What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
I get up at 6:30. The first hour is a whirlwind of getting the kids up, dressed for school, breakfast made, lunches packed, homework finished and out the door at 7:30. Then I take a breath.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? Who with?
I had a turkey sandwich, carrots and chips. At home ... alone. Wow, that sounds sad, doesn't it?
Best high school memory:
Winning first place at the State Speech Championship.
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
Leopard print, peep toe pumps.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
Out at the pool with the kids, a good book and a cool beverage. I like to pretend I'm on vacation.
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
When I read "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" I thought it was written just for me. Judy Blume spoke my language. I'm looking forward to introducing my girls to her books one day.
Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?
I would love to go on safari in South Africa. It has to be better than Disney World's.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
Nikki was my golden lab mutt when I was growing up. She was hands-down the best dog I have ever known. When you were down, she was there with her head or paw on your lap. She helped me get through junior high.
Have you discovered as you matured that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
Actually, I see both of them in me. As I grow older, I am becoming much more laid back like my dad. I definitely don't get upset about the little things anymore. I can keep life in perspective. And I hear my mom's voice in how I parent my kids. I've used many of her lines over the years.
What would you order for your last meal?
Lobster, crab legs, a ridiculous amount of butter, raspberry pie, carrot cake and my mom's lemon bars.
What can you NOT live without?
My family, the Internet and my eyelash curler.
Who do you have on your iPod?
I'm embarrassed to say I don't have one. I'm more of a news radio person.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
Marrying my best friend and giving birth to my children. Not so much the labor and delivery, but the end result was priceless.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, what three people would you invite?
President Barack Obama, Warren Buffett and Zac Efron (my girls would kill me if I didn't).
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Stop and listen to your kids. They will tell you the best stuff if you're just quiet.
What's your best piece of advice?
Don't ever stop trying to be better at what you do. It doesn't matter how long I've been in news, there's always room for improvement.
What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?
I worked at Pirate's Cove, a little amusement park for kids. I probably made around $4 an hour. I worked with my future husband there.
What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?
I stayed in central Illinois instead of getting a job in a bigger market. My husband had found a job in town and we decided that Champaign-Urbana was a really great place to raise a family. I've never once doubted that decision.
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
I'm a terrible procrastinator. That's why I need deadlines. I would never get anything done.
How do you handle a stressful situation?
I take some deep breaths and then I attack the problem. I'm a good troubleshooter. Wine is also helpful.