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If you missed our ten minutes of fame over the weekend, here’s a recap of all of the exciting events.

Last week Monday, May 4th, I received an email from a Today.com writer who had seen the article in the Grand Rapids Press about the family (http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/04/graduating_while_pregnant_with.html).  She asked if she could also write a story on how we ended up together.  I said YES! Of course.  We interviewed the following day (Tuesday) and Wednesday night conducted our normal routine by bringing the kids to Awanas at church while Ryan and I proceeded to Walmart  – our Wednesday night date destination (I know, super romantic). As we drove, I checked my phone and noticed new site subscriptions for the blog pouring in. Like two or three per thirty seconds.  In the midst of those numerous site subscriptions was an email from the Today Show writer informing us that she had just published the story ( http://www.today.com/parents/family-10-t19701).

WOW, COOL, AND OVERWHELMED. By the end of the evening we realized the blog had reached something close to 400 site subscriptions, and the article was being shared all over Facebook.  The next morning the article had been linked on the Today Facebook page and had close to 35,000 likes.  Again, WOW.

Thursday we had a moment or two to bask in the wowness of it all and then Ryan, myself, and the two littlest ones headed over to the cottage we rent out (https://www.facebook.com/RonneRentals) to clean and prepare it for our weekend guests.  On a break while over there, I checked my email at around 11:00 am, noticed that a reporter for the Today Show –[THE ACTUAL TODAY SHOW] – had sent  a message asking if I would call her immediately. I made the call and then somehow found myself agreeing to the reality of a television crew arriving at my house in the next three hours to film a TV version of our story for the Today Show.

The cottage quickly became “good enough” as we rushed home where I recruited Josh and Jada’s amazing cleaning skills for the afternoon.  I informed them that we were going to be on TV (What show? asked Jada) and that I would give them each a dollar bill (With what number on it? asked Josh) and two pieces of candy.  These two busted their rear ends helping mom for the next few hours.  

The crew showed up as planned around 3:00 p.m., and we proceeded to open our home and our brains to questioning for the next few hours.  What you saw on TV was the final product of about three hours worth of filming.  
The story aired Saturday morning at 8:30 am.
http://www.today.com/video/couple-unites-after-losing-spouses-442569795902

Lovely face freeze frame….

 All in all, we’ve had a few takeaways from all of this:

1.    For every five hundred kind, considerate, and wonderful people who comment in regards to our story there is of course the one person who either needs to get on a higher dosage of medication or make peace with his Maker with questions such as, “don’t they know about birth control?”…  These people find something negative in anything.  And of course, those are the comments I dwell on because my skin is not very thick.  So moral of the story, I need to grow some thicker skin or stop reading the comments altogether.  

2.    No – we are not at all interested in a reality show as many have suggested in the comments. Although a flattering thought, our life is actually pretty boring and mundane. Ryan pulls weeds and makes furniture,  I make muffins and bread, he watches River Monsters, I veg out on Dr. Phil, one of us makes it to the mailbox, and at the end of the day, we rock in our old people chairs on the porch as we admonish the children to “go play” while we catch up on the day’s events. We are not exciting people. Really. Nor are we high drama people, and I don’t want the pressure of having to be a nice mom all the time. No kid should grow up with a fake nice mom all the time. That’s a sure fire recipe for therapy.  Sorry – Not our cup of tea.

3.    This was an amazingly fun experience.  I mean, how many people get to be on the Today Show? (actually,  quite a few I would guess).  But, what’s even more amazing is my family, the blessing of our upcoming child, and the simplicity of my life.  I wouldn’t trade any of it for fame or fortune.

4.    Shameless plug time, I do have a book entitled Sunlight Burning at Midnight that I would love to move forward with towards publication.  There are various parts of the book on this blog under the My Story tab, and I have a manuscript and a proposal ready to go.  All that’s lacking is an agent or a person willing to move forward with me on this project.  Ryan and I would also enjoy writing together at some point.  Calling all agents and/or people in the publishing industry, we are interested in speaking with you .

5. I’ve discovered that journalism is an interesting field.  Having just graduated with a Master’s Degree I have been inundated for the past nine years with the concept of absolute honesty and clarity when quoting a person in any research. Not so much how it works in the real world.

6.    Finally, the answer to the infamous question heard everywhere we go now – “How did y’all end up out here in the middle of Tennessee?”  We had a vision for our life.  We realized life can be short and that means you need to live it well while you have breath in your lungs.  We spoke of what that vision looked like, and we had similar thoughts.  A simple life, focused on love, faith, and family in a big, cheap house (aka fixer upper) on lots of land growing our own food, raising our own meat, and potentially milking our own goats or cows.  We found a house, prayed about it, watched it for over a year, finally became brave enough to check it out, and three months later moved the family.  Plain and simple.  Sometimes you just gotta jump – but you always have to “just keep livin!” 

Thank you for all of the kind support, love, and words in regards to our story.  May it always bring glory to God for his faithfulness in the midst of the ashes.

8 thoughts on “How It Came To Pass That We Were Granted Ten Minutes Of Fame.

  1. Hi,
    In response to #1 in the blog:
    In situations like this, ( im not saying whether I agree with this person or not, because that is completely besides the point, and I don’t want to make it about that particular comment or even that subject), I like to view such comments as this:
    -Instead of being upset about what they said and focusing in on that, I like to look at it as kind of cool, and feel blessed. That is- we live in a country where we have the right to say what we feel, with out fear. In some countries, that person could be imprisoned, stoned or beheaded for a comment like that. It is such a privilege to even be able to receive such a negative comment, and its what so many men died for in this country. Also, (for better or for worse) the internet isn’t restricted by the govt, as it is in places like china, n. korea, Russia, many arab countries etc. We have the ability to watch, view, put out whatever information or comments we want.

    Anyways, just how I would choose to look at any negative or hurtful comments you have received or might receive. 🙂

  2. Love your guys testimony! Thank you for being obedient and sharing with the world! May God continue to guide and bless you and your sweet family. Much love from Oklahoma! 😉

  3. Hi Jessica, I’m a former neighbor from Hudsonville and just wanted to congratulate you on your graduation, your new baby on the way and so much more! I love seeing your love story and your testimony go viral – and pray it leads to an amazing book deal for you. I think you have a lot to say that can bless others in addition to your tremendous story of grief and finding love a second time around. Maybe there should be a movie deal too? Now the only question is which Hollywood actors should play the two of you! 🙂

  4. Hi … i am from Luxembourg, Europe and i read about your blog in a german magazine … i will only tell you that i am completely impressed about your life and your whole family ! Wishing you all good luck for the future and i am happy to read more about your life full of love !!!

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