#1,754 Dumb Luck & Instagram.

I want to write down what happened today and I want to be very clear about some things:

I did not pursue this… It just came to us. It just happened. And you know, actually, nothing has happened yet. I’m not proud of myself, though I am (understandably) excited by the possibility of what this could mean for our town.

A few months ago, a girl named Lindsey started following my instagram account. I saw her photos. I liked them. I saw that she posted lots of pictures of NYC, where she lives, and I followed her back. I soon learned that she was the director of original programming at a major TV network… And then she emailed me one day. I think it was actually this day. It was hard not to tell you about it then, her kind words in that email, her interest in filming us for a possible show. For what? When? Why? We didn’t have any idea. We made plans to meet in NYC this December. She became our friend. She told a literary agent about us. Since then, there have been many Skype interviews with a wonderful production team in Canada who made a 2 minute video introducing us that would be shown to the network to gauge their interest.

Today, Lindsey pitched us, the Napiers here in tee-tiny little Laurel, Mississippi, to a major TV network. And, much to our surprise, they said… “Yes.” And so we’re going on to the next step. What will it be about? I know very little about what they have in mind other than the renewal happening in downtown Laurel and renovating old houses. I feel ill-equipped and inexperienced, but passionate enough to hopefully make up for it and surrounded by talented and kind people who know much more than we do, who can help us along the way.

This does not mean they are making a TV show about Laurel or about us. It means, it’s possible. And in a few weeks a crew will be here filming a short promo to be presented to the network, and if they like it, then we go to the next step of filming an episode. There’s a 2% chance the stars will align and a show will be ordered, so don’t let the rumor mill go too crazy, Laurel. At any rate, we have to give it our best and rise to the occasion. This is what’s on my mind:

1. This is an opportunity to make me smaller and God bigger. He’s responsible for every good opportunity, and He teaches us in every disappointment. If it works out, I hope we’ll honor Him and people will see that any happiness or goodness in our life is a direct result of knowing Him. If it doesn’t happen, I won’t be crushed. That disappointment will be just as much of a gift. It will have been a gift of experience, a chance to meet new people and learn something new. It’s like they called and asked us if we’d like a unicorn a few months ago. Today they asked us what color we’d like its mane to be. It makes no sense. It isn’t real. These things don’t happen to regular people like me and Ben. And if it does? Well. I guess I’ll be ate for a tater.

2. Positive national attention on Mississippi, and more particularly our beloved town? If I can help be part of that, sign me up.

3. If you live here, please. Rally for this town. If ever you were called on to be a cheerleader, it’s now, for just such a time as this. Share things you love about it on social media and hashtag it #iliveinlaurel. Shop here instead of driving 30 minutes to get it. Invite friends and family from out of town to enjoy it. It will be like a really fun virus that everyone starts catching if we all pull together.

I know that there is probably someone reading these words who knows me personally, who lives in my neighoborhood maybe, who has decided not to like me for whatever reason, for things they perceive me to be. Maybe you read here because you’re hoping one of these days I will write about The Big Failure. Don’t worry—I write this blog because I, too, am constantly waiting for the piano to fall on my head. I have to write to realize that life is not so scary…  It’s a gift. It helps me to not be so worried and afraid of what the next day holds to focus on the best things about the ones I’ve finished. Maybe you read because my good days are fuel to make you like me less, makes me an easy target. But you need to know how sad and stupid and small it makes me feel once in a while when I hear what those people say about me. It hurts. I’m very flawed. I’m a sinner. Everybody is.

And so, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like us all to be on the same team. I didn’t tell you about all this to be boastful, but to let y’all know: I’m as shocked by this as anyone. Dumb luck and instagram put us in the right place at the right time. We probably don’t deserve this kind of attention. But our town really does. And if you live here, I think you have to do whatever you can to make it great.

There’s a 2% chance the whole world could fall in love with Mississippi. And that’s a good enough reason to try our best, isn’t it?

Illustration by Margaret Kimball


Monday, October 6th, 2014

Daily Journal

22 thoughts on “#1,754 Dumb Luck & Instagram.

  1. Hurray! Positive vibes heading your way in a gazillion ways 🙂 (I not-so-secretly hope it'll work out because then I can watch you and that beautiful town you live in on a bigger screen ;-))

    Besides, good things come to those who deserve it. I can quite confidently say that you deserve it!

  2. Congratulations! What an honor for you and Ben and your town. You have been stepping out, following the "bread crumbs" that God gives us……wouldn't it be nice if we got a detailed itinerary instead. No matter what happens, this is an affirmation that you are touching people in a positive way.

    I come "here" every morning to start my day with something good, to help me remember to see the good in every day, to remind me to foster a spirit of gratitude. Keep your eyes focused on your calling and you will always be in the right place at the right time.

    I hope this comes to fruition…..maybe you can even visit the "real" HGTV" capital of Knoxville, TN!


  3. This is spectacular news and couldn't happen to better people! I am off the charts thrilled for you. I will offer prayers of support and keep my fingers crossed that all will go according to His plan.

    I visit daily and every.single.time leave inspired to be the very best version of myself and to offer thanks for the many blessings that I've been given. YOU are a blessing and a "friend" {though we've never 'met}

    I hope whatever it is you want, happens for you! You deserve it! (and at the risk of sounding condescending, I am so proud of you!)

    – Talia 🙂

  4. How exciting! I check your blog first thing every morning and love to read about your day and your beautiful town. I would LOVE to watch you all on TV! Good luck moving forward with this process!! 🙂

  5. Hey, HGTV…I'd watch! 🙂
    (and I live in NC, not MS)
    Put. It. On!!!
    Kudos, Napiers for wanting to make God bigger!!!!

  6. God is good. All the time. 🙂
    What exciting news. HGTV is hands down my favorite channel. You and Ben being on that channel would be so refreshing and such a joy to watch. I wish you the best and may whatever He has planned for you and your adorable town happen in His timing. Good things happen for good people. Best of luck with this adventure.

  7. oh my word! this is fabulous. i hope this comes to fruition! love, love, love!!!!!

    -Stephanie H

  8. That's amazing news! The idea of seeing my hometown in a good light on national TV is pretty cool..Even if it doesn't come full circle I'm happy that I found your blog because it helped me re-frame my thinking about Laurel and about small town living in general.

  9. Life is all about the journey, right? So regardless of the outcome, I have a feeling this will be a amazing journey! (and I can't wait to hear about it here!) -Love from Colorado!

  10. How exciting!! I have been following your blog for over 2 years now and love to read about your life with Ben in Laurel. It would be so cool to watch you both on TV and see the beauty of Laurel that you happily write about each day. Can't wait to hear what happens next! 🙂

  11. So excited about this possibility! It's one thing to get the little bit of y'alls life through a blog, a whole 'nother thing to experience y'all via video! 🙂 Plus I can't wait to see more of the town that my parents grew up in, and that I too love. It's home to me, because it was home to so much of my family.

    But what I want to know the MOST–is what would your TV show name be? If I were super clever on the spot, I'd have like 5 possibilities listed out.. but my brain is blank. 🙂

    Whatever this adventure holds, I know you'll both make most of the journey!

  12. I am *super* excited and proud for both of you and our City Beautiful! Can't wait to see the next steps!

    -Lauren Z

  13. I'm so excited for you guys about this opportunity and the light it will shine on Laurel. In the two brief days that Garrett and I got to spend there this May, it totally stole our hearts. We often talk about Laurel and the great people (!!!) we met there, and I think it's fantastic that you may get the chance to share it on such a grand scale! Show our fellow Canadians a good time (I went to film school with a bunch of HGTV crew members!)

  14. How exciting!! I love your blog and reading about your adventures with friends and family in your sweet lil town it just makes me happy 🙂 wishing you the best and can't wait to find out if it really happens 🙂

  15. HOW exciting and COOL! Napiers – if this turns out to be something – anything – God will continue to use you – just as he does through this blog!

    Haters gonna hate 🙂 don't let it affect you…. you don't want to measure yourself by their ruler!

  16. I read your blog because you have a lovely gift of finding joy in your life. I don't expect anything of you except to read your posts, whether your day is good or not so good. I'm sorry I don't know you IRL because you are a treasure. I'm delighted with this great news for Laurel, you and Ben.

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