Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You're Moving Again?!

I'm getting really good at this moving thing.

I've done it 8 times in the last 4 years--once for me and the rest while helping my three kids.

Moving John to college 4 years ago
I don't know about you, but my parents never helped me haul my crap in and out of dorm rooms and apartments.

My kids not only get their parents' free help, but we load them up with housewares and furniture, too.

Moving John OUT of college, 4 years later
They really have it good.

And you know what?
It's awfully good for me, too.

All of this lifting and packing and scrubbing keeps me grateful.
Grateful I'm healthy and young enough to do it.
Happy our children even want us around.
Thrilled to have a reason to make so many purposeful road trips and spend quality time with each individual kid.

Taking a break mid-move on Nicole's bed, spray-tanned legs with
albino feet intact
My husband just moved our oldest son into his first, official apartment in Little Rock, where he's working in his first, official, full-time job after graduating college in May.

This life of ours is spinning by.

How do I keep from missing any more of it?

In the airport waiting to embark on post-graduation family vacation

Monday, May 12, 2014

Finding Myself via France

Shopping for picnic lunch on the grounds of Versailles
For three weeks now I've been reflecting on one of the most exhilarating trips of my life--a girlfriend trip to France and Monaco.

I have yet to post a blog about it, because I can't seem to land on one theme. My thoughts are log-jammed. So much stimulation in such a short time is hard to sift through. Plus, I continue to question what's been missing from my life to have made this trip so profoundly fun--not to mention how I might replicate the experience in daily doses back here at home.

Taking off for Nice, France
I just stumbled upon some notes I took during our seven-day adventure, about one particular afternoon I had almost forgotten. We girls were heading to the artists' colony of Montmartre for the day, and my friend was craving a mocha. One of my extroverted travel companions struck up a conversation with an American woman at Starbucks. (This was after 100 other stops in French cafes. Don't judge!)

Sharon Neuman teaches in five different French universities. She is married to a famous French architect named Gabriel Choukroun. During the course of our fascinating conversation, Sharon shared an assignment she requires of all of her students before they graduate--to write a letter to themselves to be opened in ten years, answering three questions:

Monte Carlo, Monaco

1. Who are you today?
2. Would the person you were when I knew you, be proud of who you are today?
3. What would you have done differently?
What a wonderful exercise for all of us. (Yes, kids. I will be handing you stationery on our next road trip.) 
I'm sure part of the reason behind my girlfriends' connection is how similar our answers are. We find great purpose in our relationships, careers, and are excited about our futures. We like the people we are now. And I do believe our younger selves would be proud. None of us would have done anything significantly differently, as our mistakes, choices, and wins and losses made us who we are today.
Le Georges atop the Centre Pompidou, Paris
I hope you'll take a moment to at least THINK about these questions, too. If you don't feel as positive about your answers, I hope you will seek help and tap into what's missing or what you regret. And then CHANGE it.
You may even be inspired to start socking away some savings every month and book your own trip to France! If you do, please let me know. I may have to join you.
Souvenir shopping in Montmartre


Friday, March 21, 2014

March Madness Midnight News

On the CBS11 set with the talented Doug Dunbar
When you work in news, March Madness means you might do the late show well after midnight.

This year I don't really mind, since it is helping me pass the time until my daughter plays her First Round NCAA game tomorrow against DePaul at 12:30pm. It can't get here fast enough!

Courtesy: University of Oklahoma
This has been a tough year for my #1 Sooner, Nicole Kornet. A learning year. A growing year.

She's battled back and is on the other side now. I am so very proud of her.

So this text message today TRULY made my day. She sent it to the family after practice at the uber-cool Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University in Durham, NC:

Please ignore the fact I once again took a screen shot with the edit prompts. (I'm a loser.)

Nicole said basketball is FUN! And she loves it!

As a musical theater/dance team/sorority girl, I give these college athletes so much credit. On top of their academic responsibilities, they work out intensely for hours every day for 4 or 5 straight years. No Spring Break. No Thanksgiving or Christmas vacations. No free summers.

I don't know about you, but the toughest part of my college experience was getting up for an 8am Italian class after a night of half-price beers.

The coolest thing is, these kids (at least the ones I know) have NEVER complained about it. They know it's all part of the deal. And that the opportunity to play is really, really special.

Just a little food for thought as you continue to cheer for the young men and women on your favorite March Madness teams.

And, if you don't mind, please tune in to CBS11 News after the game. Our own team is producing an information-packed newscast.

You just might need to ignore the toothpicks propping our eye sockets open.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Please Don't Leave Me Alone

Saved by my daughter's college friends at the Big 12.

I'm just going to admit it: I am not good at being alone.

Basketball games are enveloping the Kornet clan this spring break. So I'm working odd hours and filling in for vacationing co-workers.

Without commotion and conversation in my life, I get into a funk...fast.

Today I brought my workout clothes to work, to "encourage myself" to stop at the gym on the way home.

Did I go? Heck to the no.

It was such a gorgeous day. So at least I did take the dog for a walk. And at least I changed into my fore-mentioned workout clothes before I did so.

But then I crashed.

I opened up all of the sliding glass doors on the back of the house, plopped on the couch, and crashed.

It was no later than 7pm.

Folks, that is not normal. Scratch that. As stressed and isolated as we Americans are becoming, perhaps it is becoming normal. But it's certainly not healthy. At least it's not healthy for me.

I eventually woke up, folded some laundry, and watched a little bit of that TLC show, The Little Couple." (The precious, personality-packed, pint-sized couple flew to India to pick up little Zoey, a two-year-old girl they adopted. I tell you, adoption is an absolute miracle!)

After wiping away a few tears, I knew I had to perk up. I jumped on the internet, caught up on my kids' tweets, and browsed through some of my old Twitter pictures. I found myself laughing out loud alone in my kitchen. Then I watched an old video blog with my former television colleague, Gina Miller, about "Fighting the Funk." I started to feel some energy return. Even some inspiration. Like I had just had an actual conversation with a girlfriend.

I immediately texted Gina to remind her of that conversation long ago. Then I grabbed this month's issue of Success magazine, headed to my garage Stairmaster, and did a full hour of cardio. It's now 11:39pm.

After my cardio boost, I saw that Gina responded to my text. Her message: "You must write and speak your way out of your funk, Tracy! You're too fab to funk!"

This blog is proof that's exactly what I did. And here's a picture of another step I took the next morning to keep the funk at bay.

The local library to the rescue yet again! Only this time I brought a girlfriend with me, who practically squealed in delight at the plethora of offerings there. (Seriously, have you used your local library recently?!) And that was after coffee and a hard-core workout at her house.

Exercise, girlfriend time, and intellectual stimulation?! Now that's the way to beat the blues.

So friends, if you too are fighting the funk, I hope you'll take Steve Harvey's advice from one of the Success articles I consumed during that sweaty 60 minutes in my cold garage: "U-turns are allowed. If you're heading down the wrong path, you can turn around." Or keep moving forward. Just don't give up.

Remember, you're too fab to funk.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Why I Love Women

I love women!

Just when I think I'm the only grown girl out there who still has tomboy tendencies, who still loves doing the splits, who's more than annoyed having to have nice nails (mine are the PITS)--
I meet a whole slew of other girls just like me!

Such was the case yesterday when I spoke at the Ladies High Tea at Liberty Christian High School in Argyle, Texas (although they all had fabulous nails...darnit).

With Judy Haire, Liberty Christian School Co-Founder (and future back-up singer)

There I was seated amongst hundreds of women, around our individually decorated tables ( mine Parisian-themed), and within minutes our common connection emerged.

It came in the form we women so readily embrace:


Happy tears. Joyful tears. Tears of empathy. Tears of understanding.

Dang, we women are so good at letting it flow. Especially when we're all together.

My tears began AS I was being introduced, when the eloquent emcee melted my heart by talking about my kids, whom she had known when they attended school there.

But what I loved just as much was how instantly comfortable it felt from the perch of that podium, looking out into a sea of smiling, female faces in their tortoise-rimmed glasses and highlighted hair.

Don't get me wrong, I love men. LOVE them. And I especially appreciate our male viewers at CBS11. (wink, wink)

But I hosted a morning magazine show for almost 7 years in Phoenix.

We became so connected with our female viewers, my co-host and I had the thrill of participating in "Sonoran Living Girlfriend Nights," for which our devoted viewers actually BOUGHT tickets, showed up at the station door, and poured into our studio to mingle with us and our Sonoran Living cast. (Shout out to some of them--our craft divas The MaryAngelos, beauty experts Michele Rene & Zethina, and especially to Lisa & Patty from "Girlfriends Unlimited" for executing those glorious evenings!)

My favorite part of those events was seeing, hugging, and listening to these ladies; hearing how the experiences we shared on-air, touched their hearts at home--and helped them feel not so alone.

It brought me to tears then...and it brings me to tears now.

Girlfriends & a good cry--two ingredients to a great life.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

What Only Dad Can Do

My kids are learning some intense lessons about life these days through this little game called basketball. In particular, when it comes to sports, the highs are SO high, and the lows are REALLY low.

On a recent trip to Nashville to watch our son play, Luke revealed how awful it is to be in a shooting slump. So after the game (Vanderbilt lost), I asked if he wanted to shoot with his dad a little while. Like old times. Get some confidence back in his shot.

I snapped this picture later that night inside a totally empty Memorial Gym.

This, my friends, is something only a dad can do.

Only Luke's dad.

The difference Frank Kornet has made in his children's lives can never be quantified.

And I have no doubt he will continue to heap life-changing love on this family through his actions, convictions, and sheer devotion until his last dying breath.

In her book Lean In Sheryl Sandberg cites research which consistently found that children with involved and loving fathers have higher levels of psychological well-being and better cognitive abilities.

So, Dads, keep it up.

We ALL need you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

God, What do YOU Want Me To Do?

One of my new favorite writers calls this The Big Question.
And this week it stopped me in my tracks:
"God, what do YOU want me to do?"

My morning routine typically starts by sitting on my leather chair, downing several cups of coffee, and reading through a handful of devotionals and books. My latest fav is a gift from my oldest son called Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly.

It's no secret I've been trying to figure out the next chapter in my own book, now that all three kids are in college. I've downsized, moved closer to work, sold most of my crap, and booked a trip to France with a girlfriend.

But when I woke up this morning and asked my husband, "Do you feel as bored and unfulfilled as I do?" -- to which he immediately answered "Yes" -- it is clear we are ripe for even more change.

Which brings me back to The Big Question.

In all of my past moves and job opportunities, I've felt a sense of peace and clear direction from the Big Man upstairs. I'm telling you, it was truly as though the heavens parted and a beam of light came down and hit me smack dab in the forehead with a "Tracy, here is your answer."

But not this time. I feel stuck. And totally in the dark.

Maybe it's because this time, I am trying to figure it all out on my own. I am trying to push and prod and plan, when I'm supposed to be still. I'm supposed to be silent. I've had several dear friends remind me how that is the only way we can actually hear God speak.

Last night I called a summit of some of these girlfriends. I almost cried when I spotted them through the window of the Zoe's Kitchen near my old neighborhood.

I have missed my friends. I have missed our conversations. God may speak in the silence, but I believe He can speak through quality friends, too.

I am all ears.

Some of my wisest women friends. How I love them!