Red carpets sure ain't what they used to be!
To be fair, it's me that's changed -- not them. I've been fortunate enough to cover both the GRAMMYs and the Academy of Country Music Awards for Entertainment Tonight several times over the course of my tenure, and they're always a highlight of the year for me! Not only is it a great time to catch up with industry friends and celebrities that I've interviewed through the years, but who doesn't love an excuse to throw on a pretty dress and get the full glam treatment?
Plus, I thrive on the breakneck speed and intensity of the environment. Once a red carpet really gets rolling, I'll sometimes have interviews go back-to-back-to-back for an hour or more. While we often have questions prepared on cards ahead of time, I don't always have time to rifle through them to pull the correct one before an interview starts. That's where preparation comes in clutch -- not only crafting and studying the cards for days ahead of time, but keeping up to speed with entertainment news all year long is crucial.
Not to toot my own horn, but I'm damn good at it. Not only are we there to ooh and aah over the fashion, but we're in the business of breaking news and getting headlines by asking the right questions.
But I digress...
I stressed for months over this year's GRAMMY Awards. I was thrilled at the prospect of making my big post-maternity leave return at such an incredible show, but I was also intimidated by the idea of breastfeeding and pumping throughout the day. I blogged all about that experience over on Mom Needs Merlot.
In the end, I loved it. And I'm super proud of all the great content we were able to publish from that red carpet.
As a country music expert, the ACMs are my home away from home. Plus, they're in Las Vegas. Just a quick plane ride away from Los Angeles, and the perfect excuse to let loose with friends and colleagues for a few days.
But this year, I had to bring my baby with me.
As our breastfeeding journey continues, I'm still not comfortable leaving Everly overnight. Thankfully, my husband was game to take a long weekend away from work and tag along on Daddy Day Care duty while Mama worked. It was the ultimate test of balancing it all! All those celebs who bring their kiddos make it look so easy!
(Narrator: "But it was not easy at all...")
Here's a secret that working moms won't tell you: Having it all and balancing it all are not the same thing. In fact, I'm not sure that one can actually have it all. You can balance, but something is gonna have to give.
In our case, I rocked it out for our interviews. I brought Evie along for a Topgolf segment with Scotty McCreery, and I tucked her in bed before hitting the rehearsal space for interviews with Kane Brown and Dan + Shay on Saturday night. I was ready to hit the pre-parties!
(Narrator: "But she did not make it to any parties that night...")
Just as we wrapped our final interview of the night, I got a text from my husband. Everly was inconsolable. After crying for 40 minutes, she just needed to spend the night cuddling with Mama. And truthfully, I was happy to be there for her.
The next day was the big show. I studied my cards and hung out with Evie while my husband spent a little time at the gym. Then, I was off: Hair, makeup, wardrobe and the red carpet!
I had been self conscious about my dress that day, but ended up loving it. The sparkles were so fun in the sunlight and I stayed cool and comfortable in the heat. (My feet, on the other hand, were another story. A week later and one of my toes is still numb.)
Our interviews were a beautiful blur. I caught up with many folks that I hadn't seen since having Everly, and created entertaining, headline-making stories.
Once again, I missed out on the big parties that night. Everly needed me and I needed to be there for her. I wanted to be there for her.
I love my career and I hope to be a role model for my daughter. I aim to teach her about hard work and big dreams -- but more importantly, I always want her to know that she comes first.