Page 1

The Little

Black Dress

5+

Places to Visit in Texas

Soup & Sammies Recipes

HOLIDAY

Home Tour

Kim Mulkey A Side Not Often Seen


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PUBLISHER Ashley Munn EDITOR IN CHIEF Michele Graves ART DIRECTOR Stefanie Kiestra SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Cat Jennings MEDIA AGENCY Kate Holcomb, Modern Media Agency

Moderntexasliving.com Single copy free. Multiple copies may be available for purchase by contacting contact@moderntexasliving.com. Modern Texas Living is published by Lifestylemag CentralTX, LLC. The cover and contents are protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced without prior written permission. All rights reserved. @Lifestylemag CentralTX, LLC.

photography by Tracey Ayton Photo

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 1


STYLE, QUALITY & CHARACTER HANDMADE IN TEXAS CUSTOM DESIGNS • STORE FRONT • SHOW ROOM

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IN THIS

ISSUE 06 AT HOME A Burst of Beautiful 4 Designer Bed 101 12 'Tis the Season 18

24 IN THE KITCHEN Pantry & Fridge Overhaul 24 Soup & Sammies 30

61 ON THE ROAD 5 Places to Visit In Texas In the Winter 61 Top Reasons to Use a Travel Agent 63

Holiday Cookies 34 How to Design a Charcuterie Board 36 Signature Drinks 40

64 INSIDE BUSINESS

46

Personal Profile with Alexis Bloom 64 Get to Know Camille Johnson 65

IN GOOD HEALTH Spirit Lead Me 46 You've Got This Mama 50

71 OF LIFE & STYLE

54 FEATURE

The Little Black Dress 71 Waves Are In 80 Galentines 82

Kim Mulkey 54

84 FROM THE HEART Fostering Pets 84 A Mother's Story 86 ON THE COVER Kim Mulkey Hair: Penny McCorkle Makeup: Tammy Shefa Sweater: Prefontaine Earrings: Di' Amore Fine Jewelers

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 3


AT HOME

A Burst

of Beautiful

For seven years, Alicia and Nick have been transforming their builder basic home into one with character, charm and functionality for their young family.


T

heir style is part of an ongoing evolution. They don’t believe in designing a space and considering it complete. Design is fluid and ever-changing. Changing with the seasons, changing with our mood, and changing with each stage of life. It’s about creating a home you love and feel comfortable in and best reflects you at any one time.

Opposite: A 7.5 ft. flocked tree is decorated in shades of gold and champagne with a few hints of navy to coordinate with their living room. Above: Bright whites, hints of blue and lots of natural texture are seen throughout their home, creating a cozy and inviting space for their family. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 5


AT HOME

Above: These identical nooks were designed and built by Nick to give the kitchen a more custom-feel. They are Alicia's favorite spot in the house to style each season or holiday. Opposite: Nick and his daughter decorating gingerbread houses to display around the home during the holiday season. It has become a fun family tradition. 6 | moderntexasliving.com


" WE B E LI EVE I N Â LE T T I N G O U R C R E AT IVITY LE A D U S I N W HATEVE R D I R E C T I O N IT TAK E S U S . "


AT HOME

Above: A DIY chalkboard is the perfect place to spread a little Christmas cheer. Opposite: Alicia wraps their holiday gifts in coordinating paper and ribbon. It creates a cohesive look and makes opening gifts on Christmas morning feel a little more special.

To see more of Alicia and Nick's work, go to www.aburstofbeautiful.com or on Instagram @ABurstofBeautiful. 8 | moderntexasliving.com


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AT HOME

DESIGNER BED 101 Simple Steps to Create a Dreamy Bed 12 | moderntexasliving.com


by Barbara Town Photography by Laura Alexandra Photo

I

have been working on a handful of bedroom projects lately, and every time I present bedding options I always get a ton of questions from my clients about what the different layers are and what is really needed, so

I thought it would be great to break it down and show y'all how to make your bed look like a designer made it! It starts with some great bedding. I keep things neutral in the white, grey/charcoal, and tan areas which is perfect for creating that layered look as well as blending with any design style. Also, if you’re investing in good bedding, you want to make sure what you’re purchasing has that timeless look that will last you for many years.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 13


AT HOME

14 | moderntexasliving.com


1

Sheets. I always suggest using white. White is just

a great base color and easy to clean. Hello, bleach! I have had white sheets for as long as I can remember and honestly couldn't image using anything different, unless maybe it was a kid’s room. Select your favorites, everyone has a preference on thread count and the material. There really is no right or wrong. *Designer Tip: if your box spring is exposed and you don't like/need a bed skirt, use a second

2

fitted sheet for a clean and streamline look.

Coverlet. This is where I tend to get confused. A coverlet, quilt and matelasse are all somewhat similar, they just vary in material. This is the layer you sleep with every night on top of your sheets. With the

heat during those Texas summers, I typically look for one that is somewhat lightweight. For the wintertime,

3

I just add an extra throw blanket over us if needed.

5

Pillows. Everyone needs some sleeping pillows,

right? When I photograph a space I like to hide these and act like they don't exist, but in reality we all have them. I stand them up flat against the wall so our more decorative pillows can become the focal point.

6

Decorative Pillows. Now the fun can begin. Not that bedding isn't fun, but the pillows are typically the first thing you see when you walk into a bedroom. So,

I start with three euro pillows. Now, as I've mentioned we have a Queen size bed and could probably get

away with two, but because I like my bed a little fuller, I stick with three. If you have a King size bed, you will

definitely want to have three of the 26" square pillows. In front of my euro pillows I place two 22" x 22"

Now this is not a step I do every day, but every

time I wash our bedding I love to give it a good steam to get some of the wrinkles out. Maybe this is just my love for linen or the California girl in me, but I like a few wrinkles to keep things feeling casual and comfortable, but the larger ones I like to get rid of.

4

The Duvet. One thing a lot of people don't know is that you're not really supposed to sleep under the duvet (or at least is this what I believe and have been

taught in my years of design). It is meant to be folded back and placed at the end of your bed. Now, putting

the duvet insert into the cover is a whole other topic

for another day, but once you get that part down,

I like to lay the duvet over the bed and fold it in thirds.

pillows. Every morning I give each pillow a little fluff and chop before placing it in its spot for the day. This helps keep the insert as full as possible. Your front pillow could be another square pillow or you could go with a smaller rectangle like I have. This is the pillow I switch up all the time. I have had it as an American flag pillow, black and white stripe square pillow, and now a larger lumbar which I think helps tie in our black wall. When we break it down, it seems like a lot of steps, but on the day to day, I’m not changing out the sheets so it is really just pulling them up and straightening them. In total, it takes me about 2 minutes to make our bed every day and I typically work it into my morning routine and use it as wait time while my straightener is warming up.

Straightening it out and making the edges crisp at the end of the bed.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 15


AT HOME

Barbara Town is an Interior Designer, originally from Orange County, California and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. For more information on Barbara and her work, check her out on Instagram BarbaraTown or on Facebook at Town Lifestyle + Design.

16 | moderntexasliving.com


Located downtown in the Silo District:

501 S. 8th Street / Waco, Texas 254-235-1777 Be sure to shop our second location: THE FINDERY MARKETPLACE 910 Webster Avenue / Waco, Texas

thef in d er y.c o m Follow us on social media @thefinderywaco


AT HOME

‘Tis the Season by Amy Williams


P

ersonalize your gifts this holiday season with festive DIYs that easily transform your brown paper packages into a few of your favorite things. Just stock up on an assortment of beautiful ribbons, kraft paper and fresh or faux greenery! Then, have fun

creating personalized toppers for your packages with a few of these tips. Stamped with Love! Use alphabet letter stamps and colored ink to personalize plain gift tags with the recipient’s name. Finish with satin ribbon and a handmade ornament. Picture Perfect! Trim family photographs and cardstock into the shape of a gift tag by cutting angled corners and punching a hole. Tuck a few springs of greenery into the ribbon. A Personal Touch. Add wood or chipboard letters in the gift recipient’s initial to the package. Embellish with paint or pretty scrapbook paper using the letter as a template. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 19


AT HOME

Coordinated papers and ribbons make it fun to mix and match, and also create a casual elegance to your gifts under the tree.

A few sprigs of fresh greenery will bring your packages to life and add a seasonal scent.

Amy William is a Waco based home decor and DIY Blogger. She is also a visual merchandiser and product stylist. You can follow more of her work on Instagram @cutertudor or at cutertudor.com. 20 | moderntexasliving.com


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IN THE KITCHEN

Pantry & Fridge Overhaul

Holly, along with her husband Brad, are the owners of My Faux Farmhouse. We reached out and asked to feature one of their latest DIY projects: their fridge and patry makeovers. Here are some basic tips they shared with us.

+

We grouped items by likeness, and everything has a container/designated

+

space. Kids snacks/fruits are in one area and cold condiments in another area—butter, sour cream, etc. Drink containers are very convenient for keeping everything organized and not rolling/ floating around the fridge.

We chose clear, plastic bins so that our young children could easily see the food we have stored. They are learning to pack their own lunches so transparency helps a ton! Organizers are from The Container Store and Target.

24 | moderntexasliving.com


+

+

In the pantry, we grouped snacks, baking ingredients, cereals, canned goods/pastas (in white plastic bins since kids didn’t need to see those) and paper goods (in metal bins) and chips in woven baskets.

For our fresh produce and oatmeal, we combined them in the wire baskets. We used a couple of lazy susans in the corner of the pantry to store condiments (like peanut butter, Nutella, cooking oil, etc). This allows for easy/convenient access without them getting buried in a bin.

Holly and Brad decided to start an Instagram two years ago in efforts to appease their parents who only wanted to see “pics of the grandkids.” They recently moved into another suburban spec home and started all over again with the basics—turning it into #ourfauxfarmhouse one DIY at a time. Follow their DIY Journey @ourfauxfarmhouse on Instagram.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 25


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Brittany Amanda made the entire process from start to finish so smooth! I would definitely recommend her!

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Amanda listened to all my desires and wants so she knew exactly what I wanted. Extremely helpful and answered all my questions graciously. I never felt rushed and I was very confident in her.

Mark & Amy Amanda is a true hustler!

Mike & Kaye When we first approached this home we looked at Amanda as the Seller’s Representative, but we realized she was there for us/our daughter. She has been wonderful to work with!

Brandon & Jacki

Thanks for your endless efforts and creative ways to help us find our new home! We appreciate your backing and strength with the sale of our home! We could not have been so successful without your connection and we are grateful! Thanks Amanda!


IN THE KITCHEN

Soup & Sammies


BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (from foodgawker.com) Paired with the Pear, Honey, Cheese and Caramelized Onion Sandwich

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks • 1 onion, diced • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 4 slices bacon, diced • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 cloves garlic, minced • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste • 4 slices bacon, diced • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. 2. Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine. 3. Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at halftime.* 4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. 5. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender. 6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached. 7. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.

EASY PUMPKIN SOUP

(from good housekeeping) paired with the Turkey, Cranberry, Brie and apple Sandwiches with Avocado and Bacon INGREDIENTS:

• 1 medium onion, grated • 2 tbsp. olive oil • 1 29-oz. can pure pumpkin • 2 14.5-oz. cans chicken broth (4 cups) • 1/2 c. heavy cream • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice • 3/4 tsp. salt • Topping: • Sour Cream • Pumpkin Seeds • Pumpkin Spice Seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until soft. 2. Stir in the pure pumpkin, chicken broth, cream, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until soup simmers. 3. Ladle into bowls and top as desired. Shown with sour cream, pumpkin spice seasoning and roasted pumpkin seeds. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 31


IN THE KITCHEN

CREAMY CAULIFLOWER CHOWDER (from twopeasandtheirpod.com): paired with Roasted Turkey Cobb Sandwich

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 3 cloves garlic • 1/4 cup unsalted butter • 1 medium onion, chopped • 2 carrots, chopped • 2 celery stalks, chopped • 1 bay leaf • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour) • 2 (15 ounce) cans vegetable broth (low sodium is fine) • 1 1/4 cups Almond Breeze Almond-milk Unsweetened Original • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we used white cheddar) • Salt and black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chopped cauliflower and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until well coated. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Place pan in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside. 2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Finely chop the roasted garlic cloves. Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, bay leaf, and dried thyme to the pot. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir. Cook until flour disappears. 4. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and chowder is creamy. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. 5. Ladle chowder into bowls and serve warm.

ROASTED TURKEY COBB SANDWICH (adpated from closet cooking.com)

INGREDIENTS:

• 2 slices bacon • 2 slices bread (optionally lightly toasted) • 1 tablespoon mayo • 1/4 cup lettuce • 2 slices tomato • 1 tablespoon blue cheese • 1/4 avocado, sliced • 2 ounces roast turkey

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the bacon, assemble the sandwich and enjoy!

TURKEY, CRANBERRY, BRIE AND APPLE SANDWICHES WITH AVOCADO AND BACON (adpated from closetcooking.com)

INGREDIENTS:

• 2 slices bread • 6 leaves baby spinach • 4 ounces roast turkey, sliced or shredded • 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce • 1/2 apple, sliced • 2 slices crispy cooked bacon • 1/4 avocado, sliced • 1 ounce brie

DIRECTIONS:

Assemble the sandwich and enjoy!


PEAR, HONEY, CHEESE AND CARAMELIZED ONION SANDWICHES (from www.manilaspoon.com) INGREDIENTS:

• A loaf of Cranberry Pecan Bread (or your favorite sandwich bread) • 4 oz Goat Cheese or more if needed (or Mascarpone) • A bunch of fresh Arugula (Baby Rockets) • 1/2 a cup Caramelized Onions or more if needed (see this recipe on how to make caramelized onions) • 2 Bartlett Pears (or more, if needed), cleaned, cored and thinly sliced • Honey, to taste • A little Butter for toasting the bread (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spread some goat cheese on one slice of bread on one side. Top the side with the cheese with arugula, caramelized onions, sliced pears then drizzle with honey. Top with the remaining slice. 2. This next step is optional, but it sure adds extra flavor so I highly suggest this. Butter the exposed part of the bread on either side. If you have a panini press, heat it then toast the prepared sandwich to your liking. If you don’t have one, simply use a flat griddle or frying pan to toast the bread. Flip and repeat on the other side. Serve warm.

Magen Wright is a Houston based life and style blogger. Follow her on instagram @OurSimpleHome.

Happy Hour TUES-FRI 5pm-6:30pm

$3 off antipasta $2 off glasses of wine $1 off beer

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IN THE KITCHEN

Holiday Cookies Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies Adapted from: http://www.caramelpotatoes.com

INGREDIENTS 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter 3 ounces cream cheese 1 cup sugar 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 1/2 cups flour food coloring (if desired)

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375F. Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until well blended. Beat in egg yolk and almond extract. Gradually blend in flour until completely incorporated. Add a few drops of food coloring (I split the dough in half to make light pink and white). Cover and chill dough at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, remove the cookie dough from refrigerator and allow to rest about 10 – 15 minutes. Form cookies on ungreased baking sheet.


Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe from: Magnolia Table Cookbook 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 cups packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until blended. Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed just until the flour is mixed in, then turn the mixer to high speed for a few seconds to pull the dough together; it will be chunky. Add the chocolate chips and beat on high speed to thoroughly and quickly mix in the chips, about 5 seconds. Drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet; don’t flatten them. Bake until lightly browned on top, 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on the pan on a rack for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 35


IN THE KITCHEN


how to design a Charcuterie Board by Ashley Luengo

STEP ONE To start, you need a great foundation. These amazing pieces of wood came from my local craft store for under $10! They are intended to be used for crafting, but when I saw them I knew they would be perfect for my spread. I simply rinsed them off with warm water and they were good to go. I also love to use marble cutting boards or vintage silver trays. You can literally use anything you have on hand. The flatter the surface the better though.

STEP TWO Buy a nice selection of cheeses. A general rule of thumb is to get one soft cheese, one firm and one hard cheese. I usually like to do a Brie of some sort (goat’s milk brie is one of my favorites). And a gouda or swiss along with an aged cheddar make a lovely mix! Don’t think too hard about it and ask someone who works at the store to help you. They usually have wonderful suggestions! Leave the cheese uncut and allow guests to slice off chunks to their liking. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 37


IN THE KITCHEN

STEP THREE Provide a rounded out selection of meats. Prosciutto, salami, speck, coppa and chorizo are my go-tos. Along with the usual suspects add in a quality sliced herb-roasted turkey. Having this variety allows for all guests to enjoy a little bit of everything!

STEP FOUR Condiments! This is where you can add in some fun gourmet spreads and mustards. I like to use a whole-grain mustard and local honey as well as a fruit spread. The mustard allows guests to create mini sandwiches if they choose. And the honey is so good drizzled on a piece of cheese! The condiments are like jewelry to your charcuterie board. They really top it off!

STEP FIVE Fruits, nuts and olives are essential! A crisp sweet apple sliced up tastes amazing with a piece of aged cheddar on top. Not only is fruit a compliment to the meats and cheeses, they taste great on their own. And they are a great way to cleanse your palate. Unsalted almonds and cashews are nice to offer, along with a selection of olives. Add in some veggies, too. Marinated or fresh work great! I found these beautiful cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s market and they were so sweet and delicious! And they looked great, too!

STEP SIX The carbs! A beautifully sliced baguette, artisan crackers and crostini add so much to the mix here. They are the vehicles to get all this yumminess into your belly! Choose wisely, because these will set the tone for your whole spread. You’ve come so far, now don’t skip on this step.

THE FINISHING TOUCH Now it’s time to accessorize your gorgeous spread! Add in some fresh herbs such as rosemary and lavender or some edible flowers to really help elevate the look of your feast! The number one rule though is to have fun!

Ashley is the talented blogger behind Modern Glam Home. She is a lover of all things pretty and you can see more of her work by following her on Instagram @modernglamhome or through her blog at www.modern-glam.com.

38 | moderntexasliving.com


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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 39


IN THE KITCHEN

Decadent Dessert Cocktails AUTUMN ROSÉ SANGRIA Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Rose Sangria

MAKES 4-6 SERVINGS • 1 bottle Rosé wine • 1/2 cup vodka • 1 cup fresh orange juice (without pulp) • 1/4 cup simple syrup or more to taste • 3 apples, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced • 1 lime quartered and thinly sliced • 1 lemon quartered and thinly sliced • 2 oranges peeled and sliced • 2 tbsp Sugar (optional) • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice (optional) Combine all ingredients (except 6 apple slices, 2 tbsp sugar (optional), and 2 tbsp of orange juice (optional)) in a pitcher and chill for at least 8 hours. Chilling overnight is preferable. If not serving immediately, strain the fruit and add fresh once served. OPTIONAL: When serving, place 2 tbsp of sugar in one saucer and 2 tbsp of orange juice in another. Holding the glass by its stem, dip the glass at a 45 degree angle and 40 | moderntexasliving.com

rotate so only the outer edge touches the orange juice. Repeat the same process when adding sugar to the rim of the glass. Add reserved apple slices as a garnish to the side of glasses when served

SPARKLING CRANBERRY REFRESHER

Adapted from Food & Wine Cranberry Sparkler MAKES 1 DRINK • 1 oz 100% cranberry juice • 1/4 oz simple syrup • 1 dash of orange bitters • 1 slice of orange • 3 oz sparkling wine or champagne • 3-4 frozen and thawed cranberries • 1 thinly sliced orange peel Combine cranberry juice, simple syrup, juice from one orange slice and orange bitters in a flute. Stir ingredients. Place thawed cranberry in flute. Top with 3 ounces of sparkling wine or champagne. Garnish rim of flute with the orange peel.


PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA TREAT MAKES 2 SERVINGS • 3/4 cup whole milk • 1 large frozen banana • 1 banana (not frozen) • 1 cup of ice (can add more for a thicker consistency) • 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter • 2 tbsp raw honey OPTIONAL: 2 tbsp Chocolate Syrup Combine milk, 1 frozen banana, ice, peanut butter and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. Continue adding ice until it reaches the desired consistency. Optional: When serving, place 2 tbsp of chocolate syrup in one saucer. Dip the brim of the cup at a 45 degree angle and rotate so only the outer edge touches the chocolate syrup. Pour peanut butter and banana mixture into the glass and top with slices of fresh banana.

If you liked these recipes, follow Laura Carter @blossomingnest on Instagram for more home, food & decor ideas.

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IN GOOD HEALTH


Spirit Lead Me

Where My Trust is Without Borders by Kaysie Berry

I

found my BRCA gene at 27.

complications his team of doctors recommended

I never planned on getting genetic

we meet with Genetics, put a puzzle together of

testing. I didn’t have any suspicion that I was

his brain conditions and see if anything Genetics

carrying a gene that could potentially kill me.

could find would make the puzzle whole.

I didn’t know much about my family history.

The way to approaching genetics in a child is

I was 14 when I got put into foster care. I knew

simple: test him and mom and dad. Run his whole

nothing of my father's family history. My mother’s

DNA genome. If anything comes up positive,

side of the family had seen cancer and death, but

then they run our DNA along side Lincoln’s.

when they all die from drugs and alcohol you never question if genes played a role. At the age of 18 I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I fell in love and got Married at 19. With God by my side and a husband who loved me fiercely, I thought life would be perfect.

BRCA 2. My little Lincoln had BRCA 2. From me. That meant he had a risk of male breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and skin cancer. He would have to have screenings done when he turned 25. I have two other children who have a 50% chance of having BRCA 2. If they would like to

At twenty-six and three kids later, we moved

get tested at 18, then that will be up to them.

across the country. My youngest son was faced

My heart tends to ache thinking of my daughter

with brain surgery. Six brain surgeries later, multiple

going through what I have endured this last year,

conditions unanswered, he was diagnosed with a

if she does in fact have the gene, I get to say

very rare skin condition: Ichthyosis. After a year of

me, too.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer genes 1 & 2) are the best-known genes linked to breast cancer risk. BRCA 1 & 2 mutations can be passed to you from either parent and can affect the risk of cancers in both women and men. A person who has a BRCA1/2 mutation is sometimes called a BRCA1 & 2 carrier.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 47


IN GOOD HEALTH

It’s a bit more complicated as a female testing positive for the BRCA gene. There are 2 BRCA genes. BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. Specific inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2

I went ahead with the prophylactic double mastectomy. I beat cancer before it beat me. I am a Previvor. I Pre Survived breast cancer.

increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers. People

A surgery every three months (due to complications) for

who have inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 tend to

the last year has not been easy. The pain of a mastectomy is

develop breast and ovarian cancers at younger ages than

unimaginable. Doing this with three young children often has

people who do not have these mutations.

me screaming out, “Why me?”

A BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can be inherited from a

But to be here with my children, to see my daughter

person’s mother or father. Each child of a parent who carries

someday walk down the aisle. To watch my boys play sports

a mutation in one of these genes has a 50% chance (or 1

and graduate, to love my husband until we are old. It’s all

chance in 2) of inheriting the mutation.

worth it.

Because BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene

Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is

mutations are relatively rare in the

Without Borders.

general population, most experts agree

that

mutation

testing

I wish I could say I’m near the end

of

of the tunnel, that I can see the light

individuals who do not have cancer

on the other side, but for me and my

should be performed only when the

BRCA journey I’m only halfway there.

person’s individual or family history

My next preventive surgery will be my

suggests the possible presence of a

ovaries. Ovarian cancer is the silent,

mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. After multiple doctor appoint­­ments and screenings recommended for this gene including MRIs, painful biopsies, mammograms and ultrasounds, I was given two options: 1. Continue with this screening multiple times a year while taking

I B E AT C AN C E R BEFORE IT B E AT M E .

deadly cancer. My surgeon said it’s not a matter of “If I get them removed, it’s a matter of WHEN.” Even though I can’t see the light, even though I can’t see God, I can feel the light; I can feel Him. As of right now I’m not sure how many more breast surgeries I will need

a mini chemo pill with massive side

in the future, but in the next five years

effects until the cancer was “caught,”

I will need to get my ovaries removed.

then treat the cancer while it was still in a low stage, or

It’s not the prognosis I was hoping for when we started the search for answers for Lincoln, but it will

2. Have a prophylactic double mastectomy and breast reconstruction to bring my risk from 85% of developing cancer to 5%.

hopefully save my life so that I can spend more of it with my family. If you have any family history of breast cancer or ovarian

Spirit Lead me Where My Trust Is Without Borders.

cancer, I highly recommend you speaking with your doctors

I would have never found out about my BRCA gene if it

about getting your genes tested for the BRCA gene. I also

hadn’t have been Lincoln needing his genes tested. Coming

encourage you to practice self breast exams. My motto is

from a broken home, in foster care and not knowing any

“Feel them on the First.” It’s my favorite way of reminding

family history, breast cancer never crossed my mind -let alone

myself to do a self breast exam. I still check because I have a

even doing a self breast exam.

5% chance of developing cancer. I will do anything possible

Lincoln Saved my Life.

to save my own life so that I can live it with those I love.

To follow Kaysie's journey, follow her on Instagram @trustwithoutborders_brca.

48 | moderntexasliving.com


Photos by Adam Berry

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 49


IN GOOD HEALTH

Hair by Penny McCorkle Makeup Christi Wilson Location WacoWork Earrings by Di' Amore Fine Jewelers 50 | moderntexasliving.com


You've Got This, Mama by Julie Hays

I

n 2008, I interviewed Michelle Obama on a campaign

conference with guilt that my child’s struggles were a result

stop for her husband in Austin. When I asked how

of my shortcomings.

she did it all, crisscrossing

I’ve anchored many a live newscast

the country on a tour that

with my kids hiding beneath my feet.

eventually led to the White House

I often tell them that everyone’s

with two young children in tow, she

“normal” is different and that is okay.

said, “I’m doing what every other

Juggling.

mom I know is and that is juggling.”

Every day I get up and pick up those

I didn’t appreciate the wise words

balls. Some days it’s like a circus act and

at the time, but today, with three kids,

other days I can’t catch to save my life.

I get it. Juggling. Don’t we all? Dance.

It’s stressful. It’s fun, and sometimes

Soccer. School. Lunches. Church. Work. Bedtime. Repeat. It never ends. What I now most appreciate about Mrs. Obama’s words is nothing about juggling is perfect. The balls almost always drop. I coach my kid’s soccer team but

EVE RYO N E ’ S “ NO R MAL ’ I S D I F F E R E NT AN D T HAT I S O K AY . "

forget a scheduled interview at work. I’ve

forgotten

dress-up

days

it’s a huge mess. But, Mrs. Obama was right. It really is what every mom I know is doing, too. No matter whether or not you drop all the balls or even get a black eye in the process, the main thing to know is that you’re not alone. Ask a friend or family member for help- there’s no shame in that. Just remember that at

at school, shoved sight words into a top drawer that my

the end of the day you’re doing a great job because marriage,

daughter never saw, sent my son in his sister’s x-small t-shirt

motherhood, and being a woman didn’t come with a manual.

for his picture day and broken down in a parent-teacher

You’re writing your own.

Julie

Julie Hays is a wife, mother to three and the midday news anchor for KWTX. To follow Julie, go to @Juliehayskwtx. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 51


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The Other Side of

Coach Mulkey by Brandy Stoffel

ith Baylor’s Head Women’s

W

“[My biggest blessings have

Basketball Coach, what

been] my kids. Kids are miracles. I’ve

you see is what you get.

been blessed with two children who

But most people don’t get to see the off-

have been good kids.” Makenzie (27)

court side of Kim Mulkey. The Louisiana

and Kramer (24) both live with their

native who loves to eat, work in the

mom today. “My house now is big

yard, and spend time laughing with

enough we don’t trip on each other

family and friends is often in the sports

and its wonderful having them here.”

media spotlight as being animated and

Makenzie serves as the Associate

bold. “There’s a perception that I’m a

Director of Basketball Operations

mean woman because I stomp or throw

for Baylor women’s basketball and

my jacket. They think that’s who you

is married to Clay Fuller, a former

are when you go home, but they don’t

Baylor football player. After losing

understand I’m out there just trying

their daughter Scout at five months

hard to help my kids win a basketball

into pregnancy last year due to

game.”

Hypoplastic Right Heart syndrome

In her career, Coach Mulkey has

and Turner Syndrome, the couple

amassed five national championships

welcomed son Kannon Reid to the

(two as Head Coach at Baylor, one as

family on Friday, October 12, 2018.

an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech and

“He weighed 9 lbs. 1 oz. and was 22

two as a player there), an Olympic Gold

inches long.” An added layer of joy

Medal on Team USA, and countless

hums in Kim’s already warm tone as

coaching and player awards. She has

she talks about her grandchildren.

traveled the world playing basketball games and even written

Makenzie and Clay are currently looking for a house in Waco

an autobiography. Her favorite role, though, has been mother.

after recently moving back.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 55


Kramer, who shares his middle name “Reid” with

Raising kids, on and off the court, has posed the same

his new nephew, plays baseball for the St. Louis

challenges for Coach Mulkey as any woman or parent.

Cardinals (with the High A Minor League Palm Beach

“Certainly, there are decisions that I’ve made [with my

Cardinals) and is home until the spring training begins

kids at home] such as a quick spank or a grounding that

in February. “It’s like the Brady Bunch at my house

I question ‘should I have done that’ or ‘was I too hard on

right now.” Kim jokes.

them’. But the overall basis of who you are as a parent

56 | moderntexasliving.com


or coach far exceeds one little decision you made or

want to try it.” Maybe Coach just doesn’t need any more

had.” Coach Mulkey follows up on a specific incident

courage. “I speak the blunt truth and people get their

recounted in her 2008 autobiography (Won’t Back

feelings hurt. That’s all I want… the truth. I will say the

Down: Teams, Dreams and Family) when she wished

things people are afraid to say. Why should we be afraid

she’d acted differently towards Baylor player Jessika

to speak the truth? Society today [seems like] people

Stratton in a game against Tennessee. “I was immature

can’t handle it or they misinterpret it. But when I put my

as a coach and learned a lot from that kid; she taught

head on my pillow, I know I’ve spoken the truth.”

me so much about perspective. Jessika came to see me

In the course of a long career, some might question

recently and she is a tremendous woman and mother.

if that alternate path they could have taken at some

Your kids help you understand it is just a game.”

point along the road would have been better somehow.

“ T HE T HINGS T HAT MA D E ME HAP P Y TH E N , AND NOW , WE RE RO OTE D I N H O ME AN D FA MI LY. I’M C ONTE NT W ITH TH E S I MP LE TH I NG S IN LIFE — A BALLGA ME O N TE LEVI S I O N , OR A GOOD B O O K O R MAGA Z I N E .”

It may be just a game, but she still gets passionate.

“Oh, NO. My degree is in Business Administration,

“Baylor has been good to me and my children. I am

and I was working on my MBA when I was talked into

blessed to be the coach at Baylor. I will defend Baylor

coaching by F. Jay Taylor (former President of Louisiana

publicly when others are afraid. I know the difference

Tech) 34 years ago. This is what I was meant to do. I love

between good and bad and there is far more good

coaching. I get to do what I want to do. I get to dress

about Baylor University than bad. Just do the right

in shorts and tennis shoes and no make-up and coach

thing. I’ll make mistakes, but when it comes to life and

at an elite level.”

doing right and wrong, we all know the difference. You

In her 2008 book, Coach Mulkey said, “The things

don’t have to go to church every Sunday to do the

that made me happy then, and now, were rooted in

right thing.”

home and family. I’m content with the simple things

Growing up in Baptist and Methodist churches,

in life—a ballgame on television, or a good book or

Coach Mulkey enjoys classic hymns, regular prayers

magazine.” On this fall day, just before the start of the

with the team and her family, and has never taken a

2018 season, she confirms, “I’m the same person today

drink of alcohol in her life. “No, I’m not a drinker. I’m

that I was when I was a child. I’m very much rooted in

a great bartender, and I’m fine with it. It is not for any

the values of a home and family, and I don’t go out

reason other than I’m afraid I might like it and I don’t

and have crazy trips and a social life. My life consists

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 57


Kannon Reid Fuller Born on October 12, 2018 9lbs 1 oz 22 inches long

of my job, my children, going on a vacation now and then

she reflects on the seasons past, “I never put my career

and being in my yard. I don’t need entertainment and I’m

ahead of or in front of my family. I had help, but I’ve been

not lonely.”

hands on with my children. I worked my [Baylor] practices

One of Coach Mulkey’s ‘Thoughts for the Day’ to her

around my kids’ ballgames. I’m a big family person.

team states “Today I gave all I had. What I’ve kept, I’ve

I said that to the Athletic Director when they hired me.

lost forever.” As Coach Mulkey recovers from her recent

I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. I’ll be the same with

spinal fusion surgery in preparation for the season ahead,

grandchildren.”

58 | moderntexasliving.com


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INSIDE BUSINESS

Alexis BLOOMER

Journalist. Influencer. Business Owner.

TELL US ABOUT YOU. I'm proud to call Salado, TX my hometown. Looking back, I am so thankful that I was raised in Central Texas, I have so many memories of growing up in my small town that I recently moved back to Salado and opened my business here. Although I’ve lived as far as New York, my heart has always been in Central Texas. I have always had a passion for journalism and have involved myself in the industry since I was 17 years old. I always believed that to be a true journalist you had to cover every realm of the industry, so I started in print, then hosted my own show on Sirius XM throughout college and most recently opened my own media company, Breaking Records Media, in my hometown. I am only twenty-five, but it has been my dream to have my own company that not only helps influence other creators, but that also promotes and tells stories that inspire others.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? I love people. I love making others feel good about themselves and my job has really given me an opportunity to reach a large audience and encourage those around me.

YO U ’ R E U S E D TO WHAT DREW YOU TO THE FIELD OF JOURNALISM AND TO B E I NG T H E STAR , WRITING YOUR OWN BOOK? IF YOU WEREN’T AN AUTHOR/ B U T EVE RY NOW I received a karaoke machine JOURNALIST, WHAT WOULD YOU DO AN D T H E N YO U one Christmas and remember ‘fake FOR A CAREER? interviewing’ with it. I have always I think that I would have a show on HAVE TO H E L P been passionate about others‘ HGTV about decorating and creating OT H E R S B E stories and whether it be through or a cooking show on Food Network. a book or on TV, I knew that I A STAR , TO O . I am an artist at heart, I love to paint wanted to be the girl that people and create. looked to, when it came to helping someone tell their story. My first love was writing, I’ll never WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE forget reading The Great Gatsby, I think that is when I first EVER RECEIVED? fell in love with writing. I wrote my rhyming children’s book, My first day of college I was watching a girl at the anchor Kindness is Key, in one afternoon because I was passionate desk and she was upset that she had to help move equipment about teaching children to be kind, rather than bully. It was and one of the people in the studio said, “You’re used to being so important to me that we started practicing kindness at a the star, but every now and then you have to help others be a young age. After I conquered that, I wanted to write a book star too.” That advice has stuck with me, so anytime you see for women about how to be a lady in the millennial age, thus me on camera, you’ll see me helping pick up afterwards or if I creating Good Girl, Bad World. am covering an event, I am there early to help set up.

64 | moderntexasliving.com


Camille JOHNSON

Wife. Mother. Millie. Realtor. Broker. From a small town girl on the farm, to a freshman in college walking-on to the basketball team at Baylor, to a high school English teacher, stay at home mom, and real estate agent here in our great community, Camille has become a name everyone knows and recognizes. WHAT GAVE YOU THE COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO DO THE THINGS THAT YOU DO? “My mom. Moms don’t always get a lot of credit because they are behind the scenes, but as I look back at my life I see moments where my mom’s hand was helping guide me and encouraging me to be the ‘best me.’ Your roots will always be here to help you grow but finding yourself and not being too content was always her way of giving us wings to help us fly.” My family. My husband Fred, two children and grandchildren are the highlights of my life. My friends. I have had the same supportive friend group for years that have helped encourage me over the years. WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF YOUR BUSINESS?

B E H UM B LE AN D KI N D . THE BUSINESS W I LL C O M E AN D GO , B U T T H E WAY YO U TR E AT OT H E R S W I LL ALWAYS STI C K W IT H T H E M .

People don’t typically sell because they want to. Sometimes they are going through difficult times like someone losing their spouse, financial struggles force them to sell, or a divorce so I find that my business can be a ministry to be kind and love on people during a difficult time. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST CLAIM TO FAME? I holds the record for the 60 yard dash at Bruceville Eddy High School. I will forever hold this record because there is no longer a 60 yard dash.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE? My roots. I was born and raised in Bruceville Eddy,and was raised on a farm with my brother and sister. My faith. I am a

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Be humble and kind. The business will come and go, but the way you treat others will always stick with them.

member at Columbus Avenue Baptist.

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 65


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MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 79


OF LIFE & STYLE

Magen Reaves

W

ith the holidays fast approaching

One thing I really liked about the Wave Artist is that I

I love finding new hairstyles that

could go a few days before I needed to wash my hair or

can just add that something

style it. The Wave Artist made my hair look thick and full!

"extra" to your look. From all the

holiday parties you may repeat a outfit, but by simply changing up your hair-do you can get a whole other look

It's super simple too! If you have thick hair you will want to do smaller sections, maybe 1in. Section it off.

with your outfit. I recently discovered the "Tigi Bedhead

You will start at the root and slowly just

Wave Artist" and fell in love! This hot tool can be found

work your way down each section of hair.

at most retailers for $20-$40, depending if you catch

You can adjust the temperature of the

it on sale or not.

tool. I personally had it on the highest

I typically don't buy into crimpers/

degree, so then I didn't have to hold the

wavers like this because I find they

tool on my hair long.

don't work well on my thick hair. I had purchased the Wave Artist awhile back after seeing a friend with similar hair use it. Her hair looked amazing and I loved the wave look she got from just using the tool. I purchased the product, but didn't try it out until a year later. One weekend, on a lazy Saturday, I decided to break it open and give it a try... on week old hair. I fell in love with the look I got and became a believer.

Take it section by section and then when you have completed your whole head, gently run a brush through. And you're good to go! You should be able to go a few days with it styled just like this. By day 3-4 I pulled mine up in a pony tail and loved how big and full my pony was. Have fun with it this holiday season. Watch how just changing up your hair, changes your outfits and you have a whole new look.

Magen is a Texas wife, mother and fashion blogger. To see more of her amazing work follow her on Instagram @MagenReaves or visit her on her website at www.MagenReaves.com.

80 | moderntexasliving.com


MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 81


OF LIFE & STYLE

Galentines by Alison Sorley

I

’ve celebrated Galentines for years whether single or

• Also, get little gifts for everyone when hosting, such as

with someone. Love should be celebrated all the time;

heart-shaped soaps, mini bottles of pink champagne,

our world would be a lot better with it.

bubble bath, etc.

To celebrate Galentines try a few of these great ideas:

• Another thought, if you're single, treat yourself. You have

• Game night with trivia consisting of all things love, quotes,

to love yourself before you can be loved and you should

movies. Treats and eats include pink champagne, heart

celebrate it. By an inexpensive gift such as a massage, top,

cookies, red hots, etc.

shoes or sometimes a splurge of a handbag or spa day.

• Get a group of friends (single or taken), get all dressed

• A way to share love for free is watching your friends' or

up in pinks and reds and indulge in a fancy dinner with

loved one’s kids so they can have date night, plus being

dessert and toasting to one another and friendship. True

around a child’s laughter, love, and fun nature is contagious

friendship is loving one another in the good, bad and ugly.

and can really brighten your mood.

82 | moderntexasliving.com


Photo by Halle Judea Photography


FROM THE HEART

Fostering Hope by Jessica Morrow

I

guest bedroom to let him have some peace. By utilizing social n May 2016, Laura Bushnell was leaving work she heard media, we were able to find a “furever” home for Wall-E. the unmistakable distressed meow coming from an Today Wall-E is a happy and beloved house cat. He is also alleyway. Ordinarily, she would not have thought too a successful case for the Humane Society Foster Program. much of the cry as there are lots of stray cats that live Animal shelters are meant to be a temporary location for in the area. However, the urgency in the cry and the fact that homeless animals, the assiduous workers of our central Texas it had been raining heavily all day with more heavy rains shelters see a constant stream of animals in truly desperate predicted piqued her concerns. She followed the cries to a situations. Foster families not only provide individual attention small hole in the wall where, sure enough, a tiny kitten had and a safe home but also open space at the shelter. Fostering wedged himself to escape the rains. A phone call to animal has provided opportunities for my family to volunteer in the control led to a rescue effort that ironically included a team community one animal (or sometimes litter) at a time. of firefighters. The firefighters freed the tiny kitten from Like people, each animal has a unique the wall and he was quickly wrapped personality and each presents its own up and transported to Laura’s house challenges and rewards. Some experiences for his first night inside. Laura and her have been as simple as providing a dog a husband named the kitten "Wall-E" and LI K E P E O P LE , place to crash for a few weeks, to keeping were determined to help him. Wall-E E AC H AN I MA L litters of kittens, to housing a persnickety was swarming with fleas, starving, mother cat recovering from feline mastitis. and terrified. Laura sent out a distress HA S A U N I Q U E Some of our most rewarding experiences message on social media asking for P E R S O NA LITY have come from the more challenging cases. help. Cue the Waco Humane Society. Like, watching a deaf albino kitten gain his I had heard of Wall-E harrowing tale, AN D E AC H confidence, or seeing the relief in a pair of so I offered to foster Wall-E through P R E S E NTS ITS tuxedo cats after multiple days of lime sulfur the Waco Humane Society’s Foster dunks to treat ringworm. Each case has program. With a foster home secured, OWN C HA LLE N G E S been supported by animal organizations Wall-E entered the fostering system like the Central Texas Humane Society. and was immediately placed into my AN D R EWAR D S . My husband and I have fostered 18 home. This is not always the case for animals through various organizations over animals entering the Humane society; the years. Each one has held a special most cases involve their tireless foster place in our hearts. Of all the animals we have fostered, we coordinator, Emily Keil, recruiting from a list of other foster have only kept one (our now 7-year-old cat, “Mama Kitty”). homes in the area (more on that later). Here in Central Texas, we have enjoyed partnering with the My family had fostered several animals before and was Humane Society of Central Texas. Their staff serve both the familiar with some of the challenges that come from bringing human and animal population with grace and compassion. a new animal into the household. We already had our own Emily Keil, Foster Coordinator, has always been great in dog and cat, so making sure Wall-E had a quiet place for helping us to find an animal that will best fit with our family. himself was crucial. We set up a litter box and food in our

84 | moderntexasliving.com


WHEN CONSIDERING ANIMAL FOSTERING, HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: Separate, quite space: This is especially important if you have other pets. Mostly, it gives them a familiar place to get acclimated. Space can range from a spare bedroom to a bathroom. Patience: Not all animals will go home with you ready to cuddle. You never really know what their phobias are and how they will manifest themselves. Be patient and give them time to adjust to their new environment. Time: Your time is essential. You are helping them to develop into a loving pet for another family, so any time you have to sit with them, take them for walks, or brush out their fur will help get them ready for healthy habits with their future family. Transportation: You will need to be able to take them to medical appointments and checkups at the Humane Society as well as adoption events. This frequency likely depends on the age of your charge and any underlying medical issues.

Advocate: You and your family will know your foster the best and can therefore help your furry friend to find a home. You are their best advocate for the pet getting adopted. Misconceptions: There are many misconceptions when it comes to fostering. Medical expenses like vaccinations are taken care of by the Humane Society as well as spaying and neutering. Ability to Let Go: It is a pleasure to open our home to these animals and help them to learn to trust and love. Parting with them is always a challenge as you know they have grown accustomed to you, too, but helping them transition to their forever home is so rewarding. Maybe the forever home ends up being your home, but if the goal is to provide a happy place of transition, you must be willing to say goodbye and do what is best for the animal.

If you would like more information about the Humane Society Foster Program or if you want to become a foster family, apply online at humanesocietycentraltexas.org. MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 85


FROM THE HEART

A Mother’ s Story P by Stephanie Ginn

ostpartum Depression. It is real. It is hard. It is common. Why it is such a hush-hush topic? I don’t (and never will) understand. I feel called to share my story. It is LONG, it is real, but more importantly,

it is okay! Three and a half months ago our world was changed for the better when our newest addition was born. Scarlett is our rainbow baby. We desired to have her, we longed for her, we prayed for her, and we praised God when we heard her precious heart beat for the first time (and every time after that). My first pregnancy with Caroline was a walk in the park. Hardly any sickness, was never really in pain, and breezed through it all. She was a 36 hour labor (she is still a diva to this day), but after she was born our connection was instant and I can honestly say I loved everything about motherhood. The good, the bad, the ugly.

86 | moderntexasliving.com

My pregnancy with Scarlett was a different story. I was diagnosed with a Marginal Cord Insertion which means that Scarlett had to work 4x as hard to get any nutrients from me. With that, I was now a monitored patient and had to get a lot of ultrasounds and extra tests done often. Then, I started having some heart issues so I was being seen by a cardiologist. At 30 and 33 weeks I found myself in Labor and Delivery and just lying in the hospital bed watching my contractions on the monitor. Each time the contractions were brought back under control and I was given some medicine to help control my contractions for the remainder of my pregnancy. The next week, I found out that I was starting to get some extra fluid around Scarlett which was just one more thing for them to watch. I was then put on bed rest at 35 weeks and induced at 38 weeks because my fluid level continued to rise.


MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 87


FROM THE HEART

Hospital life after Scarlett was born went well. We had visitors, help from the nurses, and a few days to adjust to baby life again. Then we went home. I remember thinking on the car ride home that something felt off. I brushed it off to be me still recovering from labor and the medicine that I had taken. Within a few hours of being home, I found myself upstairs with Andy in hysteric tears saying, “What in the world was I thinking when I thought that I could be a mom of two? I have lost my mind and there is no way that I can do this.” To be honest, I had no desire to do it. I was longing be go back to being a family of three, and I couldn’t understand why I was having these feelings because I never had any of those thoughts with Caroline. 88 | moderntexasliving.com

As the days passed, my feelings didn’t change. I still was not feeling connected to Scarlett and I had no desire to do anything. Baby related or not, I felt alone and lonely no matter how many people I was around. I was crying all the time. I would see a pregnant person and immediately feel sorry for them. That isn’t who I am and that isn’t who I wanted to be. The guilt then set in big time. How in the world could I not have extreme feelings for Scarlett? She is perfect. She is healthy, she is a beyond wonderful baby, and she is as gorgeous as can be. There must be something wrong with me. That was the only answer that I had for my thoughts and feelings. Thankfully, I have THE. BEST. support system in the world!! Being able to speak freely without the fear of being judged or


I have since learned that the answer to these questions frowned upon was an answered prayer. My friends and family is “No!” This is just part of my story. I got through it and were always willing to listen to me, let me cry my eyes out, let feel passionately about sharing my story and bringing me put my feelings out on the table, or were just willing to sit awareness to PPD. in silence with me. And y’all, the power Looking back to my maternity of prayer is incredible. I spent a lot {and leave, I wish I could start it now. I I mean a lot} of time praying for answers, POSTPARTUM wish that I hadn’t wasted all of those guidance, and comfort. days and moments with Scarlett After three (long) weeks of just DEPRESSION AND feeling what I was. However, now I going through the motions and feeling miserable, I reached out to my OBGYN. POSTPARTUM ANXIETY can’t (and never really do) let her out of my arms. I miss her during the day She assured me that what I was feeling and take advantage of every minute was common, but just unfortunately not ARE REAL AND ARE I have with her in the evenings and commonly talked about. After talking for COMMON. HOWEVER, on the weekends. She is my angel awhile, she said that I did in fact have baby, her daddy’s little princess, and Postpartum Depression and Postpartum THEY DON’T HAVE TO her big sister’s best friend! Our life Anxiety. and family would be incomplete Hearing her say that gave me mixed CONTROL YOUR LIFE. without her. feelings (as if I didn’t have enough of those FIND YOUR PEOPLE I share all of this to say, Postpartum already). I was glad to have somewhat of Depression and Postpartum Anxiety an answer to my crazy, but how in the AND HOLD ON TIGHT! are real and are common. However, world could I have PPD and PPA? they don’t have to control your life. The thoughts that flooded my mind Find your people and hold on tight! were: I was meant to be a mom and have Be aware and reach out for help. You are not weak, and you always wanted and prayed for a big family. Does this make are not a bad mom. me a weak person? Does this make me a bad mom?

MODERN TEXAS LIVING | 89


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Modern Texas Living Magazine Issue 5  

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