Friday, February 27, 2015

Louisiana and Mississippi

Earlier this month, we left Nashville for a quick trip to Louisiana and Mississippi.

We stopped in Collierville to stay with the sister and got to hug this cutie before leaving the next morning!

The first stop was in Ruston, LA at Temple Baptist.  We got to town and ate at an actual sit-down restaurant, which is rare.  Applebee's.  Because we like affordable, consistent foot.  (But mostly, we didn't have time to look for the local joints.)

Oliver enjoyed a lemon.

No pictures of the show, but how about this set up?  Loved it.  

We played for the youth and they were fantastic.  Seriously, so polite, attentive, worshipful.  Made for a fun night.  And Oliver did great in the nursery.  (Also, the nursery wing had a playscape in it.  A playscape!  If we lived there, that thing would be a draw for sure.)

The next morning, before heading to Mississippi, we had time to workout and grab breakfast.  The ladies write on the bananas and I just though how adorable.  

We also had time for Oliver to play with toilet paper.  

It was his first road trip with his new bag from Grammie and Paads.  

Next stop was Mississippi Statewide Wesley.

We drove to Pulaski, MS, stopping in Jackson for some less than mediocre Mexican food, and got checked in. 

We have a climber on our hands.

I have to share this story:

A few days prior to hitting the road, I was nursing Oliver before bed.  He stopped, looked up over my shoulder, smiled and pointed, and said "Dah!"  I just smiled.  Lots of things are "dah."  He said it a few more times then went about his business.  I didn't think anything of it.

Then we went to Timbercreek Camp where Statewide is held.  Got to the dining hall where this painting of Jesus hangs.  Oliver got the same face, same point, and same, "dah!"  Over and over, smiling and smiling.

Trent and I got teary.  It may be a complete coincidence, but what if he's seen Jesus???  Think of how awesome that is!!

We played at Statewide in 2013 and it is literally one of our favorite stops.  The students sing with a passion that is nothing less than amazing.  We were so honored to get to come back. 

We led worship Friday night and it was a late session.  Oliver fell asleep in his stroller in the back.  (Don't worry, someone was with him.)  He actually stayed asleep when we picked him up which does NOT happen.  Bless him.

We got back to the camp early Saturday morning to sound check and I had to capture all the stuff that was needed to get through 4 songs with this kid.  Snacks, on snacks, on snacks…after breakfast.  Lawd have mercy.  (Wouldn't change a thing.)

Oliver became big buds with Pastor Frank.  It was the sweetest.  

We had time before lunch to enjoy the beautiful weather and beautiful grounds.

After lunch, we ran through some other songs and then Trent and I led a session!  We were surprised some people came.  It was "Living a life of Worship" and I think we did pretty good!  

Some students asked us to sing a song before we left.  We sang "These Arms" and I even tried to play percussion while holding Oliver.  You can imagine that did not work out.  So I got up, held him, and shared Trent's mic.  At the end of the song, while Trent was singing (and we're still holding out hope that one of the kids got video of this) Oliver patted his daddy's shoulder and leaned in and put his head on it.  As if on cue!!!  

We cried.  It was precious.

We ended up getting to go back to the room and we all slept for 2 hours!!!  TWO.  I woke up and was so confused.  You know that feeling.  Like, "what's happening?  Where am I?  What time is it?  Am I supposed to be somewhere?"  It. Was. Awesome.

We gave away a t-shirt and CD at the evening service which meant I ran around and got them all hyped.  Fun times.

Frank had to leave early the next morning, so we had to get a pic with him.  (He even texted our other volunteer, Melinda, the next morning to check on him.)  Heart of gold.

We had a bass player with us and he captured this shot without us knowing and I'm so glad he did.  

There he is!  Jared's a Mississippi boy and also leads worship.  He did great!

And here's our other OliVolunteer.  Melinda was so sweet and dealt with the fussy one so well!  Even when he wanted to be with Frank who had a phone that would play Baby Einstein.

Allyson puts the whole Statewide retreat together and does an amazing job.  On top of being a mother of 4, homeschooling, and super woman.  Love her.

This particular weekend, I was feeling insecure in the whole motherhood department.  The last morning we were there, Allyson said, "Shellie, you handle Oliver being with you all on the road so well."  And here's the thing…it was genuine and the Lord knew I needed to hear it.

And I cried.  He's so good.

We left with full hearts (and clear eyes…ba dum bum.  Texas Forever.)  Seriously, though.  Such a blessing!

And this is what I call, "I didn't feel like putting  on my tennis shoes and these flats were just right there so I put them on with my socks so I could go use the restroom" picture.

Not my finest moment.

Or is it...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Our January in words. And pictures.

It's currently 5:40 in the frozen tundra that is Nashville.  Why am I up?  Because Mister Man woke up screaming at 4:45.  Normally, I'd let him figure it out.  But this was an "I need you" scream.  So I got up and walked up to his room.  There he was, standing and looking at his beloved blanket that out found its way out of the crib and onto the floor.  Or it was thrown.  Who knows.  

I picked him up and tried to console him.  By the way, he doesn't console easily.  It's the boob or nothing.  And we're weaning so it's like what am I supposed to do???  I decided to nurse him and come to terms with the fact that my day has just started and to get over it.  But then, after he was finished, I rocked him and hummed a tune.  He softened and fell back to sleep.  Thank the Lord.

But them I'm all awake and thinking of all the wonderful things I could do like drink a cup of coffee (from start to finish while it's warm) and get a blog written so here I am!

{{ Hello }} 

After Christmas and New Years, we came home and stayed close to Nashville in January.  Such a blessing to wake up and leave from home.  We got back to town on Jan. 3rd and woke up on Jan. 4th to drive to Columbia, TN.  We played a full set that morning with the fine folks at New Life Church.  Great people!  

The pastor warned us that the flu was going around the church and how he keeps antibacterial hand stuff in his pocket.  Greeeaaaaat.  That freaked me out, but I put on my big-girl-mama-pants and put O in the nursery anyway.  We all survived.

Also, the worship pastor has been around Nashville for a long time and still writes and produces demos and whatnot.  I knew the congregation would get into our music when the worship team started the day with this:  

Um.  Yes, please and thank you.  That place was rocking.  

The next Sunday we had off which proved to be a blessing because this little boy woke up puking.


I mean, I have never.  So sad, so helpless.  It was our first bout of that yuk and we made it.  

(And it ended up being some training for a couple weeks later when he was throwing up again except worse which ended up getting Dada sick.) 

(And I bought a giant bottle of Lysol.)

The next weekend, we drove down the road to Jackson, TN to share music at Evangelical Community Church.

We haven't replaced the Trent Monk banner with a We are the Monks banner but make no mistake, my hubs figured out a new use for the stand.   MonkGyver.  =) 

Also, "And I'll be waitin' in Jackson, behind my big box fan…"

We got to the church to sound check and were early and didn't see another car in the parking lot.  Time was filled with driving practice. 

Juuuuust kidding.  He was just holding the wheel.  He's obsessed.

Anyway, we kept waiting and waiting and waiting.  Our sound check window was getting smaller and smaller.  Turns out, the sound guy was there the whole time.  So the morning was off to a smashing start. #sarcasm

Everyone was super nice and we even met Drew Holcomb's aunt.  And Oliver had a blast in the nursery!!!  He played so hard he slept all the way home.

The last weekend in January was spent with the AMAZING people at FUMC Lebanon.  We were originally supposed to do a Sunday AM concert but, due to other stuff happening in the church, we just sang two songs in each service.  It worked out great, though!  Now people have heard us (and they liked it) and we'll do a full show in April.  April 12th, if you're in the area =)

So that was our January!  It, like time in general, flew by.  Also, I'm just now getting a chance to finish.  It's 3:00.  Toddlers, man.  They busy.

Now, I'll leave you with this little photo.  I really should try to return those hotel keys that I forget about.  Oops.  #roadprobz

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Years Eve in Tucson

Hello again!  I'm slowly getting caught up over here at Manic Monkdays.  Blogging is a little more tough to stay on top of with a little boy who just doesn't stop.

We were invited to play a NYE service in Tucson, AZ at Calvary Chapel.  We've been there a couple other times and have always had great experiences, so it was a no brainer.  Granted, we had to fly and figure out that whole thing and what it looks like with a toddler, but still.  

We flew out of Amarillo and it was 9 degrees and snowing.  The weather rwas messing up flights, including ours.  More on that later.

We stood in line (which took forever) and got all check in.

We got to our gate and attempted to keep the boy off the floor but that lasted about 2.5 seconds then we just let him go.  And followed him with wet wipes because gross.

Our flight was delayed, so the whole trip was off to a fabulous start.  Also, that delay meant we would probably miss our connecting flight in Denver.  Good times.

We got on the plane, which was a tiny one.  Like a straw flying through the sky.  When we got on, Oliver immediately started fussing.  So we were THAT family.  I joked and tried to charm the passengers in hopes that would keep their mind off of what was potentially about to happen to their ears and nerves.

He calmed down thanks to a sweet flight attendant who gave him, of all things, a plastic cup.  I nursed him during takeoff, thinking he'd fall asleep.  He did not.  He much preferred to look at Sky Mall.  Ha!

We made it to Denver and, thanks to another plane's delay, we made our connecting flight!!  Things were looking up.  Unfortunately, we had to get off the plane OUTSIDE IN 2 BELOW SNOW and that was just not fun at all. 

Then we were about the leave Denver to get to our final destination of Tucson and the poop hit the fan.  Because of the cold weather, there was a waiting line for planes to get de-iced.  I didn't even know that was thing, but it is.  A thing, I'm sure to be thankful for, only at the time I just didn't care because we sat and waited on that plane, for 2 hours.  TWO.  And I just wanted to get there already.  Plus, the flight was two hours.    

I nursed during takeoff again, knowing he'd fall asleep.  Nope.  He did not.  And he also had 2 poopy diapers on that flight.  And I don't know if you've ever changed a diaper in that tiny bathroom on a plane, but es no bueño.  Bless it all.

We finally got to Tucson, got picked up, and taken to our hotel.  Then the boy finally slept.  

For those keeping track at home.  NO NAPS that day.  

This is our "We made it" face.

We didn't know when we checked in, but our room faced the East and I'm so glad it did.  Again, fancy iPhone camera doesn't do this sunrise-over-mountains justice.

It was NYE and we hung out all day and got ready for the service.

We sound checked earlier in the day then wasted time playing with the safe in the room.  Haha!

We had a nanny come to the room and just sit there while Oliver slept.  This was so helpful.  It would've been a loooooog night for him.  Thanks, Amber!

We got to the church and snacked and had coffee before it started. (They always have the bestest snackies.)

Because we are very fancy, our set list for the night was on a paper plate.


It actually snowed during the service.  Lots of it.  It didn't stick around long, and was gone by morning, but it was beautiful and fun to see everyone enjoying it! 

"I wanna gooooooo!"

So we get to the airport, ready and excited to get home. And that's when we found out our flight was delayed for 3 hours. THREE.  What in the world were we going to do with a toddler in an airport for that long? Take turns walking him around in the stroller. That and snacks. Lots of snacks.

We planned it perfectly. We had killed enough time and had enough time left to sit and eat lunch. Patting ourselves on the back, we finished eating, got our junk, and headed to the gate.  This travel thing isn't so hard after all!

MmmHmm, right. 

Then, we randomly glanced at the screen with all the flight info only to find out our plane was boarding and about to leave!!! We thought we had 30 minutes. 

Eeeek! We rushed there, forgoing potty breaks and a diaper change, and made it just in time.

And he finally slept.

Then, as we approached Amarillo, this.  All of a sudden, the delays, cold weather, flying with a toddler, and poopy diapers seemed insignificant. 

 Perspective is a beautiful thing.

We had a wonderful time and Oliver really did do well. Our little trooper even got some praise from a few people.