Wasatch Woman of The Year

How perfect! The day after I posted about Marcus, I got a call saying that I had not only been nominated, but won Wasatch Woman Magazine‘s – Wasatch Woman of the Year Award for 2009!

How cool is that? I was nominated (by a fabulous Signing Time fan, Tammy T., who will receive all sorts of cool Signing Time swag!) under the business category, but I won the overall award!!!

That also meant I had a photo shoot coming up and would be on the cover of the magazine. I figured what a perfect chance to take you all along!

Now remember, Thursday I found out there would be a shoot on Tuesday. I quickly made the necessary calls.

First, I called Michael, who does my hair. My roots had grown out about 2 inches. His schedule is pretty tight and to get in before Tuesday when salons are closed on Mondays??? You get my dilemma, I know you do. The call went like this, “Hi Michael, It’s Rachel – hey I have a shoot Tuesday and HAVE to get into see you. Please call me ASAP!”

The next call was to Marcus and I left him a message like this, “Hi Marcus, it’s Rachel. I have a shoot on Tuesday any great ideas? It’s a magazine cover and I am supposed to bring 3 changes of clothes. I am thinking bold and bright. I also have my dirty Signing Time clothes in my trunk. Heh, sorry about that. Call me.”

Then I made an appointment to get my nails filled, because they were about as bad as my roots.
*Little Secret* I am not a girly girl. I only get my hair and nails done when I have a shoot or an appearance or a performance. It makes me crazy to spend an hour in a nail salon or three hours in a hair salon. I NEVER wore make-up or used a hair dryer in my real life prior to Signing Time. I learned everything I know about hair and make-up from our crew. In high school, Emilie did my hair and make-up for important occasions, like dances.

Now, when I get ready in the morning, if I have a meeting or something, Aaron says, “Let me get this straight… are you going to do your hair and make-up EVERY morning for the rest of our lives?” The other day I went to work with a baseball cap on a ponytail. I think he was relieved. When I have a shoot and come home with all that make-up on, he asks, politely, if I plan on washing it off or just hanging out that way for the rest of the day. He thinks make-up is pretty gross and I think he misses his “granola” wife!

1996

1996

1998

1998

2008 crunch

2008 crunch

Michael called me back and scheduled me for Saturday. Marcus called me back and said we could shop after my hair appointment. Saturday was also the University of Utah vs BYU football game and Aaron had tickets. This meant Leah and Lucy would be with me for three fun filled hours of salon and then a long shopping trip.

Saturday I loaded up the girls and got to the salon. They took my iPhone and stayed pretty busy, taking pictures of me and of each other.

Bye-bye roots

Bye-bye roots

Not bored yet

Not bored yet


Then the esthetician took pity on them and offered to paint their nails for free.

We loaded back in the car and called Marcus. We met Marcus for dinner and then dove into Anthropologie. Leah and Lucy ran/rolled around, trying on hats and giving me the “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” as I tried on countless outfits.

Round 1

Round 1

Round 2

Round 2

Round 3

Round 3


Finally we had narrowed it down to 2 outfits and I told Marcus I would bring some other options from home on the day of the shoot.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning. I got up at 7, loaded my car with clothes, shoes and jewelry and got to my hair and make-up appointment at 8 at Tranquility. I arrived at Cafe Niche for the shoot at 9:30.

Cafe Niche

Cafe Niche

Marcus had been there for 15 minutes. The rolling rack was set up and everything was steamed. Lindsey was already there too.

The art director took a look at my clothing options and we decided to go with 3 different looks, since the plan was to have me on the cover and photos inside with my story. Look #1 was some stuff I just brought from home, the art director said my collar had a personality all its own, so Marcus took that as a cue to use his toupee tape and mold that collar, forcing it to follow his artistic whims.

Hair and wardrobe

Hair and wardrobe

Final touch-ups

Final touch-ups

More make-up

More make-up

The photographer, Michael Calanan was great. As I am SURE you can imagine, I am a pretty demanding subject, especially because I RARELY smile. 🙂

Look #2… I can’t even remember, I guess we will see when the magazine comes out. Maybe the red/orange top and jeans.

While I waited I figured I could probably talk Marcus into taking a picture with me so you can all meet him officially! I even put it up on Twitter that very day. (NOTICE the toupee tape stuck to the top of his hand!! In case of emergency, ya know!)

Toupee Tape - don't leave home without it

Toupee Tape - don't leave home without it

They were shooting all the winners for each category. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I called Aaron and asked him to meet me there. That way we could have lunch after the shoot.

Look #3 was a dress we found at Anthro. They wanted to shoot it on a white wall, but the only white wall had someone sitting at a table eating in front of it. We finally shot it outside against a white shed.

We wrapped around 3pm. Aaron and I ate lunch.

Marcus loaded out… still sporting toupee tape on his hand 🙂 and that fanny pack is filled with all the secrets I shared before. So- he is allowed to wear a fanny pack.

If Marcus is happy, I'm happy

If Marcus is happy, I'm happy

The end!
Oh, sort of the end. I will be featured in the January/February issue. I am even supposed to be on the cover!

This entry was posted in Behind the Signing Time Scenes and tagged , , , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. www.deafchildren.org Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at www.mydeafchild.org. For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on www.SignItASL.com. Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

23 thoughts on “Wasatch Woman of The Year

  1. awww… Congratulations Rachel. You deserve it. You’ve done so much for so many people that it’s wonderful to see that you are receiving recognition for everything you do. Love the pictures and cannot wait to see the magazine!

    I was so tickled to see Michael~ I just had to show Robert.

  2. SUPER BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I can’t think of a more deserving person. I will have to get a copy of the mag and hang it, framed of corse, on my wall 🙂
    Hopefully this will spread the word about ST and all the wonderful things you do. Of corse we can’t forget your staff too. I have 4 more little ones w/ Ds in town hooked on ST. Even the little girl who’s mom works at my bank is now in love w/ ST. I think it’s awesome!!!
    You SO deserve this Rachel. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    P.S. You need a button for your blog so all of us ST fans can link back to you. Just a thought 😉
    Love ya, Jennifer and Brook

  3. Could you be any prettier? I don’t think so!

    I can’t think of anyone more deserving. I’m thrilled for you to get such great local recognition here and to see the ST message spread further and further.

    Can’t wait to see the cover!

    And Lucy’s smile……awww melts my heart.

  4. I am so proud to say I know the Woman of the YEAR! That is awesome! Nobody deserves it more than you…for all you’ve done to make life easier for our little ones. Do they know about your random acts of awareness? ( I COULD be forced to make a few calls…)
    Congrats… you should sell signed copies of your cover? Who wouldn’t want one? You’re TOTALLY Famous! xoxoxox

  5. Congratulations! And I agree, you are beautiful–made up, granola, outside and more importantly INSIDE. I am stunned by how young you are by the way. So young and so much life experience. God knows what he’s doing, huh?

  6. Rachel,
    You look absolutely beautiful! I am so glad they chose you for Woman of the Year! Yay, Yay, Yay! I don’t know what else to say—I’m just so excited for you!

  7. what an honor! you definately deserve it! your woman of the year in a lot more places than wasatch! thank you for all you do!

  8. Congrats Rachel! Hopefully more people will learn about ST from the article. I have written Oprah twice now and she hasn’t written back yet. I’m still waiting 🙂

  9. Will Marcus come follow me around and fix my clothes and hair/makeup all day so I can look half as good? Or will he atleast share his taupe tape?

    Congratulations!

  10. Rachel,

    Can your or someone do a post (on this blog or on one of the other blogs that two little hands productions has) on good resources for parents who want to learn more than what the signing time videos have to offer?

    I’ve really enjoyed signing with my kids but feel that in order to keep them signing, I’m going to have to always know more than they do to keep them using it. I love it and so do they. I want to learn this language………

    I’ve looked up what textbooks they use at BYU for their beginning courses but am still not sure if those are the best books to learn without the guide of an instructor.

    Alpha Teach Yourself American Sign Language in 24 Hours

    Signing Naturally Student Workbook: Level 1, Expanded Edition

    Any suggestions?

    You are coming to visit my family on the 26th of December in Utah. We are all so excited for our kids to meet you (in your orange sweater I presume else how will the know you!) ! My little Penny is going to squeal with excitement when she sees you! My 6 year old son is excited too, though he’s kinda silly sometimes and will probably just smile and say hello rather sheepishly. We can’t wait! Thank you for being amazing and reaching out to everyone who loves you and your work.

  11. Dear Rachel,

    Signing Time has made my daughters life so much better, though she is not deaf, she watches it every day! Thank you so much for your story and Congrats! Signing Time has made my husbands and my life so much easier! I just wanted to let you know how you have touched our life… well, you have a lot! Again, THANK YOU! I recommend Signing Time to everyone I meet, but of course they already know and have been watching it themselves! You are an amazing person, and the world is better with you and your family in it!! THANKS!!!!

  12. Congratulations, Rachel! I met you at the Utah Birth Defect Network conference almost a year ago, and I am convinced that you are deserving of this award. I can’t say enough about what Signing Time has done for my son, and about what your story has done for me as the mother of a non-verbal child.

    Oh, and dressed up or granola, you look great either way.

  13. Kei: Thanks Kei, I know you are one of my biggest fans! Michael says, “Hi!”

    Googsmom: You crack me up:) Like you’d really hang me on your wall. I like the button idea though. I will get on that.

    jana francis: Thanks, for everything – you know Lucy digs you too!

    heathersebi: It’s a regional Woman of the Year, but let’s pretend it’s global. I don’t
    I don’t think they’d be interested in BigAC’s pedicures (wink wink)

    JacksMommy: Hey, I get older every year. I am 34 now, though Lucy is convinced I am 24. Let’s let Lucy win that one.

    tamthompson74: Well it was YOUR nomination my dear, so THANK YOU! I’ll be sending you a little something.

    simply_lori: Thanks I get stressed when MY make-up gal is not the one making me up, but they did a good job – I look so bronzed LOL

    melwk: well you won’t have to look hard. I am on the cover and in the table of contents and then some more through my article 🙂

    tardis_mom: Thanks!

    Michael Calanan: Thanks Mike and thanks for the little “gift” – love following you on Twitter. I’ll see you at lunch January 30!

    Stacey: Ah thanks!

    michele123: You mean I am the Woman of the Year on TVs across the country? WOOT!

    rookie131: Thank you~

    Karen Putz / DeafMom: Thanks so much!

    mistinchad: She hasn’t written me back either… yet

    Katie: You DON’T want him doing your make-up… I promise

    Tiffany: I had just come back from Mexico, but it was mostly rainy there. I think it is bronzer – I was worried it was too much, but I think they have to compensate for lighting

    Katie (again): There are a lot of local resources, usually, no matter where you live. Community College level classes, community education classes, university, check to see if there is a Deaf Center near you. Signing Naturally is a good one.

    Brandee Leafty: Thank you Brandee! I am glad you found us and that we have made a difference for you. Stick around long enough and you will see I am a pretty regular mom, who is often a multi-tasking mess – but it’s fun to watch LOL. I do appreciate you telling others about Signing Time. THANKS!

    Wynona: Thanks – I spent the last 3 days in my pj’s just so I stay in touch with my crunchiness LOL

  14. Looking good, looking good! Love you as you; Glam, granola, girlbomb, whatever—I was telling a friend about Cougar Hot Springs the other day. She was peeing in her pants. Me, just smiling in mine:)

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