Eight-year-old Makenzie Steveson got a jumpstart on her birthday this summer with a special pink unicorn-themed spa party hosted by Ashley Conlon, an aesthetician and the owner of Bloom Beauty Lounge in Diboll.

Growing up in Lufkin, Anna Harbuck spent hours at a piano, perfecting her skill. The daughter of an Army brat, Harbuck remembers her mother’s stories of distant lands and vowed to make traveling a part of her own life. In 2019, she combined her skills and her dreams when she landed a job teaching music to children in Russia.

With a mighty big swing, Brandon Belt launched a ball from home plate at Hornet Field in Hudson, Texas, into the waters of McCovey Cove — a distance of more than 1,900 miles. No, it wasn’t just one ball off Belt’s bat that traveled from East Texas to the section of San Francisco Bay behind the right field wall at Oracle Park (home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants).

On most fair weather days, East Texan Lacy Jones usually can be found zipping by on her motorcycle, preparing for an upcoming competition or just out for a joy ride. The quiet sounds of nature are silenced under the roar of the engine. Winding through wooded trails, dodging fallen tree limbs, expecting the unexpected, Lacy feels right at home.

“Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Out of a small piece of wood, Ben Boyle handcrafts a beautiful pen, razor handle, ring or duck call. And out of a small idea, he created a business he never thought was possible — Hollowgrain Woodworks. The business operates out of Ben’s garage in Lufkin where it’s just him, his music, his lathe and his ideas.

A bug smashed into my forehead the other day on my way home from work. I nearly fell off my bike in a panicked attempt to wipe the guts off.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in this world.”

I’ve known Barb Havard for a few years — ever since we briefly worked together at The Lufkin Daily News about a decade ago — but it has been years since we had really talked. I follow her on social media, constantly amazed at all the things she has going on, so naturally, I wanted to know more — mostly to get a few tips on how she juggles such a hectic work-life balance.

Once upon a time, shoe repair was a part of daily life for Americans, and hundreds of thousands of cobbler shops were scattered throughout small towns and big cities. Now, tradition is what holds this dying art together, and it’s what brought John Fernandez back into the fold.

Much like those who lived through Sept. 11, 2001, can remember exactly where they were when they heard about the plane crashes in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, we will be telling our children and grandchildren about the weeks and months we spent at home, fearing an invisible threat.

I never thought I’d be dealing with a food allergy, but my daughter developed a life-threatening allergy to eggs before she was a year old. Allergies aren’t something we often think about until they affect us, our children or a loved one. However, we can all do our part to help those dealing with allergies simply by learning more about them and understanding them. I’d love to share with you the basics of allergies so you can help those around you facing these challenges.

On Aug. 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby issued a proclamation declaring the 19th Amendment had been ratified and was officially part of the United States Constitution. The 19th Amendment, otherwise known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment, named for the women’s rights activist who played a pivotal role in the suffrage movement, gave women the right to vote.

Editor’s note: We asked a couple of mothers about what it means to be a mom. Debbie Hazell is the mother of nine children, and has been a foster parent for 35 years. Thank you to all the moms out there who inspire us daily.

What does it mean to you to be a mother? It is so special because Jake is my greatest blessing and answered prayer. I prayed for many years to get pregnant due to infertility issues, and after the loss of one baby, I was finally blessed with my sweet rainbow baby, Jake.

Adoption has always been a big part of my life. I, myself, was adopted when I was 3 days old by my wonderful family, the Wojasinskis. They had a biological son, Michael, and an adopted daughter, Laura. I grew up knowing I was adopted and that adoption was a wonderful gift. My mom always made adoption something that was so normal in our household.

On any given afternoon, you’re likely to find Sarah Nichols seated by her loom watching Netflix and expressing herself through colorful threadwork in a cozy workroom behind her Huntington home.

Jimmy and I started dating in February 2000. We had both been previously married and divorced. I had a beautiful, 4-year-old daughter, Mallory, from a previous relationship, but Jimmy did not have any children. We dated for three years and were married on Feb. 15, 2003. We knew right away that we wanted children together and started trying to get pregnant.