From Amish to A-list

Look, I know that we’re not A-listers and you know that we’re not A-listers, but my kids have no idea that we’ve haven’t suddenly just become the wealthiest, most pampered family in America.  And I have to say, it’s all thanks to me and the hubby.  Did we do anything really great as parents?  No, not at all.  But by living the simple life (i.e. poor) in an 850 square foot house with no heat and a barely functioning toilet for 8 years, we have managed to turn our sweet little children into complete  gratitude machines.

The slightest luxury thrills them beyond belief.  It turns out that deprivation is the key to childhood happiness.  For example —

When we’re in our little one bedroom apartment in Burbank, the kids marvel at the air conditioner that is stuck in the wall.  It turns out all you have to do is press a button and either hot or cold air comes out!  It’s amazing!  No chopping wood or stoking a fire in the middle of the night.  No huddling in front of a wood stove.  The air simply blows around the room to create a pleasant and comfortable living environment.  Seriously, google air-conditioning wall unit.  You’ll see that I’m telling the truth.

Plus, our apartment building has a swimming pool… that no one is ever in.  My kids are used to public pools that are so crowded it seems like there are more kids than water… and let’s be honest, whatever water is in a public pool is really just urine.  So a urine free pool all to themselves?  Heaven.


And the food?  Well, in Los Angeles it seems that if you pick up your phone and call a number, food will be delivered to your home.  Any kind of food you want.  The only food that has ever been delivered to our farm is a bale of hay.  And sometimes if we’re lucky, our neighbors will hang a bag of vegetables from their garden on our gate.  (Which I love.)  And get this, Hollywood even has restaurants!  Fancy restaurants where you can eat outside without yellow jackets dive-bombing your hot dog or a pig farting on the ground next to you.


And there are movie posters everywhere — some you can stick your head in!


And children’s facials are only twenty dollars.  I’m not kidding.  Get ‘em hooked young, they say in Hollywood!  It’s all about appearance here, people.  Get on board!


And best of all, we have a golf cart at work where you can drive around the studio lot.  We can even drive down New York street where they filmed Seinfeld.  (Which my kids have never heard of, but they still find it thrilling.)  On our last drive, my kids were eating apples and when they finished, they just chucked their apples against a building as we drove past.  I screeched the golf cart to a halt and said, “Guys!  This isn’t the farm!  A goat isn’t going to eat your apple off the ground.”  They looked at me and said, “Oooohhhh, your’e right…..”  That was a big lesson for them.  Farm animals aren’t everywhere.  Left-over food must be put in garbage cans.


So yeah, after our Hollywood adventure is over in March, it might be hard to go back to farm life.

I’m just going to have to start depriving them all over again.  And even worse, I’m going to have to deprive myself!


  • Lisa says:

    You are hilarious and I can’t wait to read more about this awesome adventure! On a side note, I just drove, with my children from the East Bay to Venice Beach for a short visit and it nearly killed me. The I-5 between Northern California and Southern California is quite possibly, the most boring stretch of highway I have ever travelled. Congratulations on your gig!

    • Holly Hester says:

      It is the most boring drive in the entire world, punctuated by occasional stench of thousands of cows trapped in factory feed lots… or as Jane Goodall calls them, “animal concentration camps.” I hope you had fun in Venice, though. We used to live there and I loved it.

      • Lisa says:

        Yes! The cow stench! My 9 year old got very good at warning his little brother when the smell would “hit” ….spot the animal concentration camp….count to ten…..HOLD YOUR BREATH. So much fun for a kid with unrelenting car sickness…

  • Ann Bocc says:

    I’m at work (teaching) on my lunch break, and I just laughed so loud at that apple-throwing description, that the kids ran in from recess to find out what was so funny. And, I love seeing your kids with you on the golf cart!

    By the way, do you think if I write a few things on my classroom whiteboard, like “ginger kombucha” or ‘mozerella/basil/tomato sandwhich”…? Dream on.

    • Holly Hester says:

      It might work! I’d definitely write it on the board and see what happens. Or I’ll write it on my white board and bring it to you.

  • Juli says:

    So loving this…you guys are throwing an absolutely fascinating life at these kids. They’ll be ready for anything!

  • Any chance to find more work after March?

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