Meredith Land opens the door of her Greenway Parks home at 9 a.m., perfectly made up but dressed in a dainty bathrobe. Even though she’s still dressing and returned home late after her 10 p.m. anchor gig the night before, she welcomes us with Charleston southern charm. In fact, she and her husband are friends with Shep, the main character in reality TV’s “Southern Charm.”
But unlike Shep, she’s hardworking, with substance, grace, authenticity and a sense of purpose. She’s also a mom. Land is the real deal, the main anchor on NBC 5 News reporting at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. weekdays. Land earned a national Gracie Award for her story about a groundbreaking treatment that stopped a young girl’s seizures. She has been nominated for five Lone Star Emmy awards and has won investigative reporting awards from the Associated Press and South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association. She was also awarded a STAR award for producing and reporting a 30-minute special from Afghanistan.
In addition, Land serves on the national advisory board for the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, as well as the advisory board of the Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command.
Land has lived in the house with her husband, Xan, and two children, McCall and Alexander, for five years. This explains why she has a comfy, dorm-sized bed in the walk-in closet of her home’s master bedroom. Outfitted with a flat screen TV and a copy of Vogue, the space is perfect for when she comes home after a news shift and wants to decompress without waking up her family.
Her goals when building the home:
When we found the house, it was the lot that we loved most. We had visions of adding onto it, but the deeper we got into it, we realized we needed to start from scratch. We razed the home and came up with a design that would be livable for a modern family with natural light and comfortable living spaces. The centerpiece is the kitchen.
Her favorite room:
I love the living room off our kitchen. I wanted to cover everything in the same fabric: Quadrille Arbre de Matisse, inspired by Tory Burch’s Manhattan office. It’s a happy spot where the children read, my daughter practices violin and friends gather without the distraction of a television. The centerpiece of the room is a painting by one of President George W. Bush’s art instructors, Gail Norfleet. President Bush asked me to moderate a panel of his three art instructors at the Bush Center a couple of years ago. I was especially drawn to Gail’s work. She painted this multi-dimensional piece with transparent layers of flowers for me, and I will cherish it forever.
Why she loves Greenway Parks:
Our children live on the greenbelt behind our house. They climb trees and play with neighbors, many of whom go to different schools. It’s the childhood my husband and I had back home.
Her typical day:
During the school year, I am up at 6:45 a.m. I fix breakfast for the kids, fill water bottles, sign off on homework and race out the door to drop them at school. Some days I will exercise and others I nap. I am always plugged in to what’s happening in the newsroom but have struck a balance between busy life as a mom and journalist.
On work-life balance:
Some weeks I feel like I am nailing it, and others, I am a complete failure. I think all mothers feel this way, whether they work or stay at home. I try to cut myself some slack. My job requires me to be incredibly “on” and engaging, so carving out even 30 minutes to do nothing in my home is always a good idea.
Advice she’d give to her younger self:
Find a strong female mentor who can help you navigate the political landscape of newsrooms, corporate America – all the things you don’t learn in school.
DID YOU KNOW?
Meredith Land’s family loves to eat at Hudson House and Mesero.
What neighbors would be surprised to know:
I don’t watch TV at all. I’m not proud of it. I want to have a show to look forward to. My hours don’t allow for that variety of downtime.
What she does for fun:
I work at night, so weekends are important to my family. We love being home, swimming, riding bikes, playing games, cooking. When the kids go to bed, my husband and I catch up outside on the back porch.
Her proudest moment:
The birth of my children. We struggled with fertility and were just so proud to finally be parents.
What’s most challenging for her:
Staying energized for my family and career. The days can be long. I remind myself how fortunate I am to have both.
On what it’s like to be recognized in the neighborhood:
Most of the time there is this hesitation. “How do I know this woman?” It happened the other day, and my friend Louise finally said, “She’s on the news!” I look different in person without the makeup and LEGO hair.
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