Sweeps

Your calendar might say January 29th, but in TV news world it’s already February. February is one of four “sweeps” or “ratings” months. During February, May, July and November a random sample of TV viewers will receive “diaries.” They’re asked to write down everything they watch, and then at the end of the month send it back in. From those scribbled diaries come the numbers that become a TV station’s ratings. It may not sound particularly scientific-and other markets use other methods- but here we still do it the old fashioned way:)

We had a virtual lunch with our vice president in New York to kick things off today….complete with the newsroom food staple- pizza:)

Honestly, I wish other industries had sweeps What if restaurants had a ratings month that determined their bottom line? That might be an incentive for some strong customer service. And doctor’s offices? I imagine they’d figure out a way to cut down on the time you spend in those waiting rooms.

For now though- it’s just us TV people working extra hard to get your vote this month. Thanks for watching:)

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Baby Allen

It’s real. Sometime around mid-July Matt and I will have a daughter. Ahh!! Truthfully I still can’t believe it.

This baby is something we’ve waited for for a long time. How she came to be is a long, complicated story that I look forward to telling. But not today.

Today I want to look at the baby announcement photos I took an embarrassingly long time to plan and execute.

Scout had no clue why I was forcing her to be in these pictures, but she was certain the handmaid baby shoes I ordered from Etsy were her new chew toy.

A sign of things to come I think:)

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Scout

I was home sick with a monster cold today…which means I had the best 8 pound nurse in Jackson:)

I had dogs growing up…a golden retriever named Molly…Chloe the miniature dachshund…Scottie the creatively named Scottish Terrier, but I never really knew what it was like to love a dog…until Scout.

We chose her from a Facebook picture posted by the animal shelter CARA. I’d been hounding Matt to let me get a dog for a solid year. I’d sent him 100 other pictures. Something about Scout’s eyes….or ears, truthfully…made him give in. That was nearly three years ago.

We lived on the 11th floor of a downtown apartment. It took forever to take her down to the restroom. I left for work in the middle of the night which always confused her.
It was the worst time to get a dog…but it sure was the right time.

I lost both of my grandmothers in the months after we got Scout. In fact, Scout was the last dog my Ma-Bea ever held. Insisting on curling up in her lap just weeks before she died of cancer.
Her racing around my parent’s house was the only happy thing about the days of the funerals and visitations.
It’s like she knows when you’re sick or sad:)

But she’s no angel…
Scout’s mean to mailmen and unexpected visitors. She has no patience for loud children. She has a wart, a bald spot, and a broken tooth. But she sure is beautiful.

I thought we were saving Scout when we adopted her from the shelter. And I guess we were. But I didn’t know then how often that 8 pound dog would save me…

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I Can See Clearly Now

As a kid, a few times a year I got to “model” in the Sawmill Square Mall fashion shows. Yes, it was as big of a deal as you imagine:)

My outfit usually consisted of Girbaud shorts, an over-sized t-shirt and if I was especially lucky—glasses. I- with my 20/20 vision-LOVED showing off the latest in eyewear. I thought it would be so cool to need glasses. An extra little accessory to wear everyday.

Flash forward 20 years…I actually need that extra little accessory to wear everyday. Or at least when I want to see street signs, drive thru menus or a TelePrompTer.

I just got my first pair of contacts.

Followed quickly by my first pair of glasses. Kid-sized glasses. I have a small face. Not to be confused with small brain:)

I’m now reading house numbers, the Newks Soup Schedule and seeing the priest at church clearly for the first time ever.

I’m not as wild about the optical fashion statement as I was at 12, but seeing is definitely not over rated:)

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Hope Gala

When a blue heeler puppy is auctioned off for $1700 you know you’re at an event that is going to raise some money. Last night 16 WAPT Meteorologist David Hartman and I emceed the Mississippi Chapter of JDRF’s Hope Gala. 82% of the money raised goes directly toward working for a cure for Type 1 diabetes–very little operational cost.

It’s impossible to hear the stories of babies- just 13 months old- diagnosed with diabetes and not be moved. So many of them too young to understand why they have to take shots, wear a pump, prick their finger or simply can’t have apple juice like the other kids.

Make plans to come to the Hope Gala next year. In the meantime learn more here .

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Sequins for the night from Rent the Runway

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David showing off a fully restored fire engine peddle car.

The View aka NYC Finale

Matt and I had jokingly talked about getting tickets to The View during our NYC trip. He’s a huge fan of Nicole Wallace- mostly because of her appearances on Morning Joe. We found out Monday afternoon- while in the lobby of MoMA that we didn’t just have tickets, but were on “The House Guest List.” I had no clue what it meant, but I decided to imagine it meant fancy:)

Tuesday morning we got up super early, packed for our evening flight and got dressed for the show.
When you go to The View they ask that you wear bright TV colors…not black or white. We weren’t sure how much this really mattered, but we didn’t want to get kicked out for violating the dress code. I wore a very “newsy” red dress. Matt wore a holiday card appropriate shirt and vest combo:)

A short subway ride to the Lincoln Center neighborhood later- we were at ABC studios.
There was a long line of View guests waiting outside. Because of the Guest list we were able to skip that and go right on in 😉 We were let in to the cafeteria to wait until showtime. It was a little strict in there. We had bathroom escorts, assigned tables…there was no roaming around to look for Kelly Ripa.

Finally- producers started escorting us into the *cold* studio. They placed us in specific rows. We ended up in the second row (thank you guest list:)). They asked everyone to hide purses and winter gear under chairs. We practiced hollering for the hosts, clapping like we meant and even dancing. Matt *loved* that.

Seconds later- the live show started. Hot topics was relatively tame this hour. Governor Bill deBlasio and Idina Menzel visited. Rosie O’Donnell spent commercial breaks taking questions from the audience.

And then it was over. With commercials and performers the hour flies by. Audience members got prize packs from Philosophy and tickets to Idina’s world tour. We also got politely (but firmly) shuffled outside:) Buh-bye.

In all- it was a great experience. I feel like the people who work on the show try hard to make it fun for their fans and guests. If you ever have the opportunity to go—go:)

Ps- they don’t allow cell phones to be on in the studio. I managed to sneak one selfie. And some screen caps:)

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NYC Day 4 and 5

By day four of our New York adventure I was starting to feel the effects of walking miles in the city that never sleeps:) Nothing a little brunch at Sarabeth’s couldn’t fix. We went to the Tribecca location. I loved it because we surrounded by real New Yorker’s—mostly families with precious young kids. It was a nice change of scenery from the sea of tourists you rub elbows with near Times Square. I’m no food critic, but if you brunch at Sarabeth’s you won’t be disappointed with any of the carb dishes. I’m talking the pancakes, French toast or waffle. Each member of my party of three ordered a different bready breakfast, and we all loved it. Sunday afternoon consisted of elbowing through Soho for Christmas shopping. (Yikes) That night we went to Book of Mormon–with incredible 3rd row seats thanks to an early Christmas gift from my parents. My mom has this thing- you don’t go all the way to Broadway to sit in the bad seats. I’m glad she feels that way:) The show was as irreverent and funny as all the reviews say. I really loved it. Be prepared though- if you have a low tolerance for religious humor this is not the ticket for you. Wicked, Lion King..much safer bets. Monday- I checked the Museum of Modern Art off my bucket list. I got to step right up to Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso paintings I’ve seen in books all my life. If that’s not your thing there’s plenty of wild exhibits, too. My husband and I were intrigued by the guy whose “thing” is fake legs stuck in walls. Hard to explain. I was embarrassed to take a picture, but you’ve got to see it. Monday evening we saw the Rockettes. Truth be told I’d love to be a Rockette, but at 5″2 I’d never made the cut. (The issue of my dancing might come up too). They were stunning. The show is perfect for little ones, and it even has a surprisingly moving nativity section in it. Tomorrow—the grand finale of our trip. Our visit to The View:) 2015/01/img_2239-0.jpg 2015/01/img_2241-0.jpg 2015/01/img_2240-0.jpg