Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My RONA HOME - Restless Reflections

( This is the family picture we submitted with our on-line application on June 13th, 2009. Maggie was a couple weeks away from her 2nd birthday and Lyla was only 2 months old )

As I sit in restless reflection tonight, I find my thoughts drifting back to the beginning of this amazing 6 month journey on My RONA Home.
It was early July...we had been in auditions for nearly a month by that point and had made it down to the top-5 finalist families competing to be selected for the show. We had drafted and presented our floor plans to the jury and there was nothing more to do but wait...wait for the phone call that would determine our fate.
The following is an excerpt from our family blog during that week of waiting:
July 8th, 2009

We got the call last night - My RONA Home Update

... But not, exactly, the call we were expecting.

So I get home from work yesterday (Tuesday, July 7th). Nicola and the girls are nowhere to be found and the phone is flashing that we have a message. I had called and left a message on my way home to give Nicola my ETA so I thought it was just my message waiting and proceeded to call in to erase it.

To my surprise, there were two messages waiting... one from me...and the second from one of the producers of My RONA Home asking that we call her back. My stomach flipped as I scrambled to find Nic. I finally found her next door at Grammie & Pappa's house and asked her, calmly, (yeah right) to come home.

So... we sat down on the couch and dialed the number... hearts pounding... breath baited... minds racing.... Ring...Riiiiiiiinnnnggggg... Rriiiiiiiinnnnnggg...
"Hello?" is the greeting from the other end of the phone.

"Hi... this is James & Nicola calling you back about..."

"Hiiii guys!" Bubbling, she gets right to it as I watch a gigantic bead of sweat crawl down Nicola's ghost-white forehead... (I might have imagined that...)

"We're calling to let you know... (WHAT...WHAT... WHAT... SPIT IT OUT mind was screaming.) ... that you should both be ready for 6AM on Monday, July 13th.... (AHHHH!!! YES...YES...YES!!! I started celebrating in my head) we will be visiting EVERYONE between 6:00AM and 7:30AM to let you know IN PERSON whether or not you will be one of the two families selected for the show..."

"Ohh? Uhhh..." I paused to process what I just heard... "Huh? Wait a second," I chuckled a little bewildered, "let me get this straight... so you're going to go to everyone's house on Monday morning to either thrill us with the news or crush our dreams... on camera!?!"

"That's the way we roll..." She replied, "...and here's the rest of the info you need to know for Monday...

After a few pleasantries, our call ended. Nicola and I sat there, bewildered, analyzing every aspect of the conversation... trying to read between the lines and figure out their diabolical plan.

We have no idea. What we do know is that we'll likely go completely crazy sometime in the next 114 hours just thinking about it...

By the morning of July 13th when Elissa Lansdell and the crew, finally, arrived at our door at 7:35am we could hardly take it anymore. 5 days of anticipation... second guessing... harnessed hope... and the fear of getting so close only to face disappointment, had left us, simply, exhausted.
Now... today... less than 5 days from the taping of the finale when we will find out the results of all the voting and whether or not we will actually win our home, we find ourselves back in the same state of mind. The same excruciating anticipation... second guessing... harnessed hope and fear of disappointment envelops us. I would have to think that Vern & Crystal are facing a similar struggle.
You know... none of us are actors, nor had we any experience in being thrust into the public eye. We all had a very limited level of experience and understanding of home construction. None of us, truly, understood all that we were getting into when we accepted our Yellow or Blue t-shirts. We really were, and still are, just regular everyday people who were, simply, given the opportunity of a lifetime.
The price we paid for this opportunity was having ourselves served up to be judged by the public... people who don't know anything about us... THIS... is the very nature of reality TV. I regret ever being so quick to "judge" a "character" on a reality TV show prior to becoming a "character" on a reality TV show. Often our judgements are uninformed and unfair and based, solely, on what editing allows us to see...again, the nature of reality TV.
As for the show itself, Nicola and I have no regrets. We stayed true to ourselves, our values and our faith. We focused on building a home to serve the needs of our little family. We met some wonderful people and had so much fun. It was an amazing experience for both of us. We made memories that will last a lifetime and, YES, we would, absolutely, do it all again.
I Love You Nicki and I'm proud of all we accomplished. We'll get through the next few days and, regardless of the outcome, I consider it an absolute honor to have shared this experience with you!



  1. I love you too! This was an amazing experience and there is no other person on this earth that I would have rather done this with. Regardless of the outcome, I'm so proud of you and wouldn't change a thing about our life. 4 more sleeps baby!!


  2. I am rooting for you guys to win! I have been voting since the beginning for you. I like your style the best and you guys have such a kindness about you two that appeals to me. I hope you win at the finale, you guys deserve it!


  3. Thank you for letting us join you on this amazing ride. You are the true winners, no matter what happens. So proud of you & love you lots.

    The 'Gambo's' :)

  4. So happy for you both and thanks for letting us join you in this ride. You are wonderful examples. And I like your style as well.....especially since the nanny room is near the big tv!
    Love Bucky