A Moment To Breathe

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Wow, last week was a busy one. I feel like all through March and April I haven’t had a moment to just sit still- in my personal life or my work life. Not that I am complaining- I like staying busy, but I wouldn’t say no to a few days of quiet nothing.

Last week was the start of sweeps, but I don’t think that was the only reason things felt kind of hectic. There was just a lot going on.

Take Tuesday for example. The First Lady was in town, making her first stop in Iowa officially on the campaign trail. I thought I knew what to expect, having also been to an event early this year with Vice President Biden. But I learned my lesson- never under estimate the power of the secret service. There were agents everywhere! After being thoroughly searched, along with the rest of the guests present, us reporters were confined to this itty bitty corner and not allowed past the rope. I get it, safety first, but I was hoping to be able to get alittle closer, for the story’s sake. Even the guests got closer than us. I didn’t even get to ask her a question. Ah well, it was cool to cover any how.

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits

And then Wednesday was my big sweeps piece with the Justice family (although technically it aired the day before sweeps officially began.) I know I have said it before but wow – the strength Amanda Justice shows is incredible. It’s been a year since her husband was killed overseas. Her adorable daughter Caydence is only 4 years old, and to have to explain something like that to someone so young has to be one of the hardest things ever. But, like she told me in the interview, Amanda has decided not to hide anything from Caydence. Staff Sgt. James Justice’s story has been all over the news, and it’s something talked about a lot. There’s only one thing left to explain: At this point, Caydence knows her dad is heaven, or “in the sky” as she says. But at the end of May, 4 year old Caydence will see her dad’s grave for the first time. Amanda says she hasn’t shown her before this because to Caydence, daddy is in the sky. How do you explain he is in the ground too? Just another reason I feel Amanda (and honestly military wives in general) is one of the bravest people I have met.Click HERE for the story.

Then there was Thursday. Ah, Thursday. Although I usually work nights, I was asked to come in at 9 am. No biggie. I worked on a followup story of the Des Moines police officer involved in two hit and runs last week. He pled not guilty Thursday to charges of possession of meth and marijuana. My main focus was what could happen to any previous cases this officer was involved in, plus I spoke with Pleasant Hill police department about how they handled a similar situation (which, by the way I thought it was pretty cool they talked to us about that.) One thing I thought was interesting there was how the Pleasant Hill officer we spoke with said that feeling of worry, of what the public now thinks, and if they still “respect” the police force, is always there in the back of their minds. He said as a public figure like that, the actions of just one can unfortunately have a big impact on the department as a whole. Click HERE for the story.

Anyway, I finished that- I went live in the studio with that for the 5 and 6 o’clock shows- but then as I was about to walk out the door, the police scanner started going nuts. There was talk about a shooting, with multiple victims, and maybe even a chase. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to cover that story. So I did. We went live at 9 and 10, with the latest. But then on our way home from that story, some more scanner traffic- at least 3 drive-by shootings in the nearby area. We headed straight there, and sure enough bullet casings were being examined by police. What was going on? Why all the shootings? We were able to talk to a man who narrowly escaped injury when his house was hit by the bullets. Such a scary thing! Since his story was so powerful, we wanted to tell it, so I stayed just a little later to put a story together about that for the morning show. Here’s that late night story of a man who had a very close call.

Bullet hole in the fence of a house targeted by a drive-by Thursday night

17 hours after I first stepped foot in the newsroom, I was on my way out. A long day, but in my opinion, worth the time. Although I am still shocked at the events of Thursday night. Scary!

Shell casing my photographer and I helped police find

But then, it was my weekend. And although I had a great one, it was more busy days! I helped throw a bridal shower/bachelorette party for a friend. Man there’s a lot of work that goes into one of those- and I was one of 3 hostesses! I didn’t even do that much! But once again, it was all worth it. Plus, I think the bride-to-be had a good time, which is all that matters, right? (Got some great ideas off of Pinterest by the way- but I won’t get started on that!)

And now, I’m back at work. We spent the day in Creston doing a sort of followup story to the tornadoes that ripped through there a few weeks ago.Although much of the debris was picked up, there are still several severely damaged homes, barely standing. The story we did tonight, was a feel good one though. It’s amazing when good things can come out of something awful.

What's left of a home in Creston after a tornado ripped through town

I am looking forward to the rest of the week, but honestly I am most looking forward to May. I am hoping for just a bit more calm, in one way or another. But I guess we’ll just see what May will hold. :)