#1,847 Laurel Folks + Jimmy Don + Kory.

I spent the entire day working feverishly on a promotional project for the city, and I was also compiling this little thing below. I talked to a couple friends in person, and asked people on facebook to text me videos telling me what’s special about Laurel to them. It makes my heart feel full hearing their words—some nervous, some practiced, some silly, and all with the same thoughts: We just really do love this town. Despite so many folks who were even born and raised here that have lost faith in Laurel, there’s a very real revival happening that’s getting bigger every day. I’m so tired of hearing unfounded rumors and perceptions about my little town from people who’ve never lived in it or who have a negative opinion about literally everything. I’m so over it.

And so, thank you so very much to James (from California), Jana, Mr. George (born here but lived in Rome and NYC for a long time), Ross (from Stringer), Aubrey (from Hattiesburg), Anicia (from California), Josh, Laura (from Stringer), Mr. Randy, Jessica (from Alabama), Lauren (from California), Lauren and a cool bunch of kids from Maddox Elementary who all call Laurel, Mississippi HOME.

And also, because he doesn’t have a blog but sometimes wants to tell y’all about the best thing about his day too, I’ll share some news from my hairier half: Jimmy Don, the man who does the custom metal work for Chip and Jo on Fixer Upper, called Ben this afternoon to shoot the bull. For over an hour they talked about Chevy trucks and Waco and Laurel, and now I think they’re planning to become blood brothers.

It was a fun day. A really fun one. The cherry on top? You remember our trip to NYC last Christmas with Kory and Beth?

Tonight we watched our old rock star travel buddy give J. Lo “goosies” and win a golden ticket on American Idol. I couldn’t be happier for he and Beth and I’m going to be praying tonight that amazing opportunities will be in front of them because these sweet people deserve it all. His name was trending on social media tonight! You can watch the entire clip of it here! #korywheelerfan