Seester Sunday: Groundhog Day

Melissa:

Well, so much for posting again “next week.” Ha ha. (See our last post from A MONTH ago!) Life happens, I guess. 

This Sunday is a big day for a lot of people. Not only is it Super Bowl Sunday, but in Iowa, it is Caucus Eve!

I worked at Barnes and Noble during the day today and afterward took Percy and Gemma for a nice, long walk around Gray’s Lake.

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Then we stayed in and watched the Super Bowl. I can’t remember the last time we had a night in. With holding a final 50-50 in 2020 three day candidate training for women running for office, wrapping up the 50-50 in 2020 organization as a whole, lining up new clients to begin work for on February 1st and after, attending caucus events, and dating (Yes, the first date at Centro has turned into several dates now!) during the past three weeks, this lady has been on the go a lot. 

Today I wore a sweater, tank, and Pixie pants from Old Navy. This was the perfect outfit for today: practical and comfortable for work, and something I could keep on for the rest of the day at the lake and at home. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it a million times yet or not, but I like to get dressed once for the day and call it good. 

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I accessorized with my main thing: earrings. These I bought from a Lia Sophia consultant eons ago:

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I wore my tall brown boots to Barnes and Noble and then switched to my waterproof ankle boots for lake time. Both pairs of boots are from – you guessed it – Target! 

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While life has been crazy lately, I have continued to stock up on books for the slower days ahead. Today’s Barnes and Noble purchase:

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Hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl, and if you live in Iowa, please caucus tomorrow! I recommend caucusing for Amy Klobuchar. 🙂

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Sarah:

Happy Candelmas/Feast of the Presentation, Eve of Jeremiah’s birthday, Superbowl Sunday, Groundhog Day, National Tator Tot Day, and the first global palindrome day in 909 years. How’s that for a great setup for the day?!

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Today’s outfit consisted of a white maternity tshirt, jean jacket and thrifted black maxi skirt with black Old Navy leggings underneath. I wore boots as well. I also, like my sister, like to get dressed ONCE for the day, and I hate changing during the day, so this is what I wore for everything! My legs were warm and I like having the option to remove my jacket as I tend to get quite *warm* these days! I wore this outfit for church, brunch, walking to the library, folding laundry, making food, soothing a fussy toddler, photographing handstands, delegating jobs, loading the dishwasher, overeating Superbowl food and visiting at my parent’s house. Gabriel was a gift bearer at church today and Lucy read half of the prayers of the faithful as it was 3rd and 4th grade Mass ministries today. It was a good day!

We will hopefully be back again soon with another installment of Seester Sunday!

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Seester Sunday: Happy Halloween!

This “Seester Sunday” article is being posted a full three months after the fact, as I have been busy with all things 50-50 in 2020 and caucus related! Thanks for your patience as I catch up on posts!

Sarah:

Happy Halloween! This week’s Seester Sunday is a little different as we were together all weekend! YAY! Mel arrived to our house Thursday evening and we got to do all kinds of fun things together until Sunday night! We had close to 6 inches of snow on Halloween so our trick or treating was postponed until Sunday evening, which ended up being a beautiful day. It worked out well. We got to go shopping, paint pumpkins, watch movies, celebrate a birthday, rake leaves, hike, eat a lot of yummy food, go to Mass (twice!) and trick or treat! Mel is a much better historian than me, so I’m sure she can fill in the details of the rest of the weekend in pictures, if she wishes 😉 . We got to go to Mass together on Sunday morning, and here we are afterwards, ready to eat brunch!

I got dressed before I got Lucy out of bed, and she decided we needed to be twins after she got up. I do enjoy this, as I’m pretty sure she won’t want to match me so much in a few short years! So I’m wearing a navy/white dress **with pockets** from HERE.  I also put on fleece lined tights from Target (so cozy!), a thrifted jean jacket and brown boots that I’ve had forever. Lucy’s entire outfit is thrifted, all from Once Upon a Child consignment stores (striped dress, jean jacket and boots), tights are from Walmart. Lucy’s always so adorable. The pic turned out good, but our first take looked like this:

Classic. Aunt and Mom fussing over Lucy’s hair to get it out of her face. Lucy’s cute regardless!

Brunch at our house was not complete today without Sunday Mimosas! Kateri was eyeing these pretty hard!

Later that night we went trick or treating. We had quite the crew!

Costume contest winners Snoopy with Charlie Brown and Sally; Anna from Frozen; a mermaid; a blue man; Tinkerbell; Waldo; a strawberry; Snow White. We now have way more candy than any family should ever own! 

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Melissa:

Yes, Happy Halloween! I have been thrilled to be able to dress up with my favorite little people and trick or treat with them for the past six years! This weekend marked year seven. You can check out our previous costumes at https://melissagesing.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/halloween-costume-history/.

In addition to our Halloween tradition, I try to attend mass with my sister’s family a few times a year outside of holidays. As a godparent to all of her kids, I think it’s important to partake in the sacraments with them, visit their parish, and try to be a spiritual role model – or at least a sounding board – as they get older. 

This Sunday I wore a new sweater and skirt outfit by A New Day at Target. My tights and boots are also from Target – surprise, I know! 😉 

Spending time with my sister’s family is truly a blessing. Here are a few more photos from our HalloWeekend:

Lunch with Amelia at Chick-fil-A!

 

Gabriel reading and snuggling with my pups. ❤️

Lucy painting her pumpkin.

Playing in the leaves with Ruth!

Finding Kateri playing in a box.

Happy Sunday Funday, everyone!

Seester Sunday: Happy Fall!

Seester Sunday: Happy Fall!

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Seester Sunday – also referred to as What We Wore Sunday! These posts will be co-authored by my sister Sarah and yours truly. We both enjoy getting dressed up for church on Sundays and thought this may be a fun way to showcase that! We both have various things happening on Sundays, so we will give you a glimpse into our weekend activities too. According to my sister, I have great taste in fashion. She also manages to wear everything well and prides herself on finding a good bargain. Yes, we are quite the pair! We hope you enjoy following us in our common faith and routines, as well as our very different lives as a small town mom of five and a single city dweller with two fur kids. 😉 Check out my sister’s blog here.

Sarah:

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So today it was pretty chilly when I woke up. It was 36 degrees! I knew it was a sweater kind of day! I had just gotten a new sweater this past week, so I was excited to wear it. And it’s super cozy! It caught my eye at Walmart of all places. I love the mustardy/tan color and I think it screams fall. Jeremiah told me it reminded him of Velma from Scooby Doo when it was on the hanger *ahem*–not the look I was going for–…..but then he told me it looked good when I put it on. Whatevs. I like it. My pants are black skinny jeans from Target, the A New Day brand. I bought them specifically for work but I actually really like them otherwise and find myself reaching for them a lot. Confession–the last time I wore black jeans was probably 4th grade so it was really weird to put them on at first! Boots are from Famous Footwear I believe, and I wear them ALOT. Some Sundays I dress up more than others, it just depends on what I’m feeling and the weather!!

I didn’t get a pic of the kids dressed up, but may try to do that sometimes. Lucy had several instances of high drama with her clothing choices (Mom! I have no long sleeves! Why are all my cardigans so itchy?! Why don’t I have any winter dresses like Amelia?! Blah blah blah) but settled on a cute outfit. Amelia complained the whole Mass about how itchy her tights were. (Maybe my kids all need some lotion?!) Ruth rocked a pair of sparkly pack boots with a dress I had originally made for Lucy when she was 3 or 4. Yep. Regardless, we made it to Mass before 8:30am, always a win!

The kids did pretty well during Mass. After Mass we always have coffee and doughnuts while the kids go to Sunday School. It was my week off of teaching so I got to sit around and visit too. All the kids go to Sunday school this year except for Kateri, so it’s kind of quiet, which is nice. After that we go to brunch at the in-laws and it’s a good time and good food!

Today we came home around 12:15 to change clothes and leave again for an outdoor work day at the preschool playground. Let’s just say things went well for awhile and then all of a sudden it was apparent that the 3 youngest girls definitely needed a nap! So, home I went. The rest of the day we were at home resting, doing things around the house, getting ready for the week and preparing food: the usual!

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Melissa:

When Sarah asked me about doing a joint blog post on Sundays, I did not hesitate to say yes. Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I love going to 10:30 a.m. mass at the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines. I love usually being able to take a full day for myself. I truly try to put the “Funday” into “Sunday Funday.”

This morning was one of those crisp, fall mornings that I long for during the dog days of summer. I knew it was going to be a boots and tights day, and I welcome that. I bought a new Prologue dress at Target a few weeks ago, and today was my second day wearing it. I love this dress because it is one of those throw on and go items that is super comfy and practical for mass, as well as my day full of activities. Oddly enough, I too had someone give me a hard time about my wardrobe choice. When I wore this outfit for the first time a couple of weeks ago, an elderly man outside of the Urbandale Public Library asked me what I was dressed up as, and then said, “a pilgrim?” I replied with, “No, this is just my outfit for today!” – with a big smile on my face.

I get dressed once for the day, and that’s what I wear all day, so versatility is key for me. Lately I like to get up earlier than needed in the morning so I can drink coffee, read my morning devotion, and snuggle with the pups on the couch. Sometimes I get partly ready for the day, pause for this, and then resume with makeup and hair, etc. Other days I stay in my pajamas for way longer than I should and then find myself in a mad dash to get out the door on time. Fortunately, today was one of the former.

Sunday mass is my reset button for the week. I sit on the “Joseph side” of the Basilica, in a small pew. While I do not sit directly beside anyone, I have people all around me. I enjoy fellowship during the sharing of the peace and after mass, but otherwise, I am a solo worshipper. I really try to be present and often find myself tearing up during certain hymns or right before and/or after the Eucharist. I have accepted that I am a weepy girl, and I feel so blessed to be so touched by something that it stirs up such an emotion in me.

Our parish has coffee, juice, and donuts on Sunday mornings, so I sometimes stay afterward for that. Today we had a raffle drawing, and while I did not win anything, it was fun to be a part of the fundraising project for the Basilica.

After mass, I took the fur kids to the dog park. At a balmy 51 degrees, it was a nice fall day, but it did require a coat and scarf for this girl who is almost always cold. Percy and Gemma love the dog park for the socialization with other pups, as well as the wide open space to run, sniff, and roll in disgusting things. I love the fresh air and quiet time to recharge.

Today we also swung by the Starbucks Drive Thru on the way home: Pumpkin Spice Latte for me, and pup cups for them. Once home, I settled in with my PSL and my current read while they snoozed.

This evening was our annual Basilica Foundation Autumn Wine and Cheese Fundraiser. The Basilica Foundation exists to provide funding for the upkeep of our beautiful building. I first attended this event last year, when I was brand new to the parish and just beginning RCIA classes.

How fast this past year flew by! I enjoyed a few glasses of tasty wine, some amazing cheese and chocolate, and great conversations with fellow parishioners. I love my Basilica family!

I get a C grade at best for capturing a full length photo of my outfit this week. After all, this dress HAS POCKETS! I was just having too much fun enjoying the day to worry about it (but yet I managed to take a ton of other photos!). Oh well! There’s always next week. 😉

Fridays with G and L: Snow, Spot, and Smiles

December 2, 2011

G, L, and I decided to spend most of our day in Davenport.  Immediately upon stepping outside, G noticed a patch of snow in the grass.  He was almost as excited about his second season of snow as he was with his first:

How fast that year came around again!

And G one year later – in 2011.

However, G wasn’t nearly as excited about his first trip to Antonella’s.

G decided to hide under a table, but Aunt Mel was there to catch him on camera when he finally re-emerged.

Our waitress was very nice and brought G some crayons, paper, and an Etch-A-Sketch.  Those things eventually lured him back to our table.

Lucy was super content in her carrier (obviously this was a few months ago before walking!):

Then we went to Aunt Mel’s place to play.

L loves Spot, the Target dog! Jag (the cat in the background) could really care less.
G calls the Target dogs “Mommy” and “Daddy” – of course.
G demanded I take a picture of this…..
…..and this.
The monkey jumping on my bed. (We have special rules at Aunt Mel’s place!)

What a fun day!  I think we all felt like L:

The Freedom of Wardrobe Choice

Dress codes.  Uniforms.  Status quo.  Stifling expression. Attempting to create equality.

Upon hearing the news of the new Waterloo Community School District dress code the week before last, I was once again going back and forth between the pros and cons of school uniforms and dress codes.

I love the United States mostly because our concept of freedom is second to none.  I truly realized the power of free speech when taking a Communication Law class at Simpson taught by Ben Stone, then the director for the Iowa Civil Liberties Union.  While I didn’t agree with everything he said, Ben challenged me to really think about the concept of free speech and the slippery slope we lean toward if we limit speech of any kind.

The way we dress is a form of self expression and speech in a different form.  I love individuality.  However, when it concerns kids in a learning environment, school uniforms might have an appropriate role to play.  A lot of being a kid, especially during the teenage years, is trying to belong.  And this belonging is often attained by keeping up with the name brand wardrobes that the cool kids display every day.

I grew up in a small town, and name brand clothes were a big thing there in the 1990s.  When I received my first pair of Guess jeans, I wore them as often as possible because they were my only pair of name brand jeans.  I wanted to fit in with the popular kids who had multiple pairs of name brand jeans.

Wouldn’t it be easier to wear standard khakis and polos?  Ah, but those have brand labels also.  Kids will find some way to differentiate themselves, if even in a small way.  Maybe it’s enough to make the playing field closer to level for lower and upper income families though.

And maybe dressing the kids similarly will create fewer distractions in a learning environment.  With the things I see them wearing these days, I am beginning to understand that argument.

Nearly every school has some sort of dress code already.  At my school, we could not wear midriff shirts or hats of any kind.

As kids grow up and enter the real world, they will face dress codes in many work places.  My Target Optical job requires red and khaki.  It’s a love-hate relationship most days.  It’s nice not to have to think about what to wear, but then I do tire of the colors.

If I was unable to tolerate the red and khaki, I could choose to work at another company with a different, or no, dress code.

And with open enrollment, some families have the option to change schools if they strongly disagree with an institution’s policies.  Another great thing about America: the free market.  Parents make those decisions for children, which is the good and bad thing about being a kid.  I suppose if kids don’t agree, they can lobby their parents for change.  Welcome to Democracy 101!

Personal Branding Via Your Headline

Marketing has taken over the world, and not only for businesses and products.  Now we are told to market ourselves, to create our own personal brand.  At first glance, this may seem silly.  Since I’m a nerd though, I love the concept of personal branding.

Melissa Gesing:  Organizing queen, headhunter, political enthusiast, concert-goer, bookworm, godmother.  Make it a venti in the morning, red in the evening.

Too often we let our random jobs define us, when it should be the other way around.  For many years, I was the student, retail manager, political staffer.  But I’m so much more than my full time job!

Since I began this blog, I’ve reviewed my headline many times and have tweaked it a few of those times.  I keep this as consistent as possible with my summary on social media sites.  LinkedIn is a bit tougher, because I want to create a more professional persona.  But then I struggle to let my personality shine if I feel too restricted.

How to create your personal brand headline: Brainstorm the top ten things you like to do!  Some of these may be work related, recreational, or random hobbies.  Throw it all together into something consistent with the message you are sending to people on a day to day basis.

My personal brand headline is quite a hodge podge of stuff.  I have so many projects and interests, so I find it daunting to narrow it down.  I am  Type A and constantly evolving, which leads to a lot of reviewing and adjusting.

Organizing Queen: I love organizing everything – messy rooms, small and large events, volunteers, you name it.

Headhunter: I recently began a venture with A-PLUS Recruiting where I cold call businesses to drum up new business and search online for qualified candidates to fill spots.  I also like hunting for the right people in general – whether it’s expanding my professional contacts or simply being a social butterfly and enjoying the company of fun people.

Political Enthusiast: I left the political mention off of my headline for quite a while, but now it seems foolish not to include it.  I often shy away from mentioning politics because people often zero in on that item and ignore all of the other things that make me who I am.  Alas though, I love politics and will always be involved in some capacity.

Concert-Goer: One of my favorite past times is going to concerts with my best concert buddy Jen.  Most recently, I went to see U2 in St. Louis.

Bookworm: Ever since I have been able to read, I have enjoyed it.  I read everything from chick lit to biographies.  Currently, I am reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Godmother: Talk to me for ten minutes, and you will inevitably hear about my nephew Gabriel and niece Lucy.  I love them to pieces and babysit them on Fridays.

Make it a venti in the morning, red in the evening: Coffee and wine are fabulous.  I enjoy various area coffee shops including Starbucks, Dunn Bros., and Redband Coffee.  I also enjoy Target‘s selection of wine and winding down at The Grape Life.

The toughest part of the headline is to leave out job titles.  As mentioned above, this may be necessary to include on LinkedIn, but think of it more as keywords there to let your imagination go.  If you love your job title and that is what you do with your life, more power to you.  However, I am aiming for a well-rounded headline that shares a glimpse of me.

Skeptics of this sort of thing likely think people who know us will know who we are without a headline.  True, but what about those people who only know you on the surface and might benefit from knowing more?  I have stumbled upon several new projects and opportunities by showing more sides of myself than just the full time or day job that threatens to take over my life.

Your Twitter profile is a good place to start with summarizing your brand in a headline, and I love reading others’ blurbs.  The character limit is a good thing, because it forces you to be concise.

Most importantly, have fun creating and refining your personal brand.  I am living out my headline today – babysitting Gabriel and Lucy.  Happy Friday, everyone!

The Right People and Authenticity = Brand Loyalty

It’s pretty obvious which brands and places I love if you watch my Twitter feed on any given day.  I am a creature of habit, but I am also a creature who appreciates great customer service dished up alongside a fabulous product.

I am likely a marketing guru’s dream.  I make choices partly on emotion and image.  While they create ad campaigns, the marketers don’t control the employees who represent or sell the brand.  And for me, the front line employees are the make or break factor in determining whether I keep coming back.

My new job at Target Optical includes the role of representing the brand and training employees to represent the brand well.  So many components feed into this:  dress code, friendliness, guest service, product knowledge, and efficiency.  Hiring the right people is key, as some skills can be taught while others are deeply etched into who we are already.

I enjoy learning from outside of my Target bubble and have made a few observations about the following brands.  I hope to utilize these observations to increase my effectiveness at optical.

Dunn Bros.

We finally have one in the Quad Cities!  I fell in love with this coffee chain when I discovered a Dunn Bros. during a business trip in Rochester.  The employees were super friendly and the brand stood out for their freshly roasted beans.  It was right next to my hotel and kept me fueled for my four day media tour with a little known congressional candidate in southern Minnesota.

The Dunn Bros. in Bettendorf is always buzzing with people, a bit more upbeat than the area Starbucks.  I am always offered samples of the coffee, and the employees are allowed to deviate from a standard colored dress code.  The hippie side of me also loves the chances of seeing these in the parking lot:

Volkswagon Beetles, Dunn Bros.

I also like the added touch of the doggie dishes:

dog friendly business

And this brings me to my next favorite coffee shop, Starbucks.

Starbucks, while different from Dunn Bros., is a great coffee shop.  Most Starbucks have friendly employees who engage in conversation and suggest items to try.  I admire the brand and realize it is no coincidence that it is literally an icon of American coffee today.  I am a proud gold card member, and Sumatra is my favorite brew at home.  My favorite to go drink is a Venti (with whip) caramel latte.

The Grape Life and Wine-Nutz

Two local wine bars, both with fabulous owners.  The Grape Life is in Davenport; Wine-Nutz is in Muscatine.  Not sure what you want when you walk in the door?  No problem.  Whomever is working will make you feel at home and invite you to try something new.  Not pretentious, always fun people around.  You may lose track of time.

Frackie’s

So, it’s a west end dive bar.  This makes it all the more notable that I’ve received better service here than in some of the more upper scale restaurants in the Quad Cities.  Their vodka tonics actually have a decent amount of vodka, and Taco Tuesdays are delicious.

Mojo’s

G likes it.  Enough said.  If you are looking for speedy service, this isn’t your place.  But it has an artsy atmosphere, and the food is great.  I am willing to wait if I am treated well.  And they don’t even flinch when a toddler walks in the door.  The lunch performers often like to sing directly to G, which is awesome.

AT&T

I recently stopped in to ask about a billing issue and to change my address.  Deric was very professional and kind – even held the door open for me when I left.  Very cool.

These are just a few of the local spots I love.  Others – most recently Dunkin Donuts and The Gap – have been disappointing, given their national prominence.  Maybe my expectations are high since I have worked in the service industry and know the difference between OK and great.

I have also been in the shoes of the hiring decision maker, and I would always sacrifice a great staffing score (having all positions filled) in exchange for waiting to find the right people for positions.  So much is at stake with finding the right people.  It’s your brand on the line.

Even if you have a do-it-yourself online company, someone friendly needs to answer the phones and help customers solve problems.  People do make the difference.  I am willing to pay a few cents more if it means better service and fewer headaches.  The experience makes me loyal to a brand.

Fridays with G: Making Room for L

Fridays with G will never be the same again.

First, there’s this hiatus with Sarah, G’s mom, being on maternity leave after the birth of little Lucy and me feeling an obligation to pitch in at optical on Fridays since it’s one of our busiest days.  So, Fridays are sometimes Thursdays or Tuesdays, or even Sundays now.  We will go back to Fridays in a few more weeks though.

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Sweet little Lucy

Second, and more crucial, is the presence of a little sister with G now.  The boy adores Lucy.  It’s amazing how a big brother can be so protective even when he is not quite two years old.  But you shouldn’t be surprised because by now I should have conveyed to you just how exceptional G is.  🙂  G always needs to know where Lucy is, and when he and his mom went to her bassinet yesterday morning to find her not there (Sarah knew where she was), G had a look of horror on his face.  Then they found her with Daddy and all was well.

While G loves his little sister, he now has to share his parents, and also Aunt Mel.  He seems to be adjusting well, so the young age is a good thing.  I, on the other hand, was six years old when my sister was born.  It took me a little while to change my ways of expecting to be the center of attention.

Because of my personal experience, I have decided to try to get a little bit of one on one time with G here and there.  When Lucy had her first doctor check up at three days old, I met Sarah, Jeremiah, G, and L at Target.  Of course I had to be there for Lucy’s first trip to Target!

baby, Target

Gabriel, fire truck
G making himself at home at Target! This is his new big brother toy from his mommy and daddy - a new fire truck. Or, as G would say, woo-woo-woo-woo!

Then, when the others went to see the doctor, G and I played at Middle Park in Bettendorf.  I managed to get a sunburn, but it was totally worth it.

Gabriel, park

After we all had a picnic lunch, we parted ways and G and I continued on with our Friday in separate places.  I can’t wait to watch both G and L on Fridays soon.  If people thought I was a humorous site with one kid, I can only imagine how it will be with two.  Then again, I will have double the stories.

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Lucy and Gabriel, my godchildren. I am looking forward to Fridays with both of them soon!

Fridays with G: Enjoying the Moment

Routine activities become so much better when G is a part of them.  He forces me to slow down and notice things as I attempt to take him in the direction I want to go.

Scenario #1: Starbucks

G and I made our first non-drive thru visit to Starbucks together this past Friday, and he loved it.  He walked through the store, taking in the smells, products, decorations, and people.  We bought him some fruit snacks and oatmeal and found a table near the window.  Soon he was admiring the big comfy chair, perusing the Wall Street Journal, and smiling at the cars going through the drive thru.  He also enjoyed flirting with the baristas, who thought he was the cutest thing ever.

Scenario #2: Target

G and I have been to Target many times.  And since I work there, I often don’t pay attention to much when I am shopping.  G always points out the cool signs hanging from the ceiling and finds a One Spot toy to purchase.  And he will pick out his favorite foods from a mile away: Wheat Thins, cookies, and bananas.

Scenario #3: Mojo’s

I love the RME building in downtown Davenport and appreciate being close to free live music, especially after having lived in a small town for nearly four years.  But this isn’t something I’d necessarily expect G to appreciate.  G might like it as much as I do though.  My 20-month-old nephew can sit still for nearly an hour listening to the local musician play during the lunch hour, and he even does a little jig while sitting in his seat and munching on his sandwich.  He points out the guitar pictures on the wall, gazes up at the open ceiling, and keeps an eye on the traffic outside the big windows.  This past week, he even found interest in the floor.

Scenario #4: Cupcakes, Muffins and More

Of course G appreciates the cupcake shop.  He also plays with the big stuffed bear in the window and attempts to find a way to open the front of the glass display case that holds all of the goodies.  And once again, he really listens to the music, often jazz, in the background.  When G hears music he likes, he gets a very sweet smile on his face and does a bit of head bopping.

Scenario #5: Rides in the Car

G points to lots of stuff as we drive by in my car.  I find myself commenting on the things we see, and he talks back in his own baby language.  He rarely fusses in the car, but instead enjoys the scenery and even takes a nap every now and then.

Scenario #6: Walking Outside

G notices every vehicle and person when walking down the street.  He likes to point and laugh at bicyclists, maybe because they look humorous in their helmets and gear.  He adds sound effects to the big trucks, busses, and emergency vehicles.  And he will get sidetracked by a flower or a weed.  It’s amazing.  If there’s an animal in sight, hang on tight, because G will go for it.

G really pays attention to things around him.  He soaks it all in and has fun with it.  His carefree nature and inquisitiveness can wear me out, but it’s good for me nonetheless.

As you plod through your workday today, try to take a lesson from G and tune into the things around you while following this simple message:

Born to Be Red

If you had to pick a color to describe you, what would it be?  No cheesy quizzes here – just think about it.  Each color is connected to a mood or personality in some way.  However, we are connected to colors in ways other than the typical definition.

Red Rose
My favorite flower!

Until recently, I associated my personal color with the colors I was attracted to the most – pink and green.  I naturally gravitate toward pink and green clothing, and I loved the pink and green color combos in my sister’s wedding and my cousin’s wedding.  Pink was my first favorite color, and it was an even better fit when my favorite band Aerosmith came out with the song “Pink” on their Nine Lives CD.

I’ve begun to appreciate brown and black as both modern and classic colors that can stand on their own.  But I’m too carefree to adopt black or brown as my own.

I was accessorizing my outfit with a red scarf last night when it hit me: RED!  I hadn’t been thinking about my color at all, when it jumped out at me.  Red is my color.  Sure, its definition is cool, but it’s more than that.

I was born with fire red hair.  It has since toned down to a light red, almost strawberry blonde, but I’m definitely a redhead.

Red Christmas Ornament
No “Melissa” or “Mel”: It’s RED!

The Anderson family back in the Burg nicknamed me Red during grade school, and it stuck.  Susie even made me a Christmas ornament with my name – Red – on it.

While I very rarely wore red once I began selecting my own wardrobe (because I assumed it would clash with other things or be too loud for my taste), I chose a red dress for my senior year composite photo.

When I briefly cheered at Simpson College, our uniforms were red and yellow.  I did struggle with this, as every bone in my body wanted to switch it out for black.

I worked in politics for nearly a decade.  Since I worked for Republican candidates, I eagerly awaited for counties and states to appear red on general election nights.

When I worked at Victory Enterprises and ordered yard signs for candidates, the most popular color for campaign logos was PMS 186 – Fire Red.

Target Executives
Lots of red and khaki!

And then I went to work at Target……wearing red and khaki daily, and viewing everything red in my sleep.  Yes, Target’s official red is PMS 186.  It seems I can narrow my red down to a specific hue now!

In the meantime, toward the end of the Victory gig and during the Target adventure, I started using SendOutCards.  I’ll give you one guess what the staple logo color is for that brand.  And now I sell the product.

I recently signed on as a volunteer for the American Red Cross in the Quad Cities.  Obvious redness, but it goes with my recurring theme here.

Elizabeth Dole and Melissa Gesing
EHD and Me – 1999

What’s more: my first political position was with Elizabeth Dole’s presidential campaign, just after she resigned as President of the Red Cross.

My favorite holiday is Christmas, and red is half of the color theme.  (Never mind the”White Christmas” and “Blue Christmas” craziness.)

This red thing could all be a grand coincidence.  However, since I am unable to tie another color so deeply into my being, I am viewing it as a sign.  I was born to be red!