I can’t help but laugh at the wild and mundane craziness of my life at the moment.
I mean, y’all. In this last week, we hosted Willie and Korie Robertson at our house (Korie is on the board of Help One Now and they are an amazing couple- so humble and generous and down to earth!), along with 360 friends at the Berry Farm, hosted six of our favorite out of town houseguests, announced the HGTV pilot we are launching on November 7th, and still have all of the normal parts of life like laundry, and wiping noses and carving pumpkins taking place.
My brain has been in overdrive preparing for the big Help One Now fundraising dinner we hosted at the farm on Thursday night. It sort of felt like planning a wedding. There were so many details and decor decisions and friends traveling in from afar…and then, the night came and went in a flash. I hugged so many necks and lost my voice from talking and my cheeks hurt from smiling so big. My heart is still FULL from the evening. The only way I can think to describe it is with one word: magical. The weather was perfect and the ambiance was perfect and we all gathered to learn more about loving our neighbors around the globe really, really well. I loved, loved, loved having so many friends and family in one place hearing about the good work being done by our dear friends at Help One Now. I just can’t stop smiling. We have an incredible community here in our little corner of the world – a community of people who are passionate about justice and are full of compassion and who realize that this life is not our own.
I didn’t take a single photo all night. My friend, Brennon, was the official photographer of the night and I just left the photo-taking up to him and soaked up the time with my people. He’s traveling now but as soon as he shares photos from the evening, I promise to share some here.
In the midst of the planning, we were given the green light to announce this giant secret Dave and I have been keeping for over a year. We filmed the pilot episode of “Almost Home” this past June and couldn’t talk about it online until now. It’s pretty wild. I don’t even know where to begin with this chapter of our lives. We have been working on the development of this potential show with HGTV for so long and then we filmed and now we’ve waited for an air date … so it’s just been a part of our lives this whole time and felt sort of normal. But, now we were allowed to tell people about it and we realized that it is, in fact, not normal. Ha!
We haven’t watched the episode yet – so we will be viewing it for the first time with everyone else on November 7th. My palms are sweating just thinking about it. (I’m going to be a nervous wreck that night).
Everyone has asked for the backstory about how on earth this happened. We were approached by the network last April. They were in search of unique small towns and a couple doing the work of renovation and restoration of homes. Through friends of friends, they were led to Dave and I. We went through an extensive “interview” process and were SO torn throughout it all as to whether or not this was even something we wanted to do. We went into it very prayerfully and did have close friends praying with us. Here’s the thing – yes, this is fun and exciting – BUT, if it is not God’s will for our family, we didn’t want to do it. Our first priority is following God’s path for us, not a television show.
This is tricky – I want to be careful not to make it sound like we aren’t grateful for this opportunity because, gracious, we are. We just didn’t want to get swept up in the excitement of it all without stopping to pray and be intentional about seeking wisdom before we decided to proceed.
Of course, God doesn’t comply with my requests for a detailed email explaining what we should do, SO, we resorted to just doing the next thing in front of us (my motto for all of life). We said yes to the conference call. We then said yes to the Skype interview. We then said yes to the crew flying in to film a “sizzle reel.” We then said yes to filming a pilot. We just keep on praying that God will guide us and He will close the door if it isn’t His will. We have ZERO expectations for all of this and have honestly been blown away by the kindness and encouragement and support of all of our friends (and strangers) when we made the announcement.
I have to share a few behind the scenes sneak peaks with y’all. Every so often, I would sneak away and grab my phone and take a photo to send to my mom and sisters. It most definitely felt surreal and I wanted photo proof that this was actually happening and not some strange practical joke. We had the absolute most fun, amazing, hilarious, and kind production team here with us. They’ve become like family and we even stopped by to see them and hug necks during our whirlwind family road trip this summer because we missed them all!
Don’t forget to watch the pilot next Tuesday, November 7th at 11 eastern/10 central. Also, we’re told it’s best to watch live, rather than recording and watching later as far as metrics are concerned. Because so many have asked, I want to clarify that this is a pilot episode and depending on the performance of this episode, the network will make a decision as to whether we will move forward to a full season. We’d love for you all to watch and tell your friends to do the same! We hope you like it… I have no idea what made the cut and what fell to the editing room floor but I’m sure there will be plenty of laughs involved. 🙂
Have an awesome week, friends!
** If you are looking to find the episode to schedule your DVR, it isn’t showing up just yet. The network is aware and the schedule will be updated by the end of this week! Thanks for being patient!
*** Also, folks have asked about watching online. The episode will not be online on the HGTV site (because of deals with cable companies..) but if you have a service that lets you stream HGTV (like DirectTV) you can watch that way. OR, just tell your friend you are coming over to watch and bring some wine and chocolate with you:). Perfect excuse for a girl’s night after the kiddos have gone to bed!!