Behind the scenes of getting on the news

With Thanksgiving coming so early in November, it’s a little shocking that the holiday season is upon us.

If you’ve watched the clip of WCCO’s story on Owen’s journey to participating in Thanksgiving, you saw we had a small but pleasant group. As always, Kyle’s meal was delicious. We normally have a bigger group than this year, so we were missing Joe and Cheryl and Thayran but, admittedly, it was much easier to coordinate everyone for the news crew filming by only having five of us – so it worked out well.

I’ve had lots of “behind the scenes questions”, so let me answer the most frequent.

How did they find you? I met a couple of members of the Gillette PR team through Twitter. They saw ANRC and asked if we’d ever be open to sharing Owen’s story. I said, “sure” and from there Gillette did the work. The woman I worked with (who is a new preemie mom) read the blog and came up with the idea for the story. I was told it would definitely be on Gillette’s blog and pitched to media.

When did you find out the story was picked up? The day of – about 1 hour before the camera arrived! The reporter expressed interest in the story earlier in the week, so we were well prepared for the process, but because the news industry is reactive to what’s happening, final story selection happens at a meeting at 10:00 AM. I was called at 10:30 and the cameraman, reporter and Gillette’s PR representative arrived at 11:30.

Well you knew it was a strong possibility, so you were prepared right? Oh, that’s funny! I really wish I would have had the presence of mind to take a before picture of the house and me at 10:30 and then one at 11:30. I did go on a cleaning frenzy the night before, but what did I clean? The pantry, of course. It was bugging me for several weeks because it was difficult to find what was in there and I just had to clean it. Forget the laundry piled on my couch. The pantry, that no camera would see, had to be cleaned.

Let’s just say, a lifetime of procrastinating served me well. Fortunately, Grandpa Corky arrived right after we got the call. We basically didn’t say hello. It was more like, “You. Kellen. Park. Now.” Poor Grandpa Corky. We hadn’t even warned him that it was a possibility (didn’t want to jinx it, you know).

Did you get your haircut? (one close friend who can say these types of things to me said, “it even looked like you showered”). Thanks all for the compliments. No. I’m in desperate need of haircut and no, I didn’t shower either. I designated 45 minutes to making my house look not normal embarrassing on TV and 15 minutes to getting dressed, and doing hair and make up. For my hair, I did the wet with my hands and then blow it dry trick. The star was Owen and I knew he’d look cute no matter what. (Thank you, God, he didn’t refuse the food. He’s teething and not eating well the day before or after, but he ate on Thursday!)

How did you manage the cooking dinner and eating dinner shots? Were they faked? How long were they at your house? No, they were not faked. The team arrived as Kyle was cooking and they filmed some of the cooking and the interviews – it took about 45 minutes. The cameraman then came back just before we sat down to eat and stayed 10-15 minutes.

Does Kyle always do the cooking? If we want it to taste good, he does.

So there you have it. I don’t think it’s going to help anyone else get their story on the news, but it might give you a little insight into life at the M house.

And here are the pictures the Grandparents are waiting to see:

Grandpa and his boys



Only one more week of Movember!20121126-001329.jpg

Christmas tree is up and lights are on.  I still need to find all the non-breakable ornaments so I can trim the tree, but it’s going to be pretty empty this year.  With Owen crawling and climbing, it doesn’t seem wise to put the really nice stuff out this year.



Kellen picked out a small tree for the boys’ bedroom.  Instead of being in their bedroom, he just takes it from room to room with him.  Sunday night I found it and him sleeping together.


The organized pantry is 100% worth the last minute scrambling that had to be done the next day.


Sweetest picture ever!  Owen is really starting to show affection now and Kyle and I are eating it up!


© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

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