a name like that!


7 Jul

This summer has been really busy, travel-wise. We did our three weeks in Europe, then left a couple of weeks after for a week in Oklahoma. I’m here this week, in Nashville the next for work, then back for a couple of weeks before we all go to Denver for a week. I was trying to make plans with a friend and realized that we have something on the calendar basically every weekend between now and Labor Day, after which Michaela will (eek!) start kindergarten!

Still, it has also been a very summery summer. Mike has taken Michaela to the beach. We have had dinner on the patio more nights than not. We walk to the park many nights each week, just to enjoy the longer daylight hours. And, best of all, we have been enjoying gorgeous, delicious, ripe summer fruit like no body’s business!

As I type, our fridge is full of strawberries, watermelon, and blueberries, and our counter is home to apples and bananas. Our orange tree is bursting with fruit, too. I’ve been taking fruit to work as a snack, Michaela’s been enjoying it by the handful, we’re making things like watermelon agua fresca and strawberry shortcake.

Gotta love summer!

A Loss

21 Jun

While we were in Europe, Mike’s Grandma Ede passed away. The last few years had been hard on her but it still was a surprise to lose her. As cliche as it sounds, I’m happy she’s not suffering anymore. Here’s how I’m choosing to remember her:


Silly in a dry way, game for whatever her doting eldest grandson proposed. This picture was taken in 2005, when Ede and George visited Mike in San Diego. Mike and I were dating then, but Ede was incredibly nice to me and we grew to have a special, though not terribly close, bond. I’ll miss her.

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