Great photos, good times: 'Mommy & Me' prizes given

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Rachel Victory holds 3-week-old Adler as 3-year-old Lyla displays Sunday's T-G front page containing their winning photo. She was awarded an overnight stay at Opryland Hotel plus a cash prize. (T-G Photo by David Melson)

The top three finishers of this year's Mommy & Me photo contest accepted their prizes Monday following the winners' announcement in Sunday's Times-Gazette.

Rachel Victory, who earned first place, said she was totally surprised and excited when her father-in-law went to the store late Saturday night to buy an early edition of the Sunday paper (Mother's Day) in hopes the winner would be revealed.

The T-G published most contest entries in the Tuesday, May 3 edition but did not reveal the winners until they were announced in the paper.

"We saw the section last week and figured the winners would be announced soon so we kept checking the paper until we saw them," said Victory. "I was totally surprised."

Victory wins an overnight stay at Opryland Hotel as well as a cash prize to help she and her husband Jake enjoy their down time. She said she's never been to the resort, located in Nashville, and is most looking forward to "just a night to ourselves."

Victory has one 3-week-old daughter, Adler, as well as a 3-year-old, Lyla, who keep her on her toes.

Linda Brown of Heritage Jewelers presents Natalie Wooten with a $100 gift certificate to Heritage Jewelers. (T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)

A former employee of Ascend, Victory said she is enjoying her time at home, sleep-deprived and all.

"I was meant to be a mom," she said. "I wouldn't have it any other way."

Victory also acknowledged her family for helping out with the children, noting the girls would enjoy time with their grandparents while mom and dad enjoyed their trip to the hotel.

Natalie Wooten earned second place in the contest and her due date is literally around the corner.

"I'm going to the doctor tomorrow and she said if nothing happens by Friday they'll be bringing me in," Wooten said.

Wooten had the photo made to mark the pregnancy for her future baby's scrapbook. She said her son is constantly playing outside with sidewalk chalk and so she thought of the idea to have a photo made with the words "About to Pop" written in chalk, since "everyone is always telling me I look like I'm about to pop."

Taelor Carter holds Case Clinton Smith, left, and Lincoln Sawyer Smith, along with their certificate for a pizza party as third place winners. (T-G Photo by David Melson)

Wooten said she was shopping for ingredients to make a strawberry cake for Mother's Day when she noticed her photo on the front page.

"I said, 'Oh my gosh, that's me!'" she laughed.

Wooten received a $100 gift certificate to Heritage Jewelers.

Third in the contest went to Taelor Carter who said she was also happily surprised to receive a call from her sister about the contest. She said it added to her already great Mother's Day. Carter received a pizza party from Domino's.

The T-G congratulates the winners of this year's contest and appreciates all those who entered and supported the contest.