[01/07/16 Update: One of the commercials, "Clean Break", aired two times during Super Bowl 50, one during half time! See the story below.]
A few months ago a mentor was talking to me and Kim and part of the very blunt conversation went like this.
"Nick, you're no fun. I wouldn't invite you to a party."
"Oh, Ok, thanks Rich."
"Kim, I'd invite you. You're fun."
"Nick, let Kim lead you in fun."
Not a week later Kim told me that she had replied to an email from The Honest Company asking for testimonials from people who actually used their products. That email response led to a phone interview which led to a request for the whole family to do an on-camera interview that Kim brought to me to talk about.
With our mentor's words in my mind we drove to Santa Monica a couple days later to do something I'd never done, sit in a casting agent's office. There were lines of actors auditioning for other roles and a few families in the lobby waiting to be interviewed like we were. When we were asked to step in front of the camera, Kim was her joyful, sincere, engaging self and did a great job. The kids did a great job talking and playing. Then came my turn to be asked questions. This exchange sums up how that went.
"Dad, why do you like about the Honest Company products?"
"I don't know. Honestly, I just leave that up to Kim."
I can't imagine why they didn't ask me to talk in the commercial.
We got a call the next day letting us know that we'd been chosen to appear in two, maybe three commercials. This is when the fun part for me kicked in; negotiating the contracts. With the help of a few former music industry colleagues, I hashed out the details of the contracts while driving up to the mountains for a solitude retreat. It was a funny blending of my former life in the music industry and my current as a pastor.
The next day I drove straight from the Lake Arrowhead area to meet Kim and the girls at a hotel in Studio City. They had filmed all afternoon, loved every second of it, and the production crew commented on what naturals the girls were. We stayed the night in the hotel and, as most parents probably know, sleeping in a hotel generally doesn't go well. Our youngest daughter woke everyone up at 5am. We packed up all of our belongings and dropped Kim off for her 7am call time. Since the girls' and my call time wasn't until 9am I drove them around on a beautiful early morning tour of North Hollywood trying to get them to sleep.
The days were long but it was so fun watching Kim and the girls shine in such a natural way. It was like watching a professional production crew capture what I see every day. Every mom has their own strengths and my favorites about Kim are her joy, playfulness, and how she naturally natures those she loves. She is always the mom on the playground running around chasing the kids, getting her hands dirty in the sand and her knees dirty in the grass. She takes the time to engage each of our kids personally and intentionally; whether its in snuggling, teaching or discipline. Watching the commercials in the monitors as they were being made was like a weird out of body experience, seeing how blessed I and the kids by this incredible woman.
The week of the Super Bowl was a hard one for us as a family. Like most of life it was full of difficult and beautiful moments; it was just one of those weeks where it felt like everything all at once. Kim spent a long day and night in the hospital with one of our good friends and deacons at church, helping her give birth to her first daughter. [I get to pray with babies after they're born but its amazing that Kim can pray with a friend through labor and then during the first few minutes of the baby's life. There were no Doritos involved as far as I know.] She also spent a day caring for a family member who had surgery. I had to work and write a sermon with three less days than usual, finish a research proposal for a paper for school, and we had our church service on Saturday instead of Sunday to encourage church members to host and go to Super Bowl parties (not to mention we meet at 4pm). Those are all great and regular parts of life and ministry but, needless to say, we were exhausted and had pulled the plug on anything on Sunday.
As the game was about to start, the kids were upstairs napping and I was falling asleep on the couch when our phones started vibrating like crazy. One of the commercials had aired during the Super Bowl Pre-Game show and our friends were texting and emailing to say they'd seen it. We had no idea! When we did the shoot, no one mentioned that they were for the Super Bowl. Then, during halftime, as Kim was making dinner for us and our neighbors and I was watching the game alone on the couch, the commercial came on again. It didn't really register. I still think the word we'd use to describe it is, "surreal".
We don't really know yet why God decided to open that door for us. It seems so random. We loved working with the crew and had great interaction with them and the folks at Honest have been really nice to us. When we pray about it, our prayers are generally "Why?" and "Thank you".
What I didn't notice until this morning, that I think is funny, is what we did after the Super Bowl. As soon as the game ended, Kim gave the kids a bath and played with them while I washed the dishes and loaded the dishwasher.