Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hillary and Betsy Go Viral

Okay, maybe we haven’t hit the big time quite yet, but this article in the Catonsville/Arbutus Times is a good start.  Lauren Fullbright, a journalist for Patuxent Publishing came out and interviewed us in early December, wanting to tell the story of how we went from political activists to business owners.  We were super excited to see it published in today’s paper. 

Betsy and I have been continuously involved in every aspect of the grassroots movement in Baltimore County for the past 18 or so months.  Last July, we started Strategic Victory Consulting in which we offer marketing and event solutions for small businesses and political organizations. 

At the core we’re writers.  Through the Whisler Campaign and efforts within the PVRC, we’ve learned to take our skill sets to the next level by using free media and email marketing to not only promote political candidates but also small businesses and nonprofit organizations. 

We love what we do and feel extremely blessed to be able to assist people and businesses that we’ve come to respect.  We just want to see us all succeed. 

Photo courtesy of Phil Grout.

Monday, January 10, 2011

There’s a First Time for Everything

Here I am sitting in a Starbucks in Annapolis waiting for my first day of work to begin.  It’s nerve racking really.  You’d think a confident woman such as myself would be geared up and raring to go, but walking into a completely new situation has put me a bit off kilter.  Driving down 97, I suddenly realized that I had absolutely no idea where I was going.  I’ve never been to the State House before, except to gather on a lawn with a few thousand fellow Marylanders to voice our concerns for high taxes and forced healthcare. 

So I called Nicole, a fellow Jennings team member, to direct me to a parking garage.  Turns out I’m a little early as no one is scheduled to be in the office until after 10.  Oops.  It’s all good though, I found my way to a Starbucks after driving around Church Circle a few times.  Now I’m settled in jotting down my thoughts before heading to Maryland’s own little Capitol Hill.

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what to expect.  Nothing like a new situation to stir up all this unsettling emotions.  It’s not the same as walking into a Central Committee  or PVRC, where I know 90% of the people, where I’m familiar with my surroundings, where I know what to expect.  Nope, this is entirely different. 

Granted, I’m totally blessed to be working with the likes of Senator JB Jennings.  Plus the fact that I already know half of his staff, like Rich Reinhardt and Nicole Ossola, is a much appreciated bonus, especially considering I don’t think I know anyone else in Annapolis. 

Here come to the self doubting questions: Am I dressed okay?  Do I stand out like a french fry on dieter’s plate? Am I going to say something completely up surd and become defined by my stupidity?

Give me a week or two and this whole process will become second nature.  I do tend to adapt well to new situations.  Let’s just hope I can fake my way through these first few moments.  You know us women; we’re good at faking things.  Not that we always have to, but it’s nice to know that we have that innate skill. 

Session starts Wednesday, which is my first official day.  This, this is simply orientation, and who’s suppose to know what their doing during orientation, right?  I’m taking this morning to get my bearings straight.  Come Wednesday I plan to be an old pro, or at the least, ready to pretend like I am.

So here goes nothing.  Watch out Annapolis.  Hillary is here and I’ve decided to take you by storm. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Got A Job, or Should I Say Another Job?

As if I don't do enough, right?  Actually it's quite perfect and fits right into my evil plan to someday conquer the world.  I know y'all think I do too much already, but this really does fit into my master plan.  That is, it would, if I had one.  So I'll stop beating around the bush and get to the point.  I've been offered a job working one day a week for State Senator JB Jennings down in Annapolis.  I start next week.

I'll pause for y'all to recover from the shock and awe. 

This is an amazing opportunity for me to grow professionally, both in experience and contacts.  We all know that in politics, it's not so much about what you know but who you know and their opinion of you.  I don't make the rules, I just hope to benefit from them.  Of course, taking this job is not without it's sacrifices. 

I had to, hold your breath, find childcare.  There, I said it.  Me, the epitome of a stay at home mom, who, granted, never stays at home, but you get my drift.  Even Neil said, "I thought you were dead set against putting the kids in childcare."  I am, and I'm not.  What I can say?  I'm a conflicted woman.  

But this situation works out quite perfectly.  I was able to find a friend, a fellow mom, who was willing to come up every Wednesday and watch my kids.  Here's hoping we're still friends after she spends some quality time with my beloved monsters.  I'll be the first to admit that my kiddos can be a handful (or two).

Of course, by the time I pay for childcare, gas and taxes, I won't actually be bringing home much money, but my main purpose is more about building up my knowledge and contact base.  And I'm selfishly hoping to bring more exposure to Strategic Victory in the process.  In fact, that's really the end goal, to build up the business. 

So what will I be doing?  I'm not entirely sure, but I know I'll be opening mail and packages, which freaked my mom after yesterday's little scare.  Speaking of, I love when my Fox News picks up a local story.  Between the weather and suspicious packages, my mom must think we live in a war zone up here.  But that's not all I'll be doing.  I'll have the unique pleasure of handling communication efforts, which is quite perfect because I happen to be an excellent communicator (at least some of the time). 

Enough news for the day.  I've already over extended myself with two posts in one day, give that I haven't posted otherwise in over a month. 

Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year

What’s up folks?  Mommy put me, Blake, in charge of the Christmas Letter. Be prepared for one bumpy and chaotic ride.  I’m not exactly a focused child, except when it comes to watching He-man.
Let’s see.  We started out the year being buried under snow.  Owen and I thought it was pretty stinkin’ cool.  We made a huge slide in the front yard for all the kids in the neighborhood to play on.  It was taller than all of us combined.  Madison and Mommy preferred to stay inside; their loss.  Daddy taught us how to shovel, which was super cool.  Bottom line: we like snow.
After we dug out, like in May, Nana and Papa came up and built a ginormous fort in the backyard.  Too bad they took off with us before we could break it in.  Mommy and Daddy had almost an entire week without us.  It’s the least we could do for them.  We like them.  Then Mommy came down, after a pit stop to see her old friends, Jo and Ang.  She picked us up and whisked us away to Grandma’s house in Florida.  Guess what? She lives at the beach.  We all liked playing in  the sand, but there was no way I was going in the water.  That’s just silly.  Grandma drove back with us and we arrived just in time for my third birthday party.  All my friends came over to play on our new fort and they brought me tons of presents.  I really like presents. 
During the summer, we headed to Ocean City with our friends Betsy and Paul.  It’s the first time we’ve been to a Maryland beach.  It looked the same as the one at Grandmas and I still didn’t go near the water.  Mommy and Betsy spent a lot of time talking about some business thingy.  When we got back, they started it up.  It’s called Strategic Victory Consulting and they help out small businesses and political organizations (whatever those are).  Mommy calls herself a work-at-home mom now, which is weird because we thought she already was, what with her mom’s group and neighborhood association.  Oh and let’s not forget her politicking on the Whisler campaign (he lost, by the way).  She was also elected to the Republican Central Committee.  Again, it’s all Greek to me, but it makes her happy. 
Daddy stays busy as well.  He actually got to go kayaking more this year, not as much as he wanted to, but enough.  Owen and I actually got to go with him once.  It was awesome.  I see a future there. Daddy also took us camping for the first time ever, leaving Mommy and Madison to fend for themselves.  You know, seeing how Mommy used to practically live outdoors, she’s become quite the home body.  We’ll break her out of it sooner or later.  Daddy, on the other hand, really is an outdoorsman.  I want to be like him when I grow up. 
As fall approached, it was time for school.  Owen started Kindergarten.  It’s weird not having him around all the    time.  However, I got to go to preschool this year with Mrs. Gail.  I’ve made tons of new friends and finally got over my fear of swimming.  Now I jump in all by myself.  Madison doesn’t get to go to school yet.  She’s too little, but she does get to hang out with Mommy all by herself.  I’m a wee bit jealous, but I’ll get over it.
Now we’ve come full circle.  We’re cuddled up on the couch, sipping hot cocoa and watching the snow fall once again.  It’s almost Christmas and Santa will be coming soon, but that’s not the most important part.  Christmas is all about baby Jesus who came to be my friend and live in my heart.  Santa brings presents to me just like those wise men brought presents to Jesus.  If I were Jesus, I’d rather have a Tonka truck than gold, incense and myrrh, but that’s just because I don’t know what those things are.  Maybe Jesus liked to play with them.

 From All of Us to All of You, Merry Christmas.  See you in 2011.
The Pennington’s