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Emily Jones McCoy

From the quiet street outside, the McCoy home in Fort Worth looks every bit the picture of a new beginning. The freshly laid brick stands proudly before a work-in-progress lawn with early signs of landscaping. On either side are houses in various states of construction, offering hints of freshly cut wood and sounds of hardworking hammers. The new development radiates renewal.

Inside, 2-year-old Henry McCoy is running around the family room as his baby sister, Hattie, amuses herself on a sleek, slate-colored play mat. Libby, their loveable boxer, is in the backyard barking to be let in. With the cool confidence of a mom with a long to-do list, Emily lets the dog in, then picks up her daughter and disappears to put her down for a nap before returning to get Henry settled.

“Do you want a smoothie?” she asks him while opening cabinets and making her way through the warm cream-colored kitchen.

The busy mom of two is best known as Fox Sports Southwest’s Rangers reporter. But after fifteen years of full-time reporting for Texas teams, Emily is scaling back her work schedule so that she can spend more time at home.

The decision to go part-time was a relatively easy one for Emily who found it more difficult to return to work after having a second child. When she gave birth to Henry in 2011, the conclusion of her 6-week maternity leave was relatively uneventful because her son was so young. Now that he’s approaching 3, going back to the office is more of a challenge. “He’ll say ‘I want Mommy to read me books at night.’ So not only do I miss Hattie, but I’m also missing Henry even more than before,” Emily confesses.

Working for the Rangers, however, means that there is a clear starting and ending point to the usually limitless boundaries of a demanding job. Although April 1 is the beginning of six chaotic months, Emily will be home again come September. “I feel like it’s the perfect balance,” she asserts.
 
Growing up in Plainview, Emily was always a sports fanatic. In high school, she was a cheerleader and a future in sports was all she could ever imagine. “I had absolutely no plan B. It’s just what I always wanted to do,” she says.

After Emily graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in broadcast journalism, the Texan was prepared to go anywhere to advance her career. Luckily, she was immediately hired at the NBC affiliate in Lubbock where she worked for six years before transitioning to Fox Sports Southwest. Now, with a leaner schedule, Emily has an off-season and more time to devote to her family, as well as a burgeoning baby business, Posh Play Mat.
 
When Henry was about 5 months old, Emily’s childhood friend, Kelly Teague Smith, gave her a play mat she had made for her own family. Kelly had been in search of a more versatile alternative to what was in the market at the time. She wanted something that wasn’t too juvenile looking and also didn’t contain PVC, lead or plastics. The result was a polyurethane faux leather mat.

“It’s functional but you can leave it out in your living room,” Emily says. “It’s great for tummy time, under a high chair and at the park.”

When Emily brought the mat home her husband, Mike, declared it “genius.” Soon thereafter, the pair of moms launched a baby accessories business, eventually adding a diaper clutch-changing pad combo and bib to the product line.

Running a business “has pushed me way outside my comfort zone,” Emily admits. “But, it’s been rewarding to learn something totally new.”

Emily often turns to Mike, a mortgage broker, for a fresh set of eyes and ears when needed. She describes her husband as deliberate, honest and loyal, with “so much integrity.” They first met in December 2008 when she was working at a Mavs game and Mike introduced himself as the brother of one of Emily’s college friends. Two years later they were married and expecting a boy.
 
At this point, Henry suddenly calls us out for being too loud. He comes over to the kitchen counter and sits in Mom’s lap while we continue to chat at a lower volume. 
 
When asked about being a parent, the mom of two says that she and Mike see eye-to-eye on most things. “Our parenting style is ‘whatever it takes.’ Sometimes it’s letting Henry have eight glasses of milk a day. Should we cut back on the milk? Absolutely. But it would be different if it were M&Ms,” Emily quips. 
 
“We’re pretty flexible in most areas,” she continues. “But we’re also very routine oriented. I’m extremely OCD; Mike’s not quite as bad as I am, but we’re into routine. Not to the point where we’re going to drive ourselves crazy with it, but our kids seem to thrive in that environment.” 
 
As their children get older, Mike would like to instill in them the value of hard work, while Emily hopes to help them be kind, compassionate people. “I always wanted to make my parents proud and that was usually doing something for other people,” she says.  
 
Right now, the McCoys are just happy to have built a home close to Mike’s family and plenty of friends. “It’s that perfect balance of a little big city,” Emily says. “For someone who’s not from here, it feels like home, largely because of the people.” 
 
It’s a fresh start for the family of four and a chance for Emily to reassess where she is in her life. 
 
“I feel like I’ve been trying to climb for so long, and now I’m in a really good place and just want to enjoy it and not … maybe just not try so hard,” she says with a sigh. “I want to enjoy where I am. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do!” 

Published April 2014