Saturday, September 1, 2012

Survey Says... FAMILY is the #1 answer!

Okay, so here's the part that you didn't get to see...


Our journey began on a "Taco Tuesday" family night as us first cousins (Jamilla, Cherrell, Eileen, Marlies and Tondra) had just finished "grubbing" on tacos, chips, homemade guacamole, sweet tea, and red velvet cupcakes.  (This was pre Revolution for Jamilla and Cherrell, aka "The Harris Sisters".  Find out more about their lifestyle change/ weight loss journey here.)

As we were sitting around laughing, someone mentioned how much fun it would be to go on the Family Feud game show.

Well I have since learned that you should never say anything of front of Jamilla Harris unless you are absolutely serious because that girl knows how to make things happen!

I received a text a few weeks later... "Family Feud tryouts next weekend in Texas.  Let's fly down for a girl's weekend.  Call u later".

The idea in itself seemed very exciting, but after pricing airline tickets we decided the timing wasn't right.  But I have also since learned that when something is meant to be... it WILL be, and just a few weeks later Jamilla called to inform me that Family Feud tryouts were coming to us!!!  The auditions were to be held at a location less than 3 miles from my home. 

We were all super excited and screamed our heads off when they announced that the season would be taping out of Atlanta, GA!  Family Feud would be picking up the tab for roundtrip ground/air transportation, meals, and hotel accommodations... all they asked of us was for excitement to make for good television.  We could do THAT! 

The very following week Jamilla, Cherrell, and Marlies called me screaming "Congratulations, your family has been selected for Family Feud!"  I could barely make out what they were saying, but I started screaming too!  The next few months consisted of many "Taco Tuesday/Family Feud" study and practice sessions to ensure that we were ready when our time arrived. 

When the day finally arrived, we boarded the plane and headed out to Atlanta.  That evening we ate at "The Waffle House" across the street from our hotel.  I was so excited when I looked up to see my cousin Shonn walking through the door!  Although Shonn is a first cousin on my mom's side of the family, my Harris cousins adopted her as their cousin too.  Having her there made our night, and I realized that family has a way of making you feel at "home" no matter how far away you are from familiar surroundings!

The next day we arrived at the studio for taping and we had an amazing experience.  Everyone was so friendly, and all of the other families were super excited, as well.  When Jamilla introduced our family we surprised Mr. Steve Harvey with a song that I had written.

singing*
 
Guess who's here today... It's the Harris Family!
Look who's here today... It's the Harris Family!
We flew all the way to the ATL, to just say hi
"HI Steve"
Win the game, and take home the money!

Steve looked at us and smiled saying, "Any song with my name in it, is a hit!"

Jamilla, Cherrell, Steve Harvey, Eileen, Marlies, and ME!




Then the game was ON, and we gave it our all.  We took a round, they took a round... back and forth all the way up to sudden death!  At this point it all rested on my shoulders, and I quickly learned why it is termed sudden death. (Because that's exactly what it feels like when you buzz in first with the WRONG answer)  It is in a fact a "sudden death" that you keep playing over and over again in your mind...only in slow motion.  So we lost the game and were bid farewell with a parting statement of "you have a great family, maybe we'll have you back again some time" (If you're reading this and want to write to Family Feud on our behalf... that will not be necessary).
 
We headed back to the hotel and had our own "in room" party.  The girls kept trying to encourage me, but I felt like such a huge disappointment.  They ordered pizza and chicken and wouldn't let me chip in on the bill.  They reminded me that all we needed was Jesus and each other, and began to list all the ways in which we were winners.  During our conversation, Jamilla's phone rang and she stepped out of the room to take the call.  When she came back in she was wearing a huge smile as she informed Cherrell that they had gotten a call back from the ABC Network Show "The Revolution" which would be the beginning of other good things! 

(read the special post for that...here).
 
The following day our cousin Anita (another first cousin) and her 2 kids drove down to our hotel to see us.  I was delighted because this was my first time meeting the kids.  It was a mini family reunion!  We decided to walk across the street to get something to eat, and as we munched on chips and cheese and slurped our sweet tea, I realized that this was all beginning to feel a bit familiar.  I thought about it as I watched Cherrell reading from her menu...and it hit me.  TACOS! 
 
This whole saga had begun on a family Taco Tuesday night, and here we were at the culmination of our trip sitting with family that we hadn't seen in 20 years, and eating TACOS!  I finally started to see it.  Even though we had lost the game, it felt like such a win at that moment.    I love how God has a way of bringing everything back into perspective and reminding us of what really matters.
 
Sure I was disappointed that I cost us the game.  It would have been nice to get some "seed money" for down payment for a future child care facility.  It would have been nice to buzz in first and yell out the correct anwer.  Even though it didn't work out quite the way that we had hoped, I learned that no matter what...
 
FAMILY is and always will be the #1 answer!!