WATCH: My family’s Christmas ornament tradition

Each Christmas until I turned 21, my Godmother gave me a keepsake ornament. I’ve amassed quite the collection of Christmas figures, cartoon characters, and even a Magi lantern. Now, I’ve shared this same ornament tradition with both of my own Godsons. I hope one day they’ll appreciate it as much as I have. Click this video to check out all of these special memories on my tree!

Does your family have any cool Holiday traditions? Post them in the comments below!

Behind the Scenes: My annual tie tribute

Each year, I dust off this necktie as a tribute to my grandfather, who I give credit for encouraging me to pursue a career in journalism.

I’ve really grown to love this tradition. Every year, I pull this necktie out of the closet and wear it on or around my grandfather’s birthday. He retired it from his collection and “passed it down” to me when I was in high school, a few years before he died.

Sunday would have been “Paw Paw’s” 91st birthday. He deserves a great deal of credit for sparking my interest in journalism. We would watch the news together when I was a kid and he would save newspapers so I could read them at his house each weekend.

“Paw Paw” even encouraged me to try out for KPLC 7 News Teen Reporter program almost 20 years ago and gave me feedback when I wrote for the Lake Charles American Press teen page.

He was an extremely intelligent man, a loving grandfather who never knew a stranger, and could cook like nobody’s business.

Do you have any special ways you honor the memory of family members? Continue reading

Why I’m ‘Proud of East Texas’

The Lone Star of Texas waves in the wind on a beautiful East Texas afternoon.

“Family first:” it may sound like a simple enough philosophy, but I’m certain this is a shared lifestyle for most East Texans. One of the things I love most about East Texas is the values-driven, family-centered lifestyle. My parents and relatives have shown me how these relationships can be a blessing throughout life. I think that’s why East Texas feels so close to home.

No matter where you’re from, “family” could be as close as the next person you see. I know that sounds hokey, but if you stop and look for these things, I think you’ll agree. The real test of character is how people act when no one’s looking.

In our newscasts on KTRE-TV, I particularly enjoy telling others’ stories, especially those that illustrate the beauty of the human spirit. When a tornado ripped through east Lufkin in December, complete strangers left their families on Christmas to help victims rebuild their lives. Continue reading