This charismatic TV anchor — and mom of a 2-year-old — says that even with all of the exciting stories she covers and important things going on in the world, “family is the very most important” thing there is.
The delightful Kelly Sutton — Tennessee Morning’s co-anchor on Fox 17 from 5 – 9 a.m. each morning — was born in Kentucky and raised in Indiana. Ten years ago this September — in fact, the day before 9/11, she debuted on Fox. She says she fell in love with Middle Tennessee immediately, but waited to have a baby with her husband in order to get established. Now, with 2-year-old daughter Savannah Reese — they call her Reese — the witty and vivacious Sutton calls Bellevue home, loving the small town feel in the big city that Nashville brings, and the incomprehensible love that only a child can bring into your life.
How’s Reese doing? What’s she up to this summer?
She’s wonderful! She just turned 2 in May, so now, when you ask her how old she is, she says, “2 in May,” it’s so funny. We’re definitely seeing more of an independent streak in her now! She’s so much fun, and we’re playing at the pool, learning to swim a little … we’ve got a trip to Disney coming up!
Any more children on the horizon?
I’d love to have another, but we’ll see. We waited 10 years to have a baby, and for now, I think my husband’s like, “We’re good!”
So, how do you handle Tennessee Mornings? You’ve got to get up early, right? About 4 a.m.?
Oh honey! I get up at 2 (a.m.) when most people are going to bed! I try to go to bed around 9, but it’s hard. I get to the station around 3:30, but then I’m home every day at noon, so I’m full-time Mommy the rest of the day.
What about when you were expecting Reese? You didn’t keep that kind of schedule then,did you?
Honey, I worked on a Friday and had her on Saturday night! I missed having her on air by one day!
Who’s with Reese when you’re at Tennessee Mornings?
Our male nanny, Paw Paw, comes to take care of her … he’s her surrogate grandfather.
Does Reese ever watch you on TV?
I think I lose out to Mickey Mouse most of the time! But I wonder what she thinks about that. I have a friend who’s also on TV, and we laugh because his child said to another child, “What channel is YOUR dad on?!”
So what do you think of all the access we have to Facebook and Apps and stuff now? A lot of parents love these Apps.
Yeah, definitely. I do a segment on Tennessee Mornings called “Surfin’ with Kelly,” where I share great sites that I’ve found … now I’m adding Apps. There are great ones! One I really like is called Cozi — it’s a family organizer that makes everything easy. And there’s another one called Food on the Table that helps you with dinner. So if you have, say, noodles and chicken in your kitchen, you put in noodles and chicken and you get all of these recipes.
What about Reese? Does she like Apps and stuff?
She has some Apps that she loves! There’s The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Duck, Duck Moose. I’ll never forget how grateful I was to have downloaded the movie Toy Story to my iPhone. We were leaving a Titans’ game once and she was in my carrier and started melting down. I put on Toy Story and she watched it while I navigated through all those crowds. Movies are great for road trips!
What did you learn from your parents and what do you want Reese to learn from you?
Oh boy. Both of my parents are very generous and honest. They have great character, and they both work very hard. I’m so happy they raised me in the church. If I can do nothing else than to instill in Reese for her to be a good person and love the Lord and to have a strong moral compass, then I’ll be happy.
What have you learned about being a mom?
You know, it’s the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever had. Everybody says that, but it’s true. Reese is amazing in ways I can never comprehend … some of the things she says … She blows my mind every day! Also, another thing I’ve learnd is that it goes by so fast!!!
You volunteer a lot and stay really involved in the community — how can we help?
Yeah, we just did the BMI Music City Invitational that benefits the child development center at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, and I’m active with Susan G. Komen — my Mom had breast cancer — I do a lot of stuff and I tweet about it.
OK! We’re gonna follow you!
That would be great! It’s @tvkellysutton. Somebody else had @kellysutton … so annoying!
To learn more about the organizations Kelly Sutton supports and to see what she’s up to, visit her website, kellysutton.net.
Susan Day is editor of this publication.