My Hair is Full of Secrets

Last week I woke up to a tweet directing me to this webpage: 


A website had combed thousands on TV stations looking for TV anchors with “the best hair.” Clearly they’ve never seen me in person (especially on maternity leave). 

The Station had a field day with it. Posting on our website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Some people said nice things (thanks;), and others gave us the often posted “Is this news??”

Not touching that one:)

But this does give me an opportunity to let you in on a secret. A secret people who grew up with me in Laurel probably already know:

I’ve been obsessed with “news anchor hair” all my life.
It’s true. When all the other girls were dying for “The Rachel”…I was loving the Jane Pauley. 

I was 16…my hair was going on 40:) 

Fortunately—I now have Kate Mcneely at Trim Salon to remind me that “news anchor” is no longer synonymous with “helmet head”. I’m gradually learning to put down the hair spray and scale back the teasing.

Most of us at 16 WAPT are coiffed by some great hair stylists. You see their names on the credits at the end of our broadcasts. The guys at William Wallace and Watercolor in Ridgeland have also styled my and other team members hair over the years. 

But they aren’t there with us everyday. A common misconception is that we have hair stylists and makeup artists getting us ready to go on the air. 

I wish. Most days we are completely on our own with those curling  irons.

So I guess I’ll accept this slightly ridiculous, probably undeserved “hair award”…

seems I’ve been working for it my whole life:) 


Having Hartley

Several months ago I started polling my mom friends about everything I’d need in my hospital bag when it came time to have Hartley.
I’d ordered monogrammed outfits for her and I’d scoured the internet for the perfect post delivery pajamas for me. Come due date July 14th we would be ready!

Oh well:)

June 15 was a normal work day at the TV station. Truth is– I felt terrible and had for a few days, but since my pregnancy had been a physical breeze until this point I kept my thankful mouth shut.

We finished the 10 pm news and all walked to the parking lot. My assistant news director asked if I was “coming to work tomorrow?”

“Absolutely!” I said. I started to add “unless I’m having a baby!”

But that would be ridiculous, right??


Three hours later I was out of bed….frantically googling “signs of early labor” and “do you have to go to the hospital if your water breaks?”

All sites pointed to yes.

My husband was surprisingly calm when I woke him up. I told him he didn’t need to take anything because “they’d probably just send us home.” 

As a *just in case* I grabbed my  work bag– full of labor essentials like velcro rollers and fake eyelashes– and threw in a pair of yoga pants for good measure.

One brief chat with the nurse later— it was clear the hospital would not send us home. We were having Hartley today:)

Over the next 18 hours I fell in love with my doctor- Missy McMinn- and labor and delivery  nurses Karol and Beth. They were so patient with my clueless self and anxious family, tough and encouraging at the same time. 

At 6:31pm Hartley Victoria Allen came into the world. Quietly at first…then with the sweetest little cry I’ve ever heard. 

It was the best moment in what was the best day of my life. Hands down. I’d do it over and over if I could. 

Late that night I thought about my fancy pajamas and the monogrammed outfits I’d left at home. They’d be too big for my tiny girl anyway:)

All my efforts to “be prepared” seemed so funny to me now. 

In that room I had my husband, and an early but healthy little girl. All I ever really needed:)

The face of a woman just told she’s having a baby…today.


The husband of a woman just told she’s having a baby…today.


Hartley Victoria Allen… 5lbs . 12 oz.