Thursday, September 18, 2014

#NASBoston Recap: WE WERE ON TV!!! {part 1}

Oh man. Y'all this post is so fun to write. On one hand, I cannot believe that #NASBoston is already over, but I'm so excited to share all the deets with you!!

[grab some coffee or a snack, this one's gonna be long]

As a recap of how we got here, way back in May, Bonnie at CatholicTV reached out to us about being interviewed about building community after college and the Not Alone Series. Jen and I were so blown away and so excited for this opportunity to share the NAS community with more of the world!

So, we started making plans to fly out to Boston, where CatholicTV is located. Keeping this secret was SO hard! And then we finally got to share it with our #NASavannah ladies....then made the public announcement! The support received was incredible, and being able to have all of you share in our excitement made this opportunity that much more thrilling.

Ok, so enough with my recap before the recap! Let's get down to it!

Our interview was scheduled for Friday morning (9/12), so the only logical plan was for Jen and I to fly into Boston on Thursday evening. Unfortunately for me, flight options were not super flexible...since I didn't want to take an additional day off of work for the trip, I had to leave after 5PM. This meant that the earliest I could arrive in Boston was 11:59PM.

But hey, I was coming from the Central time zone, so I hoped that this paired with my night owl tendancies would help me out.

The flight from Champaign to Chicago was uneventful...except that it began my FIRST SOLO FLYING TRIP EVER! Yes, I am in my mid-twenties and have never flown by myself. 
Go to dinner solo? Check. 
See movies alone? Check. 
Roadtrip by my lonesome? Check.
But fly across the country by myself? This was a first!

My first leg of the trip was only 31 mins long...insane! And the clouds were so gorgeous!


By the time I landed in Chicago, the sun had set and I'd gotten myself in a tizzy over the fear of missing my connection to Boston. Luckily, I made it to my terminal with plenty of time...until 2 minutes before boarding they announced that the plane was deemed unfit to fly and we needed to move to a different terminal.

Cue mad dash to a terminal clear across the airport. Because that's convenient. Oiy.
It all worked out and our ETA was only pushed back by a couple minutes.

Well, poor Jen had already arrived in Boston and upon deciding to wait at the airport for me to get in so we could share a cab, had found out from an employee that my flight might be delayed/cancelled. I was so frustrated that they told her that! Never did I hear any word of my flight being cancelled, so that worry was all for nothing! Sorry, Jen!

I finally arrived in Boston, found Jen, grabbed a cab, paid WAYY too much for a fare, stayed up too late chatting with our amazing host Shae, and hit the hay.

Waking up Friday morning [suuuper early] was somewhat surreal. Was this really happening? Jen and I struggled to wake up, but had some coffee and got ready in Shae's amazing duplex. I wish I would have taken some photos! It was so cute and Shae is seriously THEE best hostess. By far.

Nervous and excited!!

Jen and I rush rush rushed to get ready and managed to take a quick pic before heading out the door!

Bonnie from CatholicTV picked us up a little before 9AM and we were off! After so many months of going back and forth with Bonnie, it was so nice to put a face to the name! She was super sweet and accommodating! Thanks again for everything, Bonnie!!!

When we finally arrived at the studio, that's when everything got real. I started getting super nervous and THANK GOD we had the opportunity to attend Mass because I don't know how I would have remained semi-calm.

Although, the multiple cameras recording mass LIVE didn't help me calm down toooo much.
But, Jesus did :)

Most of Mass was spent praying that the Lord give me His words while on air...and that I wouldn't pass out. Ha! Please know that I prayed for you, too, and offered my Mass for all of you out there!

Post-Mass, we met the other gentleman being interviewed on This Is The Day, Jim Gorman from The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Bonnie gave us a quick tour around the studio.

Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I'm the type of person who needs a little time to get centered before public speaking. So when at 10:20, we were still looking around the studio...I was getting antsy. Like, checking-my-watch-isn't-anyone-else-worried?! antsy. This was when Bonnie told us that 10 minutes before showtime was lightyears in the TV business. Oiy!! I am NOT cut out for that!!

Taking pity on my poor nerves, Bonnie showed us to the set and OH MAN were we excited. AH!!

We got to meet one of the hosts of This Is The Day, Jay Fadden, who was great and assured us that we had nothing to worry about. Sweet, Jay, but I was still tweaking! Turns out that Jim was going to be interviewed first, so we had some time to chill out.

So Jen and I snapped a couple shots...

There's Jay!


Jen tried to take the first one....hilarious! But we did get a selfie with Jay! ha.

While waiting offstage for our turn, we were reading through all of the tweets of love from you guys! Y'all are the best!!!

Before we knew it, Jim's portion was over and we were being ushered onto the big red couch! We met Kevin Nelson, Jay's co-host for the day since Father Reed was gone, who also assured us to just take a breath and it'll be fine. They both were so funny and normal, it was easy to forget that we were about the be interviewed ON LIVE TELEVISION. Actually...we forgot a little too soon and the guys had us laughing so loud the crew guys asked us to quiet down...oh right, the news segment was filming...whoops!

And then it was three, two, one.....

Ok, really. Those 6 minutes were some of the most fun I've ever had. Well, those and then the 10ish after the interview when we just sat and chatted with Jay and Kevin. Here are a couple more pictures from during the interview...

Jen and I! On TV!!!

Shameless screenshot from YouTube....IS THIS REAL LIFE?! THAT'S ME!!!

And now for my favorite part of the whole interview...


Hilar. See?! They made us feel so comfortable! This is the kind of thing I would say to a friend...not intentionally on LIVE TELEVISION. But hey, I did ask God to give me the words to say what needed to be said, soooo.....

When we were finished with the interview, we just kind of hung out on set with Jay and Kevin, joking about how to meet guys in Boston. Somehow we got on the topic of whether buying us a couple "cups o' chowda" would be a smooth move, which is where I believe this shot came from:

Analyzing our expressions and gestures now makes it all look so staged, but I swear! Bonnie was taking pictures throughout and this one's completely natural! 

Then we all took a group picture...

After this, it's all kind of a blur...I know we hung out with Bonnie in her office a bit, and then ended up back in the studio for part two of our interviews. Apparently, there's a monthly show that Kevin hosts called Encounter, so eventually our interviews will be featured on that as well!

This time, Jen and I were interviewed separately by Kevin...which allowed us to get some shots of each other getting interviewed!!

First I went...

Then it was Jen's turn in the hot seat!

We both had the chance then to do a little prompter work...basically just saying "I'm ____, and you're watching CatholicTV"...but it was pretty cool! I've never used a prompter before, so realizing that the words are RIGHT OVER the camera blew my mind! I always envisioned the prompter being to the side of the camera!

Once these little segments were completed, Jen and I were ready to head out! But, not not before a couple more photo ops!

I'm totally blown away by our experience at CatholicTV. Not only was this an amazing opportunity to reach more people with the ministry that is the Not Alone Series, but Jen and I left the studios refreshed, re-energized, and reinvigorated with the passion behind WHY we started the Not Alone Series.

In the day to day, when I tell people that I have a blog or when I try to explain what the Not Alone Series is, I'm usually met with blank stares and polite nods. People aren't outright rude, but oftentimes I feel that the idea of "having a blog" is met with confusion. And the concept of a community built through an online forum is seen as being weird. Maybe this is my misinterpretation, or my own insecurities.

Either way, being at CatholicTV, all we were met with was openness, excitement, and interest. People who not only were genuinely interested in learning more about the Not Alone Series, but could recognize that there IS a need for it. And furthermore, the people we met AFFIRMED our mission to help others know that they are not alone.

Every single person we met at CatholicTV was great. And I'm not just saying that! They really were. We had some time in between things to talk to some of the crew, and there were all so cool and passionate about their work. The other thing that was really cool is how many young people work at CatholicTV! Of the people we encountered, I'd say roughly half were in their 20s or 30s. AWESOME!

I could go on and on and on and on and......but I won't. I'll just say this: thank you, CatholicTV, for inviting us out to experience your ministry to the world. Keep up the amazing work, you're doing good for the Kingdom!

There is so much more that I want to share, but I'll save that for part 2...coming tomorrow!


  1. I'm so glad I subscribed to your blog, Morgan. It's hard not to feel love and happiness while reading your posts!

  2. So great to hear about you and Jen's experience and the behind the scenes of what went on! Super cool that my tweet made this post! HA! I can't wait to see the Encounter show too! You guys were awesome!

  3. I would never have guessed you were nervous you were so natural. The "where is he" part is a fave of mine too, love the hand gestures. It was so you, as I said you were very natural. Cute hair by the way.

  4. oh yes, the "where is he?" part is the best! :) Thanks for the recap! Love, Cindy


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