Saturday, January 31, 2009

Days 2 & 3 with Jay - Super Bowl Heaven

I've had the best week of my life. Other than my wedding day and the births of my two kiddos, no series of days can compare to the three I just had in Tampa. My head almost exploded today thinking about all the football greats I saw: Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Michael Strahan and many more, as well as two of my country music faves Faith Hill and Tim McGraw (they posed for me, see below). I just couldn't believe I was there and seeing through my own eyeballs.

And, the work I did was hardly that at a local hospital with Jay and about 50 kids with diabetes; it was over in a flash. Jay was amazing and made everyone feel at ease. He signed every autograph, took every photo and just hung out and talked with these kids and their parents. Jay's also a total pro with the media and got in every mention of our program possible - without sounding stiff. He looked at the messages once for about 3 minutes, and that's all he needed. If we were only that lucky with all our celebs.

But, no offense Jay, the ultimate was when I met Matt Stafford - QB (former, sniff sniff) of my beloved Georgia Bulldogs. I almost peed my pants. I actually got the nerve up and introduced myself - first to his dad and then to Matt. He and his dad were so nice and took a few minutes to chat with me while I prayed I didn't have anything stuck in my braces from breakfast. (A quick check later assured me I didn't - phew.)

Even though I wasn't able to get autographs from everyone (except for the BEAUTIFUL regulation-size football Jay signed for me), the memories and the photos will last forever. There are so many stories, so many funny and sweet things that happened, it would take up too much room here to write it all down (so just ask me when you see me - I'm happy to tell it all over again). Note: not all of these shots are museum quality - I was just trying to keep my hands steady and not pass out.

The Lombardi Trophy - sure wish the helmet on the right was green with a silver wing on it.

Is this guy gorgeous or what? Future #1 pick Matt Stafford.

Jay in the crush of autograph seekers following Mike and Mike

Greenie and Golic on set with Jay

Faith and Tim - that's no zoom, I was that close

Little Sam showing Jay he was a big boy (at 4) and could check his own blood sugar

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Love My Job

Today was a good day. It's not every day I claim to love my job, but TODAY I LOVE MY JOB. I'm in Tampa, and if you have a pulse you must know that most of the football world has descended upon this lovely town for the Super Bowl. Me too as of this morning.

Today I got to spend with NFL quarterback Jay Cutler. My PR client is working with him on a diabetes program that's geared toward kids with the disease and raising money to help them go to diabetes summer camps (check out The program has been my baby for almost three years and signing Jay was a BIG BIG deal for us (me). Besides the fact that I'm a crazy football fan and working with Jay is just,; through him we have a terrific opportunity to raise awareness of this condition that strikes young and old and is the 5th leading cause of death in the US. So, if I can have a small hand in Jay's ability to touch and inspire kids who are struggling with diabetes, then that's okay with me. We always say PR doesn't cure cancer, but in these instances I do feel like what I do makes a difference.

Anyhoo, below are some pics of Day 1 with Jay - video shoot and sporadic picture taking by me. I did my best to avoid any "I carried a watermelon" moments (see also Dirty Dancing for phrase reference and context) - I've had one with every celebrity I've worked with so far doing this job of mine - and was pretty pleased with my ability to act natural during dinner. It's not every day I get to hang with a Pro-Bowler - even one who's only 24, and it was fun hearing about draft day, time spent at Vandy and his weakness for Reese's peanut butter cups - ha ha. Jay is a super guy with a bright future, and I'm looking forward to Days 2 and 3 as well as our other activities this year. It's great that he's using his voice so other kids know that anything is possible.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jump for Joy

I had to do environmental portraits for my latest photography assignment. So, that means people at work, rest or play - not that difficult right? But what environment to choose - that was my dilemma.

Below is said chosen "environment" - not normally allowed, but one such place the boys were all too eager to inhabit for me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sheared like a sheep

Today was haircut day in our house. Bill got shaved, Jack got shaved, and I got about an inch cut off. Only Sam escaped the clippers. I've been cutting Bill's hair since before we were married, and I started cutting the boys' heads about a year ago. No sense of giving our coins to Great Clips when I can just as easily do it myself, right?

Jack's usually the least excited about getting coiffed, and today was no different. I think you can tell from the photos how he felt.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweet Nadira

I borrowed my neighbor's daughter the other day to complete an assignment for my photography class. While the assignment focused on different types of light, all I really wanted to do was get this child on camera. She, as you can see, is absolutely stunning. Wouldn't you kill for that hair or heart-shaped face? I can only imagine what she'll look like in 15 years. I'm sure we'll still know them because I've hand-picked her to marry Sam. They are only a few weeks apart so it's perfect! I can see it now: high-school romance, prom, promise rings when they go off to college. Ahhhhh, bliss. I'll just have to get over her father roots for the Redskins. Would you believe he and his lovely wife actually showed up to our Eagles playoff gathering in Redskins jerseys?? To our house? That's guts, man. In the end though I had Corey singing "Fly Eagles Fly." I just hope we can sing that song again this weekend. One game at a time. At any rate, below are some of my faves from the quickie photo shoot. I was all about the close up. With any luck, I'll have the rest of the family for your perusal in the spring.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sir Sam(alot)

The Knighting of Sir Sam . . .

If you listen closely you'll hear my sister spill her martini - hee hee

Happy Birthday Sam

Happy New Year! I know it's been a while since I last posted. Since Christmas I've been busy with new work projects (headed to the Super Bowl later this month for one such project - more on that later), hanging with the neighbors for some GREAT playoff football, repairing a leaky roof and basically trying to catch my breath from the holidays. Not sure I've actually caught my breath as opposed to gasped for air, but that's another story.

But, now I pause to wish my beautiful Sam a Happy 5th Birthday (Jan 11). Sam is a deliciously gorgeous, pleasant and good-hearted little boy who has a memory like a steel trap and the inadvertent wit of a stand-up comic. (Maybe some day he'll realize he's hysterical and make millions.) Bill and I are so proud of how sweet and polite he his (generally), and how his love of books and learning seems to grow each day. I only wish I could bubble wrap him for the rest of his life so that he doesn't have to feel failure, pain, regret, rejection or loneliness - let alone a hang nail. Irrational I know, but that's love sometimes.

Anyhoo, for the big day we had Sam knighted by a king. Pretty normal, right? Forget that the king was an actor a la Medieval Times - Sam is now a Knight of the Realm. Who cares which Realm. Medieval Times, if you haven't been, is a 2-hour horse and jousting extravaganza. You eat with your hands (Mmmm), cheer for your favorite Knight and wear paper crowns. Who wouldn't love that for their 5th birthday? Surprisingly, I loved it, and there were many other adults there loving it too. And, the best part is that Sam got to celebrate with Mommy, Daddy, Jack, Aunt Patty, Uncle Steve, Aunt Alicia, Mom-mom, Pop-pop and his South Carolina cousins. Happy 5th my lovey!

Cupcakes by cousin Shea.

Make a wish!