Born in California to parents who were voracious readers, Lake grew up tuning into the TV news show "60 Minutes" every Sunday night and reading Time magazine.
"I had an insatiable curiosity about the news," she says.
While a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Brigham Young University, her news bug got a big bite when CBS offered her an internship and then asked her to be a page at the Democratic National Convention.
After graduating from BYU, she landed a job as a producer of an all-night news broadcast that was anchored in Bangor, Maine. In 1994, she joined the KUTV 2 News team in Salt Lake City. She now co-anchors the news at 5 p.m. with Mark Koelbel, solo anchors at 9 p.m. on KJZZ-TV and presents the national news on 2 News at 10 p.m.
In between the afternoon and evening newscasts, Lake drives home to eat dinner with her family.
"One of the best anchors in the business, she's every bit as good of an anchor for her family," says 2 News colleague Mark Koelbel.
Lake credits her ability to juggle personal and professional chores to her support system "a husband who doesn't have a 9-to-5 job, a mother who lives in Salt Lake City and amazing friends." She also credits her colleagues at work.
"If there's a big emergency, I will give myself to work; if there's a family emergency, work will give to me," she says.
Lake says she loves her job, even though she rarely gets to bed before 1 a.m. and averages between four and five hours of sleep a night. Still, she rises early with her children to get them ready for school. She also is a first-grade room mother for son Cole.
"I wanted to make sure I was in his life at school," says Lake, who feels the job helps her support teachers and the public-school system.
Parenting has given Lake a different perspective on the news. After reporting on tragedies or sobering stories, she says she walks away feeling blessed.
"I go home and hug my kids a little tighter," she says.
Lake also wraps her heart around teens, talking to students at junior and senior high schools a dozen-plus times a year. Her message: "Stay in school, be well-rounded and well-read." She targets parents on her TV "Parent 2 Parent" reports, addressing such issues as financial responsibility in children and the importance of teaching them about potential dangers without making them fearful.
"The more you know, the more you can safeguard your kids," Lake says.
She knows of what she speaks. For nine years, Lake interviewed foster children on the station's "Wednesday's Child" news segment.
"Those kids had so much love and so much hope," says Lake, who also has helped out with telethons, the Lori Hacking Memorial Scholarship Gala and other fundraisers.
When she took the news job in Salt Lake City, she turned down a position in Denver. Her desire to report the news and raise a family played an important part in that decision.
"I always knew I wanted to do both, and I felt Salt Lake was the place I could do both well," she says. "My challenge is having the energy to give people my very best every night. I have to put everything else on the shelf."
Everything, that is, but the credo she adopted from a cousin, Derek Lake, who died in 2003: "Work hard, play hard and be good to others."