Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home Town Visit

I have been wanting to talk about this for months...and today is the day.

On March 10, we celebrated my dad's birthday and said goodbye to Sean.  After submitting his name for the Bachelorette, it was time for him to actually take off on his adventure.  The afternoon of March 11, he flew to North Carolina and the journey began. We didn't see Sean again until he walked out into the backyard at my parents' house for the home town date on Thursday, April 26.

So...how do these dates work?  Do we just show up and go...no.  Sean called me at home (which totally freaked me out and caught me off guard) about two weeks before and said we needed to get prepared for a home town date.  (It was weird answering the phone and it being him after so many weeks of zero communication.)  After that, the nicest producers in the world started calling my parents and us about setting up our day.

My parents and my family of four met with the producers five days before the segment was actually shot.  They were AWESOME!  Words cannot express how nice they were and how much we loved them.  They were so great with my kids, they were so sweet to us...they were fabulous.  During these 5 days, we had 4 production meetings before the day of taping, so we spent a lot of quality time with them beforehand.

The day of the taping was very surreal.  I've been a huge fan of this show for over a decade (I've watched every.single.season.), so to actually meet the people behind it and see how it works was an awesome experience for me.  I know some cynics won't believe me but the biggest thing I learned from this experience was that the show is really real.  There was no script, there were no questions we couldn't ask, there were no re-takes of scenes.  Other than the fact that we didn't eat our dinner (who wants to chew food and talk on national TV, not me!), the show was 100% authentic.  It was very normal and not rehearsed at all.  (If normal is talking to your brother and his new girlfriend while 3 cameras and 20 people watch..it was very normal.)

Now...on to Emily.  I really, really enjoyed spending time with her that day.  Emily and I had a 45 minute conversation alone where we discussed Sean, her daughter, her life, my life...it was a really sweet time to share with her.  She is even more beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  She was very thoughtful...she was very genuine...she was lovely and made our day very special.

Ok...my dad...I've received dozens and dozens of emails and Facebook messages about him...yes, he's that sweet and no, he can't be your dad. :)

And the prank(s)..the producers said Sean wanted to tease Emily a bit and prank her, so being the good sports that we are, we went along.  First of all, Sean hasn't lived at home in 10 years, and when he did, my mom would have killed him if his room had looked anything like the room they showed last night.  Sean lives in a very well-kept home with his two dogs, Ellie and Lola...no worries about sloppy Sean living at home.  The armadillo you saw was a real armadillo (dead, of course) that my parents' neighbors found.  The thing is...it was so hard to prank Emily because she was just so nice about everything.  It's hard to prank someone who is that sweet and doesn't bite at the bait.  She was a great sport.

My favorite part last night was when Sean came out and we saw how excited my kids were to see him.  That was the longest period of time they've ever gone without seeing their Uncle Seanie and they had missed him so much.  They have such a special bond with their uncle.

Ok...the show continues...I'm sure I'll have stuff to say next week too.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your night last night.  We have been truly blessed by the wonderful people at ABC and this experience. 


34 comments:

jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing about the experience! I've wondered for so long if this show is real and especially with your brother Sean, seeming like such a genuine believer and man---it is so cool to hear that it is! I can't imagine Emily not choosing him. What a precious family you have--your kiddos, parents and brother included!

Kristen said...

Loved watching your family....Your kids are beautiful:)

Ali G said...

Loved watching last night, your parents are the sweetest! Loved your kids reactions, they just adore their uncle its soo obvious! You all are such a blessed family, cant wait to keep watching the journey!

Anonymous said...

YOUR FAMILY IS AMAZING AND ANY GIRL WOULD BE LUCKY TO HAVE YOU AS INLAWS!!!! I AM SAD HE WILL BE CUT NEXT WEEK BUT ITS DEFINITELY HER LOSS!!!! HE WILL HAVE AMAZING EXPERIENCES AND GREAT THINGS TO COME!!! I AM TOTALLY TEAM SEAN BUT HER LOSS!!!! SOME LUCKY LADYS GAIN! UR FAMILY IS ADORABLE!!! ALL MY BEST ALWAYS ~ FLORIDA GIRL :)

According to Jax said...

Thanks for sharing this post! I'm a new follower of your blog and am rooting for Sean! :) And yes, I loved your dad too. What a sweet man!!

www.jaxandmarbles.blogspot.com

Kaytee Knoop said...

Love this post and Love Sean!

Kaytee Knoop said...

Love this post. I always wonder how the show works. I hope Sean is the one for Emily! They are so cute together!

Kara said...

Thank you for letting me be a part of your get together last night! I had so much fun, and realized when I got in the car, that I did not take any pictures. Maybe next time. Love you guys.

Stephanie said...

Loved the home town last night! Your family was just darling!!! I would hate, hate, hate to be in Emily's shoes. All of the guys seem so great! I am totally partial to Sean though, but still I'm sure it was difficult for her to let the guys go, because she is sooo nice!
I hope if Sean really loves her that that is who she chooses!! :)

Paula said...

I am a about 4 year lurker of yours. Started with Conservative Mommy (which I miss). But did want to say, Sean has been my favorite from day one. Crazy when I finally got the connection he was your sister. I have thought for a few weeks, I swear I have seen him somewhere before. LOL.... I am a hopeless romantic and believe in true love. I am cheering for Sean and Emily.

Mandy said...

Loved watching your family last night! From reading your blog I felt like I knew y'all and was a little sad they didn't show more!

Thanks for all you post so openly sharing this experience. Excited for what's to come with your brother...and honestly praying for a chance to meet him if Emily doesn't choose him!

Brandi said...

Your bro is adorbs..too bad I'm an old married lady with 3 kids..hehe!!! Emily soooo needs to choose your brother. Your parents are too cute!!!

Christy {SparklesandSpinach} said...

I always love the Hometown dates! I can def understand how surreal it must have been for you being a huge fan of the show! I've watched every single season as well. I can't even imagine what it must be like to actually be on it! lol. Crazy!!! I'm so glad the experience was so great for you and your family. You all seem like such genuine, kind, and caring people! I loved seeing your family on the show - you all seem awesome!!! And I think Emily & Ricki would be so lucky to be welcomed as part of it. I do a recap every week and Sean has been my fav since Day 1 =)

Erin said...

I was searching for Disney on Google and stumbled across your blog on your family's Disney vacation! I've been following your blog since and was surprised to see that Sean from Bachelorette is your brother!

I've watched most of the seasons and can say your brother is a rare thing on reality tv. You should be so proud of your brother for how he has stayed true to himself and represented your family!

Thanks for sharing your journey and best wishes to your beautiful family...class act!

Erin
www.erinstover.blogspot.com

Angela said...

Loved watching your family last night, thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us! Emily fits so perfectly with you guys and she'd be absolutely crazy to not pick Sean in the end!!

Linda said...

Well...it was just fab! I for one have been dying to hear details as much as you have been dying to share! I, too, have watched many episodes of the Bachelor and "ette." I have NEVER seen as impressive a hometown visit as this one with the Lowes/Shulls! Everything about it was wonderful! The way Kensington ran to Sean was priceless! I was so hoping they would show the playhouse! And Emily even went in it! Perfect! Oh...and I totally figured the producers for coming up with the armadillo!

Heather said...

Your family was just too adorable! Makes me so proud to be from the south! And your daughter running to her Uncle totally brought tears to my eyes! My daughter would have done the same thing! Thanks so much for sharing the process!

Jess :) said...

What an INCREDIBLE family y'all are!! So much fun watching last night...especially the reaction of K and S to seeing their uncle after so long! I couldn't imagine not seeing my niece and nephew (now that they moved back and I get to see them almost every day) for an extended period of time like that.

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into this whole process and for sharing your experiences. It's so neat to be able to watch another family (on reality TV) who shares the same faith! :) What a blessing that is!

Rachael said...

Your family is amazing and your brother is such a great catch! My husband tells me every Monday night, "Yes, I know Sean is your favorite!" So fun to hear behind the scenes on the hometown date.

Anonymous said...

Emily wrote today in her blog:"I'm very thankful to his sister for talking him into opening his life to this crazy experience!"

Lauren said...

Let's talk about surreal for a minute! Surreal is watching the Lowe family on national tv! I just KNEW that room was a prank, hilarious! Your mom and dad did a wonderful job and my favorite was when K went running up to her Uncle Seanie! Glad you got to be a part of the Bachelor experience, I've never missed an episode either! Maybe my sis Lindsey should sign up! Ha! ;)

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. You have amazing parents, great brother and family. Sean is awesome and any girl would be lucky to have him.

A Wedding Story said...

Oh my word Shay, I found your blog yesterday and your family is precious. And my daughter Avery wants to know where the precious play house came from! What a dream!

We are routing for Sean in our house. I could tell from the first two episodes that he was probably a Christian, something that you don't see too much of on TV. What a seemingly humble guy. Go Sean!

celine [starbies and sangrias] said...

So great! Thanks for sharing your experience!! I seriously don't understand how your brother is still single, he is such a great catch!! I hope Emily picks him, but if she doesn't, um...I think America has met our new Bachelor!!!!! xoxo p.s.- Um...I love your dad too.

Alyssa @ Life of bLyss said...

1. You are the cutest in the world. 2. I loved finally seeing you on T.V.! 3. I love your kids, their names (good taste, sista), and your daughter's little cottage. I'm totally jealous. And 4. Make sure your brother's head doesn't get too big with all the love I'm showering him with with my blog posts. I'm guilty of it again today.

Hope you're enjoying time having him back. I can't imagine being cut off from all communication with any of my family members!

Anonymous said...

If Sean and Emily don't work out .... Send him my way!!! :)

Shoshanah said...

I stumbled onto your blog last night from twitter, and wanted to let you know I'm one of your newest follower. It's so interesting reading your perspective about the filming. I thought your kids were adorable last night, and I've had Sean as my favorite all season. So anyways, just wanted to say hi!

Candi said...

Kensington's reaction to Sean walking in had to be the sweetest thing I've ever seen!! You can tell she adores her uncle. I've been telling my mom for months now how precious your kids are and last night when I got home from the studio the first thing comment she made to me was how adorable they are and how she loved Smith's name.

my3 kids said...

Shay, you have a beauiful family...Happy 4th!

Golden Girl said...

Your family is so beautiful, gracious, and endearing. If I were Emily, I would choose Sean without any question. He is a remarkable guy, particularly in this day and age. She would be so lucky to have him -- I hope the spoilers are completely wrong and your adorable brother is the last man standing!

Maureen W. (Maryland) said...

Shay, I'm so glad I had the chance to e-mail you before your blog "blew up". What a great inside perspective on the HTD. I loved how they captured your family's playful side with the pranks. I do wish they had shown more of the Shulls, though! I also thought it was really classy the way Sean spoke about his ex-girlfriend. I'm sure that was tough on all of you after having her be part of your family for 3 yrs. People keep saying how they can't believe Sean is still single, and I'm sure he has no problem meeting women, but one also has to be open to and ready for a serious relationship when the right person comes along. Timing is everything. XO XO Maureen in MD

Jessica Whitford said...

So neat "meeting" your family on TV. I wish they would show more of the home town dates though! Sean seems like a great guy, along with the rest of your family, and any girl would be lucky to have him! If he ends up without Emily, send him my way ;)

loni rockman said...

Thanks you for sharing those comments. Your brother is truly an amazing guy and it was cute to see how excited Kensington was when Sean and Emily walked it. Whether Sean ends up with Emily or someone else- that girl will be one lucky girl! I love watching him from week to week.

Erin and Ryan said...

So glad I found your blog - what a great post about the behind the scenes. Your family was by far my favorite :)

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