Hello. My name is Karla Hult. I'm a reporter for KARE 11 and a one-time avid blogger. And then summer arrived... and my baby started walking... and well, here I am... months later, having to introduce myself all over again.
So, I'm back. And with SO MUCH to update you on... in fact, I've decided on a one-time-only bullet-point strategy for this blog... I figure I'll never stop writing, and you'll never stop reading, if I don't just give the highlights.
Here goes, Summer 2011:
- Grace starts walking. Every first-time parent knows the thrill of seeing those first steps. I was downright giddy. Fortunately, Grace decided to walk for the first time on my day off - when we were at a baby shower together. Unfortunately, she chose the one minute (literally, one minute) when I left her with a friend to take that first waltz into the world. Not even kidding. My friend later "downplayed" the milestone and suggested he'd held onto Grace's hand - so it wasn't "really" her first steps... Either way, I witnessed those first wobbly steps for myself mere minutes later. And they were so... beautiful. Awkward and wobbly, yes, but completely and purely adorable, too.
- U2 visits me. True, 50,000+ people attended the U2 concert at TCF Bank Stadium in July, but I'd like to think Bono and the boys visited me, personally, here in Minnesota. I love that band. I love their music and their talent, but most of all, I love that they use their celebrity and fame for good. Plain and simple, pure and real... good. They delve into issues some in the audience would outright ignore if not for Bono's perseverance. Bless them. And may U2 rock for many decades to come.
- Somali famine. The ongoing tragedy in the Horn of Africa absolutely breaks my heart. According to U.S. estimates, 29,000 Somali children under the age of 5 have already fallen to the drought and famine... and hundreds of thousands more are at risk of joining them. It's unbelievable to me that such widespread devastation could happen in our world of relative plenty. And it kind of puts our own "financial crisis" into perspective, doesn't it? I mean, the average U.S. citizen may be contemplating a postponed retirement, but few American parents will know the pain of watching their children starve. To be honest, I always find comfort in knowing there "are" ways each of us can help... and we can even start with the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee. They're pretty amazing. Check them out: http://www.arcrelief.org/site/PageServer
- High School Reunion. (Yep, I'm intentionally leaving out "which" class reunion I attended this last summer... but hint: it wasn't my 5th!). Truly, despite my dread... despite my reservations... it was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I urge all other folks reluctant to revisit their "Glory Days" to go for it - just do it. Some people will surprise you with how they've grown as people... others will surprise you with how they have truly, not changed a bit. But the fact is, it just may be worth a trip down that memory lane. (In the interest of full disclosure, I actually enjoyed a pretty awesome high school experience - great friends, good milestones, cool achievements. But I was still not "sold" on the whole reunion-concept... Trust me, I think it's worth everyone's time to at least show up for an hour).
- Commencement... again. And writing of high school, I was honored to give the commencement address at my school's 100th graduation ceremony. The title: "The Forest Lake Factor: A constant community in a changing world." Anyway, I focused primarily on the benefits of a solid foundation - and community - that can help to shape and support a student's development. I'll spare you all the details, apart from the five "tidbits" I offered the graduates at the end of the speech. They simply represented some of the basic advice I've heard over the years: 1., Be kind; 2., Respect others; 3., Surround yourself with people who care about you. Hold their hands when you're scared - and when you're happy; 4., Be yourself and be true to yourself; and 5., Learn from the past and prepare for the future... but savor the present.
- Finally... my big news... yes indeed, baby will now make four. I'm pregnant. Now, I've taken a little heat recently from viewers who've accused me of "hiding" my exciting news. Folks, know this: I have no intention of hiding what is nothing but a delightful development, but please realize it's just not "appropriate" for me to elaborate on my personal situation, or for that matter, step out from behind the desk, particularly when I'm covering serious news. But trust me, we are thrilled. And Grace, well, she may not realize it yet, but she's getting a baby sister or brother in January. I promise to keep you posted during yet another pregnancy journey. (Here's hoping I avoid the "are you having triplets?" questions... And yes, we're sure... there's only one baby in there!).
And on that note, I'll sign off. It's good to be back in touch with all of you. And I do wish everyone a happy return to the autumn routines and beautiful, crisp weather. Until next time, take care. And in the words of Mike Wallace, "do well, and do good."