Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meet Virginia (and Illinois)

After our last run, we came back home for a week then headed back to Virginia.  Williamsburg, to be exact.  We almost had to cancel because that lovely stomach virus Oliver had the previous week made its way into my bowels.  Not. Fun. 

We decided to rest up and leave a little later and all was fine.  I mean, I wasn't 100%, but I knew I could make it.   Since splitting of the drive is our new normal, Roanoke, VA is where we camped out for the night.  

Before checking out, Mister and I let Daddy sleep in and we went to breakfast.

And had this view.  That part of the country really is beautiful.  I could be a mountain mama, I think.  At least part of the year, then I'd need to be a beach bum.  (Hey dear husband…write a big hit song so we can have some property, k?) ;-)

We left and made it to Williamsburg.  Getting to the hotel in time to rest a bit and clean the road off is always nice.  But OF COURSE this one didn't nap.

So, we just left a little early to let him get a little nap in the car.  If I had a dime...

There was a sweet 13-year-old who watched Oliver in the nursery during sound check and the show and she was wonderful!

Where we hung out before the show, there was a dry eraser board that was calling my name and I'm a very cheesy person with limited art abilities.

 We had so much fun at Williamsburg Christian Church.  It had been too long since the last time we were there (2012) and was great to see some familiar faces!  And we powered through, despite still feeling icky.  The show must go on, as they say.

We came back home the next day and had a week to prepare for the next show in Belleville, IL at St. Matthew UMC.  We were there a few years back and have tried to get back since, but dates never aligned.  But they did this time =)

It was a short drive, so no need to stop along the way!  And this microphone from Wendy's brought some much needed entertainment.  

I can't even with this cuteness.

We were able to set up and sound check that night. (If you've been following for any amount of time, you know how much we love that.)  The church was getting ready for their Easter program.  They do it 3 days and have done so for over 20 years!  Quite the production.

I feel like Jesus is totally ok with a sweet boy playing soccer in the church.  Don't you?

Life of a road baby.  Everything on stage is a toy…including a cajon bag.  

After sound check, we went to dinner with a family and their 7-week-old grandson!  They were so sweet and so kind.  Truly enjoyed ourselves.

Oliver had a rough night and was up at 5:00, so that was fun.  At least the sunrise was beautiful! 

At church that morning, we played special music in 2 services and led worship/special music in the other service.  Everyone was very complimentary and that never gets old.  PLUS, when the older congregation in the early/traditional service get on board, that really means a lot.

Oliver was in the nursery all morning and did great.  If there are balls and little kids, he's golden.  Although, during the sermon, Trent and I heard what was clearly our boy's scream.  My pager didn't go off, so I went to check.  Yeah… he was screaming because his diaper was getting changed which meant he had to stop playing.  The ladies were understanding when I said something alongs these lines, "oops.  I forgot to tell you he's not a fan of diaper changes.  Ha!  Okthanksbye."

After church (and after a quick 30 minute Oliver nap), a family took us to eat BBQ.  When people find out we're from TX and TN, they're a little worried when they feed us BBQ.  But y'all, this was so good.  Beast, you have our love.  And the name is perfect.  Then that family gave us raw honey from their bees.  Fresh honey is a love language in my book, so I was jazzed.  We left and got a few zzz's at the hotel before going back up to the church for the show that night.

After the show at the merch table, an older lady, with tears in her eyes, thanked us for what we did.  Then I cried, of course, because her genuine appreciation was something you could not fake.  It got me.  

And the family that took us to dinner the night before gave us a gift and Oliver a stuffed dog.  He was over the moon.  

It was an awesome night!  We had so. much. fun.  All shows are fun, but some have a little more energy than others and these guys were a blast.  And some of the sweetest ever.  

So blessed to do this.    

Friday, April 10, 2015

Snow, throw up, and shellac.

The first of March, we made our way to Pennsylvania.  We originally had some shows in the NYC area (which is why we scheduled PA on the way) but those fell through.  We decided to go ahead and keep the PA things booked.  And we are so glad we did.  

We stopped in the Columbus, OH area to split up the drive.  Oliver promptly found some golf to watch.  Ha!  Paads (my daddy) would be so proud.

Speaking of golf, one of my teammates from ASU (Arkasas, not Arizona, for those keeping up at home) lives there!  We tried our best to meet up, but with a late work night and a tired toddler, it did not happen.  We promised to try next time!

We went to grab a bite to eat and after a longish wait (where I *might've* gotten a little snippy with the hostess and *might've* apologized due to our long day because who wants spit in their food) we finally sat down.  Oliver "colored" on the menu and made eyes with a 20 month old named Vivian.  Slow down with that mess, Mister.  Mama ain't ready.

We got up the next morning to continue and woke up to even more snow.

Yay!  We made it with no issues on the roads, other than going a little more slowly.  The hotel had a new indoor pool and Oliver was loving watching the kids play.  When will I learn to never leave home without a swimsuit?  

Terrible picture, but our room had a name plate on it.  Bedford Falls High School.  And then I started singing "Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight…" because who wouldn't?  If you don't know that reference or what movie that is I'm not sure we can be friends.  

We got ready for the show at Grace Church in Knox and were a little concerned it would even happen.  The snow was crazy!!!  And I've never seen roads like that.  But guess what!  They can handle it up there.  No crazies driving like crazies.  

We were surprised at how many people showed up in that mess and we had a blast. 

Sweet McKenzie watched Oliver.  She also watched him the last time we were there and it was great to have a familiar face watch the boy!  The church had a gym and Oliver had SO MUCH FUN with the basketballs!


We had 2 days off before the next show, so we planned a little trip to Pittsburgh, only about 2 hours down the road.

We got to the hotel, unloaded and had plans to go downtown, but the front desk lady informed us that by the time we came back, traffic would be terrible.  So, BWW was the next best option…it was right across the street =)

Clearly, O liked the mac 'n' cheese.

(Don't you wish it was acceptable for adults to do this after a yummy meal?)

We had done some searching online and I even asked my friend Tabitha about stuff to do, and The Children's Museum was a must.  Plus, they were having a ball exhibit and Oliver is still obsessed, so…no brainer.

And then this.  I'm currently trying to figure out how I can make this work above our bed.  


Balls everywhere…aka: Oliver's heaven.

He loved the Water Play area!  And those smocks though.  Too much cuteness. 

The museum was great, but it was a little too old for the boy.  Next year, he'll be perfect, I bet!

Before heading back to our hotel, we grabbed lunch at a super cool place Trent found online.  It's called The Church Brew Works.  Check out their website.  It's an old church turned into a small brewery/restaurant.  The food was outstanding and looking around at all the architecture, pews, and stained glass was so neat.  

We were going to do the Duquesne Incline but they were closed.  Bummer.
Pittsburgh was a really cool city and we'll definitely go back.

I mean...

The next morning, we drove back to Knox and met up with the pastor and youth pastor of the church where we would be playing that night.  We had lunch and got caught up, knowing there probably wouldn't be much time later.

Before we ate, Oliver had fun "driving" while we waited.  He thinks he's real big stuff. =)

This is Ryan and he's the one that bought us back to the area.  Super nice guy!  And the show on this night was marriage themed.  Which meant we got to do more love songs…yay!

Cornerstone was so great.  Such kind people and Oliver had a blast in the nursery and chasing kids around the sanctuary.  

We left the next morning to head to Georgia.  Our plan was to stop in NC then finish the next day.  But Mother Nature had other plans. 

We got all of 2 hours down the road.  Had to cancel our hotel, get another one in West Virginia, and sit in this.  

We made the best of it, though.

I'll give you one guess what's in this cup...

So we got checked in, got groceries for the night, then our little sweetheart started throwing up.  It's the worst.  Luckily, the hotel didn't have a problem bringing us extra towels and sheets.

He seemed a little better the next morning but we weren't out of the woods yet. 
He slept pretty much the whole day, as we drove to Charlotte, NC.  I thought he was good to go, so I got him a banana at a truck stop.  He took one bite.  Swallowed it and went for the second.  And that's when I saw the face and got my hand ready to catch the banana throw up.  I did, and then went to the bathroom to wash us up.  So sad but I felt good about earning the "Catching Throw Up in a Public Place" badge of motherhood.

We made it to our hotel, and celebrated our FIFTH year of marital bliss in style.  Soup and a sandwiches. Oliver did keep toast down so I was feeling a little relieved.

Also, this.  This happened in less than 2 hours.  

Oliver woke up around 5:00 throwing up again.  Ugggghhhhhh!!!  It really is the saddest thing (and scariest) ever.  He nursed, threw that up, then crashed.  Man, oh man.

After a good nap, he seemed a lot better.  We left and made it to Georgia.  We had plans to stay with the sweetest family ever, but I wasn't sure they'd be up for the sick kid.  They were totally fine with it (they're grandparents) and said, "come on!"

Thanks to our friends Brandon and Sara, we played that Sunday morning at Eastridge Community Church in Covington, GA.  We did one song (Walking on Water) as a way of promoting the concert that night.  Nanu and Popsie kept up with Mister Man that morning and rocked it.  

Then we got back to the house and Oliver's throwing up turned into some pretty remarkable diarrhea.  We simply could not get over this virus!  Gah. 

We were invited to have some coffee with Bo Bice (who attends ECC) and Nanu and Popsie offered to keep Oliver and bring him to the show later.  They were not scared of said diarrhea.  God bless 'em.  And they already have a carseat so basically, they win everything.

While we were praying before the show, we got a pic of Nanu and O.  So sweet.  He's our precious little man and she's yet another adopted family member!

It was such a fun night!  

Bo came out and rocked the Monk shirt.  Good times meeting him.  If you don't remember Bo from American Idol…he was the runner-up to Carrie Underwood. And if you don't know who Carrie Underwood is, you should come out from under that rock sometime ;-)

Then Sara offered to shellac my nails and that answer is and will always be YES.  

So there ya have it.  We were only gone a week and a half but MY WORD it felt like a month.  We sure enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones.  Doing this for a living is some of the hardest, most rewarding work I've ever been blessed to do.  Second only to being that boy's mama. 

Thank you, Jesus.  Amen.