My Christmas Card…

So every year – I send out a Christmas card to friends and family I have met over the years.  Kyle says my list is a bit TOO long – but, I can’t help it.  I LOVE sending holiday greetings – and receiving them as well.  So, before I put the cards away for another year, I thought it would only be appropriate to send one out to all of you.  Here’s to a wonderful 2011!!  (By the way, I just had to include this pic of my girls on here as well.  🙂  I’ve had a wonderful Christmas break with them!!  Happy New Year!!!

December 7th, 2010

 One morning this fall, I found myself particularly annoyed with the world.  I woke up late for work, I shouldn’t have even bothered with my hair, I was running on little to no sleep and to make matters worse, I had no coffee.  Must.Have.Coffee.  So I decided since I was already late for work, I might as well stop at a local fast food joint for a cup of that glorious caffeinated pick-me-up.

 When I got to the drive through, I placed my order with a bit of an attitude.  To my surprise my disgruntled request was greeted by an incredibly cheerful barista.  Not only did she politely hand me one large cup of coffee, she also threw in a bit of cream and a smile that stretched from ear to ear.  It was one of those contagious smiles that change my entire outlook of the day.  We had a brief conversation at that drive through window and before I knew it, I was smiling too! 

 On my drive to work that morning that friendly barista was on my mind.  Here’s a woman who is serving disgruntled customers coffee at 6:30 in the morning!  How easy it would be for her to have a bad attitude on life.  But she didn’t!  Her perspective seemed bright.  And to be honest, when I look at my life, I should never wear a frown, especially after this year.

 2010 was a good year for my little family.  We welcomed our beautiful daughter, Grace Liana, on July 2nd.  She was born just a few hours short of my dad’s birthday!  What an amazing gift from God!  Her gorgeous eyes and incredible smile just melt our hearts.  Her big Sister Ella turned 2 this August and keeps us on our toes.  She is equally fantastic and brings constant joy to our lives.  I didn’t know my heart could hold so much love for those girls – but it just keeps expanding. 

 Another person who puts a constant smile on my face is that husband of mine.  We’ll be celebrating 6 years of marriage this new year’s eve!  I can’t believe all the memories we have made in such a short amount of time.  I am so lucky to have him in my life!  Kyle is an amazing dad – and the girls are just crazy about him.  He continues to work as marketing director for the Tri-City Storm hockey team.  He has also started teaching a sports marketing class at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.  Professor Means..(as he likes to be called – but won’t admit J ) is a WONDERFUL father and incredible husband.  I’m such a lucky girl.

 I laughed until I cried with my sisters this year at various events.  Two of the most memorable include the Bon Jovi concert in Omaha, (we got a sneak-peak at his dressing room.  NICE!  Unfortunately, he wasn’t changing at the time. J )  We also checked out the acoustic Bryan Adams concert this fall in Kearney.  Now that was an incredible night!  We had front row tickets and I was close enough to “talk” to him during the concert.  I’m pretty certain he even sang a song – just to me.  J  At least, that’s the way this story goes.  My mom went with us to this concert!  I think she got a “sneak peek” at my adventurous days.

 We welcomed a new awesome sister-in-law to our family this summer.  Kyle’s brother was married in August and our entire family was part of the wedding party.  Ella was a first time flower girl, and LOVED tossing petals to the ground.  She still talks about her shining moment.  J  Kyle and I are so fortunate to have such wonderful relationships with our siblings and parents.

 A dream came true for me this spring, as my first children’s book, Ella B. Bella and the Magic Pink Shoes, was published and released in May.  What amazing support I have from all of you!  It’s been such a joy to travel our beautiful state each weekend to promote my book at various signings.  The turnouts at small town libraries/café’s continue to amaze me and solidify my love for rural Nebraska!  Thank you to my incredible family and friends for helping me accomplish a lifelong dream!  And…be looking for a new Ella B. Bella adventure in the near future!

 As you can see, I have so very much to smile about.  Whenever I seem to be having a “rough” day, I think back to that barista and her contagious smile.  If a complete stranger can be happy serving coffee to a disgruntled customer at 6:30 in the morning, certainly I can find a moment to smile and appreciate all the blessings in my life too.

 This holiday season, I hope you too can take a moment to smile at all the blessings in your life.  May your family and friends be blessed with joy now and into the New Year.

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 Kyle, Leslie, Ella and Grace Means


Saying Goodbye..

Cleaning out my desk...

I still remember sitting on mom and dad’s bed – asking mom what I should be when I grow up.

“I think you should go into communications.  Something with television,” mom said.  I decided that night, way back when, that she was right.  After all, I grew up watching NTV as a kid.  (Actually, I remember my sister Lindsay would tie me up to the kitchen chair as “punishment” and make me watch the news when I was little.  Eventually – I began watching without the punishment!)  Plus – going into broadcasting meant I wouldn’t have to study any math in college.  Extra bonus!  🙂  And…I really liked to talk.  Thus – the idea of a future in broadcast journalism was formed. 

Nearly 10 years and hundreds of journalism stories later..(yes, I will spare you those stories – but WOW do I have some good ones :)) I am about to call it quits in the world of television.  This Thursday will be my last “live” day of TV.  I have accepted a position with the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and will begin working with them on January 4th.

I am so very excited to start a new chapter of my life.  It will be incredibly strange at first.  I mean, many of you know every last detail about my life just by watching Good Life.  That’s mostly because I can’t keep my mouth shut about daily events – and I will miss that.  Thank goodness I still have blogs/facebook so I can talk to complete strangers about day-to-day events.  🙂 

I mean it when I say I WILL MISS the viewers and the guests so much!  You all were the BEST part of my day at NTV – hands down.  But…I am excited to spend more time with my girls and to write more children’s books…(and hopefully someday a novel.)  I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be in television.  What awesome memories I have made!  But…it’s time for a change.  And although change can be scary, I know I can’t better myself without it.

So…my mom was right.  A career in television was the correct path.  After all, it allowed me to become the woman I am today.  And who knows.  Someday I may get back into this crazy business.  But for now – I will look forward to learning new things – and finding out what other opportunities are in my future. 

Thank you all for the memories.  They will not be forgotten.