Memories of Mom

Memories of Mom


Do you have a memory that jumps out first about your Mom?

Where I grew up, we lived down three miles of dirt road which was impassable to our rear-wheel drive family car when it rained. So when she was pressed to drive us to school in the ranch pickup (its bench seat hadn’t moved in years) she had to stuff her purse behind her so she could reach the pedals.

What is something that you did or still do that drives your Mom bonkers?

She always said that I was, “As slow as molasses in January.” Still true.

What’s the thing you ignored that she ended up being ‘Mom’s Always Right’ about?

A clean room improves your life.

How your Mom made you better?

When I write copy, I always say in the back of my mind, “What would my mom think of this?” She’s always been a reader, so it’s a natural tie.

What’s your Mom’s most Epic Trait?

She’s quick draw with the Kleenex tucked in her sleeve.


Standout Memory (This one’s hard to pick…)

When I was a sophomore in HS, my Mom would’ve been around 32. I had an early-am swing choir practice, and it was her day to carpool a load of us country-kid music-nerds in to town.  Did I mention she’s is a very sparky morning person? As we pulled up to the HS she got a wild urge to drive right up the huge main sidewalk — letting us out at the front steps. The principal came storming out yelling something to the effect of, “You kids are in huge trouble,” but was completely flabbergasted to realize she was not only one of the kids, but a parent! He lost a bit of his thunder and sputtered, “Well, oh, uhhh Mrs. Hix, I uh thought you were one of the students — so, we don’t condone or allow driving on the sidewalks — it’s very dangerous, please don’t do this again….and so forth.” She assured him she was being very safe and since it was before school hours no-one was around, etc…waived and threw it into R carefully backing down the sidewalk and away from the school. Of course, I was mortified.

What are your Mom’s epic traits?

• Equal blends of fierce and friendly: it’s always best to have Alene in your corner.

• She loves a good party and will dance everyone into the ground.

• She is the hardest worker, I mean, borderline ‘workaholic’ levels. One time we almost lost her during an especially invasive biopsy. When she gloriously woke up, her first words were, “Oh no Lisa, why aren’t you at work?”

Mom’s Sayings:

• ‘Oh, honestly’ delivered like a curse-word, for her it works in every situation.

• When you’re putting something away, take it all the way — don’t just move it closer and set it down again, that means you will have to do the job twice.


What’s a favorite memory of your Mom?

I have a very specific memory of a damp, October morning spent with my mom: My sisters were both at school, and she took me out shopping for a Halloween costume. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, and I usually ended up wearing some hand-me-down costume.

We spent the morning looking at an actual costume store, and she let me pick out what exactly what I wanted – a devil costume (complete with pointy tail) and pitchfork.

To this day, I love cold, grey fall mornings because of this memory with my Mom.


What’s a memory of your Mom that jumps out to you?

One of the things I remember most from when I was little was going camping. I loved camping with my family. We’d go with my mom’s friend and her kids and find a great place with water to play in and a forest to explore. It was so much fun spending time as a family and I am the baby of the family so I spent a lot of time with my mom.

Looking back I can appreciate what it took as a single mom to take her family camping. She is amazing! Happy Mother’s Day!


Things my mom was right about – A short an incomprehensive list:

  • Your siblings will be your best friends someday — the sooner you figure out how to really get along, the better.
  • Making your bed makes a difference in how your day goes and how well you’ll sleep that night.
  • Naps are the real deal.
  • Eating breakfast is more important than ten extra minutes of sleep.
  • Nothing is quite as luxurious as waking up early and reading in bed.
  • Chasing whimsy is almost always the right answer.
  • When you’re an artist and the girl with the words, you’ll find a life that lets you be those things.


Memory that jumps out first about your Mom?

It’s not a specific memory, but all the times she laughs so hard she becomes silent, rocking back and forth, practically in tears. You’ll think she’s finished laughing just to look up and see her silently rocking, reaching out to smack my dad’s arm so he can truly grasp the hilarity of the situation.

Thing your Mom did or still does that drives you bonkers?

Replacing words with emojis! “What time will you be home?” becomes “Whut ⏰ u 🐝🏠???”. That’s manageable, but when she starts sending “🏃‍♂️➡🏪🍇➡🏠😎” I get totally lost.

Thing you do that did or still drives your MOM bonkers?

Stand in the way in the kitchen. No matter where I set myself I always am somehow in the way!

The thing you ignored that she ended up being ‘Mom’s Always Right’ about?

I told her I’d dye my hair once, and she said I’d get addicted to it. Here I am 7 years later, and my hair has been every color of the rainbow. It’s only been my natural color once in all that time!

How your Mom made you better at baking.

I grew up in a household that loved sweets and rarely measured. I’m great at “eyeballing” measurements now, and knowing what a batter or dough needs to fix stickiness/dryness/blandness and other problems. I’m not a very good cook, but I can throw together a loaf of bread or dozen cookies in an hour with no problems.

What is your Mom’s most epic trait?

She’s a major bookworm. She’s always reading a new book and gives me recommendations for the best ones out of dozens that she reads in a year. She’s also a great organizer and list-maker. Something that’s always helped me when I feel overwhelmed is remembering to make a pros and cons list, or a to-do list, just like she does.


What’s a ‘Mom’ memory that jumps out to you?

The Annual summer vacation road trip visiting my older siblings:

  • Driving straight through from Iowa to Maryland ‐ I still don’t know how she did it.
  • Me as the navigator, with a McNally Road Atlas bigger than me – “leading the way.”
  • She was sneaky about teaching me things during the trip
  • Being the Chief Snack Officer with a cooler precisely located under my feet.
  • Mom trying to stay awake while driving by reading a newspaper by the light of a lit candle stuck on the dashboard (yeah this was a thing.)

What’s a thing your Mom still does that drives you bonkers?

“Veka, Veka, Veka” to try to get my attention. It’s like nails on a chalk board to me.

What’s a thing that you do that drives your Mom bonkers?

I used to get myself stuck in places on purpose and insist that my mom get me out.

What’s the thing you ignored that she ended up being ‘Mom’s Always Right’ about?

I wanted to play the drums in middle school, but she got me a violin instead saying that it would be the “better instrument to learn.” I tried the drums once when I was in high school. She was right I didn’t have the dexterity for it.

How has your Mom made you better?

She supports and encourages me in anything that I want to do to this day. And now I do the same for my kids.

What’s your Mom’s epic trait?

She refuses to let anyone else drive for fear that we will get into a car accident and they will be responsible for whatever happens. A mom being overly protective, incredible.


Memory that jumps out:

Always getting pulled over for speeding but never getting a ticket.

Thing she did and still does that drives me bonkers:

Keeping the plastic covers on furniture.

My mom taught me to:

Sew, be thrifty, frugal, save and to make my bed every single day.

What is your Mom’s epic trait?

She makes EPIC rolls: Dinner rolls, Cinnamon rolls & Pumpkin Rolls



MCS Staff

Barbie Takes the Stage

Barbie Takes the Stage

As longtime members of the Idaho Falls Ad Fed, we’ve always enjoyed the chance to get together with our creative peers and celebrate the last year’s wins at the Gem Awards. Our Cape Girl Crew has had a blast visiting Barbieland the last few months as we took our turn to tackle the event branding, social media, and presentation video. 

Nothing says creative break quite like pink, glitter, and Barbies hanging out on all our desks. Our team was able to pull inspiration from favorite TV shows, trending songs, and Barbie’s illustrious career history. We also found a lot of laughter in poking some fun at what the day-to-day experience working in advertising can be like. 

You can check out the bumper videos we created for the show below:

Overall, we had an absolute blast creating all of this Barbie-licious collateral for the Gems. It was fantastic as always to be part of such a fun night, and we’re grateful to everyone who helped make it happen with such flair!

So here’s to Barbie, the ultimate symbol of creativity, style, and empowerment. We can’t wait to see what she’ll inspire us to do next!

Jessica Cale


Jessica Cale

Designer/Fontographer extraordinaire

Cape Girl’s Cozy Christmas

Cape Girl’s Cozy Christmas

For the days with thick flurries of snow and the ones without, we’re getting into the Holiday spirit this year by bringing you another MCS Mixtape. 

Veka: White Christmas by The Drifters

Steve: Christmas at the Airport by Nick Lowe

Dave: Father Christmas by The Kinks

Cherie: Ave Maria + Intro by Eleven, Chris Cornell

Katie: All I Want For Christmas Is You by My Chemical Romance

Stephanie: Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix

Lisa: The Most Wonderful Day of the Year by Glee Cast

Jessica: Still Nacht (Silent Night) by Mannheim Steamroller

BONUS: Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus*** by The Royal Choral Society

***The chorus of this song works year round 😛

Check out the full playlist here.

Jessica Cale


Jessica Cale

Designer/Fontographer extraordinaire

All the World’s a Stage, or an Ad Agency:

All the Worlds a Stage, or an Ad Agency:

Three reminders from a graphic designer turned theatrical director for a week

The first two things I say when someone asks me to tell them about myself are 1) I’m a graphic designer, and 2) a theater kid. Yes, these jazz hands design, and last week, I was able to switch from the screen and pick up a script to co-direct a production of Madagascar Jr. in Seattle, Washington. Together with the creative team, we piloted a group of 13 young performers through acting, singing and dancing for this production. 

This was the first time I have directed since beginning to work full time as a graphic designer. I was able to look at the world of theatre, something I’ve known my whole life, with a designer’s eye. Reflecting on this experience, here are three things I rediscovered that hold true in both the Theater and Advertising world. 

The Influence of Clear Direction

More often than not, mounting any kind of theatrical production requires a rigorous schedule in order for the show to go on. In that rush of creation and direction, it is too easy for your brain to run faster than your words. 

Last week, I was directing a young man in a scene. I was in the zone, and the scene was coming together nicely in my head (and was working out reasonably well on stage too). During the final lines of the scene, I told him to run off stage left, while pointing to the right. 

He didn’t move. 

He was doing the thing where a spooked deer stands in the middle of the road and won’t move out of the way and it started to make me a little frustrated.

I told him again to move left while pointing right, sure this time he would do exactly as I said, but he looked to his left and right and then to me, the headlights getting closer and closer. 

It was at this moment I realized my failed communication. We laughed for a moment, I apologize, gestured to the left and he went on his merry way. 

I wondered how many times at my desk I haven’t taken the time to make sure I was clear. In advertising, it’s easy for everything to feel like it needed to be done yesterday. If I would have taken 30 more seconds with that email, or thinking through my question, I bet I could have saved 30 minutes of confused emails or phone calls. Plus, I would avoid deer-in-headlights confused co-workers trying to decipher my direction. Win win for everyone. 

Know Your Audience

Can you be eight years old and steal the whole show by knowing your audience for one scene? Absolutely. She was a little old lady that entered, hit the main character with her purse and sauntered off the other side. That was it. But she didn’t treat it as a small role. She took her sweet old lady time, swinging her hips and wobbling the cane as she took the longest, most hilarious time to walk off stage. 

She knew her audience. 

She knew that with the right timing, the right choices, and utilizing her props, she could find the best placement for comedic impact. See the connection? There is an instinct when it comes to performing for an audience. The funniest comedians know more than what their audience probably likes and dislikes, and listens to the reactions in the room to foster deeper laughter.

In my experience, the best designers do the same thing. Designers that intentionally think past what they might like or dislike and instead focus on the response of their target audience communicate much more effectively. This makes their audiences stop and process their work. Now if you get applause for an ad you make, let me know what you’re doing, because you’ve done something magical, but accolades and awards or not, it truly pays to think about your audience. 

Be on the Same Stage

One of the biggest lessons we try to teach young actors: Be on the same stage. 

What this means is to be aware of the actors on stage with you and recognize that everyone on the stage should be working towards the same goal of a successful production. No one should try to upstage, sabotage, or do anything they are not supposed to. By emphasizing teamwork and collaboration, kids become aware of the people on stage with them, and less angry when accidents happen, because it’s up to everyone to fix it. 

In the same line, being on the same stage as your co-workers gets rid of comparison, competition, and builds community. If there is a problem that happens, we are all ready to jump in and help when asked. This doesn’t mean solving other people’s problems all the time. It means that they know you are in the wings. It means you have their backs and get through the show together. 

It takes all the actors to make the show work. It takes all the team members to make an agency work. 

Jessica Cale


Nick Bringhurst

Drama-Free Designer

The Time Where Jessica Went Camping

The Time Jessica went Camping

It started in April when my fiance texted saying that he was thinking that we should go camping sometime. “It will be fun,” he promised. “You’ll love it.”  

Or maybe it started last May when I agreed to go on a date with the aforementioned Idaho boy. 

Either way, it was happening. And this indoorsy girl was equal parts excited and nervous about the entire endeavor. I wasn’t sure how my dog, another deeply indoorsy creature, was going to react to a deeply, in-the-great-outdoors-this-is-actually-bear-country sort of situation (spoiler: she was more bugged by the other humans than the moose that was 30 feet from our campsite). 

On a Friday afternoon in June we packed up the 4Runner and headed up to Teton Canyon Campground. We stopped at Huck’s in Swan Valley for square ice cream cones and spent a good chunk of the ride saying, “Look at that!”, “ooh, that’s really pretty”, and “What! World! You’re showing off!”

After camp was set up, a process that was pretty quick when you’re just setting up a two man tent and an air mattress in the backseat of the car, then the best part of camping started: the still quiet of rustling aspen leaves and nothing specific to do. I worked on making peg people crayons that I quickly decided to gift to everyone in the office upon my return. I read from a novel. I relished the fact that my phone was off and in the glove compartment, enjoying the break from relentless sound from the world. We made delicious food and probably ate a few too many s’mores. 

Saturday was very much the same, quiet and still, with a few games of Canasta mixed in for good measure when it wasn’t too windy or drizzling. We were just about fully settled in when the Camp Host came up our little hill and told us that there had been a bear in the campground last night and with an abundance of caution they had decided to close for the night. 

Apparently Smokey the Bear wasn’t about preventing forest fires that night and instead was about knocking a guy out of his hammock and trying to get into a tent. With those details in hand, we were more than okay to pack up our things and get back on the road home. 

1000 unplugged hours check-off chart I spent the drive home contemplating how to give myself the serenity of camping, that space of disconnection from notifications and social media stories, in my everyday life. For some people, it might have been enough to say, “I’m going to stop being on my phone so much.” and that would be enough. 

I am not one of those people. 

I need something more. I considered building a little diorama with a small tent where my phone could go when I needed a break, a physical reminder that I was out of the connected-to-everyone-and-everything office as it were (this still isn’t entirely off the table). I’m starting here though: a commitment to spend 1,000 hours unplugged in the next year, with a poster to track my progress and keep me accountable. 

I’m not sure about what exactly I’ll do with those 1,000 hours, but I imagine that there will be more books read, better conversations with the people I love the most, time to create instead of consume, and more looking up and around the world. If you want to play along, we’ve included the poster for you here. 

Overall, this very indoorsy girl ended up loving her time in the Tetons, even if there are bears who sometimes push people out of hammocks. And in the indoorsiest of days and months, I’m committed to find that same camping tranquility tucked into fifteen minute moments and lazy Saturday afternoons. 

Jessica Cale


Jessica Cale

Designer/Fontographer extraordinaire

Sieze Summer by the Horns


To say summer is short in Idaho is an understatement [wasn’t it just spitting snow?] Making the most of every minute is what it’s all about! Luckily, we get to work with some of the coolest people on the planet, and if you’re looking to make this summer one to never forget, read below for the myriad of ways we’ve been inspired by them to seize summer by the horns.

Engage in the true meaning of Memorial Day and head to Freeman Park in Idaho Falls for an indelible experience for you and the entire family. Walk among one-thousand American flags at the 10th Annual Field of Honor and also visit the Vietnam War Memorial. Brought to you by our friends at the Bank of Idaho and volunteers at the Exchange Club of Idaho Falls.

The sky’s the limit: Explore Idaho with help from our outdoor loving friends at Rexburg Motorsports. They have identified some amazing trails and areas that are within a day’s drive. There’s so many trails to ride in Eastern Idaho that the fun can go on forever! Getting started is the hardest part, but you’ll get real-deal help from folks who know the Idaho backroads like the back of their hands. Dirt bikes, four-wheelers, or side-by-sides, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy during long summer days.

There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting around the campfire and telling stories. If you LOVE to head to the high country like we do, Iron Horse RV and Trailers can put you on the path of family traditions where you can finally unplug and recharge your own batteries. 

The employees at Bank of Idaho are always finding ways to enhance summer and the memories that go with it. From baseball, to rodeo and everything in between they’re grabbing that Idaho outdoor spirit and making it accessible for all. 

The takeaway? Summer is here and gone in the blink of an eye. Get out there and live your best life! 



Jordynn Shaw

Digital Media Coordinator

MCS Mixtape: Saucy Spring Mix

MCS Mixtape: Saucy Spring Mix

We don’t know about you, but we are very ready for warmer weather and sunnier days (if Idaho will allow it). And what better way to embrace these next few months than to queue up a fresh spring playlist to jam out to during your next spring cleaning project or outdoor gathering.

Listen to the playlist here, or check out individual tracks below:

Jordynn: It’s Gonna Be Me by NSYNC

Jessica: Sun by Two Door Cinema Club

Stephanie: Toes by Zac Brown Band 

Lisa: Avant Gardener by Courtney Barnett

Dave: Stickshifts and Safetybelts by Cake

Steve: Chaise Lounge by Wet Leg

Nick: On and On and On by ABBA

Kayla: Highway Tube by Greta Van Fleet

Matt: Indestructible by Disturbed 



MCS Staff

2022 GEM Awards

2022 GEM Awards

Team MCS banded together with a game strategy in mind, and for this round at least — came out alive. We were able to navigate the challenges, and even fared well enough to be offered a full buffet of food for our efforts. [iykyk]

Squid Games aside, the annual Idaho Falls Ad Federation Gem Awards help set the barometer for great creative on the eastern side of Idaho. We were proud to have taken home a pile of awards (most awarded with 11 trophies!) and pick up some great ideas (logged away for next year’s comp.) Thank you to IFAF for hosting a great event, and to our fellow challengers for pushing to new heights — we’re honored to be included among the other game survivors.



MCS Staff

MCS’ Big Night Out

Big night out

As a local business, we love to get out and support our fellow small businesses when we can. We had the best time at our latest MCS outing at a recent Idaho Falls Symphony Red Dress Concert: Rhapsody in Blue.

We dusted off our party pants and made a group outing to the Idaho Falls Symphony’s annual Red Dress Concert. It was their first time in front of a live audience since the beginning of the pandemic and it was a doozy.

Here’s a tip: if you ever get a chance to see a live performance of Rhapsody in Blue, jump on it. Guest pianist Roberto Plano fronted the IF Symphony, and together with Maestro Thomas Heuser they absolutely burned the house to ashes. It was office buzz at MCS for days after.

As a creative agency and a local business, we’re lucky to have such inspiration so close at hand. It has us all looking forward to our next big night out.



MCS Staff

7 steps to swagcess in 22

7 steps to swagcess header image

7 Steps to Swagcess in ‘22

A how-to list

  1. Start Early
  2. Way early. This allows time to order samples and get a true feel for the product before placing an order. The development of creative design that includes a great item accompanied by a strong campaign can take much longer than it looks from the outside. In the land of swag, the early bird gets the best merch and isn’t forced into a corner because of availability and production time.

    1. Seek Items Trending in Pop Culture…
      or it’s okay to stick with a “Tried-and-True but better/i.e. current”
    2. This Year’s Forecast: Personalized Ice Cubes (any bar-ware for that matter), wireless chargers, custom blankets, a tilemate e-tracker, and even balaclavas are FASHION this year

      Tried and True Coming to Clients Near You: latest styles of hats/hoodies/jackets in slim designs & athletic fabrics, mugs, water bottles, and chapstick — but elevated to next level, expanding wearability and keep-ability.  

      Past Hits: Wrist-bands, pop-sockets, fleece vests, facemasks …

      1. Know Your Demo

      Listen carefully and your audience may even walk into your business and tell you exactly what they would love. If the swag isn’t something your audience will embrace and use, then you’ve missed the point. Use what you know about your clients and teams to choose the swag that they’re missing. Solve a problem for them or make something about their everyday lives’ easier.

      1. It’s an Investment, Not a Throw-Away

      Change your mindset on swag. A meatier budget will not only increase the recipient’s positive impression of your business, but it will also allow you to be more creative and original with your choices. 

      1. Swag, but With a Twist

      Be creative with the treatment of your logo within your brand guidelines. Don’t be afraid to utilize all of your brand elements, including textures and patterns. Your standard logo is great and is often an excellent choice, but consider alternatives as well.  Elevate your item by digging deeper into the possibilities available within your brand vision.

      1. Delight Employees & Clients with Kits

      Kits are a clever compilation of multiple gift items based around a theme; think of a theme and run with it. An example: maybe your night crew could use an extra nod of appreciation with a bespoke and fully-branded kit including a sleeping mask, herbal tea and mug, honey, woven blanket, heated pillow, lavender oils and a foot roller massager so they can catch up on good sleep during the day.

      When it comes to employee welcome and retention packages, go all out. Use the swag as a chance to genuinely say thank you to the crew that shows up for you day in and day out. This same principle applies to client gifts. Ask yourself, “what would make this really stand out?”

      1. Presentation is Part of the Process

      You might be surprised at what a difference a printed box or even brand colored tissue paper can make in the experience of receiving swag. Excellent swag not only speaks to the audience when opened, but when wrapped as well.

      Jessica Cale


      Jessica Cale

      Designer/Fontographer extraordinaire