Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Michelle Sherwood" Signs Off Sunday...

My last newscast on KSPR is here...

I am really looking forward to the future, but boy, it's hard to file away the last 7 1/2 years of my life.

A lot of wonderful things happened here, personally and professionally. A lot of heartaches took place, too. But, that's life. And, I wouldn't be the person I am without a little adversity.

Thankfully, there are more good times than bad. My most favorite was working with my photographer-boyfriend-now-husband, Jim. We had a beautiful Cathedral wedding in Honolulu, bought our charming first house in our favorite neighborhood, and became the proud parents of a little rottweiler named Minnie.

In terms of my professional career, it's been an awesome, yet uphill journey. I started out as a reporter at KY3, got bumped up to weekend morning (cut-in) anchor, weekend night anchor at KSPR, then weeknight anchor. It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen overnight, but I'm glad it happened the way it did. Nothing good comes easy. And if people don't know me by now...they should know I always follow an opportunity.

Never in my life did I think I could create something worthwhile or bigger than me. I feel like KSPR's Wednesday's Child segments prove otherwise. Even when the kids are difficult --and they're kids... so yes, this happens--I still want to just reach out, give them a hug and find them a home. I spend countless hours working on their two-minute story because I believe they deserve my best efforts. I've been told the Wednesday's Child segments will continue at KSPR, and I wish the station and The Adoption Exchange the best. Leaving this project behind--one I helped start--hurts terribly.
Never in my life did I think I would receive individual, national recognition for something. This year's Angels in Adoption Awards were incredibly humbling. I am still very thankful for Senator-Elect Roy Blunt's nomination. The event changed my life.

I was also really proud to win an Emmy last month. Talk about leaving on a high note. We didn't even go to the awards banquet this year because we were pretty nonchalant about it for once. Murphy's Law, I suppose... but I wouldn't have done anything differently. It was cool to forgo the tux rental money to buy food and drinks for good friends.

Friends and family reading this blog... I'm sorry I haven't told you sooner, I wish I could've been more forthcoming with information on the future. It's just that Jim and I weren't ready for the questions.

I am taking a main anchor job on the East Coast, effective in two weeks. Jim will stay behind until we can wrap up things in the Ozarks. I know a lot of people (especially his co-workers!) will be wondering if that means he'll be a lame duck... but rest assured, we are prepared to work a part indefinitely. People do it all the time, especially in the news business. It will be difficult, but the world is a much smaller place these days.

As for me, I'll be at the beach. Literally. Coastal living...where there's a Whole Foods Market, a Williams-Sonoma and a Pottery Barn. Now, if I could afford the $15-million beach house, life would be perfect.

The one thing I'll miss the most? People. Jim, my mom and dad (who live near Clinton), the rest of my family, Jim's family and so many friends. It hurts a bit to even write it. BUT, I expect everyone to come visit our quaint little beach town! Just not all at once... though if that's the only way I get you, then I'll take it!

One more thing--just thought it would be appropriate to post my VERY FIRST story I did on KY3. I think it was Good Friday, 2003 (April 18th.) I was told I would learn how to work the system that morning... by noon, they had me out shooting a story on a traffic survey. It was a bit of a snoozer-of-a-topic, but I was so nervous about making it stand out. Ha!

This is also the last of Michelle Sherwood, so-to-speak. My maiden name serves no purpose anymore. Can you believe it?? Sorry, Mom and Dad... I haven't decided what I'm going to do about the blog, but no decision will be made in haste. I'd actually like to keep it for adoption, but we'll see how easy it will be to maintain.

Thank you for all the wonderful notes, messages and support. Thanks for trusting me with your stories, your issues... thanks for all of the experiences, good and not-so-good. I have been blessed and I will always feel like I can call the Ozarks home. I am so glad I got to "grow-up" here... and trust me, I'll visit often!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Alexus

Alexus is one of my favorite gigglers to date. Someone MUST adopt her! She's at the age where she needs a lot of confidence building. I just adore this little girl.

Friday, November 19, 2010

OMG! Holt International... inspired by me?? What World Am I Living In?

I was lurking on the Internet and saw something that made me fall out of my chair. Holt International is starting to feature children in a weekly "Waiting Child" article. This blows my mind. The blog post mentions me for inspiration? W-What?

Only because I'm deeply in love with Holt. If you tell me you've adopted through Holt, I will probably hug you. Holt has won my respect time and time again. The people are so dedicated, and the organization's reputation is unbeatable.

Today, I am blessed.

BUT, the REAL story is about BEN! He's the agency's first weekly Waiting Child. He does some super cute stuff (like headstands), and he says he misses his friends who've left the orphange for forever homes (heartbreaking.) He's so darn cute!

Check out his cute little smile... send it out all over Facebook and Twitter. Thanks, y'all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comedian Michael Jr. Comes to the Ozarks

Do you know who Michael Jr. is? He is soooo funny. We will be together on KSPR News this Morning on Friday.

BUT, the big event is Sunday at James River Assembly. He has a free show on November 21st at 6 p.m.

Michael Jr. does some great things. He tells clean jokes, first of all. Secondly, he's traveling the country trying to make people laugh at unlikely places--homeless shelters, kids who've been abused...he's a stand out and a stand-up. He's also been on late night talk shows, like Jay Leno!

Look at our little ditty here... Blasian news? Blanchors? Whoa. He said it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Patrick

This week's Wednesday's Child is Patrick. He's a great kid... very smart. He's absolutely college-bound. He told me he wants to go to Mizzou or Duke. (Two of my three favorite states!)

He taught himself how to make a website; he wants to do something with computers.

The most heartbreaking thing is that he told me he wants a family because he thinks he needs that extra support before he starts high school. :( He's such an insightful kid.

Patrick also loves sports-- Dallas Cowboys! And, he's a pretty good shot! We played hoops the day we met, and he beat me in around the world! Check him out and tell your friends about him. Financial assistance could be available for him to go to college, too.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Goodbye! I'm Leaving KSPR and KY3 Inc.

I've come a long way since I started at KY3 in April 2003. I started on Good Friday at the urging of my then-news director. By doing that, I had to take another year of religious classes, but I was so happy to be in my home state!

Just a couple weeks after my big move, the May 4th tornadoes came. I was so terrified because it was the first real major breaking news event I'd covered. There was so much destruction, and I was so sad to talk to families who had lost loved ones. The first house I stopped at in Camdenton was an eye opener. I met a couple of teens who were picking up the debris, and I asked them a few questions about the storm. I asked... "Did everyone make it out ok?" "No," was their response.

Apparently, a husband and wife lived there for several years. They were grandparents. She was found in a bathtub several hundred yards away from the house. The grandfather was somewhere out in the field. I thought of my family. That one news event shaped much of my career... even as devastating as it was, I am grateful to have learned so early about true hardships and the power of local TV news. People complain about local TV, but the truth is, I believe our station (and others) saved lives the night of the storm. We helped many towns and people recover afterwards. It was a great lesson, and it's not one that comes around often.

After a few months, I had the great opportunity to work the weekend mornings and anchor the cut-ins. It was ONLY the cut-ins, but I thought anchoring a smidge would be better than nothing. I passed up several opportunities to report dayside, M-F... but I was determined to have my 3 minutes on the anchor desk, even if it meant waking up on Saturdays at 5 a.m.

Then, the opportunity came to work at KSPR. Weekend nights. Producing my own newscast. Editing on BETA. And filling in on the sports desk. Really? What year was this? It didn't matter, though. I thought it was great experience. I remember feeling a great sadness leaving my KY3 comforts... but I was so excited for the chance to do more professionally.

A year later, I was anchoring the 10 p.m. news. Shortly after that, we dumped all of our sad equipment and started working in the newest studio/newsroom in the market. It's been really cool to be HD from start to finish, work with robotic cams and ipads and work with the latest equipment. Of course, that can only go so far.

But, as I ramble here... I kept thinking it might be time to move on. After all, nearly eight years in one place is a long time. At some point, you have to decide whether you want change or not. I did.

My contract ends November 30th. My last newscast will be Sunday, November 28th. I imagine it will be routine-- "here today, gone tomorrow" kind-of-thing. And, that's the way it should be. I wouldn't subject any of our viewers to my mumblings about moving on. It's reserved for my blog, though... and I won't apologize for that!

I had a great run at KY3 Inc. I made a lot of memories with incredible people. I earned recognition across the state --even the country-- for the work I've done in both newsrooms. And, most importantly, I met my wonderful husband here. Without him, I'm nothing. Jim and I have so much more ahead in our future together, but Springfield will leave an impression on us. And, I'm truly grateful to have had the chance to be here.

I'm sorry I haven't told some of you face-to-face about my big life change. I feel like a horrible friend, and the truth is, I still feel like I need to be a little cryptic about my future. We will still have roots in the Ozarks; Jim will continue working at KY3 Inc., and I will be seen around town.

Feel free to send me a message on Facebook or drop me a note with your email. I'll be in touch.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adoption update: I'm a Good Cook... and It's in my Genes...

I've always been told I'm a good cook. I don't know if that's really true since I basically just add butter and garlic to everything... but I really do enjoy cooking.

Example 1: I worked at Williams-Sonoma in college for four years. I bought my All-Clad cookware set before I was 21.

Example 2: In college I thought it would be a great idea to serve my fellow senior, sorority sisters to a Thanksgiving dinner. My roommates, Lucy and Staci put it together... but we made a turkey that year for 20+ girls. The thing I learned? You can cook a turkey upside down and it becomes more juicy. (I had to work that day, so I prepped the turkey, and Lucy put it upside down in the oven. She'd call me throughout the day with random things like: a) she didn't like to touch raw meat and b) she couldn't get the wings to tuck under.)

Example 3: I still have dinner parties all the time... even when I was a young journalist, I'd invite the whole newsroom over and cook. I think the most I cooked for was about 100 during a Lunar New Year party.


I've been Skyping a lot with my sister HJ and her hubby Glenn. Last night, we were dreaming up ways to start a business. One idea was to open a Korean BBQ restaurant and noribang (Korean-style karaoke.)

She told me that we should get our birth mother involved...

Apparently, my Korean mother owned a noodle, sushi and Korean BBQ restaurant for several years! From the time HJ was a toddler until high school, my Korean mother was a restaurateur.


Also, she said all of the girls are great cooks... that means Hyun Jeong, Hyun Mi, and Yeon Jeong... plus ME!

HJ even had a nickname-- Dae Jang Geum. Dae Jang Geum is also the title of one of the most popular Korean dramas at the moment... it's loosely based on the real-life story about a legendary girl (Jang-Geum) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times. She started in the royal kitchen, I believe, which back in the dynasty days was a very powerful position. You're feeding royalty! It could also be a dangerous job (people tried to poison people all the time...) BTW, I discovered Dae Jang Geum during my last visit to San Fran with my Imo and Uncle Stacy. They love that show!

Anyway, this little story just made me happy, and I thought adoptive families may be interested to hear...

We always wonder if genetics or environment plays a role in who we are. Of course, the answer is both. BUT, I've learned two things-- my love of cooking comes from my biological mother. So does my love of singing.

My mom, Sharon, cooks a lot, but I'm not convinced it's a hobby of hers. However, she does love musicals... we spent every weekend watching The Sound of Music, Grease, Annie. However, my mom doesn't sing.

We probably won't open a Korean BBQ or a noribang... but dreaming allowed me to find out a little more about my reality. Pretty neat how the little things can impact so much. It meant nothing at all for my sister to tell me that small tidbit, but I see it like a revelation.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dave Arrives in Springvegas!

Our dear friend Dave is in Springfield... for one more night. It's been really fun hosting him during his trip. I've missed him. Dave has been a great friend to both of the Van Dillens, he was a very important part of our wedding, and he's the third part of the motley crew-- Jim, Taka and Dave.

Last night, we all went to Fedora to meet up with some of his Springvegas friends (it's Dave's term, not mine.)

The best part of the night was when a bachelorette party made their way into the establishment. They grabbed Dave, nearly ripped off his shirt, threw a lemon shot on his body and embarrassed the heck out of him. The best was that I think they were attempting to do a body shot--in the end, I think they just threw sticky alcohol on his chest.

It was the highlight of the evening... just look at the way he pouted afterwards!

It's been great seeing him. This old lady can't keep up with him, but it's been really awesome either way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Darrell...Korean arrival...and ADOPTION IN PROGRESS!


1. Please keep my friends Liz, Christian and Jack in your thoughts... Liz and her husband are on their way to the states after a week in Korea! They picked up Jack this week and are headed home NOW!

2. Big congrats to Stephon! He's a former Wednesday's Child and is in the process of being adopted!

3. Check out Darrell-- he's an 11 year old who says he just wants a loving family. Very sweet kid (and check out his rockin' mohawk!)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Looking Back: My Korea Trip story on KY3

November is National Adoption Month. And what a great month.

I did this story back in 2005 during the month of November. In a way, I hate sharing it because I was such a new reporter... my voice, my writing, my delivery... all makes me cringe a little when I watch this. But, I can overlook it because I'm reminded of the passion I had. Plus, I shot and edited the video myself.

This was the story I shot in 2005 when I went to Korea. I followed a group of adoptees around as they tried to search for their birth family... on top of just visiting their birth country for the first time. I remember lugging around a camera and mic the whole time. It was exhausting.

I was so disappointed at the time because no adoptee found their birth parent. I thought WHAT LUCK! And, there were so many parts to the story, I didn't know where to start.

But, along the way, I decided to choose Emma. She was 11 at the time and really wanted to find her birth mother. She was so sweet, and her family was awesome. I even went to Oklahoma and stayed with them for a weekend when we got back. I still think of them.

Anyway, here's the old story. AND HAPPY NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH! I also wanted to post the story because one of my friends from my very first news job is getting ready to go to Korea to pick up her baby! I must have Korea on the brain.