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Bridge Search, Tax-Free Shopping, Calvin’s First "Gig"

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My little boy is a rock star.

I hope he’s sleeping in because it was a very late night.
I’ll give you the full scoop on our memorable evening after a few quick news items…


There was some confusion this morning about exactly how many people are considered missing in the wreckage of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. Some sources, including Associated Press, were still saying 30 this morning, others, like MSNBC, said the number of missing was lowered to 8, because some people on the list came forward and are now accounted for.

The most incredible story I’ve heard yet was the couple of Wisconsins whose Jeep not only fell off the bridge into the river, but HIT THE BOTTOM – the man described uncontrollably inhaling water as they desperately tried to get out and to the surface. I’m amazed to hear that they’re both out of the hospital today. They must have been seconds away from a tragic ending.

By the way, Dan Winters was originally going to keep me company on the news desk this morning since Pat is on vacation, but he went up to Minneapolis yesterday, so I had to go solo. He’s supposed to sit in with me part of next week – I could use the help!


Any of you bargain-hunting this weekend? Most clothes and shoes are tax-free in IA today and tomorrow. DIAPERS are included too! Check the list of what’s in and out right here.


I know he’s only 4, but last night was was easily the highlight of Calvin’s life so far.

My oldest child has become as obsessed with being a “rock star” as some little boys are obsessed with dinosaurs, race cars, or Spiderman. Mike and Jason of the Nadas are his new superheroes.

Last night his dream came true when his daddy’s band let him come up stage and sing at the Simon Estes Amphitheatre.

We’d talked about this for weeks – and I worried that my shy little boy would possibly freeze up when his big moment came.

Not a chance.

With his rock-star sunglasses on (at 10pm) and his little guitar slung around his shoulder he stepped up to the mic right between the Nadas lead singers.

(Calvin is not really a lefty, he just likes to hold his guitar that way because he’s doing a mirror-image of what he sees on TV. Don’t even try to convince him he should flip it over.)

He kept this stoic, aloof, cool-as-a-cucumber rock-star expression the whole time.

And after about a verse of holding back, he started to not only play his guitar, but to get up on the mic and sing along:

“IIII’m…goin’ down to the river, I’m gonna shake and shiver… I’m gonna roll in the water… I’m gonna take your daughter…”

Okay, he doesn’t really get the point of the song (thank goodness)… but he ROCKED it.

The guys in the band were so gracious to let him do this – Mike and Jason are dads too, and understand what a huge deal this is for a kid like Cal to get a chance to share the stage with his heroes.

This was undoubtedly the most-photographed moment in his life since the day he was born – there were cameras absolutely everywhere, along with a crowd of about 2,000 people straining their necks to get a better look at him, and cheering loudly for him the whole time.

As you can imagine, Dad and Mom were just a little bit proud.

After his first gig was done, my little guy had a few rock star demands as he came down from the high:
A stroller ride back to the car.
A McDonalds cheeseburger.
and a snuggle before bed.

I’m not the least bit sorry I indulged all three requests.

Thank you, Nadas, for making Calvin’s night.

Thank you, readers, for putting up with this proud-mom moment.

Have a great Friday – we’re heading out of town to a wedding and will hopefully be back with fun stories to share Monday!



  • IAgal

    Thanks so much for sharing those pictures! As Heather stated, that is TOO CUTE! I really wish I could have seen it myself, but will just have to settle for the next best thing–the pictures. Your children are so cute. Will miss seeing them on the blog when you leave! Have a good weekend.

  • Sara

    I am so mad at myself! We left RIGHT BEFORE Cal got on stage last night! We were tired and we had a drive back to Newton ahead of us and an early morning so we thought we had better get going. Right when we got to the car I heard them introduce Cal…But we were behind enough buildings that we couldn’t hear what was going on. The pictures are so cute! I saw you walking with some friends towards your seat but you were far enough away and it was PACKED so at that time I didn’t want to make the trip down front. :-) I saw you snapping pictures all night though! What a proud moment! Not only your 4 year old son getting to go on stage but the amazing talent that your husband has also! We had a great time last night! The weather turned out to be perfect!Have a nice weekend!Sara

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Sara – Darn! you missed a good one!I guess I should have mentioned that my hubby sounded (and looked) great too last night, but I guess that goes without saying! I always expect him to be a rock star – Calvin was the surprise of the night! Thanks for writing today-TS

  • Anonymous

    Hey Trisha – I just wanted to comment on the 17-children-Dugger-Family story from this morning!! I had watched a special about them on TLC (I think back then they were gearing up for child 14 or 15) and I think they are an amazing family!! They saved money, bought some land, and built their house – with all the kids’ helping in the building process!! They do not believe in credit cards, pay cash for EVERYTHING and have no debt at all. How many families – or single people for that matter – can say that now days? I say – good for them!! If they want 30 kids and can support them all, go for it!!

  • Vicky

    Great job again today…even for your late night. Super cute pics of Cal! How proud you should be!Wish me luck…we are leaving for our 9 hour car ride tomorrow for a week of fun & sun!Have great weekend at the wedding and a great week next week.

  • michelle

    Trish – Congrats to you on your new job! I have so enjoyed spending my mornings with you and will miss your sweet personality delivering the news! Good luck to you and your beautiful family. Michelle

  • Anonymous

    Get Calvin ready for the Iowa State Fair…maybe Emma and Mitch will join him on stage this time. This was beyond cute and awesome! Just another reason to LOVE THE NADAS!I was there, it was beyond words cute!Paul McCartney plays left handed also….

  • Emily

    My husband and I are long time Nadas fans. Ian is a great addition to the band! And the concert last night was the cutest thing ever! I’ve never cheered so loud. Way to go, Calvin!

  • E

    How precious! That was great of you to share the story and pictures with us…you should feel so proud of the little guy. He is fortunate to have those opportunities!! :)

  • J. Paul Newell

    Well……….. I’m one of three proud grandfathers to Calvin and just want him – and his Mom and Dad – to know that his Grandma Susan and Grandpa Paul are totally delighted with his ROCKIN’ DEBUT.You GO! Calvin!!!! Love ya!

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